Merry Un-Christmas to me! Bowing to the competition of either Wal-Mart or the recent industry downturn due to music downloading (or maybe both), Sam Goody has closed its locations in both Harrison and Arkadelphia. The day after Christmas, my friends Lance, Kevin and I went to check out the storewide 70% sale at the Harrison Sam Goody. Much of the store had been ransacked, but there was plenty left of the sort of music most Harrisonians avoid. Naturally that tends to be the music I like. So I went just a little crazy:
Ween – Quebec
Rufus Wainwright – Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright – Want One
Tori Amos – A Sorta Fairytale single
Cave In – Tides of Tomorrow
The Neptunes – The Neptunes Present…Clones
Run D.M.C. – Run D.M.C.
The Get Up Kids – Something to Write Home About
Liz Story – Solid Colors
Guster – Keep It Together
Prince Paul – Politics of the Business
Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
Thursday – War All the Time
Jurassic 5 – EP
The Mars Volta – De-loused in the Comatorium
Queensryche – Tribe
Radiohead – Amnesiac
Coldplay – Parachutes
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys – The Best of Bob Wills (20th Century Masters)
Eric B. and Rakim – The Best of Eric B. and Rakim (20th Century Masters)
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Finest Hour
KRS-One – Kristyles
Kool Keith – The Lost Masters
King Missile – Happy Hour
John McLaughlin – Thieves and Poets
Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek – Reflection Eternal
Ben Folds Five – Brick single
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil Remix
Atomic Opera – Penguin Dust
The Who – Who’s Next (Deluxe Edition)
Some of the discs were also purchased at Movie Gallery’s 50% off music sale. But it doesn’t stop there! No, I also got an old Voltron VHS and 4 DVDs:
Bend It Like Beckham
Utopia Live in Columbus, Ohio 1980
Mr. Show – The Complete 1st and 2nd Season
Yes – Symphonic Live
Last night, Natalie fed me chocolate toffee cookies and Chinese beer while giving me a back rub. Life should always be that good. Then we went to Barnes and Noble to goof off and read. After that, dinner at Chi’s, where she asked to speak to the owner about a particular painting there that she really enjoyed. So the owner came out and told us the story. These are the sorts of things people just don’t do very often. Most people don’t even notice restaurant artwork, much less ask the waiter to ask the owner about it. I’m consistently reluctant to talk to people I don’t know. Natalie has no such limitations.
Speaking of people without limits, I’ve recently discovered that Albert Einstein’s path through science appears to have led him to a very Buddhist place:
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Blepharospasm. I’ve had one for two weeks now. It has spread to both eyes. Supposedly it’s caused by stress. What am I so stressed about? Maybe this constant feeling that I’ve always got stuff to do and not enough time to do it and a month full of Superflux gigs every weekend.
I think I’m also getting dark circles under my eyes. Maybe I’m just imagining things. Or maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe I’m stressing about getting old which is causing blepharospasms…
Atomic Guitars is closing its doors. For those who don’t know, Atomic is the place at the end of my street where I can walk to get my strings and play the vintage amps and weird guitars. Johnny Adams is the proprietor, and this ends his 6-year run of selling the funkiest stuff in town. He cites a faltering guitar market in general and the recent takeover of all things instrumental in town by Banjo Center and Sigler Music (which appears to no longer have an actual website) as the culprits. Incidentally, Guitar Center is now number 1 in Google for the term “banjo center” thanks to clever Google Bombers like me. Perhaps you’ve seen the handiwork of Google Bombers on terms like "failure."
Within the last year, we’ve now had four local music stores go under: Stonehenge (Geyer Springs), Music Makers, Maumelle Music and More (where I taught), and now Atomic Guitars. Clearly it’s a crappy time for guitars and for anyone who’s not a chain.
So, to help Johnny out, I bought a 7-string pickup, several packs of strings, and another guitar. In my defense, it was $50 and red. It’s a Kay, but it plays and sounds really great for an old cheapie. It’s crusty and rusty and needs a good cleaning. It’s going to be my project guitar. I’m going to cover it in Japanese advertisements from 1958. I bought a Japanese Advertisting Yearbook at a book sale at the Arkansas Arts Center a few weeks ago and the artwork tripped me out. It’s an amazing blend of East and West. More art than commerce to me. It reminds of the sort of thing Douglas Coupland covered in God Hates Japan, only 40-odd years removed and thus far less frenetic and much more balanced. Pictures coming eventually.
For some reason I’ve really become fascinated with old stuff – antiques, buildings, whatever. I’ve been perusing a variety of photologs dedicated to these sorts of things, particularly Shaun O’Boyle’s Modern Ruins. Walk through the halls of this abandoned orphanage (which burned down in 2000) or this hospital. There are even more creepy examples, like the abandoned insane asylum.
On a lighter note, deserted farms in Iceland are far more picturesque.
Cute Rock Chick. Isn’t she lovely?
Why are my pictures so lame?
And this is my cousin. Yes, she and I have a similar genetic makeup.