Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anxiety (Women is Losers)

I am waiting and have been waiting since this morning when I bolted, sluggishly, from my bed to turn on the computer, open itunes and growl (yes, I literally growled, and clenched my fists). Still nothing. I have been waiting for Xiu Xiu's new album to come out and it is torture and it makes me grit my teeth. Here, at 9am, it was of course 12am the day before in the states (or 3am on the East coast) and I was expecting that little digital package to be bundled up under my digital tree. It was not. It is still not at 10pm my time.

This is not the first time that I have waited until midnight to get an album when it is first released so I could listen to it that night, the next morning and on the bus ride to work, although few artists would cause such dire exasperation. Morrissey, obviously, or Of Montreal, or maybe the Gossip. I imagine someone at this very moment strolling into Sonic Boom, casually thumbing past the new Xiu Xiu (the shame!) and selecting an old XTC album instead. Oranges and Lemons maybe. I desperately want to thumb through the Xiu Xiu selection and feel that particular little thrill as my sweaty hand closes around the jewel case. To each his own I guess.

The first time (last week, as I thought it was released last week) I searched for it I looked it up by title "Women as Lovers" and itunes presented me with this question: "Did you mean 'women is losers?'" I did not. I did get a kick out of the strange and sinister suggestion though, and wondered what kind of terrible southern crunk hip hop song would be titled thusly. Maybe some remix of the Ying Yang Twins terrifying "Whisper Song" (aka Beat the Pussy Up)? I finally, cringing, clicked on it and got a song by Janis Joplin. Southern crunk has its roots.

Oh, Harry and I visited a ham factory. It was really impressive, if slightly creepy in a Japanese Horror sort of way, and fun. It was forbidden to take pictures unfortunately. There was a giant hanger filled maybe 1/6th with garlands of ham that ran on knotted ropes from the floor to the ceiling. It smelled like heaven. I have, in my little fridge, some Iberian Pig Lard.

I used some today for a pot of beans and must confess to licking the spoon. I need something to stand in for my Xiu.

UPDATE: I love the new album (duh, I guess) which boasts a cover of 'Under Pressure' as a centerpiece. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first: the song is such an iconic era defining one. At first it took me out of the movement of the album. But now I love it. The best parts of the song are the squalling death saxophone which fill in the crazy high Freddie Mercury vocal fireworks. I'm sure I will post about it later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back from the Dead

Emily left the day before yesterday which may explain the previous silence. We (including Harry) had a fabulous time cooking and eating together, snagging shwarmas and eating terrific or terrible little plates of food. (Terrific: lamb’s kidneys with garlic and lemon; small white beans with baby squid; little sandwiches with soft blood sausage. Terrible: octopus head cut into squares then drenched in aioli; little burrito/quesadillas decorated with cheez wiz and filled with lunchmeat; lightly and unintentionally effervescent tomato/pepper glob on old bread [why did I continue to eat that?].)

We (only E. and myself this time) also traveled to Sevilla and Barcelona for a few days. In Sevilla, I dreamed that a ghost sat on my bed which appeared as a female torso dressed in some white garment. It was startling, but not threatening. Barcelona was lovely, sunny and warm. Eating razor clams and drinking beer at a Boquería market stall at 10:30 am was a definite highlight.

I am settling in. The play is coming along well.

I saw a great painting by Zurbarán in Sevilla. It showed an adolescent that has just pricked his finger on a thorn—he is weaving a crown of throns. Presumably it is Christ as a youth; he has a halo after all, even if it’s faint. It is strange; we aren’t accustomed to seeing Jesus at this age (without a beard!), nor dressed this way. The “stage” of the painting is set peculiarly, flattened out and absolutely still. The boy’s face is strangely impassive as he watches his “human” blood drip out. He squeezes it a bit. His future death is crystallizing in the room. A scarlet curtain bunches and hangs above him like a cloud. It stayed with me for days.

Nino de las espinas

More later.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I think that Mason and Aubrie will find this most delectable.

Click me! From McSweeny's:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

taste me by devouring

Today I made little pork cutlets rolled around caramelized cauliflower and radicchio with anchovy. They were tasty. Last night Harry and I went to La Oliva (a little specialty food store with products from the region) and had a couple glasses of wine with the proprietor, Paco. He is a super sweet guy and made us little tapitas to snack on. We ate: morcilla (blood sausage) stuffed with pork loin; 2 little montaditos (open faced sammies): semi cured cod with avocado and lemon oil; jamón serrano on crushed tomato. Also cured lomo ibérico and slices of manchego-ish cheese. Yum! Then we had Roscón de Réyes.

We missed the big parade for the three kings, but tons of people were out in the street. It was very festive. We got home just in time to see the fireworks display, seemingly right off the terrace. I don´t think I´ve been so close to fireworks ever.

I love the smell of gunpowder.

Friday, January 4, 2008

the discovered sample

There is a great feature on the blog palmsout.blogspot.com where they list (mostly with functioning mp3s) where the samples came from in classic hip-hop songs. This is one of my all time favorites. It´s odd to be listening to the song and then to suddenly come across the sampled segment. This is from Ms. Fat Booty by Mos Def ' . . .ass so fat that you could see it from the front . . .' I should point out that it was song number 31 on my top 50 songs of all time.

The original is Aretha. 'One Step Ahead'

And you lapse into a real boy



Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rad Site

Found a nice site for free music downloads: RCRD LBL

I´ve already collected 15 tracks or so, some interesting offshoot blogs and such.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I Don´t Want to Perish Like a Fading Horse

Harry and I spent the days moving up to the new year with a group of his old, dear friends in a big house in a little town called Alcaracejos about an hour north of Córdoba. It was pretty fun. We made little trips to see little convents, castles and towers. One castle was impressively obscured by fog. We walked up a little stony path through foggy groves of olive trees. The castle was falling apart (a shame that it´s not better preserved, but then some gentlemen prefer ruins.) and the moat had been reclaimed by the landscape. It was quite lovely. I walked back teaching Alex (the youngest of the group, newly 6, quite a cutie) words for things in English.

Other highlights: A little church tower. Every high building in the region had a huge stork´s nest on it. The stork was a sort of symbol of the region because of this and some churches had these big metal baskets on their roof to encourage the building of a nest. Anyways, in the tower were all these dead birds and crumbly droppings and groups of eggs. We also saw a precious stork-chick (storkling? storkette?).

It was a bit overwhelming at first language-wise. Complete and chaotic immersion. I think I did pretty well, though I wasn´t superlatively chatty by any means. I had a semi-dream in Spanish last night.

New Year´s Eve went late. I think we went to sleep at 4:45 am. We all had our 12 peeled grapes and ate one for each toll of the bell at midnight and then drank sparkling malvasia. We had a dance party afterwards. Harry, the poor thing, got what I had, minus the fever. His chest was pretty mucus-ridden. He went to sleep after dancing for awhile. There were lots of awesome, bad songs, like Shakira´s La Tortura and some euro-disco about grunting like a gorilla. At the 3am mark, Rafa (the DJ with the mirror tie to match the mirror ball) started playing slow-dances, like `Dust in the Wind´ by Kansas and he put on `Forever Young´ by Alphaville and it made me very sad in a good way. I hadn´t heard that song in years and the feeling was end of the night at a smoky disco. Total nostaligc cheese. The song has not aged gracefully, but it was fitting.

Where were these guys from? It´s like badly translated Japanese. Maybe German? :

Its so hard to get old without a cause
I dont want to perish like a fading horse
Youth is like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever

PS: Definitely German (after some research)