Thursday, November 03, 2005 at 00:37:27 (EST)

We'll come back for Indian Summer

Years ago, the New Yorker ran this parody of a Land's End catalog as though it was written by David Mamet (does anyone remember this?). I found a copy of it online, but I'm not sure if this is all of it. It was written by Frank Cammuso and Hart Seely and it's way better than anything I could possibly have to share. Oh, Except for the fact that I got to witness the sad tableau of Calvin Johson sitting all alone at a Mexican restaurant/Todd P venue, pensively sucking on a Charms lollipop. But I really shoulda taken a picture of that. Oh, and I should have taken a picture of the dude who passed out in front of said venue, but who was rousted by the lilting strains of Puttin' On the Ritz. We later found him spread-eagle on the sidewalk near the G train.

Anyway, onto the copyright infringement!

Excerpts from the new Land Ho! catalogue, as it would be written by David Mamet.


The great flannel shirts you had, what do you remember about them? Not the pattern. Not the sleeves. Maybe it was the collar, the way it caressed your neck. Maybe it made a smell. Maybe it was the easy way it hung on you, like a drunk temp at the office party. Friend, this is a flannel. Most flannel shirts weigh eight ounces. They're crap. This weighs ten ounces. When it's so cold outside your balls shrink up like croutons, those extra two ounces are ounces of gold.

But you can't have these shirts.

They are not for the likes of you. These shirts are for preferred customers. If you called last year, you could have bought one, maybe, but not now. It's too late. They're sold out. They won't be avail -- huh? What's that, Gladys? We do have a few in stock? Tonight only? Well, pal, you just got lucky. You've got eight hours to get in on the ground floor. Of course, you can talk it over with your wife. How many should I put you down for? Seven? Nine? AND THE ALL-COTTON FABRIC GUARANTEES COMFORT!


You think Chinos are queer? Let me tell you something: Everybody's queer. So what? You cheat on your wife? Live with it. You own a pair of bell-bottoms? Deal with it. At least these Chinos have a fly that stays up, and you're not paying $100 for a piece-of-puke colored polyester. Right now, you're asking, what do I want from a pair of pants? Comfort? Durability? A name? An investment? Listen: When you're in the accident, and they're cutting off your bloody trousers in that emergency room, who cares if you're wearing an expensive label? MACHINE WASHABLE, TOO!


You bitched about the Stirrup Pants. We heard you. Christ Almighty, everybody in the state heard you. We trimmed the legs, so even with your fat thighs, you won't look like a Buick. We stitched up the back to prevent pulling. You guys know what pulling is? It's when the pants pull down on a chick's ass, because the things are strapped to her goddamn feet. Smart, eh? Like all anybody needed was a strap to hold pants down. What ever happened to straps that held pants up? Ever hear of belts? Broads. Don't get me started. Look, this isn't about back-stitching, or yuppie fashions, or why a nickel is bigger than a dime. It's about men and women. Screw it. I need a drink. AND THE SEAMLESS STIRRUPS MEAN EXTRA COMFORT!


You don't like turtlenecks? You say they're too tight? What are you, some squat-to-pee wussy? Can't handle the pressure from a fifty-fifty blend? How would you know pressure? You sit there in your chinzy house, and you can't deal with a turtleneck? Jesus Christ.

You know, this pisses me off. You don't know shit about running a business or about publishing a catalog. You just sit there, looking at all the shiny, pretty pictures, and when you do finally call, you are The Customer, and The Customer Is Always Right, so The Customer can screw around and waste the time of working men who bust their balls for a living, and it doesn't matter that The Customer Is Full of Shit. Who taught you to buy clothes? You stupid, lard-assed deadbeat.

That's it. I've had it. I don't care whose nephew you are. I don't care who you're boffing. You drive everybody goddamn nuts. This catalog costs big money, but you don't care, because you get it for free. That's the problem. You don't respect what you cannot buy. Well, buy something, asshole. AND IT'S MADE IN THE USA!

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Monday, October 31, 2005 at 15:59:08 (EST)

Eyes without a face

Lincoln, Bandito, Amelia, Olive

This year I went for the simple, conceptual costume of "Eyes in the Back of My Head." There's a picture of it somewhere on my Flickr site.

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Friday, October 28, 2005 at 10:39:25 (EDT)

In the sweet by and by
Why did the city smell so good last night? I noticed it twice, once at our house and once later at the Alibi. There was a sweet scent in the air, like somebody was baking cookies or something. There's an old folks home down the street from me and they do bake a lotta cookies, so I assumed it was the source. But people all over the city smelled something similar, but nobody knows what it was. My theory is that with Halloween approaching, the city has hit critical candy mass which will not abate for another four days. Did anybody else notice it? There are reports of it as far away as Long Island. Is it an invasion? A deadly nerve agent?

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Thursday, October 27, 2005 at 11:40:49 (EDT)

You can't stop until you do it again

An Open Letter to my Coworkers

If I haven't responded to your email yet what the fuck makes you think I want to talk to you on the phone? And stop marking every email you send me "Urgent." It's not.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 14:19:01 (EDT)

When I feel all right I know it's wrong

This weather blows. It blows big time. Plus I seem to be experiencing some kind of seasonal allergy/curse that I find as annoying as when my cat puts his paws on my mouth while I'm sleeping.

Despite these infirmities, or perhaps because of them, I've been trying to stay out of the house with some frequency. I've somehow seen the band Child Abuse three times in the last couple of weeks. They're fun and hit a lot of the qualities I like (sometimes it's like Oneida, sometimes Lightning Boltish, sometimes Daughters), but they still need to work out some of the kinks. Like getting the keyboardist to stop grunting in that grindcore voice. Also, he needs a bigger keyboard.

Also I caught Behold ... The Arctopus twice this weekend, once at Lit and once at their hurricane benefit at Knitting Factory. I don't know how to describe their music, call it "nanotechmetal." It's basically a three-ring musical circus by performers with very short attention spans combined with unending stamina. The result is 10-minute songs with approximately a billion separate subsections. Plus Colin plays a Chapman Stick, 12-string guitar/bass hybrid thing. Plus the guys in the band aren't even all out of college yet. Meanwhile I write songs that last possibly four minutes and have two changes plus a bridge. I can rarely get my pinky finger onto the fretboard.

Actually that's been occurring to me lots recently: most of the time I find it very inspiring to see amazing musicians. But occasionally I'm plagued with self-doubt. I'll never be as good as Brian Gibson or Colin Marston or even Steve Albini. Alas! But then if I sat around and catalogued all the things I wish I was better at than I am, well, it'd be a long list. At least I don't have the worries of a band like Behold ... The Arctopus. When you're that good at something, it must be a pain to keep coming up with better and better material. That's a load off my mind!

As if my inadequacy hasn't already been firmly established, the band Hella has come to town and just won't leave. They opened for Les Claypool last Friday and last night at Red & Black drummer Zach Hill challenged a group of local boys to a percussion showdown. One by one they met him on the battlefield and somehow he made it through the whole thing, drumming just as furiously with Ian Vanek and he had with Kevin Shea, Hamish Kilgour (!), and Kid Millions. And now next week Hella is playing Halloween night with Japanther and even more bizarrely, Calvin Johnson. Yeah, the Beat Happening guy, the composer of Richman-like blobs of twee unfolk music. That bill makes no sense for many reasons on many levels. Yet the show will somehow go on. Now, what should my costume be?

UPDATE: Here's an mp3 of Zach from Hella and Kevin Shea from the drum collaboranza.

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