Jesse Jarnow

Archive for June, 2008

the motel party, no. 10

“Your Cheating Heart” – James Brown (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

It was a hipster’s musicality: a dry, bright singsong punctuated by occasional ironic drawls to slow the tempo. I’d heard it for hours, on every extant tape of Harrison. “What’s it there?” Peabody asked once more, arm around me again, in the voice he’d preserved. “Um, pretty alright,” I answered. His fingers gripped my shoulder once and let go. He looked disappointed. “S’okay,” he said in his dead friend’s voice and his face softened. When he stood upright, I realized he hadn’t been previously. He was only 18 when he met Harrison, who was then nearing 50. “Listen, don’t mind any of this,” he said, suddenly lucid and grinning. “It’s just a party, that’s all. You know what I mean. Who has time for all that?” He closed his smile, like a ghost in a corn field, and took of up three lines of conversation at once: one with the card players, one with a distant cousin, and one with the girl I’d seen earlier in the bikini. She took a step towards us as a Fire Angel staggered towards the bathroom.

the motel party, no. 9

“I Bid You Goodnight” – The Dixie Hummingbirds (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

I wondered briefly what the night manager might think, and only then could I envision it as a series of comic events, of characters trooping by, past his ice machine, to room 302, around the back and upstairs, my room. Could there possibly be anything more exciting going on in the seaside town? The question wasn’t so much conceited as it was a way of marveling at Peabody’s ability to make this coastal outpost feel like a happening place. I pushed myself off the wall and tried to find Peabody, who was talking to a florist, just arrived with a psychedelic bouquet he positioned next to the mirror. Peabody put his arm around me. “What’s it there?” he asked, happily, a definite question. When I didn’t answer, he smiled and nodded slowly, as if prompting me. “C’mon, what’s it there?” he asked again. As he repeated the phrase, the intonation the same, it reminded me of a recording of Harrison reading at NYU just before returning to his father. Peabody suddenly looked much younger as he leaned back and laughed against the lamp, which had somehow acquired a gypsy shawl and was shining silver moonlight over the stucco ceiling.

the motel party, no. 8

“Green Rocky Road” – Karen Dalton (download)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

Peabody’s drunken sway made sense when the party hit critical mass, symmetrically lilting to the rhythm of the bebop. He was a ripple at the center of two dozen other ripples, people who’d found their way into the motel room. There were at least five baymen, their eyes becoming more resilient as the evening grew. One, named Ricky Schmidt, lectured on the history of tailpipe design in American cars. Another pair, Corey Lagasse and Rodney Santini, led a card game at the small, lacquered table with four members of the Fire Angels, a local motorcycle club (of which Santini was also a member). They’d been in the town for nearly 40 years — a father and a son were present, the Smiths, their hairlines the same, the curvature of the younger’s back noticeably straighter. I was mildly drunk, but found myself unable to sway as gracefully as Peabody. Instead, I confined myself to one wall, and let the salon of local color circulate around me. I occasionally spotted Peabody ricocheting between conversations, though I was unable to hear any myself. I tried to move towards him.

frow show, episode 47

Episode 47: Dedicated to Jesse Orosco

Lifetime 3.16 ERA, brah.

Listen here.

1. “Hershey’s Miniatures” – Corn Mo (from I Hope You Win)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “666: The Coming of the New World Government” – Apollo Sunshine (from Noise Shall Upon)
4. “Black Rice” – Women (from Women)
5. “I Wanna Be A Girl” – King Khan and His Shrines (from What Is?!)
6. “Girl With the Vagina Made of Glass” – The Billy Nayer Show (from American Astronaut OST)
7. “Bexxlaws (Chipsploitation remix)” – Bud Melvin (from Rock the Plastic Like A Man compilation)
8. “Djanfa Magni” – Tidian Kone and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo (from African Scream Contest: Raw and Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin and Togo ’70s)
9. “Happy” – The Rolling Stones (from Nasty Music)
10. “Guitar Trio (1977)” – Rhys Chatham (from A Rhys Chatham Compendium)
11. “Beloved Binge” – Megafaun (from Impala Eardrums compilation)
12. “Green Rocky Road” – Karen Dalton (from Green Rocky Road)
13. “Temple Bells” – various (from Buddhist Drums, Bells, Chants compilation)
14. “Waiting For the Dawn To Break” – The Leapyear (from AUX compilation)
15. “Sun Spots” – Best of Seth (from Sun)
16. “The Warmth of the Sun” – The Beach Boys with Willie Nelson – (from Stars and Stripes, v. 1)
17. “Mean Old World” – Sam Cooke

