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Encolpio Snaporaz

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Shattered Glass Empire [30 Jan 2009|08:12pm]
I turned my back on reading about a year ago because it seemed too time-consuming. I read (and wrote) a lot when I was a teenager. Something about social life seemed like a waste...I politely requested my mother to tell all friends I was away when they called so I could sit in my dimly lit bedroom writing stories of dead teenagers dealing with their first crushes whilst trying to survive violent gameshows, robots on the African plains, and ancient demons and their golems made from the stones of Hell. Lately, I've felt a desire to amend my ills toward the written word and thus, with the help of Carisa, I have begun the long road back. I wrapped up Fahrenheit 451 (which i started a year ago en route to California) and The Serpent and the Rainbow. Now, I am juggling The Hero With a Thousand Faces and Jean Genet's the Thief's Journal with Jitterbug Perfume waiting in the wings.

Carisa has also managed to teach me rudimentary chakra meditation through e-mail instructions alone. It has vastly improved my approach for the short time that I've been doing it. My approach to music has been slightly more ambitious, helping me to (at least in my mind) achieve the decadent psychedelic bloody glittering disco sci fi pop that I've so desired and held on the tip of my tongue. And my ambition to paint has never been stronger...I bought a canvas and some paint and am ready to begin on a portrait of an execution by crocodile carried out by orphans ruling over a post-apocalyptic Magic Kingdom. It's a welcome release from the economic stress that has been under my skin this past week, like the shifting apparition of a gluttonous giant sliding beneath the pavement of the city...an upside down rain cloud pouring up grinning despair. I had a theme song from Christmas Evil in my head for most of the week...and for some reason it instilled in me the most ridiculous feelings of dread, guilt, and the overwhelming feeling that everyone I love will die someday. I'm not afraid of dying, but I'm so terrified of the world around me ceasing to exist someday. I want my friends and family...the pets and the plants...even the enemies...to outlive me. I want the world to be constant, even if I am not.
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A Letter From the Ruby Metropolis [11 Jan 2009|12:50pm]
The highlight and simultaneously lowest point of the week was spent stood atop the parking garage at LAX holding Carisa's hand and watching the illuminated pillars change to red and white. It was as if we'd fallen into Logan's Run but couldn't quite figure how to move our legs, let alone sprint for our lives. Walking her across the bridge to the international departures terminal felt much worse and more manageable than I had imagined, somehow co-existing in a spinning haze that left me enthusiastically joking one moment, then lapsing into a cruel silence. We kissed our farewells better than we spoke them and I hastily walked away, afraid to look back. My best efforts as I stood alone on the elevator managed a stone face, but I still felt four hot tears before I got into my car and frantically searched for anything to listen to besides Scott Walker's Scott 4 which I had sadistically packed for the return drive. In Carisa's absence, some ambitions have come to the forefront...I'm returning to painting, I've decided to start writing about music again, the ideas for Les Enfants du Paradis are forming quickly (though admittedly more out of a feeling that modern music needs a project like this)...but I've spent the full weekend ill, watching movies alone in my room, smoking a lot of pot and drinking a lot of pink lemonade. Besides the aforementioned Mr. Walker dominating my stereo, I have recently acquired some records by Yukihiro Takahashi and Sandii and the Sunsetz...every Winter I gravitate toward that YMO/Japan sort of sound and I had been inundating Carisa with Mick Karn bass lines prior to her departure. In addition, I've been in the mood for really standard, cloudy day pop goth music like the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and (in some way that makes sense to me) Lush. Earlier this week, I made a U-shape out of the excess of pillows I now have and felt like the prince of a ruby metropolis as I fell into sleep.
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We All Feel Better in the Dark [16 Apr 2008|12:50pm]
I should be writing something legitimate like new band reviews, live reports, etc. but I feel the need, for my own reference really, to mention a dream I had last night. Currently, I am recuperating from a head cold that I contracted Friday night. After meeting a friend at Brite Spot to shout out ideas for her Ornithology Club, I returned home, collapsed into a semi-inflated bed listening to Stereolab and this happened...

Tears For Fears was playing at a school that shifted from university, to middle school, to high school. Surprisingly, this was not the University that often appears in my dreams but it sort of resembled the elementary school I had attended, though much larger in scale and more modern. Tears For Fears were not Tears For Fears. There was sort of a Chris Lowe-meets-Renfield type character stalking behind the scenes and I was given the difficult task of communicating with this fellow as I was somehow involved in the production. My involvement increased as the dream progressed. Tears For Fears entourage were clothed in white hooded robes, looking somewhat religious and solemn in a way. I too wore these robes, though mine were excessively stained with blood, I believe fake. I was also wearing new romantic style make-up and by the end of the dream, I think I was actually a touring member of Tears For Fears, though their music was much bigger in scale and darker in mood. Despite the heavy feel of the dream, I was flirting heavily with a Latin girl in a green T-shirt and black slacks and was under the impression I had fallen in love with her. She was very sweet and showered me with shy compliments.

