Monday, November 24, 2003

Hi everyone.

I used to be over here, but a few months ago, Pitas conked out for four days, and when it came back it not only lost a bunch of posts I'd made, it wouldn't let me back into my blog even though I kept typing the same password in over and over again. Grrrr.

Anyway, I've been pretty busy--I have a job that keeps me pretty occupied, plus I do another blog--or should be doing; I've been very remiss as of late on it--and have an active social life. (Here is a fun game you can play: spot the lie in that last sentence. Hint: it's the one without a link.) But I do miss blogging stuff that isn't strictly concept-based, and this is going to be the place I do it from now on. I'll have links up on the side soon, and I'll import some of the more interesting listy stuff from the Pitas site at some point as well--perhaps I'll even update/modify them.

In the meantime, though, some basic stats. I'm 28 (I turn 29 in mid-February). I'm single, and I write about music for a living, though I spend more time editing these days. (The Weekly has a very large music section, for which I am grateful, since it lets me give some smart people a place to write and get paid for it.) I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and even though I haven't lived there in nearly five years I still identify very strongly with the city--many of my friends are either living there now or used to. I've been writing about music professionally since 1997, and somewhat miraculously, making a living at it since 1999. (Not a great living, but a living.) I have very broad tastes and a large collection, most of which I am in the process of converting to MP3 and selling. (The MP3s are stored on CD-Rs.) I got an iPod recently; the piece I wrote about it, for the Weekly's gift guide, is easily, and inexplicably, the most popular thing I've written about for the paper since I came back on board in June.

Speaking of which: I first lived in Seattle in 1996; a couple of friends and I set off for San Francisco, and parted ways in Montana. I Greyhounded to Seattle with very little money; having visited once before, when I was 13, I liked the city and decided to give it a go. I lasted five months before going back to Minneapolis, where I took a job at a nightclub (whose story was told extremely well recently by the great Peter S. Scholtes) as well as an ice creamery called Sebastian Joe's. I also began writing record reviews, and later features, for City Pages, the local newsweekly, and still my favorite.

After a couple years, I got restless and decided to move back to Seattle. I did this in August 1999, and after a couple months of knocking around and living off freelance work I landed a job at Seattle Weekly, doing music listings. I also kept up a steady freelance pace I'd established in Minneapolis, and after a year and a half, moved to New York. There, I freelanced full time for a variety of places, spending about a year and a half inching toward solvency and working for under-the-table cash at an East Village record establishment called Norman's. I also made loads of lists and sharpened my writing skills; both tasks continue.

By early 2003, I was doing pretty well, when two major things happened. First, I got a book deal--my contribution to Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series, on Prince's Sign 'O' the Times, will be released in February 2004. The other thing is that I was asked to come back to Seattle Weekly, this time as music editor, and given the chance to reshape the section how I saw fit. This was--is--too good a chance to turn down, and I accepted, starting at the paper in mid-June. That brings us up to date, overview-wise.

I still freelance a little bit--Interview, Spin, Stereo-Type, Chicago Reader, Time Out New York, and Village Voice being the places I write for most frequently. I am also pretty active on the I Love Music and I Love Everything message boards. And like some of that board's regulars, I've gotten severely into making these single-year survey MP3 mix-CDs, the latest of which is below:

Mercedes, Young Ladies . . . 1980
1. John Lennon: “(Just Like) Starting Over”
2. Bob Marley & the Wailers: “Could You Be Loved”
3. Steely Dan: “Hey Nineteen”
4. The Waitresses: “I Know What Boys Like”
5. Ambient Noise: “I Was There at the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
6. Prince: “When You Were Mine”
7. Sexual Harassment: “If I Gave You a Party”
8. Afrika Bambaataa/Zulu Nation/Cosmic Force: “Zulu Nation Throwdown”
9. Sugarhill Gang: “8th Wonder”
10. Loose Joints: “Is It All Over My Face (Original 12” Larry Levan Female Vocal)”
11. Family Four: “Rap Attack”
12. Derrick Laro & Trinity: “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough”
13. Talking Heads: “Once in a Lifetime”
14. Gap Band: “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)”
15. Bobby Demo: “More Ounce (Rap)”
16. Parliament: “Agony of Defeet”
17. T.W. Funkmasters: “Love Money”
18. Young & Company: “I Like What You’re Doin’ to Me”
19. S.O.S. Band: “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”
20. Master Jay & Michael Dee: “T.S.O.B.”
21. Kurtis Blow: “The Breaks”
22. Coati Mundi: “Que Pasa/Me No Pop I”
23. Diana Ross: “Upside Down”
24. Sheila & B. Devotion: “Spacer”
25. Chic: “I Loved You More”
26. Willie Nelson: “On the Road Again”
27. Neil Young: “Comin’ Apart at Every Nail”
28. John Prine: “Living in the Future”
29. John Anderson: “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs”
30. George Jones: “He Stopped Loving Her Today”
31. Dolly Parton: “9 to 5”
32. Blondie: “Call Me”
33. The Vapors: “Turning Japanese”
34. Devo: “Whip It”
35. Monty Python: “Sit on My Face”
36. Tanya Winley: “Vicious Rap”
37. Spoonie Gee: “Spoonin’ Rap”
38. Sicle Cell & Rhapazooty: “Rhapazooty in Blue”
39. Teena Marie: “Behind the Groove”
40. Paul Simon: “Late in the Evening”
41. Irakere: “Encuentro”
42. Tito Allen: “Salsa Rap”
43. Gasper Lawal: “Kita Kita”
44. Shoe Laces: “Ndwaka Njalo”
45. Thomas Mapfumo: “Taireva”
46. Super Mama Djombo: “Dissan Na M’Bera”
47. Orchestra Super Mazembe: “Gina”
48. Franco: “Tailleur”
49. Etoile 2000: “Karim”
50. Madiop Seck: “Gorglou”
51. Alemayno Eshirtay: “Love Is Love”
52. Fela Kuti: “I.T.T. (Pt. 2)”
53. James Brown: “Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses?)”
54. Fred Wesley: “House Party”
55. Brother D & the Collective Effort: “How We Gonna Make the Black Nation Rise”
56. Lipps Inc.: “Funkytown”
57. Pointer Sisters: “He’s So Shy”
58. ABBA: “Super Trouper”
59. David Bowie: “Fashion”
60. Rockpile: “When I Write the Book”
61. Elvis Costello & the Attractions: “Temptation”
62. The Jam: “Start!”
63. Blue Shoes: “Someone Like You”
64. The Pretenders: “Talk of the Town”
65. Grace Jones: “Private Life”
66. The Slits: “Man Next Door”
67. Lydia Lunch: “Lady Scarface”
68. The Art Ensemble of Chicago: “Charlie M”
69. World Saxophone Quartet: “I Heard That”
70. Joy Division: “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
71. J. Geils Band: “Love Stinks”
72. A Certain Ratio: “Shack Up”
73. Dance: “Do Dada”
74. The B-52’s: “Private Idaho”
75. Echo & the Bunnymen: “Do It Clean”
76. Orange Juice: “Blue Boy”
77. Family Fodder: “Savoir Faire”
78. LiLiPUT: “Split”
79. A-Moms: “Strawberry Cheesecake”
80. Auntie Pus: “Marmalade Freak”
81. Avant Gardeners: “Where Are My Hormones”
82. . . . And the Native Hipsters: “There Goes Concorde Again”
83. Animals & Men: “Terraplane Fixation”
84. Crispy Ambulance: “Deaf”
85. U2: “I Will Follow”
86. The Feelies: “Crazy Rhythms”
87. Angelic Upstarts: “Last Night Another Soldier”
88. Jim Carroll Band: “People Who Died”
89. The Clash: “Police on My Back”
90. Gang of Four: “Outside the Trains Don’t Run on Time”
91. Glenn Branca: “Lesson #1”
92. The Treacherous Three: “The New Rap Language”
93. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5: “Super Rappin’ no. 2”
94. Kool Kyle the Starchild & the Disco Dolls: “Do You Like That Funky Beat”
95. Kool & the Gang: “Celebration”
96. Two Tons of Fun: “Got the Feeling”
97. Loleatta Holloway: “Love Sensation (Original Shep Pettibone 12” Mix)”
98. Change: “A Lover’s Holiday”
99. Teddy Pendergrass: “Love T.K.O.”
100. Cristina: “Blame It on Disco”
101. Black Uhuru: “Sinsemilla”
102. Junior Delgado: “Fort Augustus”
103. Charlie Chaplin and Jim Kelly: “Stur-Gav Special”
104. Ranking Joe: “River Jordan”
105. Papa Michigan & General Smiley: “One Love Jam Down”
106. Poppa Tollo: “Get Ready and Reggae”
107. Prince Jammy: “Throne of Blood”
108. Aswad: “Warrior Charge (12”)”
109. Wayne Jarrett/Augustus Pablo: “Youthman (Edit)”
110. Young Marble Giants: “Searching For Mr. Right”
111. The English Beat: “Mirror in the Bathroom”
112. Stevie Wonder: “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”
113. Orchestra Baobab: “Gnawou”
114. Balla Et Ses Balladins: “Bambo”
115. Gestu de Dakar: “Djirime”
116. AC/DC: “You Shook Me All Night Long”
117. Ozzy Osbourne: “Crazy Train”
118. Motorhead: “Ace of Spades”
119. Black Flag: “Jealous Again”
120. X: “Sex and Dying in High Society”
121. Angry Samoans: “You Stupid Asshole”
122. The Dead Kennedys: “Holiday in Cambodia”
123. The Embarrassment: “Sex Drive”
124. Killing Joke: “Change”
125. Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft: “Kebabträume”
126. Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: “Chemistry”
127. Pylon: “Stop It”
128. The Fall: “Rowche Rumble”
129. The Jacksons: “Can You Feel It”
130. Queen: “Another One Bites the Dust”
131. Trickeration: “Rap Bounce Rock Skate”
132. Edwin Birdsong: “Rapper Dapper Snapper”
133. Zapp: “More Bounce to the Ounce”
134. The Manhattans: “Shining Star”

I've also done 1989 and 1997 discs; in the works are 1970 and a two-disc 1920s set. No, I don't have a life! Thanks for asking!