Sneaker Lover

Saucony BlueIt’s no secret that I’m a sneaker and t-shirt enthusiast.  For me, outside of being in the nude, t-shirts, sneakers and jeans-wearing seems like the most practical and comfortable way of being.  But of-course it depends on what color, the humor, and the softness of the t-shirt; the cut and snugability of the jeans; and the subtle but yet fashionable walkability of the sneaker. 

So I bought two pairs of Original Saucony Jazz sneakers this week: a blue and grey/red.   Two, because of my phobia of a garment I like  being discontinued.  What kind of phobia is this?  I really would like to know. 

I love original Saucony Jazz sneakers. And for some reason I can’t play the drums in any other shoe.  This maybe because, by Saucony standards, the Original Jazz is “the most technical performance running shoe of its time.”  They’re just that comfortable.  I feel like my feet are cocooned in a firm but feathered cushion.  And it’s affordable, just $50 a pair. 

The Saucony Jazz collection came out in 1981, and soon became the company’s most popular shoe, and the cornerstone for the Saucony Original Collection.  I remember when I got my first pair.  I was a freshman living in a punk house in Maryland.  They were black and I wore the shit out of them: from class to stomping in a mush pit to my graduation.  I remember when they were on they’re last legs and I had to duck tape the sole.  Back then, $50 could of bought me a month’s supply of groceries: rice and beans, noodles, yogurt, fruit, coffee, beer, toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper.  Ahh, the good ole days.

This time I decided to stray from my safe colors of  black or blue, and I got a pair of these:

 Saucony Reds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m feeling the Army, too:

Saucony Army

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saucony Black/Oatmeal Vegan

 

And oh, these black/oatmeal (yes they’re called oatmeal) vegan!  Yum!Reminiscent of my vegan years, which wasn’t political or for health reasons.  I just didn’t care for meat, and since I’m not into cheese or milk, it was pretty easy.  Now, I’m just an omnivore.

Recession Chardonnay

Photo taken by me 🙂

Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards more of the “heavy” music, like metal, punk, and noise rock. I blame it all on a backlash behavior: rejecting the current trend of bubble-gum lo-fi recycled 80s pop music, that music reviewers and the dying dinosaur that is the music industry, are labeling as “rock”. They obviously don’t know the difference between heavy rock and some tame quasi folk/electronic dance song.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a space in my heart for folk songs and electronic music, especially the ones that dare to take some risks. Risk?  Because that’s all you got: guts and a blurring-the-line sense of humor.

Another reason I’ve been going heavy is that I feel like there’s so much to scream and be angry about.  We’ve been in a sort of zombie complacency, lackadaisical mummification, “I don’t care” state. A glaring example is the 8 years of having an idiot be a representative-leader for one of the most influential countries in the world (obviously, even in America fleeing monarchy and fascism is incredibly difficult).

One can argue that heavy doesn’t go with the current times that are affecting this incredible difficulty.   From the way we wear our hair to the very way we walk, this economic crisis was foreshadowed by the  however the cause was ignored. Maybe life should be concerned in a shift of what and when we want to recognize the fuckery? in the American way of being : a big, loud, bully is now passe.  Well maybe. We’re going green, even though going green doesn’t change the Manichean paradigm.

This world divided into compartments, this world cut in two is inhabited by two different species. The originality of the colonial context is that economic reality, inequality, and the immense difference of ways of life never come to mask human realities. When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident that what parcels out the world is to begin with the fact of belonging to or not belonging to a given race, a given species. The colonial world is a Manichean world. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 40, 41.

If what “parcels out the world is to “belong to a given race,” then in the same way that we are divided by color, we are as well divided by gender, sexual orientation, immigration… and whatever anew division we choose to distract ourselves with and call the enemy. And consequently, we’ll never understand ourselves.

Human social development will never be the foreground and continue we go on this path to perpetuate a Manichean pulse in contemporary live thought/living, never as a History left behind, never as a backward thinking.

Thus, I feel a great affinity towards yelling and fucking shit up! It’s very therapeutic. I recommend it completely; that and going up to a tree in the forest and screaming loudly. It’s good for you, try it.

Anyway, in no particular order, here’s a couple of bands helping me along the healing process. I thank them with all my heart for their insanity.

