Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain mutiny, Magazine and band-aids

Random Friday notes!

Photobucket• How you know that your once-toddler is growing into a truly rambunctious and rowdy 4 1/2-year-old boy -- he managed to have band-aids on BOTH legs and his elbow earlier this week. It's a busy life being a moderately clumsy boy who falls down a lot. Sometimes his legs look like he was run over by a truck and I'm vaguely worried Child Services might think we're beating on him. Ah, to be a boy again, where you don't creak for weeks when you fall flat on your face...

• OK, after five debates this past month (four in the U.S. and one New Zealand), I'm officially debated-out. Still, yesterday's American finale was interesting to watch as the slow implosion of John McCain's campaign continues. Yes, he could still win, and I'm certainly not going to rule it out, but boy, overall his performance in these debates has been dismal. Interestingly, it's not so much what he said as how he performed. Obama has proven to be pretty masterful at projecting a cool, collected vibe, even if it sometimes is a bit stiff. But McCain has been all over the bloody show at all three debates, by turns hyperactive, frazzled, arrogant and insecure. I watched much of yesterday's debate on the big-screen at work, with the sound lower so I was focusing more on the visuals than the words, and McCain was just jittery, vibrating on that chair like a volcano in the rough. These debates have shown the sound bites are sometimes less important than the image ones, I think.

Photobucket• Very cool retro discovery of October for me is the post-punk band Magazine. I've been re-reading my "Rough Guide To Punk" and they sounded interesting, so I plunked out on the collection "Where The Power Is". After grooving out to it all week, I'm definitely going back for more of their albums. Frontman Howard DeVoto was originally in The Buzzcocks and after splitting with them set off to make his own band. Wow, what a cool sound they had -- kind of straddling the line between punk anger and synth-pop, they're like the missing link between the Sex Pistols and Depeche Mode. "Where The Power Is" covers the band's 1978-1981 heyday, and goes from the raging explosion of "Shot On Both Sides" to the doom-pop "This Poison." Special props to the epic "The Light Pours Out of Me" and guitars 'n' keyboards workout of "Definitive Gaze", although my favorite tune might be the snide and twisted "A Song From Under The Floorboards." Devoto sneers in his Johhny Rotten meets Peter Garrett voice, "I know the meaning of life / it doesn't help me a bit." Too cool.

• Well, after mulling it over I plunked down my $150NZ (urk!) and am going to see Neil Young in January, along with Prodigy, TV On The Radio and all the rest at the Big Day Out 2009. I wavered a bit but looked over at all my Neil Young CDs (I don't have everything from this prolific singer, but I've got nearly 20 of 'em) and said, My My, Hey Hey, OK. Besides, living in New Zealand, you really have to take into account the likelihood of a performer ever coming through here again. Sadly, faithful wife isn't going, so heck, if anyone in Auckland is going and wants to hang, let me know...

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