Monday, December 17, 2007

InDigest Issue 2

So if you read this blog you may already know, but InDigest has released Issue 2. It's just gone up, and we think it's looking pretty good. There is a bit of a new look to the front page and we've got our newsletter going. Issue 2 includes an interview with Roger Deakins (shameless self plug), poetry by Ada Limon, Erica Wright, Tiffany Noelle Fung, a new Bedside Stacks, new Dorkolopogous, art from Debra Ripp and Tove Floren, and much more (notice the serial comma Dave, I'm sold).

We've also added a InDigsest news section at the bottom of the main page, so look at that and see what's happening with artists who've been published in InDigest, and what's new with InDigest itself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

At Last Unfolding Congo

So I'm a huge geek, if you read the InDigest Blog at all you know I already posted pretty much this same entry. But I was just paging Mosquito again and thought I should throw something up on my own blog.

So

Alex Lemon has a new chapbook out called At Last Unfolding Congo. I can't vouch for it yet, officially, (because I only ordered my copy yesterday) but he's a great poet and if you have any interest in poetry you should get this. It's out through Horseless Press it's really pretty cheap, and why not, you haven't bought a book of poetry you've fallen in love with since that last collection of Neruda, well I haven't anyway, so why not try this? what? Go and at least read the posted poem about At Last Unfolding Congo...it's that a great title anyhow?

Friday, December 7, 2007

InDigest what

Months of non-stop work have finally paid off and InDigest is a real magazine now. if you haven't been to the site yet you should check it out, Issue one came out on Monday. It's kind of amazing to hear all of the great feedback we've been getting and see that people are actually reading our magazine (or ezine, I guess). It's an interesting experience. I'm pretty proud of the magazine so far, and think that our editing team is pretty amazing, everyone worked really hard over the last couple of months to get it out.

Special thanks needs to be appointed to a couple people who've been really helpful along the way, Alex Lemon (alexlemon.com) is great and you should read his new book of poetry, Mosquito, Ashleigh Lambert, Dan Wieken, and many others have helped out a ton, have things in the first issue and are generally good people. So if you get a chance check out the site, let us know what you think, good, bad or otherwise and check back, the next issue is out in a little over a week. And if you live in the Twin Cities you should come to our release party in the Clown Lounge of the turf Club on Sunday (Dec. 9th).
thanks,
Dustin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Minneapolis like what

I've been getting Blender Magazine for free for a little while now (and it's terrible, but when it's sitting on the toilet i can only reason that there are words in it and not on the wall...). In the new issue they have a list (a staple of the music magazine without enough real content to fill every issue) of the top 100 indie rock albums of all time. It's not terrible, it's safe and forgettable, but i noticed that, if you include The Hold Stead (and i do), there are 3 Minneapolis bands in the top 20. 

It's not really that many, but Minneapolis gets no credit for the music that comes out of here. So there, everywhere but New York, L.A. (ish) and London. Even crappy magazines can't deny that we've got something. 

(and Dave, i agree with the Mountain Goats post...they made the crappy Blender "indie" list too)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Remember the Alamo

It was just last night, at the Indigest editors meeting, that a great man said:

In Mexico, not surprisingly, they don't remember the Alalmo.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Posting a couple of times in one night is confusing when I don't post for a month and you never read this

So writers strike blah blah blah

Lateshowwritersonstrike.com blah blah blah

this is kind of funny

short list of ideas I'm having right now

At what point does the trivial somehow take on an aura of brilliance?

I don't even know what that means.

but, you know, you read something like Cathedral, and the actualy action is so trivial, nearly meaningless, though not meaningless.
The narrator is kind of a bastard, kind of everyday. But it somehow seems moving.
Somedays
and sometimes I wonder why it is. Because I don't know that he daw the beauty of the moment, and that's the saddest part of the story.
i wonder if i miss that beauty today

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A video from Brave New Films

SO I do'nt actually believe that we are on the doorstep of war with Iran, but I have no doubt that we have been moving, subtly and not so subtly, in that direction for years. And i also believe there is a dangerous game of follow the leader being played by American new networks, more prevelent in smaller issues. The notion that fluff "news" shows like Entertainment Tonight hae modeled themselves on the look and feel of news networks to lend themselves credibility is well known. Most obviosuly they are modeled on the look of CNN. But now new networks like CNN see them as competition for those advertising dollars, so they have turned the game around and covring stories that are meant to be on fluff news. I see news pieces of Owen Wilson, Paris hilton, Brittany Spears every day on CNN, it's unbelievable and I think it's the result of a financial follow the leader happening in hte news world. It's kind of silly. Anyhow that was just supposed to be a preface to my posting of this video, it's pretty heavy handed but it has a very valid point. FOXnews is free to whaever they want as the independent establishment they are, you don't have to agree with them, I don't, but they are free to do there biased silly "news" shows, but what you can do is tell the other news stations that it's no ok to emulate them, because you don't support that... I don't know I'm not very good at this sort of thing, watch the video, it's interesting. Greenwald's Brave New Films is trying to get people to take action, I'm not telling you to, but I think that at least seeing both sides and being educated on what's happening behind the scenes in the news world is important.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A quick link on global warming

I just read this article and thought I would post a link to it. It's pretty interesting. There are some good quotes from Al Gore on how large companies are funding a campaign against global warming. Actively seeking to tell people and "prove" to people that global warming doesn't exist. It's really a shame that we can't move beyond this and try to get something done together. Obviously, very short sighted. Anyhow here's the link and that's all I've really got to say.
People are silly.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

An appendix to my post on the 35W bridge collapse

Again I will try to be brief, as I will not provide anything you can't find in any newspaper, anywhere. But President Bush visited Minneapolis today and I had the pleasure of listening to the speech. During the speech he said something to the effect of we "live in a beautiful country," which was promptly placed as the headline on CNN (a channel that ritualistically never airs news). I thought about this statement and came to the conclusion that once again this may have not been an appropriate thing to say to a city that just experienced disaster, where people have died and many have been injured. I think Amy Klobuchar may have said it better when she said, "a bridge, in America, should never just collapse." Just a thought.