Life... The Best Game In Town
Life… The Best Game In Town

Harvey Milk‘s Life… The Best Game In Town. I was pleasantly surprised while searching for a review on the movie  Milk.  I discovered the metal band from Athens, Georgia. with the same name. Intrigued, I looked them up and was immediately hooked by their sound: a fusion of experimental, psychedelic, noise rock and sludge metal. Granted, I have never been one to find growling vocals appealing, but it’s different with Harvey Milk, maybe it’s the timber of purposefulness in the growl. Faves: Death Goes to the Winner, Decades, After All I’ve Done For You,…, We Destory the Family, Motown, Barnburner.

 

 

 

WizardryWizardry is a five piece NYC metal band, I saw for the first time at Trash Bar, and they were very entertaining. I highly recommend seeing them live, because they know how to put on a show. With their glam rock look and theatrics, and actual smoke machine, I was really impressed with their effort to make the stage their own. But they’re not just about theatrics and stage presence, these guys can play.  With intricate drumming, insane guitars, and strong vocals, Wizardry will definitely dazzle you with their magic.  I can’t wait for their upcoming album.

 

 

SpylacopaSpylacopa. Another NYC band, that a friend of mine turned me onto and to whom I’m now forever indebted. Spylacopa was just what I needed. When I played their debut EP on my ipod, I immediately knew that it was right, because they made meh pores raise (a saying from Trinidad, meaning, I got goose-bumps). With their skilled transitions and ample ability to switch genres in a fleeting second, a testament to their progressive sound, they’re at times noise rock delivered purpose and direction. An example would be when switching from the heavy, noise with a purpose tracks to the ambient piano/keyboard instrumental track, Together We Become Forever, and the very moody Sigur Rós sounding, I Should Have Known You Would. Faves: Bloodletting, I Should Have Known You Would.

 

Goes Cube Goes Cube. A noise rock power trio from you guessed it, NYC. My band actually had the great pleasure of playing on a bill with these guys, and they are awesome. They are a punishing combo of rock, punk and metal. Goodness! I remember the first time I saw them live, they made my ears bleed. I don’t think I ever regained the hearing I lost.

 

The Bedlam In GoliathMars Volta‘s The Bedlam in Goliath because it’s just brilliant. Mars is the epitome of progressive rock, they fuse latin/african, jazz, funkadelic beats with punk experimental rock. With orchestral musical arrangements, they take prog to a heightened level that when listening, you can’t help but think this is the electric version of classical music. It’s that multi-layered and expansive. I must admit I was a bit disappointed with their previous album, Amputechture.  I felt like it was way too abstract and I couldn’t grasp anything. Even though this may have been the point of the album, as an avid fan I couldn’t bear it. A buddy of mine shared the same feeling, up until he listened to Amputechture under the influence. Apparently, the album is less abstract while on drugs: everything makes more sense. It’s almost like what people said about some rock music back in the day, that it was evil and if you played the record backwards you’d hear the devil. Spooky. Anyway, The Bedlam in Goliath is a complete 360, my only criticism is that at times the repetition was a bit too much. Faves: Ilyena, Wax Simulacra, Goliath, Cavalettas, Askepios, Ouroborous, Memories.

 

Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern‘s This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. Probably one of the longest titles ever. I feel like I’m embarking on a study.  I’m listening to a dissertation for a sociological/cultural studies thesis, that sounds like a mixture of AC/DC, Erase Errata, and Stern’s very own powerful voice as a songwriter.  And what I’ve learn in the center is that I am it and my future is it!  Faves: Prime, Transformer, Shea Stadium, The Crippled Jazzer, Simon Says, Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.

 

 

 

 

Helms Alee
Helms Alee

 

Helm Alee‘s Night Terror. Helms Alee is an experimental, sludge metal, rock trio from Seattle Washington whose sound reminds me of the Twin Peaks soundtrack.  With their pensive moodiness, great melodies, and  hard wailing beats, mixed with at times delicate vocals, and then at others yelling,  Helm Alee makes me feel like they’re preaching (in a good way). I feel like obeying them as I shake my head yes, yes, YEAH!  I really hope they can visit NYC sometime soon.  Faves:Honestly all of them.   They capture most of the moments in my day to day.

 

 

 

MORE TO COME!

