m. tremble gets today's gold star for identifying what i, too, hate about the fiery furnaces' blueberry boat (and, for that matter, their opening gig for wilco):
...almost a full year after I purchased the Fiery Furnaces album, Blueberry Boat, with great anticipation, I'm still mad at them for making such a dense, impossible and pleasure-less follow-up to their exciting debut. Fuck them and their seven-part songs about dogs and fruit and whatever the fuck they're talking about. People have told me their most recent EP is far more accessible and entertaining but, unless each copy of it comes with a hand-written apology note, I don't want it. Whenever a track from Blueberry Boat rears its ugly geometric head on some shuffled playlist, I feel like I'm hearing the definitive argument against my particular tastes in music.


Thanks, Fiery Furnaces. Now put down your antique floozophone or whatever and pick up some AMERICAN instruments, you terrorists.
so grateful was i that i took his cue and downloaded the stars' set yourself on fire (not to be confused with the aforementioned, the flaming stars, or arcade fire). lovely, lovely album - lush rasputina-ish strings, tradeoff vocals (especially on "your ex-lover is dead") that recall the mood and theme of pj harvey and thom yorke's "the mess we're in," smart, despondent lyrics a la the mountain goats' alpha couple songs. i've played the damn thing three times through today and am still enthralled; i'm forcing joe to go to their brooklyn show at the end of next month.

a scuba diver erupted from our elevator bank this morning with a fish (in water and a bowl, not shrink wrap and styrofoam) for one of our editors, supposedly to advertise atlantis resorts. i know offices aren't for fishies, but i'm still a bit jealous.


ass adventure part i. though i had advance notice, there wasn't a lot of preparation on my end (la la). a week is too brief for anything other than emergency surgery, so i used a lot of lotion and hoped for the best. the studio was exactly what one would expect for a magazine shoot - oom-oom techno music, huge undulating white wall, post-industrial unisex bathroom - except for the underwear chamber, where every available surface was covered with jaunty panties (not thongs after all, but not much more). fun fact: it's virtually impossible to clench and stick your ass out at the same time. really, try it. after half an hour of acrobatics and having a stranger tug at my knickers, it was determined that i don't really have cellulite (which is not to say that i don't have ghetto booty - it's just made of something else). we looked at and discussed huge digital pictures of the ass, i smoked a cigarette of loathing, and that was that.

i want david bowie's "fashion" for the next shoot. or sir mix-a-lot.


ass adventure (prologue). if personal growth is a matter of doing the things that scare one shitless, i'll soon be a mighty woman. my boss told me that the best way to make friends in the office is to volunteer for features; on cue, the first call for guinea pigs popped up on the group e-list last week. long story short, i'm heading down to the village tomorrow so someone can take pictures of my ass in a thong. then crazy beauty treatments for a month, then another photo shoot, then national magazine time. how about that, ma?

in related news, just got back from chasing circus elephants down 34th street. elephants are fast, as it turns out, and we ended up waiting an hour or more for a 30 second stampede of pachyderms, ponies, and a huge street sweeper repurposed for poop. i promised mike $5 for a photo of elephant shit, but i don't think he'll be able to deliver. 'sokay, the evening was still magical.

judd harris update: as of this week, hazy waking dreams will feature fan chat, dirty rumors, and upcoming gig and album info. visit early and often.


spring break shark attack (*1/2). perfect made-for-tv movie: not the sort of thing one would leave the house and pay to rent, but just the thing to wind up a drizzly sunday evening. the oc's shannon lucio does a fine job of filling out her bikini top and screaming, many others disappear into satisfying army of darkness-esque fountains of blood, and i got to sing wailing souls' "shark attack" over and over. and over. inexplicable references to desperate housewives aside, a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

update: naturally the good folks at the black list agree.
SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK: I thought Sunday night movies were for Mitch Albom and Oprah. Well, not this Sunday. "Spring Break Shark Attack" was the ultimate in dumb, gory fun and answered the age-old question: "What would happen if there were 600 hungry tiger sharks loosed upon dimwitted college kids on a booze cruise?" Well, everything you'd expect. That guy that slipped you roofies the night before? He gets torn to shreds. How about your boyfriend that dicked you over at the club to go night-swimming with the boobtastic blonde? They were both torsos washed up on the beach the next day. And the dude that picked Bucknell and Vermont in your NCAA pool? Yeah, he got his face bit off too. A -- A.J. Daulerio

from time out ny's survey of dive bars,
For the fear factor, no neighborhood beats the blocks around Ninth Avenue and 42nd Street. There used to be a pay phone at Bellevue Bar, until an unhappy customer ripped it from the wall.
that's crazy talk. menace is the hordes of aging businessmen who lurk outside midtown after-work spots and swarm young women, or (if we're talking bellevue) couches that slurp when you sit on them. even sarah agreed to go to this bar with me, and she's afraid of things like fennel.
And so my odyssey flicked back and forth between certified Dives that are in danger of transmogrifying into bridge-and-tunnel hell--Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen was a shoulder-to-shoulder cauldron of hormones...
the problem with rudy's begins at home, actually; "drinking liberally" has been meeting there for at least a year now, and the (incredibly sweet) bouncer got an extreme makeover and doesn't look scary any more. the crowd out back, in turn, stank of the village rather than hoboken. i'm new to the taxonomy, mind you, but for once i won't blame mainlanders.


