Quick Question

Okay, so I started work on a Holiday mix last night and ended up with a short list.

Of about 60 songs.

And this is before I broke out my Christmas CDs to put a few tracks from those on the list, and I know I have a few tracks from those that will make the list. (I mean, I have John Denver and the Muppets' A Christmas Together in there, man!) So, unless I make a lot of cuts of a lot of really good tracks, we're looking at the possibility of up to four mixes.

Is this dumb? Would you guys want a weekly Christmas music mix for the next month? Let me know in the comments section. Please help me out here. I don't want to make these if nobody wants them.



I swore in a Target restroom today. I said the ess-word. You know the one. S-H-I … Yeah, that one. I said it pretty loud, too. I didn't yell it, but it was definitely audible. Now, I'm not a restroom cusser. I'm not even really a cusser. So why was I standing in a handicapped stall in a Target restroom, cussing it up?

Well, mainly because it fit. It was what I was staring at: on the toilet seat and toilet, on the floor and, sadly, on my aged and comfy Converse All Stars, may they rest in peace. Oh, and it was all over my daughter, too, poor thing.

We were picking up a couple of things after dropping sister and mom off at school and the craft show (Going on all weekend! Go get some Sparkle Power merchandise! And yeah, I'm plugging a craft show while relating a poop story. You knew what I was when you picked me up.), respectively. You know, gettin' my Dad on. We looked through the electronics (Claire is not very good at the Xbox), the Christmas stuff and, finally, the toys. Every. Single. Toy.

We were playing with that Disney Princess display, the one where you spin the thingy around and push the pink flashing button and it plays a snippet of a song from each princess' movie.

So Claire's spinning the thingy, pressing the button, dancing around and all of the sudden she stops, makes a worried face, looks at me and says, "I need to go potty." Now this is a problem. See, we're potty training, so that means we're in panties and I reeeally don't want an accident, so I pick her up and run. And if you're at all familiar with the Target we frequent, you know that we're almost at the point farthest from the restroom.

Now would be a good time to cuss. But I don't. I run.

We make it to the customer service counter and I still have a basket with some items and you can't take unpaid merchandise into the restrooms so I ditch the basket at the corner and keep running. My sunglasses are in there and Claire's jacket too, but at this point, I don't care if they're stolen. I just care about getting to the restroom before something bad happens.

At this point, I think we're okay. My arm's dry. That's a good sign, right? We make it inside and into the handicapped stall. I pull down the panties and go to set her down on the seat and that's when things, well, when things go to crap. Or, you know, the other word. The word I said.

I'm a dad, so after a brief survey of the damage I roll with it, trying to clean Claire up as well as I can with the tools at hand (toilet seat covers, wet toilet paper), trying to clean it off the seat (those elaborate toilet paper shields I build before I sit down don't feel so ridiculous anymore), the floor, my shoe (so long, Converse) and I cuss.

I cuss. And in the moment, it fits.

Prison Food

Here's my one-word review of the AMC remake of The Prisoner:

Look, I knew going into this that it wasn't going to stack up, but, like I did with the US version of The Office or Beck's remake of the Velvet Underground's self-titled debut, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and accept it on its own merits.

That said, this was teh suck.

In full disclosure, I only watched the first two episodes and sort of watched the second two, so maybe it all of the sudden got to be something I'd dig, but from what I watched, I just didn't get it, "it" being "what the heck was the point of it all."

I could spend days talking about how Jim Caviezel was too wimpy to match the macho sneer of Patrick McGoohan's #6; how having a #2 who was a real person with like, a family and feelings and stuff and not a revolving set of people, each as interchangeable and soulless as the last (it's called subtext, people) was wrong-headed and small-minded; how the sense of feverish paranoia has been surgically removed from the show, replaced by messy jump-cuts, flashbacks, unnecessary interpersonal relationships and half-baked unexplained phenomenon.

