Random Photo of the Day: "Gina K. Logical"

Photo by Lou, Leopard Lounge Halloween Party, 10/28/05


The Shaggs

Happy Shaggy Halloween from Making Flippy Floppy
The Shaggs - It's Halloween
MP3 1.92MB, 96kbps, 44kHz



Local Art: Mik-n-Mac's Men's Room

Gotta go gotta go gotta go right now...
Mik-n-Mac's Lounge, 406 N 4th St, Coeur d'Alene, ID
You hold it and hold it, but eventually you will need relief. You reluctantly fight your way through the drunken crowds and make your way to the barren, prison-like hell chamber. Yes, it's the men's room at Mik-n-Mac's, and on a typical weekend night it is covered in half an inch of piss, puke, and other body fluids. Broken beer bottles mingle gently with ciggie butts in dark forboding corners.
To thier credit, the girls at Mik-n-Mac's have made several failed attempts at ritzing up this hellhole, thier efforts literally destroyed by the bad testosterone moments of the neanderthals who frequent the place. I wasn't surprised when the cute little shelves installed kindly above the urinals to hold your beer while you took care of your business were found ripped to the floor, or when the mirror above the sink was smashed again, despite the inch of safety plastic meant to protect it. It was typical when the door to the stall was ripped off its hinges and the ceramic lids to both toilets smashed to smithereens on a random busy Saturday summer night. And recently, we hit a new low when the mirror right inside the door suddenly disapppeared, the remaining chunks of missing wall swifltly painted over in that mental-ward shade of light blue-green, leaving us boys with no way to check oursleves out on the way back into the heaving crowd. Even I was was phased, however, when the soap dispenser was karate-kicked into oblivion, leaving us to deal with our own (and everyone else's) frighteningly unwashed hands all night long.
However, we could look at it in a different light. Perhaps the Mik-n-Mac's men's room is really just a big Modern Art installation waiting to happen. The more those a-holes try and destroy the place, the closer they get to creating a masterpiece of urban blight. Every hole punched in the drywall could be viewed as contribution toward the ongoing project. Like Duchamp's famous urinal, it's an example of anything possibly being percieved as a work of art if you look at in the right light. And so, hold your nose, into the dimly lit "gallery" we go...
Untitled #1 (Black Ink Smear On Wall)
Untitled #2 (Former Spot of Next-to-Door Mirror)
Untitled #3 (Plaster Where Hole Was Punched in Wall)
Untitled #4 (Former Spot of Mirror Above Sink)
Untitled #5 (Overhead Light with Ambient Spittle)
Untitled #6 (Exposed Wall Where Urinal Was Destroyed and Replaced)
Untitled #7 (Petrified Double-Stick Tape Above Right Toilet)
Untitled #8 (Mucus-Covered Pressed Board Covering Mystery Hole)
Untitled #9 (Gouge in Left Stall Wall)
Untitled #10 (Toilet-Paper Roll with Padlock)
Untitled #11 (Constant Overflow of Used Paper Towels)
Untitled #12 (Amazingly Still-Functioning Condom/Novelty Machine)
Untitled #13 (Original 1920's Floor Has Seen a Lot of Action)
Untitled #14 (Floor Under Urinals Eroded by Piss)



"Quantum Transposition is Arpanet's second full-length release, and their first on Rephlex. Rumored to come out of the Dataphysix laboratory in Detroit, where the acclaimed and cult combo Dopplereffekt project resides, Arpanet is one of the strangest and most mysterious units of the contemporary electronic music scene. There are no interviews and hardly any live appearances. Nobody really knows who they are, and some suspect involvement in early Drexciya projects. A strange mixture of scientific and sexually explicit political allusion; highly eclectic and unusual. Sonic research in a similar field to Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin and Derrick May. If you are interested in electronic music, Detroit techno, or ambient/experimental music, this is truly essential, like all his other projects. A legendary musician." - Forced Exposure
Arpanet - EPR Effect
MP3 5.17MB, 192kbps, 44kHz



Random Photo of the Day: "Thank You, Come Back Again"

Photo by Patrick, Mik-n-Mac's, 10/17/05



Here it is, finally. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but the Abba sample bothers me a bit. Perhaps if Madge had opted to do a full-on cover of "Gimme Gimme Gimme", things might have been a bit more kosher (sorry, Kaballists, no pun intended). As it is, "Hung Up" is catchy as disco fever, and is pretty much saved by the key change during the bridge ("I can't keep from waiting for you...". Otherwise, this could have turned out to be repetitive Kylie-esque generica. Somehow to me, that one small section of the track turns it into another classic Madonna dancefloor filler. The more I hear the track (and I've had it on repeat for at least 8 rounds now) the more I become immune to the picky details and the more I fall under the spell of it's limited charms. Plus, the telephone anxiety theme is an attractive and classic pop motif reminiscent of Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone" or Adult.'s "Hand to Phone". I'm anxious to see who will be doing the remixes this time, let's hope they do some major magic. Those of you crying "Oldfrapp" are just mean, mean, mean. I think Esther still has a bit of life in her yet...
Also, here's an interesting bit about how Madonna managed to wrangle the rights to the Abba sample from old Bjorn and Benny.
Madonna - Hung Up
MP3 4.66MB, 192 kbps, 44kHz



