Archive for the ‘Uganda’ Category

rickbassSOUNDTRACK: PHISH-LivePhish 01-20 (2000-2002).

livephish To my dismay, my friend Lar recently informed me of a terrible thing that is happening to Phish’s LivePhish series of CDs.  This series came out from 2000-2002 and consisted of 20 CD sets of full concerts.  The “nifty” thing about them was that they were packed in plastic sleeves (4 discs to a sleeve) which had three holes in them so you could store them in a binder (the LivePhish binder with secret pocket for your stash).

Well, it turns out that whatever material they used in the plastic sleeves leeched out of the sleeves and onto the CDs.  For many CDs, it left a goopy residue that wiped off with a little effort.  But on other CDs, the goop actually ate through the paint and, apparently (although I don’t know how) through the music.  When you look at the discs there are clear “holes” in the paint, so you can see right through the disc.  When you play the discs, it ate away at the music as well.

Since this was over a decade ago and Phish is no longer with Elektra and the collections are long out of print, it looks like fans are simply shit out of luck.  I have at least 8 sets that have at least one disc that was eaten away like this.

The shows are available for download at the Phish Dry Goods Store, but then you’re paying $10 for something you already own.

Those sleeves seemed like a great idea, but they clearly weren’t tested for long term durability.

I don’t believe there’s any recourse for this, but if you know of any, do pass it along.  I’m sure fans must have the concerts online somewhere too, but that’s not the point.  Seeing as how the sets are fetching as much as $300 on eBay (which I’m sure no one is paying), there was the possibility that these would have collector’s value.  But clearly not anymore.  Major buzzkill.

[READ: July 29, 2013] In My Home There is No More Sorrow

This book came with McSweeney’s 40.  It is a book unto itself, hardbound and with its own ISBN, so I didn’t feel compelled to read it right then (especially given that the subject was Rwanda and it didn’t seem like an especially happy book to be reading).

But I decided now I was up for it and so in I dove.  And it’s not an especially happy book to be reading.

Bass is a writer with many books to his credits (although I didn’t know him).  He was sent to Rwanda on an assignment.  I gather that as part of the assignment he was sent to teach a writing workshop to local writers.  (The actual purpose of the trip, as far as logistics goes, is a little vague I must say).

At any rate, bass and his family (his wife and teenaged daughter) went to Rwanda for ten days.  And the first few days are as harrowing as one might expect.  I was familiar with the atrocities in Rwanda, but only insofar as I had heard bits and pieces of the story from the news.  I had no idea about the extent of the violence–millions of Tutsis killed by Hutus.  Nor the extent of the way the survivors have dealt with the atrocities in the seventeen years since they happened.  Which is: they have created shrines to the dead and in many cases have not cleaned up or in any way hidden what happened.

And so , we have churches with blood on the walls where people were murdered (I will spare some of the details of the way the children were killed, but I will certainly never forget it).  The family also goes to a shrine where the bodies were exhumed and placed in this area for fuller viewing.  And the creepiest thing about this shrine is that the bodies were packed so tightly in the mass grave–with no oxygen and with quicklime poured on them , that they did not really decompose–they were more or less mummified–their skin just sort of shriveled.  These bodies are practically like living skeletons, left ion their death poses.  That’s another image I will not be able to expunge from my mind any time soon. (more…)

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back coverSOUNDTRACK: HÜSKER DÜ-Metal Circus EP (1983).

HuskerDuMetalCircusAfter the insane hardcore mess of Land Speed Record, this EP is a bit of a change.  It’s still pretty hardcore, but now you can tell that the noisiness of the guitar is deliberate.  Bob Mould is playing around with multiple layers of feedback and distortion to create a wall of noise that sometimes hides, sometime accentuates the overall sound.

What strikes me as odd in retrospect is that I think of Bob Mould as one of alternative rock’s poppier songwriters.  And yet when you listen to this disc the two poppiest (which is a relative term to be sure) tracks are by Grant Hart.

The first two tracks are fast and furious.  But what separates them from 4 x 4 hardcore is, mostly Greg Norton’s bass.  He’s all over the place.  There’s also some diversity within the songs themselves (a little guitar squeal in “Deadly Skies”).

“It’s Not Funny Anymore” (Hart’s song) is surprisingly upbeat (with guitar harmonics) and is not quite as noisy (although it’s still pretty noisy, and is not going on the radio anytime soon).

The next two track are more of Mould’s screamy hardcore.

The longest song (4 and a half minutes) is also by Hart. “Diane” is a creepy song about abduction and murder (yet with something of a  singalong chorus).  I actually know the Therapy? version better because I had listened to that disc a lot when it came out.  But the Hüsker’s version is even creepier.  Wikipedia says it is about a real incident (which makes it less creepy than if Hart has made it up, I suppose).

It ends with Mould’s least hardcore song, although the guitar solo is pretty insane.

And then it’s over.  7 songs in twenty minutes.  That’s nearly half as many as on Land Speed Record.  You can see the songs changing already.  Just wait till the next disc!

[READ: June 29, 2009] McSweeney’s #5

McSweeney’s #5 plays with cover ideas again.  On this one, frontthe cover idea is actual different covers and slipcovers.  The book is hardcover, with three different cover designs.  It also has 4 different slipcover designs. The colophon explains that if one wanted one could have requested for free) each of the cover designs because they did not intend to make people buy multiple issues.  Click on the covers to see them enlarged on flickr (all images are copyright McSweeney’s).

This is the Koppel front cover.

I will quote from the McSweeney’s site their description of the covers:

As many of you know, the new issue of our print version is out, and by now is in most stores. This issue is a hardcover book, and features four different dust jackets. One dust jacket has on it a man who seems to be suffering from terrible skin lesions. The second cover looks very much like the cover of Issue No. 1, with the addition of a medical drawing of a severed arm. The third cover is blank, with all of its images hiding on the back. Hiding from the bad people. The last cover is just red. Or, if you will, simply red.

In addition, under each dust jacket is a different cover. One features pictures of Ted Koppel. One features new work by Susan Minot. And a third features a variation on the second cover, described above, though this version is legible only with aid of mirror. This inner cover also is featured under the red dust jacket.

I was quite surprised when I took the slipcover off mine, (more…)

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