Friday, July 28, 2006

Bring On The Clone Defects

And now, as promised, the root of my musical dilemma for the weekend. Yesterday, today and tomorrow is the Dot Dash festival at Southpaw. Well, there's a mini-free show at Magnetic field further downtown on Saturday, but the main action is in the Slope.

Not, as I had first surmised, a means of resuscitating the International Pop Overthrow festival, but a more garagey mix of new bands and some seriously sad old punks. Should be monster fun, although reforming all of these bands means that the ticket price is a little higher than normal.

Brooklyn Vegan does the highlights much better than I could. But doesn't say whether the Friday or the Saturday show is better. The Hentchmen I've seen - I know 'em, I love 'em. The Little Killers I have one mp3 by, and they are pretty much the skankiest band on my iPod. And they're on different days. Bugger.

Little Killers - "Spider"
Buy the "Little Killers" using the power of the inexplicably highly-ranked

The Hentchmen - "Accusatory"
Yes, I appreciate that on current posting trends you will have "The Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit" in its entirety by 2008. But you really should buy it now

The Gigantic-Azz Kanye West Sunglasses Of Doom

Among the things I have missed this summer so far are:

1) Most of the outdoor gigs I wanted to go to
2) Most of the gigs I promised myself I would take Mrs. Cutesome to
3) The sun
4) The sand
5) The torrential rain
6) Every single blockbuster apart from The pirates (Is good, by the way, although it has, plot-wise, a bit of the Empire about it.)

And even when I've had a chance to go to seed, I've decided to abandon my roots and career around the outposts of gentrification. This is wrong.

I've also neglected to keep an eye on the draft environmental impact statement on the Atlantic Yards project, and to ridicule some of the city politicians hoping against all hope that the project will somehow turn out to be popular.

But most importantly, I've negelcted to note that Freddy's is serving a new beer. Me, who had the whole sordid idea of not drinking the old one. I am a faithless wench and will be down there toot sweet. If Mrs. Cutesome lets me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Cry For Survivial... For Them, And For Us

Yes, it's time for some audio to go up, in the vague hope that the Hype Machine will take my claims to be an mp3 blog seriously. Now, I should really put up something by one of the many fine bands appearing at Southpaw on Friday and Saturday. And indeed I may. Instead, though, and for the time being, let me offer you another Orbital B-side recorded in a field.

Orbital - "Impact (Live at V96)"
Good luck finding "Satan Three" here

So we went on a pub crawl last night. Groo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Want To Break Free

So, rather a long break here, but I've been alternately busy and lethargic, sometimes both at the same time. No excuse for bashing out a column for the 'zinesters before updating me own site, but I've been cruising for inspiration.

Then, through the email I get the following from the American Jewish Congress. I'm on their list for reasons best known to themselves, although their missives are relatively infrequent. It's not on their website yet, but I'll paste it below:

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Wednesday on HR 2730, the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act. Because the bill will be considered as part of the House’s “unanimous consent calendar” the bill is expected to pass by a wide margin. Highlighted by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in his recent speech to a joint session of Congress, the Act was an outgrowth of proposals for helping solve the energy crisis, first raised by the American Jewish Congress (“AJCongress”) at a 2003 conference it held in cooperation with the governments of the U.S. and Israel. The Act finds that revenues from the sale of oil “directly or indirectly provide funding for terrorism” and “that it is in the highest national security interests of the United States to ensure secure access to reliable energy sources.” To address these issues, the Act establishes a program of grants for joint U.S.-Israel programs for research, development, or commercialization of alternative energy, improved energy efficiency, or renewable energy sources. Key to House passage was the effort of the bill’s sponsors, Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) and their staffs. The bill was sponsored in the House by a bipartisan group of 100 Members Congress led by Shadegg and Sherman.

It's largely a sidenote to the current bloodshed in Lebanon, but it's another example of how the idea of US energy independence can be sliced in a variety of interesting ways. For corn growers in the midwest, energy independence means extra subsidies for corn-based ethanol, and for coal miners in the western US it means more money for research into developing expensive plants that might one day burn coal cleanly or turn it into gas.

This bill, I'm guessing, is likely to be of huge benefit to Israeli technology firms, several of which are world leaders, and have been one of the few beneficiaries of the difficulties that Israel faces in buying oil. As the Economist (reg. required) notes, Israeli firms are disproportionately represented on the New York exchange already, since they find US investors much more attuned to their businesses than London's.

