Friday, December 19, 2008

This is a recording

More of these, after a long break. Click to enlarge:

Click here (and then scroll down) to see more.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

Cool, clear water.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Trail of Books

I've been waiting for The Books of the States to make its way across the country since I first read of it, and today the series – which chooses a number of classic books for each state equal to that state's electoral college count – finally delivers, with 11 books the editors feel are exemplary of Washington State's general history, temperament, etc. If that sounds a little confusing and nebulous, or if I do, well, fine – so does the electoral college. That's no reason not to pay attention. Check out Books of the States: Washington at Omnivoracious.

I don't read so good, so what the heck do I know, but I was surprised they didn't include Murray Morgan's Skid Road or William Speidel's Sons of the Profits – still the classic histories of Seattle – or Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, a huge part of which takes place in and on the way to the North Cascades. Still, it's a great list, and worth a look.

Snowballs and Icicles

We waited all day yesterday, and the storm finally arrived, kicking things off in the middle of the night with an ice storm and some extremely loud bursts of thunder as two weather systems collided. Here's a before-and-after off the back deck, yesterday and today:

It doesn't look like much (about 3 inches so far) but predicts more of the same off and on for the next ten days.
This is highly unusual.

I always used to think it was kind of funny when people here would excitedly tell me about how it was snowing in Seattle (I know, what a jerk) because we had tons of snow in New York every winter, to the point that it was no big whoop. But this is a very hilly city with little infrastructure in place to deal with it; they don't salt the roads (thankfully, for a number of reasons, as I mentioned), and if there's any kind of freezing, mayhem ensues. I love it – everything slows down, you get out and walk a little more, and you appreciate what is already one of the most beautiful cities in the country, now covered in a thick, quiet cloak.

Here's a little snow mix for yeh.
Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning
Snowballs and Icicles mp3 (get it from Sonic Boom)
Elliott Smith Angel in the Snow mp3 (purchase)
Damien Jurado Ghost in the Snow mp3 (must have)
The Microphones Ice mp3 (do it)
The Halo Benders Snowfall mp3 (git it gurl)
Explosions in the Sky Snow and Lights mp3 (website)
The U.N. Snow mp3 (apparently out of print?)
KTL Snow mp3 (talk about a cloak…get yours from Other Music)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Old Man's Back Again

I guess this is shaping up to be '60s week at Pacific Standard…maybe it's always sort of '60s week. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to seeing this Bowie-produced documentary on Scott Walker.

More info here.

Luck be a Lady

The other day I discovered something cool about cable TV in Seattle: there's a free on-demand channel, and many of the selections are actually worthwhile. Last weekend we caught Lady in Cement, a totally enjoyable, extremely campy offering from that campiest of years, 1968. I picked up the soundtrack a few years ago and it's great, like just about everything Hugo Montenegro ever touched.

Hugo Montenegro Again mp3

Hugo Montenegro The Shark mp3

Pick up Lady in Cement on DVD or VHS for as low as $4.50 at Amazon, get it from Netflix, or check it out for free if you are a lucky cable-subscribing Seattle resident.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oooh! Barracuda

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold Lamping

Seems like a good day for a general assortment of recent photos as we get back into the swing of things. Did I mention that it snowed here? When I was a kid it used to snow a lot, because the Northwest was in the middle of one of its periodical extended cold snaps. That one ended in 1982 or something. I wonder if we're headed into another one because it is cold balls out there right now. Very pretty, and I like the cold, so I don't care. Favorite weather: sunny and cold. But enough blather, on to the photos.

One of many cool old buildings in Anacortes. We just stopped through quickly on our way back from Whidbey Island, but I'm looking forward to spending more time there – it seems like there's a lot of interesting stuff going on, visually and musically.

For example:
Mount Eerie w/ Julie Doiron & Fred Squire
Lost Wisdom mp3
[you buy now]

And I found this several years ago, kind of fresh:
Anacortes High School Marching Band (1973) Corazon mp3

The Lusty Lady, a Seattle landmark. This was taken right after Election Day, but the Electoral College actually casts its votes today.

Speaking of which – I like this photo from November 5th, when Emily and I went to the Five Spot for a pancake lunch. Call me simple but it's still one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle or anywhere.

The Grey Art Gallery has an interesting show up right now – this piece is by Laura C. Wright.


A good paste-up under the viaduct downtown.

My friend Jason wanted me to take this picture, don't blame me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

There's Something in a Sunday

Following are the things that most interested me early this morning at the kitchen table, all hungover and cold, peering over a lukewarm cup of coffee at The New York Times.

This piece about photographer Robert Frank on the fiftieth anniversary his highly influential book The Americans. A coherent review of Annie Liebovitz's At Work. The Magazine's annual year in ideas issue.

Amtrak's Trainsetters program, a deal on rail travel between Seattle and Portland, combined with reduced rates at the Ace Hotel (in the old Hotel Clyde building, where Matt Dillon and William S. Burroughs live at the end of Drugstore Cowboy).

Bill Cunningham. A piece in the business section advocating a goal of full employment: "If the new president had a target of full employment and if Americans believed that he could reach it, the confidence problem could quickly be solved." A preview of today's Seahawks/Rams game: "Someone may care about this game in April, when the loser has a better draft pick. In an act of mercy, the game will be blacked out locally." And, finally, an article on what may turn out to be an Iraq version of the Pentagon Papers, with revelations such as:
The history records how Mr. Garner presented Mr. Rumsfeld with several rebuilding plans, including one that would include projects across Iraq.

“What do you think that’ll cost?” Mr. Rumsfeld asked of the more expansive plan.

“I think it’s going to cost billions of dollars,” Mr. Garner said.

“My friend,” Mr. Rumsfeld replied, “if you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken."

When I was done reading the paper I had an english muffin, two eggs, and some ibuprofen, and met the day.