Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

AP President Describes the State of News

Remarks by Tom Curley
President and CEO/Associated Press
Knight – Bagehot Dinner New York
November 1, 2007

Madi Reddy is a 22-year-old resident of Hyderabad, India, with ambitions to rise above his hereditary caste. He’s a newshound, investing time every day turning the news into diagrams on a whiteboard in his small apartment. He then breaks the news into conversational chunks he can use to win friends and influence people, online or in person.

Madi’s story was captured by anthropologists hired by AP to study news consumption patterns of young adults. Madi was by far the biggest news junkie of the bunch, but he was not unique.

The research we did in cities in the U.S. and abroad this past summer provided compelling evidence that the news is as valuable as ever – even in an age where screen-based headlines overwhelm the senses and the next update is never more than a mouse-click away.

Young people the world over are hungry for news. They just don’t prefer our traditional platforms and packaging.

The irony of the disrupted news economy of the 21st century is that the news is hot, but the news business is not. Old media companies the world over are bemoaning their lost audiences and sinking revenues, but young Madi is whiteboarding the news every night before he goes to bed.

Somewhere in that mysterious disconnect lies the future of news – and some great opportunities for content providers.

We – the news industry -- have come to that fork in the road. We must take bold, decisive steps to secure the audiences and funding to support journalism’s essential role in both our economy and democracy, or find ourselves on an ugly path to obscurity.

The portals are running off with our best stuff, and we’re afraid or unable to make or enforce deals that drive fair value. Revenue lines in a good month are flat. In other months, they inspire the merchants of debt to imagine how they might take us over and show us how much smarter they are.

Sam Zell said at a recent Grant’s investor conference that the people running newspapers are monopolists, too inept to adapt. Sam, show respect. You’re talking about our bosses. The margins are moving toward the norm for competitive businesses.

Our own reporters ridicule our digital transition plans as one great organization or another faces ownership changes, most notably Knight Ridder, Tribune and Dow Jones. When an experienced media operator steps up, such as Murdoch, he gets vilified.

News Corp. has been a hugely successful, long-term operator. Even before taking ownership, Murdoch has changed financial journalism for the better in this city. People at other organizations know Murdoch is not afraid. They have begun to make decisions to invest or redeploy – decisions they had postponed for years.

That is exactly what must happen. We who rule content must start making decisions, the ones that deliver journalism for another generation of readers and viewers.

I’ve been inside many major news organizations the last couple years, and, invariably, I hear the same refrain. We know what to do, but we can’t get it done. Or, sadly, we’re in worse shape than we were two years ago because we’re spending even more proportionately trying to keep the old model functioning. More than a few persist in trying to make their online sites life rafts for newspapers or newscasts.

So, a few more things might have to change. The pressures on the bosses will have to build. Many more of us in leadership positions must step up and say, now.

The first thing that has to go is the attitude. Our institutional arrogance has done more to harm us than any portal. We must understand and embrace the new ways people such as Madi Reddy are consuming content.

There’s still a place for appointment media – a home-delivered newspaper on the porch each morning or an evening newscast while making dinner. But it is a smaller place. People, of course, want the news when they want it. Even more difficult to accept, they want control over what they get.

Think of it this way. The perfect paper or newscast is becoming possible – at least in the reader’s or viewer’s eyes. What is it you really want to know? We can personalize content now.

We’re not stuck on those 15-ton behemoths that miraculously manufacture a one-size-fits-all package over several hours that gets delivered over even more hours at great cost or captive of a 22-minute time slot engineered to reach a vast range of content tastes.

Our focus must be on becoming the very best at filling people’s 24-hour news needs. That’s a huge shift from the we-know-best, gatekeeper thinking. Sourcing, fact-gathering, researching, story-telling, editing, packaging aren’t going away. These professional skills still should command premium wages. But the readers and viewers are demanding to captain their information ships. Let them.

Next to go must be despair. We begin by getting our heads around the most important fact of all: we work in a growth industry. The woe-is-us over the decline in appointment media obscures terrific opportunities.

More people are accessing news more frequently than ever before the world over. All media platforms – video, audio, digital and even text – are seeing growth. Demand for the four major content areas – news, entertainment, sports and financial – continues to rise. Financial news is hottest with companies such as News Corp. and Thomson paying premiums for bigger shares.

The adjustment we’re being asked to make is to a world of increased access, new competition and different business models. It’s not about easing onto the obit page.

The journey to the next generation news begins with us believing in ourselves and what we do. In 273 years since John Peter Zenger was jailed, nothing has been invented to take the place of what reporters and committed news organizations do. Above all, it is about speaking truth to power when power most needs to be told.

We have the power to control how our content flows on the Web. We must use that power if we’re to continue to be financially secure and independent enough to speak truth to power.

Third, while the thrust of my remarks is about content, we need money, serious money to pay for great reporters as well as hire a few lawyers to keep our Zengers out of jail.

Those of us in content must accept today’s reality. The marketplace has flipped. For the last couple hundred years, content has carried ads. In today’s Internet, ads carry content. Let me be emphatic about one point. I’m not suggesting the ad department or advertisers tell us what to write. Or that content has in any way become subservient. Simply, the structure for advertising is changing from mass to targeted.

