MonthMay 2001

Totour

     If you live in or reasonably close to Champaign, Illinois, and know of a place where the Bluetip / RSB / Recital show can be moved to, please get in touch! The venue flaked on us.

     The crazy rock band of which I am a member is going to be playing a whole bunch of shows in the coming weeks, most of them with the Red Shirt Brigade (The only people in all of Michigan who let us get on shows). Some of these shows will actually be out of state, so if you’ve ever wondered how quiet and awkward someone who maintains a mostly pointless website would be in real life, here’s your chance to find out. Info:

Wednesday May 30th
Stormy Records
22079 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI
(313) 563-8525
w/ A Thousand Times Yes, and Red Shirt Brigade
8:30 PM Sharp
$2.00

Thursday May 31st
@ Jefferson House
111 Jefferson St.
Kalamazoo, MI
w/ Red Shirt Brigade
9:00 PM

Friday June 1st
TBA

Saturday June 2nd
The Praire House
308 S. Prairie
Bloomington, IL
w/ Fly Everywhere, Red Shirt Brigade
7:00 PM
$5.00

Sunday June 3rd
@ Foudini’s
202 East Green Street
Champaign, IL
w/ Red Shirt Brigade, Bluetip
9:00 pm
$6.00

Saturday June 9th
@ Mr. Muggs
Ypsilanti, MI
w/ a whole bunch of bands
4:00 PM (Bands all day)
$6.00

Sunday June 17th
@ Wilson Barn
Livonia, MI
w/ Red Shirt Brigade, Amplitude, Gabriel, others.
6:30 PM
$5.00

Ryan A. Sent me this e-mail:

this is from SPIN.com:

“In related Radiohead news, apparently Kid A and Tim Burton’s 1993 animated classic, A Nightmare Before Christmas, if you play them concurrently, synch up in a style similar to the old Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz style. We have not actually tried this, you see, but we are quite excited at the prospect. For I have always likened Thom Yorke to the Pumpkin King.”

i know you are gonna fuckin try this shit.

love ryan

I tried it and it didn’t work. I *wanted* it to work, but it just didn’t.

Speck

     This is my new puppy:

     We pick him up on Saturday morning. He’s a beagle, and he needs a name. Right now, I want to call him ‘Tex,’ but my mom isn’t having any of that. Please help.

Also: There was an actual update yesterday, so you can look it that if it strikes you as something worth doing.

Dorito Discount Entitlement Theorom

     I got a crappy haircut today.

     That movie I asked about awhile back is called “When the Cat’s Away,” or “Chacun cherche son chat” if you’re french. It turns out that everyone in the world (Literally: I got emails from Germany and Holland.) knew this except for me. I recently became obsessed with seeing it again, but couldn’t for the life of me remember the title. Unfortunately, it’s not out on DVD yet. In case you feel like barfing, you might want to click here and learn about a remake in the works starring: Heather Grahm. Blah.

My David Sedaris History:

     I never really read David Sedaris until relatively recently. People had recommended him, but I was always too busy inching (Or perhaps more appropriately, millimeter-ing) my way through some other book to bother. Of course, it didn’t help any when some dude (“dude” in this context means “Kid who looked like he was just visiting from ground zero of an abercrombie EXPLOSION) was all snootty to me when “Me Talk Pretty One Day” came out.

Him: Is this discounted?

Me: No, it just came out, but in two days the new bestseller list will come out and if it’s on it, it will be.

Him: Well it will be. Dave Sedaris is my MAN.

Me. (Pause) Ok.

Him: So since it’ll be on the list in two days, you can give me the discount.

Me: (Pause to check if he is serious) Um, actually no I can’t. I can only give the discount on books that are actually discounted.

Him: Dude, it will BE ON THERE! SEDARIS WILL COME THROUGH!

Me: (It doesn’t really matter what I said next. He didn’t get a discount. Anyone who walks through life just assuming they should get discounts shouldn’t get discounts period.)

