Oh Joy!
2002-12-24 || shut the fuck up and go to bed
Soundtrack � the Clash � Give Em� Enough Rope

I�m going to go out on a limb and say Kevin Smith is overrated. Well, that�s not really going out on a limb. Whatever, it�s my dime.

Just watched a documentary on punk rock on vh-1, pretty good, interviews with keith morris, wayne county, lee ving, etc. In one obituary today the writer incorrectly stated that the clash were responsible for bringing politics to punk rock. With all due respect, Crass was there the same year, and their politics made the Clash sound like Ted Nugent. They were even claiming punk was dead in 1978 because of bands like the Clash signing to major labels. To me, that�s pretty crazy, people talking about punk people selling out already in 1978! Obviously this isn�t true necessarily, the Clash were fine where they were, and never compromised in my opinion. The first time I heard the band, my dad brought the London Calling record home in 79 as we were getting out of Kiss and Led Zeppelin and into bands like Cheap Trick, the Dickies, Sex Pistols, etc. I remember being perplexed that there was a song on the record that was not titled (Train in Vain), and a great song at that! I followed them from there on, up until the last record, which I thought was half good and half rubbish. What a sad day. Looking at my entry from 12/21 (Saturday) I was listening to the Clash, I don�t make this shit up. I listened to them Friday night, and Saturday for the first time in a bit�

Today I witnessed a blue-collar white man pick up a Hispanic woman who works at the Dunkin Donuts. Well not really pick her up, he evidently is in there every day or so, and she gave him his phone number, this in front of a line of half a dozen of us morning zombies with that half tooth paste half dog shit taste in our mouths. I always though she was pretty; she always gave me a nice smile when she rang me up. I�m talking about her like she�s dead now or something. I�ll cross her off of my �Puerto Rican coffee shop employees I want to fuck� list.

Finished my best of music in 2002 list which I will most likely paste on the end of this entry. I erased some records, and then added more, etc. After realizing I can�t write about music without sounding retarded, I stopped. It would be silly of me to post it here for all to see, but whatever. I know some of my friends who read this value my opinion on music, and I value theirs so�yeah.

I wonder how many women in the world can say: �I fucked Eric Stolz�?

This morning in Dunkin Donuts, I�m reminded of my attempts to ask out women in coffee, record, book shops in the past. Well, there were 3 I think. The first one was one in a Starbucks I was under the impression that short hair meant one of two things �lesbian�, or �punk rock� I found out she wasn�t a lesbian somehow. Somehow at one point my friend told her why I was spending so much fucking money on espresso drinks. Upon going in there and not talking to her for the 900th time I went in once and she asked for my number, because she heard I played guitar well, and wanted to start a band. Never called, I gave Dunkin Donuts my money for the next 5 years instead. Next one was at, curiously, Dunkin Donuts. Drank half a 40 oz of malt liquor (seriously) and went in and introduced myself, made plans to hang out when she got out of work the following Sunday. Went to meet her and she evidently forgot, and while I was inside waiting for her, she pulled out of the parking lot with a friend. Next one was at the record shop where I inadvertently asked how much she was paying for a new car she just bought, and how that effected her not coming to see the Cramps with me. We became friends eventually, well, not really friends, as we�ve never spoken on the phone ever, (except when she called to tell me that the CD by the shamefully underrated Ted Hawkins was out of print and they couldn�t get it) and only hung out after running into each other. Just this past Friday her and a couple of friends sat with Dan and I at the bar. I talked about her here . So that doesn�t happen anymore. How can the chicks resist my six pack though:

Have to work for 2 fucking hours tomorrow. Like �rap-rock�, what�s the point?

Need to stop talking now. Gifts in head, ready to be impatient tomorrow, and perhaps b(u)y myself a gift or two as well.

And then�.:

Top Ten Records of 2002

1. Phish � Round Room � Recorded in 4 days right after they announced the end of the hiatus. I�ve only had the record for about a week (as of the writing of this), and upon first listen, I was in my car, drunk, and ended up skipping through it looking for the meat of the record. Upon listening on the next day with more of a straight mind, I found it to be quite enjoyable. The Phish community so far has been complaining that they don�t like it. It sounds to me like what it is, a record recorded in 4 days in their studio with brand new songs. There�s even moments where you hear what sounds like mistakes, etc. The overall feel of the record is a bit melancholy in a surreal kind of way. I can�t wait to hear these songs live on New Years Eve, as this will be the first Phish record where I haven�t heard the songs live first, save for the first time I heard them years ago.