The other reason for this post is I have located a transcript of President Bush's speech which I refer to in the previous post, for further accuracy and fairness I figured I should post the speech so that you can decide for yourself. The speech follows:

“Good morning. I just finished a Cabinet meeting. One of the things we discussed was the terrible situation there in Minneapolis. We talked about the fact that the bridge collapsed, and that we in the federal government must respond and respond robustly to help the people there not only recover, but to make sure that lifeline of activity, that bridge, gets rebuilt as quickly as possible.

To that end, Secretary Peters is in Minneapolis, as well as Federal Highway Administrator Capka. I spoke to Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybak this morning. I told them that the Secretary would be there. I told them we would help with rescue efforts, but I also told them how much we are in prayer for those who suffered. And I thank my fellow citizens for holding up those who are suffering right now in prayer.

We also talked about -- in the Cabinet meeting talked about the status of important pieces of legislation before the Congress. We spent a fair amount of time talking about the fact that how disappointed we are that Congress hasn't sent any spending bills to my desk. By the end of this week, members are going to be leaving for their month-long August recess. And by the time they will return, there will be less than a month before the end of the fiscal year on September the 30th, and yet they haven't passed one of the 12 spending bills that they're required to pass. If Congress doesn't pass the spending bills by the end of the fiscal year, Cabinet Secretaries report that their departments may be unable to move forward with urgent priorities for our country.

This doesn't have to be this way. The Democrats won last year's election fair and square, and now they control the calendar for bringing up bills in Congress. They need to pass each of these spending bills individually, on time, and in a fiscally responsible way.
The budget I've sent to Congress fully funds America's priorities. It increases discretionary spending by 6.9 percent. My Cabinet Secretaries assure me that this is adequate to meet the needs of our nation.

Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in Congress want to spend far more. Their budget calls for nearly $22 billion more in discretionary spending next year alone. These leaders have tried to downplay that figure. Yesterday one called this increase -- and I quote -- "a very small difference" from what I proposed. Only in Washington can $22 billion be called a very small difference. And that difference will keep getting bigger. Over the next five years it will total nearly $205 billion in additional discretionary spending. That $205 billion averages out to about $112 million per day, $4.7 million per hour, $78,000 per minute.
Put another way, that's about $1,300 in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years. That's a lot of money -- even for career politicians in Washington. In fact, at that pace, Democrats in Congress would have spent an extra $300,000 since I began these remarks.
There's only one way to pay for all this new federal spending without running up the deficit, and that is to raise your taxes. A massive tax hike is the last thing the American people need. The plan I put forward would keep your taxes low and balance the budget within five years, and that is the right path for our country.
I want to thank OMB Director Rob Portman for his hard work in developing this plan. This was Rob's last Cabinet meeting. Laura and I wish him and his family well. And I call on the Senate to confirm his successor, Jim Nussle, so we can work together to keep our government running, to keep our economy growing, and to keep our nation strong.
Thank you for your time”

It kind of sounds to me like he is blaming Democrats for the collapse of the 35W bridge. I'm not an architect, nor a politician, but it would seem to me that the collapse of a bridge has little to nothing to do with partisan politics... There’s not much else I want to say about this, I hope the speech speaks for itself. I wouldn’t want to say more for fear of getting off topic with rage or changing topics, saying something in the realm of, “you want to talk about being fiscally responsible with taxpayers money, and that the Democrats won’t give America what it needs to get by, how about the hundreds of billions we are pouring into the Middle East, or the arms deal you just reached where we just give weapons to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. etc.” (My blood pressure is rising I need to go lay down)…



I'm not the only person who seems to think that his abuse of air time for a political agenda was saddening click here for an entry on Dailykos

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What is there left to say?

So, for those of you who don't know this, I reside in Minneapolis. Probably about 2.5 miles from where the I-35W bridge collapsed yesterday. So, needless to say, I've been monitoring the news on this event constantly since 6 yesterday. I don't have any close friends who were hurt in the incident, some I haven't heard from, but I have no reason to believe anyone I know was hurt. But this is the kind of event that brings some things home at a time when constantly reading the news and keeping up to date can begin to desensitize an individual. People in the city are shaken up, the traffic is a complete disaster, and it is the only news available in the city. Even the sports page of The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press today were about how the Twins thought it would be best to keep playing last night so they didn't further congest the roads.

But, briefly, there are two points that this event has really driven home, two points that many people in Minneapolis/St. Paul have been talking about, and two things that people across the world reading about this event should try to learn from it as well. Though these are the kind of things that seem to resonate because you feel involved, because it is only miles away instead of on your TV or computer.

Yesterday morning, before the bridge fell, in Baghdad, an ice cream parlor was bombed killing at least 20 and injuring countless more. Now I'm no expert on the geography and consumer market of Iraq, but I would guess, with confidence, that there are not a whole lot of places to take the kids, or ice cream parlors for that matter. Why can't we put the destruction happening in Iraq into perspective? This is bullshit. 20 dead at an ice cream parlor? Fucking kids were there.