     So yeah. The fact that Sedaris was this dude’s “MAN” negated roughly all but maybe one of the recommendations his work had collected in my brain. But then hardcover copies of “Naked” got remaindered at 3.98 and this, coupled with my employee discount prompted me to buy one. I read it, and it was good. Next, I promptly lent it to my friend Rob, who still has the Dismemberment Plan (“Emergency & I”) and Jawbox (“Jawbox”) CD’s I lent him in January 2000, so I will probably never see it again. Based on the knowledge that Sedaris didn’t suck, I bought “Holidays on Ice” this past holiday season. The elf story was way good. But I was just never able to bring myself to buy “Me Talk Pretty One Day.”

     Fast Forward to now, and a friend is letting me borrow “Me talk Pretty One Day.” I am finding it to be way funnier then his previous work. My absolute favorite part so far comes in a story called “You Can’t Kill the Rooster.” The bulk of the story is spent describing the mannerisms of Mr. Sedaris’ brother, who it seems is incapable of speaking without liberally peppering his speech with profanity. The highlight comes towards the end of the story:

     “When a hurricane damaged my father’s house, my brother rushed over with a gas grill, three coolers full of beer, and an enourmous Fuck-It Bucket – a plastic pail filled with jawbreakers and bite-size candy bars. (“When shit brings you down, just say ‘Fuck it,’ and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.”)”

     I have no idea why I am so enamored with this idea, but I am. Every time I think of this, I smile and probably look really weird to passers-by because I’m all of a sudden smiling for no reason. And sometimes also not really looking at anything in particular when I smile so it looks like I’m totally crazy.

     I wrote another play, in which I introduce a few new characters (Of course, if you didn’t read my previous dramatic work, then all of these characters are new to you.):

Creepily Sentient Doritos: We are so good.

Adam: Huh?

Doritos: We are so, so good. Additionally, we are cheesariffic!

Adam’s Stomach: No! Don’t listen to them! They always fuck me up!

Adam: But they look so tasty and there aren’t any other snacks around!

Doritos: Yes! Snack-tacular! Cheese-tastic!

Adam’s Stomach: No! Mark my words! If you eat them I will be all fucked up!

Adam: I dunno…

Adam’s Brain: Dude, he’s right.

Adam: Who’s right?

Adam’s Brain: Your stomach.

Adam: My stomach has a gender?

Adam’s Brain: Yep he’s a “he.”

Adam: Oh. I suppose that makes sense.

Doritos: Eat us! We will make you feel full in a splendid way!

Adam’s Brain: Don’t you remember the last two times you ate doritos?

Adam: No…

Adam’s Brain: Oh. Well, both times you felt all queasy and gross. And you made me remember for you not to eat doritos.

Adam: I did?

Adam’s Brain: You did.

Adam’s Stomach: You did! Walk away! Eat some cheese! Or pretzels even!

Adam: No, I think I will eat the doritos.

Doritos: Yay!

Adam’s Stomach: Fine! But be prepared to pay, you fucker!

[Later…]

Adam: Arghhh.

     If you’re into icelandic tenors warbling over some bowed guitar, the Sigur Ros tour EP is available for download here. Hop to it.

     You may or may not already know that Motley Crue recently put out a tell-all book. In it, they take turns writing chapters. I am not ashamed to admit that I am reading it (but I would like to stress that I did not pay money for it). Here is the (unabridged) first paragraph of Tommy Lee’s contribution:

     “Duuuuuude. Fuck yeah. Finally. How much room is Nikki going to get, bro? Fuck. The dude tried to put his own mother in jail. I love him; we’ve practically been married for twenty years. But sometimes it’s dysfunction junction over there. I’m not like that. I’m a hopeless fucking romantic. That’s a part of me that a lot of people don’t know about. They know everything there is to know about another part of me, but not a thing about my heart. Dude, it’s bad, but it’s all good. All fucking good.”

     I’d like to point out that I am not making this up. Harper Collins actually published this, and yes, he actually did use six ‘U’s in ‘Dude.’

     Weezer trivia: If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner of the live photo in the new album, you’ll see Mike and the ‘bots. MST3K represent!

     The Faint plays Ann Arbor on June 3rd. I will be out of town. Poop. Also: The Josh Dodes Band plays Royal Oak on May 29th. If you’re into that.

He who laughs last…

     This is officially not a very interesting update. I don’t really have anything to say, but I’m bored and I haven’t updated in a week or so, so I feel kind of obligated. What to talk about? I recently bought a pack of American Gladiators trading cards for fifty cents. This is my favorite card:

     I’m not sure why it’s my favorite card. Perhaps because Mr. Gemini appears to be in such a jovial mood.