When you drop a cookie on someone in the digital space, the ads you serve that viewer become up to 200 times more valuable. Dave Morgan, formerly chairman of Tacoda and now at AOL, puts it pretty simply. He says the future is about serving ads to people, not to pages or programs.

We must change how we charge for content. In the financial marketplace, hot news is the most valuable of all. Hedge funds pay premiums, add spiders and link to trading programs. One-size-fits-all on the business side has to evolve. Tiered pricing with premiums for timeliness or comprehensiveness is one option.

Most news organizations did deals years ago for promotion. The deals are one-sided. Job one for industry leaders should be doing whatever it takes to get a fair deal even if they must swallow some decades-long enmities and partner for more clout.

Enforcement, too, must be a part. What we do comes at great cost and sacrifice, even death. We believe content should have wide distribution. We intend to be compensated for it.

Fourth, the inverted pyramid is dead. Bet you never expected someone from AP to say that – especially since we invented it. OK, the report of the pyramid’s demise is premature. AP is cranking out pyramids even as we sit here. But there are fewer pyramids in AP’s future. We need the bulletins and the brains. The bulletins are the first 150 words, getting the news out fast, in conversational radio>
The brains are the people who can add real value whether through perspective, deeper reporting or great writing. In short, we need talent, a lot of it and some of it very different.

Think of it as a mix from news radio to The New Yorker all under one roof with the New York Public Library thrown in – for a really great data base and interactive programs with the public. Sounds crazy, but it could be a lot of fun. We’re going to have to organize and manage differently. And we certainly are going to have to retrain our managers to deal with a range of personalities and functions.

Every generation or so ushers in a different expression of content. We’re about a decade overdue. Multi-media presentation has gotten the buzz. The challenge is far greater than putting some of us pencil heads on-air without hitting the carriage return in mid-sentence.

We’re wedded to words even when pictures tell the story. The focus has to be on the best way to tell the story whether words, pictures or both and without regard to format.

We also must speed up our clock to real time. When I started, in the sixties, the news cycle was 12 hours. Today, it’s three hours – about the time it takes for a significant percentage of the people interested in a story to have encountered the story or the news they need. Yet, newspapers and newscasts run with lead stories of marginal interest that are 20-plus hours old.

Today’s news leaders need to anticipate. Our own sports departments or magazines already do this well. They tell us about upcoming events, match-ups whether with data or in take-outs and profiles. Their columns provide perspective and insight.

Finally, and, most important, editors need to stop pining for the old world and intensify the leading to the new.

Great editors connect with readers and viewers. They build – or to use the vernacular – aggregate audiences, big or niche, with value, social currency and, ultimately, impact on the political process or social norms.

The measuring stick, really the vision, has to be about much more than yesterday’s news. Clearly, new types of news-consumption behaviors have emerged. Scanning the news has become the norm. A majority get news on line – more than those who read the daily newspaper, and half of them scan for updates several times a day.

Deeper dives for the news also are vital to today’s news consumers. The need for sophisticated content sets up opportunities around analysis, perspective, opinion, interactivity, archives and related information, especially content that can be linked.

We are approaching an amazing point in the history of media. Quality will rule. With traffic to destination websites flattening and new distribution making all content accessible, we’re entering a new era of brutal competition. The best will stand out because they will be sought out. Newsrooms need to be reorganized around new content needs..

And we need to regain control over distribution. AP last week presented to its board a dramatic new distribution plan for news that would surface more relevant and timely news through the Internet engines and enable linking and viral sharing of news through widgets and the like.

Lest you think we’re going off the deep end and giving it all away for free, we’re coupling those initiatives with strong new efforts to protect news web sites from unauthorized scraping through tighter site protocols and content tagging. We also hope to strike some attractive new distribution deals with valuable advertising support.

Heavy tech and heady stuff -- all of it requiring AP and the news industry to get together on common standards for managing content and common interests for distributing it. In a nutshell, it means reinventing our 162-year-old cooperative for the digital age.

As part of that transformation, AP will be making sweeping changes in its own news organization to move more news out of our bureaus faster for online and mobile consumption and then enhance it for print and broadcast. We intend to use valuable resources that once were needed to file telegraph-style wires in every state and redeploy those jobs for real journalism. Similar changes already have been made in our international operation with significant results.

Two tenets guide us: the need to adapt our old systems and practices, especially our mindsets, in order to compete, and the need to get control over our content, so that we can take a seat at the table to set the terms for the new distribution that the search engines and Web 2.0 channels offer.

The clock is ticking, of course, and not just from the digital shift. We face an epic news year with a wide open national election, Beijing Olympics, a slowing and heavily leveraged economy and the possibility of expanding strife in the Middle East.

Against that backdrop, there can no longer be any excuse to wait for technology to prove itself or to wait for young people to grow up and subscribe to the daily newspaper or turn on the news at 6:30 at night. The future is as clear as it was when the founders of AP rallied around the use of the telegraph in the 19th century.

In fact, if you read the history of those days, you could make an argument that those guys reacted more quickly to the shift they saw.

