At Home He's a Tourist

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

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Despite posting foul-mouthed Christgau reviews...

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Friday, July 18, 2003

Robert Christgau Word of the Day

in·am·o·ra·ta n. pl. in·am·o·ra·tas A woman with whom one is in love or has an intimate relationship. (

The Go-Betweens Springhill Fair [Beggars Banquet, 1996]

In the Indian summer of a formal moment, singer-songwriter-guitarists Robert Forster and Grant McLennan joined a shifting lineup headed by steadfast drummer-inamorata Lindy Morrison and mercurial violinist-inamorata Amanda Brown to fashion as deep and intricate and prematurely mature a body of traditional relationship songs as, oh, Joni Mitchell herself, who should only have accessed half their empathy and synergy. Hiding their hooks in arrangements and lyrics as often as they brandished them in tunes, they were modest, affectionate, funny, cheerful, never too oblique or ironic--pop for the ages if anything is. But with the 1978-1990 compilation now import-only, novice songseekers are confronted instead by a remastered, reannotated six-album oeuvre. So acquire them all, I guess, thusly: Tallulah (1987, Amanda and "Right Here"), Spring Hill Fair (1984, produced yet rough), Before Hollywood (1983, austere yet gorgeous), 16 Lovers Lane (1988, poppest), Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (1986, talkiest), Send Me a Lullaby (1981, punkest). Accounted too damn subtle for a U.S. market whose favorite Aussies were MTV flukes and whose favorite Brits had surrealistic haircuts, these Brisbane-bred Londoners' first three albums were never accorded the decency of official U.S. release. This is my paltry attempt to extend a nation's apology. A (

False Leads

Thanks go out to Khads for telling me how to get the site meter. I notice that my most recent visitor found Biblioblog by searching Google's Arabic version for "good pudendum." Bismillah! I hope he wasn't too disappointed. If I weren't at a Baptist university I could use this story in one of my upcoming B.I. classes as an example of using too few search terms.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Robert Christgau Word of the Day

soup·çon n. A very small amount; a trace: not a soupçon of mercy. (

Fatboy Slim Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars [Astralwerks, 2000]

As someone who's about as intimate with modern dance music as the radio jocks and collegiate punters Slim accesses with such drunken disregard for subcultural niceties-and who believes house divas are only slightly smarter, popwise, than Slim's fellow sot Jim Morrison-I say this is where Norman Cook achieves the nonstop stupidity breakbeats alone could never bring him. One great idea per song, from anywhere-embellished, of course, with all the sonic tricks he's filched and made his own. "What duh fuck" muttered to infinity. A retox anthem whose time has come. Macy Gray B-in', C-in' and F-in' ya. And for that essential soupçon of soul: a Wet Willie sample! All shallow, all pure as a result-pure escape, pure delight, and, as the cavalcade of gospel postures at the end makes clear, pure spiritual yearning. Transcendence, we all want it. Good thing Cook knows most of us aren't deluded enough to want it all the time. A-

A Little More About Sex

Masturbation is another sexual practice which, though not alluded to by name, is implicitly condemned by Scripture. When St. Paul says "It is better to marry than to burn," he evidently rules out masturbation as a third option. The same stark dichotomy is imposed by Jesus himself: either marry or be a eunuch for the Kingdom. On the other hand, there is this news story. Five times a week or more?! (Hears strains of "Blister in the Sun.")

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


This one is for the search engines. Keywords: guitar chords Caves of Altamira Steely Dan

Caves of Altamira

Intro F#m7 E/F# (x4)

F#m7 A7

I recall when I was small

Dmaj7 E7 Dmaj7

How I spent my days alone

F#m7 A7

The busy world was not for me

Dmaj7 E7 Eb7 Dmaj7

So I went and found my own


I would climb the garden wall

F#/B E/A C#/F#

With a candle in my hand

B/E Bbm7#5 Dmaj7 F#sus4/#C

I'd hide inside a hall of rock and sand

[Stanza 2 as above except...]

Bmaj7 E6 Eb7

A friend as real as I


Dmaj7 A

Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall

Dmaj7 A

When there wasn't even any Hollywood

E Dmaj7

They heard the call


And they wrote it on the wall

D/G Gmaj7

For you and me we understood

Fmaj7 Emaj7 Dmaj7 Cmaj7 Dmaj7 Amaj7 Gmaj7 C#m7

Fm7 E/F#

Stanza 3 per stanza 2



F#m7 C#m7

F#m7 C#m7 E7 Eb7

Dmaj F#sus4/C#

F#/B E/A C#/F#

B/E Bbm7#5 Bmaj7 E6 Eb7


outro repeat F#m7 A7 Dmaj7 E7 Dmaj7 and fade

Suggested Voicings:

    F#m7 [2x222x]
    E/F# [xx445x]
    A7 [x02020]
    Dmaj7 [xx0222]
    E7 [xx2434]
    Ebmaj7 [xx1323]
    F#sus4/C# [x4x422]
    F#/B [x24322]
    E/A [x02100]
    C#/F# [x9ba99]
    B/E [x79877]
    Bbm7#5 [6x667x]
    Bmaj7 [7x887x]
    E6 [xx2424]
    E [022100]
    D/G [xx5775]
    Gmaj7 [xx5777]
    Fmaj7 [xx3555]
    Emaj7 [xx2444]
    Dmaj7 [xx0222]
    Cmaj7 [x3545x]
    Amaj7 [5x66xx]
    Gmaj7 [3x44xx]
    C#m7 [x46454]

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


Khads says she recently passed over an opportunity to see Frida. As it happens, I watched it on DVD over the weekend. I think Khads' life can still have meaning without having seen the movie, but it was nevertheless a well-done biopic of an interesting personage. Yes, Felix, Selma Hayek does sport a unibrow, Kahlo's trademark feature. And yes, Khads, there is smut, although not as much as in, say, Henry and June or other high-brow, soft-porn NC-17 films. Now that I think about it, the plotlines for both Frida and Henry and June are remarkable similar, which is all the more interesting since both are based on true stories. In either film, two jazz age artists have a love affair made sour by the man's infidelity, driving the woman to experiment with lesbianism. The similarity may not be that surprising given the time and place--probably lots of 1920's intellectuals afflicted with a libertine philosophy of sex experienced similar troubles. In any case, the movie helped me understand some of Kahlo's paintings, whose symbolism is based on events in the artist's life. The Tim Burton-esque animated dream sequences were conspicuously out of place, though.

A friend of mine recently emailed me to say he read a good book called A Confederacy of Dunces and was wondering if I had ever heard of it. In fact I've read it about half a dozen times, and just finished listening to the audio cassette version. The email revived my curiosity about the long-rumored film adaptation, so I checked Internet Movie Database. It says that Steven Soderbergh is writing the screenplay and the director is one David Gordon Green. Soderbergh grew up in Baton Rouge and Green is also a Southerner, so between them they should have a feel for the region. The only casting credit mentioned is Drew Barrymore, billed as Darlene the stripper. The absolutely crucial decision, of course, is over who plays Ignatius. Pablo and I have racked our brains trying to think of an appropriate choice, but so far haven't come up with any good ideas. I would love to see Chris Rock as Jones, the malcontent janitor. Jones' incessant griping about racism always reminds me of Rock as "Natty X" on SNL. I also nominate Janeane Garofalo as Myrna Minkoff, the bitchy pseudo-intellectual New Yorker. Perhaps the gay sidekick from Will and Grace could play Dorian Green. Any ideas y'all?