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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Real quick:

Some of the time I might be free-reading in is currently eaten up by teaching two courses not in my AOC, but they're compressed into Tue-Thurs., and I am managing to poke my head out of the hole on the long weekends, now that the MS is in. More TV in my life than usual, as I'm staying out at my parents (near Pomona College) two-to-three nights a week; last night, watched The Arcade Fire sing flat on Conan. I believe it was the one about tunneling through the snow. Does NBC not give these people monitors? On the other hand, I'm exercising again; I don't really think about the fact that I'm wearing a shirt that reads "RUNT" in huge letters, an indie-era gift of ex-fanzine editor Lara Cohen, but it does draw comment at the Hollywood Y.

Seeing/reviewing M.I.A. tomorrow night; just rec'd and heard the album today -- kind of wild that the first moments are a chant based on the word "banana," as I'd just been listening to Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B on Sunday, on which the Neptunes-do-"Mickey" "Hollaback Girl" features the very same, as in, "The shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s." (Just add Joe King Carrasco, and you've got a radio set.) Also loving "Bubble Pop Electric," which I didn't know was one of the Andre 3000 collabs (this is still the Gwen disc I'm talking about) when I popped it into the car: Yes, "Johnny Are You Queer?" but also, I'm betting, D-Day's "Too Young to Date." Those The John Waite-ish semi-power-ballad "Cool" is strong as well, but the rest is pale by comparison; the song about Japanese designers (plus plugs for her own fashion line, hip-hop cross-platforming, I guess) is near-unlistenable, and when a second song references Vivienne Westwood, the first one becomes less winning. The other Andre track, the interracial romance joint with a boring title, is Princey-messy with a nice sloppy ending, and very -- as in too -- well-intentioned. But the three, by my count, highlights are high indeed.

The MOCA exhibit by the Winnipeg drawing collective Royal Art Lodge was a fine way to kill 90 mins Sunday, but it was hard for me not to reduce the aesthetic to Edward Gorey in the Martin Apartments, esp. as various subsets of the group also have 'bands,' don'tcha know. Not at all surprising that they've collaborated/shown with Dame Darcy.


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