You can bet that if they saw a Google, a Yahoo or a Facebook, they would have figured out what to do about them. You can bet that if they found a newshound like our friend Madi Reddy in India, collecting news and tidbits to share with friends, they would have found a way to feed his obsession..

That’s our job from here on. For AP, it’s a mission that’s really unchanged from 1846.

If we make the right moves, or even some of them, we have tremendous opportunities to grow…at AP and all our organizations. The new power users of news around the world have unprecedented access and appetites for information. The challenge for all of us is to build the kind of content powers that can flood the new zones of consumption and thrive both financially and journalistically.

In the broad arc of media history, it’s a very big moment. I hope you’re all as excited as I am to be a part of it. And ready to step up to the decisions.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sigur Rós' Icelandic tour documentary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Interview: Andreas Trolf, Transworld Skateboarding

Andreas Trolf lives a pretty cool life. I mean, the guy makes a living traveling the world and doing what he loves most—writing, reading and skateboarding. The 30-year-old Transworld Skateboarding music editor was kind enough to spend a few minutes of his busy day, sharing insight about everything from life as a freelance writer, to friends in the business to the literary East Coast versus West Coast. Trolf was born and raised in New York, obtained an English Literature degree from New York University and has contributed to publications such as Transworld Skateboarding, ESPN Magazine, Thrasher, and SLAP. With the help of large amounts of coffee consumed during our conversation, Trolf had plenty of wisdom to offer.

David McClymonds: In the magazine world, do you believe that it helps to have friends?

Andreas Trolf: When there is a choice of hiring somebody talented or somebody that an editor is familiar with, if the person is reasonably competent, the job will go to the friend. It's not to say that it's all sort of nepotism in contact; there is a fair amount of talent involved, but getting any type of real job is constituent on what you've done in the past. Having clippings, having bylines—that's invaluable. But a foot in the door is the most important thing. Say you're sending out clippings or resumes, you don't have a way to distinguish yourself from the slush-pile. You're in the same boat as everybody else that really wants to get their foot in the door. If an editor or anyone on staff can recommend you and say that you're a writer that will deliver something, you're someone to be counted on, that's way more valuable than a degree in journalism.

DM: Would you recommend spending time in New York to make contacts, friends?

AT: The industry is there and the experience will be there. That's where people go to cut their teeth. That's where people make their names and their careers. You'll never have a shortage of something to write about. But then again, you won't ever have a shortage of something to write about here, you just won't have as much opportunity.

DM: Do you think as far as skateboard writing goes, there is as much opportunity in New York as here in California?

AT: There's no skateboard media located in New York, but there is generous New York coverage in all the magazines. There's tons of local photographers. As far as skateboarding media goes, a lot of times photographers will write the pieces as well. That's a way for the magazines to save money and not have to pay writers. To be 100 percent honest, based on people I know in the skateboarding industry, there are a dozen people making their living writing that aren't editors. People that make their living in skateboarding specifically from writing number very few. So if you want to go into skateboard journalism, get a camera, learn how to shoot it. You stand a much better chance if you're offering an editor images and words than you do if you're just offering words. That's just the nature of skateboard journalism. How do you write about something that is visual? It's much more difficult.

DM: You went to school in New York; do you feel like when you came to San Francisco you were prepared, as a writer?

AT: I actually had written for SLAP years ago, before I finished school. And that is, like we talked about earlier, based upon knowing people. Having an interest in writing, being blunt about it and saying, hey I can do this, I'd like to. Why don't you let me give you an article? A lot of it was based on sending out clips or being referred to a magazine by someone. But when I came back out here I had a staff position already and had a bunch of regular freelance jobs.

DM: Do you often get job referrals?

AT: Generally, people loathe to give up paying jobs. Referrals generally happen when an editor has seen your work somewhere else. I don't want to characterize anyone as being overly attached to their own income, but you really need to chase down jobs and chase down paychecks a lot of the time. The difference between having the rent payed on time is not screwing someone out of the job, but not passing along a job, either. As with anything, when you have a large amount of people vying for a limited number of spots, there is competing. It, by its very nature, is competitive.

DM: How much did an English degree prepare you for writing non-fiction?

AT: I don't know. The one thing that I really took away from going to school for English is that you need to read all the time. If you don't have time to read, you shouldn't have time to write. You can't write about skateboarding unless you're a skateboarder. What school does ultimately, is put you in an atmosphere with like-minded people that is conducive for you to learn. If anything, the experience of just being in that atmosphere, reading anything that I could get my hands on benefited in so many ways. I'd say that going to school just gives yourself more of an opportunity to concentrate on something.

DM: The way I see it, school teaches discipline more than anything... Showing up to school on time all semester—a lot of people can't do that.