I have been going out to shows and clubs much more often now that I live in a city where things happen on a regular basis. For the most part, this is an enjoyable experience, but seeing two sides to everything, I can flip flop very easily. With the exception of smoking pot and drinking, I don't really dabble in chemical recreation, so in the club scene I feel a bit left out sometimes and one of the few ways for me to lock in to that world is dancing. I'm not a good dancer by any means, but I enjoy it immensely. Unfortunately, Los Angeles dancefloors are lonely, icy places. I normally dance alone, with my eyes closed, but it feels more comfortable if my friends are dancing as well. Otherwise, I feel sort of like some cheesy disco prowler cruising clubs for ass. But in all except a few cases since I've moved to Los Angeles, I dance while my friends motionlessly converse on the sidelines or outside. I've started opening my eyes but looking up at the mirror ball while I dance because the glinting light sort of blinds me and makes everything look better. I feel this strange obligation to check in on my friends, as if my dancing may be inconveniencing them or restraining them from something somehow. Due to this, I'll probably start going to club nights alone for the most part, because between the flashes of light from the mirror ball and the sleek darkness of the club itself, there is a comfort I can resign myself to. And there is a strange and private contentment in collapsing in a tiny bedroom alone and listening to Pet Shop Boys in really dim lighting.
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Sugar Shack Empire [10 Apr 2008|09:48pm]
My evening last night was deceptively enchanting largely in part to my new acquaintance, Quintus, who is such an unintentionally entertaining person. I met him at his quaint apartment, sparsely but sensibly decorated with antiques that each harbored a sense of strong personality...so many individual stories but such a cohesive picture. As I'd been hinting at my curiosity over his music collection, Quintus entertained me with artists that may be commonplace, but are utterly foreign to me: Glen Branca, HTRK, Andrew Liles, Marsz, and a myriad of field recordings and spectral audio. Quintus can easily create a relaxed, comfortable environment using only alien and foreign concepts which is a rare gift possibly unique to him. Eventually, we got to the matter at hand: the International Noise Conference at The Smell. This was my first meeting with The Smell and it immediately reminded me of the tenement scenes of Fellini's Satyricon. A band echoed through the darkness...a mesh of distorted voices and pounding drums...we never heard their name, much less saw them through the dark recesses, graffiti and sweaty youth. Quintus took much more interest in the following few performances, being a musician and caring how sound is created and transmitted, but I grew weary of the static and shrieks, so Quintus took me to a restaurant he enjoys where he consumed enormous amounts of meat, while I discreetly nibbled at some cucumber rolls. It's always nice to meet a new friend, and these deceptively sedate nights can be the best medicine for stressful times.

My plan to harvest Kellers has gone swimmingly, as today around noon, I received word from Nathan that Calvin, he, and I had acquired the house in Echo Park we had wanted. Nathan is moving in at this moment, but I'm waiting until this weekend. I still have yet to see the house, but I've already dubbed it the Sugar Shack. I am hoping to snag the smallest (and cheapest) of the rooms because I only need room for a bed, a computer, and whatever piece of musical equipment I might be recording at the moment. I am still fantasizing that Nathan and I are going to lounge about, wearing matching tennis uniforms, and listening to The Associates' Sulk on repeat.

An insane amount of good shows are cropping up now that I have to watch my wallet, but I came out to Los Angeles to be exposed to more and I'm not going to be a sissy about it now. Saturday night is Crystal Castles at a warehouse downtown...past warehouse shows I've attended involved a girl in camouflage getting fingered ON MY FRIEND who was very uncomfortable about it all, a group of AC/DC fans attacking a random girl, and a girl dressed like Snow White getting violently beaten for dancing to "Back in Black" only to be scolded by her girlfriend before violently making out. So, I love warehouse shows.

Sunday night is Part Time Punks (which Nathan assures me is walking distance from our new home) and a band I've been really psyched about is playing, Weave. Pretty much everyone I know would really dig them, so I'm hoping a lot of my friends meet me there for a guaranteed killer show.

Next weekend at Violaine, my friend's band Sleepmask is playing...their song "Slumber Party Massacre" is ridiculously catchy and it's 4AD tribute night which can't go wrong...can it?

But what I'm absolutely freaking about...like possibly the best show I will ever see: Julia Holter>Jason Grier>Ariel Pink>Gary Wilson. I didn't even believe it when I first read it, but that's just a fucking insane line up. Every act is a headliner. I secretly hope none of my friends go, so they won't see me cry if Gary Wilson looks at me.
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Bath Time in the Serengeti [26 Jan 2008|10:50pm]
I'm very nostalgic or narcissistic or possibly both, but I like to document moments in my life, mostly so that I can return to those writings several years later and remark, "That's what I was really into on this day, three years ago."  Then I get flooded with lots of details I'd forgotten...actual emotions as if I'd tumbled backward into a role I'd played in a film none of my friends or associates had ever even heard of.  I haven't had much time to document anything lately, because my responsibilities in this move (two weeks away now) have really monopolized my time.  That's not to say I haven't stopped to smell the roses, I've just sort of done that while pulling weeds.  Without gloves.  And no that's not a veiled reference to sex without rubbers.

Chief amongst my strange acts of leisure this month, I've begun to take more baths as opposed to showers.  You see, I have this fear of taking baths.  It's not claustrophobia, it's not a fear of water, but it is a strange hybrid of the two.  My fear magnifies if I close my eyes or have to wash my hair.  And i never turn my back on the drain.  It's not like I'm afraid a CHUD is going to get me (although that was a creepy movie)...it could have to do with this time I had to take a bath at a friends house with him when I was in like second grade.  Like, his mother made us take a bath together.  And it was a nice bath tub and all, but this was like the first time I'd been to this kid's house, I wasn't super cool with getting naked with ANY of my friends regardless of gender, and there was this really tiny dead spider floating around in the water.  In any case, Klocko bought me this eucalyptus and peppermint foam bath for Christmas so I put on some Missing Persons and gave it a shot.  And it wasn't bad at all.  So I've started taking baths with an occasional shower.  I still can't stay in the bath for longer than a span of about 2-3 pop songs, and I don't like closing my eyes because I instantly imagine I'm laying in a big puddle in the Serengeti, moments away from being torn to shreds by crocodiles.  But I am going to miss having the time to take baths in Los Angeles as well as the privacy, but c'est la vie.

