Archive for July, 2005

Antiquities

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

I was having a discussion today with a lady at the church where I play bass about Antiques Roadshow. I think someone needs to come up with the Anti-Antiques Roadshow, a show where people bring things in to be appraised, in hopes of being told they have some horrendously rare and valuable item, only to find out it’s utter crap, worth nothing.

Sometimes I’ll get sucked into watching the show, because I’ve always held an interest in old things, but it only makes me wonder what the big appeal of antiquities is. How can any desk be worth $100,000? It’s a desk, for pete’s sake. The exorbitant prices for old, rare things has only one source: rich people who can outbid everyone else.

When you get right down to it, antiques are only valuable because there’s a certain magic to any item that survives a series of decades (or centuries) intact. There’s an even greater magic if the item is rare and beautiful, but overall the magic of an antique is, at its heart, pure novelty. It’s a novelty that a particular item was lucky enough to withstand the ravages of time and remain in good condition. What that item gives us is the closest opportunity we’ll ever have to experience time travel. So perhaps the people who pay vast sums of money for antiques are really obssessed with time travel.

As someone who freely admits to being fascinated by time travel, I certainly understand the appeal of an antique from that perspective. I also enjoy pondering the stories that a particular item accrues over its lifetime, stories it will never tell. The movie The Red Violin is a great example of why an item gains value with age. I can’t imagine paying huge amounts of cash for that novelty magic, though. I guess it’s all relative. Fortunately for me I tend to collect small things like old postcards and matchbooks, and I can continue to do so, safe in the knowledge that no rich people care about those items (not enough to make them prohibitively expensive, anyway).

What’s unfortunate to me is that people will pay thousands of dollars for an 80 year old piece of furniture, but often won’t give an 80 year old human being the time of day. Here are stories that can be told. Which reminds me, I need to interview my grandmother more. She has so many stories I’ve never heard. She grew up in Houston in the same neighborhood with Howard Hughes. I only found that out this year.

OK I’m rambling now. Go listen to old people and don’t pay too much for something just because it’s old!

Free Stuff!

Friday, July 29th, 2005

My hero and virtual friend Jamie Myerson is now offering free downloads of his latest album. Click here to find out more.

Jamie is an interesting guy. I got his first record back in 1998 when he was an ambient drum n’ bass producer. The Listen Project (on sale now for $3.99 at Djangos.com – BUY IT) was a gorgeous piece of work that managed to keep the interest of an ADD widdly guitar player like me. His two other records were brilliant as well. Now he’s reinventing himself as an electronica-based singer-songwriter. Normally this is where the audience heaves a collective groan, but he has pulled it off. I almost hate this guy for being so talented and versatile. Check him out.

Attention: Hollywood

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

This morning, as I was pulling (uninstalling?) crabgrass from the garden Katherine planted in my backyard, I came across an odd thought. What if celebrities decided to go on tour like rock bands?

This happens rarely in comedy venues – you have your C-level stars like Dustin “Screech” Diamond and Christopher “Kid n’ Play” Reid trying their hands at standup careers, but what if a famous actor or group of actors just decided to tour, maybe doing one-act plays in rock clubs? Given that recent concerts by former New Kid on the Block and C-level reality star Jordan Knight have been well attended at Juanita’s, why not A or B-list actors? Something important to realize with national touring acts like Knight (or even popular rock acts) is that many people attend simply because they want to see someone famous (or in Knight’s case, formerly so).

I realize that there are touring versions of Broadway plays carrying celebrities across flyover land, but I’m talking about something less intensive and on a smaller scale: no sets, minimal props, no more than 4 people on stage. Why take a huge production on the road when everybody is there just to be in the same room with a celebrity? I think this could be a horribly lucrative thing (imagine, if you dare, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore doing scenes from Ibsen’s A Doll House), and now that I’ve thought this through, I’m actually glad it hasn’t really caught on, because then there would be far less music going on than there already is.

Imogen Heap on Flickr

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Imogen Heap’s new album has just been released in the UK, and as I was tooling around her blog, I was reminded that the album photography was done by a guy she found on Flickr. Imogen has her own Flickr account, as well. This picture is so gorgeous. And this one is particularly hilarious to me because not only did she just buy her own album, but she bought it from the HMV at Oxford Circus where I almost got a job in 1998.

Thursdays with Ross

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Memphibian-turned-Yankee Ross Rice has been back in Memphis these last several weeks settling up, playing gigs and finalizing the mix on his second album, Dwight. So far the record sounds amazing and will definitely be a worthy follow-up to his first effort, Umpteen (it should be, given that it has taken 8 years to make). So while Ross has been in town, he has played several gigs at his old haunt, the Blue Monkey. I knew that this week and next week would probably be my last time to see him for a very long time, so I drove to Memphis last night after band rehearsal to catch the show. I can’t tell you how insanely talented this guy is, and what a great show he puts on. I’m such a big fan, I made him a website for free and set him up on myspace. Check him out.

