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I booked the Austria trip on Expedia, and accepted a blind flight, based on the Wheel's sage advice. Here's a take on online travel from the Voice's tech column.
- alex 9-20-2002 12:06 am [link] [1 comment]

You're a real gem.
- alex 9-19-2002 10:36 pm [link] [add a comment]

Flexcar's fleet of rent by the hour vehicles includes Toyota's gas-electric hybrid Prius. I rented one ($6.50 per hour, flexible rates) for a test spin. Cute, comfortable, quiet, clean and peppy off the line.
- steve 9-19-2002 5:49 am [link] [1 comment]

- steve 9-19-2002 5:25 am [link] [6 comments]

- steve 9-18-2002 6:31 pm [link] [add a comment]

Some interesting 9/11 fallout, so to speak. I heard from a Parsons classmate I hadn't been in touch with since back in the day. She spent the anniversary reading accounts on the web, and in the course of searching for old acquaintances found our site by looking up Steve DiBenedetto (as a relatively unusual name). First such contact I've had here. I guess she got something out of it, and she'd had the same memory of Larry Rivers and the pope that I recounted. I suggested that this was the sort of connectivity the internet was supposed to foster, and a positive thing to bring out of the remembrance of an awful event.
Meanwhile, in the Park, I met a woman who said she's only recently begun to really get over the whole thing, and it seems bird-watching is helping her. Trying to be helpful, I proceeded to find a rare Connecticut Warbler, which thrilled her no end.
Sometimes I think I talk it better than I walk it, so it was nice to feel like my insular activities might actually be of some use to others.

- alex 9-17-2002 9:33 pm [link] [2 comments]

Reality TV is finally getting interesting. The point is not individuals and their "realness", but polling, which abstracts them. Polling has transformed politics in the last century, and now Argentina is going to choose a presidential candidate through a TV contest. This may start out as a species of joke, but who knows where it could lead?
(NY Post story in comments)

- alex 9-17-2002 6:17 pm [link] [4 comments]

- steve 9-17-2002 5:36 pm [link] [add a comment]

- steve 9-17-2002 5:32 pm [link] [1 comment]

Here, I will attempt to relate to you the realities of homelessness. But there is certainly more to a homeless person than being homeless, and this may be the best thing this blog could accomplish - a greater awareness about the whole-ness of homeless people. Not every post will be about homelessness, but they will all be about a homeless person, me. For some people it will be their first experience with the "me" identity within a homeless person. Welcome to My world, a subsidiary of Our world.

- dave 9-16-2002 1:37 am [link] [add a comment]

strange wind on 9-11 , hope it cleanzed nyc....
- Skinny 9-12-2002 8:49 pm [
link] [1 comment]

I thought it was an ecstatic measurement but it turns out

The Rapture Index has two functions: one is to factor together a number of related end time components into a cohesive indicator, and the other is to standardize those components to eliminate the wide variance that currently exists with prophecy reporting.

- alex 9-12-2002 7:57 pm [link] [add a comment]

I'm an advocate of mourning, but I can't say I've really mourned. Well, maybe a bit, at the beginning. The anniversary brings it back; I did feel something, but I hate to say, a year later, that the overriding experience has been that of alienation. It's worse than the early Reagan years. I define alienation as the inability to achieve ecstasy via accepted cultural modes. Tears are the ecstasy of grief, and I don't think I ever cried over it. But I did share in a deep sorrow for the people who died, and for the wound made in our city. Beyond that I find little focus, and now the ecstasy of grief channels into the ecstasy of war-making, and I am sickened. Circumstance has granted the countering voice but little force, and the ecstasy of peace seems far away. This species often displays together its best and its most terrible faces. But these are just expressions, alternating on the same face. Prayers are not to ease the past, but to work eternity into a shape that may explain what is done to us, and what we do to ourselves. If we are finished now with mourning, let us pray for the living.
Pray for peace.
Then work for it.

- alex 9-11-2002 6:21 pm [link] [3 comments]

Ash Wednesday
- alex 9-11-2002 5:34 pm [link] [add a comment]

this may have been previously reported but a pal told me today that last year right before 9/11 there were raids on small records store and bootlegs were confiscated, all the evidence was lost in the twin towers, so no arrests....
- Skinny 9-11-2002 4:15 am [link] [add a comment]

This one should be interesting. Imagine if the person they are going to have to intimidate into not making the sworn confession turns out to have some stubborn ethics? Or it doesn't even have to be that. Maybe the person is just a democrat.