I was thinking earlier this week how the stress of moving has made me feel this weird ill feeling, like how I imagine it must feel after contracting a terminal STD...all sore and scraped out like a human jack-o'-lantern.  Coincidentally, Klocko came home into a comic book about a mysterious STD called Blackhole.  It sounded interesting, but I was mildly disappointed as Crocodile Club had been working on a song since like 2002 about a fictitious STD called "Virulent Red."  I doubt many parallels would be drawn, but I'd be slightly embarrassed if anyone thought I'd taken lyrical inspiration from a comic book.  I mean, I assure you that songs about lesbians in search of zombie dust and suicides over pet stores are all my own sophisticated ideas.
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Encolpio Snaporaz is the Village Green Preservation Society [25 Dec 2007|11:11am]
Do you ever notice that, in dreams (and maybe it’s just me), as we begin to wake up we almost feel regret...like this is our life and we’re going to lose it forever when we wake up as a character in a different reality?  The feeling that real life is the dream and the people we care about are in the subconscious world...memories burning away in the heat of the daily routine.  I suppose that’s how I felt leaving Naples last night as I said my good-byes to my family.  I don’t want to get too detailed or too personal, but I hate long good-byes and this good-bye took 3 days. 

But enough pining for the past, I just got the new album by The Deadly Ensemble and it blows the first one out of the water.  Definitely worth the money...James does some really insane and catchy bass all over that album and you never realize how integral Marzia is to the Deadfly sound until you compare the two albums...she definitely knocked them up to ten.  Even the material Lucas did on his own are top notch.  So, insure yourself a Happy new Year by getting A Seed Catalog For Extinct Annuals.  And no, The Deadfly Ensemble did not sponsor a sappy post of Christmas time nostalgia.
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The real Housewives of Naples, FL [23 Nov 2007|03:36pm]
Thanksgiving 2007 was not nearly as terrible as it could have been (ie. my cousin didn't almost murder me in a drunkenly confused hybrid of a strangle and an embrace) but it really wasn't ideal and I wouldn't do it over.  I woke up at 6:30AM to begin the drive to Naples and was graced with a beautiful view of the sunrise rising over Payne's Prairie which was actually sort of a nice way to start a four hour drive to some place you don't really want to go.  Since my last trip to Naples, I haven't really looked forward to going back other than to see my sisters.  I really love my parents, but I'm often confused by their approaches so much that interacting with them normally leaves me feeling awkward.  News that would impress them years ago disappoints them now.  This man and woman used to play David Bowie's Hunky Dory for me as a lullaby when I was a baby; now they teach aerobics and like C&C Music Factory.  I am starting to enjoy long drives as a means of preparing for the quickly approaching move to Los Angeles and this drive went surprisingly well; I only had to hit the brakes once to avoid hitting a (and I'm not joking) large iguana that was crossing the interstate.  My reptilian friend made his journey safely as well, which I was very thankful for considering I had seen everything from squirrels to german shepherds dead on the road side throughout the last four hours and, as pathetic as it may seem to the common man, this greatly depresses me and I think about it way more than you'd imagine.

My mother lives in a gated community and I couldn't remember the code to pass through, so I gave her a quick call from the gas station at the end of the lane.  No answer.  So, I phoned my youngest sister, assuming my younger sister would be at work.  No answer.  So, I called my younger sister hoping that she wasn't at work.  No answer.  So I called my father and, typically, got the answering machine.  Halfway through my message, he answered the phone and a few moments later, my mother was insisting on showing me her favorite episodes of Boston Legal while her skittish shibu inus Simon and Baby gathered around me to try to remember my identity.  My mother and I took the dogs for a walk; she insisted that I take Baby as Simon tries to wiggle free from his leash and has escaped four times in the few months that my mother has had him.  At one point, Baby (easily the most hyperactive dog in the family) lunged at a baby lizard.  I was unable to retract her leash in time and she ended up killing it.  My mother seemed disappointed but she was polite to me and in my head I just reminded myself that Diva will be the final pet under my responsibility.  The lizard incident made me feel really awkward and I was relieved to watch the second episode of Boston Legal.  

Dinner was very forgettable.  My grandmother had decided (since my grandfather's death a few years ago she has seemed to frown on anything traditional) that we should have dinner at her condo association's clubhouse, but upon discovering I was vegetarian, she felt we should have Thanksgiving dinner at Mel's Diner.  Depressed yet?  My cousin objected and convinced my grandmother that we should go to Big Al's Sports Bar instead.  No more close calls or twists; sadly, we ended up eating Thanksgiving dinner at Big Al's Sports Bar.  My grandmother was uncharacteristically bitchy.  Her complaints, off the top of my head:
1.) My chair is sticky...children must have sat here before me.
2.) My coffee cop is leaking. (It wasn't, she had just spilled a little onto the saucer.)
3.) Your hair looks ridiculous.  (Said to my sister who had just dyed her hair pink.)
4.) Your hair will look ridiculous.  (Said to my aunt when she considered dyeing her hair black like mine.)
5.) THAT is what you're ordering?! (Said to me when I decided to order spinach and artichoke dip...the only vegetarian choice on the menu.)