     Also, another thing to talk about is this kid who was at a bar. He was playing one of those golf arcade games that uses a trackball, but he had this crazy ‘system.’ His system was to start with his hand at the back of the trackball and suddenly jerk his arm forward, smashing his hand into the plexiglass that protects the screen at an alarmingly high rate of speed. He and his lady took turns doing this for about three hours. One time he hurt his hand really bad and I laughed at him. Stupid trackball golf system kid.

The Recital has an 8 song CDR EP available for 4 bucks.

     These 8 songs were recorded in my basement to digital 8 track. The sale of these Ep’s will hopefully generate enough money for us to record in a real studio. If you want one, here’s the address: PO Box 2017, Garden City, MI, 48136.

Dangermouse.org: “Crumbs, DM.”

     Bjork tickets for a secret New York show go on sale at noon tommorrow here. The catch is that only 200 people will get tickets. If you get tickets, I am insisting that you sell / give them to me. The show is on this Tuesday, the 22nd.

This is a play I wrote a few days ago:

“ALMOND DEATH”

(INT. ADAM KEMPA’S BEDROOM, 4 A.M.)

ADAM KEMPA’S STOMACH: Hey!

ADAM KEMPA: Huh?

AKS: Down here! It’s me, your stomach!

AK: Oh. Hi.

AKS: Remember all that brown rice and almond chicken you fed me last night?

AK: Yep.

AKS: It is attacking me.

AK: I’m sorry!

AKS: Don’t bother being sorry, for I am about to exact SWEET REVENGE!

AK: Arrrgh!

Fin.

     About a year ago I saw a movie on Bravo. It was in french and about a woman who lost her cat. What the hell was it called?

Park West

What the hell have I been doing?

  • Looking for a car.
  • Buying a car.
  • Insuring a car.
  • Going to Chicago.
  • Going back to school.

     I usually end up writing an update a little bit at a time over a week and then being all critical and re-writing parts of it, but I’m being all cavalier about this one. I just wrote down all the stuff I wanted to talk about and wrote it once, straight through. But damn, if I didn’t write the FUCK out of it. Or something. Actually it’s kind of funny, because the only part of this whole update that I went back and changed was this paragraph, which is about not going back and changing stuff. Which isn’t really funny I guess.

     I was in Chicago to see Icelandic up-and-comers Sigur Ros on one of their few U.S. tour dates. They were pretty great. If you’ve never heard their latest full length, “Aegtis Byrjan,” you might have to wait awhile, as the band recently signed with MCA, who’ve taken measures to prevent any more copies from being imported. You can hear some of their work here in realaudio, watch a live show in realvideo here, or there’s always napster and it’s ilk. If your connection is slow, you’ll just have to settle for reading their tour diary and smirking at the broken English.

     Oh wait, I found some MP3’s at this site.

     The venue, Park West, was absolutely ridiculous. It was all dinner club style, with crazy padded couches and other such seating.

     First things first: the guitarist plays almost exclusively with a bow (I spent a lot of last October searching eBay for an overlooked violin bow that I could pick up cheaply. Here I thought I was being all clever reviving the bowed guitar. But no. Some Icelandic dudes already did it, and they’re doing it way better than I would’ve, PLUS they’re getting a paycheck from MCA for it). He also has his guitar run through some sort of delay unit, so that whatever bow actions he makes take a second or two to register any sound. I tried to get more info on what the hell they used to get these sounds, but all I could find was this frustratingly incomplete discussion of the guitarist’s setup.


     In the middle of their set they had this opera-ish singer trudge out and whine all Pavoratti-style over two songs. Here’s the thing: the music was so good that this potentially completely sucky situation did not completely suck! After the two songs, the opera guy and Mr. lead singer of Sigur Ros (Whose name is apparently Jonsi) hugged for a really, really long time. Hardcore hug action.

     They had this limited tour EP with them, of which only 1000 exist (I was at the merch table when one of their management was explaining the details of the plainly packaged EP to the merch seller person). I heard that they sold out at the Chicago show, so you’ll probably see them going for ridiculous sums on eBay. I’ll probably end up parting with mine, simply because all of the vocal duties on the cd are performed by the opera-ish guest vocalist, and I wasn’t really all that into him.