Let the wriggling commence!
- jim 9-10-2002 6:47 pm [link] [2 comments]

This Saturday September 7th, The Lonely Samoans needs you! Please help us fill the air with your love! Please bring your loved ones and touch each other so I can watch you make out from the stage. Saturday, September 7th. 9pm @the Cutting Room 19 W. 24th Street. $5 cover Tel:212.691.1900 Also I made a music video for "Mr. Corporation" over the weekend. out. check it out \
- bill 9-06-2002 5:42 pm [link] [1 ref] [add a comment]

I was wondering about "billy-oh", a term my dad used to use. He would say "it's going to rain like billy-oh". Or maybe it was billy-ho; I was never quite sure, and I don't remember hearing the phrase elsewhere. I don't know where he picked it up, but it turns out to be of British idiom. What surprised me is that "billy-oh" is considered synonymous with the American "all get out". Go figure.
- alex 9-05-2002 7:27 pm [link] [add a comment]

slate navelgazing w/andrew sullivan and kurt andersen -- Are Weblogs Changing Our Culture?
- dave 9-05-2002 1:38 am [link] [add a comment]

i recieved a birthday kitty today, her name is ??

rex is not happy:>)

- Skinny 9-04-2002 9:11 pm [link] [1 ref] [21 comments]

For those who were away, Lionel Hampton died this weekend.
- Tom G 9-04-2002 7:04 pm [link] [add a comment]

I took the ferry to work today. They've just instituted service from Hunter's Point to downtown, and the first week is free, so I thought I'd check it out. It's a much more pleasant ride than the subway, and only takes 8 minutes on the water. Unfortunately, the whole thing doesn't add up for me. Even with a monthly discount rate it costs more than twice as much as the subway, without the flexibility and in-town service. Once you factor in the walk to and from the terminals, it winds up taking just as long. Only 7 people on the 7:30 boat today. It's a nice idea, but I'm not sure it can stay afloat.
- alex 9-04-2002 6:53 pm [link] [add a comment]

the bush dyslexicon - I heard another much more indebth interview yesterday (laborday) with the arthor which will apear here archived in 8 days for a relisten.
- bill 9-03-2002 6:57 pm [link] [13 comments]

What’s with George Will? Now he’s stargazing in Hawaii, pondering the mysteries and trotting out Terence’s favorite quote about “stranger than we can suppose” (though without attribution to Haldane.) Has he been listening to the Shamen?

- alex 9-02-2002 5:49 am [link] [1 comment]

WFMU, New York/New Jersey's prime purveyor of freeform radio sounds, is sponsoring a station benefit on Saturday, September 21st, at 8:00 PM at Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue between Sterling and St. John's Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

On the bill: ESG, Outhud, Brother JT3, the Styrenes. DJing provided by David Grubbs. Tickets are on sale at, and Other Music (15 East 4th Street, New York City), and are $12 with all proceeds to benefit the nonprofit, independent, listener-sponsored station. Tickets will also be on sale at Southpaw the night of the show.

About the acts:
ESG began as four sisters and a friend emerging from the South Bronx with trancy, minimalist grooves, scratchy guitar, and heady funk rhythms that wound up influencing multiple musical camps from indie rock to hip hop to No Wave. They've been sampled umpteenth times by higher profile names than themselves (see their 1992 single "Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills") and rarely play out these days, which makes it more of an honor to have them on the WFMU bill. They have a brand new album forthcoming on the UK Soul Jazz label, which also issued a compilation last year of ESG's older material. The band has had quite a cult in the UK as well, even back to their inception, where Factory Records' Tony Wilson was blown away by the band and got them in the studio with Martin Hannett (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio).

OUTHUD are a New York group of transplants from Sacramento (where half of their other project !!! remains), and specialize in danceably rocking grooves laden with processed effects, heavy echo, repetitive rhythms and respectful nods to like minds as Gang of Four, Joy Division, New Order, PiL, King Tubby. They have a forthcoming disc on the Kranky label.

BROTHER JT is a true purveyor of psychedelic soul, hailing from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he also fronted garage-pop legends the Original Sins for most of the 80's and 90's. Backed by drummer Jamie Knerr and bassist Bill Melcher, Brother JT's live sets swerve from classic Nuggets fuzz rock to pure bubblegum to all-out acid-soaked psychedelic rants and are amazing events to behold. He has two new discs out right now: Maybe We Should Take Some More (Birdman) and Spirituals (Drag City, produced by Neil Hagerty or Royal Trux and solo fame).

THE STYRENES are the one band that can wear the overused publicity tag "artpunk legends" and not be challenged. Hailing from Cleveland, called the "fertile dungheap of 1970's punk rock" by giving birth to such luminaries as the Electric Eels, Rocket From the Tomb, Pere Ubu, and the Dead Boys, the Styrenes crawled from the ashes of those bands with ex-Eels and Mirrors members and now reside in our fair city. Not content to be stylized into a genre, the band melds punk, prog, psychedelia, jazz, and even pure 20th Century classical composition into its sound. There is a new release of their early recordings out now called It's Still Artastic (ROIR) as well as a newly recorded and quite rocking take on Terry Riley's famous In C (Enja Records). Members John Morton and Paul Marotta are also featured in the band Amoeba Raft Boy, whose recent release Bad Fuggum From the Mysterium (Smog Veil Records) features a healthy chunk of tunes recorded live in WFMU's studios in 1996.

DAVID GRUBBS knows a thing or two about good music, having been a member of the Red Krayola, Gastr del Sol, Bitch Magnet, and Bastro as well as producing many fine solo records. He'll be manning the wheels of steel at the WFMU benefit tonight.

- bill 8-22-2002 8:28 pm [link] [1 comment]