Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coming Soon To Your Local Grocery Store: Jimmy Dean's Pancake-Wrapped Fetus On A Stick

I know it's Oklahoma, but come on.

Your Devolutionist drove across Oklahoma once.  It was empty and seemingly devoid of compelling reasons to exist.  Much, one imagines, like Senator Ralph Shortey's brain.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Republican Primary Debate

Hooray!  Let me just fill an old sock with paint fumes and I'll be all set.

In Which The Devolutionist Looks Forward to New Music

On three straight Tuesdays in February, three of your Devolutionist's favorite musicians release new albums.  It's as if someone moved Hanukkah back a few weeks:

Sharon Van Etten, Tramp (Feb. 7) - The first single off this album, "Serpents," has been floating around since November and it sounds phenomenal.  Much more raw and rockin' than anything off of Epic, perhaps reflecting the influence of Aaron Dessner of The National, who had a big hand in the production of Tramp.  Van Etten and her band played "Serpents" on Jimmy Fallon's show last week and did an awesome job.  You can see the video here.  Not only did the song sound great, but Sharon is looking smokin' hot - someone obviously told her to soften up her usual New-Jersey-dive-bar look.  She keeps it up and she may supplant the great Annie Clark atop my list of female musicians who are candidates to become Mrs. Devolutionist.

Shearwater, Animal Joy (Feb. 14) Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod.  Yes, the Devolutionist becomes a tween girl when it comes to Shearwater (who, incidentally, will be touring with Sharon Van Etten starting in Philadelphia on February 10 and NOT, as of this writing, coming to the West Coast.  Fuckers.)  Two downloads off this album have already hit the net (here and here) and a third made NPR's 2012 Winter Music Preview.  All three songs suggest Jonathan Meiburg has decided to ditch the soft falsetto that has been his trademark in favor of a stronger sound, but the songs are still beautiful and delicate and reflect a craftsmanship that is sorely lacking in damn near every other album that gets released these days.  Seriously, Bon Iver's last album, good as it was, sounds like it was slapped together on an old four-track compared to Shearwater.  The best band working today, hands down.  A tragedy that they never seem to play festivals like Pitchfork or Coachella.  It's either the band's choice or the most egregious oversight since Jethro Tull beat out Metallica for the Grammy in Heavy Metal.  (Plus, it must be noted, bassist Kimberly Burke is also an award-winning playwright, which is an occupation close to my own heart.  Playwright, bassist in a phenomenal indie-rock band, and gorgeous: obviously another candidate to become Mrs. Devolutionist.)

Damien Jurado, Maraqopa (Feb. 21) - The trifecta of awesomeness that is February closes out with Damien Jurado, the poster boy of introspective shoe-gazing folk/rock/whatever.  Mark Kozelek without the smarmy attitude (Mark!  I still love Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon!  Don't hate!)  The first single off this album, "Nothing is The News," is an interesting departure: sort of a mid-tempo jazz-infused jam session, with Jurado's voice hovering well in the background and occasionally not very audible over the music.  It's as if someone uncovered some lost Blind Faith demos.  Definitely not what you have heard before from Jurado, particularly on his last album, Saint Bartlett.  But I'd listen to Damien Jurado cover Yo Gabba Gabba - the guy never, ever disappoints.

A final note: I have seen all three of these bands live (and all in the L.A. space formerly known as Spaceland, come to think of it, and no, I will not call that venue by its new name.)  All do amazing live shows, particularly Shearwater (have I mentioned how much I love Shearwater?)  Hopefully all of them will come through my city in support of these albums damn soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

On Being a Steelers Fan The Day After Being Tebowed


Thursday, January 5, 2012

In Which The Devolutionist Contemplates Re-Launching His Blog...Again

Here we are once again in a new year.  Time for all of us to make resolutions and pretend we're going to stick to them!

At the world headquarters of the Devolution, this means contemplating this blog in all of its splendor.  What to do with it? Leave it alone?  Delete it from the Intertubes?  Start a new one on WordPress or Tumblr or Rumblr or whatever platform is all popular with the kids these days?

Honestly, your Devolutionist has no faith in his ability to write something here every day, or even multiple times a day.  Problem is, he has no other outlets for his thoughts, save for the comment boards at a handful of other blogs.  Also Facebook status updates, but that is also a small audience and way less anonymous.  If I insult a relative over there, that person is going to know.

Bottom line though, is that I need clips and I need the outlet.  So I guess I'll start once again throwing my thoughts on a few things up as often as possible and see if anything sticks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Which the Devolutionist Receives a Fan Letter!

That's right, fan mail!  Written in response to my latest book review on Amazon, which can be found here.

Someone named Neal Warth did not agree with the review:
One candid question, Devo: do you masturbate reading your own writing? You write like a wannabe, so I'm figuring there's a heavy fantasy angle to your efforts here. Do you daydream of someday actually writing something insightful and persuasive?
You wound me, sir.  Are you saying that Andrew Breitbart is not a latter-day Andy Kaufman?  Please show the evidence in your possession that invalidates my thesis!

Also, Amazon deleted Neal's comment almost immediately.  Do you have any idea what a shithead you have to be to write something that even Amazon won't allow?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In Which The Devolutionist Writes A Book Review

First, however, let me say: so much for my non-resolution resolutions.

But yes, your Ink-Stained Wretch of a Devolutionist reviewed a book on Amazon for the first time in his life (you thought perhaps he'd written something for a professional publication?  HAHAHAHAHA!) The review is here, along with comments, and it is sublimely ridiculous.  The writing of this review came about as an exercise to overcome writer's block one afternoon, and also to excise some of my annoyance at the daily fusillade of ridiculous bullshit that assaults me whenever I scan headlines on Google News.

The Devolutionist thought it self-evident that this review was essentially absurd but that did not stop the troglodytes from popping out of the woodwork.  There are some moments where "the shit gets real," as the kids say, when your reviewer posited in a roundabout way that the author's motivation for writing this book came from some deep-seated racial angst.  It is this thesis that the troglodytes take issue with, but that is to be expected.  Your Devolutionist takes it as a given that much of the animosity towards President Obama stems from some deep-seated prejudicial attitudes towards and resentment of folks with dark skin; the history of race's influence on Americans is simply too extensive and deeply rooted in our shared history to not affect views of the country's first black president. Racial stereotypes work on us in ways we cannot even imagine.

For the record, your Devolutionist is a white guy in his mid-30s.  He has no problem with affirmative action and thinks people who whine about these things because they feel threatened should get over it already.

Anyway, give the review a read.  It's a short hop from here to the literature section of the New Yorker!