There’s a particular mouth, a kind of mouth, that certain men I know possess. It’s not a sensual one, not the thick lower lip or the wide easy smile, the soft tongue, or fierce white teeth, or the smell of nicotine. It’s really just a sort of pucker, a tightness, yes, a bit like that. But really it’s about the set of the jaw, the control behind the setting of the jaw, a muscle contraction, a well-managed temper, the second before the jaw is set, the moment before the mouth draws tight, lips together, eyes burning with irritation, usually ice blue, where you can see the impatience briefly flash and then be harnessed, again. They are intelligent. They burn. It’s unintentional. It’s not for my benefit. It simply is, and I see it and I burn when I do, or my chest fills with inhale.
C.K. is a comedian. His popular, culty stand-up is known for pushing boundaries while also being incredibly approachable. His cameos in TV comedies bring the giggles. He directed Pootie Tang.
His latest stand-up special was self-produced and self-financed. He released the video online, but did so in a fashion antithetical to the status quo. In his own words:
I’m three years old. My parents call me outside one day and point at the sky, from which water is falling onto the hard, dirt-packed floor of the Mojave. I can’t imagine where this water is coming from, but it’s everywhere, making the air smell like wet earth. I’m amazed. Later, I’m playing outside, digging earthworms out of the dirt with a spoon, when I spot the biggest earthworm I’ve ever seen. I’m thunderstruck with joy, but as I try to approach, my dog and my best friend, a cockapoo named Gnome, jumps in front of the worm, barking like he’s crazy. I keep approaching when, suddenly, the giant worm lashes out and bites Gnome, who yelps and falls to the ground. The worm rattles off. I run inside to get my mom, to tell her that a worm just bit the dog. She gets to him just in time to take him to the vet and save his life, as he has just done mine. My mom holds me on her lap and we sing my favorite song. “Say, say little playmate – come out and play with me. We’ll climb up my apple tree.” I think about how I wish I had an apple tree with rainbow slides and branches brimming with playmates.
February 22, 2011
Historically, I have had consistently delayed emotional responses to Radiohead’s albums. I remember Christmastime eleven years ago, when I asked my grandfather to buy me Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer along with their most recent album at the time, Kid A. And I remember listening to these albums and just “not getting it.” It was like Thom Yorke’s brilliance was too much for my little 16-year-old head to comprehend. But a few years later, in college, I gave the albums another shot and became addicted; but, it took months for all the subtle nuances and hypnotic lyrics of each song to settle in. When Hail to the Thief was released, I waited two years to buy it and for some reason I didn’t download In Rainbows when it was available online on as a pay-as-you-like basis. I eventually caught up, yet, their most recent album, The King of Limbs, seems to have placed me in the same quandary I was in eleven years ago – I’m just as lost as ever. I say this because the album seems like such a musical departure from more recent releases like the aforementioned In Rainbows (2007) and Hail to the Thief (2003). This album is menacing, eerie and vulnerable in its lyrical admissions.
Must update the nano. All my music’s on my classic, but you can’t run with a classic, so the nano has my running playlist on it. Also, it seems, last year’s Halloween Party list, and I’m sorry, but “Monster Mash” just won’t get me off today. Neither, for some reason will Pantera’s “Cowboys from hell.” Must be all the glittering water and sunlight. ‘High noon, your doom’ just doesn’t feel right.
It’s that time of the week, time for me and my beat-up ASICS to hit the road. Not the track or the treadmill, just some good old asphalt. The Sydney Bay run is a short, hard run and you don’t want to over-think it. The terrain is basically flat apart from a two-story flight of steps leading up to the nasty Iron Cove Bridge.
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Even before I became a Latin major in college (another in a long and colorful string of jackass moves by yours truly), I knew what this sentence meant. It basically means “there’s no accounting for taste.”
From my earliest age, music has been manna for my soul. It has been one of the primary platforms where I relate to the world (and to myself). From my first album (Glen Campbell, “Wichita Lineman”), to my first concert (Aerosmith, 1984, Worcester, MA), through tens of thousands of LPs, cassettes, cds, MP3s, concerts, shows, festivals, mix tapes, radio stations, etc., right up to the last time I played guitar (twenty minutes ago), music has accompanied me in virtually all endeavors, big and small. As I compose this article, I am listening to the album “Wrecking Ball,” by Dead Confederate.
For every trip I’ve taken, there has been a corresponding mix. Every relationship, an artist. I have go-to albums for every mood, and to this day few things excite me more than making a mix for a friend. My tastes, like Tiger Woods’ girlfriends, are all over the place.
May 07, 2009
1. “Supernatural Superserious” – R.E.M.
It starts like this: the immediate slash and burn of guitar. And a voice reminding us that there was once a time in our lives when we were ghosts, so supernatural/superserious in the face of this occasionally cruel world. Pasts we can hide from, pasts we can ignore, rediscover, reinvent, or simply embrace and accept as they are. As we are.
January 13, 2009
My wife is pregnant.
Claire is fertilizing my seed, so to say, and supposedly on June 6th we’ll have a full grown zucchini ready for bucketing.*