Note to self: refrigerated fruit is good. Grapes, melons, plums...buy some more.


As Summer's Hottest Day Thus Far (86°F/30°C) oozes its way to a close, I recline on my couch and take in the view.

Yes, that's scaffolding out there. They're painting our building this week, which is a good thing for sure, it needs it. And yet, as Bret Michaels once said, "every rose has its thorn." Thorniness here is being provided by the pre-painting step of scraping all of the layers of old paint off.

I am a man who likes abrasive sounds, but...


...wait, I think I'm having a barely relevant flashback.
The year: 1991. I was working at the Center for Music Research in Tallahassee, Florida, solely because I'd had the astoundingly good fortune to be in an airplane seat next to Dr. Newcomb (the founder of the CMR), who was working on the initial specification for HyTime, from which the HTML that you're viewing right now has borrowed quite a few tricks.

Regardless of the fact that I knew nothing about computers and couldn't type, Dr. Newcomb was such a good guy that he hired me as a "lab assistant" in the CMR, a decision which quite probably changed my life for All Time, because it was there that I first encountered a few things that would thoroughly alter the trajectory of my shit: aleatoric music, SGML, Microsoft Word (believe it or not)...

...and Flying Testicle. At the CMR I also met Al, who was getting into some odder music as well, and we spent a couple of years together trying to out-weird each other musically, which was great fun.

One day in 1992 Al came into the CMR lab, where I was probably hunched over a computer terminal, accidentally deleting instead of sending an email that I'd spent hours painstakingly typing (a nagging question...to who? Who else that I knew would've been on email in 1992?). Al's eyes were all aglow with an anticipation of imminent glory, the kind of anticipation you enjoy when you've found something that you know someone will love and you're about to give it to them.

In this case, "it" was Dry Lungs V, a gorgeously scary 2-CD compilation released on San Francisco's Subterranean Records. I'd never heard or seen anything like it. An excerpt:


And if you didn't enjoy that? The paint-scraping is 75x worse. As I said, I'm a man who likes abrasive sounds, but these painters are sick, a hellish trio of metal-on-glass chiseling and pounding that starts at 09:00 and lasts til 17:00. Durational. Where will I spend my Friday, he mused.

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