Friday, August 17, 2007

Lines That Yodel

I have Gold. And I love the green and copper taste of it.
Random Spirit Lover, Sunset Rubdown's third album leaked about 2 weeks ago, and I've been exploring the territory for just as long in an attempt to leave no stone unturned in Spencer Krug's new world. If you've never visited any of Spencer's States(first off you're life is worthless) it is littered with some of the following:
Leopards, Ghosts, Colts and Stallions(there is actually a big difference between these two animals), Trumpets that go Toot! Toot!, Pier's, Hands coming out of graves, Snakes with Legs, Courtesans, Morticians... I could go on for days. Random Spirit Lover IS the best album out so far this year, and this year has been very kind to music so that's saying a lot. I'm not going to do a full review here or anything cause it's set to be released October 9th, and a review wouldn't exactly be prudent at this juncture. And the only sample MP3 I shall provide is the official first single off the album; the glorious "Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days". I just want to write some of my favorite lines from this magnificent and historic peice of art for now, in album song order so I can kill more than one bird at a time(what I intend to do with those dead birds are a subject of discussion in one of these such lines). So here goes:

The Mending of the Gown:
-You never heard it from me but there’s a breach in the hull of the truth, and the water’s too deep to prove.
-It was the tender mending of this slender gown that brought me bending to the ground.

Magic or Midas:
-How dare I speak of trickery, I am not the store of the Midas touch. I don’t close my eyes when I’m dancing the same way I close my eyes in my lover’s clutches.
-You can follow the lead of the jackal to see where I am. You can follow the lead of the jackal who waits for the kill to be made by a mightier hand.
-You made up a list of your luckiest stars, and you made me familiar to you in the dark.

Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days:
-‘Cause you’re the one who’s riding around on a leopard; (ba-da-dum). You’re the one who’s throwing dead birds in the air. And you’re the one whose wild hide will weather, In the weathering days to a leather, made soft so princes can lay down their princely white heads! OF HAIR!

The Courtesan Has Song:
-Think of the scene where a washed-up actor wipes the makeup off his wife and says, “Morticians must have took you for a whore. Oh, morticians must have took you for a whore. Oh, I’m sorry that they took you for a whore.”

Winged/Wicked Things:
-Unraveling heavenward. It’d saddled two tiny birds. Or other such winged things. Either way they were struggling
-But the pattern of flight is chaotic and blind but it’s right ‘cause chaos is yours and it’s mine; And chaos is luck, and like love, and love blind

Colt Stands Up Grows Horns:
-I follow the trail you left in the snow. Picked up your footsteps and made them my own

-And fight for your right to hate the night, children sing like a choir with no taste for the wine.

For The Pier(Dead Shimmering):
-Oh the speed of a year It runs the wood dry, and water unclear
-So I’ll be out till the shimmering dies. I said I’ll be out till the shimmering dies. It’s the reigning of the predatory nature of the sky. And the raining sound it makes when it’s burning out your eyes

The Taming of the Hands That Came Back To Life:
-I am embracing the cold rushing in like ice to a diamond; it's a new kind of rough you can find me in.
-When the sail starts flying in the wind I say, ‘cool that looks cool now do you think the second movement has too many violins’?
-She said, “My sails are flapping in the wind.” I said, “Can I use that in a song?” She said, “I mean the end begins.” I said, “I know. Can I use that too?”

Setting vs. Rising:
-Do you call a setting sun a sun rising?

Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!:
-You gotta refine your breath and beats with a graduation hat—use mine.
-I'd like to think the actors never panic. I'd like to throw this trumpet down and go empty-handed.