My grandmother demanded we return to her house to go over some important business; plans for Christmas.  Rather than skip Christmas completely (which I'm sure 90% of my family secretly wants to do) my grandmother suggested we do a Secret Santa and limit ourselves to giving only one gift and receiving only one gift.  This outraged my cousin; as did the concept that the limit for the gift was $50 because everything she wanted was well over $50.  Quickly, my cousin demanded that it be made clear that $50 was the MINIMUM to be spent on a gift, because otherwise someone could just buy her "a gum ball."  My father announced that if he pulled her name, he would buy her $50 worth of gum balls.  At this point, I was starting to panic a bit because, to me, $50 is a lot. $50 is about $200 more than I can afford.  So, I discretely pulled my grandmother aside and asked her if it would be okay if I refrained from the gift giving festivities.  She looked concerned and asked why and, to avoid looking like the cheap bastard my family would regard me as, I said "I won't be here for Christmas."  

Technically, this is true, because I have to work the day after Christmas, but I will be in town right before Christmas dropping off belongings that won't be coming with me to California.  My grandmother was disappointed but accepted this and I returned to my seat, confident that the situation had been handled quietly and discreetly.  Until my grandmother announced to the room that I would not be participating.

There was really no backlash other than silence and dismissal, so awkwardly I began text messaging Klocko (text messaging is a "skill" that I struggle with greatly...if anyone ever receives a text message from me, it means I'm in an uncomfortable social situation which calls for me to look preoccupied.)  

I returned to my sister's house and got stoned with her and her boyfriend, watched TV, played with my other sister's dog Reilly (who was still at work and who I never got to see, unfortunately.)  The hollowness of the entire trip hit me when, still fairly stoned, I realized I couldn't find my mother's house because I was driving around in the wrong gated community.  I stopped my car and looked around me with envy; happy families with children not struggling to keep something together that is so far gone.  It's been a long time since I've stayed in that city longer than 24 hours.
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Is it Possible to Put a Copyright on an Idea to Bootleg? [16 Sep 2007|12:04pm]
Admittedly, I haven’t been keeping up on my once-a-month update schedule which sort of derailed when we lost our internet access at the Crocodile Den for a little bit.  A lot has happened since the last non-Los-Angeles-centric update, but as it currently stands, Klocko will be pursuing her career in aerial acrobatics in Chicago and I will be trying to maintain my current projects in Los Angeles.  To the three fans of Crocodile Club, I think we’ll carry on long distance, but I imagine Klocko will begin devoting more time to her own projects (both audio and visual) and I will probably begin work on more psych-pop-oriented solo material.  I’m confiding in you, internet, by admitting that I’ve never been more terrified of a move in my life.  The silver lining is that I have until mid/late March to get everything figured out, but a move from Florida to California is somewhat challenging.  My biggest obstacle is that I have a cat, Diva, who cannot stand a car ride of more than 45 minutes without puking all over herself in anxiety, and mapquest has informed me that it will take 35 hours to get from Gainesville to Echo Park.  I’m planning on doing 12 hours of driving a day which is probably feasible, but I’ve not yet figured if I’ll be doing this trip on my own.  I’ve contemplated leaving Diva with a friend in Florida and having her sent as air cargo where I’ll pick her up from LAX, but I’m an over-protective parent and have some apprehensions with Diva flying alone.  The other dilemma is finding a job and an apartment.  I’m pretty qualified to work in shipping or insurance...any clerical office job really...but it will be tricky to coincide landing a job close to my apartment or getting an apartment/room for an out of state cat owner.  I will need a lot of luck to make this move work smoothly.

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To Live and Die in LA...or Just Live in LA, Actually [01 Sep 2007|08:17pm]
I was going to put off writing about my holiday to Los Angeles but since Diva has greeted any attempts I make to fall asleep with sprawling on my chest and whining at me, sleep will remain a memory.  This is going to be a bumpy ride since the days sort of gelled together, but the events will still be there in some semblance of order.  At some point, I’ll put up photos and it will all be so much more coherent.

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I Don't Know, Myspace is Getting the Good Headlines These Days [01 Jul 2007|08:41pm]

If it weren’t for this post, I’d probably never recall this month because I’ve been so bored throughout the duration of it.  I’ve been actively bored which is a rather strange state because you’re creating but not feeling creative, so you’re basically droning through your own projects, without any sense of pride or excitement in your work.  This has been quite a productive month but with nothing to show for it...like the first few months of a karate class when you had hoped to be chopping through cinder blocks but only learned to stand on one foot for over four minutes.  What a colorless month June has been...devoid of any sort of amiability, monochromatic but so fast paced. 

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Contrary to Popular Belief, I've Stolen Many a Flower [03 Jun 2007|12:36pm]

Due to several days of smoke from wildfires in northern Florida and southern Georgia, the weather in May seemed a bit off.  This month is most defined in my mind as the month I was born and though I’m happy to be here, people of Earth, I must confess that my birthday only reminds me of my unrealized ambitions and personal failures.  But I can’t keep beating myself up over the demise of the McRib.

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Hopefully the Most I'll Ever Mention Eggs in a Month [30 Apr 2007|08:45pm]
My least favorite month of the year, but it wasn’t so bad this time around.  Maybe because a strange obsession with petit-fours and Easter eggs (or as the Italians call them...uovos di pasqua...errr, something like that) painted enough pastel on my brain to coerce me into creating a bleached out, silver-and-pastel clown prince paramour for live shows or maybe just because I watched an awful lot of television. 