 

Seeker: Compos Mentis?

This is a revision of an earlier post.

I want my mind
I want my mind
I want it!
More than you know.
I want my own mind

I want it clever, clearer than any of you
Than whatever it may be….

I must admit that my previous post was ridiculously morbid. So much so that I didn’t want anyone to see it, so I made it private. My apologies to anyone who did read that mess (Ha, like anyone is reading…shh). Maybe I can work on it a little more. Make it more likable.

Like everyone (that’s what you tell yourself, so you won’t go mad), I’m having one of those terrible weeks.  Well to be sure it’s been more than a week. More like 6 months, quite possibly from birth. And when I say terrible I mean… (you really don’t have to tell them. Just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean you have to spill everything. Save some for me.  For later).

But the thing is, I’m supposed to be better by now. I’m taking the sugar pills. Sugar pills, because they look like granulated sweetness, and I don’t believe that they’re really going to work. My lover, Paramour, angrily disapproves of my disposition, she said I had to have some faith. I laughed at her, because faith has never been one of my strong points. This is my second week and apparently it’s supposed to kick in by now.

I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference, but then again, maybe I’d have to dissociate myself from myself to really see what I look like.

Did that sentence make sense?

Am I making sense?

I must be.

Hmm…

Well, this is just a draft anyway. I’ll return when I have another fever and with fresh new eyes and less friends, and no family, I’ll make my repairs.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes, dissociation. But aren’t we doing that right now? Maybe the key is to look at how people around you react when you do something, anything (Maybe you should periodically make yelping sounds). Ah now that can be informative. Even if it’s based on assumptions, it’s informative? (Okay, this is boring). There’s some level of knowing, there are tells.

Maybe I should talk about my visit to the Cognitive Corrective Repair Clinic (CCRC), and the three words to remember: red, shoe, …?  Yes, Yes, Yes!

I’m not fond of the CCRC, with good reasons that I can list, but what would be the point of that? It was the analyst’s recommendation. It was the analyst who kept pressing the issue of a visit to the CCRC after each private forum session. The analyst worked really hard to convince me, but what pushed me over the edge was another one of those malfunctioning processor episodes that lasted for more than a week. I decided to try. See what happens, if anything I’ll have more data than before (Yeah, but what type of data: spam or recycled ideations?). Idempotent, Idempotent, Idempotent!

At the CCRC, the receptionist with her two screens for her mainframe, one for maintaining the live records of all old and new seekers that’s directly linked to the Health Corp–the global health cartel–, and the other for calendars, directories, notices, announcements. She didn’t believe my clean suit was exactly that, clean. I was the best well-dressed seeker ever. Unfortunately, I didn’t win a prize for looking functional. Oh, but she could care less that I wanted to look good, especially if they were going to detain my mainframe. Well, maybe it’s because the receptionist thought you were a guy. (Come on now, no more sidetracking, and who is this talking? There’s only room for one. The room is filled!). Focus, focus. Hocus, Pocus!

Okay yeah, the receptionist did label me “sir”. But it could be that she’s a Neo-Luddite, against all forms of advancement, technology or otherwise, and refuses to do an upgrade.  Then, how is she not relieved of her post? How is she not relieved of her post.  She’s not relieved of her post. Relieved of her post.  Her post. Post. (It’s the CCRC, and no one gives a shit).  At this point, I really don’t care. Besides they usually overcompensate with pinkness and apologies. She didn’t. (Great Scire! You’re so long winded. No wonder you’re a blogger). Can I just say, that this is the most fun all week.

Anyway, the receptionist, didn’t listen to the soundwave I sent her which said loud and clear–I was on my best behavior, I practiced using a simulaton, rehearsing my script–that I was there to see the Scientist. But the receptionist heard something else and sent me on a wild goose chase which involved going through double doors that locked behind you.  And you don’t have a key. With the aid of a lost janitor– first day on the job– I survived the trap doors and came right back where I started: at the receptionist’s desk. And I sent her another soundwave, “I’m here to see the Scientist.” She then informed me that I had given her three different characters, “And each of them are unique you see,” she informed me.  Defending myself was useless even in my clean suit. Well, honestly your hair was still very messy.

I had been waiting for an hour.