AT: Right. Just don't fool yourself into thinking there is this end in sight. If you're not a more astute observer of life at the end of each day than you were at the beginning, you're not learning. Seriously, you need discipline and determination for anything. You've got to constantly be better than you are.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Law

San Francisco City and County law

a) Prohibits skateboarding on any city street at any time, on any sidewalk in any business district at any time, and on any non-business district sidewalk commencing 30 minutes after sunset and ending 30 minutes before sunrise (Traffic Code, Section 100)

b) Prohibits skateboarding "in or about any public transit station (including an outdoor high-level boarding platform), streetcar, cable car, motor coach, trolley coach or other public transit vehicle, including, but not limited to, those stations or vehicles operated by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District" (Traffic Code, Section 128)

c) Prohibits skateboarding in Yerba Buena Gardens, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Arboretum, Conservatory Valley, where it is posted as prohibited, and in South Beach Park or Rincon Park unless otherwise permitted (Park Code Sections 3.05 and 11.02 and Port Code Sections 2.4 and 7.2).

d) Requires skateboarders at skating facilities owned or operated by the City and County to wear helmets, kneepads, and elbow pads (Park Code Section 4.17).

Thursday, August 9, 2007


We learned about the Giants game as we strolled past a standard sports bar in North Beach, on our way downtown. Lynn and I were halfway through our Epic Walk, on our way to hang out with The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I guess parrots don't like Gold Fish, and apparently it's now a crime to feed birds in the City (not that we're scared of park rangers), so we decided to go try our luck at catching a possible record-breaking home run. Neither of us ended up catching The Ball (I'd be on my way to Italy by now), but now I can someday tell my grandchildren, "I was there." Yeah, I was there when Barry Bonds hit home run number 756 beating Hank Aaron's 33-year record, beating the record with the help of steroids.

I was excited to be a part of the historical moment, but not nearly excited as some people.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Yeah, I saw Cyndi Lauper two nights ago in Berkeley...
Debbie Harry also played. They're both getting fucking old!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paris, Je T'aime

"Paris, Je T'aime" is a collection of short films based on love in the city of love itself, Paris. Directors include the Coen brothers, Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant, and Alexander Payne and appearances are made by Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Elijah Wood, Natalie Portman, among others.

Trailer (U.S. Version)

A couple of the shorts that I enjoyed:

Place des Fêtes" directed by Oliver Schmitz

"Faubourg Saint-Denis" directed by Tom Tykwer

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sigur Rós, "Glósóli"

Nú vaknar þú
allt virðist vera breytt
ég gægist út
en er svo ekki neitt

úr-skóna finn svo
á náttfötum hún
í draumi fann svo
ég hékk á koðnun?

með sólinni er hún
og er hún, inni hér

en hvar ert þú....

legg upp í göngu
og tölti götuna
sé ekk(ert) út
og nota stjörnurnar
sit(ur) endalaust hún
og klifrar svo út.

Glósóli-leg hún
komdu út

mig vaknar draum-haf
mitt hjartað, slá
úfið hár.

Sturlun við fjar-óð
sem skyldu-skrá.

og hér ert þú

fannst mér.....

og hér ert þú


Monday, June 4, 2007

Daft Punk: Around the World

Friday, June 1, 2007


I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And now for the news

Bjork's entire Coachella set can been seen at Google Video.

Esquire offers tips on how to make the perfect mix tape.

Rolling Stone lists the 25 best ever road trip songs.

The New York Sun examines the Jesus and Mary Chain reunion.

The New York Times examines the music of ice cream trucks.

A New Jersey woman gives birth to twins at the age of 60, making her the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States.

Quentin Tarantino takes his newest film to the Cannes Film Festival.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Björk at Shoreline Amphitheater, May 19th in Mountain View, California. I was one of 25,000.
Check out the "All is Full of Love" video, directed by Chris Cunningham, 1999.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky.
Your back is straight, your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie.
But I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Your daddy he's an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He'll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade.
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself.
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf.
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark.

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Bob Dylan, 1975

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


En robe de parade.

Like a skien of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.

Ezra Pound

"The City of New Orleans"

by Steve Goodman

Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car.
Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score.
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor.
And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep,
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.


Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea.
And all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again,
The passengers will please refrain
This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Dinosaur Jr.

Last night I saw Dinosaur Jr. rock out at Amoeba Records on Haight. They are fucking awesome, and to say that they rocked is a slight understatement. They're the definition of three-piece destruction! Check out their new album, Beyond which is their first studio album since their reunion, ten years after their last studio album. Check out Mascus' signature purple and silver Nikes. Yeah, the man's got style.

"In Back of the Real"

railroad yard in San Jose
I wandered desolate
in front of a tank factory
and sat on a bench
near the switchman's shack.

A flower lay on the hay on
the asphalt highway
--the dread hay flower
I thought--It had a
brittle black stem and
corolla of yellowish dirty
spikes like Jesus' inchlong
crown, and a soiled
dry center cotton tuft
like a used shaving brush
that's been lying under
the garage for a year.

Yellow, yellow flower, and
flower of industry,
tough spiky ugly flower,
flower nonetheless,
with the form of the great yellow
Rose in your brain!
This is the flower of the World.

Allen Ginsberg
San Jose, 1954

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"The Mutes"

Those groans men use
passing a woman on the street
or on the steps of the subway

to tell her she is a female
and their flesh knows it,

are they a sort of tune,
an ugly enough song, sung
by a bird with a slit tongue

but meant for music?

