October 16th, 2002


New stuff from Berke Breathed!

Some would think that Berke Breathed, the creator of Bloom County, disappearend into the void... but not so. His work was just too big to be crammed into a tiny black and white page... which explains why he works on children's books.

Still, if one listens closely enough, you can hear faint rumblings coming from the dandelion covered hills of Bloom County. In this case, they have manifested themselves as three new T-shirts.

My favorite is this one...

... but a new shirt with Dubya? Is this a good omen?!

Robyn Hitchcock, The Soft Boys, and Thomas Dolby? How 80's...

Even as Storefront Hitchcock plays semi-regularly on Showtime, Sundance, and just about every other channel of the sort (I've must have seen it about five times in the past few months), he's released a new album called 'Nextdoorland' with his old band The Soft Boys and is touring the country.

It was of interest to me to hear that one of the things that the Soft Boys has released is a live recording featuring Thomas Dolby on keyboards, so I visited his site... no news of the new track, but he has released a new album of live peformances.

I know a someone who will be happy about this... even if they missed out on getting one of the limited edition signed copies.
  • Current Music
    Robyn Hitchcock - Airscape

RSS ramblings...

One of the (few) nice things about Yahoo Groups is that they have working RSS feeds... or at least they're supposed to.

Technically, any Yahoo Group with publically viewable content should be subscribable as an RSS feed, using the following format:
... but things appear to be broken. This kinda sucks, given that LJ allows you to read RSS feeds nowadays.

Then again, there are a lot of things about the way that LJ handles RSS feeds that kinda suck right now too. People should have control over their RSS feeds and be able to do more than just syndicate largely useless headlines. Until this is done, there won't be any true interconnect between LiveJournal Server based sites... which is really bad and evil from an open-source standpoint.

My other big pet peeve about how LJ handles RSS feeds is that it treats them too much like regular friends. For example, I subscribed to a handful of feeds and put them in a customized friends list for my RSS feeds, but since these feeds are on my friends list, anyone clicking on it (myself included) now gets bombarded with a ton of RSS feeds. Not good... especially if and when people start adding more feeds to their friends list. I will probably want to subscribe to over 30 feeds in the near future, but that pretty much means throwing away the usability of my existing friends list for anyone who actually wants to see what my friends are. Likewise, I suspect this could effect the "friend of a friend" feature negatively, as well.

What really needs to happen with friends lists is some kind of customization, where I can define everyone on my friends list that I want to see... or that I want you to see, which might be an altogether different list.

This raises a bunch of privacy issues. if someone meets someone else on LJ and starts to develop romatic/sexual ties that they want to be able to write about indirectly, but ideally not make public knowledge, then it would be nice to give them a bit more control to do that. Hang around LJ enough and you will discover details of all sorts of liasons that weren't initially intended to be public, but were easily deduced by comparing notes between the person who posted and the people in their friend's list.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'd like more interconnectedness *and* more privacy. I know that might sound contradictory, but it's not... trust me.

On William Gibson and cleaning out my closets...

Watched 'No Maps for These Territories' on IFC -- essentially an hour and a half long interview with William Gibson. Quite interesting, but could use less Bono.

I'm also going through loads of old stuff, throwing things out, etc. Lots of this stuff I haven't seen for the better part of a decade. Found some notes from my days at managing Underground Records around 1993 or so. A list of contacts, email addresses, etc. I'm going to chuck them out, but figured I would make a note of the best parts.

What's funny is what's listed in my contacts for things I thought we should stock :
- Wired Magazine - from around 1993 or so, before they became big and got bought out by east-coast publishing scum. Heh. Bruce Sterling wrote an article in 1.01 back in early '93.

- Mondo 2000 - Hm. Looks like I have the long-since dead number for R.U. Sirius. What ever happened to that guy anyway?!

- Alternative Press- Wow... haven't checked out Alternative Press for a long time. It was B&W with cheap paper last time I read one.

Projekt Records - They were kinda new back then and have done fairly well for themselves.

- Mark Pauline (Survival Research Laboratories) - Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if the number still worked.
Switchblade Symphony - Tina's #. We were selling a tape of theirs before their first CD came out. I think I still have a copy around here somewhere. Must digitize...

A list of recommended albums to order:
Grace Jones - Clubland
The Goblins - Suspiria soundtrack
The Virgin Prunes - The Moon Looked Down & Laughed

The neatest find, though, was a note I had for a zine I brought into the store that said:
Boing-Boing (very cool)
11288 Ventura Blvd #818,
Studio City, CA 91604

I haven't even thought about the zine for ages and ages, and never connected it with the website.

It was always such an effort back trying to convince the owner to bring in this kind of new stuff. In retrospect, some of it seems really mainstream. I put a lot of things into the store on consignment with my own money for that very reason, and it sold fairly well, considering.

Nowadays, it all seems to make a whole lot more sense than it did at the time...