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Thievery Corporation: The Richest Man in Babylon

Posted 10 January 2003, 6.04 am by Acheron

I have been known to go on tirades against over-labelling music, and whenever someone asks me what kind of music I like, I get confused and fidgety. After all, if it's good music, who cares what the label says? Needless to say, I get a bit peeved when someone like, say, ElectronicScene.com feels it necessary to divide Drum'n'Bass into "Ambient", "Breakcore", "Techstep", "Drill and Bass", and "Darkstep." Please.

It's albums like "Babylon" that help me justify my stance. The first track, "Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes," hits you like a sunrise - it's a silky-smooth Bjork meets "The Mirror Conspiracy" meets a Chemical Brothers b-side meets Air. I can't even put to words how beautiful I think this song is.

The contrast between that track and the Near-Eastern "Facing East" that follow it demonstrate the true interest of the album: the eclectic. Thievery Corporation paints a groove-laden portrait, rife with ethnic drums, vocals, and instruments.

The rest of the album is savvy, to say the least - the tracks are all three to five minutes long, and each one has its own catchy riffs. There are hints everywhere of their previous works, but the album has its own unique feel. In a word: organic.

If you like lounge or downtempo music, or you simply need to put something on late at night to chill, go get it. Even the packaging is something to be ogled.

Is there a skill to being alone?

Posted 8 January 2003, 4.45 pm by ls42hq

This is a piece i wrote for Antons site www.Dieslowly.com a while back when i was about to break up with my girlfriend. Looking back i dont know if i feel as strongly about the subject, i seemed to have fitted back into the single life without much hardship, to read these words now i wonder if thats a good or a bad thing.....
Tonychef, 8/1/03


Is there a skill to being Alone?

You go through life as an individual, every day choosing the path or activity that you wish to follow, beholdent to no one. Then one day you notice that the world is made up of pairs- two eyes to see, two arms to hold, two lips to kiss- the missing part suddenly becomes obvious. If your lucky the reason you notice this fact is because you've just found the person to fill the hole in your life, the one, the only one that could be that missing part for you. Now If you're really in the zone, that person will feel the same need and nature being the hard bitch that she is will soon see you together and happy.

You go Through life as a couple, every day taking the path or activity that you can tred together, always considering the other in the choices that are made. Life revolves in its spiraling way, twisting and combining till the individuals are no more and only the pair remains, so relient on each other that life without the other seems suddenly unthinkable.

Unthinkable eh?
Go on think about it....

To become single again, to rip the other out of your life, because after what they did friends is just not an option, to be the individual again. You cant see these friends anymore, they're not your friends, they're our friends. That holiday you've been soo looking forward to, the bars you use to go to, the resturants where the table for the two of you is always ready; its all property of the couple, to be abbandoned or split.

And now your on your own again, another of those that make there own choices and take ther own path in life. Always forfilling your own needs, looking after number one...But they're always there, the ghost of the couple, just in the back of the mind, showing you the paths you could have taken, the places you could be.

The happiness you once knew.

Periodical Rantings

Posted 6 January 2003, 9.10 pm by arguile

Life is somewhat calmer now than before... there's always something else to be done, so life can't completely fuck you over. If you've ever watched an oscilioscope, you'd realize that the pattern made by the wavelengths is life. That waveform signifies a recognizeable current, and the bigger the wave the larger the current. I guess that's kind of like life, huh?

I mean, think about it. Heroes in stories always get nearly captured, their families are killed, but they always somehow manage to save the world. I'd say that those are some massive ups and downs. It almost always seems like the more shit people have to go through, the better the return's gonna be. You might not save the world, you might not become a millionaire; if you survive through all the shit in your life, however, maybe you'll vicariously save someone's life, or save a city, or you just might even save the motherfucking world. That's the funny thing about life... you never know anything until the moment it happens.

I guess it's impossible to completely justify anything that happens in a completely chaotic system of events that string together to form life, but that seems to be the undeniable quest for the majority of humans.

People have justified this unexplainable flow of bads and goods with religion, or with fate, or with any other sort of theistic or atheistic means of rationalizing the unrational. My personal outlook on this is that everyone needs something to make them a better person, and for most people this comes through the path of multiple shitty incidents.

