Amtrak / en route to Providence.
Smile, you're traveling! It's Friday, it's the Fourth of July, and that could mean only one thing: the first of the Pointcast things I've been promising since March is here.
What goes up, must come down. I’m proving it today, heading up the eastern seaboard and back down again without so much as time for meal in between.
When I came home from the Yankees game last night I worked on the Pointcast and some other projects, hammering away until past 0300 hrs this morning. I finally got in bed and read the Dean Wareham book for a while, before lights out around 0400. I knew I could sleep in today, maybe as late as 0930, because all I had on the itinerary for this July 4 was to wrap up the last pieces of writing for the song list below, drink some coffee, get a good workout, and then wait for Mrs Sticking Point and the boys to arrive home from their week on Cape Cod. My comet of non-stop work and to-dos and errands would flame out, and I could relax today; well-rested and work completed.
Ha! My feeble "itinerary" is a mere yarn-ball between the giant paws of fate: toyed with, and ultimately swatted under a couch.
The phone woke me up at 0727. It was my wife. Feeling ill and feverish, the 5-hour-plus drive from the Cape (with our two Subaru-monkeys in the backseat) looked unmanageable in the least, unsafe at the worst. She asked, could I at least meet her and the boys in Providence to get them the rest of the way home?
I could, at least, so here I am. Sweaty, tired, and somewhere between Stamford and Bridgeport.
I bought a ticket on the Internets, packed stuff into a bag and hurried out to catch the subway to Penn Station. I had 70 minutes before the ticket, waiting for me somewhere in the cyber kingdom, became non-negotiable and utterly useless. My intensity and nervous froth eased up when I finally sat down on the E train.
It was short-lived comfort. At one stop, still in Queens, a creature boarded my train car. It would take a while before I could discern the lumped, hunched figure as female; what I knew immediately was fear.
It was dressed in a bright white shirt and bright white pants, the cuffs of which bunched up atop a pair of very new, very bright white shoes. Industrial white shoes like ER nurses wear. And, as I said, brand new. On its head was some sort of white cloth, a piece of apparel difficult to identify because the human-like entity was covered entirely with a plastic raincoat. Clear plastic, of course; and thin as Saran Wrap.
It had arrived on the train with two large and over-packed Duane Reade shopping bags that seemed quite heavy, and it stood in the center of the car. Nearly everyone stared warily at this stranger and I was relieved that even a pack of jaded New Yorkers might be as nervous and hyper-vigilant as I.
Nervous. Hyper-vigilant. Because… while this odd passenger stood, hunched over and incessantly adjusting and readjusting its head cloth and plastic hood, I patched together the details and wondered if maybe somebody woke up with Sarin gas attack on his itinerary for this holiday of American independence. The train crawled nearer to the underwater tunnel linking Queens and Manhattan, and I wondered if there were others; what if I looked through the doors and saw cellophane-covered creatures in the train cars ahead and behind? I decided, well -- that would make it time for some go get ‘em. Maybe I could stop something tragic, or diminish the horrendous aftermath, even a little. I conjured the inevitable press conference on the steps of City Hall. “No, no, no; I just did what anyone else would do. But my wife, she’s a hero. If she hadn’t been ill enough to suggest I meet her in Providence… Ha! It was providence! Does anyone else find that ironic? Hel-lo?! Is this on?!”
Idiot funboy can laugh now, but as we left the last subway station before the tunnel, and the featureless figure in white took down her hood to tie the white headscarf more firmly, I got about as fight-or-flight nervous as I’d been since September ’01.
The cult group that carried out the attack in the Tokyo subway was clad all in white and transported the Sarin in bags. They used the tips of umbrellas to puncture the bags and release the poison. There was something about the brand new white shoes keyed me up. They seemed more than just part of a uniform. The white headscarf up top and new white shoes down below lent a ritualized look to the wardrobe.
But. You already know the punch line to all this is that there is no punch line. No soap – radio, as they say. Without incident, the abominable terrorist and I both detrained at 34th Street/Penn and went separate ways.
Before we cue the music, here's one quick note to the struggling couple:
I think it is a parental felony to leave your children (one of whom is about 90 days old) in Florida while mommy's in Paris going forth with the Lance Armstrong of Rock and daddy's in the Bronx batting fourth for the New York Mediocritees. But I'm sure you've got it under control.
All aboard the kundalini express, here's the all-new Friday 10 Pointcast -- five songs at random, and five songs chosen. Every Friday that I can capably accomplish it, I'll record a podcast with all ten tracks and commentary. You can download it by clicking the link provided. Each 'cast will be available for one week. If you miss one, or discover the site weeks later, write me at TheStickingPoint@gmail.com and I'll get it to you.
UPDATE: The Pointcasts are now available indefinitely.
