fjb, local currency: solo 1992-1998 (fayettenam)

the human hearts, civics (tight ship)

the human hearts on myspace

nothing painted blue, taste the flavor (shrimper)

info on older band and solo work; I have no idea who compiled the scarily complete discographies

free music, discography, etc. here

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I've always thought that the whole "albums are better than singles" thing was the least explicable member of the family of views known as "rockism," because they're not; nonetheless, it's interesting to learn how fast the gameboard is changing. N.B.: this sentence: "It took greatly influential works like The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” to turn the album into pop music’s medium of choice." Songs/recordings theorof are also "works," friend.


white-out: the show below is cancelled on account of snow

slo-mo train (wreck) coming

I never even got this up on the sidebar, but I appeared on "Phoning It In" on Providence's WMBR last week, playing 2 old songs, 3 newish ones, and a Lesley Gore cover on which I always blow a couple of gendered-pronoun changes. Between-song banter awkward as always (for me, an on-air tradition). Here's the session. And here's the archive, a sort of lo-fi who's who that I haven't had the chance to explore (Robert Scott! The Bruces!).


Hitting Somerville tomorrow. The coincidence of my trip to greater Boston with St. Patrick's Day is just that; I haven't had time to learn "When Clancy Lowered the Boom."


Sam Frank writes:

"Saw you posted on Out 1. My interest in it, for what it's worth, mostly came down to a political one. Applying a simplistic structuralist diagram to the thing: I saw an axis with poles representing the two alternatives to bourgeois conciousness or whathaveyou, that is the collective (the theater groups, improvising at great length away from subjectivity) and the isolate (Leaud, Berto). With the conspiracy structure, which relinks the collective and the isolate, taking its place as the opposite number of the bourgeois. I don't know what to do with this reading once I get to this point, and it doesn't account for the differences between Leaud and Berto and between the two theater groups, but it did somehow seem helpful. Or, it allowed me to settle into the rehearsals, looking at them as rehearsals for utopia. A similar logic could account for the sheer number of encounters Berto has--i.e. this is what we are once social logic falls away or some such, just one thing after another--but I'd already seen edited versions of most of them in Spectre, so I wasn't as interested. Whereas Spectre cuts out most of the rehearsals, which in turn cuts down on the formal balance--the theater groups are just confusing; you don't know what in the world they're about--and makes everything more paranoid."

There's something right about this, especially in seeing the theater groups as perpetual rehearsing for utopia; it's hard not to notice, even before both troupes start losing members or focus and otherwise falling apart, that no one seems terribly concerned about getting the respective shows on the boards. You could say similar things about most (all?) of the film's representations of collective endeavor; the stoners behind the underground newspaper never even get as far as arguing over content -- they can't even agree on digest or tabloid-size. A pall of entropy hangs more or less heavily over every story arc. But where most movies would, I think, point at this sort of thing as a sign of the ineffectuality of revolutionary dreams, my sense is that Rivette doesn't mean to denigrate the process, whether product is forthcoming or not. (Thinking of it this way makes me feel a little better about this blog.)

Accuracy and completeness aside, I think the really interesting thing is the extent to which a film the constituents of which partake so heavily of "anti-form" can be organized to lend themselves to this kind of large-scale allegorical interpretation. Maybe more on the Thirteen (which to my mind serves to muck up much of the above, having something of the ur-MacGuffin non-explanatory arbitrariness of the birds in The Birds) and the isolates later. For now, I'll just wonder if there's been anything really thorough written (especially in English) on Suzanne Schiffman. (I don't have enough French to do the job, but here's a free title: "The Script-girl as Auteur.")


"Reading is important because it makes you look down, an expression of shame. When the page is shifted to a vertical plane, it becomes an advertisement, decree, and/or image of a missing pet or child. We say that texts displayed vertically are addressed to the public, while in fact, by failing to teach us the humility a common life requires, they convene a narcissistic mass." (Ben Lerner, Angle of Yaw)

