Who are you?
Alright, I allow this thing to languish with disuse far too often.
Today, I will discuss a recent discovery of mine. It may not actually be a recent discovery, exactly, as much as an album I’ve wanted to hear for a long time and finally checked out.
The album in question, Lotion’s Nobody’s Cool, was released in 1996 on spinART Records. It’s not a terribly easy album to find, at least in so far as you aren’t so likely to come across it in the used bin at your preferred music retailer (if you still engage in such arcane practices as purchasing physical music media from a human being in person). It’s been out of print for years and Lotion’s name certainly has not come up very much since the band’s dissolution in 1999. SpinArt also went out of business in 2007.
I came across a download of the record on some blog that managed to go untouched by the purge of music files from most file host sites. Talking with a friend about Buffy the Vampire Slayer reminded me that, when I was recently watching some episodes on Netflix, I discovered that Lotion makes a brief appearance! While performing at the show’s teen hangout, the Bronze, Lotion is suddenly interrupted by a werewolf attack.
Nobody’s Cool is the kind of album that makes me feel as if I’m in a movie. It makes walking to work much more exciting. My sluggish slouching is replaced by a straight back and fast pace. “Dear Sir,” the first song on the album, is such a brilliant shot of energy that I almost want to start running When I hear it.
Bright, punchy guitars, bouncy bass lines, and up-beat drums make the album almost completely irresistible. The lyrics, when you can make them out, are at times wistful romantic entreaties and at other times absurd and ironic descriptions of self-destruction and failure that could remind of you the narrator of The Fall by Camus.
Besides the strange cast of characters and perspectives offered by the lyrics in Lotion’s songs, they also set themselves apart with an affinity for noisy breakdowns, peculiar sounds, and somewhat confusing rhythms. At points on the record, the song builds to an impassable wall of sound with the drums undulating behind the guitars and bass in surprising syncopations.
While not the most famous band of the 1990s, they may have managed to maintain a small following among fans of the renowned reclusive author Thomas Pynchon, who wrote the liner notes for the album.
And so, that is my story of finally catching on to a record after around probably ten years of thinking about it. Maybe not so much a story, but I don’t have all the time in the world so whatever.
The Man of The Hour. Happy Half-Century, Dave Foley. You are my hero.
I suppose I should try to write something.
I’ve started a number of blogs and never keep up with them. I always tell myself I’m going to make a schedule and stick to it, if only for the purpose of exercising my writing and thinking skills. I think maybe I went three weeks once.
But, actually, thinking back it wasn’t three weeks, in truth. I had written three weeks of material and scheduled it to be published. I don’t even know how I just convinced myself that I had done that. I suppose that was a sort of selective memory.
At any rate, I am often unsuccessful at maintaining any schedule of writing. I say I’ll write every week and I don’t. Then I say I’ll write every day, to keep less time from going by so I won’t forget to do it or I’ll know for sure that I did forget. Then when that doesn’t work, I say I’ll do it at least once every month and I forget that I even have a blog.
I think one problem that I have is writing extemporaneously with no set topic or subject. Or, either I think that’s my problem, or I was looking for an excuse to use the word “extemporaneously.”
A quick Google search for “blogging extemporaneously” mostly brings up various websites offering definitions of the word and what I think was a joke about David Foster Wallace. I pursued the search because I was convinced that other people must also have this problem or an issue with this. So many people interested in pursuing a writing career or writing-slash-editing positions at the very least, seemingly must have a blog if they expect to get any attention from prospective employers. And so, blogs have become just about, if not entirely, obligatory.
Part of me is tempted to say that bloggers don’t have difficulty writing about anything off of the top of their head because that’s seemingly what blogs are for. A very simple medium where you can just sit down, write something out, and have it published whether it’s meaningful (or comprehensible) or not. So, it’s a perfect medium for people who have nothing else to do but spit out their thoughts on the Internet. Or just no one else with whom to communicate.
Another part of me wants to say that bloggers don’t have a problem with this because bloggers are writers, and so, very simply, they write. Not because there’s no one around to listen to their crazy ramblings, but because they have things to say and they know how they want to say it.
I don’t like that way of looking at it, though, since it would seem to say that I’m not a writer, considering how little I actually write and how little I would appear to have to say.
