Monday, June 23, 2008

more iPod shuffle spookiness

I'm thinking about re-tooling (emphasis on "tool") this blog to be about the spooky coincidences of the iPod Shuffle. There have been too many occurrences of similarity in transition between songs - be it lyrically or musically - for the Shuffle to be random in its selections.

The latest proof was yesterday. After playing Willie Nelson's "The Great Divide," the Shuffle followed with "Hedwig's Lament" from the soundtrack for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The lyrics for "Lament" start like this:

I was born on the other side
of a town ripped in two
And no matter how hard I've tried
I end up black and blue

This follows a song called "The Great Divide."

iPod Shuffle KNOWS.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Eat the Document

A hilarious clip from the still unreleased 1966 movie Eat the Document...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Uncle Poon's Restaurant

There are so many things that make this photo funny...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

iPod wit

I've been startled at how seemingly smart and cognizant the "Shuffle Songs" function is on my iPod. Yesterday on the way home from work, iPod actually made me laugh (yes, I call it "iPod"). Following John Coltrane's "Acknowledgment" from A Love Supreme - a totally intense and spiritual song with Coltrane chanting the words "a love supreme" over and over again - came Samuel L. Jackson's Ezekiel 25-17 monologue from Pulp Fiction. "And you will KNOW that my name is THE LORD when I lay my VENGEANCE upon thee."
iPod is hilarious.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Félix Fénéon

Luc Sante's introduction to his translation of Félix Fénéon's Novels in Three Lines includes some examples of these three-line "novels" or faits-divers. Here are a few:

Responding to a call at night, M. Sirvent, café owner of Caissargues, Gard, opened his window; a rifle shot destroyed his face.

The schoolchildren of Niort were being crowned. The chandelier fell, and the laurels of three among them were spotted with a little blood.

At five o'clock in the morning, M.P. Bouget was accosted by two men on Rue Fondary. One put out his right eye, the other his left. In Necker.

A dishwasher from Nancy, Vital Frérotte, who had just come back from Lourdes cured forever of tuberculosis, died Sunday by mistake.

Finding his daughter, 19, insufficiently austere, Jallat, watchmaker of Saint-Étienne, killed her. It is true that he has eleven children left.

These brief striking and grotesque pieces are comparable and bear a strong resemblance to the song summaries that Harry Smith created for each song he included in his Anthology of American Folk Music. A few examples:

For "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" (a version of "Froggie Went A-Courtin'") - Zoologic miscegeny achieved in mouse frog nuptuals, relatives approve.

For "Ommie Wise" - Greedy girl goes to Adams Spring with liar; lives just long enough to regret it.

For "Kassie Jones" - Crack engineer Jones in fatal collision. Knew Alice Fry. Wife recalls symbolic dream, later consoles children.

For "Old Shoes and Leggins" - Mother hospitable, but girls find shoddy oldster's actions perverse.

Works by both of these writers show a flair for the newspaper headline, but also demonstrate how these one-liners can convey the universe working through self-imposed restrictions.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Don't swallow, Bill Murray"

Great scene from Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes:

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Creep Juice

This toothless drifter was outside my office window making notes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Leg Found in Smoker

Talk about old, weird America...

N.C. Man Talks After Someone Finds His Foot In A Smoker
Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 - 12:34 PM Updated: 01:01 PM
By Carrie Davis

Wood takes to the driving range at Furman University's golf course. The amputee is in the Upstate to raise money for Roger. C. Peace Hospital-Rehabilitation. He lost his leg three years ago in a plane crash and he says that's just one of the many hurdles life has thrown at him. Wood says, "I have had a hard life this is my second plane crash. I have been in two plane crashes, shot, run over by a state dump truck, electrocuted. I have been through a lot."

John has a good attitude, but with that track record something else was bound to happen.

That's where Shannon Whisnant comes in. He bought John's old smoker at auction when john failed to pay the rent on a storage unit, but what Shannon Whisnant didn't buy was the surprise inside. When he saw it he immediately called 911.
Disptach: "What's the problem there?"
Caller: "I got a human foot."
Disptach: "Have a what?"
Caller: "A human left foot."
Disptach: "What's your name?"
Caller: "My name is Shannon Whisnant and its plum nasty got me grossed out."

That's right, in the smoker was John's old foot and part of his leg. The question is why? Wood claims, "I had some spiritual beliefs that I wanted to be cremated whole, so I had my leg preserved. I hate it for everybody I told them not to go in there after that leg you know."

So what happened to the lost limb? Whisnant says he wants to make the most of his money. Shannon Whisnant says, "I thought about pursuing the foot just as a conversation piece religious or not put it in an air tight box with a glass window on it."

Of course John hopes he'll get his body part back. Wood says, "I asked the police department when they called me and told me that my leg was sold at public auction and I asked the police department that called me its not on impound is it? "

The police
in Maidan, North Carolina say they do plan to give John his leg back.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Old Weird Harry

Here's Harry Smith, the compiler of the Anthology of American Folk Music. This man could tell you what county you were from based on the version of "Barbara Allen" you knew...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


"Songs are supposed to be heroic enough to give the illusion of stopping time." - Bob Dylan, 1985