Monday, October 12, 2009

Letting it Be

Ever since I first began blogging in 2005, I've had an inferiority complex about my blog offerings (this is my third). Specifically, I've been insecure about the fact that my blog isn't about a particular subject (e.g., movies, gender issues). It's just whatever interests me at a given moment, or it's about shameless self promotion; or something I want to rant about.

And I was feeling guilty about that. For several reasons. For starters I'm a frequent reader of many well written and put together blogs - ones with lots more traffic than mine. Naturally, I think, if I'm going to be putting my voice and opinions out on the Internets, I should be doing so in a similarly coherent way.

Also, in the past, I've had certain readers of my previous blogs have subtly lamented its lack of cohesion. So this has made me self-conscious and led to feelings of guilt about not being a better blogger.

Yeah. So done with that shit. For one thing, feeling guilty and inadequate takes more time and energy than I currently have. Moreover, I considered the words of an author I interviewed who called her blog (one of the five oldest on the Internet) a "bricolage."

That's basically what I've got going and it ain't so bad. Even if it is, it's mine. My words. My voice. Take it or leave it, but I'm going to let it be.

They're baaaaaaaack.....Sort of

By they, I mean Massive Attack, one of my favorite bands. As a prelude to their next album, the duo released an EP last Tuesday called Splitting the Atom. Here's an excerpt from my review of it for Consequence of Sound. You can read the whole thing here.
This brief collection contains all the hallmarks of classic Massive: ghostly vocals, behemoth bass, and crunchy sonic effects. On “Psyche,” the stunning collaboration with Topley-Bird, the marriage of the band’s atmospheric soundscape (loping percussion, dark synths) and the singer’s spooky vocals is breathtaking. It manages to exceed the inevitably high expectations accompanying the pairing of two trip-hop heavyweights. This is the song fans will obsess over – and one that’s bound to end up on more than a few film soundtracks
Of course, the band is working at its typically glacial pace, so who knows when the new album will be out. But Atom provides a nice teaser.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Review of The Mountain Goats Latest Album

Here's my latest review for Consequence of Sound: The Mountain Goats' Life of the World to Come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Am Not The One

So yesterday I had a lovely birthday. My family sent me flowers at work, and I went out for drinks with some girlfriends of mine after work. Friends and laughter. That makes a great birthday for me.

On a less positive note, I've had a post simmering in my brain for a while. It has to do with workplaces. Not one in particular, just the modern workplace in general (Disclaimer: I've worked in offices most of my life, so that's the perspective this is being written from). In the 8 or so jobs I've had since graduating college, I've had I've noticed several similarities that mark the contemporary American workplace as a truly soul crushing play.

Subtle (and not sometimes not so subtle) Bullying. No matter how rigorous an employee's work ethic or commitment, the threat of termination always hangs in the air, implicit and used to keep everyone beat down.

Bribery. Based on the - I promise you false - idea that occasional treats like food and drink, can make up for yearly slashing of pay and benefits. Speaking of...

Shit Benefits That Get Shittier Every Year. All this does is reaffirm my belief that health care coverage should not be tied to employment. Because insurance companies and employers have proven they SUCK ASS at providing comprehensive, affordable coverage. In fact one of my major gripes with the so-called health care reform being proffered by the Obama administration is that it doesn't eliminate employer-provided health coverage in favor of coverage for all. Yeah, SINGLE PAYER. That's right. I said it. Deal.

Bargain Basement Salaries
. I realized the other day that I'm a bargain for my employer. Because even after I've officially clocked out, I still have to stick around and finish work if there's a deadline to be met that day. But do I get paid for working after hours? Surely, you jest.

Goal Setting (Remember, they must be SMART)
. *headdesk* So on an afternoon when I could be, you know, doing work, I have to sit at my desk and input into a database my goals for the end of the year. To quote Amy Winehouse, "What kind of fuckery is this?" The kind that says employees have to think up and meet goals all with the end result being LESS pay. Fuckery, indeed.

Team Building. *headdesk II* Cuz we're all part of a team in case you haven't heard. That's why as an employee, I can be lanced like a fucking boil when my meager salary becomes too much for the company's bottom line. As the kids today like to say What. The. Fuck. Ever.

Back in the 90s, there was a raft of shootings committed by postal workers. I remember being appalled and wondering how they could do such things. What could drive otherwise mild mannered folk to such extremes.

I get it now.*

*And no, I wouldn't engage in such activity myself. I'm simply stating that I now understand a lot better the level of frustration and desperation that would lead an individual to take such action.

My Latest (and Greatest) for Consequence of Sound

Here's my latest article for Consequence of Sound (kidding about the "greatest" part).

New post coming tonight, I promise!