I think the most telling thing about the remake is the fact that the AMC site has a map of the Village. This right here tells me that the people don't really "get" what makes the source material engaging. (This isn't to say that the original Village wasn't mapped, just that it was never important to the show that it was.) The Village isn't a real place. It's a paranoid state of mind where your dreams can be turned against you, your memories can't be trusted, your personality can be transferred to a stranger and no matter where you run, you can't escape it. Part of what makes the original feel so weird is that you never have any reference point for how big the Village is, where things fit in relation to each other, etc. It's not a place you can map, whereas The Island on Lost *is* that sort of place, it's in the Myst-ian roots of the show to explore this mysterious place full of deserted stations and strange hatches. Not so for the Village. It just is.

And speaking of Lost, this seems less like a remake of The Prisoner and more like a weak, five-years-too-late rip-off of Lost. Let's do the math: a mysterious place that you can't seem to leave + flashbacks to how Six ended up on the Islanderrr uh the Village + weird phenomena like the holes or the glimmering towers or the anchor and seagulls = yeah, you're doing Lost, not The Prisoner. And the fact that this is a post-Lost remake of The Prisoner, it starts to get a little chicken-eggy all up in here because Lost itself borrows heavily from The Prisoner. I mean, if Ben watching Sawyer and Kate in the bear cages in his room full of TVs doesn't make you think of #2 in the observation room, you're not paying attention. It's sort of like if Akira Kurosawa decided to do a samurai remake of The Magnificent Seven, itself a cowboy remake of Seven Samurai; you know what I mean? Snakes eating tails.

It's a shame, because with the NSA/CIA/Insert Yr Favorite Acronym Here looking over our phone records, intercepting our e-mails, security cameras on ever corner and the TSA making you feel like a criminal every time you walk on an airplane, the world is ripe for a paranoid thriller about the dehumanization of people in an age where you can't even trust your neighbor, or, to get all weird on you, even yourself. That's what The Prisoner is about: being confronted with a world where everybody's watching and manipulating everybody else for some invisible machine whose motives and allegiances aren't at all clear and saying, "You know what? I'm not playing this game and you can't make me. I'm a free man. I will do as I please."


I wanted to like it. Really I did. But the smallness of it got in its own way. I think Matt Fraction summed it up best when he Tweeted: "I made it all of 4 minutes into new PRISONER and thought, […] I could be watching old PRISONER."

Amen to that.


Tunes For Tuesday

This week's track comes from Lee Fields & the Expressions' great noveau-soul album, My World. RIYL (Recommended If You Like): Al Green, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Darondo, shaking what your momma gave you.

Pretty much kicks. This track's called "Ladies," and it's pretty ballin'. No homo. Represent:

Amazon / iTunes


Stars Are Neon Lights

Cover for Time & Space's album, We Can Do Whatever We Want, which can be previewed here. Is it Las Vegas, or some strange alien spaceport? Are those lights or stars? When is it? Where is it?


Oh, and I guest-posted on the subject of Mixtapery last week over on Smile & Wave. Go check it out and then download the printable mix sleeve I made:

See you tomorrow.

Back In the Saddle

Hey. Sorry I've been gone for so long. I missed you. I'm going to try and post more regularly; starting today. Are you stoked? Cuz I am. So keep yr eyes peeled for more posts on all kinds of stuff.


Red + Blue

November's mix. Purple Fates. I'm not sure what the central premise is here, but it's a pretty … purple mix.

Here's the tracklist:

1. "Anytime's a good time to get gone."
2. "A goodbye and a neon tan."
3. "How did you know that the river don't flow?"
4. "The parallel pavements are peaceful."
5. "I'm not a human, I'm a dove."
6. "You know you set me free."
7. "…"
8. "It's generally known, you got everything at home."
9. "And the truth is, I'm not feeling so good."
10. "We’re dreaming as we move."
11. "Get down, baby, to the funky, funky groove."
12. "Now and again, you can see misfortune, but it won't get you down in the end."
13. "We're living proof of what we can do."
14. "But what they don't realize is there's a plan."
15. "You and me, we break it down like noone else."

Download it here and there are plenty more mixes from across time and blogspace on the Master List.