Crown of Trinkets

Saturday, October 27, 2001
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but the two latest CD's on Archigramophone really do a lot for me. Both of them are in a kind of song-based improv format, with the Nice Nice being more deadly-electronic-funk-duo and the Mome Raths being more feeling-of-being-spread-across-all-that-moves transcendental mixed with jazz mixed with oppressive new wave, one of the few six-person improv ensembles I know who can actually pull that sort of thing off.

Also, while the 3" CD format is gimmicky and expensive, it actually works in these instances, 1) because Paul keeps things cheap ($5, very reasonable), and 2) 20 minutes really is a great length for a record. Short enough so you don't lose interest before it's over, but long enough so that you get that substantial "album" feeling. Two of my favorite labels ever--Flying Nun, and Blackbean & Placenta--built their reputations on the EP, FN doing oodles of great 45-rpm EP's, and BBPTC doing lots of fascinating one-sided 12"s, and I think Archigramophone's Archi3 series is heading in that direction. Good, good stuff.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Doing Diddly Squat Update! Horrible, horrible: the old hand of Tecmo Super Bowl for the Super Nintendo has reached out from eight years in the past and grasped me firmly. I don't particularly care about football; well, okay, it's hard not to get swept up in even the shattered season of the 2001 Oregon Ducks but let's put that behind us: I don't care about football but I can't stop playing that damn game. I imagine this has something to do with the car-window-smashing of last episode getting me into a funk but still! Tecmo Super Bowl? Pathetic!

Actually Doing Something Update! The Tape Mountain Bleaching T-Shirt Remnants for Purest Blue Light operation is in full force and lord does the bathroom stink of chlorine, especially since I accidentally left the cap off the bleach bottle. There is something very odd about making blue things that were once wearable into pinkish things that will hold CD's. I feel like an alchemist, even though I am only using a single thrift-store t-shirt, a 99-cent bottle of bleach, a q-tip, and some staples.

This weekend I'm debating whether I should go see Fear No Music's performance of Erik Satie's "Vexations", a 1-to-2-minute piece that Satie hints that the performer should perform 840 times. I can basically kiss my weekend goodbye if I go see it but I'm guessing I'll get some attractive hallucinations, some clarity, some ideas, a near-religious experience if I do go. There aren't any rock concerts that I want to see this weekend... perhaps I should put on some comfortable clothing, bring a nice journal, and prepare to submerge for a while...

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Friday, October 19, 2001
Crime Update! This is what I get for having an ostentatious Blaupunkt CD stereo in the relatively high property-crime-rate Buckman neighborhood: I step out to get the mail at 1 this afternoon (my day off) and there's shattered glass all over my back seat and a couple wires hanging out of where my stereo once was. So instead of going off and copying lyric booklets, I get to spend time on the phone to American Express Property Casualty Company in Wisconsin and on the couch waiting for some police officer. Now I get to go down to Tualatin to store the car in the folks' garage. This sucks, this absolutely sucks, but I guess I had it coming. In optimism news, this will encourage me to bring my recording walkman and record lyric ideas when I drive, instead of vegging out to some CD or other. I hardly ever drive anyway. No big loss, well, okay, two-hundred-plus dollars for the glass, grumble, grouse, grouse, grouse.

Lyric sheet update! Lingua Ignota and Sing Like Birds now both have wonderful lyric sheets; in the former's case, a poster, and in the latter's case, a nice little booklet. Both have pictures. If you have a copy of these CD's without these lyric sheets (e.g. from the Minmae tour to California), write to me and I'll send them to you.

At work lately I've been doing a lot of stapling--it's annual enrollment time and there are a lot of enrollment worksheets that need to be stapled. I guess I should have too much pride to do that, but, aside from the inevitable back and neck pain that ensue, mindless repetitive office work is pretty okay. You get to sit there alone, thinking, singing if you want, no distractions, no stress, no soft rock tinkling over from the next cubicle, just pure sweet isolation. I must say: I kind of enjoy it. Nevertheless, it was good to hear that I didn't have to go in to work today, my usual day off, because, let's face it, even being at home with a recently smashed car window and a big glass bill staring one in the face is better than sitting at work, even when I get to staple worksheets in blessed solitude. Freedom is key. As is the case with the car; as much as I'd like to get rid of it (I don't like cars and events like this one are a pain in the ass), it's nice to know that I can take my guitar up to Olympia and play a show whenever I want, head out to some thrift store in the hinterlands, go to the beach, etc. etc. Not that I ever do those things but it's important to be able to do so. I'm off to Tualatin now in my broken freedom.