the motel party, no. 7

“The Warmth of the Sun” – The Beach Boys with Willie Nelson (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The first to arrive was Walter Manteau, a local artist who gave Peabody rides home, up the soft incline to his house near town, when Peabody was too drunk. Manteau had a wife and a child. We chatted pleasantly, though he didn’t stay very long. He was closer to my age than Peabody’s. “He has these moments of profound lucidity,” Manteau said. “Once, I had a painting with me, and he looked at it. This was on a day when he wasn’t making much sense. He told me, ‘if you put that on TV, it would be like… reality.'” I looked at Peabody, who was fiddling with the record player he’d carried in earlier, finally getting it playing. He put on Charlie Parker. He was on his fourth or fifth beer, and was starting to tilt mildly when he walked. I wondered if I would see that side of him. “You think he really knew Harrison?” Manteau asked me. I was somewhat taken aback. Manteau backpedaled. “I’ve heard some crazy stuff come out of his mouth, that’s all,” he said. Manteau excused himself. He had to get home. It was nearing midnight when I stopped wondering when the party would start.

running into stonehenge

Running Into Stonehenge

by Jesse Jarnow

Paste, June 2008


I had a totally normal childhood. There was the time I ran into Stonehenge. Knocked myself out. I have no memory of this, of course, but it became something of a family joke, in as much as my father sometimes reminds me that this is something I once did.

The other family joke to come out of our trip to England in 1982, when I was three, is the line (spoken in a Monty Pythonesque chirp) “I’m sorry, sir, but can’t you film Stone’enge someplace else?” to be repeated whenever an event is threatened by inclement weather.

Its originator was a British weather services operator whom my father had asked for the conditions at the mythological site, where he was to shoot an experimental film titled Celestial Navigation. The result, as John Luther Schofill of the Experimental Film Coalition would proclaim, “captures, first person, the experience of being, in the words of Buckminster Fuller, ‘a passenger on Spaceship Earth.'”

To me, the filmmaking only meant chaos in the weeks leading up to our departure, which included setting up Dad’s high school buddy from Brooklyn, Paul, as a housesitter in our Long Island home. His duties included feeding the cats and operating the time lapse cameras tracking shadows across Dad’s attic studio, while Dad marked similar solar-seasonal changes across the ocean. “These are the means by which space describes its meanings,” Dad’s reverb-laden voice explains in the narration. “Touch, sight, and the echoes of distant walls.”

More exciting to me was the animation he did for Sesame Street and other PBS programs. On occasion, I even got to be in them, making my hip-hop debut in a series of number raps. (Yeah, they’re on YouTube.) Stuff from around the house turned up regularly — a toy train chugging with tumbleweeds across the frame, or even our cat, Banana, appearing in Real Cat Drinks Milk.

I wish I could say that being an animator’s son made me think all animation came from mysterious attic studios filled with zoetropes and homemade orrerys, or that any old toy could lurch into magical movement like a Michel Gondry movie, but this is not the case. I knew the harsh realities of children’s television.

Once, Dad brought me to the Sesame Street set (a place he rarely ventured), then located in Manhattan. Where I once imagined winding catacombs in the depths of Oscar’s garbage can, I saw a tangle of wires. Later, I saw Snuffalapagous hanging on the wall. True story. There are pictures of me sitting on the set’s central stoop, looking quietly mortified.

A parade of undergrad assistants became family friends. College students, perhaps, they were also filmmakers in their own right, members of a very real community, whom Dad was, in a sense, welcoming in. We attended their weddings, went on family trips with them.

In Santa Cruz, we stayed with another of Dad’s friends at a synagogue-turned-studio purchased with money made animating Luke Skywalker’s targeting computer in Star Wars. Below a mantel displaying chunks of the original Death Star, we watched a video of folk collector Harry Smith’s painted-on-film abstractions. In Boston, we visited Manhattan Project physicist (turned humanist peacenik) Philip Morrison and his equally brillaint wife Phyllis, who Dad worked with on their 1987 PBS series, Ring of Truth.

