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Thursday, July 18, 2002

hello world. i am nan. so very pleased to meet you. welcome to yet another proverbial tree falling in the proverbial forest.

i’ve always had a crippling fear of the blank page. and now, presented with this pristine space, this tabula rasa, i wither and wimpify.

but i gotta blog. i mean, everybody's doin' it, right? so, i have decided to structure things a bit by doing a handful of recurring columns--"departments," let's say--that i'll rotate through as the mood strikes, as the world turns. i’ll probably be making them up as i go along, but i’d be willing to bet that they'll generally deal with music and arty farty things in accordance with my proclivities; and since i love chance operations, they'll most likely involve some element of randomness, too.

so, without further ado…

random spoe spew department, #1
spoe is the name of my shiny, sort of new 10gb ipod. (and no, it’s not full yet!) he is named after a character in a delightfully inscrutable game created by the folks at elfcut, a delightfully inscrutable record label based in belgium. in this department i will put on the headphones, fire up spoe (on random play, of course), and write a spontaneous review of whatever track comes up. no cheating! (please pardon my anthropomorphization of spoe, by the way. call me crazy, but i think of spoe as a friend. and he once astounded me one sleepless night when he randomly chose to play the last two songs heard in almost famous—led zep’s “tangerine” from the final montage and the beach boy’s “feel flows” from the closing credits—out of all the tracks on my ipod, and in the proper order, too. and i absolutely love almost famous, by the way. especially the ending. spoe knows me, ok?)

today’s random spoe spew is: love sculpture - “in the land of the few”
in the land of the few they believe me…
oh god, now you’re going to think i only listen to oldies. so not true, but stick with me and you’ll see. anyway, this is what dave edmonds was doing in the late sixties. classically inspired virtuoso-psych from britain. i suppose this is somewhat of an inauspicious kickoff to this department, as i really don’t know what else to say about this track, except that it harbors one beauteous, kickass bridge. and, believe you me, i highly admire the ability to write a kickass bridge. that’s one thing that todd rundgren was always so good at in the early days. i mean “forget all about it” from the “nazz nazz” album? the best bridge ever. heartstopping. chill-giving. and this track is no slouch in the chill-giving department, either.

we are the 80s, too, dammit department, #1
in which nan sticks her hand into her stack of reasonably obscure 80s vinyl records, et voilà!

today’s 80s find is: various artists – “bludgeoned! a collection” on the bludgeoned! label, featuring tracks by close lobsters, the shrubs, the blue aeroplanes, the dentists, brilliant corners, blyth power, etc. for a while in the 80s, i used to put little stickers on albums indicating where i bought them. so i can clearly tell that i purchased this sweet, ever-so-indie compilation at plastic passion in blenheim crescent, london. but i didn’t need reminding in this case. i bought this when i was a wide-eyed young thing on her first trip to england to meet the objects of her musical affection, the dentists. on the back of the record, the address for bludgeoned! is given as bristol, but i clearly remember dentists’ bassist mark matthews and i riding out to an east or west ham tower block on the tube to meet and talk indiepop with the fresh-faced label owner. i don’t remember much about most of the tracks on here, but the dentists’ track “ugly” is ace. and so ironic, too. lead singer mick murphy singing, “am i so ugly girl, you don’t love me anymore”? what a heartbreaker.

and finally, today’s bookmarks from nancy’s arsenal:
hk and i are going to a karaoke going away party tomorrow, so here are two vastly different karaoke-related links:
dictionaraoke , which features parodies of “popular” (um, culturcide and carcass are included!) songs using karaoke-style (read: “midi”) backing music with all “vocals” provided by audio pronounciation samples from online dictionaries. note: this is the mirror site. the main one seems to have gone kaputsky, at least for the time being, so visit while you can.
beatle karaoke, for the beatle fan who likes to sing along.

taters. xox, nan
nan 8:25 PM

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