Monday, October 31, 2011

In which the Alien blows his eardrums out

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."
Probably we can argue about what the greatest first sentence in the history of English-language literature is, but there is no doubt in my mind that the greatest fourth sentence in the history of the English language is that one.

When it's November in my soul, I retreat to the quiet comfort of having my eardrums blown out. The prototype for this:

This to me is a related phenomenon to "the drone." Except turned to eleven. The drone soothes, while the burst eardrum overwhelms. I remember a time when I was so overcome with noise at a show that I thought I was having a stroke. I could not move, see, or think, but it didn't matter.

There's something almost dehumanizing about doing this to yourself. I love feeling completely exhausted by the sensory overload. First comes enervating, then comes energy depletion. I just don't care any more.

I'm not sure what the essential element is. It's not just volume, because My Bloody Valentine don't really have it. I think some bands insert an element of malice, even when they're trying to be pretty. Listen for the sawtooth wave, which sounds exactly like what it's called.

And after that, all you can do is listen to white noise and hope the ringing isn't too bad the next day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In which the Irate Alien makes a new friend . . .

I was walking down the street the other day when I happened upon an escaped pygmy slow loris . . .

. . . It appeared lost and disoriented, but after chasing it for about an hour, I finally managed to capture it. Despite being bitten and scratched by the enraged primate, I delivered him to the authorities. The police--having only limited experience with members of the family Lorisidae--charged me with his care and he became my ward. At which point (and here's where this story starts to get weird) he told me to call him Ishmael..........

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In which the Alien issues a hipster fatwa

So, the New Yorker hates Coldplay. Don't we all?

The certainly are the beloved object of hate for all who wear western shirts, cuffed jeans, and Frye loafers. We must all hate anything that's popular! You must all be individuals! (In as similar a way as possible.)

But I'm issuing a hipster fatwa declaring hatred of popular things to be boring and predictable, and therefore, totally not cool anymore.

Unless it's done ironically.

I think.

I'm confused now.

Coldplay really are harmless, and not in a harmful way. I don't look down on anyone who likes them, I just think they (the band and their fans) could try harder (try M83 or The Pains of Being Pure at Heart). Anyway, I liked that Yellow song, and Beaker is cool.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.....I like:

n.b.  I've seen them live, they're terrible musicians, and this album is the clear product of heavy heavy heavy production. The vocals sounded like a cat being swung around by its kidding, people at the show gave each other looks whenever any singer--each one more off key than the last--made an entrance.

M83 (Another great French act):