People & Places: "Christa in Dusseldorf"

Photoshop by Patrick 10/15/05


Hong Kong Cafe, Spokane Valley, WA

(Note: This review includes my first monumental attempt at movie making with my groovy new Nokia Camera phone. Click play and enjoy the drama!")
New on the Chinese food scene out in the easterly region of the Spokane Valley, the Hong King Cafe sits in a boxy little building that started life many years ago as a Wendy's restaurant. Since Wendy's abandoned ship and rebuilt down the street, the building has held several short-lived ventures such as a Hawaiian BBQ Joint and Willy Wonka's Ice Cream (closed due to trademark issues, I wonder?). Faint traces of Wendy's remain - the bright yellow of the sign pole, the red and yellow striping on the window. The men's room still makes one feel as if they are about to return to their table to find Frostys and chili in a paper cup. However, that is where the similarities end, for your average Wendy's decor is bold and becoming compared to the absolute bleak sparseness of the Hong King Cafe. White placemats and white napkins on white tablecloths on tables lined up in perfect rows, church banquet style. White walls with zero decor, save for one unexplainable bit of kitsch: a framed poster with the headline "Motivation for Higher Education" depicting a neon-lit garage full of the best razoo sportscars the 1980's had to offer, with a multifaceted purple and orange fake sunset and palm trees in the background. This truly hideous item was hung directly over the little window between the kitchen and the waiter's are as if it were the only thing they could find to serve the purpose of making the window smaller. A token Chinese tassel of red string hung from the cash register, providing the only other color in the room. Although somewhat disturbing at first, we would soon come to realize that the utter bleakness of the dining room served a genuine purpose: so that diners would find nothing to distract them for the main attraction: the food. Our elderly, petite, and proudly non-English speaking waitress indicated for us to sit wherever. Gazing at the menu, I was initially disappointed to realize they served no combination dinners at all. However, they did offer $4.99 entrees for lunch, so the plan was to pick out three and split them. Realizing it was nearly three, I asked the waitress if we still had time for the lunch special. She frowned: "No lunch no. Only week. Today Saturday." Rats! Ah well, the prices were pretty reasonable anyway so we decided to go for the Spicy Szechuan Chicken and Mongolian Beef because the lurid pictures on the menu depicted them as glistening, colorful delights, and at $5.99 each we figured we couldn't go wrong. Our somewhat sleepy waitress drifted back to the table with our opening act, Hot & Sour Soup ($1.50/cup). I have always raved about the Hot & Sour down the street at Peking Palace, but I have to say that the Hot & Sour here at the Hong Kong is THE shit. Delicious thin strips of pork, bamboo shoots, and shittaake mushrooms in a soup spicy enough to make my sinuses feel young and vital again. Lou and I leered laviciously at each other as we raced to slurp down this positively orgasmic treat. I was tempted to order another cup, or better yet order a gallon to go, but such pleasures in life must remain rare to be fully appreciated. A hissy tape of background muzak suddenly kicked in loudly above us, but not even a wheezing Kenny G sax solo could distract me from my narcotic Hot & Sour haze. After the initial tease of a red round container of steamy white rice, our main entrees arrived as steaming and glistening as the picture on the menu. Large in portion and appealing to every sense, the food was truly stunning in presentation. A subsequent google search led to a Spokesman-Review blurb about the late-August opening of the place, and apparently owner/chef Yuwen Wang moved here recently direct from China, where he was a highly rated chef for over 20 years. The years of experience shine through in cuisine that is truly amazing in its authenticity. The Mongolian Beef was absolutely bursting with garlicy flavor, mingling with still-crunchy onions, shallots, and mushrooms. The Spicy Szechuan chicken was swimming in a bubbling orange sauce, along with a variety of peppers, diamond-cut carrots, and perfectly steamed crisp cabbage. The chicken was deceptively mild at first, then after a few bites, a not unpleasant spiciness emerges and becomes swiftly addictive. Lou and I were unable to hold a normal conversation during our meal due to the fact we were stuffing our faces and moaning and groaning about the sheer deliciousness of our meal. For the first time in recent memory, I actually finished mine before Lou finished his, and we found ourselves fighting over the last half-scrap of onion on the serving platter. Lou even threatened to lick his plate clean, and likely would have but for the old lady two tables down glaring wildly at us. To top off an already intensely perfect meal, they accompanied our bill with not only two sanitarily plastic-wrapped fortune cookies (I won't eat the open ones - who knows where they've been?), but also two delicious Chinese almond cookies. Yum! I was truly fluffed by the fact out bill came to less than seventeen bucks, less than a typical visit to our (former?) fave Peking Palace. For fresh and truly authentic Chinese cuisine, you can't get any better than Hong Kong Cafe. As their business card says "Nobody Beats." I highly recommend repeated visits so we can make sure this fabulous place does not go the way of Willy Wonka's Ice Cream stand.
Ambience: 2.5/10 Food: 10/10



