14 December 2009

21 November 2009

Top 75 of the decade

A friend suggested I draw up a list of my top 100 albums from the past decade. I don't have 100 albums that I actually like all that much, but I put together a list of 75 good ones. So here they are:

  1. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
  2. The Libertines - Up The Bracket
  3. Spiritualized - Let It Come Down
  4. Sigur Ros - ( )
  5. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  6. The Streets - Original Pirate Material
  7. The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic
  8. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
  9. Bark Psychosis - Codename: Dustsucker
  10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - BRMC
  11. The Notwist - Neon Golden
  12. Boris - Pink
  13. The Fall - The Unutterable
  14. Robyn Hitchcock - Spooked
  15. Radiohead - Amnesiac
  16. Acoustic Ladyland - Skinny Grin
  17. Mastodon - Crack the Skye
  18. Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus
  19. Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid
  20. Polar Bear - Held on the Tips of Fingers
  21. Pulp - We Love Life
  22. High on Fire - Blessed Black Wings
  23. Joe Strummer - Streetcore
  24. Lifter Puller - Fiestas + Fiascos
  25. The Futureheads - The Futureheads
  26. Radiohead - Kid A
  27. Sharon Jones - 100 Days, 100 Nights
  28. Baroness - Blue Record
  29. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E
  30. White Stripes - De Stijl
  31. Mastodon - Leviathan
  32. The Libertines - The Libertines
  33. Sigur Ros - Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
  34. Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
  35. Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
  36. Reigning Sound - Love and Curses
  37. Gogol Bordello - Multi Kontra Culti vs Irony
  38. Reverend Bizarre - In The Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend
  39. Pete Doherty - Grace/ Wastelands
  40. Doves - Some Cities
  41. Boris - Akuma No Uta
  42. Dungen - 4
  43. Reigning Sound - Too Much Guitar
  44. The Strokes - Is This It
  45. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
  46. Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
  47. Oriole - Migration
  48. Black Mountain - In The Future
  49. Ufomammut - Lucifer Songs
  50. Dinosaur Jr - Farm
  51. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
  52. Dungen - Ta Det Lungt
  53. Boris - Rainbow
  54. Isis - Oceanic
  55. Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue Vol 2
  56. The Cuts - From Here On Out
  57. Radiohead - In Rainbows
  58. Velvet Underground - The Quine Tapes
  59. The Notwist - The Devil, You + Me
  60. Broadcast - The Noise Made By People
  61. Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks
  62. Celtic Frost - Monotheist
  63. Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
  64. Portishead - Third
  65. High on Fire - Surrounded By Thieves
  66. The Blessing - All Is Yes
  67. Devotchka - How It Ends
  68. Wilderness - Wilderness
  69. Portico Quartet - Knee Deep in the North Sea
  70. Tinariwen - Radio Tisdas Sessions
  71. Isis - Wavering Radiant
  72. Boban Markovic Orkestar - Live in Belgrade
  73. Danava - Danava
  74. Von Sudenfed - Tromatic Reflexxions
  75. Beachwood Sparks - Beachwood Sparks

28 May 2009

Mix number 4

The best of the bunch so far?

  1. The Fall - Before the Moon Falls - Dragnet
  2. David Bowie - Life on Mars - Hunky Dory
  3. Bark Psychosis - 400 Winters - Codename: Dustsucker
  4. The Flaming Lips - Halloween on the Barbary Coast - Hit to Death in the Future Head
  5. Can - Halleluwah - Tago Mago
  6. Smoke - My Friend Jack - Nuggets
  7. Big Star - Thirteen - #1 Record
  8. The White Stripes - Death Letter - De Stijl
  9. J.J. Cale - Don't Go to Strangers - Naturally
  10. Syd Barrett - No Man's Land - The Madcap Laughs
  11. John Lee Hooker - It Serves Me Right to Suffer - This Is Hip
  12. The Only Ones - The Whole of the Law - Special View
Download Here

05 May 2009

Mix number 3

Here we are at the third go-round. This is actually a mix I've had for a while. It dates all the way back from my time in Korea. Thursday was crossword day. In every class, the kids would work on a puzzle, and I'd sit there bored to tears for the entire day. Better than teaching them at least. I must have sketched out some songs for a playlist. I found the list while going through some old papers, and it actually sounds pretty good. I updated it a bit with some songs I've found since then, and I erased some of the songs I don't like anymore. It's a bit longer and more out there than the others I guess.

