Friday, February 20, 2004

Do Not Answer — At Least Without an Attorney Present

More more more.
CD Review: The Coral | Magic and Medicine | Columbia

It wouldn't take much convincing to make some uninitiated music fan believe that the Coral was one of the best bands of the late '60s. Their sound, you could say, captured the essence of Britain's transition from the '60s to the '70s.

And oh, you'd be a tricky one, because the Coral aren't as old as they sound. Perhaps taking a note from the legion of bands echoing bygone eras of rock - the White Stripes being the foremost of which — the Coral has ditched the hodgepodge of alternative, indie and ska stylings characteristic of their self-titled American debut. Instead, each track on their new release,
Magic and Medicine, recalls the founding fathers of bluesy British rock, like the Animals or even the Kinks.

This retrograde musical movement doesn't detract from
Magic and Medicine, however. Rather, the Coral has proved that the tried and true makes a damn fine blueprint for the new. Of the album's 12 tracks, "Don't Think You're the First" is easily the most successful. Rich in instrumentation and evocative of the yearning-for-meaning-but-still-finding-time-to-dance spirit of the late '60s, this track could easily reside next to the hits of the bands the Coral emulates.

Other tracks work as well. The pleasantly psychedelic "Milkwood Blues" plays the lounge music Timothy Leary would have composed, had lounge music been Mr. Leary's thing. And "Liezah" is a sweet ode to a girl who apparently can't spell her name. The only songs from
Magic and Medicine that disappoint, oddly enough, are the first and last ones. "In the Forest" drones, while the thin "Confessions of A.D.D.D." ends the album reminding the listener that he/she spent money on '60s mock-rock and not the real thing.

Quibbles aside,
Magic and Medicine offers some golden oldies that never were. Just shuffle the tracks before you listen.

[Drew better pray he doesn't end up next to the Ramseys on Hollywood Squares.]

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bread

What the world needs now is loaf.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Luigi or Waluigi?

And then sometimes I wonder — what if I'm actually The Other Drew?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Windstorms Over Storke Plaza

Beauty shines more brightly when it is fleeting. What only exists for a few instances — a convergence of coincidences witnessed only by a lucky few — is truly more beautiful.

I realized this when the fruitless walnut trees near Storke Plaza began losing their petals in the wind. Those white flecks bobbing chaotically over our heads better captured what I call "beauty" then blossoms that could have lasted for months had the storm not blown in this afternoon.

Beauty that lasts forever, I suppose, must become ordinary.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Nemo in Tokyo

I had an odd dream last night about waking up on a flight (fright) to Tokyo. I was sitting next to Jessica and somebody else I knew was in the next seat beyond her. But I couldn't see who because everybody was asleep and I didn't want to wake anybody. I'm not sure how I knew I was going to Tokyo.

Worse Than a Wet Bathmat

Love is in the air a bit too thickly, if you ask me. Somebody should crack a window.


Crab Apples

Belatedly, the Artful Dodger muses on Valentine's Day:
The Artful Dodger: First the Flowers Bleed, Then You Spread Your Seed

Whenever people consider the victims of Valentine's Day, they either think of the boneheaded — those who blow their paychecks on pink and red foolery like those chalky conversation hearts — or the socially untouchable — those whose appearance, hygiene, mental stability, speech impediment or need to wear orthopedic shoes have rendered them dateless.

I propose, however, that one mulling over the malignance of the big V.D. should recognize the silent victims: flowers.

Yes, flowers — those cheerful spots of color that line our walkways, beautify our neighborhoods and bob so inoffensively in the breeze. Each February, they become prey to a juggernaut of romantic conquest called Valentine's Day, just because we heartless humans like to give our sweethearts bouquets of them.

Think about it: You are a posy or a carnation or whatever, doing your flower thing in some plot of dirt somewhere. La-di-da, right? No! Little does your little flower brain know that you're growing on a cut flower farm. And on this day before Valentine's, Mr. Farmer comes and chops you off at your base so Joe Schmoe from the soap factory can give you and a bunch of your dead pals to One-Legged Patty in hopes of getting some action.

Sure, I know flowers don't actually have brains, but floral genocide sounds like a shit deal, doesn't it?

The entire concept behind the giving of flowers for any holiday is fundamentally flawed. When one picks a flower, they're removing it from the landscape and destroying the chances of some other passers-by to enjoy it. Additionally, they're dooming the blossom's beauty to rot away. Even if the recipient sticks the thing in water, it's still going to die. Thus, giving somebody cut flowers is like saying, "Here's something pretty that I killed because it was pretty. Soon it will not be pretty anymore. I love you." This, I think we can all agree, is insanity.