Child Heart Losers:
-All a diamond is, is good timing. All good diamonds are uncut diamonds Oh
Spencer Krug is without a doubt the single most talented musician of our generation. His poetry absolutely comes to life through the excellent play of the other band members on this album, and their preceding one: "Shut Up I'm Dreaming". His work on Wolf Parade's debut album was the scratch on the surface, but boy are things running deep now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

PETA: Pumposes for the Exploitation and Theivery of Animals

I just got me a puppy, a little while ago. A sweet little totally rad and magnificent collection of awesomeness and dynamic beagle of sorts. Of sorts only cause he's from the SPCA, and therefore missing his Pedigree papers. He's about 6 months old, sharp as a Mach 3(my apologies to thems who devote their existences to cutting men to bits for not providing a link to their site. But hey, my pup is the best this man can get), and faster than Deon Sanders(my apologies to my Wednesday nights trivia teams Sherlocks disaster. Who fucking knows off the top of their dome what player is the only in NFL history to win 3 consecutive championships?! As good a guess as any, Deon was). He was great at the beginning, when he wasn't peeing on my doormat thinking that "outside" was the only necessary requisite for self relievance. Now he's grown to be much much more. I'm training him for the NFL combines.

Michael fuckin Vick. What a total douche bag. How fucked up is the world we live in that pays hundreds of millions of dollars to scum bags like Vick who take pleasure in destroying these innocent, loyal and honest beings? I don't know if there's going to be an after life, but if there is, I hope to Science Vick get neutered for an eternity over and over again in his version of hell. Science damn him! This scum bag bought a house purely for the use of dog on dog fight to the death purposes. If there's any kind of judicial justice, I think it should be a sentence to face humping via horny, ready to breed Great Dane's for 25 plus years. The sad reality is that he's only going to have a few less endorsement dollars flowing into his cursed savings account. I wish I was Buddhist, that way I could take solace in the fact that he'd be back as a chew toy for every teething Doberman in Germany. There are a few topics that fire me up: Religion, animal cruelty, and heritage are examples.

Tobi, my dog, has decided to trust and look up to me with %100 of his being. I am everything to him, way more than the guy who pours his water and feeds him biscuits. I'm the reason he's happy or sad, the reason why he wants to go out and run circles around teams of dogs trying to tag him(seriously, he makes every dog in my neighborhood look clumsy even when they gang up to try to catch him, as he weaves em in and out of each other. It's my favorite thing to watch; him cutting to a side a full second before dogs fully grown even know to react), the reason he can sleep with peace, the reason his day has any structure. None of this has anything to do with my level of radness mind you, although I'm sure it plays a part, but everything to do with his nature. He knows nothing else. I could be the most out casted person in society, a ghost to anyone who sees me, but he'd never allow that to change his enthusiasm at just being by my side. I've had family who sold me out for less than a years income for an average American. Animals are pure. Dog's are unfiltered.

To destroy that kind of purity surely is the act of the most un-holy of beings. To so brutally stab something that embodies all that nature, and life in general, is existent for is un-repentantly disgusting. What a repugnant byproduct of human evolution.

Spoon- The Underdog

Modest Mouse- Wild Pack Of Family Dogs

TV On The Radio- Wolf Like Me

Monday, July 2, 2007

Keeping Track of Tracks

"Fool me once, didn't see that coming. Fool me twice, I can't believe I didn't see it coming! Fool me thrice, woah! I was so not expecting to see that... coming.'

Anticipation can be a bitch. Not one you can pet either, or take to the movies. It's not so much the agony of waiting, but the fear of not having the expectations met. It's just not in us to be patient and spend 3 years in wait for something without constructing exactly what we KNOW to be revealed, thus either over estimating the end result, or under estimating it. The latter is pretty sweet actually, cause you can pretend like you knew all along how great the sequel was going to be while having with you a sequel that is great. It's bad for one particular reason within the context of this post, and maybe elsewhere, that I feel I need to confess as well. Betrayal...

When I started to listen to Interpol's monumental debut album "Turn On The Bright Lights" in early 2004(two years late to the explosion I know, but at least I'm still part of that 'Elite' group of Interpolites who started the obsession with the band prior to the follow up, so there!), I thought it was pretty unique and sounded interesting. A couple of months had past before I regained conscientiousness, and learned that the album was on constant replay on my primitive black and white screened Ipod, and had dug itself ferociously into my psyche. It really did happen that way, an extremely bizarre experience. Once that happened, every morning started the same way, and every day ended with the same routine. Wake up, yell to the crack-ho's outside my apartment to run for cover if they didn't want to turn into stone at the first hint of dawn, get dressed, pop the little whities into my dome, and thumb the middle button on "Untitled", the majestic opener, as I ushered in the new morning chill with my first foot down on the pavement. The album had at least 5 full rotations a day during a few month span, and it sang me to sleep with the words of "Leif Erikson", the nautical album closer, every night before I had to plug my obese pod back on it's charger pod and get swept away to passoutville with the sounds of the crack-heads poking their heads out of the cracks and crevices of 13th street.

