The World Without Us

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, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

Nature v. Nurture

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Nature v. Nurture, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

You Want That Picture

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Some Thoughts

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-Man, what news to wake up to. I don't have the immediate access to news that I once had, but an early-morning walk to the coffee shop revealed the happenings in Chile. When I saw the number 8.8, my stomach immediately dropped. I can't recall ever hearing of a quake of that magnitude. It looks like Chile had the largest quake in the past 110 years in 1960 with a 9.5. Last night's quake ranks fifth. Thoughts are with the folks down there.
-I bought Damien Jurado's new LP yesterday Hoquiam yesterday. It's a collaboration with his brother, and two listens, proves that Jurado's still on a roll. Beauty.
-There is a temporary dog-adoption center one block from me today. Could it be the day?
-I was in Amoeba yesterday and it looks like Stephin Merritt is guest DJ'ing at Amoeba-SF at 2pm on Sunday. I will be going to a screening/Q&A of the Merritt documentary on Sunday night.
-This song by the Everybodyfields playing via my iTunes right now is very, very nice. I need to listen to this band more, although I think they've recently called it a day.
-I sat in Duboce Park last night and was amazed at the beauty of the sky. What a wonderful night. Felt like a planetarium.
-I watched Into the Wild for the second time this week. Once again, I considered it.
-Two very close people in my life will meet for the first time today. I like that.
-Please read the Chomsky piece that precedes this post. Thanks to Ed Burch for leading me to it.
-I sat down at a Mexican restaurant last night and was finally able to watch a bit of the Olympics. What event do I get? Hockey. The only sport that I couldn't possibly care less about. It was Canada vs. someone and it was boring. I want to see skating, though I think I missed women's and men's speed skating.
-I really need to hear Josh Ritter's new record.
-I will listen to Liz P's new one a few times this weeekend.
-With no internet, I can't watch Yanks!
-Enjoy your weekend.

Chomsky : The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy

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Imagine if we lived in a country where the collective masses absorbed the gravity of this and acted.

Chomsky writes:

January 21, 2010 will go down as a dark day in the history of American democracy, and its decline. The editors of the New York Times did not exaggerate when they wrote that the Supreme Court decision that day "strikes at the heart of democracy" by having "paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding" -- more explicitly, for permitting corporate managers to do so, since current laws permit them to spend shareholder money without consent.
Nor does Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law, exaggerate when he writes that this exercise of the radical judicial activism that the rightwing claims to deplore "matches or exceeds Bush v. Gore in ideological or partisan overreaching by the court. In that case, the court reached into the political process to hand the election to one candidate. Today it reached into the political process to hand unprecedented power to corporations."

The Court was split, with the four reactionary judges (misleadingly called "conservative") joined by Justice Kennedy in a 5-4 decision. Chief Justice Roberts selected a case that could easily have been settled on narrow grounds, and maneuvered the Court into using it for a far-reaching decision that overturned precedents going back a century that restrict corporate contributions to federal campaigns.

In effect, the decision permits corporate managers to buy elections directly, instead of using more complex indirect means, though it is likely that to avoid negative publicity they will choose to do so through trade organizations. It is well-known that corporate campaign contributions, sometimes packaged in complex ways, are a major factor determining the outcome of elections. This alone is a significant factor in policy decisions, reinforced by the enormous power of corporate lobbies, greatly enhanced by the Court's decision, and other conditions imposed by the very small sector of the population that dominates the economy.

A very successful predictor of government policy over a long period is political economist Thomas Ferguson's "investment theory of politics," which interprets elections as occasions on which segments of private sector power coalesce to invest to control the state. The means for undermining democracy are sure to be enhanced by the Court's dagger blow at the heart of functioning democracy.

Some legislative remedies are being proposed, for example requiring managers to consult with shareholders. At best, that would be a minor limit on the corporate takeover of the political system, given the very high concentration of ownership by extreme wealth and other corporate institutions. Furthermore any legislation would have been difficult to pass even without this new weapon provided by the Court to unaccountable private concentrations of power. The same holds, even more strongly, for a Constitutional amendment that Waldman and others think might be necessary to restore at least the limited democracy that prevailed before the decision.