Second brief point (that again may not need a lot of explanation, I'll let you fill in the gaps, and one that might answer questions from point one). I've never been a big fan of President Bush, but if you happened to catch his full speech this morning addressing the situation here you may have noticed that he is a tactless, heartless bastard. He spent about a minute and half actually mentioning Minnesota (and in the short span managed to say that he spoke with Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybeck and mispronounced both of their names, which leads me to believe he did not speak to anyone this morning but the devil). He then proceeded to spend the rest of his time demanding that the Democrats of congress push through his spending bill, because that was going to help Minneapolis. I know that this is how politics go, and that he certainly has an agenda, he's the president, and this is no revelation, but really... The spending bill has nothing directly to do with Minneapolis and that was completely tactless. During his speech the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul were booing. Waiting to hear from friends they couldn't get a hold of because phone circuits here have been jammed and there is lots of confusion. But since the only thing the news was covering this morning was Minneapolis he needed to get his spending bill some airtime anyhow.

None of this is a revelation, but the world needs perspective and our president needs some tact. I'm too close to all of this to really digress, or try to pull together a point, but these were things I heard discussed often today at the coffee shop where I work. Things that have been on the mind of people from the area today. If nothing else maybe the people of Minnesota will finally decide to cut Norm Coleman out of our lives after Bush's display of indecency today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I just watched the CNN/youtube democratic debate and the latest Republican debate...dedcided to punish myself for being such a bad little heathen

So that was entirely painful. Jesus. I almost commited suicide twice. But I'll write about that later. I just wanted to post this link to Romney trash talking Democrats already. It's painful to watch people slinging mud and issuing their catch phrases already. (I kind of like Kucinich, but I swear to god if he points out that he's been against the war from the beginning one more time...). Anyway, here's the link to the story: From The Examiner

I pray that Republicans quit using tag lines about how the Democrats can't say "Islamic Terrorism" in public and how Bin Laden is running Al Qaeda in Iraq...



My sources (not real people) say that this photo was taken on a nice spring weekend when Romney packed up the kids and strapped the dog to his roof and dove to a cabin of his, way up north. The kids loved it. The dog has declined to comment on the incident.

Oh, yeah, and this was breaking news today, Iran has said that they will "never" stop their nuclear development programs. I thought they already said that. Or that it was one of things that's just understood. hmm. article from Reuters

UFOs



I don't believe this sort of stuff, but it is kind of interesting.This is just an article I found on the Drudge Report that's kind of interesting. From a British newspaper: people see aliens in Stratford...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Are you happy now? (David)

I'll put a comment here then. I'll comment wherever I damn well please. (because I have nothing better to do...oh, god, I miss you so much)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Winter

I've been working on and off for the last couple of weeks on Snapko's film 'Winter' again. It's been interesting because it was about this time last year that I began working on it. Before I go any furthur I'd like to note that I'm not an important person on the shoot at all, no creative input, I haven't even probably been on half of it. Just wanted that out there so I didn't sound like I was shooting a feature of my own or anything. But Jim tends to work with a really small crew, maybe one or two people in the crew and he does all of his own cinematograhy. As I continue to try to get projects the breadth of impinging forces upon the independent filmmaker becomes more evident to me. I've actually only worked on one film that's finished. Jake Yuzna's film 'Open,' which I worked on through the bulk of the summer last year isn't finished, in fact, he's flying back to Minneapolis in a couple weeks to begin reshoots. But the time it has taken to get these done is intimidating. As I work on scripts of my own I feel like they can't possibly be ready at the moment, because to work on a film for two years or more is a commitment. Not that I don't have a work ethic that would see a film through but that I feel like the passion must die. The excitement and thrill of making art, seeing what you've written come to life might die as you work, as you realize that maybe things aren't as tight as you were hoping.

I find this to be a depressing revelation.

But, I guess, it must also be a positive expereince because it makes me, well no that's a lie, it should make me want to go more in depth with my writing, to really weed out the issues, the details that don't interest me. There's a lesson in here somewhere. but I'm not sure where it went.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm not really too sure about this

I found this posted in a Messersmith blog post on myspace. I've never heard of this, but it's absurd and real. If anyone knows where to locate the rest of this let me know. Star Wars X-mas special...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Free the Leaves

The Soap Factory this time

I went to the new gallery opening at the Soap Factory this weekend and was a bit shocked. To begin I'll drop a disclaimer, I love the Soap Factory, I think it's one of the best galleries in town, without a doubt. Before this gallery I've never been disappointed when I've gone.

This opening was fun, as usual, cheap wine, good music, good company. Birthday Suits rocked, Seawhores rocked (though I only caught a little of their set). But the gallery was not very interesting. Entering from the double doors at the top of the stairs to the deck that room and the subsequent room where patchy. I don't want to dog the artists, because there was some really good pieces in the room, but not enough of them that it cast a glow over the room. Which, I believe, is the hope of curating. No one will ever like every peice in a room, but the room should be themed in a way that casts a glow over the room so that it feels coherent while being diverse, colored whiled being tinted and spotted. But a lot of the art in the room was trite, had trite obvious titles, images and themes. There was something everywhere that was a major turn-off about the room, and the next room. They seemed to fit together and to have very little to do with the rest of the gallery.

The large room after those two was done by Faggot. This was patchy as well, but in a much better way. I actually think this is the best room in the new gallery. The room is like a giant collage of many films, posters, signs, clothes. It's a little oppresive in it's over-saturation of objects, but it's good for an exhibit that's supposed to be a little in your face and obstructive.

The room where the wine is generally served and the music enjoyed was a huge disappointment. I'm not going to argue that concert posters aren't art (the entire room is concert posters) because they are, and there are some really great posters in there, very talented artists. But there are not enough concert poster artists in the city to have a constant gallery of them somewhere. It's the same people who have been in the concert posters galleries over and over. It's really killing the vibe. If I see a flyer or an anouncement for a gallery like that I don't go. It's getting redundant. More importantly, at an opening for a gallery like this it really creates an awful atmosphere. Concert poster artists are more driven to sell their product than other artists. I don't mind a price sitting underneaeth the information placard. I don't feel like there is any air of selling out in such practices, so I'm not going there. It's just that when you get all of these artists together who are selling concert posters and have tables in front of the displays, with catalogues of posters sitting out, it feels more like a flea market than a gallery. It's so much more aggresive than a gallery should be.