celebrity of the day: alfred molina, crossing seventh near carnegie hall, where i spied gwyneth paltrow a few weeks ago. there should be a license plate game for this sort of thing; it ain't soho or bungalow 8, but the columbus circle area is pretty reliable for random sightings.

group exercise of the day: if we think think think together, perhaps this fine shirt will get printed over at threadless.


word on the street, or a street, is that kelly "american idol" clarkson's "since u been gone" could be this year's "hey ya." i can confirm that it's been stuck, burr-like, in my skull, but the real news here is that ted leo's minty-fresh acoustic version is online over at UGO. next on the agenda: arcade fire's "drop it like it's hot" (a girl can dream).

There's a city by the sea
A gentle company
I don't suppose you want to...
And as it tells its sorry tale
In harrowing detail
Its hollowness will haunt you

Its streets and boulevards
Orphans and oligarchs are here
A plaintive melody
Truncated symphony
An ocean's gargled vomit on the shore

Los Angeles I'm yours

(the decemberists, from her majesty)

have spent 90% of the last three days either at my desk or asleep; have lacked opportunities to do the sorts of things one blogs about. in lieu of those, trifles:

1 loobylu's 'month of softies' theme for february: alice in wonderland revisited. jen will be pleased to see that one seamstress made a wee snuggly slithy tove.

2 from the you know you've made it when file, i admit that i nearly peed a little when i found judd slashfic on one of the american idol message boards.

3 lp minireview: wilson pickett's a funky situation (wicked, 1978) is not a good record, despite enthusiastic song titles such as "lay me like you hate me," "she's so tight," and "dance you down." it is not, however, a bad record: "hold on to your hiney" ("'fore that funky music breaks it two") is awesome in every sense of the word.

4 anna wintour is fugly.

5 the fog (*1/2). love those cranky lepers! props from the new yorker got me past my typical disdain for john carpenter and out to the video store for this one. i appreciated the halloween-y music, the large hair from mother-daughter horror supergroup janet leigh and jamie lee curtis, the use of northern california as setting (beach towns up there are scary, as a matter of fact). and glowing fog, yes, the glowing fog. not so pleased with how the plot died with 5 minutes to go or how mrs. john carpenter (adrienne barbeau)'s character was able to identify individual streets from wa-ay up in her deejay lighthouse.


i confess that i can't read this without hearing PIGS...IN...SPACE! from the muppet show. from a craigslist press release:
Beam your craigslist ad into space

WHAT: craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster won an eBay auction for the first private communication transmission light years into deep space, with the idea of offering this opportunity to craigslist users.

HOW: The friendly folks at Deep Space Communications Network (DSCN) will beam the postings trillions of miles into space using redundant klystron transmitters and a satellite dish.

HOW MUCH: The winning bid was $1225, but craigslist is negotiating with DSCN for extra capacity to accomodate the anticipated volume of craigslist postings to be transmitted - 10,000 ads were designated by users for transmission during the first 24 hours!

WHEN: The transmission is currently scheduled for May 15th, 2005, directly following the launch of the space shuttle Discovery.

WHERE: Cape Canaveral, FL

WHY: It seemed fitting for craigslist users to be the first to beam internet postings and classified ads into deep space.



Q: Is this a hoax.
A: No.

Q: Do you really think there is a chance that Extraterrestrials will receive and understand this transmission?
A: DSCN has assured us that there is a nonzero chance of this happening. Pretty exciting!

Q: Will you be charging users for this opportunity?
A: Of course not.

Q: How will the postings be selected for transmission?
A: A checkbox on the posting form will be available starting immediately.

Q: Will picture postings be included?
A: Yes. Don't forget to brush your hair.

Q: Why is this being done in conjunction with the launch of the Discovery?
A: Because the equipment being used for the transmission will be available during that time slot.

Q: How many postings will be beamed into space?
A: Quite a few. In the first 24 hours, approximately 10,000 postings were earmarked by users for transmission.

Q: Will anything else be included in the transmission?
A: A personal video statement from Craig, a clip from the documentary film "24 hours on craigslist", and ...?