The Dream

Posted 5 January 2003, 1.35 am by Diva

I dreamt that I died. I was walking through the people at my funeral, seeing who showed up, who even cared and who came for the food. Ahead of me, I saw a casket. I walked up and looked in, as if it were someone else. I kept waiting for me to wake up. Then panic set in. I twirled around and looked at an empty chair. Somehow I knew that it was reserved for my boyfriend/husband. This should be interesting. I wonder who it is. I sat down between these big bouquets of funky flowers and leaned against the casket. It was blue steel, not really my taste. At least they got the color right. I glanced over to the one bouquet; it was from my coworkers. Amy must have picked out the flowers. I looked down and saw the vase and started laughing. It was that fucking candle holder I got for Christmas. The glass was cracked and leaking. They set it on the Dreidel towel I got. Nice to see that they came to some use.

I looked back at the seat. People were weeping and occasionally looking at it. Man, my one friend could buck an Oscar for Drama Queen. "Sympathy hog!" I yelled. She suddenly stopped, her eyes went wide. She couldn't see me. It hit home again. I tried to will myself awake. They say people who die in dreams never wake up. Then again, how do they know that was dream they had? More bullshit studies so doctors can keep busy.

I don't remember dying. Being the curious type, I got up and looked in the casket to see if I could figure out how. No bruises. Car accident or violent act was out. The wrists and neck was untouched. Glad to see I didn't do something stupid. I walked down to this man reading the pamphlet. Could they have chosen a shittier picture of me? Oy vey. Ooh! Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden was printed on the cover. One of my favorite poems. On the other side was Footprints. I carry; correction... carried that poem in my purse. Great, no cause of death.

Looking up, I saw a priest approach the casket. WTF?! Oh great, guys. Giving me Christmas tree ornaments for Chanukah was one thing. The least you could have done is get a fucking Rabbi for my funeral. Now I was pissed. I stormed up the aisle and realized I had no idea what I was going to do. I sat down again between the flowers and banged my head against the coffin. Just as I realized someone was sitting in that seat my arm dangled out of the coffin in front of me, and I screamed. Then I woke up.

No more pizza before bed.

Do you know your arse from your elbow?

Posted 3 January 2003, 5.00 pm by ls42hq

Arse or Elbow You decide!!!

Yule Time Spirit.

Posted 25 December 2002, 9.02 am by arguile

Kris Kringle, a man whose spirit was derived by the Roman Catholic Church to better the spiritual endeavours of the paupers and the less priviledged of society. I suppose it's slightly odd how a "saint" with such humble beginnings is now one of the most recognizeable icons of civilization today. Of course, either you or I could one day become as such, given a pinch of commercialism, and a dash of religious zeal. But it's not the man's spirit I wish to discuss.

People (Americans, to specify) need a reason to feel an emotion or a connection to a cause these days. We need September 11th to feel proud of America; we need a shitty president to realize how great the electoral system could have been. But another shining example is how we need a few days off from work and a fat man in a suit to feel appreciation for what's around us. Santa is a reason for you to be nice to people, and a reason for you to give a gift to someone you appreciate... does that make you feel bad?

Of course it doesn't. It's the season to give, right?

It's ridiculous to need a nationally recognized holiday to understand what giving back to those who have improved our lives. We shouldn't need a holiday to show us who's necessary and who's expendable.

So, I ask: Why is Christmas at the end of the year? If Christmas, at least on the outside, nothing but a time of self-reflection of personal virtues and a chance to buy a $5 gift for someone... why not make it happen more often? Do you remember when you were little, and you used to pretend like you had a birthday every month? If it seemed feasible then, why not now?

Because we're adults, and things are only conveinent sparingly. But if Kris Kingle is a ficticious creation of our own minds, why not at least allow his spirit to live twice a year? Could it possibly be so bad as to spend an extra weekend with your parents? Or to give a cheap-ass gift to your friends? I know none of you are going to do either of the former, but it never hurts to wave to a Santa Claus standing on the side of the road.

The Yule Time is an indefinate seasonal period. Why not make it last all year.

=)

Posted 21 December 2002, 11.19 am by Diva

"Maybe it's an error in the film. Let's take another."