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Red Wedding: 1981-1985 [07 Apr 2007|04:37pm]
Recently, I've been talking to Michael Ely, the vocalist of long defunct new wave (for lack of a better term) band Red Wedding and in so doing managed to get a copy of their extremely limited Red Wedding: 1981-1985 disc which features the entirety of their EPs Up and Down the Aisle (1982) and Nails (1984) as well as rarities, demos, and their unreleased third EP.  This really was a very strong act of the early '80s so I was honored when Michael asked me to write a quick review for their website and, in order to get the word out, I'm going to post the review here. 

If you'd like to hear a couple of their tracks done live on New Wave Theatre, you can check out these clips on youtube.com (just listen past the opening credits featuring Fear's "Camarillo" of course):

"So We Make History"

"All Dressed Up"

*NOTE: This is NOT the review/interview with Michael that I did for an upcoming issue of Drop Dead Magazine.
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March [01 Apr 2007|10:25am]

I don’t feel that March really began but now it’s over.  To be honest, there are only four words needed to describe what happened to me this month:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

Follow Up From Last Post: An intact fretless bass arrived and it sounds like a fucking dream.  The rental office let me off without a late fee thanks to Klocko’s persuasion.  The real bitch of my situation now is that my dentist cancelled my second wisdom teeth appointment leaving me in an uncomfortable situation with trying to orchestrate the combination of a date that falls into the 1/3 of the year that he’s actually in the office and two days that I can miss from work. 

Extra-curricular Activities:
Europe’s off, Los Angeles is on.  I’d still love to visit Rome in the very near future, but my budget (and my conscience) are telling me to bring my bass to Los Angeles, socialize with people who actually like music and art (even the people that like it for superficial reasons are better company than the people who don’t like it at all) and eat some real Mexican food.  My second painting has progressed in that all three panels are now covered, but not really saturated and I’m kind of at a gridlock as to where to go from here.  I know it’s not finished, but I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to paint.  So, in the meantime, I’ve begun a self-portrait and, one day in to it, I actually like it.  My mannequin heads are nearly complete, too. 
Thanks to Klocko, I’ve realized just how vital a hair straightener can be and I actually purchased my very own this weekend (but resisted buying the $40 straightener with pink porcelain.) 
Klocko has also taught me to make two of my favorite drinks: cosmopolitans and flirtinis, which I’ve been drinking all weekend.  After our first night of flirtinis, we went on a picnic which was ultra-relaxing...eating pesto, tomato, avocado, and mozzarella sandwiches, Terra chips, and listening to Stereolab, The Association, and Strawberry Alarm Clock and laughing at the nerds who come out to the park on a Saturday afternoon.  High times!

Meanwhile, at the Crocodile Club...:

We dragged poor Trey around Gainesville trying to find some sort of soundcard that we need to do home recording onto our computers and found nothing at all.  We thought I could record using my web cam microphone, but web cams have a bit of a delay so my bass ends up about a half second behind where it needs to be.  So, it’s been a rather slow month.  Klocko did some cute revisions to our myspace site and added our terrible demo of “Mung” that we did in an hour with no mixing at all and what I can only hope was a broken microphone.  I’ve started to figure out which songs work better on fretless as opposed to fretted bass, and toyed with the idea of adding some probationary Crocodile Club members, possibly to make practices more feasible, but the idea sort of miscarried. 

New Albums:

Ken Andrews - Secrets of the Lost Satellite
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - House Arrest
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - (a CD from my friend Shawn that features every track available from Ariel Pink...definitely one of the best gifts I’ve ever received)
Dali’s Car - The Waking Hour
The Phantom Limbs - Applied Ignorance
The Phantom Limbs - Displacement
The Phantom Limbs - Random Hymns EP
David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees

Mostly Been Listening To: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Ken Andrews, The Vanishing

I have to reiterate that I think Ariel Pink is one of the most gifted modern songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear.  I normally save this sort of unashamed gushing for Justin Foulkes, but the difference is that at least a few of the people around me appreciate Justin Foulkes.  With the exception of my Tallahassee friends, everyone I know despises Ariel Pink.  Normally, I wouldn’t care, (and it's not that I'm pissed off, just confused) but I equate it to a classical music fan hearing Bach only to be told by the rest of the world that he’s bullshit.  Sure, it doesn’t hurt the music at all, but you can’t help but wonder what you hear in that music that speaks so directly to you that no one else hears.  Usually when I get a new album, I listen to it for 3 days and then I’m on something else.  I’ve listened to Ariel Pink almost everyday for a full month.  If you haven’t heard him, check him out and tell me I’m not losing my mind.  I highly recommend: “I Wanna Be Young”, “Trepanated Earth”, “The List”, “Artifact”, “Haunted Graffiti”, “Every Night I Die at Miyagis”, “So Glad” and “Almost Waiting” but I really like everything he does.  I also now have a ton of R. Stevie Moore albums I want to buy.

Reading: I have to take a break from Antonin Artaud because it’s very difficult for me to read philosophies and manifestos, even on something as important as changes in theatre.  Last night I bought Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to read while drinking a flirtini and so far it’s really quite good.

