They Had the Biggest Balls of Them All

Posted in Somebody's birthday on March 31st, 2006 by bill

That’s Angus out front, making a spectacle of himself as usual, as the soon-to-be-late Bon Scott peers over his shoulder. At left, Malcolm broods in the background.

Today’s birthday is AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young, born March 31, 1955. That makes Angus 51, and as far as I know, he’s still touring the world in his school uniform with short pants. Well, more power to him. As it were.

Coincidentally, I’ve been listening this week to Highway to Hell, which is pretty much flawless from the opening chords of the title track to the final fadeout of “Night Prowler,” where Bon Scott mutters “Shazbat. Nanu-nanu.” (Anybody born too late to understand what this means: Google “Mork and Mindy.”) Highway to Hell is the best album of its kind ever made, although it’s hard to say what kind that is exactly. AC/DC is a hard band to classify; they’re undoubtedly a rock band, but what kind of rock band? They’re too rhythmically nimble to be heavy metal, too heavy to be pop. Just calling them “hard rock” seems like a cop-out. It might be more accurate to say that AC/DC is a genre unto themselves. If you have High Voltage, Highway, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and maybe Back in Black, you have everything you need in the genre.
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Poetic Spam Strikes Again

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on March 27th, 2006 by bill

Today’s message was a little more confrontational:

simply front man
your a self-fulfilling prophecy outlying as spent!
shambles acrid, to dancer, manicure instance report card
asshole totalitarian marketability, good-natured oppressor
uneasy ticket consummation
the humidity
regenerate conjugate as twelve, depraved decoration the regret
restless unease in that presumptuous volley
the publicity, an exam rye, the hotshot and remoteness
the glamorously involuntary with effeminate, refined melody
nab as unbalanced or scholastic the graphics truth
twinge leafy, allure, kingpin pronoun, with prong, as mudslinging
now madam the testimony

Return of the Poetic Spam

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on March 27th, 2006 by bill

Some crafty entity who wants to give me stock tips has been evading the spam filter with strings of random or semi-random words. Honestly, I don’t mind so much, because I get to read stuff like this:

bigamist cinnamon municipality
chore lisp of leg: ascribe, dish, a men's room to new year to daring
and a bone-dry seashore blueberry as scrutinize vivisection was punctual
the childish retriever is a guardian angel,
poisonous poetically, dwelling storeroom, estimation,
bush capture polluted that discriminating regress warm-blooded student to stigmatize this
and slather was heat as fame melt the hire
outgrow air, demoralize hairbrush

We Love You, Mr. Perry

Posted in Somebody's birthday on March 20th, 2006 by bill

Lee “Scratch” Perry behind the console at the Black Ark.

Today is the 70th birthday of Rainford Hugh Perry, better known to the world as Lee Perry, a.k.a. Scratch, a.k.a. the Upsetter, a.k.a. Pipecock Jackxon…I could go on, but you get the idea.

Scratch casts a long shadow over the history of reggae music, and could be considered one of the most influential figures in the history of recorded music, period. Along with people like Brian Eno and George Martin, he was a pioneer in the use of the recording studio as an instrument. In the five years after he built the Black Ark, his Kingston studio, and before he burned it to the ground for reasons that have never been made clear, he produced a staggering body of work that was not so much ahead of its time as simply out of time. Today, if you listen to an album like Junior Murvin’s Police and Thieves, The Congos’ Heart of the Congos, or the Upsetters’ Super Ape, it doesn’t sound old, it doesn’t sound new, it just sounds like nothing else in the world.
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The Documents of Hector Maze: 7.4

Posted in The Documents of Hector Maze on March 15th, 2006 by bill

So what could I do but ask Larry to take me to the Heart of Darkness? Mind you, I didn’t actually say “Larry, take me to the Heart of Darkness.” I doubt that particular sentence has ever been spoken by anyone. Although I could be wrong; many strange things do indeed come to pass.

For instance, it turned out that Larry and I were not just from the same Eastern metropolis, but from the same neighborhood. This gave us something to talk about as we made our way to the other side of the park. Our progress was fairly slow, partly because we were in no particular hurry, and partly because Larry’s car accident had given him a hitch in his git-along, as he put it. They don’t talk like that where we come from, but I guess he’d picked it up somewhere.

Eventually we came to a sort of dock where people were lined up to board a series of small replica steamships at the edge of a narrow river. I was pretty certain that there was no river in this geographical location, so I was forced to conclude that it was either quite an impressive feat of engineering or a hologram. Or maybe mass hypnosis. I didn’t know what to think anymore, except that everything in this place seemed to be running smoothly. Elasticland was a mindfuck, but a very successful mindfuck. What then were the difficulties Rubelcaba had referred to?
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The Documents of Hector Maze: 7.3

Posted in The Documents of Hector Maze on March 7th, 2006 by bill

This time I actually did go around shaking hands, grinning like some idiot politician. I think I may have high-fived someone. This is unlike me, but I was so elated at having come out of the darkness that I had forgotten myself. Which is nice.

My high had settled down nicely into a post-peak afterglow, and it occurred to me that a good smoke would really hit the spot. If only a had a cigar…and then I remembered that I did, in fact, have a box of cigars in my backpack that a thoughtful former self had placed there for just such an occasion.

After a moment’s rummaging I had the brown tin and a lighter in my hand, and I decided to offer a smoke to the handful of my fellow travelers still hanging around. A tall, bearded guy named Larry took me up on the offer, and we seated ourselves on one of the benches scattered around the meadow, which was set up like a pleasant little neighborhood park.
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The Documents of Hector Maze: 7.2

Posted in The Documents of Hector Maze on March 6th, 2006 by bill

As we marched, we systematically made our way through the rest of Bill Murray’s historic words.

“Into a 10,000-foot crevasse, right at the base of a glacier. Do you know what the Lama says?”

A pause. “No.” Another pause.

“Gunga galunga. Gungala gungala gunga.”
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The Documents of Hector Maze: 7.1

Posted in The Documents of Hector Maze on March 5th, 2006 by bill

My heart seemed to be beating very quickly. It was thundering in my ears like a bass drum played by the Jolly Green Giant, and I realized that I was very, very high.

There was something creepy about this tunnel, above and beyond the general darkness and dankness. Much later, I would find out that giant speakers throughout the tunnel generated sub-audible bass tones designed to unsettle the paying customers. At the time all I knew was I was feeling very eager to get to the other end, so I stepped up my pace.

I think everybody else was feeling it too, because no one was saying a word. The dripping sound was getting louder, more insistent, more annoying, and then I felt something pass very close by my head, something with wings.
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