Sweat Soundtrack #1

Two developments.

In Rome, the schedule pressured me into doing my workout first thing in the morning — before coffee even (changing clothes would have delayed the start of the day too much). Thought it would be painful, even a temptation to skip. Discovered there was really something to this business of eating nothing before exercise. Helped wake me up, dandy preparation for a long day of walking. So that’s what I have continued to do.

At home, I decided this week to make the soundtrack first thing in the morning strictly a crate dive into items not played for a goodly while (thrill of delighted rediscovery vs. yargh! what was I thinking?).

So, after the first entry, which was usual newie, here’s the list of oldies:


  1. The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions
  2. Stereolab, Sound-Dust (Elektra, 2007)
  3. Trans Am, Sex Change (Thrill Jockey, 2007)
  4. Various/DJ Christian Pronovost, Go Deep Miami 2005 (self-release) (a reminder of a highly eclectic dance scene from a dozen years ago in Miami, I have a couple other anthologies in this style and like them a great deal)
  5. Small Faces, The BBC Sessions (Fuel, 2000) (Rugged but right.)
  6. The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Grounation (Dynamic Sound, 1990) (More peculiar and perfect each time I hear it.)
  7. Lanterna, Highways (Badman, 2004) (Closest thing to ambient and restful.)


Why Comic Books Have Trouble With Innovation and Inclusion

It’s this crazy retail-distribution system.  I remember how shocked and befuddled I was when I first discovered the setup. So that’s why there were heaps of comics in the garbage pile behind the store alla time — can’t send back unsold copies! The late, great Jeep Holland, who worked for Diamond Distributors (when it actually had some competition), told me that, rightly or wrongly, comic-book publishers decided that dealing with unsold copies would be a crucial difference between making money and going broke. Jeep thought this was increasingly misguided since it was based on the assumption that nobody but nobody would be interested in a comic book a month after it came out, let alone years later. (Been great for the collectors’ market of course — it’s why really old comics are really rare.) This also explains why Marvel’s huge outburst of innovation came as they were going down the tubes and had nothing to lose. But also a strong component of why I dropped out of mainstream-comic reading. The rehash mode was impossible to stomach.

End of a TV Era

The last boxlike TV set I will ever own has just been hauled away by trash collectors. My family’s first set, about 60 years ago, had a screen about a third as big and tried very hard to be a boxlike piece of furniture.

I did not see the haul happen, but don’t care I did not get to say goodbye. Damned set had become a pain in the vacuum tube when it was evident we couldn’t get rid of it easily. Nobody wanted a boxlike TV even as a donation.