That's all I guess, I was just disappointed because the Soap Factory is usually so awesome, and it wasn't that great. It's worth checking out. But meh. Faggot is playing a show in there later this month and on the 13th they're screening a film so mayabe go then. But meh.

Oh yeah and the short films are really good. That was a great part of the gallery, better than they usually are. But I've already rambled so much I'll allow that to suffice. You should go to see the movies, good stuff, one that resembles Nanook of the North if it was a short directed by Tarantino (which I generally use Tarantino as a bad adjective, but this time I mean it in a positive fashion) and one that is like Bubsby Berekley films mixed with Gondry, very cool, moderatly confusing I don't know if there was supposed to be music and it wasn't working or if it was just intended to be a silent dance number, but it was really great. There. I'm done.

Meh.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sometime I just ramble, maybe to make sure I don't have lockjaw or the Airborne Toxic Event

So the day before I finish reading Don DeLillo's 'White Noise' I roll into Eau Claire to stay the night at my parents house, just a little layover before I go to Milwaukee in the morning. But that morning the 'Waste Research and Reclamation' plant, on the south side of Eau Claire, catches fire. This building stores hazardous chemicals that can't be dumped into landfills; Eau Claire has a Teflon processing plant nearby and also manufactures some various products for military consumption. Anyhow it catches fire around 6am Friday (one week ago), there are only ten employees still working, around from the over-night shift. They fail to put the fire out with fire extinguishers and the fire departments begin to show up as the fire spreads. At this point the city hasn't officially told residents of Eau Claire to leave there homes (that might cause panic, right?) instead they have lightly suggested that it might not be a bad idea to leave your homes if you live on the south side of town. Businesses are shut down; people are told that they shouldn't go outside until there is an official report on if the chemicals are in the air (which is a whole other subject that irritates me, where the fuck do you think the air indoors comes from? unicorn farts? shit).

Then, as the fire spreads flammable containers begin to catch, which I haven't found an official word on the amounts of each chemical in the containers, but the plant began to shoot fireballs over 300 feet into the morning sky over Eau Claire. My father works at Bothun Nissan on the south side of town, they were having a sale, so they didn't shut down, he said you could see the flames as he was driving into work from the north side of town. Giant waves of flames and a growing black cloud. (I only mention White Noise at the beginning because this all sounds eerily like the Airborne Toxic Event). Public Officials, by nighttime, tell the city that the fire is under control, they are monitoring the air quality and that there is (this is a real quote) "no bad stuff in the air." Which I question, but I don't have the know-how to contradict him, so fuck it, I'm an idiot. But they put out these chemical fires with water (from 11 different fire stations in western Wisconsin). In the morning, again, city officials say "no bad stuff," breathe freely citizens (I still question it) but that the water supplies might be contaminated from the run-off of the fire.

Then what? The Leader Telegram (Eau Claire's daily paper) reports nothing after that second day. I scoured the internet for more information (not that you maybe wouldn't find something I couldn't) but there is nothing, NPR did a special the day after, then nothing, Star Tribune: one article the day after, Pioneer Press: one article, the day after. Everyone just let this go, and that kind of worries me. I don't live in Eau Claire and my real issue with doesn't have much to do with that my parents and little brother are drinking the city water and breathing the air (inside and out), but that this is how our news is run now. No one is digging deeper, it's not about getting information and creating informed and alert citizens, it's about headlines. That was entertaining for a day, but even the people it effects tuned out, Paris Hilton was about to get out of jail, and certainly that was more important. I know it was more important because I watched CNN for half an hour and there was more time spent on Paris Hilton than anything else that day, I believe we timed it at about 7 minutes worth of Hilton news. Doesn't anyone else think this is the kind of thing that city needs to continually keep people posted on and maybe issue some fines, maybe be checking the water supply and having the paper run the reports, even if it's on page 66Z. I'm sure there is more info out there (and if you've found some or know where to look please leave a comment and let me know, I'm very interested in the omnipresent apathy during this situation).

I just think that this event is somewhat emblematic of where our minds are and where the news sources we rely on are putting their priorities, I'm interested in this event, an important one in some respects, especially for the citizens of western Wisconsin whose air and water may or may not be contaminated, but I can't even find info when I'm hunting for it, when it should probably be readily available for everyone. Just a thought.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

whose a fucking star?

3: a famous or extraordinarily talented performer in the world of entertainment or sports
...
an outstandingly good or successful person in a thing or group

These are two, abbreviated, definitions of the word "star." Now i know this is not an exceptional way to start a blog or essay but I was contemplating the use of the term star yesterday while listening to Oxbow. I was talking about Eugene, their singer, who is simultaneously a journalist (he interviewed Clinton...), the editor in chief of a major magazine, the singer of a band that kicks ass all over, a professional fighter and an ex-porn star. Now Eugene Robinson isn't a household name, my father has never asked me, when I visit, if I read that Eugene Robinson article last month, or if I'd ever seen that one porn from 92' with eugene Robinson and that woman with a penis.
I've been sidetracked, the point here is that here is a man who is clearly not a star. Mainstream pop culture would never accept him as an icon. In his own way he is a star, of sorts, in small cults of society, mainly Germany and San Fran. But he is nonetheless a porn STAR.
Now if you worked hard playing baseball your whole life, there is a one in a billion chance that you could be a star athlete, or, likewise, if not used ironically, you could work your whole life to be a rock star. But the second you pull out your penis, or vagina, in front of a camera you are a star. Everyone who has sex on camera is referred to as a porn star. Maybe it's implied that they are exceptionally good at sex but this seems silly to me. How do you know who's good? Sure everyone knows the household names like Dirk Diggler, Jenna Jamison, Ron Jeremy, names people who have never seen a porn know, but if you're a beginner where do you start? Everyone's a star in porn. I've really got no one where to go from here, I'm cornered, I just wish there was some osrt of implied rating system in porn. Actually I don't, I just know I'll never be a star of any sort, and now you're going to tell me that some high school drop out is a star, and I'm a fucking no one. Who gives a shit? You think you're so special?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Miranda July (dustin swoons)

