Opposite transaction

Everything from the Rapture to LCD Soundsystem -- which doesn't represent as wide a range as the formulation implies, but in the words of the immortal bard, "whatever" -- has been touted as "teaching indie to dance." On paper, this sounds great. Dancepunk and indie-electro stuff seemed like the Internet did in those idealistic early days, when it was heralded as a great populist force. But just as the Net shaped up into little more than a massive porn-delivery portal, it soon came to light that teaching indie to dance wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Less of a liberation, more of a teaching-blind-to-fence sort of thing, with just as much wild thrusting and accidental laceration. But here, I'm just being funny; what really riles my ire is the contingent of pasty ghouls who stubbornly refuse to join the melee, standing like slack-jawed statues in the front row of LCDSS shows and getting testy if you spill a little beer on them. Anyway, there's more than one way to teach an indie to move, and if you really wanna see the little fuckers shuffling and jerking in some grotesque parody of dancing (god, I'm kidding, relax), don't just throw some disco shuffle beats behind post-punk guitars - use their favorite ethereal indie pop as the source material. Of course when I say "their," I also mean "my" - "Bridges & Balloons" and "Mushaboom" are both very close to my black, black heart. In both instances, the remixes themselves are just average, and what makes them work is the strength of the source material and the thrill of hearing it so drastically yet winningly recontextualized. The "Bridges & Balloons" pocket mix is no great shakes from a technical standpoint, employing a series of stock maneuvers to potent effect, transforming Newsom's billowing harp strings into compact bits of rhythm. And Dntel basically sleepwalks through "Mushaboom", falling back on the exact same, warm glitch and burble he deploys on every Postal Service song, but the idiom is refreshed by the lovely Leslie Feist's presence. An opposite transaction happens in Ammoncontact's remix of Mia Doi Todd's barely-there chamber dirge "Muscle, Bone & Blood" -- the quietly inert original comes to life with this sorely-needed dynamic injection.

Sometimes, it's just missed takes, mistakes in that when I talked about Yahya Fall's guitar melting, I meant to use this Number One de Dakar song as the example, not the other one. Auditioning it the other night for friends, another dimension opens with a "What the fuck?!" midway through. That singular instance when you're sudendyl ocnfuesd, unable to re-grip what exactly it is you're listening to.

The Jackie McLean was originally slated for his tribute a few weeks back, but this selection, had it been selected instead, would've alluded not just to death but the ongoing struggle of life as well, of carrying on, its name chosen so as to slyly acknowledge the turmoil of an associate whose life abruptly took an Icarus-like drop. Boys will be buoys though, so perhaps the water coursing through this other Mountains track breaks the fall.

Over Tanq'n'Tonics the size of large iced teas, a friend and I spent a recent evening (sliding on into the early morning) catching up. Having just been to a Brian Greene lecture on superstring theory, she talks about Greene being a total rock star. I have to confess that I find superstring theory ridiculous, a brave but foolish attempt to tie together the micro universe and macro with these hypothetical strands, rather than deal with incompatibility. She also laments that she didn't get to patronize Broome Doggs around the corner from her house as much as she liked before they closed, missing out on the potato chip dust toppings they had.

Aside from dog talk, we discuss the horrors of high school: her struggle to find affirmation in its purgatory while permanently being the DD (never obliterated, always in control for others, never able to let go herself), while my struggle is to troll back through the random bits and pieces still left intact in my memory. I'm seeking to find the narrative in such small incidents still stuck in my gray matter, or at least a way to string it all together in a way that makes sense. She reminds me that there is no point to the past, but to put that fact down would really make it as boring as life actually is. Dylan sez: "Lost time is not found again" so who knows what kind of casing I need to hold all the mishapen parts together?