Because I was gone for awhile and the reprimand from the receptionist after,  I lost my place as just a spectator. I had to sit next to an elderly lady. Every five minutes she sent a loud wave to no one in particular, “How long have you been waiting? I’ve been waiting for 3 hours.  I’ve given up on my mainframe.”

There was another guy talking to the receptionist. His wave was impaired, it kept buffering.   Too slow.   His eyes were bloodshot. Like all of us, he came because he wanted answers. A Scientist came and gave the guy a survey to fill out: When was your last…? How much….? Do you get the…? Have you ever….? The Scientist waved that there wasn’t sufficient grounds to conduct an experiment, because this seeker (the guy) did not have any toxins seeping out of his pores like vapor. I instantly went up to the guy and offered him some Prosecco, the good kind. Because he had a reason to celebrate. (What? That didn’t happen.  You couldn’t even look at the guy.  And where exactly were you hiding the “good kind” of Prosecco?) Well, if I had Prosecco, I would have offered it to this guy just so toxins could seep out of his pores like vapor. (Stop rambling and get to the point.) What, where’s the point? There’s a point? Isn’t is a point? There’s only loops and alogorithms.  Sad.

A woman about my age approached me.  She looked normal, I guess (Oh come on!  She seemed too content). How can someone seem too content? I wondered if she was on sugar pills, too?   She waved, “Excuse me, sorry, but I don’t think you should sit there. There was this guy sitting here, bugs were falling off of him. I think they were living on him.”

I lept up, as the elderly woman, like clock work, chimed in, “I’ve given up on my mainframe. How long have you been sitting here?!”

I then thought, perhaps she  (the mirror, the true normal one, that you could never aspire too, and can’t!) accidentally broadcasted a corrupted simulation.  Sometimes if the software is corrupted, simulations can become infected.  I guess the software might just be that good, but it will simply torment if it isn’t applied to a particular purpose.  (Whatever, you had already decided to believe that bagbiter.  Spaz!).  Of course I was scratching myself . (You’re such a compooter, if it wasn’t for me, you’d still be scratching, ha!).

By the time the Provisioner came for me, I was overstimulated and couldn’t focus. Hocus! Pocus! Shazam! (I’m going to swat you, I’m so going to swat you, you fly!)

Repeat after me, all of us:  Maintain eye contact.  Simulate before you wave.  Make sure it’s logic and not the absurd. 

I was waiting for someone, for the Provisioner maybe to come instead of  The Scientist…?  I wanted a Provisioner here (Even while you, we, shouldn’t trust anyone, but me?).

Introducing, The Provisioner, here, and right now.  (What makes them exactly different?) 

Whatever!  I’m still telling the story.  I’m still in Control? Right?  So shut-up!

Get Out!

Provisioners are the middle ground -most of the time- genuinely kinder and seemingly interested in more than control supplements.  

This one looks tired.  Really tired, like she had seen too much already and it was only 1:00pm on a Monday.  She did some test runs, and gave me a survey to fill out.  And I’m not going to fail. With my cheat screen and my script, I’m average. Well, that’s if I maintain function.  It’s always a question: when will the crash happen?  She idled and then waved, “Are you transitioning”. I laughed. She apologized for making me uncomfortable. I wasn’t.

She prompted those three words to remember.

I thought, “red, shoe, …?”

I couldn’t remember the last one. I must remember the last word.

Rock You! The Quest Continues

Here’s a few more bands/artists that rocked it in 2008 (previous post: This Time of Year):

The Roots
The Roots

The Roots‘s Rising Down. The Roots is my favorite hip hop band. Album after album, they’ve never lost themselves due to fame, however realized.  They kept true to their identity and have taken the hiphop art form to a whole new level, that no one in the genre has been capable of catching up too. The mere fact that they are an actual band makes them shine even brighter in my eyes.

Reminiscient of a Fela album cover, just by looking at Rising’s album art you’re given a feeling of rebellion.  A rebellion against the now status quo standing of a rap/hip hop album: the complacent cool of living it large.