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Friday, October 12, 2001
Oh, it is so nice that it has started raining now! It is so nice! And so appropriate!

Jake As Media Whore Update! It is funny that whenever I decide to go to some sort of protest or something, I end up being plastered all over the major news media despite my nondescript appearance. It happened when I was doing the Student Workers' Union thing down at UC-Irvine, and now here I am in the Portland Mercury. (That's me on the right in the stylish Pioneer Seeds jacket, right next to Dan "My Protest Sign Makes An Obscure Dead C Reference" Cohoon.) Weird how that happens.

Not that you were asking what I thought about the whole bombing-Afghanistan thing, but I do think it's less than prudent (to use the word of George H.W. Bush, well, okay, Dana Carvey as G.H.W.B.) to be bombing the crap out of some nation whose ability to strike against us via military means is obviously very, very minimal, but whose young and starving are likely to resort to striking back by whatever means they can, which may very well be terrorism, today, or years later. How many people will die as a result of these bombings? As a result of starvation exacerbated by the bombings? Landmine explosions? Future and more horrifying military action? This whole thing is ludicrous and it's hard to believe people haven't seen through it. Ugh. Go to for lots and lots of discussion, or if you're in Portland, is good and very relevant.

New Celesteville Product Update! Sing Like Birds (with luv[sic]) and Lingua Ignota are both available now--check the catalog page for more details. I like both of these records a lot; the former is the pop record I've wanted to make for a while now and the latter is pretty explosive, in a good way.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2001
Tonight a Minmae show happened. Big rock sound at Ash St. Saloon, pretty toothsome.

Today I received a big package of CD's from Ned, all sorts of burned copies of wild "ethnic" 78's from the day; this will take me years to get through. Add this to the 35 or so CD's and LP's I bought at this clearance sale on Saturday (let's say my wildest Flying Nun dreams have largely been realized) and the three items Paul Archigramophone gave me yesterday and you have serious music glut time. Good heavens.

Speaking of the heavens, the moon tonight is big and full over currently clear Portland skies; I'm sure the next full moon will cast its light diffusely over overcastness and I welcome that. Right now is like holding my nose and jumping into a cold pool (i.e. winter); there's something sweet about the anticipation involved. Anyway. I stared up at the moon for a few minutes this evening. It was big and clear through my new glasses. I took off my glasses to imagine what the moon looked like for the uncorrected vision of my cavemen ancestors; what did they think of this blurry thing? What would it be like to remember that vision only from one's childhood? What sort of freak would I be if I lived in those days? At 28 I'd probably be about as old as anyone got, and I'd probably have fathered about 15 children, about 2 of whom would have lived, probably. I think despite my small stature and lack of aggressive behavior I might have survived a while, if only because we Andersons are sturdy stock and because I'm not allergic to anything, well, not anything that wasn't invented in the last few years. These things are important.

Today as I was walking down Lovejoy St. to my bus stop after work, this wild-eyed manifesto came into my head: I would put up another FAQ on the Tape Mtn. page about why I only charge $2 for my CD's, and how fancy expensive packaging was inherently evil since it has nothing to do with the music inside, because music is sacred, the few remaining melodies available to us that have not been used are precious like fossil fuel and urban forest space and should not be used as some sort of space-filler upon which can be hung one's desires to get laid and produce some nice product that one can sell and use as the instrument of schmoozing; oh but I was frothing and I couldn't even look out the window. We hit downtown and I saw this psychotic woman flipping off the bus driver and calling him horrible names; he shrugged it off since he'd seen her antics before. But I hadn't and it made me not want to be crazy.

Here is a gentle reminder for you, the reader: While Hot Punjabi Mix (delicious mixture of spiced roasted pulses and chickpea-flour spicy snack twigs etc.) is good for snacking, it is not good for snacking right before bed unless you want your stomach to play twisty tandoor all night long. I do not want my stomach to pretend that it is a tandoor. But it looks like it is going to. Good night from beautiful Portland where rock and spicy snacks and diatribes are all putting on their pajamas and tucking their arms under their heads for nocturnal dreams under clear skies with stars even among city light pollution! Good night!

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