In his dissent, Justice Stevens acknowledged that "we have long since held that corporations are covered by the First Amendment." That traces back to the time when the 1907 Tillman act banned corporate contributions, the precedent overturned by the Court. In the early 20th century, legal theorists and courts came to adopt and implement the Court's 1886 (Santa Clara) principle that these "collectivist legal entities" have the same rights as persons of flesh and blood, an attack on classical liberalism that was sharply condemned by the vanishing breed of conservatives as "a menace to the liberty of the individual, and to the stability of the American States as popular governments" (Christopher Tiedeman). In later years these rights were expanded far beyond those of persons, notably by the mislabeled "free trade agreements."

The conception of corporate personhood evolved alongside the shift of power from shareholders to managers, and finally to the doctrine that "the powers of the board of directors ... are identical with the powers of the corporation." Furthermore, the courts determined that these state-established "natural entities" must restrict themselves to pursuit of profit and market share, though the courts did advise corporations to support charitable and educational causes, or an "aroused public" might take away the privileges granted to them by state power.

As corporate personhood and managerial independence were becoming established in law, the control of corporations over the economy was so vast that Woodrow Wilson described "a very different America from the old, ... no longer a scene of individual enterprise ... individual opportunity and individual achievement," but an America in which "Comparatively small groups of men," corporate managers, "wield a power and control over the wealth and the business operations of the country," becoming "rivals of the government itself." In reality, becoming increasingly its masters, a process that has extended since, and is now given even greater scope by the Roberts Court.

Justice Kennedy's majority opinion held that there is no principled way to distinguish between media corporations and other corporations: that is, no principled way to distinguish between corporations that are bound by law to restrict themselves to gaining profit and market share from those that in principle have the role of providing news and opinion in an unbiased fashion. Media corporations have indeed been criticized for violating this trust, but never so severely as in Kennedy's analogy.

The Court decision followed immediately upon another victory for wealth and power, the election of Republican candidate Scott Brown to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the "liberal lion" of Massachusetts. This was depicted as a "populist upsurge" against the liberal elitists who run the government. The voting data reveal a rather different story. Very high voting in the wealthy suburbs carried Brown to victory, thanks to lower turnout in the urban areas that are largely Democratic. "55% of Republican voters said they were `very interested' in the election," the Wall St. Journal reported, "compared with 38% of Democrats. It was indeed an uprising against Obama's policies: for the wealthy, he was not doing enough to enrich them further, while for the poorer sectors, he was doing too much to achieve that end.

Doubtless there was some impact of the populist image crafted by the PR machine ("this is my truck," "army guy," etc.). But this appears to have had only a minor role. The popular anger is quite understandable, with the banks thriving thanks to bailouts while unemployment is above 10% and in manufacturing industry at the level of the Great Depression, one out of six unemployed, with few prospects for recovering the kinds of jobs that are lost, with the increasing financialization of the economy and concomitant hollowing out of productive industry.

Brown presented himself as the 41st vote against health care -- the vote that could undermine majority rule, by virtue of the current Republican tactic of regular resort to filibuster to enable a unanimous minority bloc to bar any legislation put forth by the administration, a novelty in American politics. It is true that Obama's health care program was a major factor in the election, and the headlines are correct when they report that the public is increasingly turning against it. The poll figures explain why: the bill did not go far enough.

A Wall St. Journal/NBC poll found that 64% of voters disapprove of the Republicans' handling of health care (55% disapprove of Obama's handling). Among Obama voters who voted for Brown, 60% felt that the health care program did not go far enough (85% among those who abstained). In both categories, about 85% favored a public option. These figures accord with other recent polls that show that nationwide, the public option was favored by 56%-38%, and the Medicare buy-in at age 55 by 64%-30%; both abandoned. 85% believe that the government should have the right to negotiate drug prices, as in other countries; Obama guaranteed big Pharma that he would not pursue that option. Large majorities favor cost-cutting, which makes good sense: US per capita costs for health care are about twice those of other industrial countries, and health outcomes are at the low end. But cost-cutting cannot be seriously undertaken with largesse showered on the drug companies, and health care in the hands of virtually unregulated private insurers, a very costly system unique to the US.

The Supreme Court decision raises significant new barriers to overcoming the serious crisis of health care, or to addressing seriously such critical issues as the looming environmental and energy crises. And the damage to American democracy can hardly be overestimated.

Happy Birthday, Johnny

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Good Morning

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Hey There, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

It Was Their Bus

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The Bus, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

Will Johnson & Anders Parker : House Show Tour

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Via Centro's Site:

We need your help! We are looking for people to host shows on these dates in or near these cities.