Films Watched: The inexcusably bad Marie Antoinette which made me want to buy a baby wolverine, feed it only raw meat and gun powder, and then unleash it onto Kirsten Dunst and Sophia Coppola.  I laughed twice, but it didn’t make up for the extreme annoyance of watching a girl who’s a bigger alabaster retard than the moon try to sell me a story with no dialogue and a cast that made cardboard cut-outs seem bombastic.  And note to Sophia Coppola: that Big Bad Wolf as the good guy gimmick doesn’t work very well with history’s biggest douchebags, especially when we’re pretty much living it today.  Not even if you put that amateur post-punk greatest hits mix tape as the soundtrack. 
However, Klocko and I watched the last 4 episodes of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace on youtube and it was brilliant!  I couldn’t breathe during the series finale.  I also bought Season 5 of Kids in the Hall last night and though I’ve seen it a million times, it never gets old.

Running Jokes:
We’ve been incorporating the Thornton Reed rap from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace into as many normal situations as possible.  Lots of random fantasizing about embarrassing people, but not in a Prince sort of way. 
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20,000 Leagues? Ok. Mr. Toad? Fuck You, Disney. [09 Mar 2007|09:18pm]
I have really disliked February since I was a child...the time when Winter starts to drag on, the holidays are a fading memory, there are no holidays in the near future...and I really hate Easter.  I always felt really dirty plucking colored eggs out of lawns sticky with condensation, wearing color schemes that had to have started out as a sadist's joke.  February, March, and April mark the trilogy of months that I can't stand...Klocko's birthday...need I say more?  Who wants to give up an hour to spring into a future that just involves a Monday at worl?  And February's that awkward short month too...which I was reminded of when I realized rent was late.

Follow Up From Last Post: The fretless bass turned up disfigured again...it seems the company may have re-sent me the same damaged bass.  In a few days, the third (probably second, actually) bass should be arriving in time for me to possibly work out something for "When Adonis Met Colossus."  

Extra-curricular Activities:
Painting has not been going so well and I've turned my attention to the more menial task of re-painting the styrofoam mannequin heads to mirror my android personality Prototype 0.  It's not really an activity but I spent at least a few hours this month researching the demise of two of my favorite childhood rides at Disney World: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...I guess Anaheim still has Mr. Toad at least.  I am still planning for Europe though it appears I'll be making the journey completely on my own with no planned visits...just myself and faceless Europe for 7 days.  I've begun exercising more regularly and exorcising less.  But speaking of painting, here is a really bad photo of an even worse painting...my first shot at it...a portrait of my best friend and worst loan shark Klocko Peacocko entitled "The First Replicant in Heaven."

Meanwhile, at the Crocodile Club...:
The first meeting for what is to be the premier Crocodile Club single was disastrous, ending with me acting like a militant drunken primadonna over suggested changes on “Virulent Red” and “Bathroom Minotaur.”  The verdict: this is going to be a bit tougher than I had planned.  With the aid of rudimentary drum programming, my ideas are becoming more feasible, but in the meantime, creative control has been handed over to Klocko Peacocko in the hopes that her musical ideas will be easier to communicate.  Preliminary sketches were done on a song involving a male gorgon and, even at this late hour, it’s anyone’s guess what will appear on the single, if we can actually pull it off in time. 

New Albums:

Akiko Yano - Ai ga Nakuchane
Akiko Yano - Oesu Oesu
Air - Pocket Symphony

Mostly Been Listening To: David Bowie (Station to Station and Berlin trilogy), Air, Akiko Yano,  Meat Beat Manifesto, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

Reading: a couple chapters of Antonin Artaud’s The Theater and It’s Double; pages from a travel book on Italy; contemplated checking out some Jules Verne books from the library

Films Watched: Lair of the White Worm (thanks to Trey), Reno 911: Miami, the first and second series of The Mighty Boosh, two episodes of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

Running Jokes: A lot of Mighty Boosh quotes.  A lot of “jimmy jokes” about Trey.  The kind he might not like.
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January [04 Feb 2007|05:16pm]
This is a bit lame, but when I get overwhelmed and feel the need to keep some form of journal but find myself in time constraints, I make lists.  So, this may possibly be the new format for this journal, unless I get horribly unproductive and actual find time to keep this updated regularly.

Follow Up From Last Post: I now know how to wear contact lenses.  I also managed to buy a fretless bass and it was a wonderful but short lived encounter...the G tuning mechanism was bent and so I’ve had to return it for a replacement.

Extra-curricular Activities: I’m about a third of the way through my second painting, feeling content with the results.  My new friend Carolina has been unintentionally teaching me Italian; I can now say the words “growl”, “honey”, and “notebook.”  I’ve also begun to take a serious interest in traveling to Europe; specifically Rome.  Klocko and I had been planning to take a trip to Tanzania with some of our acquaintances from California, but the price tag was a bit sobering.  I also managed to complete a press release for my friend Levi’s band Black Aura, only to find they’ve called it a day. 

Meanwhile, at the Crocodile Club...:

This is a photo that has not gone through full editing, but is the result of an impromptu photo shoot Klocko and I did with our good friend Angebot.  I thought it had a Virgin Prunes feel, someone said Dresden Dolls and it made me want to become a eunuch.  Well, I’ve always kind of wanted to, I guess.  But I don’t ever want to be compared to Dresden Dolls again.
Anyway, the real news is that after feeling down about missing what had to have been a great performance by Entertainme.nt in Atlanta, Klocko has just informed me that we will be recording a single with the assistance of Entertainme.nt’s Trey Ehart in March.  It’s all super casual, but I’m still really excited.  Klocko has her friend Fletch coming over next week to install the necessary programs, Trey’s coming down this weekend to optimize our Juno-106, and Klocko has just bought a mandolin that we’ve already worked in to one of the tracks.