I hate fans. I used to wonder how dull someones life must be, if they feel the need to fill the void with emotions aimed at people who didn't even know they existed. It was even more ludicrous when musicians had fans, mainly cause they were so lame, and vultured off the fan base to feed their Merc's high octane. It seemed like an elaborate theft. But I slowly started to get curious about this band. I started to wonder who was behind that cellar voice, and those midnight storm bass lines. Short story long, I became one. And I took it to extremes(I have a friend who's willing to vouch for that claim by telling you about how his jaw dropped at the sight of my top played songs on itunes). Desktop wallpaper, aviator shades, online community participational dialogue, pentiant for black button-downs, on and on. Turn On The Bright Lights became, and still is today, my all time favorite album. It bonded with my soul. It sung to me during a time in my life which would turn out to be a turning point. Music was always more than just something to put on for me, but with this album everything changed. It became a catalyst to where I am with my discovery of like ethic broadcastings.

Having gotten on the Bright Lights bandwagon when I did, made it possible for me to gear shift into Antics, Interpol's illumination of the bright lights follow-up, with such soothe that it almost felt cosmic. I went from knowing that Bright Lights was insurmountable(which it was and is), to being slapped into a frenzy by the realization that the band was undoubtedly the best rock band on the face of the earth. True to the first album, it took many many rotations for it to become clear what Antics was all about. And initially I wrote them off as a one album wonder. Gradually I got it. Then after about 25 rotations I felt the rush of their drug pulsate through my veins, and pump up my bounded enslaved soul to rip away the ropes of bondage and free itself. Twice I under estimated what I was in for. Both times I couldn't have been happier to be wrong.

Thrice is when the game starts. Interpol's major label debut album, and third full length attempt Our Love To Admire drops July 10th. And upon first, even nine listens it conjured up even more painful emotions of let down within me. Having waited 3 years for this moment, I felt that when I pressed play on the first rotation, the fabric of space time should rip open and suck me into a crazy vortex while tearing off every wallpaper on every wall in our solar system(including the gas walls on Jupiter). But true to form, it's a grower not a shower.

This LP highlights all the things that Interpol are, and even moves beyond. Progression, evolution, intelligent design whatever you want to call it. Mammoth(to borrow a phrase from a good friend "makes me wanna run around and punch somebody in the face") is a locomotive on Adderall. A fist pumping relentless arrogant alarm fueling itself with an 11 note riff spread throughout like coal to the engine. No I In Threesome proves that the glorious Take You On A Cruise(Antics) wasn't a fluke of genius. A ballad that soothes, whispering it's truth, not mine. Bank swoons his always elusive lady with " Babe, it's time we give something new a try. So just let us be free". Pioneer To The Falls might be the best album opener I've heard since Wolf Parade's You Are A Runner, I Am My Father's Son. At the 2:00 minute mark a hypnoses is induced as Paul pulls the black from the grey with the plead "Show me the dirt pile and I will pray that the soul can take, Three stowaways. And you vanish with no guile and I will not pay, but the soul can wait. I felt you so much today" Pace Is The Trick is the albums ethos magnificented. "You can't hold it too tight, these matters of security... I've seen love, and I followed the speeding of starlights. I've seen love, and I followed the speeding of starswept nights. Yeah pace is the trick". Yes Paul, yes it is. Banks is markedly different this time around. On Bright Lights he was out of reach, his voice barely making it over the instrumentationings. With Antics he was more sure of his voice, less inhibited. But here he's bold, dark even creepy sometimes. So comfortable that nothing is sugar coated, unless it's of a different type of white. Nowhere is this more evident than on Rest My Chemistry, as Banks seems to chronicle his time away from the stage "I haven't slept for two days. I've bathed in nothing but sweat, and I've made hallways scenes for things to regret. My friends they come, and the lines they go by... I live my life in cocaine, just a rage and three kinds of yes". Wrecking Ball and Lighthouse end this 11 song concoction with the clearest hint of things to come. One of the rare moments in this album that Paul's new found sense of cockiness feels sincere is admitted on Wrecking Ball "Nobody warned you, nobody told you to make up your mind. Nobody told you, that I could just waltz through and shake up your style... I'm inside, like the wrecking ball through your eyes, and I change it all from inside". This closer one-two punch set the image of still shots one only sees through faded scenic pictures, the latter remaining true to the 'nautical' visuals that a lot of Interpol's songs manifest.