The senselessness of this all seems a lot more obvious when we replace the flower with a different gift. What if somebody decided to give a puppy to their beloved, but chopped the little guys legs and tail off first? "Here's something cuddly and fun that I killed. Even if you care for it, it's probably going to die. I love you." And if that line gets any action, you have more problems than the suffering of flowers.

Now this does not mean that one should let Valentine's pass without getting something for the it's-the-thought-that-counts category. Besides, flowers seem permanently crammed into the Valentine's tradition. Love it or hate it, it's all about the nosegays.

So rather than showing up at the door with a sense of horny anticipation, I suggest giving the year-round blossoms of a live plant. A lot of local stores are willing to sell you something just as pretty as a cut flower without killing it first. And the price range is just as wide - from red roses for those playing hard to get, to daisies for the loose ones. Hell, on Valentine's Day, those ones will probably hop in bed if you give them clumps of grass from their own lawn.

Naturally, this course poses a problem if your valentine has no green thumb. Rather, some have the black thumb of death and will kill a vegetal gift faster than you can say "unfit mother." This misfortune requires some invention. Instead of porking your sweetheart up with chocolates or exotic meats, I suggest combining the worlds of plants and food with edible produce.

"Here's a crate of crab apples I picked for you. I dug all the worms out. We can sit on the curb and eat them. I love you."

Now you show me a girl who won't melt at those words, and I'll show you a girl who doesn't deserve to have a valentine at all.

Incredibly,
Daily Nexus opinion editor Drew has never has a successful date on Valentine's Day. Crab apple?
I'm proud of myself for tossing the word "nosegays" back into the common lexicon. And oh yeah — Coachella all the way.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Cup Your Hands Over Your Mouth

too-too-too-ha-ha-ha

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Yes, It Really Would Be So Bad

i woke up at 3:30 in the afternoon, which means i slept the clock around — nearly. merill bainbridge is the sound of unsleep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Present Contents of My Desk

  • a travel alarm clock
  • a bamboo lamp
  • the digital camera
  • the dried pomegranate
  • the left speaker
  • nail clippers
  • my wallet
  • a piece of paper with the number 1-800-742-5877 on it
  • a red sharpee
  • my monitor
  • a stack of blank CDs
  • a green sharpee
  • the right speaker
  • my car keys
  • a mug from the Free Lance

Sandy, Cindy and Mindy

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Mag, Dog and Rag

Friday, February 06, 2004

I Am Error

Sleep itself has no appeal to me. It’s this inevitable downtime — coma lite — wherein I waste a good third of my day. It’s not much different than the state I’ve now sent three (3) inexpensive fish. Little slices of death, I think Poe called them. Yet daily, I look forward to the time when I lie in bed with a blanket dividing six feet of my space from the rest of the world’s. And tonight at 3 something in the morning, after I’ve triumphed over another long day at the Nexus, I finally realize why I look forward to bedtime despite my disdain for the indolence of sleep.

It’s the sound of sleep.

I don’t mean the gibbering, mewling, purring, lip-smacking language of sleep. That’s an annoying diversion that makes sharing a room with Cory a bit more pleasant. No, I mean this inarticulatable sensation of having encroaching sleep reaching into my ears, stroking them with a familiar affection. It’s not an absence. If it were, I wouldn’t feel it so strongly flowing into my brain from both sides.

It’s the noise of a time itself shutting down for a few hours. It’s like soft hair against skin. It’s like the shadow of the tree in the front yard cast against the living room wall — the only time the tree or the wall ever looks nice, I’ve noticed. It’s knowing I’ll be the only one awake to see the night flash green and then turn dark blue again, to witness a early morning three-hour ban of the coriolis effect. It’s synesthetic harmony of all these, somehow collected by the human ear.

It’s what I’ll hear when I turn the computer off.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Summer Sun in the Forecast

Rejection, once and future foe.
Dear Drew,

Thanks for your inquiry. I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but I'm afraid we've filled our intern slots. I'm sorry you weren't among those chosen. Best of luck in your endeavors.

R. Hagihara

Chill Out, Pussycat

Oh, the sacred monosyllable!
- "What's you're point?"
- "The point is of no return — and you've just reached it!"
Russ Meyer owns me and so does an episode of "Cowboy Bebop" that had somehow slipped past me this long, but I can't help think about London today. I remember how good those quarter-sandwiches at Fortnum and Mason tasted and I wish I could be there again.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Botanical Sabbatical

The power of the tilde means the difference between a year and an asshole.