Had I been more conscious, I might’ve observed that culture — be it abstract animation or atom bombs or 4,000-year old stone calenders — isn’t a thing so much as it is people. But sometimes that can be hard to notice when art is life and life is art (and science and literature and history) and all are rushing towards you in the shape of monoliths in the British countryside near Salisbury.

Indeed, our trip abroad — partly underwritten by an American Film Institute grant — was worked into a family vacation with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, and two cousins. After several days, crappy weather or no, Dad befriended the guards at Stonehenge. When Mom and I arrived, he asked if I could touch the plinths. The guard let me through.

At which point — perhaps drawn by the ancient power of the rocks — I apparently charged, knocked myself out, and made a family memory just as worthwhile as any experimental film, not to mention concisely answering the question of why one can’t shoot Stonehenge someplace else. If only I remembered it.

For more information about Al Jarnow, see Much of his animation has been collected on the Numero Group DVD Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow.




some recent articles.

the-tinkerer, 464952,22.html”>Tristan Perich: The Tinkerer (Village Voice)
The Spirit of Radio, long-ass WFMU 50th anniversary profile (Signal To Noise)
The Record Store: A Good Thing, blurblets on Other Music and Turntable Lab. (Paste)

Mimidokodesuka – Osorezan (Village Voice)
Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea – The Silver Jews (Paste)
Electronic Projects for Musicians – Apples in Stereo (Paste)
Jesus That Looks Terrible On You – A Big Yes and a small no (

Spiritual Unity (Marc Ribot & Henry Grimes) with the Joshua Light Show at Issue Project Room, 30 May 2008 (Village Voice blog)

Majesty” – The Music Tapes (
The Frozen Lake” – Arms (
Depart (I Never Knew You)” – Bellafea (

My Winnipeg (Paste)

Columns, etc.:
BRAIN TUBA: Morgan the Lion, no. 1
BRAIN TUBA: Morgan the Lion, no. 2

o Paste #44 (My Morning Jacket cover): record store blurblets (Other Music, Turntable Lab), album reviews of Dr. Dog, Coldplay, Mudhoney, book review of Haruki Murakami, film review of My Winnipeg, DVD reviews of The Guatemalan Handshake, Persepolis (see: Paste digital edition)
o July Relix (Dr. Dog cover): album reviews of Sound Tribe Sector 9, The Fiery Furnaces, Tony Allen remixes, Dennis Wilson, Daptone anthology
o Signal to Noise #50 (Our Favorite Things cover): WFMU feature

the motel party, no. 6

“Le Fils De Jacques Dutronc” – King Khan and His Shrines (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The last email I got before the motel’s wifi network mysteriously blinked out was from my thesis advisor, asking why I hadn’t responded to his previous message. “Need more proof that Harrison was happy in later years,” he’d written. “Presently insubstantial, unacceptable.” I stared at the blank reply screen and gave up. I thought about calling Dani and decided against it. She could call me. I looked around the room and wondered what else I should do. I put my bags in the closet, on a shelf, and waited for Peabody. It was almost 10 when he arrived. He stood at the foot of the band with his hands on his hips and cocked his head slightly. Turning only his face, he glanced around the room, taking in its contents. He reminded me of a hitman. Though he seemed ancient to me, I realized–watching him–that when Peabody had spent time with Harrison, he was 20 to the former novelist’s 40. He put his fingers to his chin, and I tried to imagine him genuinely boyish, instead of Peabody’s alcohol-hardened perversion. “Alright,” he said quietly. “This can do. Help me unload the car.”