     All sorts of crazy instrumentation was busted out. There was the string quartet, an organ, an electronic keyboard of some sort, a flute, a piccolo, a xylophone, etc. If you were there and saw the crazy brilliance of the last song, I’m told it is called ‘Haffsol,’ though I’m not sure whether or not it’s been released on anything. So, in summary: crazy, icelandic, good, you missed out (unless you were there. Then you didn’t miss out. So your summarry would be different, and would read as follows: crazy, icelandic, good).

     Oh crap. I forgot the candles. Can I insert additions after I’ve already summarized? Yes. Yes, I can. They had a roadie come out before they took the stage and absolutely litter the stage with candles, and for a lot of the set the lights were kept dim. So it was visually appealing, as well as (insert word that is like ‘visual’ but pertains to audio here) pleasing.


     If you, like me, are a big fan of Chris Ware, then you probably already know about the piece he did for that children’s comics thing Art Spiegelman put together. But did you know that there was a previous version that was rejected because it was deemed too harsh for children? And that it appears in the new issue of Mcsweeney’s? Or that the new issue of McSweeney’s comes with a CD containing a soundtrack to each and every article, composed by They Might Be Giants? Now you do! Also: The Chris Ware piece is especially interesting to fans because it never made it past the pencils stage, and you get to see how much Mr. Ware changes stuff around before actually committing to inks. Really dorky and neat. If you’re not familiar with Ware, he’s a crazy perfectionist of a comic book artist, and as this review suggests and this interview confirms, he is actively seeking out all copies of his first published work so that he can destroy them. So awesome.

     If you already have the Ryko reissues of every Elvis Costello album, get ready to buy them all again. It seems Rhino has acquired the rights to the back catalog and is reissuing each album as a double CD, the extra disc containing all sorts of rare and/or unreleased stuff. This all kicks off in early August, with the (non-chronological) release of three of his albums, and you can expect to empty your wallet once every six months from then on.

     A random anecdote from a friend of mine, that I thought I would share with you:

     I went downstairs a little while ago to make myself a cup of tea and apparently I had put the box of Cheerios in the fridge. Noticing that the milk was missing, I began a housewide search. The milk ended up being on top of the washer in the laundry room. I have no recollection of eating cereal earlier. I wasn’t even drunk last night much less this morning so it can’t be blamed on alcohol.

     Some reader mail from Greg, regarding the pictures of Evan Dando in the last update:

“I saw evan dando play a couple months ago in NYC. He was wearing the exact same shirt then as he was in that picture you took. I wonder if his wardrobe consists of more than one article of clothing…”

     Interesting. It’s funny because, when you think about it, it’s totally believable that Evan Dando only owns one shirt.

     My personal favorite children’s book “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” is in development as an animated series at HBO. This could be a good thing, except for the fact that it will be narrated by Sharon Stone. So who knows.

     The directors of “City of Lost Children” and “Delicatessen” have a new movie all set to go and it looks to be just as crazy as their previous work. It’s called “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain” and you can visit the official site here, or download the trailer in two different formats: .ASF and .MOV. Also: They’re in French and all.

Some extra Chicago photos (Titled):

Title: “Awesome sign in Chicago that I took a picture of.”

Title: “Some jackass thinks he’s a comedian and why the hell does EVERYONE in Illinois have a fucking customized liscense plate? Christ.”

     Finally, some good quotes for drummers from Robert Fripp of King Crimson:

“When it feels like the music asks for a drum fill, don’t do it. There are three other musicians who would like to use that space.”

“The most intense you can play is to stop playing.”

     I know I said “finally” about those drummer quotes, implying that that was the last little thing I had to say, but I found something else. So disregrad that occurrance of “finally,” or if you’re feeling frisky, mentally transpose that “finally” onto the begginning of the following sentance. [Mentally transpose here] Did you know that Mellissa Joan Hart (Clarissa, Sabrina) put out an album? It was on eBay recently, and sold for almost thirty bucks, so that’s not cool. If anyone knows where I can get ahold of these songs for free, Let me know, because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. And speaking of lame 80’s teen sitcom stars putting out albums, Screech from Saved by the Bell is in a band.

I know I’m forgetting something.