2. Today is the Day � Sadness Will Prevail � this isn�t here because we spent a few weeks with the mastermind behind this exhaustive 2 record set, but because it really is a piece of art. Listening to it in one sitting is a test of ones patience definitely, but worth it if you can handle it. The mood and themes of the record tell a story. To the average �person� this band probably sounds like a bunch of loud distorted noise, but to those listening to what�s going on with the music you hear some seriously well written songs. Steve belts out some pretty scary vocals on this that will send a shiver up the ghost of edgar allen poe, and as a whole this record is everything Trent Reznor wished he could have done with the Downward Spiral.

3. Brad Mehldau � Largo � Jazz pianist who earned some notoriety a couple years back for his cover of Radiohead � Exit Music. When I initially heard that version I thought it sounded like a bad day at the Windham Hill recording studio. Perhaps because I heard it in a Starbucks. I haven�t heard it since though. I read some reviews about this record and decided to give it a shot. He was covering another Radiohead song, as well as a Beatles song, or two rather. The first track on this CD, �When it Rains� is amazing in the feeling of melancholy it pours on the listener. Once you get to his cover of �Paranoid Android� you realize how great of a pianist he is. Not really a Bill Evans clone as he�s been accused of being, in my eyes anyway. The rest of the record is up and down, there are a couple of unnecessary tracks like the cover of �Dear Prudence�. The prepared piano piece (in which putty was attached to the strings) �Free Willy� is great in its improvisational attack. Anyway, a great introduction to this guy, I�m on my way to buy more from him in the future.

4. The Roots � Phrenology � I�ll have to admit, when it comes to hip-hop I have a pretty short attention span at this point. I�d say that at least 90 % of it, even the so called �intelligent�, or �Underground� kind doesn�t hold my attention for longer than a week, but this record caught me right from the beginning. Concentrating more on the groove, which is of course tight thanks to the band, and not on the battle rhymes, etc. Drummer ?uestlove is no Clyde Stubblefield, but he keeps it in the pocket for the majority of the record, check out the freak out on �Break You Off� for proof of this. This was my introduction for the band, and I definitely will seek out some of the older stuff now.

5. John Zorn � Filmworks Volume XI � Essentially a new Masada String Trio record, this is a hauntingly beautiful piece of work. Scored for a documentary on Jewish children hidden from Nazis.If I could I would just put everything Zorn released this year on this list, but that would be unfair; this was my favorite of his �new� works.

6. Lake Trout � Another One Lost � The best record nobody heard in 2002, this would be at the top of the list if I were listing these in order of preference. Unfairly lumped into the jamband world (which, ironically is where I found them), these guys go beyond marathon jam sessions, and noodling for hours. Straying into Radiohead territory from the funky/drum n� bass sound I got into on their earlier records, this whole record is great from start to finish. After hearing some of these songs live last year, and then seeing them at a small festival over the summer where I took quite possibly the best pictures of a live band I have taken in my life . Unfortunately, a battle with their former label is making this record only available at their gigs, I would urge anyone with good taste in music to hunt this down.

7. Sonic Youth � Murray Street � Since I don�t know when, a new Sonic Youth record has always been an event to me. In my eyes, and ears, they�ve been outdoing themselves for the past three or four records now. This is by far my favorite of what I call the �post radio� era of SY, or anything after �Bull in the Heather�. With Jim O�Rourke now an actually member of the band the layers of guitar are even more lush, and the songwriting is stronger than ever as evident on the tracks �Disconnection Notice�, and my favorite �Karen Revisited�, which is a Ranaldo song, who I�ve always thought was SY�s trump card the past 10 years or so. I can give or take the Kim Gordon songs at this point. With a sometimes 60ish feel, and sometimes showing the Television influence more than ever (check out �Rain on Tin�). Overall, another strong release from one of the only bands left that seem to get better with age.