That was thirteen months ago. Thirteen months of x-rays, exams, tests and pills. Thirteen months of silence. Thirteen months of hell. Tumor or scar tissue or inflamation. How fucking hard is it to tell the difference? If we are on the cutting edge, why do I feel like I'm in the stone age?

When you are growing up, life seems endless. Death is something that only happens in the movies. Even breaking a bone is an aberration. Then suddenly, without warning, reality hits you. All of those things that people keep drilling into you are true. Life really is precious. We do not live forever. There really is an end. The end may be sooner than you think.

A woman dies in a movie and I blink. It just doesn't register. The finality of it all just doesn't hit home til I am driving home and come inches from a head-on collision. Now it all makes sense. Everything that we do, everyone that we meet is on a time limit. If you dawdle and put away your dreams for another day, they very well may end up in a box that is hauled away for rubbish.

If I were to leave one lasting impression on this earth, it would be a smile. Click the button and a tape recording of my laughter would fill the room. I realize that it's not the cure for aids, but it's the one thing that represents who I am and what I live for. I have laughed and giggled and smiled my way through even the toughest moments. Who knows, maybe laughter really is the best medicine.

No matter what happens, I only ask one thing. Don't put any sappy crap on a headstone to mark where I am fertilizing the earth. No name, no year of birth and death. Just engrave that stone with the one thing that you think of when you think about me... a happy face. =)

Oy Vey

Posted 16 December 2002, 9.04 pm by Diva

It's a Christmas party. Just say it and get it over with, damn it. Every year it's the same thing. I go through this ridiculous routine of everyone trying to get me into the 'holiday' mood. I'm Jewish. My holiday ended. I try to be polite, but the bottom line is I don't like holiday parties. Why do I have to celebrate someone else's holiday when I don't even celebrate my own?

"So, are you going to decorate your cubicle this year?"
"I'd rather not"
"I got you blue lights."
"Oh joy. Oh rapture. I'd still rather not."
"And a Styrofoam dredel!"
"Oh G-d."

So I put up with the Candy Cane Lane from hell decorations and then it happens. Every year, it's the same thing. One year I am going to get smart and bring a tape recorder. Then I can just set it down and get back to my work.

"Are you coming to the Christmas party?"
"It's mandatory."
"If it wasn't?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"For one thing, I could think of twenty other things I'd rather be doing than paying for cheap food and sitting around chatting with people I see all week long. For another, I'm Jewish."
"Well, we get to eat at a restaurant."
*Blank look*
"Well, it's really a holiday party. So your religion counts."
2nd co-worker stops by. "Are you going to the Christmas party?"
1st "It's a Ho-li-day party."
"I'm Jewish, not mentally retarded. Yes, I'm going."
"Oh. Can we borrow the foam dredel to decorate a table for you?"
"Knock yourself out."
"So, are you going to sing?"
"What? Why"
"For the talent contest!"
"Kill me now."

I don't care what you call it, I know and you know that it's a Christmas party. There is no such thing as a holiday party. That's just some politically correct explanation for "Let's not piss off the Jews, they whine too much." Why do people get obsessed with this holiday? When I don't dress up my cubicle with flashing blue lights and a foam dredel I get told to 'get into the ho-li-day spirit'. I think they need to stand behind the Rabbi on that sentiment. Luckily, this year no one is around and I can spend a nice, quiet holiday alone. Usually it's a coin toss as to who drags my ass out of bed early to go sit with complete strangers while being introduced as 'my friend from work who has no family'. There's nothing more unnerving than seeing people look at you like it's the first meal you've ever had in captivity. The last painful part is the gift exchange. "Here, we got this for you so you wouldn't feel left out." I almost mouth the words as they say it. Then I have to look touched and surprised as I lovingly show my brand spanking new bath gel set to everyone. Next year I'm becoming a Jehovah's Witness.

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This piece was inspired by Andy Warhol's famous 'marilyn monroe' piece in which the same picture is used several times to create a pattern. If you look closely, you'll realise there's a lot going on here with the detailed background against the simple pixelated images create a convergence which I thought would be nice to experiment with. It was created in Photoshop and took me 5 hours to perfect.


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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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