I've recently finished reading Miranda July's new book, 'No One Belongs Here More Than You.' If you aren't familiar with July she's a performance artist/filmmaker/author (who I wish I could hate, but love so much). She is one of the rare artists who tries to wear many hats simultaneously. Though, unlike artists such as Nick Cave or Kevin Bacon, she is continously successful at everything. 'No One Belongs Here More Than You' is not an exception.

For July fans:
Her book floats. It's in another world. Not in the way that Judy Budnitz's 'Flying Leap' is only marginally grounded in reality (though not to its disadvantage) 'No One Belongs...' creates its own reality. If you try to place a finger on what its 'otherness' exactly is you won't find it. It is real, very grounded, but very distant. For any July fan the book is an instant lover that demands to be reread, it's her typical, overly-poignant, non-sequitor-esque, dialogue. The stories wear bright colors (like the two pink or yellow covers available for the book) they leap in your face and sit in your mouth.

For everyone else:
For anyone who wouldn't consider themselves a fan of her work its an intriguing experience. It is a solid debut collection. Not perfect, solid. Stories like 'The Shared Patio,' and 'The Swim Team' are some of the best short story writing I've seen from any author in the last few years. The tone she has refined (or maybe the tone she was born with, the tone that George Saunders has coined as July-esque) is omnipresent. It leaves you wondering if she is relentlessly, hopelessly optimistic in the face of the horrors of the every-day, or if the characters in her stories are so riddled with pain that they have adopted this tone, refusing to accept that the world is as bleak as it appears.

For Everyone:
Read this book. If you have ever been intrigued by Judy Budnitz, Don DeLillo, Nick Flynn, Dave Eggers or need a good view of a harsh world through eyes that only see beauty you need this book.

She has also created the greatest website a book has ever recieved book site

for more info on her go to Mirandajuly.com or learningtoloveyoumore.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

5 reasons to Annex Wichita (or I have a theory about that nasty lesion in the middle of America)

I, among many others in America, have had the priviledge of seeing Wichita, KS. If you are one of these people I know that you relate to this article, hopefully you will feel a sense of community, a feeling that what you feel, the sky you see, are not only yours but part of a larger scheme connecting all of us to each other.

Part 1: Wichita Theory

Wichita theory is the notion that the butthole of the midwest, namely Wichita (doesn't the sound of the word even make you cringe a little), should be annexed from our great nation. Wichita. A realy awful place. I'm not even really that patriotic, well maybe I am, I don't know, I just know I live in this country and Wichita is stinking it up.

You: Well that sounds a little extreme.

Me: Fuck it, what has Wichita ever done for you?

You: Point taken.

Me: On to my 5 reasons why Wichita should be annexed (or, really, I'd be satisfied if we turned it into a dumping grounds for spoiled Chinese imports)

1. Wichita is the "air capital" of the world. (for real check the official page for the city of Wichita)

This is a bit of a stretch. Air capital? We've got air in Minneapolis, Chicago. Even Huston and L.A. have a little air left. And I've been to Wichita the air tastes like greasy ass.

Oh wait, air capital doesn't refer to breathing air? Fuck you, learn to speak. Wikipedia says that Wichita is the air capital of the world because it is home to six major aircraft manufacturing firms. Even better. Lets advertise how much this place sucks because that's the best we can do. Lets move to Wichita where hundreds of test planesfly over our house all day and where the rejects of Kansas probably crash planes into homes weekly. Nothing like the steady rumble of jets roaring over head in the morning to make you feel like you're alive.

2. Don Johnson and Kirstie Alley live in Wichita.


nothing says "Mom, I'm a pedaphile" like a Don Johnson greeting card.


The caption to this photo actually reads "Wichita is for fart-biters"

3. According to Money magazine Wichita is the 9th best place to live in the U.S.
or
3. People in Wichita lie to people at Money magazine about how great Wichita is.

Every fucking city in the U.S. was listed in some magazine, or by some study, as one of the top ten safest cities in the U.S., or the top 10 places to live, or the top 10 places to visit. So fuck Money magazine, I canceled my subscription because they hire retards to do their studies.

Wichita's website also seems very proud that Wichita is the 51st biggest city in the U.S.



No one's paying attention. 51st? Who gives a shit? I don't ever remember going to work and talking with my co-workers about who took 51st in the NHL this season or who finish 51st in freestyle swimming at the last Olympics. Why? Because no one knows who it is. No one figured it out because when the numbers get that high it's just easiest to assume every one is a loser.

Wichita: But we're the biggest city in Kansas

Me: No one cares. Kansas Sucks. Even Kansas City left.

4. The addition non-stop flights means your airport is closing, retards.

A quote from the Wichita Eagle:
"With new nonstop flights on the horizon, the number of passengers flying in and out of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in
2007 could set a record..."

By offering nonstop flight the airport has successfully limited its commercial routes to only Kansas City and Chicago. Who is visiting the air capital often enough that you need nonstop flights to anywhere?


5. You don't believe me? Ask someone from Wichita.

I would venture to call this purely mindless if these kids weren't on my team.