  1. C.A. Quintet - Underground Music - Trip Thru Hell
  2. The Libertines - Time For Heroes - Up The Bracket
  3. Pere Ubu - Final Solution - Terminal Tower
  4. Sun Ra - Where Pathways Meet - Liquidity
  5. Hüsker Dü - Eight Miles High - Eight Miles High
  6. Boris - 1970 - Heavy Rocks
  7. Exuma - Baal - Exuma II
  8. Charles Mingus - Eat That Chicken - Oh Yeah
  9. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Moonlight on Vermont - Trout Mask Replica
  10. Grachan Moncur III - Air Raid - Evolution
  11. Funkadelic - March to the Witch's Castle - Cosmic Slop
  12. The Birthday Party - Mutiny in Heaven - Mutiny EP
  13. The Third Bardo - I've Five Years Ahead of My Time - Nuggets
  14. Reigning Sound - Drowning - Too Much Guitar
  15. Caetano Veloso - Nostalgia (That's What Rock n' Roll's All About)

You can get the music here. And I promise at some point, I'll figure out an easier way to get it to you.

23 April 2009

A quick survey of animals I have eaten

I don't know why I felt possessed to draw this up, but here's the list as far as I can remember.

1. beef: tongue, liver, tartare
2. chicken: feet, testicles
3. pork - cheek, intestines
4. turkey
5. ox: tongue, tail
6. goat
7. eel
8. shark
9. other fish: angler fish, etc
10. dog
11. goose
12. yak
13. sea urchin
14. shrimp, prawns
15. various shellfish: oysters, mussels, clams, sea snails, etc
16. sheep, lamb
17. silkworm larva
18. rabbit
19. snail
20. buffalo

21. duck
22. quail
23. crocodile
24. ostrich
25. jellyfish
26. elk

And though they are not animals, I would also like to add durian and natto to my strange foods list.

Naturally, I'll provide important updates as they arise.

22 April 2009

Mix, part 2

I went out of town last week and didn't get a chance to post this before I left. Here's a second mix. Eventually I'll find a better way to post these, as it seems to be a pain in the ass to both upload and download such a large file. I imagine it's discouraging to everyone. So bear with me on that count. And in the meantime here's another hour of tunes to pass your time.

1. Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna - Blonde on Blonde
2. Alvin Robinson - Down Home Girl
3. Joe Strummer - Ramshackle Day Parade - Streetcore
4. Oriole - Migration To The Orange Trees - Migration
5. The Chills - Frantic Drift - Kaleidoscope World
6. Leonard Cohen - Suzanne - The Best Of...
7. Butterfield Blues Band - Mellow Down Easy - Butterfield Blues Band
8. The Cuts - Next To Nothing - From Here On Out
9. Hawkwind - Down Through The Night - Doremi Fasol Latido
10. The Verve - Virtual World - A Storm in Heaven
11. Mulatu Astatke - Nètsanèt - Ethiopiques, Volume 4
12. The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drum - The Stone Roses
13. Lindisfarne - January Song - Fog On The Tyne
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Humble Me - 100 Days, 100 Nights

You can find this week's mix here

06 April 2009

31 March 2009

Mix, part 1

I've always had the idea that I wanted to put together some mixes and post them. Hopefully they would be interest to someone other than just me. So I put a bunch together, and as long as someone else enjoys them, I plan to post about an hour of music each week. Here's my first attempt. I'd like to include some obscure songs from any number of genres with some classics thrown in to keep it all together. That means mixes diverse enough to be interesting without being too convulsive or schizophrenic. Today's playlist is:

1. Donovan - Sunshine Superman - Sunshine Superman
2. Sir Douglas Quintet - At The Crossroads - Mendocino
3. William Bell - Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday - Stax-Volt Complete Singles
4. Spacemen 3 - Things'll Never Be The Same - Perfect Prescription
5. The Flaming Lips - Feeling Yourself Disintegrate - The Soft Bulletin
6. Can - I'm So Green - Ege Bamyasi
7. Etta James - The Love Of My Man - Tell Mama
8. Van Morrison - The Way Young Lovers Do - Astral Weeks
9. The Blessing - Loubia - All Is Yes
10. Euphoria - Hungry Women - With Love, A Pot Of Flowers
11. The Saints - All Times Through Paradise - Prehistoric Sounds
12. Hüsker Dü - Chartered Trips - Zen Arcade
13. Hawkwind - Children Of The Sun - In Search Of Space
14. Jazz Butcher - Lost In France - The Gift Of Music
15. The Fall - A Day In The Life - Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father

You can download it here. Let me know what you think.

