Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Get on With Me Neighbours

Ah, that frustrating moment where exhaustion starts to take me: I’m feeling like I’ve gotten somewhere with what I’m doing: I’ve got art for all my digital acqusitions (okay, the Floor set has massive work to come behind it, so not exactly…). I’m all set to take pictures of fun stuff, look further into my lovely AmRep stuff, read some articles, so on, so forth.

Alas.

I stopped in to Dead Wax and finalized my Record Store Day some days later.  I’ve got too much to do tomorrow (and possibly Saturday, but that’s still up in the air a bit). Frustrating, indeed.

Obviously, the Small Faces are still running through my head (rather than suddenly having neighbour problems again for the first time in half a decade or so), though I’m also mid-way through the first season of Arrow because someone has been pushing it on me. Interesting, so far (oh look, Tahmoh Penikett…), though rather odd in many ways. Still somewhat concerned about it (mostly that whole “murder” aspect, which is the only clear violation of the type that bugs me, but there’s been some pushback, and this is a whole “Year Zero” kinda thing–who knows?).

But, I guess I’ll have to give in shortly…Damn.

On a ship–a LIVING ship…

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It’s no secret that I’m re-watching Farscape, far from it. Nor is it a secret that it is, bar none, my absolute favourite television show ever. There may be objectively superior ones, I often say (let’s say…The Wire…to pick out a random example, by which I mean “not random at all, and probably accurate”), but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I refuse to define favourites by ridiculous objective measures–that’s not how favourites work. I mean, I guess it might for some people, but the reason should still be that it’s the one you like the most. Maybe you like it the most because it does basically everything correctly, or whatever–but, still.

I’ve written a few times on why, often falling on deaf, uninterested, or rather clogged ears.

The people I know whose taste I respect as refined by personal evaluation (not refined by external cultural measures, a stupid and useless way to refine your own interests and understanding, at least, in an exclusive capacity) nod thoughtfully when I explain the reasons I readily rate it (even in those “objective” senses) over a lot of the similarly-appealing kinds of shows (you can read that as “Joss Whedon shows” and you won’t be wrong, really). It’s the only instance I know of where characters truly drive a fantastic (in the “fantasy” sense, rather than the quality superlative) kind of story and universe. Where artificial relationships aren’t shoehorned in, overly-predestined¹ fashion, forcing plots to force characters to force the goals of writers. No doubt the writers had goals, but it felt more like they were following the characters’ natural instincts, and finding the conflicts in those, rather than manifesting conflicts for them to respond to.

On re-watching, I’m just absolutely stricken with how much Aeryn Sun reminds me of someone I very much cared about in so many endless ways–the kind of attitude, philosophy, response to change, the way she responds, reacts, so much of it just jaw-droppingly familiar and, well, accurate. It’s only emphasizing my appreciation of the show itself, and of my reasons for that appreciation, which were centered on the way the characters are written and portrayed anyway. I admit, it’s the “closest” I’ve felt to a television show–less that kind of “Gosh, I feel bad about this situation and these characters I like,” and more “Oh, please, do not do this to her, I see how she can and will survive this but really should not have to suffer it.” Yeah, there’s all kinds of crossed circuits and confusion in that response, and it’s subjective in the extreme, but it doesn’t change the fact that all of those things have happened because of the nuance of that character.

In large part, I started writing this random-ass blog so that I could write somewhere that didn’t lead me to forbidding myself to address my personal connections in anything but vague ways, while also allowing me the freedom to talk about the things I find interesting in the world that can be shared–the point where these things blur, because, without the personal portion (and, indeed, it is very much “without” one would use to describe my life in its current and probable perpetual state²), the rest is what fills that role for me anyway. It’s the music, the sharing of music, the discussion, the conversation, the interaction, the exploration, the debate, the analysis (if a bit “soft”)–the same for movies, television, games, the emotionally dry but entertaining anecdotes and experiences, that seem to define the thing that I call “myself”.