Random Photo of the Day: "Day of the Blurry Mummy"

Photo by Lou 10/05


Soft Cell

Soft Cell c'est forme en 1980 avec Marc Almond le charismatique interprete compositeur et Dave Ball au clavier. Le titre le plus connus est "Tainted Love"(1981) qui a fait le tours des clubs du monde. L'une de leurs premieres apparitions sur un disque etait sur "Some Bizzare Album"(1980) qui est une compilation de nouveaux groupes ou il y avait la premiere apparition de DEPECHE MODE, THE THE, ou BLANCMANGE. En 1982 Marc Almond cree un groupe THE MAMBAS et sort deux albums en partie enregistre avec un orchestre classique. Soft Cell est interessant car les albums sont assez experimentaux. Mais ce groupe eu une existence relativement courte puisque Soft Cell est dissout en 1984. Et bien ce serait malvenu de reduire Soft Cell a ce tube interplanetaire car c'est bien plus que cela et « The Bedsit Tapes » en est la preuve. L'influence majeure pour toute une generation electro et new wave! Classe et livre en digipack s'il vous plait! J'adooooooore!
Soft Cell - Walking Make-Up Counter
MP3 4MB, 192kbps, 44kHz



Flexible Records Ghastly Halloween

Happy Halloween from Flexible Records
Hey kids, time to break out the frightwigs and bob for apples. Time for sweet little girls to turn into evil ranting witches, and little boys to turn into evil ranting drag queens.
Halloween is our favorite time of year here at Flexible Records, and we wanted to celebrate the occasion with an exclusive collection of ultra-spooky mind-chilling tunes thatyou and your mummy can download completely free of charge. Burn it to CD and put a boombox on the front porch and scare the sweet dickens out of the little trick-or-treaters. Thank you to all artists who submitted thier ghoulish music to this project: may the putrid zombie of death caress you ever-so-gently.
Click the Ghastly image above to stream or download individual mp3s, or for the entire album in Zip format.
The tracklist is as follows:
Various Artists: Ghastly Flex24
01 Veduta: Maids
02 Swivek: Crypt Keeper
03 Invenom: Erotic Horror
04 Orange Television: Pointless Like A Witch
05 The Man Who Was Thursday: I Feel Your Soul (Vampire Love Duet)
06 Screaming For Emily: Deity
07 Ampersand: Horror (Live)
08 Subhumanfusion: Dementia
09 SEO: Creeper
10 Decline Big Ditch: Blood Is Blood
11 Warmer: Dying To See You
12 Hover Craft: Haunts
13 Hallowmass : Zombie Love



Random Photo of the Day: "All American Quincy"

Photo by Patrick 10/07/05



Yesterday morning, I woke up with an excruciating muscle spasm in my lower back. The pain was so hardcore it was hard to even breathe and it took me nearly half an hour just to get out of bed and throw on enough clothes to appear decent in public. Thankfully, they were quick and efficient at the Immediate Care clinic, and I hobbled out the door with a prescription in hand. I was shooting for some Hydrocodones but the good doc had set me up with Cyclobenzaprine (aka Flexaril). I hadn't heard of them, but when the friendly ShopKo pharmacist had to pull me aside and tell me to "be careful of those babies" I knew I would be having a great afternoon.
As the melty feeling began to take over, and the pain floated away (or at least I didn't care about the pain anymore), I realized I needed some appropriate music for the occasion. After a couple of false starts (Franz: too peppy; Celebration: too scary), I came upon the latest long-player from UK's Broadcast, entitled Tender Buttons. Now this was more like it! I closed my eyes and the pulsating analog synths and metronome percussion were playing with my drug-addled mind, creating mental patterns and abstract mini-movies.
The voice of Trish Keenan seemed like the single most gorgeous, soothing force on Earth. I kept tripping on where I had heard that voice before, and the closest I could come was Karen Carpenter. Except it's more like an automated, valium-soaked Karen Carpenter from the year 2715. Keenan is never more detatched sounding as on today's MP3 pick "Corporeal" on which she frostily coos "Do that to my anatomy." It's like a come-on from a undersexed stainless steel she-robot. The endlessly catchy music is minimal and analog, yet totally experimental and hypnotic, and is original enough to finally shake off those ill-advised Stereolab comparisons.
After the last note of the album faded out and away, I opened my eyes, still feeling quite high, but exhausted, as if I had just returned from a long trip to an exotic foreign land or other planet. Fantastic! Tender Buttons is an album that is strongly recommended for use with psychoactive prescription painkillers.
Broadcast - Corporeal
MP3 5.37MB, 192kbps, 44kHz