the motel party, no. 5

“Yo Yo Bye Bye” – Why? (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

She was by the motel pool–the indoor one–in wide sunglasses and a bikini the color of the chlorine water. She listened to a yellow walkman with headphones and, other than her tapping foot, might’ve been asleep. It was nice out. Perhaps not bikini weather, but certainly pleasant enough for a walk on the beach. I thought about inviting her to the party that Peabody was apparently organizing in my room. He’d told me to get seven bags of ice, tomato juice, lemons, Tabasco, and candles. He’d do the rest. I’d told Dani about the party, too, though not the girl. Not that I knew Dani too well, trans-Pacific conversations or no, but still. Besides, inviting poolside sirens to parties thrown by chronically unemployed 60somethings in New England hotels wasn’t something I did lightly, or–really–at all. Peabody was in the main texts about Eugene Harrison, but never as more than a footnote from the last, lost years. A looming figure in the unfinished sheaf of poems from ’68–he’d had a few published himself–nobody had yet interviewed him, and discovering that he was still alive was something of a surprise. “Better read than dead/God of mythic dance worlds,” is how Harrison himself put it. “You get the fucking ice yet?” Peabody squawked from the phone, which had been mysteriously replaced with a rotary model.

the motel party, no. 4

“Mama, You Been On My Mind” – Lee Ranaldo (download)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

“My old man knew his old man,” Peabody said, nodding up the stairs, towards his sleeping father, who we’d helped from the toilet and back to bed. “Didn’t grow up together. Only showed up, shit, sometime after his dad. Didn’t know he was a writer at first. I know he had a reputation in the city for knowing everybody, but he pretty much kept to himself out here. Old man fit right in, though.” Peabody’s cheeks had hardened into a permanent softness, like they’d bloated outwards at a young age and solidified before worry lines could arrive. He sipped a Bud. It was past dinnertime. Every time I asked him a question, he stared suspiciously at my digital recorder on the table between us. He forgot it as soon as he started to talk, but didn’t offer anything I didn’t already know: Gene had stopped writing after his arrival, and became an enraged, alcoholic Goldwater supporter, like the ailing father he’d come to take care for. He tried to explain the explosion of emotion when Gene, the self-exiled writer, came into the bar, what the night would turn into. Peabody saw my disappointment, and suddenly looked very old. “Tell you what,” he said, smiling. “I’ll get something together for you.” He stood up. “For you,” he repeated.

the motel party, no. 3

“Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any)” (James Houston printer remix) – Radiohead (download)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

Peabody’s living room was filled with books, but no Peabody. “Door’s open,” he told me on the phone. “Shoulda come in before.” Detective novels and sci-fi paperbacks were next to the disintegrating gray couch, but also Balzac, Proust, Blake. The walls were paneled with a dark, fake wood that had muted to a sickly tan. Moldy but undusty LPs leaned against a turntable set on a low olive bookshelf. A bouquet of red helium balloons–two or three popped, another half-dozen intact–floated in one corner. Upstairs, there was water running. “Hello?” I shouted tentatively. To my left, a counter gave way to a kitchen, three of the four cabinets open. I could see another three balloons straining to escape from inside one. I stepped towards the stairs at the back of the room. Boards creaked. “Hello?” I shouted again, and listened. There was a shout on the second floor. I walked upstairs. “Yes?” I replied. “Come in here and help me,” a voice returned. On the right, an open bathroom door revealed two men, old and older, the former attempting to the lift the latter from the toilet. The older man grinned stupidly, his wrinkled features recoiling to the guileless guilt of a small child.

frow show, episode 46

(“The Motel Party” will continue tomorrow…)

Episode 46: A Lukewarm Hope

Listen here.

1. “Give Booze A Chance” – Bonzo Dog Band (Tadpoles outtake)
2. “Elvis is Everywhere” – Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper (from Bo-Day-Shus!!!)
3. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
4. “Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any)” (James Watson dot matrix remix) – Radiohead (via YouTube)
5. “Fallslake” – Nobukazu Takemura (from 10th)
6. “Sad, Sad, Sad” – Arms (from Kids Aflame)
7. “Just One Girl” – The Knickerbockers (from Chapel in the Fields 7-inch)
8. “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind” – Lee Ranaldo (from Outlaw Blues: A Tribute To Bob Dylan compilation)
9. “Stephanie Says” – Lee Ranaldo (from Fifteen Minutes: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground)
10. “Viola Lee Blues” – The Grateful Dead (recorded 3 September 1967, Rio Nido, CA)
11. “I’ll Be on the Water” – Akron/Family (from Akron/Family)
12. “Nothing’s Going To Happen” – Tall Dwarfs (from That’s The Short & Long Of It)

