ArtLung, blog of Joe Crawford [January 2008]

February, 2008: 12 posts.

Some Kate Nash for Friday

This week I discovered a show called Never Mind the Buzzcocks (episode list, lucimon84 has current episodes)– a music chat/quiz show from the UK. I found links to a bunch of shows, including ones with Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. It’s quite British, and I don’t understand all the current references to TV Presenters, Footballers, shows, etc, but the breadth of the music genres and the span of time of pop music makes the show great. They can go from 1950s skiffle, to Elvis, to The Kinks, The Beatles, Reggae, T-Rex, The Prodigy, Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Reggaeton — you get the picture. It’s also funny, often dirty, and dry. I have a soft spot for British Comedy of a certain sort — French & Saunders, The Young Ones, The Office.

Anyway, one of the artists mentioned was the name Kate Nash, who I’d never heard of. There was a comment whose context was that she was an artist who is “mockney” — highlighting a middle-class upbringing, but whose accent emphasizes a working class background. I enjoy several songs by Lily Allen, who gets similar criticism, so I thought I’d check out some of Nash’s music, and downloaded some. Turns out, it’s pretty good. I get the same vibe from it as I remember getting the first time I heard The Smiths — this is music that is not meant for me. It’s not pointed at my cultural context. It’s from the UK and belongs there. But somehow, the universality comes through, and despite the strangeness of the accent and the allusions and the word usage, it works. I can’t remember the last time I responded to music this way, but it made me pretty happy. I’ve no idea if this is merely a passing fad, a temporary affectation of my musical taste, but I won’t question it for now.

There’s a fair amount of videos on YouTube of bad cellphone recordings of her music, here are two official videos, and one recording from a performance at the L.A. Amoeba Records just two weeks ago. Strangely, she came to the States for a very brief period, and is back in Europe now.



Mariella (my favorite of her songs so far, it’s got an intensity and eccentricity that moves me):

Year of the Rat

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t care, for despite going to the games of my boys I don’t follow it. I do have an interest in the commercials that come out, the internet can provide that to me now (see Mahalo) (Thanks Jason Calacanis)

But that’s not really what I want to write about this afternoon. What I want, maybe need, to write about is the rat that I killed this morning.

I’ve of course covered my fights with Order Rodentia, but while in the past I have only had to deal with the genus Mus, today I had to deal with the genus Rattus.

A week ago I was up really early, not feeling too well — I was up at about 5am when I saw a small rodent visitor in the kitchen. I made a halfhearted effort to catch it, but they’re fast and what kind of hope did I have of catching a rodent with a heavy Ajax technical book? None. A the time I saw him or her, he or she darted so fast I was not really sure what it was. I told Leah that I thought it was a mouse, but larger. I hesitantly told her my suspicion that it might be a rat, but how could it be? It didn’t seem of the right size to really be a rat, but then I was a poor judge of the size. Something common to today and that day was that it was raining quite hard each time.

The one bit of knowledge I had was that it was coming out from underneath the dishwasher. So that day I purchased large “tray” type glue traps, as well as some smaller mouse glue traps. Since I knew that it was coming from under the dishwasher I could simply place it under the front of the dishwasher, away from easily getting stepped on by people or by our bird, and maybe make a kill.

I actually have not thought about that one too much, though I occasionally have been hearing a metallic clanking near one of the ducts downstairs sometimes. When I make noise, the noise stops. But this noise is not frequent, so, no harm, no foul. We’ve had no other evidence than that — no droppings, no other evidence of rodents since last July.

One thing I feel bad about is that the area under the birdcage we’ve been laying a garbage bag as a catch for the seeds and shell hulls for the birds food. Cockatiels are messy eaters, and since we have not seen bugs or vermin, and clean up — oh, biweekly — we figured it was not a problem. In retrospect I imagine that the smell of these bird food grains were a powerful attractant. Anyway, so that’s the background for this morning.

Jukebox JT said back in July, in response to my using glue traps to catch some mice — he was dead right about this.:

glue traps = bad. Snap traps end the torture in a second. Glue traps prolong the agony for hours, a mouse fighting for its life until it start hemorrhaging and spitting blood.

What’s next is pretty grisly. I’ll say that the rat is dead, and the area under the birdcage is now clean and will be ever more. You can stop here if you want, otherwise, read on.

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Today, California, Vote

Today California Vote

Kate Nash on Jools Holland

The other day I got a comment from Ellen mentioning Jools Holland, who I have indeed heard of, and here’s Kate Nash again, singing Foundations from Jools’ show. If I haven’t warned you before, I’ll warn you now, Kate uses salty language.

Television Etiquette

Television Etiquette — You may be lucky enough to have a larger screen or a sharper image than your hostess. But bragging about it is boorish.


The Mind of the Market

Fascinating video about market, social, evolutionary, genetic economics. Heck, it’s about everything. Talk at Google:

via Paul Kedrosky: Michael Shermer on the Mind of the Market


Actual comment spam content left on one of the blogs I manage:

Please, do not delete the given message. Money obtained from spam will go to the help hungry to children ugand+

Won’t anyone please think of the children?

Ah, Nostalgia

This graf from Paul Ford is evocative for me:

In the late 1980s there was a prevalent nostalgia for the 1950s that made its way into collage culture. That was my first exposure to irony proper; I watched Leave it to Beaver and bought zines with collages of men with pipes and smiling housewives. An escape from the metalhead norms of the neighborhood. At the same time cyberpunk was on the rise, science fiction as pure chaos, styrofoam in the bay and VCRs washing up on the beach, brains filled with silicon, empty buildings. I saw the point of these novels as I sat for hours spinning pixels in DeluxePaint, cutting and pasting. It was nearly impossible back then to get an image into the computer: scanners were exotic, audio recording nonexistent. You had to use the images provided or create your own. The only way for the computer to communicate with the larger world was through the printer, or a modem dialed into a BBS (never for me), or disks copied from friends. I remember spending tens of hours working with one image of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd that I’d found on some disk somewhere, switching heads, adding third eyes, and so on. Just for the process, to see if I could.

I’ve felt nostalgia for DPaint before.

I remember that washed-up VCR — I believe it’s from Islands in the Net, which I’ve mentioned before.


Happy Valentine’s Day Leah!

Happy Valentine's Day Leah, 2008

Unsung: 7 Years Blogging

7 Years!

Last week was the 7 year anniversary of my blogging here on I had a hard week last week but I’m tanned, rested and ready. Well, not tanned, but I’m back here anyway.

So I have some questions for you readers, if any. Why do you read ArtLung Blog and when did you start reading this blog? Also, what blogs should I check out?


BarcampLA #5: I am going.

BarcampLA5: Los Angeles March 1,2 2008

See here, here, here and here.

Mr. Bird


Photo by Leah. As our pied cockatiel gets older, supposedly the feathers of his face will get more and more yellow, a process we can see happening slowly with him. It’s hard to suss out how much personality he really has. He’s not quite like a dog or a cat, where there is true loyalty shown, his motivations and preferences are more subtle than either. He will hiss when he doesn’t like something, he will bite if something’s happening he does not like, while if he likes something he’ll sort of dance around or coo a bit. He’s very fun to watch, and having him on my shoulder makes me appreciate the way movie pirates have Parrots on their shoulders. I suppose birds are what people watched before they did before television.

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