Gay/Straight Edge Alliance

I happened upon a Queer Zine Fair at the Brooklyn Public Library this morning. And found this AMAZING shirt. Also there was tons of other cool/weird/funny/beautiful stuff spread over a few rooms. It was really excellent. At one point, while browsing through various DIY efforts, I remarked that this fair was such a fun and serendipitous find and there is something for everyone, regardless of your orientation. Then one of the zine makers said, “unless you’re straight.” I didn’t know what to do with this – I am straight. I think there was plenty of stuff there that many (if not all) straight people would like, as long as they clear the (very low) hurdle of “love is love.” (This shirt is not an example of something that would appeal to everyone) I know that it is important for that space to be a queer space – I have no interest in putting my straightness out there or even making mention of it. It’s one of the most boring facts about me, and I don’t think it should take up any room in that sort of a space. I nearly became defensive about being straight – which is very silly.

Anyway, I also got this:

I’m a Demolition, man

I did not know what I was getting into. The entirety of my familiarity with the movie Demolition Man was knowing that there was a solo recording of the Police song “Demolition Man” on the soundtrack. I knew this because I had the single. I had comfortably believed that it was some future cop action movie. As my brother correctly pointed out – most people hear the title “Demolition Man” and immediately picture “Judge Dredd,” which it is not (and for the record, that’s not even the best Judge Dredd movie – that honor goes to “Dredd” which is actually pretty great and super violent and trippy).

But speaking of trippy – Demolition Man is a crazy movie. Honestly, the action is mostly ho-hum, but the weirdness of the future world they’ve created is really fun and silly. Taco Bell won the Franchise Wars and is the only restaurant. There is a running joke about a lack of toilet paper and instead people are supposed to use three sea shells(?) – and Stallone never figures it out. It is weird. And it starts in one sort of dystopia, and within 15 minutes transports Stallone & Snipes into a totally different dystopia. Also – Dennis Leary is in it as a villain. Or is he?

There are no big surprises in terms of plot, but the movie is full of weird little notes and decisions and that kept me very entertained. It wrapped up like a sitcom, not long after Snipes comes to a particularly violent end. It is an odd movie, and I think I love it.

Fire in the hole

This is a very good album. I bought it one day because The Quietus – a online music magazine that is well worth reading – recommended it and listed the following bands as influences:

  • Dr John
  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Fela Kuti
  • Guy Clark
  • Os Mutantes
  • Little Feat
  • Novos Baianos
  • Traffic
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Supertramp
  • and many more…

What is missing on this (seeminly accurate) list of influences: Paul McCartney. Not that any of this music sounds all that much like Macca, but the songs are 1)Pop songs with hooks and great melody and 2) long. I think there’s only one song on the whole album that’s less than 5 minutes. Pop music shouldn’t go on so long! Too many things can happen! Too many chances to get distracted or lost! Unfounded fears, all of them. There is so much fun on this album, and despite song lengths, it flies by without a moment wasted.

Fall approaching

My favorite season is almost here. Summer is dying and it is the best. Apples are coming! Crisp air! Foliage! Hot drinks!

Also it’s a good time for mushroom hunting. Sadly, I have not been mushroom hunting in quite a while. And while many people I know are interested in the gastronomic aspect of foraging, I just like the experience. Mushrooms can be so weird and beautiful, it’s just fun to be out there and spot something truly unique looking. And the whole experience is quite zen-like… you’ve gotta be patient and move slow. It’s very rewarding.

That right there is a trombone player who used his concert break to gather mushrooms. This was the cover of David Arora’s smaller mushroom book, All That the Rains Promise. It’s a great picture, but I’m actually a sucker for his earlier (and much larger) book, Mushrooms Demystified. It’s got hundreds of pages of information about mushrooms, tips for mushroom hunting, and a very extensive guide to North American mushrooms. But the most important part of the book is a line in the introduction:

Over the year, I’ve turned this into something like, “the mushrooms don’t care what we call them, and certainly don’t care who we think they’re related to.” A mushroom doesn’t have a connected ring or purple gills to stand out from other mushrooms. It’s not choosing to be poisonous out of spite. Not that classification isn’t useful – it is! It’s just nice to have the reminder that classification is our choice, certainly not the mushroom’s.

More of this please

I love this album because it kills. It is New York City. It is funny. It is great rap. It is a monster. If I’m not in New York and I need to feel like I am, this album gets my head there. It’s the beats and the lyrics and the attitude (“drink drink drink drink drink drink smoke smoke smoke smoke fuck fuck die die die”). The rhyme schemes are genuinely amazing, which makes it worth listening to it a million times. Most importantly it makes me smile in a very smug way – like I’m choosing to laugh at the situation, but I could punch someone in the face if it really came to it.

A drawing by Leonora Carrington. No big deal.

I am losing my mind with excitement. This picture is mine.

I have something created by one of the most incredible, creative, amazing humans to have walked this planet. AHHH! Photos don’t do the drawing justice. And words don’t properly express my thrill level. I guess we’ll have to live with the fact that this blog can only convey so much…

On loop this week

PanSTARRS are a Cairo based group who make music that is experimental and entrancing. The album is called Ghaby Ghaby Ghaby (which apparently means “Stupid Stupid Stupid” and that’s great (…great great)). It’s definitely on the unorthodox side of things, plus all the lyrics are in Arabic, so it’s a few worlds away from what I’m normally listening to. But it just grabs me. There are buzzing guitars and buzzing electronics and, well, I guess the music just buzzes. But while it is both foreign and somewhat experimental, that doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible. It works very well loud on the subway; there’s a groove in all that buzzing and it compliments the rhythm of the train well. On the track below, the groove builds up and really kicks in at 1:55 – if that doesn’t convince you, nothing will.