Wowed as I am by the mileage gotten and the changes rung on a Benjamin epigraph here and throughout, I couldn't help wondering what it meant for the assertions made above (and this is a poetry where speaking of assertion is not a category error) that I first read this paragraph lying down, alone, with the book propped vertically on my stomach. Overall, I don't know when I last encountered a work of any sort expressing such a thorough loathing of every form of representation. (Whatever it was, I'm pretty sure it was something that also strove to eschew representation in its own procedures, which Lerner's does not, thus effecting a strong sense of self-hatred and self-cancellation; of shame. The reflexive here refers to the text, not the man.) Wish I had more time to contrast Lerner's approach with Max Winter's in The Pictures. The latter also makes an issue of aerial photography, but Winter's book is about the difficulty and necessary incompleteness of representation, while Lerner's is (I claim) about the impossibility and, hence, undesireability of same. (Also relevant: back cover of More Songs About Buildings and Food; "I wouldn't live there if you paid me."; The Republic.)


While I share several of Jordan's issues with blogging, I find that the mere having of attention to divide divides attention, so not blogging is not going to help me there, and the opposition between the "small"ness of the points made and the "real"ness of the questions not examined is one I, both as analyst and as idler, must reject. Size ain't scale, lest we forget. But Jordan likely meant "small" in the sense of "petty," in which case, small in the other sense point taken.


variety show

A better person would explain why, without saying something idiotic like "Suppose Eddie Argos were still going strong into his '50s," and an even better better person would have gotten this information, in the form of a pick, into a real publication, but: go see The Nightingales at Brooklyn's Union Hall on Thursday. (Or at the Cake Shop tonight - who knows how late they go on.) And then tell me how they were.


Did someone declare the 3/05 issue of The New Yorker the late-winter let's-beat-intellectually-demanding-art-with-any-stick-that-comes-to-hand, especially-if-it-also-purports-to-have-political-content edition, and just forget to mention it on the newsstand obi? See Denby, who uses the reasonable judgment that Babel is manipulative and pseudo-serious as a wedge against any film code save the classical; which of course isn't a "code" or anything, but most natural thing in the world. (How much sleight-of-hand is packed into the sentence: "As soon as film was invented, experimental film was invented"?) See also Schjeldahl, relishing his own snideness with regards to the "strenuous" underpinnings of Jeff Wall's work: "It may be enough to know that, in theory-drunk circles of the period, any sort of aesthetic appeal could be regarded as a stratagem of “late capitalist” ideology or some other wrinkle of malign social power. (The enemy’s identity was never entirely clear.)" Even Alex Ross jumps in, by way of implying that "Mahagonny" is better for being a (Weillian) "timeless morality play" rather than a (Brechtian) "up-to-date piece of agitprop"; but given the prior knowledge that Ross treasures Hanns Eisler, no slouch in the agitprop department, we can conclude that he's more capable of making case-by-case judgments than those of his cohort already quoted.


I don't even know where to start with my tailbone shattering Out 1 experience, beyond saying something deflationary: "It's like watching half a season (plus a bit) of 24 in two sittings, except with fewer gunshots (which isn't to say none - didn't someone say that if a revolver appears onscreen in the first hour, it must be fired in the thirteenth?), and measurably more documentary footage of 'tacto-physical' theater rehearsals." In no way do I want my weekend back, or anything like that, but I wouldn't be inclined to make anyone feel guilty, or like a philistine, for not being interesting in this sort of thing. Even as one who'd recommend Celine and Julie to anyone with eyes and a frontal lobe, I think it's just barely possible that partisans (Rosenbaum) whose word as to the pleasures and payoffs of this work everyone else had to take for decades could possibly have been gilding the lily a wee bit. Hoberman is a bit more honest about the difficulties for the mortal whose expectations and internal clock have been formed by other sorts of movies: "For me, Out 1 didn't begin to cast even a minor spell until late in the fourth hour..." But my favorite recent review may be Variety's, for the inappropriateness of its house style: "Lensed by Rivette as a response to his tyro pic..." Do have to look back at Ashbery's piece; it doesn't seem insignificant that this is one of the very few movies he's ever written prose about.

More to say, someday, but it will have to come out in dribs and drabs. Not necessarily significant ones: there's an handwritten ad for the Dylan bootleg "Great White Wonder" in a window of the head-shop/front that figures heavily in the middle third or so of the movie.


The loose nerviness of the backing band on the 2/3 of Phantom Punch I heard today considerably weakened my resistance to Sonrdra Lerche, which had previously been 100% successful.


The frienemy of my frienemy is my frienemy.