Last night: the evil women of "Les Diaboliques." Tonight: the evil women of "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Right now: a belated photo essay.

Drew and Kami go to the botanical gardens.



Splashy.



Barky.



Leafy.



Spectrum-y.



Spidery.



Something-y.



And looking-me-right-in-the-eye-y.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Simply Stupid

The Artful Dodger (or at least his vengeful ghost):
Stupid Thoughts While Pondering the Essence of Idiocy

It has come to my attention that some of you are stupid - that is, the slow, the dense, the willfully ignorant, the ones who just don't get it. I think we can all agree that the university, an institute of higher learning, is no place for you.

I am asking you to leave. Put down this newspaper (which you probably don't understand), abandon your textbooks (which you probably don't understand either) and leave the university forever.

Go on. Git.

Go to your refuges in the deep fry kitchens and the quarries and the places where your lack of intelligence is not a handicap but a standard.

You're still reading.

Maybe you think you're not stupid. You might be right; the truly stupid probably folded this fine publication into a little paper hat before they got through the front page. In any case, I hope the preceding edict weeded out a few of our weaker-minded fellow students. But yeah, like most people, I've got a problem with those I classify as stupid. They dent my car, they put mayonnaise on my hamburger when I ask them not to, and they waste my valuable time with aimless stories about bathmats and kittens and their days on the junior varsity badminton team.

A greater problem, however, is that I'm not sure how to define this term "stupid." It's a word I've used religiously since my elementary school years, when I decided to segregate the rest of the class from this kid who insisted upon foolish notions like the possibility of planting a Skittles tree and that his grandfather's ghost inhabited his Magna Doodle. Now that was stupid. And I'd wager he's still stupid, sitting in a dirty apartment somewhere, drooling, with bits of food on his face and a vague notion that life had dealt him a shitty hand.

Still, I can't come up with an objective definition of what stupid really is.

According to Webster, the stupid are "slow of mind" or "given to unintelligent decisions or acts." But since these definitions depend on one's opinion, I don't feel they really capture the essence of stupid. I suppose those who score low in an IQ test would classify as stupid, but one could argue that such tests are biased and only test certain kinds of intelligence. Besides, somebody with a low IQ could easily have enough common sense to function pleasantly among the non-stupid, and it's only the offensively stupid who irk me. Conversely, a perfectly rude person could pull straight A's, think eloquently and have more than his or her fair share of common sense.

Stupidity manifests itself on our campus today in poor decisions and the inability to learn at a satisfactory speed. However, even odious offences like treating the bikepath like Mario Kart racetracks — banana peel! red shell! turbo! turbo! turbo! — or wasting the professor's time with inane questions — "When did we have to start writing in complete sentences?" — could be attributed to momentary lapses of judgement and not true stupidity.

The more I think about it, the only indefensibly stupid people in the area I can think of are my front neighbors.

Despite my efforts to explain otherwise, these girls repeatedly block my and my roommate's cars in, even when there's plentiful streetside parking. They know we're going to bitch about it. They know they're going to pull out and then pull back in. And yet they do it every time, resentful and broken of the belief that this time they might pull it off. Thus, I can only conclude that my neighbors — who, now that I think about it, might actually go to Santa Barbara City College — are the perfect, objective personification of stupid.

I guess this means that none of the rest of you actually have to leave, seeing as how we can blame your stupid actions on one thing or another. But just think about that one guy who actually did put down the paper and walk away. Boy was he stupid.


Opinion editor Drew thinks the
Nexus should mention Mario Kart every Tuesday. Turbo! Turbo! Turbo! Aww... Green shell...

Lena, Leto and Joe Christmas

Ack.

Having written a column, laid out a double truck, and drawn a comic strip, I'm beginning to recall how I hated the Nexus last spring. Additionally, my grasp of Flash is shaky at best and I'm not even a fifth through Light in August, though I like Joe Christmas and I think Lena is Leto, what with the twins and all. Could she be both Leto and a Mary Magdalene figure at the same time? George Washington Carver's replacement has also died, which I'm okay with since I never bothered to name him, and the pet store says to bleach the bowl so subsequent fish don't mold to death like the last two did. And I finally learned about the use of the subjunctive in English ("I wish I were going" instead of "I wish I was going"). Ack indeed.

Gastropod Orthodox

And the second installment of Mr. Pants (even though this one is noticably Mr. Pants-free).



The snail is so obviously Catholic!