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September 28, 2005

What, me sleep?


I'm dreadfully overdue for a proper update, but that's been tough to do, given a schedule that's seen shows from Dakar & Ginser, Alex Under, Lawrence, M.A.N.D.Y., Basteroid, Tiefschwarz, Cristian Vogel, Donna Regina, and Michael Mayer all in just over a week. Plus some band that sounded a whole lot like Coldplay. (And if I'd puesto las pilas, I could have caught Misc., Dominik Eulberg, and Donnacha Costello as well — plus Ada and Tiga if they hadn't each cancelled.) The musical offerings in Barcelona definitively do not suck. But that being said, far too many nights out end up like the morning pictured above (shot on a rooftop overlooking all of Barcelona, from Tibidabo to the cranes down at the port... poor DJD! must have been suffering from severe vertigo — or maybe just solar shock), and there are still musings like this to turn in, and new issues of Earplug to turn out. So hold tight, listen to the Matias Aguayo album on Kompakt, because it's by far one of the year's best, and watch this space for proper blogging soon, maybe even a Reynolds-style list of faves and unfaves, because at least as far as the former goes, early autumn is yielding a bountiful harvest.

September 14, 2005

Disco comes to Frisco

Me on Isolée in SF Weekly.

September 09, 2005

Singing about architecture

Me on Luomo's Vocalcity in Pitchfork.

September 05, 2005

Oh, the irony

Some interesting wording in this piece on John H. Marburger III, President Bush's science adviser, which ran in yesterday's Times and obviously was written before the devastation of Katrina and the gargantuan government failures came to light. Daniel Smith paints a picture of Marburger as a centrist and a pragmatist:

"I asked what he thought about the notion, widely held in the scientific community, that he must be ethically conflicted.

''I don't feel conflicted,'' he said calmly. ''I don't feel that I'm someone who is, as I've been described, at the 'eye of a hurricane' or at the 'center of a storm.''' That image, he said, comes from the fact that ''we're very closely tied to the dynamics of politics in our time, but we're not very closely tied to what is actually happening in science.''

For Marburger, this is true even, or especially, when it comes to scientific developments that have generated the most controversy. Global warming, which many scientists see in Manichaean terms -- the evidence of increasing climate change versus the administration's unwillingness to take steps to combat the danger -- Marburger sees in terms of a larger back-and-forth between scientific advances and the willingness of the culture to alter itself accordingly."

Have we altered ourselves enough now, after last week? Are we going to? Because I'll tell you this: if we don't, the Earth is going to be happy to do it for us, one cataclysm at a time.


Last week the clever and charming David Puente stopped by my flat here in Barcelona to interview me for ClubbingSpain, and we had a chat about electro-house, Kompakt, bacalao, Sleep Archive and more. You can read the full text (in Spanish) here.

September 02, 2005

Where'd Breugel get that time machine?

I'm going to shut up now; I'm just too upset and tilting at windmills and can't even write clearly. If you want to look at happy party pictures, good visitors from Pitchfork, just scroll down or click here.

As for my political rantings, please read Rigorous Intuition instead, the whole damn first page. And perhaps Jose Saramago's Blindness while you're at it, because certain scenes from it are looking eerily familiar.

I'll talk about music next, promise.

A modest proposal

Ok, and finally, since I'm still venting, I might as well get off my chest a proposal I've been thinking about for a while. It wouldn't do anything to help with flood planning, global warming, fuel conservation, but it would at least assure adquate troop numbers in the National Guard when, at times like these, they're actually needed on the domestic front:

Bring back the draft.

And no, I'm not kidding. Bring back conscription. Enough of these all-volunteer armies that draw disproportionately on the poor, undereducated, and unemployed. But this time, let's do it with a twist.

We'll use a lottery again, same way we did back in Vietnam. Only this time, lottery number #1 (that is, the first person to get called up) will go to the son(s)/daughter(s) of the sitting President who happen to be of draftable age. After that, the offspring of the Vice President. Then the Speaker of the House, and from there on down through the members of both houses of Congress. After that, we'll proceed in descending order through the children of the CEOs of the Fortune 500. (This may sound vindictive, but whose economic interests, ultimately, are served by chosen wars? That's right, theirs. And since they seem to pay no taxes any more, let them shoulder the personnel burden while we taxpayers finance the rest.) After that, well, we'll have to figure out the most economically feasible way to flesh out the rolls, but as long as we proceed in descending order through the wealthiest ranks of society, we'll be assured of rectifying past inequalities in both conscripted and all-volunteer militaries. (Plus, hey, we'll have a more educated military too! Though, unfortunately, there'll be a lot of Ritalin and cocaine addicts, but every army has its bad apples.)

And this time, there will be no deferments, no loopholes, no -- in the words of Cheney himself -- "other priorities."

Seriously. Bring back the motherfucking draft, but this time do it right. If nothing else, it'll make governments a hell of a lot more cautious when deciding to invade a foreign nation.

Shared sacrifice, my ass

I promise to get off my high horse soon, but another thing: that $10.4 billion dollars that Congress is pushing through -- I agree it's desperately needed, but who, exactly, is going to pay for it? Oh, that's right -- once those tax cuts become permanent, I guess it's just you and me, suckers -- plus the poor who have had social services slashed to nothingness for years now. Neat shell game, that.

Bush: drowning, not waving

Jesus fucking Christ.

Americans, wake up: the country is not safe. Bush failed to defend us from 9/11 (as did Clinton, but that's another story). He has failed to make us any safter after 9/11, despite his bullshit (and I would guess scripted) "I can hear you" moment standing atop the mass grave at Ground Zero; he has, in contrast, made us far less safe after 9/11, plunging us into a foolhardy and unnecessary war, estranging our erstwhile allies around the globe, further destabilizing the international oil market, cutting funding for crucial homeland security tasks like port inspections, and of course deploying thousands of National Guard troops far from home, exactly where they can't be marshalled in a crisis like this one.

And don't even get me started on global warming. What's next year's hurricane going to look like? What city will we lose in 2006?

Don't take it from me. Listen instead to Col. Terry Ebert, director of homeland security for New Orleans, quoted in the Times thusly:

"Asserting that the whole recovery operation had been 'carried on the backs of the little guys for four goddamn days,' he said 'the rest of the goddamn nation can't get us any resources for security.'

"'We are like little birds with our mouths open and you don't have to be very smart to know where to drop the worm,' Colonel Ebbert said. 'It's criminal within the confines of the United States that within one hour of the hurricane they weren't force-feeding us. It's like FEMA has never been to a hurricane.' FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

New York bounced back in large part because of New Yorkers' efforts. Remember the squabbling over federal emergency funds? The Feds didn't want to help out; the Feds hate New York and everything it stands for. If the devastation in New York had been any larger, it's now clear that the Federal government and FEMA would have been powerless to do anything about it; Bush got lucky because the destruction, in the end, was manageable, and Guiliani and New York as a whole managed to take care of it, "carried on the backs of the goddamn little guys," while Bush napped, planned wars, and cut taxes for his buddies.

This is the executive leadership of the failed executive, the man who never successfully ran a corporation anywhere but into the ground. How much money went to the restructuring of Homeland Security? And now it turns out they can't keep a single American city from falling into the hands of gun-wielding "thugs"?

(And don't even get me started - again - on what would happen in the case of an honest-to-God terrorist strike right now. You think Al Qaeda isn't watching CNN? You think they're not drawing a little dotted line across our Achilles Heel?)

Hey Democrats, you listening?