Mr. Oizo – Ham

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Apr 142017

The foundation of all economic theory is the concept of scarcity.  Case in point…

The Saga of Tanya the Evil

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Apr 102017

Good anime series.  Only one season, so I suspect you’ll have read the Manga to see how it ends (though the anime reaches a perfectly good stopping point).  There’s lots of neat historical parallels, though for each one there’s an example of how the series diverges, so don’t read too much into that.  It’s by no means an allegory, and many aspects are more characteristic of WWII (such as the aerial component), though there’s no Hitler.  I’m impressed by some of the little things (like the French starting the war without helmets).

On a more personal scale, the protagonist has a definite Job thing going on between herself and God.   Though to be sure, Job wasn’t such a bitch-on-wheels.

Sun Kil Moon – Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes

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Apr 082017

Lots of people who love Kozelek’s older stuff dislike his current work.  Took me awhile to get into it, but after – struggling against is the wrong way to put it, maybe muddling-through? – his recent albums, I went-back and listened to those early classics like “Katy Song” and, while I still love that stuff, my first, overwhelming reaction was, “Man that guy’s grown as an artist.”

Which is not to say you shouldn’t put the original Red House Painters albums on your iPod and go-to-town on them.  But the current Mark Kozelek is a much more intelligent, nuanced, and confident songwriter, and his output now represents an accordingly heavier broadside weight.

Case in point: I think “Richard Ramierez…” is every bit as thematically-coherent as “Medicine Bottle,” but it takes a lot longer to explain why (I took a very brief shot at it below below the video).  It starts and ends in his mundane daily life.  The closest thing to a chorus or refrain is a 4-beat repetition of the title.  It’s also dark as shit, and intensifies steadily to the end.  The tone explains the lyrics, as much as anything can.

My personal take: Ramirez is just one of the well-publicized boogeymen Kozelek remembers from his youth. That he died a non-violent death from illness is almost ironic, and looking-back on it, the hyped-up aura of terror surrounding him is deflated a little. In retrospect, Kozelek’s long-ago trek to the Bristol Hotel seems like naive tourism. Many of his own acquaintances have also lived sordid lives (on a more modest scale), and have died just as unremarkably as Ramirez. The really scary thing is getting-old and dying, and Ramirez was only a few years older than Kozelek (as was James Gandolfini).