Monday, April 27, 2009

Modern Sounds

Before I get to some posts of recent image wanderings:

Recently on one of the wonderful days in which Pittsburgh skips spring and rolls straight into summer...I was drinking. I had after work drinks with some friends, and then continued with them to a bar to "Watch" the Penguins game. I am not generally into sports though I do enjoy drinking. I also enjoy the spectacle that is a bar during any sort of sports thing. The bar we went to was a place called Howlers which is a space with a stage and shows in the second half of the bar, and the first side is a bar in which can be found the denizens of Liberty Ave., Bloomfield blue collar liver killers, some punks, some rockers, and the occasional skin. Tonight it was more of the blue collar land. It was early, and most were there for some conversation and the game. We sat there watching, people watching, talking. I made some remarks on the lone CRT T.V. in a space hollowed out behind the liquor. Ever since I've started going to Howlers, that T.V. has not been in use. More in favor are the numerous flat screens that sit around the bar, showing some sort of digital cable programming. I of course had to remark on the fact that despite it's almost outdated-ness (for a bar at least), I was surprised they didn't have it on. Merely for the purpose of having another place to look at, besides, it was directly in front of me and I was cranky cause I kept having to turn my neck to look at the hot hockey players with beards on T.V.

So the games on, and occasionally these digital cable snags occur. A few times the signal does that digital chop up we are all so aware of. About 25 minutes or so in however, the screen freezes. Completely. For roughly 3-4 minutes. Jeers from the crowd, accusing comcast of conspiracy, or of comcast of being fans of the other team. "I'm calling them, we pay for this! How could they" Right? How could they have the nerve to fuck up their technology for all these middle aged whities watching flat screens? Rude. Eventually the image returns, all is well, $1.50 knights heads resume flowing. ...Until tragedy strikes again. This time it's even worse. The image freezes again, causing similar outbursts and accusations as the first time. Except this time it doesn't come back. Despite the bartenders thoughts that changing the channels were the solution last time... it doesn't work. The image is fucked. Some people wander in from their houses or other bars and it was quickly put together that the whole city, or at least Bloomfield, was having the same problem. Someone has the incredible idea though. Put the radio on! Well I was actually pretty surprised that there was a radio in the place attached to the sound system. I suppose chances are it was just part of the reciever, but I digress.

....This was the moment I was excited. Oh, the radio! AM radio! For all my bitching in the evening about how incredibly fucked it is that the government has allowed even basic low fi broadcast signals to be commodified into something you have to pay for, for the basic broadcast fequencies being sold, and used for other purposes. For the sad fact that now without the luxury of a digital television, or some diital reciever, not to mention the luxury of electricity...We were going to listen to AM radio. I immediately had (surprise) an idealized scenario running through the brains. It did not play out, and actually cemented a little bit more of my disconnect from the general population. No one got quiet. No one intently listened. No one reacted to the energy or excitement in the voices of the announcers who put their shit into letting you audibly see the game. The crowd at the bar either got annoyed and talked about leaving...made jokes about the whole situation and drunkenly prattled on. But no one could focus! I tried my hardest but tuning out the noise and focusing on something I wasn't really actually interested in wasn't the easiest. But I really couldn't. Instead I did more of what I was really there for in the first place. I watched the people. I listened. I thought about their inability, and sudden disinterest in paying attention to something they were all so seemingly invested that their image had disappeared. Without the image, without the streaming digital flow of flashes of advertisements and logos, without viewable violence and facial hair, without the background organ music or mid ninties dance songs, without sideline shots and a mind numbing glow they didn't know what to do.

*margarita and computer party with Claire and Zack on a Sun-day Monday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Apparently this album is due in 2 days. I'm glad I JUST found this out, otherwise I would have been anxious for it.....

I picked up a special 45 of theirs today as part of National Record Store day. It's pretty awesome and has the following track on side a. Traceyanne and the whole lot are just so melancholy and I must say currently I'm due for some upbeat stringy twee poppish depressing songs about relationships.

Since it's apparently video hour on my blog ( I swear I am processing some rolls tomorrow ) this is the new Ladytron video. Another forever favorite band of mine. This song really stuck out on their most recent album, in fact I even found a draft of a post never published on here with the main refrain, followed by only "I've been a little out of sorts lately" from myself. I'm glad they've released it. A softer side showing through.

As for the video. It kind of looks like/reminds me of a time I had on the past trip to San Fran. Right down to the end. I think the girls are supposed to be Claire and I standing on the mountains in the headlands. Although there were no women floating up into the sky with billowy fabric.