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I Could Have Gone All of 2006 Without Hearing About D'Shante Huxster [01 Jan 2007|09:02pm]
It's admittedly ridiculous that I am writing this in a mild depression over the fact that I cannot wear contact lenses.  My vision is fairly bad and I wear glasses in classroom settings and when driving, but I had wanted to get contacts to wear to shows so that I no longer had to fight for the front to see the bands.  Unfortunately, and this is a bit embarrassing considering I've always thought my eyes were very attractive, I cannot hold my eye open enough to put the contact in.  My lashes (which I've always wished were much larger and thicker) take to fluttering wildly the moment my finger gets within inches of my iris and at times my lashes actually over power a full hand used to pry them open.  Saturday was day one and I was humbled by one of the optometrist's assistants having to put the lenses in for me, though she admitted to having great difficulty due to my inability to keep my eyes open.  Then I spent 30 minutes Saturday night trying to remove the contacts, which seemed to tear the edges ever so slightly.  Sunday morning found me giving up on contacts after an hour of failed attempts that proved the contacts are a much more snug fit on my finger tips than my eyes, but around noon, I actually tricked my eyes into accepting the contacts.  But the optimism was short -lived as this morning sacrificed an hour for the right lense to be applied and not much time was given to the left lense before it tore in two.  My eyes were left completedly red with red specks beneath the lids from the pressure applied and I decided that contact lenses still have quite a while to go before I can sign up.  Now I just have to wait two weeks in semi-blindness until my glasses come back with their new lenses...that's what happens when you can't afford good vision insurance, I guess.  So, sorry Cinema Strange groupies, I'm still going to have to take a few swings at you to get up front.

Klocko, Angebot...errr, Sgt. Brown as she is now called...and I were eating scavenged food like a trio of weary hyeanas when the clock struck midnight and we felt cheated as usual, but I don't think any of us have ever had a phenomenal New Year's Eve.  I hate people that say they don't have regrets, and while I will consent that I made some tremendous mistakes in 2006, it was overall a decent year...I made some new friends and ran into some I don't get to see enough, I didn't get nearly enough done on Crocodile Club but the ideas are much more concrete and realistic, I moved back in with my best friend Klocko and we've only tried to murder each other 2 or 3 times.  As for 2007, my ideas and goals are much more ambitious, but at this age they need to be...

1.) Top priority: record at least an album's worth of demo material.  Whether the recording and mixing happens in California, Georgia, or Florida no longer matters, it just needs to be done.  This will require me to...

2.) Obtain a user-friendly and affordable drum program and spend a considerable amount of time on drums before introducing them to live drummers whether they be friends or session men.

3.) Buy a fretless bass and begin adapting it to Crocodile Club's songs...I've started to feel a fretless bass will be integral to our sound.  In addition, I'd like to begin learning in varying degrees acoustic guitar, saxophone, oboe, and possibly more in-depth keyboard/bells.

4.) Learn the proper way to play cricket, croquet, and soccer and use these rules as the starting point for a new game tentatively called Croqrazy...it will combine my favorite elements of croquet, cricket, polo, possibly soccer, drinking games, dress up...Klocko made this horse skull patch that I want certain players to wear and during moments in the game, their team mates will ride them piggy back in a sort of odd polo game.  But this is all very preliminary.

5.) Continue on with my painting, no matter how terrible the outcome.

6.) Get wisdom teeth removed.

7.) Look into getting contacts that are more rigid and specified for only recreational use. 
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Admission: I'm a Flake [25 Dec 2006|03:15am]
Christmas is already over here at the Crocodile Den.  In your fucking faces, Europeans!  I still opened my prezzies before you!  No, we're really not celebrating in earnest this year or at least I'm not.  Unseasonable warmth, the fact that I didn't buy anyone I know a gift, the fact that I probably wouldn't have had I even had the money, the fact that this year is absolutely devoid of magic or warmth...I guess I figured why bother.  We were supposed to give Hanukkah a go this year but we realized a day into it that we'd forgotten it...and I was totally thinking of dabbling in some recipes hinging on zucchinni as the main ingredient.  We opened prezents from my grandmum and I will lie over the phone tomorrow and tell her I woke up early in excitement to open her gifts.  She bought me pajamas that are three sizes too big, a kaleidoscope that seems to be home made, a travel-friendly grooming kit (which I get every Christmas) and a check for a generous amount of money.  My aunt and uncle also sent me a check, Mum told me that she's bankrupt having blown her funds on a luxury condo, sports car, and a pure bred dog (something like a bishu imu?) that she swears was free, but she assured me my father would be depositing something into my account.  I told her I wasn't worried about it and that I hoped she had a merry Christmas.  Klocko bought me a really nice canvas, a box for my painting supplies, and a really nice fold out pallet with a set of brushes.  In return, I've painted the worst portrait she will ever receive...it's not yet finished but it looks like a cross between a Patrick Nagel and an animation cell from Samurai Jack...which was really not my intention.  I'm rather embarrassed. 