Or are they the muffled roaring
of deafmutes trapped in a building that is
slowly filling with smoke?

Perhaps both.

Such men most often
look as if groan were all they could do,
yet a woman, in spite of herself,

knows it's a tribute:
if she were lacking all grace
they'd pass her in silence:

so it's not only to say she's
a warm hole. It's a word

in grief-language, nothing to do with
primitive, not an ur-language;
language stricken, sickened, cast down

in decrepitude. She wants to
throw the tribute away, dis-
gusted, and can't,

it goes on buzzing in her ear,
it changes the pace of her walk,
the torn posters in echoing corridors

spell it out, it
quakes and gnashes as the train comes in.
Her pulse sullenly

had picked up speed,
but the cars slow down and
jar to a stop while her understanding

keeps on translating:
'Life after life after life goes by

without poetry,
without seemliness,
without love.'

Denise Levertov

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm living out my dreams.

Oh boy, do I miss house shows!
Erik from the Swedish band, The Vicious, at Thrillhouse Records on Mission Street.
Good times, rock!

R.I.P. New Order

The great English post-punk band New Order has called it quits, after 27 years of touring.

From bass player Peter Hook's myspace blog, May 9th, 2007:

i suppose it was the interview with clint boon that started it all off hed asked me for a few words on perry farrells satellite party single dogstar [which he thought was great] so i went on and lo and behold mentioned the N>O> split so i suppose because it was me sayin it it was out at last. im relieved really hated carryin on as normal with an awful secret so lets move on shall we? played the openin of rios in leeds on friday great crowd and considerin theyd been through 5 local bands already had an amazin resilience/ some kid came up and gave me a hug and said "sorry to hear about new order hooky" i was really touched its like your budgie dyin! great drive back [dont tell the rozzers] 47mins beat that!

Another great band now history. They were inactive from 1993-1998, so perhaps there is hope of a reunion somewhere down the road, but they are getting old...

New Order - Blue Monday, live in Barcelona, 1984 for Estoc de Pop.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


LCD Soundsystem
"There is a certain embarrassment about being a storyteller in these times when stories are considered not quite as satisfying as statements and statements not quite as satisfying as statistics; but in the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells."
-Flannery O'Connor, 1963
Mystery and Manners, part 5

H. R. Giger

Monday, May 7, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Gettysburg Address

Delivered by Abraham Lincoln
at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
on November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I am very proud to be able to say that I was alive when this was created.

Song: "Take My Breath Away"
Artist: Berlin
From the Top Gun Soundtrack, 1986

If you ask me, the summing up of the decade.

Could you? Would you?
City of New York, New York.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Can anybody else appreciate this?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Please take a moment

to look at a few paintings by Mark Ryden.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sometimes I miss my home away from home.

"Little Fury Things"

Dinosaur Jr., 1987
from the album "You're All Over Me"
released by SST Records

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"In My Eyes"

Ian MacKaye, 1981

You tell me you like the taste
You just need an excuse
You tell me it calms your nerves
You just think it looks cool
You tell me you want to be different
You just change for the same
You tell me it's only natural
You just need the proof
Did you fucking get it?

It's in my eyes
And it doesn't look that way to me
In my eyes

You tell me that nothing matters
You're just fucking scared
You tell me that I'm better
You just hate yourself
You tell me that you like her
You just wish you did
You tell me that I make no difference
At least I'm fuckin' trying
What the fuck have you done?

It's in my eyes
And it doesn't look that way to me
In my eyes

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

This is the ending scene from the movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, directed by Wes Anderson with the music of the Icelandic group Sigur Rós. Its a good movie, as most Bill Murray-starring films are.

Mont Saint-Michel

Another reason to go to northern France.

Mont Saint-Michel (English: Mount Saint Michael) is a rocky tidal island in Normandy, roughly one kilometer from the north coast of France at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.

Tech N9ne

Me and five or six other kids rode our bikes last summer fifty miles from one music festival in Copenhagen to get to this one, just outside the capitol city. Roskilde Festival 2006 was the biggest festival of the summer in Europe with 99,000 people and eight days of camping. We jumped the fence avoiding the $255.00 wristband price and found brand new abandoned tents inside, setting up camp. It was actually hell: drunk, rich Scandinavians pissing and puking on themselves for a week straight, hot as hell (had to walk around with sweatshirts due to our lack of armbands [we couldn't swim]) and a lot of shitty bands. There was an undrinkable amount of free beer, however, thanks to thousands of generous Danes and Swedes. I did see a lot of cool bands, some including Bob Dylan, Guns N' Roses, Deftones, Morrissey, Sigur Ros and Tech N9ne.

Being that I'm on this whole organizing my computer trip, I recently found this rather short video clip: Tech N9ne's first ever European appearance in Roskilde, Denmark last July. I think you can see my hand in there; look closely!


