Fuck the haters- I want to go.
22 August 2009
21 August 2009
18 August 2009
09 July 2009
After a dog's age of absence, feels like it might be about time to come back to this project. I'm not really sure how to use this format yet, but as I look back over what is here already it seems to have been worth it thus far, and that with some commitment to it and to giving it depth it might just be an interesting outlet. Or maybe the trick is to not think about it at all and just let it be what it wants to be- see what happens. Hopefully there will be more to it as time progresses. Cheers.
11 January 2008
16 October 2007
12 October 2007
The Country Squire was constructed over a frantic two-day period in August at Chunkstation Zebra in S.E. Portland. Big B. has been delving deeply into no-welds bike architecture, and I found this inspiring, as it's been some time now that I've no welder at my disposal. And a well-placed bolt is actually going to be stronger than a shitty, awkward weld; many times in bike-building, you find yourself making this very choice. I had formerly thought of metal drilling as something requiring a drill press, but no.
I wanted to make something I could take on the plane home.
I wanted to do a rack-and-pinion steering assemblage out to a projected fork, and
I wanted to make something that could be mounted to any bicycle.
As in, a universal (providing one brings a 5/16 metal bit and a drill) chopper front-assemblage, for all those times when you want to bring a chvnk bike somewhere far away. Below is a detail of the steering linkage. I particularly feel good about the front fork: weld-free, made of two front forks and an old 70s rear end.
These flats spread approximately 15 miles in all directions.
The "Willamaconda." Most successfull of the sailchops, Big B.'s modified co-operator carried two sailors (or more properly a Cptn. and a 1st Mate), went about 15 knots, and handled rougher terrain than the two-wheelers.
This year's trip, while fun as hell, mostly laid the groundwork for a much more successful go next year; a lot of the ins and outs only revealed themselves in the testing stages. For instance, as the Willamaconda illustrates, bigger, heavier bikes with larger sails and more than two-wheels (I personally think 3 is ideal) work much better. I'll post a design for next year's entry shortly.
05 October 2007
04 October 2007
20 September 2007
18 September 2007
"To the Editor:
Roger Cohen (column, Sept. 13) considers an Iraq breakup “unthinkable.” Why? What is so sacred about the artificial colonial borders? Why is “democracy” in conflict with self-determination?
Why should the Sunnis and Kurds be ruled by the Shiites? Or in Kosovo, what is so wrong with a referendum, which might result in the Serb-populated areas voting to return to Serbia?
Who are we to set the borders of other nations? How would we feel if they did it to us?"
I think this about sums it up. I would add that all these borders within the former Ottoman Empire were drawn by the British following the defeat of the Turks in the Great War, and that the fallout is still with us.
This is not to sound hopeless, but I think it honestly characterizes these sad sad Bush years of an America lost in the desert, wandering, which godwilling will soon to come to an end.
And what I'm really getting at is this, with respect to bloggery, is that these larger issues manifest themselves even in the seemingly small and insulated world of "indie rock" and the constellation of internet forums that surround it; many many people are not only willfully, gloriously ignorant, but are snarky, wanky, and cynical in said ignorance. As I told good friend D. Bartholow, he of the insanely beautiful polaroids, the thing I have always loved about Gorilla Vs. Bear is their unwillingness to discuss music they don't like, and the tacit understanding that de gustibus non est disputandum, that art that we have no use for may be totally useful and rewarding for someone else, and that these choices, whilst reflecting aspects of ourselves, in no way define us. I.e. a kind of grown-up attitude towards music. Part and parcel of our cultural sickness lies in our belief that our choices as consumers define our identities, and therein sits the fundamental nut (and nuttiness) of lame, unhelpful, and boring slaggery on music blogs. Sam's long post at the end is especially resonant in this regard, as he really hammers home the point that makers make for (1) themselves, (2) other makers, (3) friends and loved ones, and on and on til (x to the n) everybody else. Music fans love the myth that the music was made for them, and the fallacy is understandable for they are so genuinely moved by the things they like. But thbis is far from making it so. Hence, with regard to GvB, what I like: they have crafted their approach in the manner of artists, making it a tool for themselves and like-minded interfriends to share stuff they think is cool.
Which brings me to the real underlying thrust of this essay:
We need to fix the way we communicate. We need to restore civility and decorum. Not oppressively so, but generally, and pervasively, and persuasively. I mean laughter is great, and it's own virtue. But. The point is to move this all forward, to trim the fat and baggage and landfills left us by our forebears while replacing these things with new and better and smarter, more rational choices. Because it is a choice. It is one thing to make mean sport of people one finds distasteful in the private laughs with friends (I have certainly slagged many a band/artist/buffoon in my time), but to leave it out there in public, written on the bathroom wall, with only passing thought or thoughtlessness, this is to me totally moronic, especially in the context of something as dumb as "indie rock", and constitutes little more than the playground bully's casual displacement of his own damage and abuse onto the weak bespectacled mama's boy who is the prime candidate for a later career in the rock music. And ultimately the bully is just abusing himself as well, just as those less-than-kind anonymous commenters are really just reflecting their own inability to actually hear anything good, their own insecurity about how they are perceived and about their own judgement of what constitutes goodness in the first place.
So. Let's do this. It can be done, and all the tools are certainly there. Shame is a very powerful regulator of undesirable behavior. It's just a question of how to integrate that structure into something as chaotic as the internet. But as far as memes go, this one seems to have it's own internal strength and logic and I know many people are already diligently working on this very problem. I'd love to read any responses any of you might have to this.
16 September 2007
It was a strange day yesterday. We played the biggest show we'd ever played, and then it was over, and now it is done. I went to work. In an odd twist, the trailer hitch broke off three blocks from Big Orange on the way home. Spooky and perfect.
I don't feel sad. It's just so incredibly strange to now look back on all this in hindsight.
We really had a great run, though I'm not sure if outsiders realize this. I got to do so many amazing things.
I saw this beautiful fucked up country of ours more completely than I had ever thought to. I swam in every river between San Francisco and Minneapolis. I saw the Rosetta Stone, and the Elgin Marbles, and climbed up the cliffs of Edinburgh Castle. I had a moment with David Bowie (he smelled like freshly baked cookies) whilst watching Arcade Fire destroy Central Park from the side of the stage. I listened to the masters of the original Smile (which nobody will ever hear) and toured the Reverb Chambers underneath the Capitol building. I was introduced by David Bailey to Julian Schnabel, who was wearing a bathrobe on the corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd st, and I stood on top of a hidden missile silo in North Dakota at sunset.
I made many beautiful talented friends, and we had a lot of laughs.
I grew up and learned who I really was and to believe in that.
I became a real musician, for which I will always be grateful.
I joined a most amazing group of friends and we chased our dreams and wrestled them down out of the ether and were in turn chased and wrestled by them. Some of those wrestling matches are still going on.
I was incredibly lucky, and I am very grateful for all the lovely and even some of the not-so-lovely people that helped to make it happen. Thanks to all.