peachcake rocks!!

I was just at a show to see this really great band from Phoenix called Peachcake. I first saw them like 15 months ago here in Tucson and totally loved them. They're sort of this electroclash band but totally unpretentious and dorky. The guys in the band are all these nerdy college-age guys who just don't care if they look silly, and hence their stage presence is just comletely infectious and fun. They had one guy in a mexican wrestling mask and no shirt just dancing and setting off fireworks. The singer was wearing pajamas and a cat-in-the-hat hat and those joke giant sunglasses, and another guy had a keytar with a wireless hookup so he could run all over the venue playing. I just love artists who basically are saying with their work, we don't give a fuck if you think we're cool, we're going to have fun and get you to have fun.

I tried to get Jessica to go along, and she wanted to, but she had to work. I ran into Loren and Jeremiah at the show, which was at Solar Culture, a pretty cool gallery and performance space which I wish had more shows. Sadly, the next couple bands after Peachcake bored me, they were like a totally different vibe that I wasn't in the mood for, this sort of sad indie emo cello/guitar/keyboards music. Who booked Peachcake with these shoegazers? Anyway, I left early, after getting all hyped by the blippy electroclash I just couldn't handle that other stuff.

O Day

According to Rob Bresny's Free Will Astrology horoscope for libras for this week, today is special:

Espertantina, a town in Brazil, celebrates May 9 as Orgasm Day. As much as I'd love to import this enlightened holiday to my home country of America, it might be difficult in the foreseeable future. Why? Because religious fundamentalists have been spreading their infectious mental disease, seducing people into mistrusting their bodies' natural urges. Meanwhile, the advertising and entertainment industries try to sell us on the glamour of being in a chronic state of titillation without satisfaction. I'm calling on you Libras to do what you can to resist these cultural trends. The astrological omens say this is an auspicious time for you to seek out, cultivate, and honor your own orgasms.

Don't get the wrong idea, I'm not into astrology at all. Though I do like Brazil. But Bresny horoscopes are pretty exceptional. So I sometimes read them for my sign and/or that of a significant other. I'm a capricorn, btw.

Dance, Monkeys

A nice little video about humans and what's wrong with them. I guess it's been going around the net quite a lot, so, sorry if you've already seen it. i'm not perfect. I'm just a monkey.

Heading Toward A Cliff

This is an observation about Tucsonans and climate-induced culture, and a comparison with the same for Portlanders, and some related personal stuff too.

It's been a long time since I've lived somewhere with such a transitory population. It's really really weird. All winter I'd been watching all the crusty punks and traveller kids as well as the grey-haired snowbirds, all drifting into town to take refuge from the bitter claws of winter. And in fact, wasn't I here for that reason? Yes, except for the fact that I moved here "for good." I had no plan to wrap up my bindle and hop a freight back out come springtime. I wanted to make Tucson my home.

It's only mid-april and it's getting into the 80s. As summer creeps nearer like a heat mirage far off down a highway, more and more people are talking about their plans for the summer. Their desparate or not-so-desparate schemes to escape the heat are percolating through the social circles, as well as plans of others who will be left behind to carry on in what sounds, to my novice mind, like an empty shell of a city. Art and culture organizations, even activist organizations like the Tucson Peace Center, simply shut down, stop publishing, stop scheduling events. It feels.... fickle, to me... but what do I know, being so new to town?

Of course for other activists it's the busiest time, when the border crossing deaths start spiking.

It all seems like a cliff or a wall, a giant ominous deadline made of weather. Since I don't know fully what to expect, I don't feel it as strongly as some, but it feels very similar to how Portland feels in the fall to me. Instead of the start of the 9-month, chilly, rainy season, it's the start of a 5-month blast of heat. The difference is that in Portland, no one except a few malcontents like myself really seem to mind. People just appear to be resigned to it. Here, I feel like there is an underlying zeitgeist akin to rats leaving a sinking ship. Get out, before the heat comes! It's SO STRANGE.

This ominous cliff is perhaps taller and darker to me for personal reasons too: the woman I've been starting something with is going to be gone the whole month of July. And who knows what will happen then. She made it clear that she wants to be free to meet someone else, some hypothetical other romance that might happen during her planned July adventure. Which is fine with me. But it puts another odd sort of deadline in my life. No, deadline isn't the right word; perhaps: expiration date. perhaps. And that's weird. I've never had a relationship like that.

