Oil Spill by Clarke & Dawe



Talking Popcorn / Sad Lala

One of artist Nina Katchadourian’s works, “Talking Popcorn,” below.

The idea is to hook up a microphone to a computer program that converts the popcorn pops to text using Morse Code.  Every day a sample of popcorn is taken and placed in a capsule along with its “speech.”  Nina bronzed the popcorn’s first words, “WE.”

Check out the entire project, along with her other cool works.

Also, one of my favorite music sites is closing – Lala.  It gave you the opportunity to stream any album whole before buying it, and served as a great discover-and-share community.  Perfect for finding new music and, of course, listening to any whole freaking album!

But then Apple, Inc. bought Lala at the end of last year.  Now they’re killing it.  Because I guess iTunes is kind of like a bastard version of Highlander.  There can be only one!!!

Like this, but with Steve Jobs' glasses.

So… I’m a little pissed at Apple right now for murdering one of my best friends.  So in light of that, every day, maybe a few times every day,  I’m going to post a favorite song in requiem.

So long, farewell!!!

… Well that’s not gonna work.

…Ok, WordPress.  I can’t share music links because you strip the little flash portion away from Lala’s player.  Well, balls.

…*gah!* WordPress is so musically unfriendly! I’ve been searching about for the last couple hours and cannot find any way to make a simple audio stream without using an mp3 illegally.

So hrmph.  I won’t post a Lala song every day.  Whatever.  I’m all grumpy now.

Here’s one song I wanted to share, however….  Enjoy it in an illegal YouTube format instead!

Abney Park – “Throw Them Overboard”

JHL: 21

The loves in life are always shared.

There is mostly music.  It started with early music that goofy kids would dance to – Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, The Who.  It propelled from an interest to a passionate fuel of life.  CDs swapped and lyrics were read aloud.  Anti-Flag, Ted Leo, Golgo Bordello, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly.  The Thermals, The Weakerthans,  Spoon, The Black Keys. Punk rock no one has ever heard of.  Modey Lemon?  Who the hell are the Dalmatians?

The Palindromes hammered out an offbeat production of “10am Automatic,” looks shot between band members as if asking who was supposed to pick up the next verse.  It wasn’t the production quality the audience was looking for anyway, it was the visual representation of a few high-schoolers’ love of music in action.  They got that.

The music was important.  It’s still important, it always will be.  Ted saved us in awkward times.  Hutz made us a part of life that demanded to be seen – it was the grace in fury and the connections between culture and youth.  The first concert isolated me from my youthful counterparts; the crowd was energy.  I retreated.  It was the first time I felt like I’d really passed the point of being young.  I don’t think I’ll forget that feeling.

My brother grasped with furious claws to the railing in the front.  We’d arrived two hours ahead to get a good spot.  He fought off the parasites behind him who wanted to weasel forward to the front who’d only just arrived.  He used elbows and knees and helped people across the front barrier who wanted to leave – who’d realized, in a state of sick panic, exactly what they’d gotten themselves into.  A riot that stood in place, merely swayed to loud gypsy punk rock, but when a full crowd sways, they sway several feet at a time.  People have been trampled to death under crowds like this, people who cannot follow the flow, fear that loses them to the energy of the movement.

It’s only one out of countless memories that I can recall.  It’s one of the more recent as well, before I drifted away from home by the tides of university and a new family life across the country.

I remember being jealous of attention.  I was the older brother and here he was, distracted.  By a girl.  The nerve!  But then again, I began being a curmudgeon when I was thirteen, so no big surprise really.  On the commercial breaks between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I’d run outside in my footie pajamas and tell the neighbor to get off my damn lawn.  True story.

He hasn’t changed much since I last saw him.  I know this to be a good thing.  And you don’t need to see every color in the right way to have a sense of style, which he does have, and all his own.

The boy’s grown up.  For the most part, anyway.  Faster than I did, for sure.

I mostly remember just wandering around the forest, looking for things to destroy.   When you’re a developing young male, all you do is search and destroy.  The targets usually came in the form of chittering squirrels or old stumps that were the perfect height for practicing your kung fu.  I remember watching him break his clavicle in football practice, and then re-breaking it after falling off a bed.  I saw him stick his lower teeth through his bottom lip while running up the stairs.  I watched him turn white after staring at his crushed fingertip and rushed him to the hospital.  His mask was still perched on his head from theatre practice, and other patients shared looks of confusion.

Looks of confusion are commonly regarded as small trophies that are adorned proudly by me and my brother, especially in public.  Spontaneous dance breaks, shopping cart races, and “all the black tiles are lava!”  Typically, there has only been one person I have been able to do this with, and not feel completely ridiculous.  There will be two after my son is old enough.

As I squeezed my way through my awkward years as a teenager, my brother found himself on the receiving end of the occasional blast of misdirected angst.  For that, I apologize, even though I don’t think he really remembers any of it.  His payback was in full force and so passive in nature, he didn’t even realize he’d dealt any of it to me…  He simply wound up cooler than I did.  I didn’t even realize it myself until now.  Now I need to figure out some form of revenge.  I bet I have some naked baby photos somewhere.

Anyway, this post is about my brother, and how I think he’s a pretty alright guy, and I hope he does exactly whatever the hell he wants to in life.  He turns 21 today, and most people celebrate the passage of twenty-one years by drinking until passing out.  I like to think that he will instead collect a dram of magic mead and fly off on a space unicorn to slay  the fire ogres of Ganymede with his laser mind attack and save all the imprisoned slaves.  I just like to roll like that sometimes.  You don’t have to like it.  I didn’t ask you to.

I also write this post because I’m a cheap-ass who didn’t send him anything for his 21st birthday.  Not a damn thing, not even a card or some shitty Applebee’s gift card to go buy a 22-oz  of Sam Adams.  Nothing.  What the hell kind of brother does that?

Hopefully this means something, anyway.  In all my years of growing up with you, Josh, I’ve always thought you were a pretty awesome dude.  Keep kicking ass, man.  You make me damn proud to be your brother, and I take some credit in considering how cool you are.  Unless you do something stupid.  Then I’ll just have to mourn about how I couldn’t be more of an influence in your life.  And I’ll write a memoir about it, and share all the memories we had, even some made up ones.  Like when the basement flooded and we pretended to be pirates on our pirate boat which was really a bed.  Yarrgh.  Pirates of the Mold Hazard.

I love ya, bro.

Happy 21st.