Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Loving Summer

Just because summer is nearly here ... and to me, this is what summer really looks like. Wishing all of you a happy and healthy summer!

Betty Brooks and Patti McCarty motor boating at Catalina Island, 1941
Photographer: Peter Stackpole

[Photo courtesy of Fletter via Swiss Miss]

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New Flaming Lips Album

Hooray for The Flaming Lips! The cleverly cool and quirky trio is slated to release a new double-disc set this fall entitled Embryonic. Seems appropriate, yeah?

NME via BBC 6 Music said frontman Wayne Coyne 'likened the recording sessions for the follow-up to their 2006 album, At War With the Mystics, to working in a kitchen.

I think it must be like being a cook in the kitchen you’re preparing this great thing but by the time it's ready you’re sick of it because you’ve been smelling it, you’ve got it in your hair and in your fingers and all that."

Embryonic is the band's 12th album overall. All songs titles and a tracklisting will be finalized shortly.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wishing ...

If I only had a grill ...

Toothpaste for Dinner rules ... check him out if you haven't already.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Are Words For?

Did you know that a new English word is created about every 98 minutes? WTF? For reals? For reals. The Global Language Monitor says so and today (June 10) the English language earned its millionth word.

... and the millionth word is: Web 2.0. Go figure.

For those who aren't familiar, Web 2.0 describes the next generation of web products and services.

Supreme linguists aren't too happy with the GLM's choice. The GLM maintain that their math formula, which tracks words and phrases in electronic and print media, found that "Web 2.0" appeared over 25,000 times, thus worthy enough to be crowned the one millionth word.

Check out the latest 10 additions to the English language:

- 999,999: Jai Ho! – The Hindi phrase signifying the joy of victory, used as an exclamation, sometimes rendered as “It is accomplished”. Achieved English-language popularity through the multiple Academy Award-winning film, "Slumdog Millionaire."

- 999,998: N00b — From the Gamer Community, a neophyte in playing a particular game; used as a disparaging term.

- 999,997: Slumdog – a formerly disparaging, now often endearing, comment upon those residing in the slums of India.

- 999,996: Cloud Computing – The 'cloud' has been technical jargon for the Internet for many years. It is now passing into more general usage.

- 999,995: Carbon Neutral — One of the many phrases relating to the effort to stem Climate Change. ... HAHA I just saw this word used in an episode of Cash Cab on the Discovery Channel.

- 999,994: Slow Food — Food other than the fast-food variety hopefully produced locally.

- 999,993: Octomom – The media phenomenon relating to the travails of the mother of the octuplets.

- 999,992: Greenwashing – Re-branding an old, often inferior, product as environmentally friendly.

- 999,991: Sexting – Sending email (or text messages) with sexual content.

- 999,990: Shovel Ready – Projects are ready to begin immediately upon the release of federal stimulus funds.

[Thanks Neatorama]
[Thanks Global Language Monitor]

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Looking Beyond the 'Gingham Blindfold'

"I stood motionless, overcome by a surge of excitement and nerves. It felt like the first time I interviewed a big-name act for Record Shelves. I took a breath, swallowed and put a foot forward, followed by the other. I didn’t look back at the irritated old woman behind me. I didn’t look both ways when I crossed the street. I just moved before I figured out how to stop myself." -- Eric Rohr, Gingham Blindfold: A Novel

Gingham Blindfold, the debut novel from Northern California-based author Eric Rohr, is an impressive look at how idealized notions about life can sometimes lead to disappointment ... and remarkable discovery. Main character Ethan Ames is an eager twenty-something looking to have that great life upon graduating from college. We've all been there ... surely most of us can sympathize with the identity crises and personal hardships he endures while in search for that perfect job (music critic), perfect girl (who's Indira?), perfect world and perfect self. We know that perfect just doesn't exist.

Honestly, Gingham Blindfold: A Novel is incredibly funny and at times, intense. I absolutely fell in love with this book and you will too. Read on for more about Rohr's novel, his thoughts on fatherhood and where he got the inspiration for Liz's Porsche 356 Speedster.

What inspired the story of Gingham Blindfold?
It was 2001, and I had just moved out to California with my then-girlfriend (and now lovely wife) Lara. I was jobless for the first few weeks, so I spent a lot of my time driving my beloved Honda del Sol to the beach or consuming excessive amounts of freshly blended margaritas while listening to The Breeders. Both of these activities were excellent ways to contemplate life, love and the notion that I should write a novel.

The story went through a few iterations as I figured out how to do the work of writing a novel while confronting the many diversions and distractions of post-college life. (I think I labored over the first 80 pages for five years). Originally, Indira was a German model who had died in a fiery car crash two years before Ethan learned of her identity and ... well, that was just all very complicated and melodramatic. So I was stalled. But in 2003, I read P.J. Huffstutter's excellent article about California's unregulated pornography industry in the Los Angeles Times, and I knew I had the basis for Indira.

I think most everyone in their twenties and early thirties has a bit of Ethan Ames inside of us. What do you hope readers get from Ethan Ames?
Well, it's very much a coming-of-age story, classic examples of which are Catcher in the Rye and more recently, Less Than Zero. Ethan's experience in a lot of ways mirrored my own. I had been an intern at Rolling Stone, I had been published in the magazine and on its Website, and I had worked full-time at the local daily while still in school. I assumed with all of that under my belt that I was just going to land tons of great writing gigs. Of course, that wasn't nearly the case. California's a big place, and my resume didn't amount to much. It left me in a kind of limbo. I had this feeling that all I had worked for was for naught, and the feeling that I had messed up, that I should switch jobs or fields or maybe go back to school nagged me for a long time.