My betrayal:
These last 3 years I've taken the world Interpol revealed to me, as far as possible artists making earth shattering music, and lessened the pain from my Pol withdrawal by letting in tunes from a lot of different angles. How did I thank them? By considering the possibility that their place as the best thing to happen to me musically was up for grabs. I know deep down I knew better, but just because the wait was excruciating shouldn't have justified my straying. I have a list of stellar artists and musicians who are second to nobody, but Our Love To Admire has finally brought me full circle.

Mammoth Live

The Heinrich Maneuver

No Mp3's This Time Faithful Patrons, Buy It Here (You Can Also Stream The Gorgeous 'Pioneer To The Falls There As Well) And Set Some Souls Ablaze

Friday, June 15, 2007

Music Through Your Phases

"I think I heard you singing, 'Oh poor sky, don't cry on me. Did somebody break your heart again?'"

I am a music person. If I can help it, I try to fill in every moment of my daily life with tunes, doesn't matter if I'm showering, gardening(yeah right), sleeping, writing about how it gets listened to when I do stuff, etc. Music doesn't just represent moods(by that I mean if you're sad or whatever, sad music isn't the only type of music that makes sense), it alters moods. Music is a therapist, wrapped in a super hero cloak, soaked in water from the spring of immortality. It has the power to expose us, and reveal what we typically hide from everybody and everything. Just like driving past the neighborhood you grew up in, a song can transport and beam you through space and time and within a moment place you back on the bike you were riding around the speed bumps with. Decades can pass, everything about you as a person can change, but as soon as the melody hits, smells, states of minds, even weather conditions come flooding back. Music for me now a days is more than just one form of Art, it's a combination of artistic achievements. It's melody, poetry, and since images are conjured up in my head through the two of those together it's even painting and photography. That might sound ridiculous to you, but since image is constructed inside our minds and not our eyes, it's absolutely true.

"I'm coming up only, to hold you under. And coming up only, to show you wrong"

"Hey Love, we will get away with it. We'll run like we're awesome, totally genius... Come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight, serve me the sky tonight."

Unfortunately for me, I have a tendency to exhaust a song I love to the point of pant so often that it stops representing a time and place, and instead crosses over again and again to other times, and other places. Never the less, there are still ship loads of tunes on my itunes who can beam me back. And I love that. Even though so often I hate the nostalgia; pain through the realization that moments were lived but not embraced so intensely that the time travel wouldn't spring up a sense of longing. Everything is always more real when you're in pain, or when you're in bliss, and barring death, there is no pain deeper than heart break, and nothing more blissful than gazing into the eyes of a fawn. Not coincidentally, there are more songs about it than any other topic. Not coincidentally, the rewind to moments when the heart was ok is the most real and painfully intense button songs can press on your stereo system life. We register things subconsciously so often that anticipating future nostalgia is almost impossible. My itunes spits out songs from playlists created for sharing moments of intimacy with no disclaimer about how those songs that defined the beauty, can so easily turn on me to reveal the awfulness of the disappearance of that beauty. Lyrics once understood and defined personally in moments of relevant closeness, morph into daggers immune to shields propelled at the very heart it once sung to caress. I have yet to experience anything else that achieves this feat so efficiently.