the motel party, no. 2

“This Wheel’s On Fire” – The Band (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The motel was on the water, but had two pools anyway — one on the edge of the parking lot, one inside, just off the lobby — both devoid of swimmers. Dani filled my room with her room while I waited for Peabody to wake. Hers was in Tokyo, landlocked amid others, mid-block. I lay back on the starched bedspread and imagined as she described it. It was like a spaceship, she said, the capsule-bed she was in. “It’s like I’m at the controls. It’s totally cool. There’s just enough room to sit and eat my Bobby-burger.” On the blank walls, the Atlantic lapping at the Massachusetts coast, I imagined her ship parting the grey, a fire trail behind, heading towards unnamed spheres. I told her about my sunburn. I could still feel the warmth there shivering and trying to escape. “I guess it’s technically sun poisoning,” I said. But she was gone, disconnected, alone in Japan. I wondered if I should knock on Peabody’s door again. I slept more, the comfort of a deep lethargy like a warm drizzle blurring the view from my glasses. The motel phone rang, red light blinking. “Whaddya want?” the voice on the other end asked me abruptly.

the motel party, no. 1

“I’ll Be on the Water” – Akron/Family (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The first time I rang Peabody’s doorbell, just late for my 10 am appointment, I nearly electrocuted myself. An ungrounded wire on the buzzer jolted me, the millisecond of rich current like a thick, long spark, unlike any other type of pain, my body recalling previous shockings in a continuum of electricity: the first, as a five year old, under a poster of the Earth; in high school, drunk on scotch and reaching for a phone charger I’d been too lazy to plug in all the way. I stood under the thin linoleum overhang on Peabody’s stoop, gathering myself against the sudden rain. It pattered in sheets, and I was unable to discern if any life stirred inside. The late summer storm burned off quickly, the wind from the Atlantic blowing warm air over the neighborhood. The second time, two hours later, I knocked firmly. Still no response. I bought a turkey sandwich and went to the beach, made absent notes about the town, and dozed — curled up — on the sand. At the motel, I felt the burn on the back of my knees and slept again, until Dani pulled from me by satellite.

reading at petri space on sunday

Sorry for the late notice, but if anybody’s around, I’ll be reading some fiction here on Sunday eve:

Rhymes with Birds at the Petri Space
A night of poems and prose by acclaimed local writers (plus free food and cheap boos)

June 8 at 7:30pm
114 Forrest St. buzzer 15
Take the L to Morgan. Take the Bogart exit, turn right out of subway onto Bogart. Walk on Bogart to Flushing.
Forrest st. is the diagonal street across Flushing and Flushing Farms. (directions) (More info.)

“silvio” & “tangled up in blue” (6/30/88 & 5/19/98) – bob dylan

“Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan (download)
“Silvio” – Bob Dylan (download)
recorded 30 June 1988, Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY

“Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan (download)
“Silvio” – Bob Dylan (download)
recorded 19 May 1998, San Jose Arena, San Jose, CA

(files expire June 12th)

Bob Dylan’s so-called Never-Ending Tour launched 20 years ago this week, on June 7th, in Concord, California. Though Dylan claims in Chronicles that he’d been inspired to hit the road by figuring out a new way of singing, the tapes don’t bear this out entirely. For the most part, Dylan’s singing was still the insanely caricatured tweeting that made Real Live and Dylan and the Dead such bummers. It would take a few years for him to relax into the new mode of phrasing. Compare the above versions of “Tangled Up In Blue,” recorded in June 1988 and May 1998, respectively. The older version is just bloody awful, all kinds of rubbery, nasal melodrama. The ’98 rendition is typical of the period, totally confident.

All of which is to explain why “Silvio” — a fairly minor Dylan tune, lyrics by the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter, from 1988’s Down in the Groove — was such a Never-Ending staple. On the ’88 version, the grating upper register yawls that mar the rest of the show are entirely absent. The take from a decade later is slower and clearly improved, but the difference in strategies is almost negligible. Minor as it was, “Silvio” was maybe the template for the gentleman-on-the-skids persona Dylan developed during the Never Ending Tour, and picked up officially on 1997’s Time Out of Mind — all of which informs the excitement bubbling beneath Dylan’s voice as he stops rushing the phrases in the second verse, a new pleasure for him in a decade of dead ends.

recent spins

Though songs from these albums — all older stuff I’ve been digging — have and will likely continue to turn up in Frow Shows and various blog posts, the albums don’t easily lend themselves to mp3ification. Mostly, they’re just brilliant vibes.

