Preference Personnelle
Friday, October 30
This Vestax Guber turntable is pretty neat-looking, but I'm not sure there's really a market for it. It's just as expensive as a 1200, but you can't scratch with it. Or, alternately, it's just as expensive as a budget-audiophile turntable (e.g., Pro-Ject, or Music Hall), but it doesn't sound as good.
Thursday, October 29
Bouncy Ballad,
from April Bernard's Romanticism

Yon hieland bonny, hieland lassie,

strides across the brae.

She beckons aye to horse and doggie,

she has laughter for herself and all.

Within her bides the one she loved,

the clown who capered aboard the ship

as it sailed forever and gone.

Ships that sail past Greenland way,

those ships do not return.

Fare thee well, my bonny laddie,

I've saved up the love in your eyes.

Buttermilk froth and strawberry jam,

knife for the bread on the scrubbed pine board,

there's a feast to feed my friends.
by April Bernard

Just as the whelk-shell, so I have spiraled.

That's not it.

As the ibis feeds, so I have fed, and fed.

As the barley breathes gold-green in the wind, so I--

Let me say this plain:

I loved one as nothing else.

As the calyx anchors, then looses, the petals of the rose.
Saturday, October 24
OHHLA only lists six hip-hop songs which contain the words 'English muffin.' Here are the relevant rhymes, ranked from worst to best:

Comin back to a system that's whack and really not runnin
Oh I'm sorry it's runnin', it's not PROPERLY runnin'
It's a conspiracy, hear me man, it's got to be somethin'
I can get guns faster than I can get an English muffin
--KRS-ONE, 'Hip-Hop' (This song's from 2008. That muffin thing was probably true in the Scott LaRock days, but unless Kris keeps a gun in the crib, I don't think it was true last year. And, since it's a KRS song from 2008, I couldn't find it on Youtube. So here's a posse cut.)

Fiddle-fee, fiddle-fie, fiddle-foe, fiddle-fum
I smell the blood of an English
muffin, huffin and puffin
sellin his soul, J-E-L-L-O, ya know?
--MC Serch, 'Here It Comes' (Is this a subliminal Bill Cosby dis? The fuck?)

Suckin' then finger-fuckin', here let me show you somethin'
I knock the stuffin' off that English muffin
--Method Man, on Meth and Redman's 'I.O.U.' (Sorry, not on Youtube, but here's my favorite Meth/Redman video.)

Then I burn an MC up like a burnt English muffin
Brothers always puffin' in but ain't sayin' nuthin'
--Shyheim AKA the Rugged Child, 'Party's Goin' On'
(Meth probably kicked him some English muffin knowledge.)

I'm cream cheese with the English muffin
I still got respect in the Flatbush junction, hey
--Rampage, on Busta Rhymes 'Call the Ambulance'
(That's a pretty good muffin rhyme.)

I hit a beat and swing a note as if my name was David Ruffin
Quick to toast an MC just like an English muffin
Don't worry about a thing cause the Puba's never bluffin'
I gets headaches from the wack, so then I take a Bufferin
--Grand Puba, on Brand Nubian's 'All For One'
(And that's the best muffin rhyme ever. Also, Puba's so old-school, he takes Bufferin.)
Friday, October 23
People have gotten some real mileage out of 'translating' hip-hop lyrics into 'proper' English. It can be funny, but it's an easy one-note gag, and one that can come off prescriptivist at best and racist at worst. Instead of doing some kind of 'Kind sir, might I request that you stop dangling, like a participle, from my testicles?' bullshit, I'm going to try to rewrite a hip-hop song as something more like hardboiled crime fiction. All credit and respect due to M.O.P., and dbrush at New York's Suffolk County Public Library. I must confess, it warms my heart to know that these lyrics were transcribed by a library worker.

Fame's verse:

I'll be honest--I carry a gun. And when it comes to murdering people, well, I guess you could say I've got a gift. I live in one of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Maybe that's why I sometimes have the kinds of problems that can best be solved by shooting somebody.

Most of the time, I hang out with some guys from the neighborhood. One of my best friends is a dude we call Llama. I guess that's kind of a funny nickname, but, then again, people call me Lil Fame. It maybe goes without saying that we all carry guns. You need a gun if you want to shoot somebody.

The other day, I was out looking for this guy I know. As it turns out, he was also looking for me.

Well, I saw him, and I shot first. Having done this kind of thing before, after I shot him once, I kept shooting. When you fire a gun, there's excess gunpowder, and it burns up inside the gun--hence, gunsmoke. This was a .45, which is a big pistol, and, as I was shooting the guy, flames were literally coming out the end of the barrel.

After I shot him, I was thinking about getting out of there. The gun was hot, really hot, but I tucked it in my waistband and ran. Maybe it was the running, or maybe it was the adrenalin, or maybe it was the man I'd just killed. Whatever it was, my heart was beating so fast I felt like I'd smoked cocaine.