So here I break that rule of all my “formal” blogging, while not utterly abandoning myself to “online diary” at the same time. Take from this what you want or will: I don’t find myself disheartened at the absence of readership, for this is something only present for the truly interested anyway, as no one else would have reason to bother.

¹I’ll concede John and Aeryn are a given from the pilot, but it’s not at all carried off as such, despite the hints. It’s like a “This person is attractive,” response, rather than “Oh…I think that may be the love of my life, but I am not sure yet.”

Him–just fucking kill him, I don’t care if it hurts. Yes I do, I want it to.

I actually do not currently bear such ill will, but these are the words echoing through my head.¹

Today’s been a mish-mash: two mornings waking up feeling like death (mostly a phlegm and raw-throated-in-origin type feeling, with a good dash of exhaustion) meant  a lot of re-watching Farscape (I’m into early season 4 now) and laying in bed. Eventually, I did get up and complete my exhaustive re-organization of the tracks ripped from my last trip to the Triangle. Mostly it was straightforward albums by bands I’d not yet heard (The Pastels, who were coincidentally recommended by Dean Wareham, who I was in the Triangle to see), or occasionally some I had (Cerberus Shoal, The Get Up Kids). I only had a handful of compilations and bonus tracks though–some b-sides and singles from Generation X (Billy Idol’s pre-solo band) and a full compilation of the Pastels, and one of Halo of Flies.

Digging into Halo of Flies led me on an Internet Standard Rabbit Hole™, where I ended up reading an interview with Tom “Haze XXL” Hazelmeyer, from which I discovered that apparently Amphetamine Reptile (founded by Hazelmeyer, who is in Halo of Flies) still has some stock (!!!) and assembled my imaginary (hopefully eventually real) order of AmRep stuff that’s still available. I have a bad (read: excellent) habit of blind-buying AmRep titles since they’re responsible for the Dope, Guns-N-Fucking in the Streets series of compilation 7″s.

That had its own excitement, as did finally getting through a few of my backlogged records, mostly 7″s and such, but including the Church Bizarre one I picked up despite being unsure if it was the Church Bizarre John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats recommended to me at that Carcass show four years ago or not (yep: even a recommendation from him took me four years to get to. Shit happens.)

Luckily whatever unpleasantness I’ve been dealing with is…well, mostly gone now. I’m hoping to sneak in some more records before I head to bed for work tomorrow, but I first want to address an unexpected angle on this whole “Babymetal” thing. Babymetal being a J-Pop group that’s centered on being…J-Pop as metal. It’s 3 tweens doing J Pop over straight-up metal (well, sometimes it’s more “nu-metal”, but whatever). If you know I’m a metal head, you may think you know where this is going, but, no: the stupidly catchy chorus of the endlessly viewed “Gimme Chocolate”² sounds incredibly familiar. I don’t know where from. Maybe someone played this to me and it’s tickling that distant memory. Or the melody got lifted–I feel like it’s a Japanese band, perhaps one of the ones I found through the Elephant Kashimashi tribute album 花男³–Straightener maybe, whose “Another Dimensional”–holy crap, they’re just a two-piece?!–is also stupidly catchy, but is definitely a different melody. Still, has to be something like them for me to have heard it. Maybe Husking Bee.

Or I’m imagining it. I dunno.

Anyway: it’s not an insult to metal or whatever, though it does tickle my “okay, yes, technically, but…” detector insofar as classifying it as metal. Musically, sure (mostly), but–I dunno, I guess it seems like there’s a cultural element, or something? But then, I listen to a lot of the rap I do, so I should probably shut up.

 

¹You can thank Steve Albini/Shellac, for the song “Prayer to God”

²Yeah, I could have done the original Japanese title, but, honestly? It’s literally “Gimi Chyoko” which is just the transliterated equivalent of “Gimme chocolate”–a dead giveaway when it’s written in katakana anyway. So, suck it up.

³That one’s actually in Japanese words, so there you go. It’s transliterated “Hana Otoko” and it means “Flower Man”. It’s the title of one of their songs.