We went to Johnny D’s tonight because date night has moved back to Wednesday. Apparently.
Came home and my key didn’t want to go into the lock. I double-checked that it was our door that I was trying to unlock and not our upstairs neighbors. And recounted how many beers I had, yes, only two. So I guess there must have been some condensation in the lock and it froze in the past few days.
I eventually got the door open and came into the kitchen. Again, there was a quick second where I wasn’t sure I was in our home. All the kitchen stuff is in the dining room and the kitchen is pretty empty. We had our wall re-insulated and re-plastered, because there were some fairly huge cracks and crumblings in the old plaster.
Hm. What can all this home renovation mean?
Since John asked. Stuff that didn’t change my life but that I can turn on and instantly get immersed in a certain place or time.
- 69 Love Songs — The Magnetic Fields. (speaking of trying way, way too hard, but occasionally pulling it off in spite of yourself)
- Greatest Hits — Biz Markie
- anything — The Carter Family (ok, this is in my “change my life” list too, but it’s OK. If you ever need a vacation from the modern world, nothing can snap you into a world of pre-media-saturation faster than a trip to the Appalachians with AP, Sara, and Maybelle.)
- Turn on the Bright Lights — Interpol (yes, sometimes I listen to this even when Terri isn’t around)
- Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy — Brian Eno
- Another Green World — Brian Eno
- The Sunset Tree — The Mountain Goats
- A Radical Recital — Rasputina
- Thanks for the Ether — Rasputina
- Eye — Robyn Hitchcock
- Moss Elixer — Robyn Hitchcock
- Luxor — Robyn Hitchcock
- Funeral — Arcade Fire
- Satanic Panic in the Attic — Of Montreal
- The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society — The Kinks
- The Sunlandic Twins — Of Montreal
- Muswell Hilbillies — The Kinks
- The Singles (1960-1975) — Ike & Tina Turner
- Speaking in Tongues — The Talking Heads
- Red Roses for Me — The Pogues
- If I Should Fall From Grace With God — The Pogues
- Rum Sodomy and the Lash — The Pogues
- Hell’s Ditch — The Pogues
- Trans Europe Express — Kraftwerk
- Highway 61 Revisited — Bob Dylan
- Bone Machine — Tom Waits
- Rain Dogs — Tom Waits
- Discography — The Pet Shop Boys
- Germ Free Adolescents — X Ray Spex
- Nixon — Lambchop
- The Modern Lovers — The Modern Lovers
- various, ranging from the sublime to the painful — Jonathan Richman
- The Pleasure Principle — Gary Numan
- IV — Faust
- Switched On, vols 1-2 — Sterolab
- I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One — Yo La Tengo
- Snap! — The Jam
- Blacknuss — Rashaan Roland Kirk
- The Inflated Tear — Rashaan Roland Kirk
- Weather Systems — Andrew Bird
- Thrills — Andrew Bird
- Tender Buttons — Broadcast
- Let’s Get Out Of This Country — Camera Obscura
- The Dresden Dolls — The Dresden Dolls
- In The Reins — Iron and Wine / Calexico
- Hot Rail — Calexico
- Vauxhall and I — Morrissey
- Louder than Bombs — The Smiths
- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea — Neutral Milk Hotel
- We Shall All Be Healed — The Mountain Goats
- Upstairs at Eric’s — Yaz
So I recently did the whole “15 albums that changed your life” meme on Facebook, but there are a lot of things I listen to again and again — Terri would say compulsively, no, she doesn’t say that, she asks “are you going to ruin this one for me, too?”. Anyway, there are a whole slew of albums that didn’t and won’t change my life, but that I return to again and again like a favorite sweater or a musical blanket.
“Strange Geometry” by the Clientele is like that. It’s not going to stretch your horizons. It didn’t change the shape of music. It’s derivitave, and like all Clientele records, it borders on being a precious affected 60′s period piece. But like all the Clientele’s best stuff, there’s a kind of surreal and dark and almost mystical undercurrent.
You can listen to this record and dismiss it, thinking “this is a little pretentious, and they’re trying too hard”. And it’s kind of true. While really great albums just do it and don’t sound so strained, this album manages to both try too hard and pull it off. A good example is “Losing Haringey“: it’s a spoken word thingy where the narrator finds himself in a photograph, and right when I’m thinking “oh, please”, a little turn of phrase will just twist the right way (“as if none of the intervening disasters and wrong turns had happened yet” always gets me), and it just works.
And “Since K Got Over Me” and “My Own Face In The Trees” are just great pop songs.
Somewhere in there, I also started a Tumblr blog. I really like the interface. Makes it easy to embed and link to media.
Watched The Adventures of Baron Munchausen this morning. I hadn’t seen it before, and it’s indeed eye-poppingly great. The adventure to the Moon was especially great; the scale and style reminded me of Little Nemo in Slumberland. It looked like it was shot on an amazing soundstage, and it turned out to be shot at Cinecittà. How much realer do even the fakiest live-action special effects look (vs CGI)? I also kept thinking about how much it must have cost to make.
We made some grocery lists went to Johnny’s Foodmaster as the snow started.
And now Terri is knitting and watching the Celtics, and I’m writing this.