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February 23, 2005

Back

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...and thrown into the throes of catching up, but expect new words soon on topics which may or may not include the resurgence of minimal, the birth of manimal, the cushioned assault of Nathan Fake, and how to turn a guiri into a popsickle.

Now go buy Cio D'or's "Hokus Pokus" (Triebstoff), My My's "Klatta EP" (Playhouse - and skip straight to the tune "Bel ╔tage"), and Ada's remix of Kiki's "So Easy to Forget" (Bpitch), and don't say I didn't warn you.

February 16, 2005

Wild blue yonderin'

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If you're in Barcelona this weekend, stop by to hear my talk with Javier Blanquez and Oriol Rossell: "Una introducciˇ a tot all˛ que sempre va voler saber per˛ que mai no va gosar preguntar sobre la m˙sica electr˛nica," or "Una introducciˇn a todo que siempre quiso saber pero nunca se atreviˇ a preguntar sobre la musica electrˇnica." Or, for the rest of you, "Everything you always wanted to know about electronic music (but were afraid to ask)."

Enlightening? One hopes. Frightening? To me, yes. If anyone's got any good smart drink recipes, do send them my way.

February 10, 2005

In the words of Marlon Brando, "What have you got?"

Yes, this year's 2004 Pazz & Jop critical alignment ratings are out, and I seem to be finishing lower than ever. And this was supposed to be the year I got all populist and shit, what with my Feists and Kylies. I don't pretend to understand the math behind this, except that I think the index rates deviance from the statistical norm, among all Pazz & Jop voters. Seeing as I rank 730 out of 791, I am one deviant bitch. (Thanks to Daphne for pointing out my wayward ways to me.) At least the freakish likes of Todd Burns, Peter Nicholson, Dave Segal, Matt Cibula, and Heath Hignight out-weirded me. Next time Wilco releases a record, I'm voting for it; wait, and watch my normalcy rise!

Prize of the year goes to Yancey Strickler at #666. Make no doubt: the numerologists are buggin'.

February 09, 2005

Number of letters in "Pazz & Jop," not counting the ampersand: 7

As you're probably aware, the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop results are out, and the blogosphere is abuzz with the annual post-game festivities. The question isn't, "Are we obsessives," but rather, "How navel-gazingly obsessive can we get?"

In the attempt to answer that qusetion, I decided to quantify my own navel gazing. (My ballot, should you care, can be found here. And thus I leave you with this, my first-ever Personal Pazz & Jop Index.


Number of my album choices ranking in the top 100: 1

Number of my singles choices ranking in the top 100: 0

Highest that one of my album choices ranked: 41
Junior Boys, Last Exit

Next highest album rank: 162
Ricardo Villalobos,, The Au Harem D'Archimede

Highest that one of my singles choices ranked: 135
Feist, "Mushaboom"

Next highest single rank: 164
Alter Ego, "Rocker"

Maximum number of critics voting for an album in my top 10 albums list, excluding me: 27

Next highest number: 6

Maximum number of critics voting for a single in my top 10 singles list, excluding me: 5

Next highest number: 3

Number of albums in my top 10 list for which I was the only voter: 3

Number of singles in my top 10 list for which I was the only voter: 7

Dominance of German artists among my top 10 albums, expressed as a percentage: 70

Dominance of US artists among my top 10 albums, expressed as a percentage: 10

Dominance of German artists among my top 10 singles, expressed as a percentage: 30 (counting remixers)

Number of countries represented in my top 10 albums list, including both labels and artists: 4

Number of countries represented in my top 10 singles list, including labels, artists and remixers: 6

Number of female artists represented in my combined lists: 3

Number of non-white, non-Latino artists represented in my combined lists: 2

Percentage of solo artists among my combined lists, including solo remixers of solo artists: 60

Percentage of singles in my top 10 list that are remixes: 30

Percentage of instrumental tracks among my top 10 singles: 40

Percentage of primarily instrumental albums among my top 10 albums: 50

Number of records in my ballot to which P&J inexplicably added the word "Import" (considering that a majority of my records were on "import" labels): 2

Number of records in my ballot for which the original import label was swapped out for a later import label: 1
Alter Ego's "Rocker," originally released on Klang, attributed to Skint

Number of albums listed with the incorrect CD art: 1
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band's Dust Sucker, for Le Dust Sucker's self-titled album

Number of albums for which I did not recognize the name of a single critic, besides me, who voted for it: 1

Maximum number of album votes I shared with another individual critic: 3
Geeta Dyal and Andy Kellman each matched my votes on three recordings, respectively

February 08, 2005

We are all kin

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"Dark Matter," 2004. Photo by Nick Kilroy.

I'd hoped that my return to blogging would be a happy occasion, but life plays tricks, and sometimes death does too.

Nick Kilroy, founder of Kin records and the man responsible for bringing Junior Boys to light, was found dead in his London apartment today. I don't know the details firsthand so I'll refrain from going into them; in the end, the end is all you really need to know.

Not three weeks ago Nick and I were passing back emails about the death of my father and the unkind turns that his own life had taken in the past year. I never knew Nick well; I met him once and corresponded with him a handful of times. But we found common ground in music and writing and photographs -- Nick's photos, posted on his blog Zabriskie Point, are luscious, living things, in love with cities and bodies and light and motion. If eyes are windows and whatnot, what projected itself onto Nick's retinas, and what he refracted through his own lens, was but the mirror of a largeness inside him that I can't begin to fathom.

Nick was a creator and a believer. We'd discussed collaborating -- book projects, label ventures, a mix CD. He didn't know me from Adam, really, but that didn't stop him from reaching out with the kind of praise and support that many artists, much less hobbyists like myself, might wait a lifetime to hear. Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan has posted a moving tribute along similar lines, as has Anil Bawa.

Nick managed to do what Jonathan Lethem calls "...the one thing a human being can hope to do -- matter for a while."

The believer is gone, but the belief remains.