I hear and feel the revival: the rush of wanting something other than what has been dealt, or what we make ourselves believe in. This feeling is ever so present in the song Singing Man. Singing Man evokes the traditional Sinnerman running but with no where to run to once the well has been sucked dry. This album brings us closer to that essence, of where and how Rap/Hip Hop began, before it’s quantification.  Once Sinnerman realized the profit in his asethetic: discounted as an individual, as a peoples stripped of everything, why turn back now when the reasons for looking back means reliving an ugly truth that everyone is petrified by and there’s no profit in that, well maybe. And the future that you dream is just as horrific, if you follow what is being displayed in contemporary media who devel in the fluff. We all ignore the backlash, just waiting to bloom with it’s brooding revenge. It’s already begun.

Rising Down is the renissance of Rap/Hip Hop. It looks back and embraces the struggles and fight of a peoples… Not only is Rising Down a rebellion against…. it is a celebration of this unapologetic freedom to reject….

Faves: Lost Desire, I Will Not Apologize, Rising Down, Singing Man, Criminal.


The Magnetic Fields
The Magnetic Fields

 

The Magnetic Fields‘s Distortion. This album reminds me so much of Jorge Borges‘s poem Mutations. Maybe it’s because I was reading the poem while listening to Distortion. Or maybe it’s because the album sounds like a mutated Joy Division, that’s been distorted into a noise pop pulp fiction soundscape that’s centered on well written, humorous ballads that I secretly snicker about in a dark corner.  I really enjoyed Distortion. So much so, that Please Stop Dancing is responsible for this poem: WordsFaves: Three-Way, Old Fools, Xavier Says, Please Stop Dancing, Too Drunk to Dream.

 

 

The Kills
The Kills

 

The Kills‘s Midnight Boom. The Kills is a electronic, rock, indie, pop duo, that I’ve been following  for sometime now.  With their lo-fi sound: danceable drum machine beats, dirty guitars, mixed with bluesy vocals and very catchy cynical lyrics, Midnight Boom is, maybe, my favorite of theirs.  Faves: U.R.A. Fever,  Last Day of Magic, M.E.X.I.C.O, What New York Used to Be, Night Train.

 

 

 

 

RockferryDuffy‘s Rockferry.  Like Adele, I consciously resisted Duffy when I first heard Rockferry at a Starbucks.  Fortunately for me, I got over my hypocritical snobbery, because this girl can sing some Motown soul.  Rockferry‘s sound maintains this back in the day lost love gospel with success, as you begin to grieve along with Duffy’s sorrowful vocal range.  You feel like crying too.  Faves: Rockferry, Warwick Avenue, Stepping Stone, Syrup & Honey, Hanging on Too Long, Distant Dreamer.

 

 

  

TV On The Radio
TV On The Radio

 

TV On The Radio, Dear Science.  Honestly, I don’t know what’s the big deal about this album.  Yes it’s good, but it doesn’t make meh pores raise (a saying from Trinidad, meaning, I got goose-bumps) as everyone is going on and on about it.   And when I say good, I mean this is a really well made and produced album, but there isn’t anything radically great as music reviewers ranting and cheers would have you believe.  It doesn’t change my hearing perspective or awareness, and maybe it’s because that wasn’t the album’s intent or maybe it’s just because there’s nothing new here.  If they’re not sounding like Seal or Eddy Grant, they’re playing Afrobeat and or Calypso music, like for instance the songs Crying, Dancing Choose, Stork & Owl, Golden Age, Red Dress all sound like a track from one of my favorite calypsoians, David Rudder or even Andre Tanker.   I did however appreciate the care and effort that these guys took into making this album.  I also appreciated their conscious lyricism that was critical of our current social and economic state, another aspect that makes me cling to the idea that Dear Science is a hybrid of a calypso album, because the very purpose of a calypsoian/calypso music is to critique and deconstruct the current events of society.  As much as I dig the fact that they’re mixing calypso and afrobeat into their sound, I still don’t get the hype, but then again music is so subjective.  Faves: Halfway Home, Golden Age, Family Tree, Red Dress, Love Dog.

 

The ComasThe Comas‘s Spells will cast a spell on you, as they combine great progessive 90s indie rock with dreamy, imaginative songwriting.  Even though this album came out in 2007, my bandmate, Maggie, and I can’t help but refer to this album on a rainy everything sucks and I’m bored day.  Unfortunately, the band is on an indefinite hiatus.  Faves: Red Microphones, I Am A Spider, Come My Sunshine, Stoneded, Sarah T., New Wolf.