Tue Mar 30 : Houston, TX
Wed Mar 31 : Baton Rouge, LA
Thu Apr 1 : Birmingham, AL
Fri Apr 2 : Nashville, TN
Sat Apr 3 : Atlanta, GA
Sun Apr 4 : Athens, GA
Mon Apr 5 : OFF
Tue Apr 6 : Brevard, NC
Wed Apr 7 : Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Apr 8 : Wash DC area
Fri Apr 9 : Philly, PA
Sat Apr 10 : NYC / Brooklyn
Sun Apr 11 : Boston, MA
Mon Apr 12 : OFF
Tue Apr 13 : Montpelier, VT
Wed Apr 14 : Burlington, VT
Thu Apr 15 : Buffalo, NY
Fri Apr 16 : Bloomington, IN
Sat Apr 17 : Chicago, IL
Sun Apr 18 : Madison, WI
Mon Apr 19 : OFF
Tue Apr 20 : Minneapolis
Wed Apr 21 : Saint Louis, MO
Thu Apr 22 : Springfield, MO
Fri Apr 23 : Denton, TX
Sat Apr 24 : Austin, TX

Please get in touch if you want to host a show. We’ll make this as easy as possible for the hosts. All you have to do is let us borrow your living room for a couple of hours and in return you’ll get 5 free tickets for friends and our eternal gratitude.

More info. on the Centro site.
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Wilco @ Johnny D's, Somerville, MA 12.14.94

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, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.



The most important find of the move. I hadn't seen this in years. This was my first Wilco show and their fifth overall. They played to a small crowd in Somerville, MA. After the show, all members signed my "menu." This was a life-altering night for me. When Tweedy took the stage solo for the encore and opened with "Gun," well, I was transformed or something.

Poise vs. Agitation

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A Democratic Game

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This article in Salon sums up one of the main reasons why I left the democratic party. I volunteered for two presidential campaigns due to policy positions that I thought I actually shared with the democratic party. Boy was I taken for a fool.

Happiness

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“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?” -Tolstoy

Moving Day

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Moving Day, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

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Most Days

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Most Days, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

Golden Smog, Irving Plaza, 1998 "Radio King"

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'radio king', originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

New Bonnie "Prince" Billy Due March 22

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And it's with the Cairo Gang, which means more Emmett Kelly, which means more greatness.

The promo video, is, ummm, worth watching?

Now Playing : Wilco @ The Fillmore, San Francisco 5.10.97

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I saw about 80 shows on this tour back in New York and up-and-down the East Coast, but this set list is downright absurd and causes me to at least mull a set of nude jumping jacks.

Wilco @ The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA, May 10, 1997

Misunderstood
Red-Eyed & Blue
I Got You (at the End of the Century)
Someone Else's Song
Why Would You Wanna Live
Forget the Flowers
That's Not the Issue
Someday Soon
New Madrid
What's the World Got In Store
(Was I) In Your Dreams
Shouldn't Be Ashamed
I Must Be High
Passenger Side
Screen Door
Hotel Arizona
Monday
Dreamer In My Dreams
Kingpin
Outtasite (Outta Mind)
The Lonely 1
Sunken Treasure
Gun
Oklahoma USA
Henry & the H Bombs
Color Me Impressed
I Wanna Be Sedated
Paranoid
Ziggy Stardust
Box Full of Letters
Casino Queen
We've Been Had

You Midnight Moonlight User : The Essential Scott Miller

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The Essential Scott Miller
Lie I Believe
Good Morning Midnight
Freedom's a Stranger
No Regrets
Dear Sarah
Goodnight Loser
Daddy Raised a Boy
For Jack Tymon
Fade Away
Guess I Know I'm Right
Is There Room on the Cross For Me
I'm Right Here My Love
Yes I Won't
The Rain
Testify
Angels Dwell
Virginia Way / Shenandoah Breakdown




Coastline Hills

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Family, originally uploaded by ccsbandwagon.

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Andrew Sullivan on Obama and Torture

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Interesting take:

The perverse truth is that, in some ways, the Obama administration is in greater violation of Geneva than even the Bush-Cheney administration.

The Bush-Cheney administration denied - absurdly - that it ever conducted torture. President Obama has clearly stated on many occasions that it was torture. Geneva requires every government to investigate thoroughly and promptly all such acts of torture and bring the guilty to justice. Cheney could claim there was nothing to investigate - so he was in the clear. Obama, having conceded torture, has no such option.

The current refusal of the president to investigate the torture so prevalent in the previous administration may make sense from the narrow political perspective of Rahm Emanuel. It is not worthy of the seriousness and integrity of president Obama and it is not worthy of the United States of America. To my mind, exposing and ridding this cancer is more important than holding every single person criminally responsible. A deal in which a pardon would be followed by a rigorous truth commission, empowered to expose every single facet of what went on, would not be justice. But it would be some level of accountability.


How Should Obama Deal with Bush-Era Torture?

The odds of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. sitting before Congress and telling the truth is about 1 : 759,232,923,114. This is why I've always thought that Obama and Holder need to go after them. But they won't. And if they don't, that will be part of Obama's legacy.

Coffee Shop Mix, Vol. 6

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I've made five mixes for my local coffee shop. Just about every time I stop in, which is about 27x/day, one of my mixes is playing. No joke, I have witnessed the owner, Mohammed, singing along to The Jayhawks' "Tampa To Tulsa." I mean, could there be anything more satisfying than that? Well, I guess a chicken parm. Since I'm having a parm at a friend's house tonight, I'm kinda covering all bases.

Since they've literally been playing my five mix CDs over and over, Mohammed, and one of his staff members, Greta, have been begging for more music. And today I shall provide that.

Alamo Square Cafe, Volume 6
"Here and Now" Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey
"Tougher Than the Rest" Camera Obscura
"Round Eye Blues" Marah
"Burn Today" Frank Black
"Walls (Drop D) v.3" David Bruinooge
"A Razor Town" Jason Isbell
"3 Rounds and a Sound" Blind Pilot
"Find the Out" Slobberbone
"Miriam" The Honeydogs
"No Sense in Lovin'" Uncle Tupelo
"Ol' 55" Tom Waits
"Major Leagues" Pavement
"Bells of Harlem" Dave Rawlings Machine
"Money" Apollo Sunshine
"Lucky Shoe" September 67
"Watching the Wheels" John Lennon
"I Don't Believe You" The Magnetic Fields
"Bobby Rodan" Kenny Roby
"Seven Year Ache" Wilco

Google

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I've never had much of an issue with Google. They offer up pretty seamless and straightforward tools and are constantly working to "help" us better structure and organize all of our crap. Oh, I know there are privacy concerns, but if you're writing all of the place, posting pictures, commenting on blogs, well, your privacy's already out the door. Don't blame it on Google.

Like most companies that grow and grow and grow, they're finally starting to turn that corner that's just too much. I remember when Starbucks was getting started. The rooms were cozy, the staff kind and the drinks were tasty. I used to stop in often. Aside from a "business" meeting, I can't recall the last time I stepped into one of those stale dumps. Google, since it's online, has an easier time of keeping its omnipresent status behind a curtain. But their true colors are starting to show. Recently they jumped into challenge Apple on the iPhone, and as far as I can tell, it's been a dud. This week they began closing down music bloggers for infringement without any explanation or warning. If Google suddenly stripped my five years of blogging, I would be absolutely furious. And since I'm on blogger, well, they can do it. And now Google Buzz. Do I really, really need more tweets or RTs or whatever the crap it is that I'm flooded with? Oh, I know I don't have to click on the silly little icon, but ya know what Google, I just don't want it on my page. And I just removed it. So there! I am a tough man.

I obviously don't fault Google for adding features and stuff, but the music blogger news is alarming and their efforts to step into just about every area of technology is a bit unnerving. They are becoming the Wal Mart of the online space and this is not a good thing. What's next? Google Coffee. Okay, that "joke" sucked, but seriously Google, slow down a bit. And to everyone who's sending endless updates, go to the park or pick up a book. I know that sounds pretentious. It is.

Another Afternoon in the Park

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Dave Rawlings Machine @ Amoeba, LA

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First No TV

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I have now been without television for a few months and I can't claim to miss it one bit. I mean, I've never seen an episode of Lost, American Idol, FOX News with Some Freaks, that show with Jersey Shore Jovi's or the Joan Rivers Show so there was really no use in spending the bucks. I now get HBO stuff via Netflix. It's working out quite nicely.

In about two weeks I will move into a new apartment and not only will the TV remain off, but I'm adding internet to that growing list of dependencies that need to be shed/curtailed. When I need the world wide webnet to write my grueling Huffington Post pieces or to check Yanks transactions I can cartwheel on over to the local coffee shop. You see, this apartment allows dogs, and despite not having a "day job," I am actually surprisingly busy. Add in a dog, and I really just need to erase the morning and evening b.s.-time spent looking at Paul Krugman photos and Coffee Creek videos from '89. My bookshelves are loaded, records are overflowing, DVDs are aplenty and my fingers are calling me to write.

As far as this blog goes, I have no plans to cut back. If I'm inspired to write at night (like now), I will simply write the piece and post it the following day. If it's no longer timely, well, my daily viewer count may drop from four to two.

Next on the list: food. As of July 1, I will no longer eat food.

An Afternoon in Golden Gate Park

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Dave Rawlings Machine @ Amoeba, SF

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I arrived an hour early thinking that the place would be mobbed for Rawlings and Gillian Welch. Much to my surprise, it was a normal mid-afternoon crowd. About 45 minutes later, after losing myself in vinyl stacks, I look over by the stage and it is packed. I hauled on over and find a good spot one row back. At just a minute or so past 530, Rawlings, Welch, that dude from the Old Crow Medicine Show and two others literally walked through the store and right onto the stage. Rawlings was all smiles as he looked at the folks filling the aisles.

One microphone. Two acoustic guitars. Whatever kinda guitar it is that Rawlings plays like it's coming from the heavens. Stand-up bass. Banjo later. Maybe something I'm forgetting. They opened with the jubilant "Monkey and the Engineer." The room erupted as it ended. Five musicians playing Americana or folk or rock n' roll, with a fierce passion. Later came the beautiful "Bells of Harlem," the stunning "Ruby" and the Ryan Adams co-penned "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)" which blew Adams' version out of the water.

The set was only about a thirty minutes, but like Oldham down in Big Sur, Slint at Bimbo's or Son Volt at the Fillmore, it was just one of those shows. Rawlings and his band make and perform music that seems to be straight from the woods, or the ground, or the stars. It was that beautiful and that captivating. Five unbelievable musicians playing every single note like it truly mattered. And boy did it matter.

Angie Hart of Frente! (Seriously) and Bonnie "Prince" Billy Duet

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Facebook : The Future Is Now

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I think it was around Thanksgiving when I overheard a group of teenagers in my local coffee shop ripping into Facebook. "It's just not cool anymore," one said. Everyone at the table seemed to share the sentiment. These words echoed what I'd hear at tech conferences, music events, social gatherings, etc. a few years ago with respect to MySpace. And look at what happened there.

I'm not saying that Facebook will suffer the same shelf-life as MySpace, because it won't. MySpace was a cluttered mess full of spam, widgets, impossible to load pages and just a clutter of junk. People grew tired. MySpace did little to correct the problems, and still hasn't. Even musicians, their supposed "bread and butter," are starting to remove their MySpace pages from album artwork and band sites.

Today, or maybe it was yesterday, Facebook rolled out another redesign. I mean, really? I can understand upgrades and such, something that MySpace didn't do and ultimately led to their demise, but the whole redesign concept is getting a little tired. How about some new offerings? How about clearer messaging on privacy concerns? Maybe some music? As far as I can tell, Facebook is now just Twitter on steroids. People read for status updates and then move on. Folks with children post shots of their kids that no one outside of immediate friends and family care about. Dare I say that Facebook is losing its edge? Well, it is. I haven't looked at the numbers, which can probably refute many claims here, but there are many signs that it's time to make a big move. I've worked at too many start-ups that held on while at a solid valuation, to see that valuations plummet almost overnight. Facebook is a monstrosity compared to the small companies I worked for, and although I'm not inside the walls, the signs seem to be there.

What was their latest valuation? Something around $9 billion. I mean, c'mon. Whatever the figure, just like MySpace and Friendster before it, there's a staleness developing and I'm not sure it's going away. It's really of no fault of Zuckerberg and the rest; it's just the way that things progress with social-networking services. There obviously isn't a company that I'm aware of that's ready to take the reigns, but there has to be something in the wings. And the majority of the companies right now that claim to be "the next big thing," well, just won't be. But Facebook's glory days may be coming to a peak. Time to make a move.

Just Some Thoughts

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I've been a bit lax on this blog of late, which, as the few who read know, is quite rare. A lot going on, I suppose. Moves, a sudden surge of writing, exercise, and just other life stuff that creeps up and takes the days away.

