flotation device 15


Hello. I recently finished up a new issue of Flotation Device. I continue to be on somewhat of a roll. This one is everything that came to mind when I thought about the second band I played in, The Rories. Mostly mundane things as I tried to avoid obvious band/music zine stuff. But I don’t know what that really would be at this point. If you’re interested in getting one. Feel free to get in touch or head over to ye olde etsee shoppee!

computer shit

recently. a couple weeks back. i was checking my email as i do before i get ready for work. i clicked on a link to a friend’s blog. and the computer started to slow down. took a while for the page to load, the mouse started disappearing and glitching out. i heard a couple clicks from somewhere inside my computer’s case. and then… bios. the bios screen. this is basically the mother board settings screen. you can get to it before the computer starts up, or if you don’t have an operating system installed whatsoever. this didn’t look good.

i tried starting up the computer again, but it made three clicks and then a high pitched whine. kind of a reeeeeee sound. click click click. like drumsticks counting off a song. click click click… reeeeeee. and the xp start up screen with the little blue progress bar loading infinitely. not good. couldn’t start into safe mode. couldn’t start in regular mode. all i could get to was the bios screen.

i shut it down. got ready and went to work. called a friend, who said, yeah that sounds like it’s yr hard drive. like it physically crashed. all yr data’s prolly gone.

fuck. i felt sick. panicked. angry. freaked out. scared. what about all the music files for all the recording i’ve done. the ones that i wasn’t done with. the ones that i still needed to finish up the last rories record. or the ones of other friend’s bands that i was still working with. and all the zine files and photos and layouts, etc. fucking hell.

this happened on a wednesday. i sent emails and made calls to friends to see if anyone had had this happen or knew of someone else and if they had any recommendations on where to take the hard drive to. i looked into how much it would cost to crack the fucker open and physically remove data, if a software extraction didn’t work. fbi stylee. at least a thousand.

then it was off to new jersey to visit h’s family for four days. i did my best to relax. to not worry about it. to not think about it. to come to grips with it. to be at peace with the fact that all that info, all those files, all the stuff i was working on, was gone. i was able to resign myself to the fact and relax. it was a good visit out there. and beautiful weather. and my first hoagie from wawa. and first water ice. yes water ice. like italian ice, but slushier.

when we got back, h helped me find some places to take the hard drive to. and to make this long story short. the place i went with, was able to get everything except for like 20 gigs off of it. hooray! i don’t know how i got so lucky that the physical damage occurred where there wasn’t crucial data stored. but i don’t care. i’m just stoked that i’ve got back the files i need to work with.

so now i’m all about backing shit up. two internal hard drives set up so that they are basically mirrored clones of each other. an external hard drive to back up again. and prolly a second exernal hard drive to make further back up. never again! hopefully! or maybe less catastrophic in the future!

improvised music is the new newness

lately. i’ve been into the band. new ideas. new modes. it’s nice. i thought i woulda been more bummed that the rories stopped. but by the end, it was feeling like too much. too much responsibility. too much being in charge. not enough being part of a group. don’t get me wrong. i loved it. it was fun. but i think it had run its course and now we’re on to the next thing. the rories had been moving in that direction anyways. freeform. open-ended. improvised. and that seems to be what this new group is. open ended. we’re working on it. figuring it out. figuring out how to play with each other. what to play with each other. what musics. what instruments.

which is fun for me. playing new things like drums. trying to figure out how they work. sleigh bells – a christmas present from h’s sister. the sleigh bells rule. a keyboard that’s been sitting in my closet for years. now i’m playing all these things. and anything i can get my hands on. like a melodica. i wish i still had my harmonica. i wonder where that got off to. and yes i’m still playing my guitar also. it’s a nice feeling to be trying new things, making new sounds (new for me) and learning to interact musically with new people.

it can be frustrating. some nights. when we’re off. not coherent. but that’s the nature of it. and it seems like we’re getting more comfortable with each other and the music and it’ll continue to improve.

