Known Johnson

April 20, 2006

Two birds, one stone

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:50 pm

I think it would actually be really hard to kill two birds with one stone. They’d have to be lined up just right, and you’d have to have exquisite aim, not to mention just the right size rock, and even then it would be unlikely. You know how birds are. One little movement and they’re off.

That said, tomorrow I will be killing the proverbial two birds with the proverbial one stone when I go to see the doctor about my migraines. Three weeks ago I managed to twist my left ankle on the most embarassing of things – a step down from the curb that measured no more than two inches. It’s amazing how painful something that small can be when you’re completely oblivious to its existence. Well, I did it and at the time it didn’t seem a big deal. I figured it would be sore a couple days, so I took it easy. A couple days came and went and it still hurt. And a couple more days came and went – no change. A week came and went. Two weeks came and went. And now here we are three weeks later, still hurting. It’s not excruciating, but it’s persistent. And it changes – one time it’s on the left side of my foot, the next it’s on top extending down from the ankle, the next it’s a burning sensation near my toes, or an ache in my piddling flat-footed non-arch. Given that I do have such shitty feet, as evidenced by last summer’s month-long suffer-fest with an unbelievable ache that was the direct result of standing for 8 hours for the U2 show I saw in San Diego, I decided that maybe my feet need a little more attention. I’d say that the fact that it’s been hurting for 3 solid weeks now is probably a sign that someone with some expertise should take a look at it.

Many birds, another stone:

I’m out of color ink in my printer. It’s annoying. Printers are annoying for the sole fact that you have to buy ink for them, and that’s annoying because the ink is so friggin’ expensive. And I’m only out of cyan, but I have to replace the whole cartridge. So unless I can come up with any all-magenta and/or all-yellow things to print, there’s a lot of those two colors that will be finding their way to a landfill.

King Crimson has released yet another show from their long tour as the Double Trio in support of my personal favorite album of theirs, Thrak. This one is part of the Collector’s Club, so you don’t have to download anything. It’s still nice to get actual CDs. Anyway, this show is July 1, 1995 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, which is three days after I got to see the band for the first time in San Diego. I’d hoped to see an official release of that show at some point, but this is close enough for now. Unfortunately, my guess is with the release of this, they’ll probably never put out that SD show. But I do have a fairly nice bootleg of that show, so the moment is marked for posterity. Check out the LA show thusly.

In conjuction with this, DGMLive has also released what looks to be a killer set from exactly one year later at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. I have fallen woefully behind in my collecting of the DGMLive releases, but I will likely be investing in this one pretty soon.

Do not buy the chocolate chunk cookies from Costco’s bakery if you have intentions of eating healthy for a week afterwards. Damn, these are good cookies.

Two bands that I’ve recently gotten very excited about that I never really thought I would: Cheap Trick and Manic Street Preachers. I’d written Cheap Trick off for way too long due to memories of the shadow they became of themselves in the mid-late 80s. The band of the 70s was a powerhouse churning out hook after hook in great song after great song. You just cannot go wrong with those first five CT albums.

As for Manic Street Preachers, early last year I picked up the “10th Anniversary Edition” of what is touted to be their masterpiece, 1994’s Holy Bible. Well, it didn’t really hit it off with me too well, but for some reason it survived a number of Purges, and it’s a damn good thing it did. I must have had an inkling that it would click eventually, because a couple months ago it did in a big way. I let it simmer, however, and didn’t invest in any more of the band’s stuff, wary that maybe this was a big final spaz-out and I’d get sick of them. I didn’t, and so I ordered some dirt-cheap used copies of three of their more recent albums. I’m not sorry I did, either – they’re all solid.

Holy Bible, if you’re curious, is legendary not only for its music but also for the bizarre and tragic story surrounding it. Back in 1994, the album was released to universal acclaim. The Manics had mastered the art of political rock at a time when straight-rock was simply not the big thing. Regardless, they plowed ahead while grunge spun itself out, pumping out an incredibly smart, intense, BIG rock album that tackled a lot of issues – corruption being the biggest theme, but also a disturbing portrait of self-abuse in the form of “4st 7lbs.” An ode to anorexia, the song was an autobiography by the band’s guitarist, who himself battled the disease as well as drugs. And he was losing that battle.

Holy Bible was released in the rest of the world long before it was planned as a US release, and hype was just starting to build in the US when their guitarist suddenly disappeared. His car was found abandoned at the Severn bridge and it was assumed he’d taken his life by jumping. His body was never found, no note was found, and so the assumption remains. This, unfortunately, killed the momentum the album had building for it and all plans to release it in the US were scrapped – after a special mix had already been completed for us.

10 years later, that mix has finally seen the light of day in this anniversary edition, along with a DVD of live performances, interviews, and a documentary about the band. You also get a gorgeous package and extensive liner notes, too, along with live tracks, demos, and other rarities on the two audio CDs. It may seem unnecessary to have both the original mix and the US mix, but after a year of listening solely to the original, I broke out that US mix and was blown away by its power and clarity. This is not a cheap set by any means, but it really is worth every penny to fans of rock who look for smart, different stuff.

As much as I love my Ipod, there’s something still visceral and fun about loading a CD into your car’s CD player. It’s being tied to that album for the duration that is really nice. Sure, you can listen to a whole album on your Ipod, and I regularly do, but there’s nothing binding you to that like there is with a CD. There are days when I simply want to grab a handful of overlooked CDs and go driving, loading up my 6-disc changer and just letting the music flow. The Ipod is wonderful companion, but sometimes it’s just too much. I really never imagined I could have a complaint about carrying 5oo CDs with me, but there you go.

And with that, off to bed.

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