And I think that's the experience of a lot of twenty-somethings. They spend four or five years in college building up this dream of instant success, and with it, total life satisfaction, and when they graduate and find that everything they have ever wanted is not just waiting for them at the drive-thru, it sends them reeling. Ethan represents that experience we all had of wanting, wanting, wanting, but getting nothing. Or at least, not getting what we wanted in the way we had idealized.

Now for something a little more personal. You're a writer, a massive music fan and a dedicated family man. What makes you YOU?
But what makes me me? I do love music, though I'm consuming less of it now than when I was a wannabe rock journalist. I find myself wrestling with the eternal question of the aging hipster: is it the music nowadays, or is it me?

My wife gave birth to our first child, Jonas, last October, so hanging out with him joyfully takes up most of our spare time. He's already talking up a baby-babble storm, and I'm pretty sure he'll be outsmarting both me (easily) and my wife some day soon.

I also obsess over sports cars, which seems so un-literary until you read A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter. It's no accident that Liz drives a Porsche 356 Speedster in Gingham Blindfold. I mean, why not put your dream car in your novel? Where else can you indulge your fantasies?

Gingham Blindfold: A Novel is available via paperback and Kindle at Amazon. You can also purchase it at Target and CreateSpace.

[Book cover design: Eric Rohr]
[Cover photograph: Dylan Ellis/Corbis]

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Think About It

"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."

-- Mary Tyler Moore

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Hooky Tells All About the Hacienda?

Oh Hooky is at it again. According to Prefix Magazine, New Order bassist Peter Hook is readying the release of his long-awaited story about the Hacienda, the club New Order co-owned with Factory Records head, the late Tony Wilson.

Apparently Simon and Schuster is set to release Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club come October 5, but it might not ever see the light of day should Hook's lawyers not get the go-ahead. After all, Hooky talks about how the Hacienda was a complete disaster and then some. There's A LOT of then some.

Late last month, Hooky took to his MySpace page to blog about the hoopla surrounding the release. It seems as if the post has been deleted, however Prefix Magazine got it all. Read on for a snippet.

21 May 2009

I got this back the other day and thought it read Almost as well as the book? never i hear you say ? well here it is for your delectation......... the first one to get all the names under the xxxx's right wins a copy of Bad Lieutenants first record, the second gets two copies ! Only joking i actually really liked the track bernard did on that Sky show, credit where its due. love hooky

By Peter Hook with Claude Flowers


This is the account by Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order of his involvement in and subsidising of the Hacienda Club in Manchester. As there is a considerable amount of drug-taking and involvement of gangs with resulting violence and a fair degree of professional incompetence in the running of the club, there are obviously potential defamation issues. What one has to consider with defamation is whether the tendency of the words would make third parties think the worse of a person written about as a result of reading them. One working test is whether the man in the street in the complainant's position would like that said about them? One should ask that question separately before going on to consider whether it can be justified or whether it is fair comment or whether there is no likelihood at all of the person in question complaining. If one blurs the two exercises, one may end up simply by making an assumption that a person will not complain only to find that the assumption is erroneous. If therefore it is said of X that they were taking illegal drugs, that is defamatory. The best way of approaching it is to ask oneself how would one deal with a complaint from X ie can one prove that what was said was true and also what are the probabilities of X complaining ie was he a notorious drug-taker? One should bear in mind that the burden of proving the truth a defamatory allegation by admissible evidence rests upon the author and publishers...

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Note From Morrissey

Yesterday, the lovely folks at It's Morrissey's World passed along a note from the Mozzer, who informed fans that his tour in support of Years of Refusal has finally resumed. Morrissey recently canceled a host of gig overseas at a doctor's request to rest his voice. Want to know more? Read on ... and look closely for some new album info.

We Will Resume

I am very pleased to confirm that we will resume at Luxembourg this coming Friday (5 June), absorbed and collected. I have been reconstructed by a Wiltshire hospital and I am as close to good health as I'm likely to get.

I apologize to everyone caught up in the to-ing and fro-ing, but the disappointment of postponement is less than the disappointment of hearing me sing on one engine.

I should stress that nothing has been canceled. The four London concerts are repositioned in July, and both Birmingham and the Royal Albert Hall are October fixtures. I've endured a titanic struggle against an intolerable virus lately, and although Hull, Hartlepool and Manchester were nights that comprised a whole life, the physical limits were reached. False notes crush the soul.

Besides Luxembourg and beyond, I am excited about the October release of Swords, which is an 18-track compilation of b-side of singles from the last three albums. This will be a Polydor release.

Thanks to everyone who bought 'Years of Refusal'. We were the number one seller in the UK for the week of release, but, as with 'You Are The Quarry' and 'Your Arsenal', we were booted off the number one spot on the last hour of the final day. We cried.

I would like to point out that some passable creature is using my name and sending sharply chiseled replies to people via Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. This person is not me. Not enough happens in my life that I would wish to share it with others. I do not scan these sites - or whatever they are - so I can only hope that whoever is posing as me is at least worth talking to. Beware of false imitations.

Thanks for reading these unvarnished facts, and thanks for giving us some greatly enjoyable nights on the Refusal tour.

Absolutely Yours,

.... ooooh, Swords is forthcoming. I'm giddy!

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Gorgeous! Björk graces the June/July 2009 cover of Interview. Click here to read part of the interview. [Photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin].

Björk's forthcoming release, Voltaic, is set for June 23rd. The limited edition box set's title is in reference to the five separate releases of related material from 2007's Volta LP.

The full version will also include a 11-song set of live songs from Olympic Studios, a DVD of Björk's live performances in Paris and Reykjavík during the Volta tour, as well as a second DVD of the Volta music videos and videos of the top ten runners-up from the "Innocence" video contest. And that's not all. A second album of remixes featuring Volta singles will also be available. Hot!

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