29 March 2009

Casual Friday

25 March 2009

Free Refills

So I haven't posted in a very long time, but this one sprang to mind this afternoon. I'm not sure why, but this particular story tends to be the most overlooked of my myriad Korea tales. Strange really because to my mind it's one of the most bizarre things I saw while I was in the country.

One point of culture one quickly becomes accustomed to in Korea (and China as well) are the differing approaches to children's toilet etiquette. In the West, we generally regard a child's habits the same we do an adults. That is to say, the child is afforded at least a modicum of privacy and the business is done behind closed doors. You've seen it in a shopping mall bathroom; the child walks into a stall, the parent follows, and the door is locked.
Not so in Asia. The outdoor world is a children's toilet. Trow are dropped regardless of location, and the streets are awash with kiddy piddle. I've narrowly avoided running down a miterating toddler as a rushing crowd parts to reveal him hovering over a sewer grate; I've witnessed fathers holding up their sons by the shoulders as the kid drizzles down a stream as if from a lime-clogged shower head; I've heard tell that in mainland China, diapers are not even purchased...
I'm sure you get the idea. So this particular incident transpires on an uneventful Saturday afternoon. Jessica had gone into Seoul for the afternoon while I stayed at home. We decided to meet on her way back and get some food. We ended up at a restaurant that served what is very probably the worst sushi I've ever been subjected to. Rotten to its very core. Two plates of soggy shrimp were left untouched on their beds of crunchy rice. We hop the bus back to our town. Midway through the journey and the bus is coming upon a McDonald's. While ordinarily this would not be the first choice for either of us, recent horrors had cast the Arches in a new light. We stopped in.
Perhaps I should set the scene a bit further. The highway from the metro station to our town was a two lane country affair. There were occasional strip malls, but there was otherwise not much in the way of civilization. Except for the great hulking McDonald's restaurant. Like most Korean buildings, it was thrown up over the course of two or three weeks and rose to dominate the landscape around it. Its grand opening warranted an appearance from the president of McDonald's (South Korea) who pronounced it the largest and greatest in all the land. At any given time, the behemoth stood at no more than 2% capacity. The evening Jessica and I wandered in was no exception. The eighteen staff members on duty quickly clicked their heels and stood at attention, as we were the only customers beside a table of high schoolers huddled in a corner.
We order our food and sit down. One other interesting point about this particular outlet is that the food is brought to you at your table and the soda comes in hard, recyclable plastic cups. The two of of us begin with our meal and, as it draws to its completion, a family enters and sits down next to us. Perhaps two hundred unoccupied chairs and dozens of empty tables, and Mom, Dad, Grandma and Junior decide to hover over us. Sure, no problem. Dad goes to order food and Junior, as Korean children in public do, runs up and down the aisles in a hyperactive fit. I decide to get some ice cream and so we remain neighbors a bit longer.
As the family dig into their meals, Junior comes up dancing and holding his crotch. He's quickly shooed away. A few minutes later he wanders back. Again, Mom and Dad are having none of it. They point him toward the restrooms, though at three years old he can't possibly be expected to take care of it himself.
He comes to the table a third time. Exasperated, Mom puts down her Big Mac and picks up an empty soda cup. In a single movement, Mom lets out a sigh, jerks down Junior's shorts, and sticks the soda cup at penis-level. Jessica and I abruptly end our conversation absolutely dumbfounded as Junior relieves himself right before our eyes. Mom sits there, disinterested, as Junior slowly but surely fills the cup with urine right there in the middle of the McDonald's dining room. He finishes, shorts are pulled back up, and Mom puts the soda cup right back on the table, picks up her Big Mac and resumes eating.
And there is sits in the middle of the table. The clear plastic cup, ice nearly melted and the yellow urine tinged a brown with the remnants of Coke. It sits there as the centerpiece for the remainder of the meal. Eventually Dad gets up and pours it out in the garbage and goes up to the counter for a refill. This latter event confounds me to this very day. He certainly must have thrown away the cup his son pissed in and carried a second one with him; it was this second one that was refilled. However, in my memory, I never remember seeing the second cup. At any rate, I never finished my ice cream.