"And every time you're driving home, way outside your safety zone, wherever you will ever be, you're never getting rid of me... You own me, there's nothing you can do, you own me"

I guess I should be grateful to feel anything at all. Thankful that I know of poets and painters and photographers who color my world with their crazy brushes. Lucky to have been with someone who took the emotions portrayed by the artists, and showed me how to experience them to their fullest and most rewarding extent. After all, what is a landscape painting if you've never taken walks with someone dear, in the rain and sun, through fields and in between trees?

" You've got your reasons, and me I've got mine. But all the reasons I gave were just lies to buy myself some time"

I encourage you to check out the lyrics, and albums.

The National- All Dolled Up In Straps (Decatur, Frenchman, tiny burgers, I-10) Lyrics, Buy

Band Of Horses- Funeral (Silence, drives, open windows) Lyrics, Buy

The National- Geese Of Beverley Road (All the way, the great, an exclamation)
Lyrics(Scroll to), Buy

The National- Lucky You (The first hint of some end)
Lyrics(Bottom of page), Buy

Arcade Fire- Ocean Of Noise (Declaration of intimacy, of now, of maybe never again and why, fool myself) Lyrics, Buy


Band Of Horses- Funeral

The National- Lucky You

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Universe Is Full Of Ants

Don't dial you're friendly neighborhood Terminex representative juuuuuust yet. Unless he's armed with liquids potent enough to travel light years and still be effective, I'm not sure he's gonna be very useful. Actually, since the Universe is infinite, his services would be a voyage in futility. I'm not an advocate of genocide anyway, I'm not even suggesting that a dilema exists that requires any kind of solution, especially one that calls for an exterminator. It's not like I titled this entry "The Universe Is Full Of German Cockroaches". I don't think a single person would have read even this far had I done so. Anywho, stop distracting me! I've got stuff to say, disclaimers are infuriating!

Ants are one of the most fascinating creatures on our planet. They are extremely effecient, and highly adaptive social creatures. They have been here for over 120 million years, evolving from a Wasp acestry, and splitting into apx. 12,000 different species. Virtually every location on earth has ant populations on the thrive, and no creature, not even us, has been able to oust them from their habitats. The best we can do is temporarily expel a group of them, hardly making a dent in their overall number. They are the ONLY other creature on earth, besides us, that has domesticated another species for means of attaining nutrition. Honeypot Ants herd plant lice called "aphids" from locations to location, giving them rich plains to graze on, and drink the excess necture that the aphids don't need for sustinance. They even shelter them from the rain! 2% reduced fat aphid milk anyone? Ant colonies can reach numbers up to 20 million, matching levels we see only in the most populated human cities where, interestingly, we also see miss management on grand scales. Some colonies even have air filteration systems that expell carbon-dyoxcide and cool the halls and chambers of their piles. More than anyhing else, the fact that they can manage all of this, while often times being either totally blind or of poor sight, is nothing short of remarkable. Sentiments about the simularities between these insects and humans are applicable, and have been echoed before. It's tough to live in a major metropolis and not feel like living in an ant colony, busing yourself around driven my scents, contributing with you're specialized skills all for the sake of the colony at the demands of the Queen. Now you might say "Wait, we have a president, a man, a Democracy not a Monarchy!", To which I would reply "Just shut it, will you?".

And it's more than just that. More than just how much we resemble these little guys when were walking up and down busy streets, and the nature and structure of our respective societies. Only a tiny minority of the creatures on earth are "social" creatures, most are sole proprietors. There is a blue print prerequisite for animals that have chosen to work towards mutual benefit. There are roles handed out, leaders established, and new generation regeneration tactics enacting for maximum effect, on and on. But only humans and insects can do it on the scales we see, and the ants have been doing it for a helluva lot longer. So is it more than just a coincidence that we happen to subscribe to a lot of the same fundamentals? I mean, are we not doing almost exactly what the ants are doing, but just on a grander scale? Actually, the ants are way more efficeint at it than we are. Every single one of the ants not only knows precisely what they're supposed to do, but they do it with zero hesitation, and no supervision. I doubt we could ever function the same way, considering our astronomical sense of selfishness. But it all seems contrary to the chaotic nature of nature, that this kind of order exists and crosses species lines. It's almost as if there could be no other way.

The Universe is "Infinite" and "Awesome" in the true sense of those terms, beyond our conception... way beyond. There are approxiamately 400 million stars in our galaxy, The Milky Way, and there are 50 to 60 billion other galaxys out there. Lets let that sink in for a moment before we consider the "possibility" that there could also be an infinite number of Universes as well(there are scientific theories that seem to hint at a possible Multiverse)! Consider also the idea of an infinite world as you scale down to atoms, and atoms of atoms, and... There is an equation that in theory attempts to ball park the number of intelligent, communicatable civilizations in the universe. It's called The Drake Equation, and even though it's not provable at the moment (for various reasons, such as the bias of what we know life to be from only what we have here[anthropic bias], to what constitutes as a civilization, on and on), it does raise the possibility and puts the likelyhood, even with the most conservative numbers plugged into the equation, at a high probability. For me it's no question, the Universe is littered with intelligent life.

It's safe to say that, as advanced and as intelligent as we are, we are nowhere close to even our own human potential, let alone beyond. It's even safe to say that there might not be a limit on intelligence itself, considering the infinite status of the cosmos. And even though ants are in some ways more impressive in their societal management than us, there obviously exists a huge gap, evolutionarily speaking, between humans and all other animals for that matter. And since we're insignificant to the ants, I mean our level of existence is incomprehensable to them, then whos to say we are nothing more than an ant colony to some other, more highly evolved, being? Nothing that happens in our world has any effect on the ants, barring what we intentionally do to them what with magnifiying glasses and all. But even then they could never know the extent of our premeditation, or by which design they are being effected by us, to them it's just the way things are. There is a major disconnect there. And this is just two animals on the same planet.

I believe it to be very plausible that we are of ant-like existence to more intelligent, more highly evolved life that is pulsating within space. All this sounds very sci-fi I know, but if theres been one thing thats been more shocking than anything else from the Tech Revolution, it's the metamophisis a host of science fiction ideas have gone through on their way to science fact (and dude let's not forget LET'S NOT FORGET, that virtually every Alien(ET) sketch we see looks like an ant. Ok that's a bit far fetched but, whatever you can't disagree). In the grand sceme of things, humans are totally insignificant. If the entire history of the universe, 13 billions years worth of it, were to be shrunk down to a 24 hour time frame, all of human existence(100,000 + years) would be no longer than 15 minutes. We're pretty advanced sure, but nowhere near cosmic levels. We've only put our toes in the water.

Think about the idea of being observed in the same manner that you observe lesser creatures. Think about the ant farms sold at retailers, about all the fire ants whos city you destroyed when you got tripped up playing soccer as a youth. Now think about all we don't know about our universe, about what kind of manipulations could be the result of more intelligent life. We are already showing signs of "playing God" by advancing the way we have, for the last 100 years more specifically. We are cloning animals, designing genes, transplanting organs, harnessing the powers of atoms, wind, the Sun. We have only begun manipulating our surrounding environment, and we've only been here a blink of an eye's worth of time. If we go on evolving for another 100,000 years at the blistering speeds of late, how many more sci-fi ideas could become sci-fact? The Universe has been around for 13 billion years, and we know that it is possible for intelligent life to evolve in a matter of a few million cause it happened to us, so...
You know when they say "no matter how fast you run, there's always someone faster"? Well, in an infinite system, there have to be things faster than us, and things faster than them as well.

Some Ant Activity Worth Observing:

Waking Life Excerpt:

Monday, June 4, 2007

Why Poker Explains The World

Please don't post pictures of your detailed poker tattoos along with your crazy retorts. I have no patience for that kind of "look at me, LOOK AT MEEEE" gesture. I don't care if Chris Moneymaker himself sharpied the outline. Matter of fact, this particular topic shall run through your shirt sleeve to relevance itself to your full sleeve "All In" skin etching. There's the credence you were scratching for.

