Notes From The Flip Side: 10.19.2003
"Our love is all that we ever had. Our love is all that we'll ever have."
Give Up The Ghost
My So-Called Series.
It's no particular secret that I am a baseball fan, nor was it a secret that I was pulling for a Cubs / Red Sox World Series, nor is it a secret that - as a Red Sox fan - I hate the fucking Yankees. I mean, I HATE THE FUCKING YANKEES. I really don't think there's any way around acknowledging that they - like any dynastic team in any sport - are bad for the sport. When the end of the season is a foregone conclusion, it's hard to give a shit at the beginning.
I'm not the only person who has called and is calling for some semblance of parity in baseball. I suspect at this moment, after that Game 7, after a walk-off home run on the first pitch of bottom of the 11th inning by a mid-season pickup who the Yankees acquired because they, unlike the Reds, could justify paying millions for a third baseman, even though he sat on the bench for much of the ALCS, I'm simply one of the more heartbroken.
This year should have been a Cubs / Red Sox series. No matter which team won, I think every baseball fan could have felt good about it and could have enjoyed it and that Game 7 would have been one for the ages. Instead, we're back to the status quo - it's the Yankees and whoever in the Series and that's about how it breaks down. This series is irrelevant to pretty much everyone outside of New York or South Florida. Beyond wanting the Yankees to lose, I simply don't care.
Instead of watching Game 1 tonight, I'll be watching the complete "My So-Called Life" DVDs, eating cashews and remembering how I felt when I first saw that show.
Instead of watching the Series, I'll be writing record reviews, working on the site, transcribing interviews, anticipating upcoming shows, bundling up for winter and waiting for Spring - and a new season of guarded hope - to come around again.
Speaking of working on the site, I have three weeks of time blocked out to redesign this site by the end of the year. I'm not entirely sure what form the redesign will take, but after dozens of email exchanges with Josh and a very long conversation with Gavin, I'm beginning to get an idea. Gavin suggested that I take some time to write things down - in short, that I create an outline.
In the meantime, I need a volunteer crew of usability testers. Since I hardly know anyone out here, I need some folks who are willing to sit down with a handful of tasks, measure how long it took to accomplish the tasks and tell me what they did. I need to know what doesn't work well in the existing site to figure out what to improve in the next one. If you're interested in helping out - and it's important to stress that you do not need any kind of development or Web experience for this and, in fact, it's better if you don't have experience with the Web - email puckett at punkrockacademy dot com and we'll figure out how to get started.
Dressing Before Dawn.
Padding around in bare feet, trying to be quiet. I couldn't stay the night; I had to head home to let the dog out but there's no place I would rather be than wherever you are. I pulled on socks and shoes in the pre-dawn dark and you walked me to the door, still warm from the comforter and half-asleep. Kissing at the door and hearing it close behind me, walking to the car and seeing my breath turn to steam - these are the moments I'll remember; these quiet, lingering details of affection and adoration. I can't explain how much these moments mean. All I know is that I want this for the rest of my life.
Off The Top Of My Head ...
- The new Strike Anywhere is one of the best punk albums I've heard this year. I simply can't stop listening to it. Passionate, political, reactionary, inspiring - Strike Anywhere got it right once again. This is an absolutely essential album of 2003.
- I've been writing about "We're Down 'Til We're Underground," the new Give Up The Ghost album, for about the last six months. It's finally out and you can hear for yourself why I think it's one of the single best records of this or any other year. Do yourself a favor and spring for a pair of good headphones before you buy it.
- Apparently, the current Fairweather tour with Give Up The Ghost is the band's last. It's a shame to see such a talented band and great group of guys part ways but at least there's one more go-round so we can say goodbye in proper style. I will seriously miss this band - in total, I've logged a couple of thousand miles driving to see them play, seen them at least half a dozen times so far, talked music with them, gotten drunk with them and can't imagine anything that I would rather have been doing.
- "Hold On Love" by Azure Ray is simply astounding. It's moody, atmospheric, dreamy. It seems to have a slightly poppier edge than the preceding full-lengths and EP, but I still can't think of an album that I would rather have when winter is beginning to approach.
Give Up The Ghost. Strike Anywhere. Lucero. Azure Ray. Ted Leo. Mates Of State. Coheed And Cambria.
"The Big Lebowski," "Road To Perdition," "Lost In La Mancha"
Paul Avrich, "Anarchist Portraits"; Umberto Eco, "Island Of The Day Before"; Alan Lomax, "The Land Where The Blues Began"; Peter Guralnick, "Lost Highway" and "Sweet Soul Music"; Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again"; Andrew Feenberg, "Questioning Technology" and "Alternative Modernity"; Steven Heller, "Graphic Design History" (edited with Georgette Ballance); Gunnar Swanson, ed., "Graphic Design And Reading"; Daniel Guerin, "No Gods No Masters"