Though, I suppose, there are differing opinions on the subject. Such as these two blog posts that I found towards the top of the first page of another Google search:
Even the blog post advocating writing every day suggests that you don’t write in great quantity every day. It also nods towards the same sort of doubt I was just having in this article that I’m currently writing: The idea that writers just write all the time.
And so maybe the real problem (and I suppose it should’ve been obvious from the beginning) is not so much the volume or regularity of my writing as much as it is, very plainly, my commitment (or lack thereof) and my own weird self-perceptions. I’ve already more or less unwittingly discussed both of these things to some extent even in the past few hundred words or however many, and seeing it all together now it begins to seem silly that I took up this discussion at all in the first place.
But then I suppose I needed to write about something at some point.
I’ll stop there, but while writing this, I was listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest, and the subject came up to some degree, so I thought I would suggest it.
Maybe I’ll follow this up next week or next month. Or in six months.
“I MEAN, THIS IS THE THIRD TIME IN LESS THAN A MONTH. YOU’RE PROBABLY AS SICK OF READING THESE FLIERS AS I AM OF WRITING THEM. YOU KNOW WHAT? NOW THAT I’M WRITING THIS ALL OUT? FUCK THIS CAT. ‘MESSAGE RECEIVED,’ KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING? SO IF YOU’RE MY LOST CAT, AND YOU’RE READING THIS FLIER, I GET IT. YOU DON’T WANT TO LIVE WITH ME. MAYBE IT’S MY FAULT. MAYBE YOU DIDN’T LIKE THE DRY FOOD OR MAYBE I WASN’T IMPRESSED ENOUGH BY YOUR ABILITY TO READ. I’M SORRY. LET US PART AS FRIENDS. ANYONE ELSE READING THIS, SORRY TO WASTE YOUR TIME. I SHOULD NOT HAVE CONTINUED TO TYPE UP THIS INTERNAL MONOLOGUE, ATTACH A PHOTO, PRINT MULTIPLE COPIES, AND POST THEM THROUGHOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. PLEASE TEAR THIS DOWN AND DISPOSE OF IT IN AN APPROPRIATE RECYCLING RECEPTACLE. IF YOU JUST THROW IT IN A REGULAR TRASH CAN, I HOPE YOU WILL SUBSEQUENTLY APOLOGIZE TO A TREE. AND IF YOU KNOW A TREE THAT SPEAKS ENGLISH, DON’T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED! LET THAT TALKING TREE KNOW THAT YOU ARE IMPRESSED!”
A few weeks ago, I began to think I was getting a bit of a gut. I weighed myself to find I had gained ten pounds, which isn’t a significant amount of weight, but I haven’t gained more than five pounds in what must be at least ten years now.
Unable to determine whether beer consumption or the fact that I’ve become more sedentary were responsible, I brought it up with a friend. His advice led me to believe that all my years of ignoring my weight had suddenly come to a dead halt, and I was going to start ballooning up to some enormous size if I didn’t completely change my behavior.
Whatever weight I thought I gained seemed to go away after about a week, but that brief moment of paranoia about my body completely shutting down did help me get to a little exercise schedule, to which I’ve remained pretty faithful.
At any rate, I try to put on a record now when I settle down enough to focus on my health.
This time it was What Were Flames Now Smolder by the Crabs.
An under-rated, under-discussed release on K Records from 1997 featuring the duo of John Lunsford and Lisa Jackson (later joined by Sarah Dougher for their last record Sand and Sea in 1999). Also, the cover artwork here is done by Adrian Tomine, author the great Optic Nerve comic.
(Last time it was Idle Labor by Craft Spells. I may have to get better at picking more energizing music in the future.)
I have tried to keep blogs at least four times in the past. The closest I came to consistency was one that was kept as a class project. We had to publish nine posts by the end of the semester. I recall writing six of them the night before the last class.
I’m often scared off from the idea of keeping blogs by my own misconception that I need to compose content of some real significance. After I thought about how much useless crap I post on other, unnamed social networking sites, I decided that shouldn’t be such an issue for me.
I will probably use this mostly for talking about music, television, and probably comics to some degree.