Monday, July 31, 2006

Total disonnance:

Most of the news in my world this week was off-the-charts, stratospherically good, but the Middle East is literally on fire as I write this and on Friday, a gunman killed a woman and injured several others at the Jewish Federation in Seattle. People aren't safe to worship in Belltown? What the hell?

And on a far, *far* less important note, today I ran into someone I think is an utter ass, but for the sake of the family, I was nice to him. He's balding and unemployed again, so at least there's that.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Seattle's temperature dropped last night and I'm delighted. (Mad sympathy to my New York and California friends who are still baking like pie.) As I await the return of cognitive function, go ahead and look at pretty things:

enokiworld : vintage clothing for modern women

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's here:

The Long Winters' third LP, "Putting the Days to Bed" is out today. As previously mentioned, it is a big ball of wonderful. And if you don't think the fourth track, "Hindsight", is one of the most lyrically evocative songs of the past several years, well, you're dead to me.

You can purchase "PtDtB" pretty much everywhere, but if you live in Seattle, your experience will be augmented by several degrees of rockitude if you snag it here:

Sonic Boom Records

Or, of course, you can order it directly from the label (what? who?):

Barsuk Records specials

Now, on to the rock!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Everyone knows someone who needs this bill."--Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY

President Bush just vetoed HR 810, the stem cell research bill that passed the House and Senate by large measures and found support from Republicans as conservative as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

HR 810 can still become a law if the House overrides the veto with a 2/3 majority. If inclined, you can urge your congressional representative to vote accordingly. House contact information can be found at

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Like everyone...

...I've found the news of the past few weeks (in particular) to be gut-churning. So if you're seeking a reminder that, as a species, we do get it right sometimes, I recommend Jeffrey Kluger's enthralling "Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio":

Powell's Books - Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine by Jeffrey Kluger

Today I'm just glad for clean water on tap and the fact that the ceaseless noise on my street comes from traffic, not armory.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My new best friend:

From Magnet's current cover story on Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, p.68 (print only):

"'I love reading biographies about creative processes, whether they're artistic or scientific,' says Murdoch. 'You see people's lives documented and what they have gone through. But the whole time, things are sometimes working out for them, something is brewing, something is simmering to the top.'

This is subject extremely close to Murdoch's heart. Prior to forming Belle and Sebastian, he suffered through a long bout of chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a debilitating illness that basically shut down his waking life. During the process of emerging from this fog, he found new strength through making music.

'I wouldn't be a songwriter if I hadn't gotten sick,' says Murdoch. 'I had an extended period of seven years when I was out of the game, when I gave up all aspects of normal life, and the songwriting was a crutch. I was absolutely hanging onto these songs with a drowning person's grip, they being the only productive thing that I did at all. I realized as soon as I sat down at the piano three years into this thing that I could put words together with melody and create something. It's almost like the first minute doing this, I saw it all stretching ahead and realized that it was something I could feel worthwhile doing; I could document how I was feeling in this vacuum.

'What doesn't kill you makes you,' Murdoch chuckles. 'It was the biggest thing that happened in my life. No question, no doubt. I don't mean to be macabre, but it's often those transient periods that are sometimes the most interesting things to write about when it comes to characters in songs.'"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

On par with rabbits, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"...

...vintage Eisenberg jewelry, the Chrysler Building lit at night, and Sea Garden's sweet and sour pork:

Stream the Long Winters' upcoming disc, "Putting the Days to Bed", at

Mammoth Press