Archive for March, 2005

The Stare

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Here’s some advice for all of you who frequent retail establishments: staring will get you nowhere. This is what makes record store employees angry.

This woman comes up to the desk today asking about an Andrew Lloyd Weber compilation. Is there a booklet? I look at the box and there is no indication of a booklet. Mind you, we have about a skillion Andrew Lloyd Weber collections. They take up at least two rows of our Broadway section. And she had to pick this one. This weirdo import cheapo thing with no real information on it. She starts with the staring. I pass it to my supervisor, he says the same thing. Nope, no booklet. More staring.

Both of us said, did you ask the woman in the Classical department (where we keep the Broadway section)? She would know better than we would. Miss Bug Eyes replied that she did and she sent her to us. Which is highly unlikely. She probably stared at the people in Classical until she set them on fire like Carrie.

Stare stare stare. It also did not help that English was not her primary language. She had this long sad face and big glasses and was dressed impeccably. And she was being trailed by these women who were 90 years old, who were like some sort of silent Greek chorus.

So then I pull up the Cheap O Andrew Lloyd Weber compilation up on one of our databases, and no further info. I point to the screen and say, Sorry, perhaps someone in Classical can recommend something else for you.

I don’t think she can.

Stare stare stare.

Bug Eyes was probably waiting for me to unwrap it, which I was not gonna do because there like 90 zillion other collections with the same exact songs on them, and she would likekly make me open all of them for her.

So I call back to the woman in Classical and explain the situation and whisper, “Please get rid of her.”

While I’m having this conversation with my back turned to her, my supe saw Bug Eyes making faces at me.

I guess rudeness is the international language of love.

March 30, 2005 at 12:50 am 2 comments

Music from the Summer of the Hanging Chad

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Julia Factorial always sends out the best e-mails for her DJ gigs. They are one of life’s tiny pleasures. She’s also a bigger Jonathan Richman fan than even me. Since I’ll be celebrating Andy The Boyfriend’s birthday, I’m passing this along to anyone who feels inclined, or just wants to read something nice:

hello all. some of you will recognize this as being a total rip off of
friendster/myspace messages but so be it. i am sick and nursing head wounds
so be that as it may…

bringing it back in full effect for this week, american handstand returns
on wednesday (and is now called, simply, RADIO ON!) to hand you a drink,
kiss your cheek and lead you on to the dancefloor with a selection of beats
that will somewhere make your mother cry.

orchestral indie rock! gutterpunk guitar plucking! music from the summer of
the hanging chad! ninth grade nostalgia (mine, not yours!) ! anything and
everything under the sun, in the kitchen sink, under your shirt.

NO MEMBERS OF INTERPOL! (they’re musicians, not djs)

NO PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT! (because youth culture shouldn’t be bought and sold
and thrown up all over you)

NO DRINK SPECIALS! (because the drinks are already cheap)

i’m looking at you. wink back.

this wednesday and every fucking wednesday at the 700 club. 10pm-2am FREE ALWAYS.


ps- some of you may have noticed i was not on the air on sunday. fear not, i
return this coming sunday to 103.3fm. 3-5PM tune in turn on drop out.

* * * * *
dj julia factorial drops needles & spins
wprb 103.3 fm sundays from 3-5pm
!RADIO ON! every wednes @ 700 club

March 30, 2005 at 12:26 am 2 comments

Thank You Sara, Thank You

All that thanking in the last post reminds me of Today’s Weirdest Customer. He’s a regular, a nice guy, and has some family hardships that he shares with me, and I try to be sympathetic. But I think someone dropped something large and heavy on his head in recent years.

He does this thing where he orders up a bunch of old gospel artists (Jordanaires, Five Blind Boys of Alabama) and Sam Cooke CD’s. His taste is pretty interesting. If he could keep a linear thought going for more than a minute I’d ask him about what he’s buying. But I don’t think he remembers. It’s kind of sad really. I order the stuff, he never comes to get it, and then comes back in and brings the same CD’s to the counter and says, “write this down so I can check and see if I have it.” Then he thanks me over and over again. Like 11 times. This happens over and over again.