Some things on my mind that should cover the gaps of the past week or so:
  • What a joy to see the Saints win the Super Bowl. Sometimes sports really do matter, and for the city of New Orleans, this mattered.
  • The Who were very awful.
  • Van Morrison's Moondance is truly a great record.
  • I should have a dog within a month or two. This is very good news for me.
  • So many life changes that I really can't tally them or even comprehend them all right about now.
  • I'm going to head over to Amoeba this afternoon to see David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. Beautiful.
  • Don't forget Haiti.
  • Condolences to my friend Lori.
  • I'm about done with the first season of Dexter. I was about to give up after episode 4 as the acting was starting to bother me, especially the woman who plays Dexter's sister. However, the last few episodes have been great. I'm staying put.
  • Yes, seriously, for real, honestly, a first draft of my book should be completed by the end of March at the latest.
  • I can't wait for Joe Henry next month. The last time I saw him, at Maxwell's in Hoboken in '99, he was mighty fantastic. Mightily.
  • After a nice two-week run, Obama kinda seems back to his old ways. Can he please can Emanuel. Yes Rahm, I'm one of those whiney liberal bloggers. I am!
  • My friend at Warner sent me the best package. Records in abundance!
  • Sometimes I want to drink 178 cups of coffee in a day.
  • Joe Strummer.
  • That Nick Flynn reading is still sitting with me.
  • The Arcade Fire performance streaming on Austin City Limits is quite great.
  • It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive.
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Three Books

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The Ticking Is the Bomb by Nick Flynn, Memoir, 2010: 7.5

Farrar/Gibbard Cover Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears"

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In Minneapolis a few days ago. Screw this, I'm moving to MN.

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Things I Like

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photos, laughter, the moon, doors, voices, dogs, records, frames, stories, roofs, quiet, herds, cows, dolorean, shades, ocean, golden gate park, baseball, cincinnati, minneapolis, pacifica, soul, son volt, everly brothers, wind, rain, henry miller, maps, water, coffee, yamo, animal care & control, thunder, grass, smiles, friends, neil young, jimmy carter, nami, the wrestler, bob dylan, running, emotion, days, pt anderson, will oldham, san francisco, brooklyn, dishes, farms, driving, ease, sky, harmonies, wood, jukeboxes, curiosity, patience, CDs, cameras, animals, oxfam, fences, diners, sebastopol, crater lake, hotels, connecting, repairs, wisdom, spirit, blankets, buildings, parks, clouds, phono, paint, windshield wipers, gavin bryars, books, stairs, tiny desk, woody guthrie, big star, serenity, bbq, garages, birds, moments, up, bottle rocket, november, cliffs, insight, apologies, rest, peter sellers, obama, 11th avenue, duboce park, this song,..

.....

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) on Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

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Why, if gays are allowed into the military, Chambliss said, soon the armed forces will allow all sorts of other things.

Like what?

"Alcohol use, adultery, fraternization, and body art," said Chambliss.

$816.14

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This is how much I spent at Amoeba Records in 2009. I reached this number solely by pulling receipts from Amoeba bags (which I never throw out because I'm totally into the environment). Many purchases aren't included here as I often bought something and didn't need a bag. Add in my subscription to eMusic, which comes to about $240 and direct purchases from numerous artists, and I should receive some sort of Lifetime Achievement Award, especially given that I did not have a day job for the majority of the year.
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69 Love Songs 10" Box Set

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There are things in life that are great. Herein lies one.

I would argue that Vol. 1 of the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs is one of the best records of the past 25 years. I picked up the three-disc set at Waterloo Records in Austin in 2000 and still listen to it often. I listen to tracks from Vol. 1 every day.

Ten, errr eleven, years later, Merge is set to release this magnificent set on 10" vinyl. It's just a bit shy of $100, which means that I won't be getting it unless Mom surprises me, which she probably will, but man, what a beauty.

Description from Merge:

The story has it that Stephin Merritt came up with the idea for 69 Love Songs while sitting in an elegant midtown Manhattan gay piano bar. He originally planned for it to be a live musical revue, performed with a rotating cast of singers in the plush hotel bars and cabarets of New York City. 69 Love Songs was released in September of 1999. Fans and critics were ecstatic and 69 Love Songs became one of the most talked about records of 1999. It remains one of the most beloved albums in our catalog. As Spin Magazine said, "Like the best cabaret, Stephin Merritt's triple-CD monsterpiece charms on contact, and like the best indie-pop, you'll want to unravel it endlessly."

The limited-edition box set includes: all 69 love songs remastered for vinyl on six 10" vinyl records housed in a super-sized 69 Love Songs box with a 10" version of the original booklet featuring liner notes written by Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler. The boxset also contains a download coupon for the full remastered album download.


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