At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, March 07, 2003

The Flaming Lips "escape from Oklahoma" for a music festival in Paris, Le Monde says. How's that for French snobbery? The festival is next week, which is our spring break. Unfortunately the library remains open, or maybe I could have gotten one of those cheap flights to Amsterdam and hopped a train to Paris. Right.

Ugh, it's Friday, which means another weekend to get through. I suppose a lot of people dislike their job and enjoy their time off, but I find myself in the opposite situation. Since a job takes up so much time, perhaps it's not a bad deal.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003


Do all anime movies have apocalyptic endings? I recently saw Metropolis; I won't give away too much by saying that, as in Akira and Princess Mononoke, the only other anime films I've seen, the entire world is threatened by a superhuman force out of control. I wonder if the Japanese are so sick of their hyper-urbanized existence that they secretely yearn for it all to come crashing down. Or it could simply be that my sample size is too small. Walker Percy saw a correlation between technological achievement and lust, which might also explain the Japanese obsession with porn.

By the way, one more instance of overt religiosity here: an Assembly of God church in town is going to show a Christian anime movie called Game Over. I told K. at work I'd go with him.

Do the Flaming Lips like anime? I'm wondering about "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots." My first listen to the album was promising; they use retro-synths like Stereolab and write flower-power style harmonies along the lines of Sgt. Pepper's or Pet Sounds. Not the sound you would associate with a group from Oklahoma.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Today someone checked out one of the books I chose for our collection. Feels good to know my work is benefiting someone.

Something very unusual is happening at work. A professor from the high and mighty University of Michigan is down here browsing our humble little archives collection. He teaches in the UM School of Education and specializes in the history of college desegregation, and he had read somewhere that we voluntarily admitted blacks back in the early fifties. The story was reported in a number of magazines and the college president received correspondence from all over the world, so our visitor has at least some primary sources to sift through.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Those bands last night were surprisingly good for coming from such a small town, but on the absolute scale of aesthetic merit they weren't great. One band showcased a scrawny fifteen year old kid guitarist in hot rod shirt and leather pants who ran through Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix solos without stumbling, so I thought he was the one performer of the bunch who might make a living at music someday.

My attempts to find something fun to do outside of the house have not been that successful. I might be better off sitting at home enjoying the CDs, books, and DVDs I know I'll like. However, on the Tech website I saw that there will be an Indian classical music performance on Tuesday night. If I drove down there right after work I could just make it in time.

Being in a bad mood today, I went to the local Hastings and spent $50 on used CDs. They had a better selection than I would have expected, and were extremely cheap (most of them under $6). I picked up:

  • Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. (They've been playing this a lot on Tech's alternative radio station.)
  • Beck, Mellow Gold. (Not as good as Odelay, but "Loser" is still enjoyable.)
  • Muddy Waters, Folk Singer. (With Willie Dixon!)
  • Billy Bragg and Wilco, Mermaid Avenue. (Unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics set to original music.)
  • Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. (I have never seen a used copy of this for sale before now.)
  • The Clash, The Singles. (Yes, yes, I said they were "massively overrated," but that doesn't mean they're bad.)
  • Prefab Sprout, Jordan: The Comeback. (A critic called them "Steely Dan Lite" and this was only $4 so I thought it was worth a try.)

One of these days I'll have to bore the 3 people who read this with my theories as to why rock critics don't like Pink Floyd and other prog-rock artists.