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore----
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over----
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes, 1951

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Festival Rock Oz'Arènes

This is "Lucky," performed by Radiohead at the Festival Rock Oz'Arènes that I got to experience in Avenches, Switzerland in August, 2006. The festival literally took place in an ancient Roman amphitheater in the French part of Switzerland. I went alone and got in for free. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

"Teenage Lust"

"Teenage Lust"
originally released in 1992
by The Jesus and Mary Chain

from Good and Evil

Ed Templeton


Helen Marnie, 2005

I sent you out to play last night
The alarms went off at three.
Funny how I know nothing now
Loneliness the guarantee.

I sent you out to play last night
The alarms went off at three.
Funny how I'm not loving now
He's not coming home to me.

I sent you out to play last night
The alarms went off at three.
Funny how I know nothing now
He's not coming home to me.

Try to get out of the lease
And move out of love.
If only there was only no consequence
I'd watch it all turn to dust.

Hey can I go with you, my beauty number 2?
Hey can I go with you, when the rendezvous' over?

Monday, April 23, 2007

On that note, a concert that I missed.

Iggy Pop and the Stooges, live at the Warfield in San Francisco on April 19th, 2007.

Search and Destroy

Iggy Pop, 1973

I'm a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm
I'm a runaway son of the nuclear a-bomb
I am a world's forgotten boy
The one who searches and destroys

Honey gotta help me please
Somebody gotta save my soul
Baby detonate for me

Look out honey, cause I'm using technology
Ain't got time to make no apology
Soul radiation in the dead of night
Love in the middle of a fire fight

Honey gotta strike me blind
Somebody gotta save my soul
Baby penetrate my mind

And I'm the worlds forgotten boy
The one who's searching, searching to destroy
And honey I'm the worlds forgotten bot
The one who's searching, searching to destroy

Forgotten boy

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Ladytron, 2002


Smashing Pumpkins, 1996

Monday, April 16, 2007


By STZA and No-Cash

no cash, you don't wanna fuck with me
i burn churches like persons in the 3rd degree
with the strike of a match hit the gasoline
drop pills! drugs kill, but it's worth the thrill
started in the nazo pits "quick to draw"
sharp like a blade, we'll cut you like a chainsaw
drink your blood by the pitcher until we feel drunk
grind your fucking bones to lace my fucking blunt, punk!
snap back crackle, pop! motherfuck the cops
always staying on my toes when i walk the block
and when i go up in the store i bring my own discount
cause i'm sick of paying money to suck corporate cock
yeah i know my Spanish is rusty but my English is old
40 down grab yourself an ice cold colt 45
feeling alive drunk as fuck in the daylight
i'm ready to die!

sometimes, sometimes i count the hours
when i'm alone, all alone with thousand downers
like thread it was just gonna stitch the seams
but now my body is soaked in gasoline

nazo step to this won't slit your wrist
cross you off the list unless you're gonna wanna
throw a punch it'll break your fist
man up duck down cause the caps won't miss
bust six shots on an undacova cop
they're all crooked mother fuckers and it ain't gonna stop
so held your ground down, run your own town
down with the man, let the drums sound
i'll hit you hard with accurate precision, split decision
yo, i'm sinning and i'm grinning fuck religion
fucked up got a vision so listen
do what makes me happy not for money or attention
flying on a forty that's how i get down!
you say you're the king but i'm wearing the crown
high on my throne sniffing lines making deals
got a chef in the kitchen, cooking my last meal

sometimes, sometimes i count the hours
when i'm alone, all alone with thousand downers
like thread it was just gonna stitch the seams
but now my body is soaked in gasoline

sometimes, sometimes to stay alive
to witness sickness on a cloudy sky
like thread it was just gonna stitch the seams
but now my body is soaked in gasoline

Thursday, April 12, 2007

November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

"New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become."

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Need For Gardens

Richard Brautigan

When I got there they were burying the lion in the back yard again. As usual, it was a hastily dug grave, not really large enough to hold the lion and dug with a maximum of incompetence and they were trying to stuff the lion into a sloppy little hole.

The lion as usual took it quite stoically. Having been buried at least fifty times during the last two years, the lion had gotten used to being buried in the back yard.

I remember the first time they buried him. He didn't know what was happening. He was a younger lion, then, and was frightened and confused, but now he knew what was happening because he was an older lion and had been buried so many times.

He looked vaguely bored as they folded his front paws across his chest and started throwing dirt in his face.

It was basically hopeless. The lion would never fit the hole. It had never fit a hole in the back yard before and it never would. They just couldnt dig a hone big enough to bury that lion in.

“Hello,” I said. “The holes too small.”

“Hello,” they said, “No, it isn't.”

This had been our standard greeting now for two years.

I stood there and watched them for an hour or so struggling desperately to bury the lion, but they were only able to bury 1/4 of him before they gave up in disgust and stood around trying to blame each other for not making the hole big enough.

“Why don't you put a garden in next year? I said. ”This soil looks like it might grow some good carrots.“

They didnt think that was very funny.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Old Man"

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don't get lost.
Like a coin that won't get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn't mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I've been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I'm all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Neil Young, 1971.


