Sunday, May 01, 2005

Right. Don't know what's up w/ the multiple postings, I don't remember tapping "publish" impatiently.


If anyone can fill me in on the Chicago ska band Heavy Manners, I'd be curious.

Right now, I'm listening to their 1982 EP Pleasure & Politics (Disturbing Records). W/ that title and date, plus the cover art (one side, the band waits in line under a "State of Illinois Department of Public Aid -- Lower North District" sign; the other, a very The Cutting Edge dance party), and for a dollar? I'm not made of stone. Thin sound, and the songwriting wouldn't exactly make Jerry Dammers nervous, but the rhythm section is growing on me, a synthy dub cut near the end is more convincing than you'd expect, and the singer, Kate Fagan, is at least not chirpy.

The only connection I can see to any Chicago scene I know about is Iain Burgess' engineering credit -- but Google reveals that, in their day, they opened for The Clash, The Ramones, Jimmy Cliff, Third World, and Peter Tosh, with whom they apparently recorded a few tracks. Of the 3 song samples supplied (which aren't the Tosh tracks, I don't think), "Flamin' First" is on the EP and conveys the general Selecter-via-Quarterflash flavor, but "Hometown Ska" isn't, and is kind of intriguing (and no-fi-t'all) Unfortunately, the link to Fagan's home page is dead -- I've run across one or two references to a solo release ("I Don't Want to Be To Cool"), but that's it.


Sometimes, you walk in looking for Lady Sovereign, and you walk out with Andy Partridge & Peter Blegvad's Orpheus.

Some other times, you download Stewart Copeland and Stan Ridgway's "Don't Box Me In." (Thanks to Grape Juice Plus.)


Enough w/ The Big '80s.

"Space and time," she said. "Those used to be the requirements. Space and time or you couldn't get into the nightclub. Our senses establish the conditions for the world we see. Kant said our senses were like the nightclub doorkeeper who only let people in who were sensibly dressed, and the criteria for being properly dressed or respectfully dressed, whatever, was that things had to be covered up in space and time."

"Who said this?"


Freddie removed his hand from her thigh. "Something's been lost in your translation of that one, Francine. Why does one want to get into the nightclub anyway? Or that nightclub rather than another one?

"We're the nightclub!" she said. "We're each our own nightclub. And the nightclub might want other patrons. Other patrons might be absolutely necessary for the nightclub to succeed!"

"I think it's a little late for us to be discussing Kant with such earnestness," Freddie said.

"You mean a little this night late or a little life late?"

He nodded, meaning both.

--Joy Williams, "The Other Week"


"Collective guilt is the only sure bet."

--John Ashbery, "Coma Berenices"

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