A Thursday night trip to Memphis will wear a man down, though. Ross finished up at 1:30, we were hanging out until after 2, talking about everything and catching up (with me drinking lots of coffee). I got on the road around 2:30 and got home at 4:30. So I’m running on two hours of sleep right now. Hopefully I can stay awake today.

Jimmy Doohan Beamed Up

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Scotty departed for his last voyage yesterday. I’ll always have fond memories of Mr. Scott from Star Trek IV when he attempted to interface with a 20th century computer by picking up the mouse and saying, “hello, computer? Oh, A keyboard…how quaint.”

Win Rock Drops Out

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

Winthrop Rockefeller has officially dropped out of the 2006 Arkansas Governor’s Race. He has a blood condition that may become leukemia. This saddens me greatly as it probably means I won’t be able to vote for independent Rod Bryan because the only other Republican alternative to Rockefeller is Asa Hutchinson. And I don’t want that guy running the state. Win Rock I trust. Hutchinson I can’t stand.

Doing a Google search on “Asa Hutchinson” brings up at #1 an error page at the Dept. of Homeland Security’s website. I feel really safe when HS can’t keep its website operational…

Wikipedia

Monday, July 18th, 2005

I found links to my site in Wikipedia today under “pictures of Dogpatch.” Wikipedia, for those who don’t know, is a free, interactive, online encyclopedia. It stays remarkably up to date, as it notes below:

There are also quite a few pictures of the property, overgrown and decaying, posted on the Internet, suggesting frequent visitation. However, as of June 28, 2005, signs have been posted threatening prosecution of trespassers, and a guard has been seen camping in an RV on the property.

Good to know. I also found a local urban exploration site with more Dogpatch photos, Underground Ozarks.

Productivity

Monday, July 18th, 2005

I kept myself busy this weekend cleaning house and car. My car is a 2001, and until last Saturday I had never vacuumed it. The driver’s side mat took 4 minutes of spray-washing. Bleah. I also took Zoe to the vet because she’s constantly scratching, wearing away the fur on her hind quarters and tail. Turns out she has some bacterial infection so we got her some meds and I gave her a bath with some special shampoo and she seems a lot better already.

The door to my bedroom doesn’t fully shut (ah old houses) so these animals that live with me keep sneaking in and sleeping on my bed, depositing massive amounts of fur and dirt thereunto. The other bedroom’s door does fully shut, and now that I have the option, I have switched bedrooms. I moved into the back bedroom and transferred all my music stuff to the front bedroom. I spent most of Sunday hanging posters and I even went to Target to buy some blinds. I couldn’t figure out the instructions, so I just tied them to my curtain rod with several loops of kite string. Bob Vila probably wouldn’t approve, but hey it works. Pictures of my new playground here, here and here.

And So It Goes

Friday, July 15th, 2005

So I’ve been carrying on this semi-relationship with this girl Jamie since about October. She’s amazingly great and we’ve turned each other on to so much great music (notably, Spiraling). Context here. The only problem is she lives in Indiana, and so I’ve only been able to visit her once. Then about a month or two ago, her computer died so we’ve been communicating a lot less. Then she lost her phone for three weeks and we had no contact because my number was in the phone and her house phone doesn’t have long distance. But last week she came back online, explained everything, and although she’s not online as often as she was, I thought there still might be a chance.

Now I know there’s not.

For those who don’t know, the girl in the picture and the comments is Jamie. She’s got some other boy to play with now. Wisconsin is closer and I’m sure he likes Morrissey more than I do, so he’s probably a better match for her. I’ll assume that he’s what she needs. Really, I’ve been expecting her to tell me something like this for a month or two, but under no circumstances did I want to find this out for myself. Girls, if you’re ever looking to break up with someone, then please get over the fear of the thing and just let your boy off the hook.

Tragic irony of tragic ironies, I’ll going to be hanging out with Natalie tonight, who’s just recently moved back to town from LA. She left last February. She’s probably back because of her successful long-distance relationship with a great guy. If that’s the case, I’m going to try not to be crushed by jealousy.

The weather has just turned dark and stormy as I type this. I’m going to go stand in the rain and do my usual John Cusack in the rain impression (see heartbreak scenes in Say Anything and High Fidelity, what is it with that guy and the rain?). “The rain on my car is a baptism. The new me. Iceman. Power Lloyd. My assault on the world begins now! Believe in myself! Answer to no one!!”