I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive

I was a sailor
I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still

I was a dam builder
across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around
I'll always be around...
and around and around

I fly a starship
across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again

Johnny Cash

"Silver Rocket"
Sonic Youth, 1988.
Lyrics by Thurston Moore

Snake in it
jack into the wall
TV amp on fire
blowin' in the hall
gun yr. sled
close yr. peeping toms
turbo organizer
crankin' on the knob

You got it
yeh ride the silver rocket
can't stop it
burnin hole in yr pocket

hit the power
psycho helmets on
you got to splice yr. halo
take it to a moon
nymphoid clamor
fuelling up the hammer
you got to fake out the robot
and pulse up the zoom

You got it
yeh ride the silver rocket
can't stop it
burnin hole in yr pocket

can't forget the flashing
can't forget the smashing
the sending and the bending
the ampisphere re-entry
You gotta have the time
Got a letter in your mind
Gotta heart injection
That you got yourself a line

You got it
yeh ride the silver rocket
can't stop it
burnin hole in yr pocket

Monday, April 9, 2007

Death in Vegas

"Hands Around My Throat"



by Sylvia Plath

For Susan O'Neill Roe

What a thrill ----

My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indian's axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz. A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they one?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill

The thin
Papery feeling.
Kamikaze man ----

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux Klan
Darkens and tarnishes and when
The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump ----
Trepanned veteran,
Dirty girl,
Thumb stump.


Saturday, April 7, 2007


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Released June 16th, 1960
Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles.

The happiest day -- the happiest hour

The happiest day -- the happiest hour
My sear'd and blighted heart hath known,
The highest hope of pride and power,
I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? yes! such I ween;
But they have vanish'd long, alas!
The visions of my youth have been-
But let them pass.

And, pride, what have I now with thee?
Another brow may even inherit
The venom thou hast pour'd on me
Be still, my spirit!

The happiest day -- the happiest hour
Mine eyes shall see -- have ever seen,
The brightest glance of pride and power,
I feel- have been:

But were that hope of pride and power
Now offer'd with the pain
Even then I felt -- that brightest hour
I would not live again:

For on its wing was dark alloy,
And, as it flutter'd -- fell
An essence -- powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.

Edgar Allen Poe, 1827

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Forest

by The Cure
Performed live in Japan, 1984

Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
While you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
I hear her voice
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees

Into the trees

Suddenly I stop
But I know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
All alone
The girl was never there
It's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
Again and again and again

Les Yeux des Pauvres

Ah! vous voulez savoir pourquoi je vous hais aujourd'hui? Il vous sera sans doute moins facile de le comprendre qu'à moi de vous l'expliquer; car vous êtes, je crois, le plus bel exemple d'imperméabilité féminine qui se puisse rencontrer.

Nous avions passé ensemble une longue journée qui m'avait paru courte. Nous nous étions bien promis que toutes nos pensées nous seraient communes à l'un et à l'autre, et que nos deux âmes désormais n'en feraient plus qu'une; -- un rêve qui n'a rien d'original, après tout, si ce n'est que, rêvé par tous les hommes, il n'a été réalisé par aucun.

Le soir, un peu fatiguée, vous voulûtes vous asseoir devant un café neuf qui formait le coin d'un boulevard neuf, encore tout plein de gravois et montrant déjà glorieusement ses splendeurs inachevées. Le café étincelait. Le gaz lui-même y déployait toute l'ardeur d'un début, et éclairait de toutes ses forces les murs aveuglants de blancheur, les nappes éblouissantes des miroirs, les ors des baguettes et des corniches, les pages aux joues rebondies traînés par les chiens en laisse, les dames riant au faucon perché sur leur poing, les nymphes et les déesses portant sur leur tête des fruits, des pâtés et du gibier, les Hébés et les Ganymèdes présentant à bras tendu la petite amphore à bavaroises ou l'obélisque bicolore des glaces panachées; toute l'histoire et toute la mythologie mises au service de la goinfrerie.

Droit devant nous, sur la chaussée, était planté un brave homme d'une quarantaine d'années, au visage fatigué, à la barbe grisonnante, tenant d'une main un petit garçon et portant sur l'autre bras un petit être trop faible pour marcher. Il remplissait l'office de bonne et faisait prendre à ses enfants l'air du soir. Tous en guenilles. Ces trois visages étaient extraordinairement sérieux, et ces six yeux contemplaient fixement le café nouveau avec une admiration égale, mais nuancée diversement par l'âge.

Les yeux du père disaient: «Que c'est beau! que c'est beau! on dirait que tout l'or du pauvre monde est venu se porter sur ces murs.» -- Les yeux du petit garçon:«Que c'est beau! que c'est beau! mais c'est une maison où peuvent seuls entrer les gens qui ne sont pas comme nous.» -- Quant aux yeux du plus petit, ils étaient trop fascinés pour exprimer autre chose qu'une joie stupide et profonde.

Les chansonniers disent que le plaisir rend l'âme bonne et amollit le c'ur. La chanson avait raison ce soir-là, relativement à moi. Non-seulement j'étais attendri par cette famille d'yeux, mais je me sentais un peu honteux de nos verres et de nos carafes, plus grands que notre soif. Je tournais mes regards vers les vôtres, cher amour, pour y lire ma pensée; je plongeais dans vos yeux si beaux et si bizarrement doux, dans vos yeux verts, habités par le Caprice et inspirés par la Lune, quand vous me dites: «Ces gens-là me sont insupportables avec leurs yeux ouverts comme des portes cochères! Ne pourriez-vous pas prier le maître du café de les éloigner d'ici?»