8. Medeski, Martin, and Wood � Uninvisible � I had the pleasure of hanging with 2/3 of this band in the spring at a party. While pretty drunk on a good amount of red wine I mentioned to bass player Chris Wood that I felt that the last three records have showcased each member. Combustication felt like the Medeski record, the Dropper felt like the Billy Martin record, and this one was definitely the Chris Wood record. With the bass obviously prevalent on all MMW songs, this one seems to be extra heavy on the bass to my ears. Production by Scotty Hard, who worked with the Wu-Tang Clan doesn�t hurt this philosophy. When played in my car stereo, I feel I can hold my own next to a pack of Hondas with tinted windows and bumping Jay-Z beats.

9. Presley � s/t � Okay it is cheesy to put your own band on a best of the year list, but since I lived and breathed this record for half of the year starting with the exhaustive practices getting ready for the session, to the few weeks we spent in the studio off and on working on this, I feel that warrants an appearance�plus this was most likely the most listened to record this year for me. Everyone in the band put 100% from the second we booked the studio, to the night we left the studio with whiskey on our breath and a few thousand dollars poorer. Hopefully, we can do something with it soon, and it will make someone else�s list next year�heh.

10. El-P � Fantastic Damage � Leaving the Beastie Boys in the dust for �most solid hip-hop record by white people in the last 10 years�is this debut by one of hip-hops finest lyricists and producers in the game. Every song on here is executed as if he worked for a month on it. Interweaving noisy syncopated beats with compositions that are so deep you can easily drown in this 16 track mind fuck. This record is filled with enough metaphors to keep you busy for a long time, once you hear what he�s saying, and you get behind the sometimes hard to swallow beats, this record opens up to a bleak world filled with abusive step fathers, anti-capitalist ideals, Orwellian governments, and a hip-hop scene filled with people saying nothing interesting. The track �Truancy� is possibly my favorite track on the record, one of the best shit-talking hip-hop songs out there, which includes the eerie line �Jam Master Jay would have shot you� (the record was released way before JMJ was murdered).

Also bubbling under this top ten for this year: records by Karate, Opeth, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, Guided By Voices, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, and Avail.

Top Reissues/archival releases, etc.

1. Pavement � Slanted and Enchanted/Deluxe Edition � Although not my favorite Pavement record, this one cleans up the sound a little and adds tons of extras, with some great liner notes too.

2. Violent Femmes � s/t � Although the live stuff didn�t really grant more than a few listens, the demos for one of the best debut records ever are enjoyable to hear a work in progress. This record is still listenable, even after 18 years, when I heard it first. Wait, I heard this record 18 years ago for the first time?

3. Phish � Live Phish Volume 11 (11/17/97) This was one of my favorite shows from 97 before this came out as an official release, and now with the pristine sound, it�s even more enjoyable. Essential if you ever want to get into live Phish, from one of the best years of their career.

4. Painkiller � Live in Nagoya � A new 3 track release of a show from 94 from this intense John Zorn band. Alongside Zorn are Bass slut Bill Laswell, and Drummer Mick Harris of Napalm Death, Scorn, etc. fame. Check out the 30 minute improv �Batrachophrenoboogcosmomacha� for proof.

5. Bob Dylan � The Bootleg Series Vol 5. Live 1975 � I like this era of Dylan, and the song selection is great, heavy on the Desire record, and a tear bringing version of �It�s All Over Now, Baby Blue�.

6. John Coltrane � A Love Supreme/Deluxe Edition � Worth it for the Arche Shepp appearance if anything!

7. Naked City � Live at the Knitting Factory 1989 � I�ll have to admit up until last year I wasn�t into that much Zorn stuff, but this year I bought tons of stuff from his label. This band is great, with some top tier musicians from the downtown NY scene: Wayne Horovitz, Bill Frisell, Joey Baron, Fred Frith, and of course John Zorn. This performance is intense with stop-on-a-dime compositions, and the ability to go from surf music to white noise in the matter of a measure and a half.

8. Miles Davis � Filles De Kilimanjaro � This record is a bridge, from one amazing quintet to the next, this is the record that arguably started the journey of what was to come on records like In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, etc.

9. Elvis Costello � This Years Model � Arguably the best Costello record (Personally, I prefer My Aim is True), it�s about time they made us by this record for a 3rd time alfuckingready.

10. The Rolling Stones � Abkco Reissues � I bought about a dozen of these, the sound is pristine, the packaging is great, and well, it the Stones.

before & after