I'll be honest, this is not the worst Christmas I have ever had and I'll probably have much worse in the future...but it feels like Christmas skipped me this year...like I'm sleeping through it.  I'm insanely jealous over the people that have the spirit...the people that went to great corporate parties or got piss drunk with their friends, the people who have children to live vicariously through, the people that actually wish they could see someone tomorrow...the people who aren't like me: easily able to cope with spending Christmas on their own.  Klocko's going to spend Christmas night with her Dad and brother and I don't envy her a bit...I'm actually dreading the obligatory 30 minutes I have to spend on the phone with my family tomorrow.  I really just want to paint and work on music...eat a dinner of english muffins, mozzarella cheese, and tomatos and wait Christmas out.  I used to really like socializing and the holidays...but all my beautiful ideas and expectations always miscarry.  Actually, things could be much worse and they are for my dearest friend Klocko.  Her ex-boyfriend has gone insane and, in reaction to a series of cold but true comments that Klocko and myself have made, has checked himself into an asylum...leaving Klocko to work several double shifts at a low-paying desk job for a two star hotel.  You are probably thinking, dear reader, that I should feel remorse: but I don't pity people that cannot do the things I can.  Life is beautiful and no one should rely on someone else to show them this: he waits for others to tell him this and therefore he disgusts me.    And yes, he is considerably  younger than me, but I had lost people that I viewed as true loves at that point and I pulled myself together...completely on my own.  It's a really pathetic display and I sincerely hope he doesn't return because Klocko's not as compassionate as me.

Regardless of my wishes for Christmas to hurry up and retreat, I wish everyone happy holidays...especially my dear friends and I'd say you know who you are but I doubt that you do because I haven't really made an effort to talk to anyone in a long time.  I apologize but I don't see a change of this behavior on the horizon, really...I think I just have to face that I'm a flake.  I seem to get along with wine better than people...I'm really sorry.  And I'd say next year will be different but my new year's resolution is to learn how to play croquet, cricket, and soccer with strict adherence to the rules...not to treat my friends with more respect.  Sorry, a fellow has to have his priorities.
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A Thinly Veiled Excuse To Rave About Justin Foulkes [17 Dec 2006|07:14pm]
I am now totally ensconced in a routine which has the predictable pros and cons, but I think it is allowing me to spend an adequate amount of time on creative endeavours like commencing with my crudely rendered portrait of Klocko Peacocko, re-working and practicing bass lines for the forthcoming Crocodile Club demos, and actually putting effort into maintaining a state of cleanliness in my room which is often my working environment.  I'm still absolutely broke which is a shame because I really wanted to get my hands on some more recordings of Mick Karn's phenomenal bass playing...particularly the album Titles.  If you're even slightly curious, you can check out soundclips here:


In addition, I had thought about getting the sole album by Dali's Car and, despite the fact that i think the song writing is rather weak, Karn's bass is still as agile and jaw-dropping as ever and the tune "Moonlife" has actually grown on me after repeated listens on myspace.  I'd also like to pick up the live Japan album Oil on Canvas or possibly even the DVD to watch Karn's elegant performance on "Still Life in Mobile Homes." 

So, being broke I've been surviving on longing, fragments of daydreams, and free music from friends of mine...Levi has been very gracious in sending me vast amounts of Black Aura, Technojocks, and Klocko's new favorites Manrantula, Joe Zinnato sent me Nervous Gender's new DVD of a 1980 show which is truly riveting and chaotic as well as their 1986 live show (on CD) during an incarnation of NG in which their backing band was Wall of Voodoo.  Both CD and DVD can be (and should be) purchased at www.nervousgender.com...absolutely entertaining.

Considering Justin Foulkes is my favorite modern musician (and possibly favorite musician of all-time) I have been listening to his most recent album Hello Hades almost non-stop since it arrived in the mail yesterday.  I really push this fellow's music, but very few people seem to get it and this sort of disturbs me as it's not insanely experimental, not abrasive to the ear in any way, not overtly pretentious...it's very smart pop music that should slip beneath  the indie radar so easily, though it's definitely not indie music by common modern definitions.  I feel this odd refreshing sense of relief mingled with imminent doom whenever I play Justin Foulkes for someone and they politely give me no response...I guess I keep promoting him because if he doesn't make it, I really don't have much faith in the world as music fans...or even the underground.  Or really anyone except myself and maybe 4 other people.  In any case, here I go again:

Justin Foulkes - "I'd Burn Forests For You"
Featured on Hello Hades, this may be one of the strongest songs ever written, a painfully accurate description of the horrors of true love, devotion, and the grotesque acts that the last true romantics will go through in order to preserve it.  It's as beautiful as an adolescent Bennie Stardust and the Jets from Mars but this only sounds like science fiction, when it's supernatural fact.

Justin Foulkes - "Graze By Register"
Sadly, this song has yet to make it onto an album, but according to Foulkes it was part of an epic dystopian song being recorded for his forthcoming epic album The Scarecrow Guy called "W."  Listen to this one a couple of times...it didn't quite hit me at first because it's just as subversive as the story it narrates, but there is an insane intensity in the transition of the lyrics "She'll come join me in bed tonight/Don't wander too far away/The borders are marked with ribbons..."   Psychedelic dystopian sci-fi folk interests me far more than anything these days.
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Girls Would Never Pull This Shit on Stegman...or Klocko Now That I Think of It [02 Dec 2006|05:10pm]

This has the propensity of being a rather long post as I’ve had no internet and will be recounting events from as far back as the dreaded Thanksgiving fiasco, so I will be dividing this into easy to read segments for anyone that has even the most casual interest in reading these sour nothings.

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