I found a quiet corner, caught my breath and thought about what to do next. After I reloaded the gun, I went back to my apartment. I had a few beers, smoked some pot and, as the alcohol and the weed started to hit me, I thought about what just happened.

The man I shot, if he had the chance, would have murdered me. Death can come at any moment--it's a cold, cruel world, but it's the world we live in. Still, if someone tries to kill me, I will kill them instead. Like I said, I've got a gift.

Danze's verse:

My name is William Danzinie, but people call me Billy Danze. I was recently charged with murder. Fortunately, I was acquitted. The first thing you need to know is that I live in a bad neighborhood. About a year ago, for example, a man named Gonzalez was shot, just a couple blocks away.

After Gonzalez' murder, one of my friends told me that a woman told the police that, on the day of the murder, she'd seen me sitting in my car at the murder scene. Worse yet, she claimed to have seen me shoot Gonzalez.

That's ridiculous. For one thing, I didn't even know the guy. And when he was shot, I was home at my apartment. Therefore, I'm innocent. My man was skeptical. After all, he said, there was a lot of gunfire, and I know you like to shoot guns. While it's true, I admitted, that I am a firearm enthusiast, the word on the street is that Gonzalez was shot with a 9-millimeter. I prefer the venerable M-1911 pistol, which is, of course, a .45.

Even so, I was getting worried. Thinking that I could be arrested at any moment, I asked my man to help me get a lawyer.

I was right about the lawyer.

Although the prosecutors offered me a plea-bargain, it was still twelve years. I decided to take my chances with a trial.

After the district attorney introduced the first witness, I jumped across the table and lunged toward her. Before the bailiffs restrained me, I made a point of looking every member of the jury in the face.

Well, I can be an intimidating guy, and maybe the witness had seen me around our neighborhood. Her testimony didn't help the DA as much as he'd hoped. The jury didn't convict. A few days later, I was walking casually through my neighborhood. In my pocket? The pistol I used to shoot Gonzalez.
Monday, October 12
2402 Garlic
Saturday, October 10
What's a better library-themed name for a metal band: Deaccession, or Bone Folder? Other suggestions gratefully accepted.
Friday, October 9
I just uploaded a 100% accurate FLAC rip, with fully optimized settings, complete with .log and .cue. Might be time for me to make that big leap. Sadly, my car radio, like every other car radio I looked at, doesn't support any lossless format besides plain old .wav.

Unrelatedly, I just bought a tool from this guy. I'm pretty psyched--he's a good guy, and he makes some great tools.

Even more unrelatedly, a lady brought a bag of donations to the library today. Inside it were a bunch of books, a few magazines, a menorah and two gross of bottle rockets.
Thursday, October 8
If you know me, you probably know I like crime fiction, and you've probably heard me talk about how I like writers who are great at creating and evoking a sense of place--like James Ellroy's Los Angeles (or Michael Connelly's), or Carl Hiaasen's Florida (or Charles Willeford's), or Donald Harstad's Iowa. Here are two more I've discovered recently: William Kent Krueger writes beautifully about northern Minnesota (Minnesotans, either born-and-raised like Paul or Elizabeth or transplanted like Rebekah, might give him a try), and Jenny Siler's first couple books draw the best Montana since the late James Crumley. Recommended.
Monday, October 5
Spoiler: it's Bill Murray.

Unrelatedly, here's an AV Club thing about ten-minute-plus pop songs. I like long songs. My list has more psychedelic soul ('Smiling Faces Sometimes,' 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone,' 'Ball of Confusion,' etc.) and Afrobeat, though, and less 'Rapper's Delight.' If you want a crazy-long rap song, consider the Beastie Boys' 'B-Boy Boullabaise,' which appears on their list, or K-Rob and Rammellzee's 'Beat Bop,' which does not. There are some lists in here, too.
Sunday, October 4
They used to call me Crazy Joe. Well, now they can call me Batman!
Saturday, October 3
on the pond
a curled duck feather
catches the breeze

Harold D. Braida

Did you know Ito En, a tea company, has an annual haiku contest?
The Visitation
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

God sends his tasks
and one does
them or not, but the sky
delivers its gifts
at the appointed
times: With spit and sigh,
with that improbable
burst of flame, the balloon
comes over
the cornfield, bringing
another country
with it, bringing
from a long way off
those colors that are at first
the low sound
of a horn, but soon
are many horns, and clocks,
and bells, and clappers
and your heart
rising to the silence
in all of them, a silence
so complete that
the heads of the corn
bow back before it
and the dog flees in terror
down the road
and you alone are left
gazing up
at three solemn visitors
in a golden cage
beneath that unbelievable chorus of red
and white, swinging
so close you cannot move
or speak, so close
the road grows wet with light,
as when the sun flares,
after an evening storm
and you become weightless, falling
back in the air
before the giant oak
that with a fiery burst
the balloon
just clears.
A lagniappe of cultural kitsch and B-movie claptrap

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