Your feedback means a lot, so even if you don't share your own Friday 10 in the comments section, let me know you were here and what you think of the music.
Download this week's complete file (which will open in iTunes)
TSP Pointcast 070408
01 Media Blitz - The Germs: From the must-have complete Germs anthology. What a cool place to start these Pointcast things, with "Media Blitz."
By the way, could Pat Smear be the Forrest Gump of punk rock? Befriended Darby Crash and formed the Germs (with original drummer Dottie Danger a.k.a. Belinda Carlisle). Joan Jett produces first album. Crash commits suicide. Smear joins the Adolescents. Leaves Adolescents, is asked to join Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992). Turns down offer. Befriends Courtney Love. Kurt Cobain asks Smear to join Nirvana. First gig with Nirvana is SNL (09.25.93). Cobain commits suicide. Smear joins Foo Fighters. Quits Foo Fighters (1997). Serves as Creative Consultant on the Germs film What We Do Is Secret. Rejoins Foo Fighters as touring guitarist.
02 Ghost Rider - Suicide: Track one, side one from the "oh-you-don't-have-it -- what's-your-problem" debut album. Suicide was part of that great New York No Wave scene in the 70s that included Lydia Lunch, Mars, James Chance, Theoretical Girls, and DNA. Rollins Band once throttled this song; find it on Do It.
03 Freddie Freeloader - Miles Davis. (Kind of Blue): Recorded at Columbia Studio on West 30th in Manhattan. If you look up all the lineups Miles assembled over the decades, it's like a who's who of top-shelf, mind-boggling jazz legends. People write volumes about albums like this, jams like this. They are experts, and I'm just the unwashed zoomtard from Podunk who knows nothing but I sure like them sawngs.
Brief Wynton Kelly writeup here.
04 Dirty Water - Jesus and Mary Chain. (Stoned and Dethroned): I have loved this group from day one, the first time I heard the "Never Understand" single, in 1984. I went certifiably over-the-top apeshit for it, and the unimpeachable Psychocandy album that followed. That year, my friend Liz and I saw them play the Ritz -- the best 30-minute concert I've ever witnessed. And where is that long-rumored JMC box set?
05 Illumination - Rollins Band: From Get Some Go Again, criminally overlooked and underappreciated. (GSGA is right near the very top of my LastFM charts.) Features "On The Day," which I've now listened to a few times a week for several years.
06 Shout Bamalama - Otis Redding with the Pinetoppers: From the Definitive Otis Redding collection, the sound of a man singing his pain away. On "Shout Bamalama" though, his 19-year old voice has twenty-five years of thuggin' in it. A great one from the great one.
The George Carlin piece is from a 1986 HBO special called "Playin' With Your Head." My brother-from-another-mother Neil and I used to watch it several times a month; it was on a well-worn VHS tape that had Animal House on it, too. With my caveman audio gear, I was able to take it from TV to CDR to The Sticking Point.
07 You Want The Candy - The Raveonettes. (Lust Lust Lust): I have three of their disks, but never really paid close attention. A few tracks from this new one put the hooks in me, so maybe I have something to gain by giving their back catalog the time of day.
08 Son - 5'nizza: Pronounced "pyat NITsa." And guess what? Their name means "Friday" in Ukrainian. It's a duo that played together for nearly eight years, broke up in 2007, and of course I only discovered them this past February while trolling mp3 blogs for new sounds. It's about the most fun Eastern European music I've ever heard. The layered vocals are amazing and that guitar... are you kidding me?!
Paying it forward: I bumped into this band on the redoubtable Aurgasm weblog. If you go to this well-informed site, you'll leave with a few new favorite songs.
09 Dethbryte - Dax Riggs. (We Sing of Only Blood or Love): "The fragile wave of days / They break against the shore / Of all these years." I'm going to play a lot of Riggs on these Pointcasts, because you have to hear it. Mrs Sticking Point gave it to me. A great album... but you knew I was going to say that.
- Check out the "Dethbryte" video here.
- Dax performs a swamp-ified version of the Misfits' "Skulls" here.
10 Plastika - Idoli: Belgrade Rock City! It's been hard to find info on this band, but I sometimes see their name published as "VIS Idoli." One thing I did learn, is that we all missed out on quite a scene in the former constituent republics of Yugolslavia. I mean it. The Killed By 7 Inch collection is on Redrum Records, the label that releases the endless, rewarding Killed By Death series of obscure punk. You can download the KB7I collection for your own self HERE.
Now, do it yourself. Put your digital jukebox or mp3 player on "shuffle all songs," and let me know the first 10 tracks out the chute.
[posted with ecto]
On iTunes right now: Constant Pain from the album Corpse Love - The First Year by Pussy Galore