WichitaSucks.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Not so Grand Old Day

I went to Grand Old Day in St. Paul this year. It was my first chance to really see Grand Ave. turned into a middle of nowhere style carnival. Moderatly frightening. I work on Grand Ave. and had this year off for Grand Old Day, so I was hesitant to go because I've had to work it every year, and that is an awful expereience, we gave out free ice cream last year so I spent my whole god damn day scooping ice cream for sugared up, spoiled brats. Spectaular.

So really I was going to Grand Old Day to see some music. There are somthing like 7 or 8 stages on Grand for the day. Most of which are hosting bands that aren't worth seeing in a free concert, much less the outrageous five bucks they charge for a wristband to get into the "free" event. But the Dixies stage is usually a pretty good line-up. This years included The Dad in Common, The Alarmists and Tapes-n-Tapes. The Dad in Common was my real reason for going (i just picked up their newest disc "Various Moms," - awesome) But I was moving in my new roomate for most of the early afternoon (our living room is real comfy now) So I missed both The Dad in Comon and The Alarmists, but went to see Tapes-n-Tapes anyhow.

Now i've seen them four or five times now, and am continually being tricked by the prospect of seeing them again. i really like their first Ep and The Loon is a solid album as well. But they are fucking awful live. Their could be a number of reasons this is my perception. The first time I saw them was pretty stellar, at First Ave. with Stnnng!, Kill the Vultures and The Plastic Constellations. Good show, good crowd, good drinks, good times. But everytime since them I have progressivly liked them less and less. they write good songs, it hasn't diminished the value of their albums, but they have no energy at all live. Not that I'm looking for mosh pits and a band that's going to run on stage and start destroying everything (I had my run with S.T.U.N. and The Blood Brothers) but they just feel like corpses on stage. Given the mix at an outdoor show such as Grand Old Day is not where you should be if you're looking for a solid sound mix and a fun crowd. But Jesus, it's everytime, they always have a bad mix, there is always something that is standing in the way of them delivering a good show. So I'm going to try and do something for mysle fand I am publicly declaring that I refuse to see Tapes-n-Tapes again. Unless the improve their shows...

On the bright side of the show the premiered some new tunes. Which were supriosingly some of the best tunes they played on Sunday. So I'm not giving up on listening to them all together, I think just from hearing those songs that there is potential for a decent follow-up to The Loon, and maybe their extensive touring over the last year is influencing their writing and they are writing songs that are based more out of a live tradition. Songs that are being fleshed out through live performances and informed by their lives on the road. (That doesn't necessarily mean that it will be good, as is repeatedly shown a band that has a good major-label debut has to change their lives greatly to adapt to life as a touring band and between a different lifestyle and inter-band tensions it ruins many bands by a second album, but they sound like they are benefiting from their experiences).

Really, if you take anything away from this posting, let it be this: Don't Go To Grand Old Day (in caps, I know). It's like a carnival for yuppies. The Dixie's stage isn't bad, but damn I hate Grand Old Day.

Disappointingly Redundant Louie

I finished watching the first season of Lucky Louie this week, and to say the least I'm quite disappointed. It's not really awful but, oh, I don't know, it's so complicated. Louis CK is great, he's one of the greatest comedians I've ever seen. He's not much of an actor but neither is Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David or Mitch Hedberg, comedy is not necessarily about acting. So that aside, I'm still disappointed. It's like when you really love a band and know the tunes they put on that EP that probably sold about 20 copies and then they put out a full length (you know, something that will actually sell) and they put the same fucking songs on it. And you wonder, why did you do that? I thought we were moving on, you've recorded this before. that's what watching the only season of Lucky Louie is like if you've seen all of his stand-up repeatedly. I haven't seen his new stand-up special, I'm sure it will be great, but Lucky Louie is nothing more than a complete season of acting out his old, old comedy routines. Which is good, at times, like when he is explaining his nightmares about Hell in the confessional to the father. Priceless. But that only really takes you so far before you say, wait a second the premise of every episode is that he's left in charge of his daughter, he fucks it up, his wife gets mad, they make up, everyone is a better person, until next episode when it all begins again. The show is fine, its humourous, but it isn't original, its a little redundant, it lacks the creative spin on traditional topics like marriage and kids that Louis CK made his name on. Worth a viewing, if nothing else, so that you know why HBO pulled the plug on a show that had great potential and just had not come into it's own yet.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

People with money say march, I say no, as I hop in line


It seems very chic at the moment to not dig Wes Anderson anymore. If pressed everyone seems to give a luke warm response as to why they don’t really want to watch him anymore, (they're too absurd, I don't believe the characters, no one talks like that, I don't really relate). there is an overwhelming sense that his films are becoming (or always have been) mediocre, or maybe it's just the people that I know. Given, he’s not a perfect filmmaker, the non-sequitors can become overbearing and too conveniently witty, the cast of reoccurring actors are become caricatures of themselves in the world of his films (Noah Baumbach’s as well, as long as we’re on the subject) )I’ve grown a bit tired of the new Bill Murray (Broken Flowers, Tenenbaum’s, Lost in Translation, Life Aquatic, etc. etc.) he’s great but its becoming a shtick) (speaking of non-sequitors) but the greatest filmmakers America has produced have consistently had these same things said about their catalogue of work. Maybe not these exact things, but it's damn near impossible to make a run of films that people would consider brialliant. And if there was really little to scrutinize the films couldn't be something fresh and intriguing.