we still don’t have a name yet. some terrible ideas have been thrown around. maybe i’ll write them down later. we’ll see.

reading watching listening

let’s do it!


el reino de este mundo by alejo carpentier. i am on a mission to read more books in spanish by people who wrote in spanish. this is the first of a new bunch group of authors for me to try. so far so good. i don’t always get all the vocab, but i get enough out of it that i can see it in my mind. which is good. and i can tell you what it’s about. haiti and revolution back in the 19th century. this is the guy who coined the term “magical realism” or in spanish “lo real maravilloso.”

lee miller’s war  edited by antony penrose. lee miller pretty much rules. awesome photographer and apparently a solid writer. this is a collection of her war correspondence from world war 2 when she was writing for vogue and a couple other magazines it seems like. she was travelling with the army as it made its way across france and into germany. writing and taking pictures as she went. it’s a little rough to read her german hate, but she lived through the blitz. i’d prolly not be stoked on germans at the time either.

when baghdad ruled the muslim world: the rise and fall of islam’s greatest dynasty by hugh kennedy. the title pretty much says it all. about the abbasids reign of a few hundred years. started out solid, but i’m kinda bored with it at this point. i think i’m not gonna finish it. i’m not sure where it goes wrong. the info is good. i think part of the problem must be the writing style. and there’s nothing really wrong with it, but i thin it doesn’t grab me. but points for modernizing the translation of historical texts so that i know that in some cases what they really meant was “motherfucker” or “shit.”

roxy music: both ends burning by jonathan rigby. roxy music biography! what? fucking awesome!!! unfortunately not so awesome. i had to stop around country living. too bad. there’s some good info, but not enough. and it’s just kinda dull. the eno parts are all good. but there’s way too much focus on ferry. not enough on the rest of the band. and come on, brian ferry is no lyrical genius. nor an awesome songwriter. so what the fuck. if it weren’t for the rest of the band, they wouldn’t’ve been awesome. oh well.


taste of tea by katsuhito ishii. this movie ruled. calm. beautiful. righteous. totally made me feel good. watch it.

spring, summer, fall, winter and spring by kim ki-duk. also calm. also beautiful. also made me feel good. couldn’t figure out why. but it did.

pan’s labyrinth by guillermo del toro. amazing. gorgeous. totally brutal. never want to see it again. i said that the first time i saw it, but i watched it again with h who hadn’t seen it yet.

the dark knight by christopher nolan. yay batman! solid solid.

space is the place by john coney. but come on it’s all about fucking sun ra! this movie might be one of the dumbest thing i’ve ever seen. but it’s awesome in its ridiculousness. and its fucking sun ra! although the best part was the ten minutes of sun ra and arkestra walking around in egypt set to the song watusi. that ruled! hooray!


the ex and getachew mekuria  at the logan square auditorium and at pritzker pavilion. these two shows totally blew me away and made me feel awesome. so did…

phil cohran at the pritzker pavilion doing a tribute to sun ra. although it was more of a tribute to phil cohran. but it was truly truly amazing. got choked up a couple of times i did.

 jarvis cocker at the dumbass pitchfork music festival. we went to pitchfork and all we saw was jarvis. we spent 30 dollars a piece to see him. and boy was he worth it. lots of man love for that guy. from the dudes a few yards away from us. i expected underwear and glasses to be thrown on stage in uncontrolled outbursts of nerd love. we were pretty close and pretty much in swoon the whole time. hopefully he’ll come back when his new album comes out next year.

piss piss piss moan moan moan at enemy. alex (of the rories, the band i’m in) and nicole play some amazing noise drone electronics. this was a righteous show. i’m usually not a fan of total noise, but i guess this wasn’t total noise. is it power electronics? who knows. but it was loud. and it was good.

all the new jazz records we got on our trip to san francisco. i can’t really pick just one. but just for the sake of it i’ll say arthur doyle and sunny murray live at the glen miller cafe. hooray!