Tant il est difficile de s'entendre, mon cher ange, et tant la pensée est incommunicable, même entre gens qui s'aiment!

The Eyes of the Poor

Oh! You want to know why I hate you today. It will undoubtedly be less easy for you to understand than it will be for me to explain, for you are, I believe, the most beautiful example of feminine impermeability one could ever encounter.

We had spent together a long day that had seemed short to me. We had indeed promised that we would share all of our thoughts with one another, and that our two souls would henceforth be one -- a dream that isn't the least bit original, after all, if not that, dreamed of by all men, it has been realized by none.

In the evening, a bit tired, we wanted to sit down in front of a new café that formed the corner of a new boulevard, still strewn with debris and already gloriously displaying its unfinished splendors. The café was sparkling. The gaslight itself sent forth all the ardor of a debut and lit with all its force walls blinding in their whiteness, dazzling sheets of mirrors, the gold of the rods and cornices, chubby-cheeked page-boys being dragged by dogs on leashes, laughing ladies with falcons perched on their wrist, nymphs and goddesses carrying on their heads fruits, pies, and poultry, Hebes and Ganymedes presenting in out-stretched arms little amphoras filled with Bavarian cream or bi-colored obelisks of ice cream -- all of history and all of mythology at the service of gluttony.

Right in front of us, on the sidewalk, a worthy man in his forties was standing, with a tired face, a greying beard, and holding with one hand a little boy and carrying on the other arm a little being too weak to walk. He was playing the role of nanny and had taken his children out for a walk in the night air. All in rags. The three faces were extraordinarily serious, and the six eyes contemplated fixedly the new café with an equal admiration, but shaded differently according to their age.

The father's eyes said: "How beautiful it is! How beautiful it is! You'd think all the gold in this poor world was on its walls." -- The eyes of the little boy: "How beautiful it is! How beautiful it is! But it's a house only people who aren't like us can enter." -- As for the eyes of the smaller child, they were too fascinated to express anything other than a stupid and profound joy.

Song-writers say that pleasure makes the soul good and softens the heart. The song was right this evening, as regards me. Not only was I moved by this family of eyes, but I also felt a little ashamed of our glasses and our carafes, which were larger than our thirst. I turned my gaze toward your's, dear love, to read my thoughts there; I plunged into your so beautiful and so bizarrely gentle eyes, into your green eyes, inhabited by Caprice and inspired by the Moon, and then you said to me: "I can't stand those people over there, with their eyes wide open like carriage gates! Can't you tell the head-waiter to send them away?"

So difficult is it to understand one another, my dear angel, and so incommunicable is thought, even between people in love!

Charles Baudelaire 1864

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My Bloody Valentine, "Soon"

How Soon is Now?

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and i need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See, I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and i need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune

August 6, 1919

I follow through the singing trees
Her streaming clouded hair and face
And lascivious dreaming knees
Like gleaming water from some place
Of sleeping streams, or autumn leaves
Slow shed through still, love-wearied air.
She pauses: and as one who grieves
Shakes down her blown and vagrant hair
To veil her face, but not her eyes--
A hot quick spark, each sudden glance,
Or like the wild brown bee that flies
Sweet winged, a sharp extravagance
Of kisses on my limbs and neck.
She whirls and dances through the trees
That lift and sway like arms and fleck
Her with quick shadows, and the breeze
Lies on her short and circled breast.
Now hand in hand with her I go,
The green night in the silver west
Of virgin stars, pale row on row
Like ghostly hands, and ere she sleep
The dusk will take her by some stream
In silent meadows, dim and deep--
In dreams of stars and dreaming dream.

I have a nameless wish to go
To some far silent midnight noon
Where lonely streams whisper and flow
And sigh on sands blanched by the moon,
And blond limbed dancers whirling past,
The senile worn moon staring through
The sighing trees, until at last,
Their hair is powdered bright with dew.
And their sad slow limbs and brows
Are petals drifting in the breeze
Shed from the fingers of the boughs;
Then suddenly on all of these,
A sound like some deep bell stroke
Falls, and they dance, unclad and cold--
It was the earth's great heart that broke
For springs before the world grew old.

William Faulkner

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

We do not play on Graves

Emily Dickinson

We do not play on Graves—
Because there isn’t Room—
Besides—it isn’t even—it slants
And People come—

And put a Flower on it—
And hang their faces so—
We’re fearing that their Hearts will drop—
And crush our pretty play—

And so we move as far
As Enemies—away—
Just looking round to see how far
It is—Occasionally—

ca. 1862

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

This is the beginning.

Hello everyone, welcome to Words Change the World, we're glad to have you. What may seem dismal now will quickly grow, so please bookmark us and make sure to check back often. If all goes to plan, an assorted collection of words will soon accumulate, making some kind of ultimate profound meaning. And it's this deep meaning in life that everyone should strive for.