So what’s the point? I’m not trying to bash his films; in fact, though I'm not uniformally enthralled by his work, I'm somewhat of a fan, I'll for sure go see Darjeeling Limited and probably The Fantastic Mr. Fox (if it is actually ever going to come out). Anyway, there is already a lot of bashing his new film, Darjeeling Limited. This morning I've been reading a few blog entries and articles about the film and I’ve decided that I’m excited for the film. Though, I’m getting tired of these ‘new indy’ films that thrive on certain American actors and the nearly non-sequitor dialogue that is becoming a fad, (Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Jim Jarmusch, David O. Russell, again, etc. etc.), but Anderson is good at it. I’m excited for the film. Did I say that already? I'll do it again. I'm excited for the film. The addition of Adrien Brody to his cast of regulars (here Schwartzman, Wilson, Murray, Huston, Etc. Etc.) is a logical addition and the stills that have leaked online and the reviews from the few people who’ve read the script are intriguing. But the real point is that this is all ridiculous. Having this much buzz before anyone really knows anything is absurd. I'm helplessly intrigued and disgusted with myself for being intrigued. there is no trailer, there is really nothing any average person can know aobut the film, but Google Darjeeling Limited and you'll come up with hundreds of hits. Hundreds. fucking hundreds.

So really all I'm getting at is that I’m sick of films getting heaps of online buzz and hype before they are even releasing trailers, it’s silly and its doing exactly what the studio execs pray for. Free, organic buzz, well maybe its not all organic, but that doesn't mean anything to them, they aren't reading the articles and blogs. But here I am responding to it all, and, basically, falling in line. Fuck it, I’m excited for the movie and I suck for caring. It's all absurdity and consumerism seeping into our daily lives, making products matter to us, but whatever. I'm excited for the film, I hate hype and buzz, but am drawn to it, unwittingly.

But really, look at that photo, doesn't it look like zaniness is about to ensue? Who, tell me who, who doesn't enjoy a little zaniness?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ode of Goodwill and Hank Williams

I was wandering the aisles of Goodwill a couple of weeks ago, as I am wont to do, and found myself looking through their rather meager selection of vinyl. I used to frequent the vinyl section, but we’ve kind of gone our separate ways, I’d moved on. You see it just wasn’t giving back. I would take my time, be gentle, flip gently, carefully through the ‘new arrival’ section, and even go through the rest of the shelves, just in case I missed something last time. But it just isn’t surprising me any more. It doesn’t excite that same light feeling in the stomach, the rabid butterflies of anticipation. There’s always Frank Sinatra live at some dive and Bing Crosby does Christmas vol. MMX and there’s always a copy of Déjà vu (not that I’m trying to rag on Déjà vu, but everyone owns it, that’s the issue, good album, I just don’t feel the need for more than one copy in my life right now) and (well, actually that’s not true, I own it on CD and vinyl, so two copies in my life…) (not that I’m that big of a fan of it, it’s a burned disc, and the vinyl was used, I guess if I had to really give a concrete opinion I’d say its ok, I get kinda bored sometimes on side 2) and Eurythmics, which is absurd, but check a Good Will, it’s there, you’ll find at every Goodwill, on CD and Vinyl. So anyway the vinyl section and I have a complicated relationship, and had kind of gone our separate ways. But for some reason I was drawn back. I began flipping through the ‘new arrivals’ and there it was. Hank Williams ‘The Legend of Hank Williams in Song and Story.’ Bam, period bitches. Fucking Hank Williams, period. I happen to like Hank Williams. And don’t have much on vinyl. I’m not huge on “Greatest Hits” kind of albums (you miss all the gems, like have you ever seen “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” on any Bob Dylan greatest hits? No. I rest my case) but in this instance, though a bit skeptical, I thought, “sold.” Turns out this album is fucking amazing. It’s Hank Williams Jr. narrating two full length records of his father’s songs. He tells anecdotes he’s heard from other musicians, tells the stories behind some songs, in short, if you gave me one word to describe this affair I would choose “fucking fantastic.” A new prize in my collection. Though it’s mostly songs you’ve got elsewhere in the Hank Williams catalogue, but it’s still a one-of-a-kind Hank Williams album. And it has two poems by Hank Williams read by Hank Williams Jr. that are so bad that they are, you guessed it, fucking fantastic. I don’t know where you would find this again, I’ve never seen it or heard of it before, but it’s a beautiful thing. There may yet be hope sweet vinyl section at Goodwill, yes, there may be hope for us yet.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last.fm

So today I joined Last.fm. I was just online and wanted to listen to some music and thought, hey why don't I finally check this out and listen to some internet radio. I turned on my Last.fm player and was listening to the Black Keys and reading the news on the BBC and saw in their entertainment section that Last.fm was just bought out, yesterday, by the CBS Corporation. I don't know why this is so disappointing to me. I mean there is the standard feeling of not wanting something interesting like internet radio to get in the hands of the corporations, who'll utilizing ads, etc. etc. But I don't even really have any attatchment to Last.fm. I like the concept but I'm not really all that impressed with the selection of music on here. (If you don't know about Last.fm it's internet radio, except you set-up your own station, you tell the player what music you listen to and it reads what songs you have on your itunes or winamp and creates a playlist for you based on your musical interests. a great concept, excecuted with a hint of mediocrity)

Anyhow, I was disappointed by this news and I don't know what that says about me, because it really doesn't matter.

I hope I don't suck.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How is your day?

Fuck it, a digression on a week of rediscovery

All week I've been sifting through stacks of loose discs lying around in milk crates, on my bookshelf, and in my closer. These are the cd's I quit listening toor never listened to, from times when I thought it would be a good idea to burn twenty discs at once, listen to two of them and throw the rest into a pile for 'later listening.' Which is where they are now. The stacks accumlate, swallow a couple of my favorite discs and store some that I'm luke warm on. They are inevitably lost for a couple months to a year, when I clean my apartment and try to figure out something to do with all these stacks of cd's.

I sifted through a pile or two such as this early in the week and made some re-discoveries that I've enjoyed all over, regretted ever owning and a few that remain there so I am not shamed when people look through my collection. But the point of this lengthy introduction is that during this process I rediscovered The Squirrel Nut Zippers 1997 album 'Hot.' Some, unnamed, people I work with have given me shit for listening to it and other people have placated me with their smiles and nods in my car. (In my own damn car) But fuck it. I didn't accept for a while that I could still like a good swing/jazz album like this and that's how it ended up in the pile on my bookshelf in the first place. I'm not going to music snobbed into a corner.