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’ – Michael Nesmith (1972)
The former Monkee, singing and playing acoustic guitar, is accompanied only by pedal steel legend Red Smith. The humor is wry, a backcountry depot in the land of Head and Elephant Parts.

Rev. Louis Overstreet with his sons and the congregation of St. Like’s Powerhouse Church of God in Christ (rec. 1962, rel. 1995)
Great gospel from Arhoolie, found in the FMU archives. There’s a lot here: some beautiful blues (“Two Little Fishes”), ecstatic chants (“Yeah Lord! Jesus Is Able”), and amazing vocals by Overstreet. The warm recording quality puts it totally over the top.

Wow/The Magick Fire Music – Jackie O Motherfucker (2000-2001)
Like a perfectly melodic middle ground between SYR-era Sonic Youth and ’72-’73 Dead jams. I suspect this is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. So much more to be had. Hooray for prolific collectives. (Word, Sancho.)

Quarteto Em Cy – Quarteto Em Cy (1972)
Apparently a pre-tropicalia vocal group, this self-titled disc from ’72 is damn well sublime, just endlessly pleasurable: girl group/Beatles harmonies and strange, lush arrangements. Not coming out of the rotation any time soon.

Valborgmassoafton – Yukio Yung (1991)
Wikipedia sez that dude is a crazy prolific mofo, and — from the sound of this disc alone — I believe it. It’s like Devo meets the Mothers. Delicious use of synths, adventurous at every turn, and never predictable: jazz solos with doubled kazoos, fuzzy baroque interludes, Residents-like dance breaks, alien chants… and somehow it all holds together. Maybe it’s the cassette hiss. (Thx, Mutant Sounds, check it there.)

“creep” – prince

“Creep” – Prince (download)
recorded live at Coachella, 26 April 2008

(file expires June 8th)

And, so an act of civil disobedience against His Purple Dudeness: Prince Rogers Nelson covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella. At first, I was bummed to find out that the alleged soundboard circulating was a fairly audiencey audience recording, but — besides Prince’s performance itself, which Clappy so bitchingly deconstructed — what unfolds is that it’s not Prince’s song, it’s not even Radiohead’s. It belongs entirely to the crowd.

A few people seemingly recognize it at first, and there is a smattering of definite cheers. Somebody mentions James Brown. Somebody else repeatedly chants “whoo” or maybe “booooo.” Hard to say. There’s another wave of cheers at 1:10, but the music still sounds like a vaguely generic Prince arpeggio (though it’s also obviously “Creep”) and it doesn’t compare to what happens at 1:45, when Prince actually starts singing.

Then, a wave of noise rolls over the crowd. “Awesome!” somebody says almost immediately. People go, predictably, apeshit, and a dozen conversations spark up in mic range. Presumably, there’s some fierce texting going down, too. After the first big peak, the band passes through the opening changes again. Except now the crowd knows what it is, and begins clapping along — and with extraordinary dullness, as if they bought the hype and are already being ironic about it — which continues through the next verse before fading. The dull clapping continues, a little quieter, as Prince busts out his falsetto. Somebody even laughs.

But then Prince shreds fucking balls again, in an old-fashioned, gas-guzzling wank, and it’s awesome, despite a weird sinking feeling in a crowd that’s not sure if it’s ready to be as wistful as they feel, nostalgic for a time when Radiohead was simply another post-grunge guitar band with a genuine summer hit, but already preparing to yearn for the present moment, surely to immortalized in Flickr sets, text messages, viral videos, and blog postings. If His High Exalted Mothersquonking El Purple Duderino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) doesn’t have them all purged first.

moving entertainments

New Music Tapes video:

Well, here’s a hearty WTF?:

The Day There Was No News:

Whoa, there was a Z-Rock Hawaii video (Ween + Eye from the Boredoms):

Wait for it…:

David Lynch makes a 55-second short with an original Lumiere camera: