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Archive for the ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ Category

wiredMany many years ago (1995), while I was in Boston, I bought my first copy of Wired magazine (how could I forget the absurd cover to the right (yes, there IS a picture there) [And I’m very impressed that you can easily link to all of their back issues, just as I did with the link above].  I’m not sure how long it had been in print , but I think it was still young and buzzworthy. [Research shows that this was its 3rd year].  I remember thinking the magazine was very difficult to read.  Literally.  Text ran across pages, the colors were all wild.  The ads blurred completely with the content (by design).  And it was very “techie.”  I don’t remember if I subscribed exactly then, but I did subscribe eventually.  And then I stopped (sometime in 1999).

Recently I got an offer to re-subscribe, for a dollar an issue.  (This is where my idea that I will cancel a magazine once I stop getting a dollar’s worth from it).  I wasn’t sure if I should subscribe, but I figured what the hell.

Not a resounding chorus of cheers for this publication, huh?

Well, since I’ve subscribed I have been pleasantly surprised by the magazine.  And interestingly, the cover story almost never interests me.  In fact, and my brother in law Tim first pointed this out: the cover stories and the big articles take themselves very seriously.  Everything is always The Future Of This.  The New That.  Don’t Be Left Behind!  It’s over the top in its wanting you to take them seriously. (more…)

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s5SOUNDTRACK: SONIC YOUTH-Bad Moon Rising (1985).

Abadmoonnother Sonic Youth record, another record label.  Bad Moon Rising is a pretty big leap from Confusion is Sex, in that there are actual songs.  Well, that’s not fair, what I mean is that the songs have structure like proper songs do. In fact, “Death Valley ’69” (with vocals by Lydia Lunch) is quite catchy!

Indeed, the band doesn’t shy away from catchy at all.  The opening track, “Intro” is a pretty one-minute guitar piece.  And it’s followed by “Brave Men Run (In My Family)” a catchy (!) song sung by Kim.  The third track “Society is a Hole” returns to the stark tracks of yore, with Thurston’s despairing vocals, but it introduces guitar harmonics, a key SY staple in songs to come.

And if you like ” I Love Her All the Time,” and who doesn’t, check out this footage from a 1991 concert (complete with Thurston using drumsticks on his guitar).

Despite these signs of lightening up, there are some pretty heavy sounds on this disc.  “I’m Insane” and “Justice is Might” sounds kind of like you might think they would based on their titles.

The band has definitely gotten control over the noise they want to make; it doesn’t seem to be enveloping them, (like it envelopes the listener), it’s more at their beck and call.  We’re not quite to the levels that prime SY will sound, but it’s pretty darn close.

And songs from the attached Flower EP are okay, but “Flower” is especially good. It has a cool “Love the power of women” spoken piece from Kim that foreshadows some of her really fantastic songs to come.

And just to be difficult, they end the disc with the one-minute “Echo Canyon” which is just as it sounds,an echoic noisefest.

[READ: July 16, 2009] Slaughterhouse Five.

What is worse?  Reading a book and not remembering a single thing about it, or not reading a book but convincing yourself that you have?  I am stuck with this dilemma as I realize that one of the two options applies to me and Slaughterhouse Five.

I was certain that I read Slaughterhouse Five.  In fact, I was certain that I knew exactly when I read it (my junior year of college on Super Bowl Sunday, when I blew off the Super Bowl party to read the book).  I realize now that it must have been some other book (but what could it have been?) as I had no recollection of Slaughterhouse Five.  At all.  Even though the cover of my mass market paperback  (which I can’t find online anywhere) was completely familiar and there’s even a dog eared page or two.  Huh.

The first thing I want to say about the book is, having read all of the novels that Vonnegut wrote before S5 was a real boon to reading it because so many of the characters from the other books appear in this one!  More on that in a moment.

The book is also about the air attack that obliterated Dresden, Germany.

Amazingly, and this is common knowledge after you read the book, Vonnegut was in Dresden at the time of the air attack.  (more…)

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