But anyway, I figured out why it's this way, these 2 cultures. People don't come to Portland for the climate. They come in spite of it. The kind of people who come to Portland and stay are the people who can handle it. Some may grumble a bit, but for the most part the climate has selected people who don't care. They drink a lot of coffee and beer, hunker down in their nests and breed, or make art, or work, and they get by. I will never understand those people (even those in Portland who are really good friends), just like I don't understand people who live in Alaska. But they exist, and I guess it's lucky they do.

On the other hand, the kind of people that come to Tucson are just the opposite. They come because of climate. And the kind of people who will come for climate, will go for climate. Of course. Tucson is the perfect migrant community, in more ways than one. Tucson is one of the few places in this country where it's wonderful in the winter while almost everywhere else sucks. And, it's one of the few places where in the summer, according to some, it sucks and almost everywhere else is wonderful.

I've never lived anywhere like that, except maybe Austin - for one summer. Some friends who came to visit said it was intolerably hot there in August, but I didn't think it was too much worse than summer where I grew up, in Iowa. And I've always said that I much prefer extreme heat to extreme cold. So, part of me just wants to live through it, at least once, and see what it's like. And really enjoy the deserted desert quiet of the emptied-out city.

However, I also have the travelling itch, and I sort of miss Portland and have been wanting to go back there for at least a couple weeks when it's nice there, and also maybe do a brief west-coast tour with my film.

So I may compromise. No big exodus away for any huge length of time. Just a few weeks in July. Then come back in time to experience the famous monsoons, and see what else happens.

I just wondered to myself, about that cliff: the question is, am I rushing toward it from the bottom, to slam into the wall, or coming toward the edge from the top, to soar off and fall? mixed metaphors of limited utility. But thinking this way makes me realize I shouldn't be thinking this way; So fatalistic, so filled with dread. That's bad. One should live each day in that day, acknowledging the fragile temporality of life but not letting the future chew into the present. Enjoy the moment. Maybe this is what Burroughs meant when he wrote, "If you cut into the present, the future will leak out."


An interesting article about Kurdish gasoline smugglers in Iraq and the popularity of reggaetón there.

It would be a stretch to say that the enthusiasm for Gasolina has to do with its subject matter, especially when considering its aggressive rhythm and near-pornographic video. But Daddy Yankee's signature track is a sexually-explicit ode to what gasolina can provide - and here "gasoline" can mean, as Sasha Frere-Jones [says] in the New Yorker, speed, rum, semen or gasoline - and that, of course, is unadulterated pleasure. And at the moment, as Iraq disintegrates, the Kurds are betting quite heavily on what gasoline can do for them.

Neighborhoods in Caracas

Mi amigo Patrick provides a little slice of life, describing his commute through Caracas and musings about class and neighborhoods. Muy interesante.

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! I just found a website that has a global register of IWD events. So go find what's happening where you are.

A friend in Italy says on his blog that the holiday is a much bigger deal in Europe than in the U.S.

Overheard at Epic

listen up ronnieEpic is the "hip" place to hang and take an espresso in Tucson. It's often too hip for me, but sometimes I go. And the demographics are actually more varied than the "hipster" moniker implies. It's a really popular place with lots of people, but the vibe is definitely leaning toward the overly-cool idle class. If I went there regularly I could probably make a whole blog just about the strange things I overhear there.

Today was one of the exceptions to the demographic but a great example of the surreal conversations I accidentally eavesdrop on all the time. I'm sitting there now and as I walked in I overheard the following: "...sounds like you need to have a rottweiler loose on the property." I look over and it's a grizzled old guy in overalls talking on a cellphone and smoking a cigar. He's wearing a black baseball cap that says "Get The Fuck Away From Me."

Um, Okay.

Sci-Fi Graffiti

Apropo my conversation with someone recently about the new Battlestar Galactica series (I can't remember who I was talking to): I just saw in the bathroom at Epic, every hipster's favorite coffeehouse in Tucson, the following graffito: "Adama is a cylon."

If you don't watch the show, I'll explain: Commander Adama is the military leader of the fleet that comprises the last surviving humans, after the Cylons devastated all the human planets. The Cylons can make androids that are almost indistinguishable from humans, which provides a lot of the suspense and intrigue of the show. Who's a cylon, who's not?

Wired for Cooperation

An article in the journal Neuron (I love that name) reports that a study found that when people cooperate, a part of their brain associated with pleasure is stimulated. They don't know why humans evolved to be this way, but now they know why it feels good to help each other out and work together.

(via José)

Syndicate content