Today he came in and we were chatting. He’s asking me about what I did for Easter. And I had to finally explain my mixed heritage and how my family just doesn’t do anything anymore. I hate having to explain this. It’s fine if you wish me Happy Easter. It’s fine if you wish me Happy Passover. I’m really tired of talking about it because I get into conversatons like this: he starts telling me about his Jewish and Italian family members, how they don’t get along, etc. And he makes a point of telling me about his Jewish aunts that he had to physically eject from his grandmother’s funeral because they weren’t showing respect, that it doesn’t matter that they’re Jewish. He had to repeat this stuff over and over again. I couldn’t tell if he was making some sort of point or something was stuck in his head.

All in all, I just wanted to hide. Pretty much 90 percent of my communication, in person and online, has been needlessly frustrating this week. Hiding would be a good idea. I can’t wait for Andy the Boyfriend’s birthday and hide in his company’s hotel in New York. Part of me doesn’t want to come back ever.

March 29, 2005 at 12:17 am 2 comments

Thank You Pat Berkery

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Half the length, twice the personality, not one use of the words “messianic” or “visionary” or “Red Bull” or “fucking” (Okay, this is the Philadelphia Inquirer after all).

But man, when the Moby review in the Inky trumps the Voice, somebody’s got some ‘splainin to do. Or maybe not.

March 28, 2005 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

How To Be A Male Groupie

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(Link from The Modern Age)

Not sure how I feel about this . Good choices, dopey, though not entirely sleazy writing. It’s kind of funny, imagining a reader (whatever that is) chasing after the kind of girl who would punch them. I want to see a follow-up article about the men who went to shows and took this advice and had Joanna Newsom’s harp fall on them or got punched in the testicles repeatedly by The Donnas. But again, it’s that same old song: women with guitars are viewed through awe or fear, and rarely as humans.

On the second thought, you want to be a good male groupie? How about a raise? Thanks.

March 28, 2005 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Who’s Life Is It Anyway?

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In my opinion, my friend Jimmi has written the best thing about the Terri Schiavo fiasco to date. This totally belongs on an op-page somewhere. Editors, if you’re reading:

Pity has always been a kissing cousin of disgust. How many times have you wanted to turn your eyes away and not see something that you pitied? The homeless person on the street, a disabled person in a wheelchair. You don’t want to see them. You can look past them. They are made of glass–they are a looking glass. What if that was you? What would you do?

March 27, 2005 at 11:41 am 1 comment


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I don’t have a problem with sex in rock criticism. In fact, I think most rock criticism could stand to be a little sexier.

What I do have a problem with is a poorly written and skeevy review by someone with a lot of power in the rock crit world, which is why he’s getting a free pass to Back Scratch World. Someone with less power would already have about 3 threads going on ILM already and inbox full of invective at

If you were a music critic honestly trying to make your way in the world by pitching to the King of Fuck Mountain, which Rolling Stone is, for all intents and purposes, would you want this guy to be your editor?

And if you’re just an average person who enjoys reading music criticism (if such a person actually exists), is this what you’d want to read? A really smart friend of mine just dismisses it as one middle-aged jerkoff writing about another.

As a middle-aged culture critic, I’ve been thinking about my own 80s nostalgia and fetishization too. And mainly, what I covet most from the John Hughes-era is the reveal, the sense of possiblity for the Andies and Duckies of the world, that freaks, geeks, fagz, and lesbos could find a place for themselves, even in the Reagan era. Now that we’re in Reagan II, we’re still waiting for the reveal, and it doesn’t seem like it’s coming any time soon. We are getting priced out, sold out, moved further and further to the margins while we fight with each other on the internet and in the streets.

I used to think men and women were essentially the same, just with different body parts. I used to have twice as many male friends as females. With a few exceptions, today, I can’t even fathom why I ever thought that to be true. The gender gap is yawningly large, and most men just yawn while wondering why no woman will touch them. In the past 24 hours on the internerd, I’ve seen men who are not rock stars engage in rock star behavior that is neither funny, interesting, or particularly smart. The double standard is in full force as the new reveal.

March 26, 2005 at 9:32 pm 1 comment

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