I am attempting to philosophize this activity not because I think that it is inherently relevant, but rather because I think virtually any activity, if looked at under the right kind of fluorescence, can be related to virtually anything. And because I played a few hands of No-Limit last evening... A jump shot could be a metaphor for business, a pedicure one for geology, and even a river dance to the sacrament of marriage(the more you kick with a straight face, the less futile your efforts will seem). Drawing similarities between something as straight(yes, intended) forward as poker, and the engineering that our world is programmed to follow, however, might be a little more complicated. But I am undeterred! So here goes.

I'm All In
I was lucky enough to have certain genes dealt to me at the start of my game. I am taller, faster and generally more physically adapt to play in this world than most, and even some of the "Smart" genes managed to slip through, as unbelievable as that was for some of my acquaintances. Of course I'm also way cool, totally sweet, and thoroughly rad too. So these, and other attributes and haves and have nots factor into your chip pile. Socio-economic status, big toe to index toe ratio, receding hairlines, weird laughing behavior, on and on...Point is this: Buy in is not without it's discriminations. Some get only a few hundred dollars worth of chips, others thousands. There is something very important to understand here, and that is this: Opportunity is proportionately represented by Means.

Your Buy In
We believe this country to be one where your success lies entirely in your hands. Land of opportunity. American Dream. Manifest Destiny. If you don't make it anywhere else, you sure can make it here. There are countless stories of migrants boating it to New York with only fifteen cents in their pocket, seven kids, three wives, a peg-leg and a blind dog and working their way up in some niche industry only a country like America would have a need for, like toe-nail clippers that double as walkie-talkies, starting their own family business, and spending the rest of their time fly-fishing in Colorado, encrusting wooden peg-legs in platinum and diamond. But those are few and far in between. We've all heard the phrase "the rich get richer". Fact is, you can be a C student, prance around citizen obligations, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, lie about doing all of those things, and still be in a position to position yourself to run the country, if you have the family means. How many times have you seem a poker star win the final table after being down in chips with a ratio of 4 or 5 to 1? Very rarely. More chips brings more chip power in your play, including any and all psychological maneuvering you wish to exude. Resorting to betting your entire stack becomes a frequent occurrence just to stay in the game for those holding nothing more than $377 worth.

The Flop
If you are holding pocket Jacks, then you did well in school my friend. You got a degree in Aeronautics, and theres an opening at NASA for a young, fresh face. But just because you got those Jacks hiding away in your pocket, doesn't mean that Jack from the other side of the table won't be able to muscle his way into the pot, or even beat you out with three Kings on the river, he did nothing but throw frat parties the seven years he spent at Uni, but even so, he has enough play potential to push you to the brink. So what do you do? You can't go in too strong before the flop, because then you'll be settling for a measly job at Toys'R'Us as the radio helicopter inspector, making sure there are no propelor injuries. A noble job sure, but one that pays 28,000 a year. At least they have unlimited bandage expenses for your fingers and nose. But If you don't catch another Jack on the turn, then you can't wait for the river to make your move. Kill now! Get to the NASA interview at 7, smell like peaches and lock up the position before other candidates offer sexual favors in zero gravity flights. That's your play.

Big Blind
Every hand at poker is different than the one preceding it, just as every situation and event in life is different, with it's own unique consequences. Each hand represents a moment in the life of you, and me. Some hands can't but suck you in, while others offer a fold as the only viable option. A 2 and a 6 isn't exactly the kind of hand that begs you to ante up, so don't spend money on any Adidas b-ballin sneaks if you only stand 4'9'', and stop waking up at 6, wasting time you could be spending watching cartoons and developing a sense of humor running off to track meets if your dad had a peg leg, and passed off the gene to you. It's all about knowing when to bet. Unfortunately, we'll have to ante up mandatory chips at various moments in the game, so realizing how to cut our losses effectively throughout is key.