For instance, probably the world's leading geothermal energy technology company, Ormat, has Israeli founders but a huge US business run from Nevada, where all the geysers are. I'm guessing that they and their peers will be among the recipients of this largesse. Not, I should stress, that there's anything wrong with that, just that I wouldn't want you to think it was all about fighting turr.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Swing A Dead Deal, Hit A Blogger

Sod it. Looks like I'm much too late to feature in the bumper No Land Grab wrap-up of the coverage of the Atlantic Yards rally. For what it's worth, I got there a little late, and listened to Letitia James, State Senator Montgomery, Bob Law, Steve Buscemi and Rosie Perez. What's amazingly weird was that there must have been seven or eight bloggers there that I read, yet I have no idea which ones they are.

Anyway, I had to zoom home to work on some page proofs, and I had comfortably exceded my maximum sun exposure for the day. It also got a little bit wearying listening to so many speeches from politicians - a necessary evil, I know, but utterly wasted on my beautiful little disenfranchised ass. This is, after all, a struggle that even your non-citizens can get behind, your correspondent included

More importantly, the sheer number of petition trolls hustled around the event was overwhelming. It's that time of the year, I know, but if you're the green party, or a Tom Suozzi supporter, or behind that loony that wants to mount a primary challenge against Hilary Clinton (who has, um, $45 million in the bank), then stop trying to hijack an event with only peripheral relevance to your cause. And stop pestering people who can't vote. Turns out that I should probably have worn a gigantic t-shirt saying "LEAVE ME ALONE I DON'T HAVE MY PAPERS".

But I don't mean to come over like a hater. The event was pretty huge, and very fabulous, and the location highlights pretty dramatically that the Atlantic Yards project has finally stirred up some serious opposition in the mainstream Slope. And those guys vote. And donate. It doesn't really matter if there were 2,000 of them or 4,000 of them out at Grand Army Plaza yesterday.

Do I share the confidence of DDDB luminary Dan Goldstein that the project's use of emminent domain is unlikely to get through a court challenge? Nope, because that whole lawyer conflict of interest thing was pretty difficult to make stick (a quality piece of legal advice there).

Best moment from Steve Buscemi's slightly scattershot speech (and I paraphrase very slightly here from memory):

"I live, sleep, eat and drink Brooklyn. Mostly drink Brooklyn. Yep, Brooklyn Lager. [Boos, quite few of them]. No, not Brooklyn Lager, what's the other one? Six Points, yeah, Six Points. Damn, gotta do my homework before I get up here."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

POW To The People

I've always wondered what the reason for the POW-MIA flags above federal buildings was. Now, thanks to the much-linked Harpers article on the stabbed in the back myth in US politics, I know:

"The POW/MIA flags, with their black-and-white iconography of shame, now fly everywhere in the United States, just under the Stars and Stripes; federal law even mandates that on at least six days a year - Memorial Day, Flag Day, Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and one day during POW/MIA Week (the third week of September) - they must be flown over nearly every single U.S. government building. There has been nothing else like them in the history of this country, and they have no parallel anywhere else in the world - these peculiar little banners, attached like a disclaimer to our national flag, with their message of surrender and humiliation, perennially accusing our government of betrayal."

It is weird, you know, and I've never found, until now, an American that can explain it.

Posting's been light, I know. Should be something tomorrow, if Siren proves interesting.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Beatdown Grows In Internetland

A whole week and a bit without posting, but nary a holiday in sight. I have been alternately drinking and entranced by this new pet Mrs. Cutesome got me. Is it incredibly important to have digitsed episodes of both seasons of the Young Ones at my beck and call 24 hours a day? You betcha.

Because, really, I haven't had any amazing experiences this week - have been nowhere near a movie theatre or a live music venue. If you require a half-baked attempt at cultural criticism, may I suggest you amble over to Sugarzine where I can be found discussing a Liars gig like a confused old person.

Beer'll do that to you, and to be honest it's making me summer a very strange and frazzled place to hang out. The weather just sort of demands you hunker down somewhere shady and cool and drink alcohol. I may have to rediscover the old shandy. Yesterday was huge suspicious-looking sausages and some really rather mighty steak at the Mighty Luz.

So is it time to detox? Yes. Yes. Yes. But. Union Hall opens today. At 6. I need to test it for a party. Ho. Hum.

This next observation was going to be the point of the post, but I've got to get a hustle on to go to brunch. So Ill put it like this. If Gothamist caan't get through a post without resorting to sh*t "A [f***ing witless analogy] grows in Brooklyn" line, what hope is there for tthe less enlightened out there? Bad, Gothamist, bad!