I like this is album. It is good. For many reasons:
Katherine Whalen's uncanny resemblence to Billie Holiday. Solid solos. They don't get too 'swingy,' you know, in the way you remember Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, even at their best (see their cover of 'Minnie the Moocher'). But it mostly leaves the stale, musty flavor of the late 90's and nu-metal lingering in your mouth like a dirty sanchez. BBVD aged like milk, metal or ska, The SNZ are more like your proverbial wine. Great harmonies, fun, playful songs (remember 'Hell' and then remember that the rest of the album belittles that track, its raw) but you probably don't remember any of this and if you know me, you're probably surprised that I'm defending this. I don't care. It's good. I'm not ashamed that I was listening to it all week. That's all.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

awful art of list-making or how I learned to stop worrying and accept my borderline OCD tendencies

So I'm a list maker. That's the first step. Admitting you've got a problem. I try to organize everything: to-do list, favorite movies, reading lists, piles of things to watch, my cd catalogues, my crates of vinyls, the bookshelf, websites I'm going to look at sometime soon, director's I should see, director's I already should have seen, director's I'm probably not going to see but if I don't know what to put on my netflix queue I should try one of them, which itself is a useless list because my netflix queue is always full because it is itself a list, always a full 500 films long.

I was somewhat comforted this winter as I was reading the 2006 Best American Non-Required reading and saw Matt Groening's introduction. He confesses to making absurd lists, having piles of magazines and books lying around his house that he'll never get to, and list of things he'll never read. But this onyl provoked me. He had ideas on his list of books to read that I hadn't gotten to yet, like of course I should have a list of biographies of US presidents that I should read. This is something that I, as an American, whether dissenting or not, should do, I should know about our history thoroughly, I should know about every presidency. Why? Why do I care? I'm setting myself up for disappointment. If this was the only list I had (in the realm of things to read) I wouldn't finish the list in the next decade.

But I make it anyway. I need it. Here I am trying to read a biography on Andrew Jackson, whom I care nothing about, because I feel like I should. I'm compelled to do it. So as I got bored I decided to look at a more interesting list of mine. I think this idea also came from Matt Groening's introduction, but I want to, by the end of the year, have read a novel from every year of the 20th century. It seems kind of silly, but I've got a good chunk done already, and I've already started doing this and have read some interesting novels, some I didn't like, but it reveals a lot about our history and our concerns by the subject matter that arises. But really I'll never finish this. So, fuck it. I'm reading a book written in 1985, that's all.

Dustin is currently reading 'White Noise'

All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots. Political plots, terrorist plots, lovers' plots, narrative plots, plots that are part of children's games. We edge nearer death every time we plot. It is like a contract that all must sign, the plotters, as well as those who are the targets of the plot.


just enjoyed this quote from the DeLillo novel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm losing hope...

So this afternoon I've been paroozing websites that are discussing the impending doom of internet radio. If you aren't up on this here's the story: on March 2nd the Copyright Royalty Board decided to up the cost of royalties for internet radio providers, retroactivly and increasingly until 2010. I don't know if you listen to internet radio but I do, and this will effectively destroy small internet radio providers. stations like those available through college campuses across the country and Live365 will not be able to afford to continue running. This will leave the internet radio in the hands of the same people destroying the airwaves, stations like AOLradio will be the survivors (Jesus don't let it happen) if they even decide it's worth continuing. This also means increased advertising online (Jesus, ditto).

the other end of this is the artists will recieve more money, not much, but the reports say it will be around a couple hundred extra dollars per year. which seems insignificant, but it is surely significant to many artists. But the artists who will benefit from this extra dough are not going to be played as frequently as they are now.

Congress is catching on though. Senators Brownback and Wyden are introducing a bill (H.R. 2060 which you can read HERE) If this legislation doesn't go through your favorite internet radio stations are going to have to start accepting advertising or are going to start needing donations (god bless NPR but we all know how fucking annoying fund raising drives are). So write or call your representatives and get support for H.R. 2060. So if you want to know more about this (since I'm just skimming the surface) check out Last Plane to Jakarta for a blog post about this, or RIP Internet Radio for an article by Pitchfork, also visit Save Net Radio <- this is the best site for information, they are spearheading the movement to save the airwaves. As a host of an internet radio show I think that this is really important, (check out our site at the Local Point for info too)

And while you're at it (Pitchfork linked this in their article) here's a little reminder about who is running our country, we're in good hands, they are so in touch with the people MC Rove

Friday, May 18, 2007

here I go

A writer once put in his contributer's note "[The author] has, on more than one occasion, contemplated starting a blog, but wrestles with the notion that writing itself requires a healthy ego, while blogging requires an ego of immense proportions." Now, I'm not trying to single anyone out but...(David Doody, Twin Cities Luxury and Fashion May '07).
Well its true. It takes ego to write, I've got some, I'm using it now. Which is shown in the fact that I am even trying to begin writing a blog, which will be, essentially, meaningless, comma ridden, and bigoted. But here I am assuming someone will take the time to read this. (Which may or may not be bullshit, but I must somewhere actually believe someone will, otherwise why do this? Though if you saw me on the street and asked me, I'd tell you that no one will ever read it and I don't give a damn if they do, but this is a lie). So what will you see if you haven't been completely turned off yet? This lovely page layout and... I don't really know what self-important people do, talk about the music, books, movies, brands of underwear and kinds of cereal they like, because writers have to assume that the cereal they eat is better than the cereal their readers are eating. I ate Honey Nut cheerios this morning over a cup of coffee. It was delicious. You should try it.