Poker Face
It's common knowledge amongst professional poker players that poker accessories like tattoos and bulldogs named Raise are pretty much exclusive to poker novices. No one at the final table at the world championships has a spade nose ring. You never see the big dogs coming. Dudes with Mr. Bubbles t-shirts and acid washed jeans are the ones one needs to fear, not Boozer with his Harley Davidson shades and 3 foot long goatee. If you want to know who's going to be managing a Jamba Juice in 7 years, just look at the guy who's getting piggie back rides from the lacrosse team through the cafeteria. It's no secret that the nerds of yesterday are the bosses of today. You can't expect to advance to any higher table without knowing and understanding your opponents. Who we are is not who we seem to be. There are crucial moments when we crack through the mask and show a true image, and if you're not looking, you will miss it. One look at someone on a roll who starts broadcasting his/her ego to the table can tell you more about their character than years of association.

Cash In
You will never beat the house. There's no pessimism in that sentiment. All it is is a way to get you to know what a winning experience at the tables is. Be happy if you walk away on the win, kids in college and a wife that can cook up a storm in the kitchen AND the room of beds. You don't need to be the world champion to win the game. The aspiration drives us sure, but keep things in perspective.
Maybe poker's not even your game. Maybe you prefer the slots. In that case, be a hippie communist scum. Just don't give dreads to my kid unless I ask.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Keeping Track Of Tracks

There was a Parade in 2005 which I, along with some of my close friends, were lucky enough to attend. There were ghosts, olive trees, ghosts hanging from olive trees, bus breaks scrapping across the town, guns held up to shoot at the pretty pretty people, and rust displayed as gold in the right light, among other sensational things. There we sons, daughters, fathers, fathers sons, and hungry ghosts in attendance there. This spectacular Parade was held by the most unlikely Parade holding wild animals: Wolves. Little did we know that this Parade would inspire us to create a pack of our own, to celebrate the crazy things we saw from this collection of alpha males. The months that followed(even years) were littered with excerpts from the Parade witnessed.

It's getting close to Parade time again. And I haven't been this excited at the prospect of Wolf sightings for as long as I can remember, in fact since I saw an alpha male dome a doe eyed deer on animal planet weeks ago. It seems unlikely that anything other than righteousness would be unleashed by the pack. Collectively, my buddies and I are crossing all fingers and toes on our paws.

Spencer Krug unleashed his Wolf assault on the Indie masses with his Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake debuts after the rocking he provided our guilds via "I'll Believe In Anything", "Grounds For Divorce" and "Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts" on Wolf Parades monumental debut "Apologies To The Queen Mary". What seemed as un-top-able proved to be the Pandora's box cracking open to this musical monster. "Shut Up I'm Dreaming" was one of the best releases of 2006, and Swan Lake's Debut "Beast Moans" shined brightest when Krug grasped the mic. Sunset Rubdown is planning the release of their third album "Random Spirit Lover" sometime in October, and I for one can't wait to tear open the packaging with my k-9's when my birthday rolls around. Hint to anyone wanting to birthday gift me. But Krug apparently Isn't a lone Wolf in the side project release forest. Dan Boeckner, who brought us such magnificantres as "We Built Another World" and "Shine A Light" is also on the prowl. "Plague Park", the debut album from Dan's own side project Handsome Furs, was released yesterday. From the sampling I've done, there seems to be enough to howl about. Interestingly however, neither Rubdown nor Furs really draw upon the rocking moments broadcasted on Apologies, with Boeckner relying more heavily on electronics and Krug on abstract experimentation. That is both good and bad. Good because we get to see these two howlers go at the moon with their own unique tone, and bad because the rock moments on Apologies shook you to your core.

Wolf Parade is releasing their second album this year. Sunset Rubdown their third, Handsome Furs their debut, and Swan Lake are going to drop their follow up as well. These different Wolf packs make the jungle way more exciting, and I for one can't wait to feast on their kills... Through rank of course. This concludes the excessive Wolf references and analogies.

Wolf Parade- Grounds For Divorce

Wolf Parade- We Built Another World

Sunset Rubdown- Stadiums And Shrines II

Handsome Furs- What We Had

Swan Lake- All Fires

Wolf Parade- Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts(EP Version)

Wolf Parade- Secret Knives