Random Photo of the Day: "My Cluttershelf"

Photo By Lou 10/05


Le Tigre

I was never into her screechy brand of riot-grrrl punk with Bikini Kill in the 90's, but when Kathleen Hannah released her first solo album in 1999 under the name Julie Ruin, I was smitten. To me, this under-recognized classic marked the early marriage of punk and electro. It sounded lo-fi, like it was recorded in the corner of Hannah's bedroom (it probably was!), made innovative use of sampling, and was just plain catchy and fun. She would soon follow suit by getting a couple of cool dykes together and forming Le Tigre, a radical disco punk outfit for the new millenium. Thier latest set This Island is a bit more shiny and produced than previous releases, therefore it doesn't have the raw, immediate indie appeal that once made them such an attractive prospect. By no means does that mean This Island is a tanker, it's just more of a "grower", and when it finally clicked for me, the album became like an addiction to pistachios: can't stop. So I was thrilled to discover that the girls had recently released an EP of remixes from the album, including fave booty-shake rants such as the Peaches remix of "TKO' and this fantastic pumped up version of "Nanny Nanny Boo-Boo" from Junior Senior.

Le Tigre - Nanny Nanny Boo Boo (Junior Senior Mix) MP3 6.20MB, 44kHz



Random Photo of the Day: "Glow Lighter Glow"

Photo by Patrick 09/05


Algebra Suicide

I've been digging around a bit in the old Trouser Press record guides from the 80's. These were fantastic directories to the alternative/underground music scene that had been covered by the magazine of the same name before it went the way of the dodo. I think there may be a few of Trouser Press books in print still, and they are well worth picking up. They now have a website but it pretty much just covers what's in the books and seems to be rarely updated, so best stick with AllMusic for that purpose.
Anyway, I always randomly flip through and find a new old band to rediscover via Soulseek, and this weeks little gem is by Algebra Suicide, a Chicago duo led by the wonderfully named Cleopatra-goth queen Lydia Tomkiw. Her vocal approach is dry, witty, and bizarre, and is often compared to Laurie Anderson. Don Hedeker creates the music and I was totally 10 years off when I first heard this! It sounds to me just like 1981 UK Indie, i.e. Young Marble Giants or Postcard Records. However, this track is from their 1991 release Swoon, and also apparently from some oddball compilation, which is where I found it. I've fallen in love with this track but I haven't been able to find anything more from Algebra Suicide, even on Soulseek. Anyone out there ever heard of them before and perhaps know where to obtain a copy, or a copy of a copy? Let me know....
Algebra Suicide - A Slap In The Face
MP3 3.90MB, 190kbps, 44kHz



Safeway Sushi

My latest unexplainable addiction is the "sushi" now available to go in the deli at the new remodeled Safeway store on Government Way here in Coeur d'Alene. It's certainly no substitute for the real thing, but when one is craving that salty Soy / spicy Wasabi double whammy, it does the trick. So far, I have stuck with the California Roll variety, which isn't even really California Roll like I've ever had in an actual sushi place. It has mock crab, some shredded carrots, cucumber, and mushy avocado. Naturally, no salty roe ever came near these babies. They do have the good grace to sprinkle some sesame seeds around. One thing really bothers me, however. Why, oh why do they only include ONE soy sauce packet? For a nine piece serving, one teaspoon of soy sauce will never, ever do! Try mixing it with your Wasabi and you'll end up with thin Wasabi. I wonder if people out there who aren't that familiar with the nuances of sushi actually try to eat these with one soy sauce packet vs. The huge amount of Wasabi they give you. That fool's poor mouth (and brain) would be burned to a crisp by the Wasabiness! Ouch! Luckily, I never leave the house without a small bottle of soy sauce tucked away somewhere...I'm still working up to try the spicy crab rolls (looks too mayonnaise-y), or the eel roll (mmm, no.) Overall, Safeway sushi is fair to semi-fabulous (depending on one's munchie agenda at the moment, perhaps) and is at least better than Albertsons weak version of fake California Roll.



People & Places: "Quincy in Hell, Norway"

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