Many a Hand

New Music

Meshuggah – ObZen – This one was on sale at Amazon  last weekend, so I figured, why not?  This is about as hard of metal as I can listen to, and even then I’ve found that I can’t listen to more than about 3 songs in a row off this album before I start tuning it out.  It’s just too intense and too demanding for me to give it the required attention for a full 50 minutes.  That being said, there are some good songs on here – the opening riff to ‘Combustion’ has been running through my head all week, and the songs ‘Bleed’ and ‘Dancers to a Discordant System’ are also pretty awesome.

Random 10 songs:

  • Tehran – The Offspring – The Offspring
  • Plateau – Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II
  • Shimmy – System of a Down – Toxicity
  • The Crunge – Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
  • Somebody Someone – Korn – Issues
  • Aliens – Atomship – The Crash of ’47
  • Vordhosbn – Aphex Twin – Drukqs
  • Sifting – Nirvana – Bleach
  • They Hung Him on a Cross – Nirvana – With the Lights Out
  • This Spiteful Snake – Meshuggah – ObZen

Random Ten Story

No one lived here, but there were usually plenty of people on the street each day.  This was a one-horse town that had been never recovered from the sick twist of fate that had given Tehran, OK its politically charged name.  If you stayed long enough you grow used to the strangers and just greet the folks you know.  Everyone was there of course to scale the plateau south of town.  Today was finally our day, after listening to all the tall tales and half-baked mysticism, we got to see it for ourselves.  We were both in good spirits, she danced just a bit of a shimmy as we bolted out the door and south to our destination.


She was a little afraid to be lost in the crunge, that was climber-speak for the foothills that were the final test before the actual climb.  She kept asking me if I had seen the bridge yet.  I explained that we were following the river,  and it had to lead to the bridge eventually.  Tired of explaining myself I focused on the shrine we needed build.  Tradition dictated that before we climbed we had to erect a shrine to somebody.  Someone important to us – we had heard of shrines for everything from the holy ghost to late night TV personalities.  We eventually decided on her mother (boring, but it was the only photo either one of us had on us).


“There’s nothing on the top?”  her tone matched my incredulity. But it was true.  The view was spectacular from up here, and there was lots to see in the surrounding country, but it kind of scared me that the only thing I could find was an old birdwatcher’s guide and a discarded broom and dustbin.  It wasn’t until she whispered my name that I realized she wasn’t following me anymore.  She had scratched away a section of the dust to reveal, carved into the stone itself, some characters like nothing I had seen before.  “Aliens!” she breathed, and we began to clear away as much of the dust as we could.


“That was fun,” I remarked sarcastically after we had swept the entire top clean of dirt.  She hushed me and went to work translating all the symbols using the key we found in the southwest corner.  It turned out that the Vordhosbn (the alien species) had come here multiple times because of the sheer beauty of this particular stretch of Oklahoma desert (no accounting for taste, I guess).  They composed poems and songs dedicated to this planet, and wrote then in the stone here.  Sifting through it all felt like trying to make sense of second-rate junior high graffiti.  It seemed like the stoners of the alien race came here, where they lay about reveling in inaction and expounding all their beautiful words.  I realized despite the sense of wonder at almost contacting another species, there was still nothing up here except the bucket, the mop, and the illustrated field guide.  Disappointment ate at me during the entire descent.


We were met by a man who looked to be older than the dust that caked his face when we reached the bottom.  He instructed us in no uncertain terms not to tell anyone of what we had seen.  I argued with him that people would want to know about this, but he just kept repeating, “you know what happened to the last person who tried to change the way people see the world, they hung him on a cross.”  That really didn’t make sense, but to make him happy, we both agreed not to speak a word of it.  Strangely, as soon as I said it, I knew I wouldn’t tell this story to anyone who hadn’t already seen what I had.  Before he left I did ask him if there were other places like this, where extraterrestrials came to hang out.  He said there was someplace in Mexico, while pointing to the green land north of where we stood.  When I called him on his contradiction, he merely smirked, spit, and left. This spiteful snake didn’t know anything and wouldn’t help us even if he could.

(Guitar solo)

8 thoughts on “Many a Hand

  1. Bravo, sir.

    1. “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend” John Cale Fear
    2. “Nebraska” Bruce Springsteen Nebraska
    3. “Ride” Nick Drake Pink Moon
    4. “Sun Spots” No Age Weirdo Rippers
    5. “Domino” Cocteau Twins Treasure
    6. “New Rose” The Damned No Thanks! The 70’s Punk Rock Rebellion
    7. “Racing Like a Pro” The National Boxer
    8. “Albuquerque” Neil Young Tonight’s the Night
    9. “Pills” New York Dolls New York Dolls
    10. “The Blackhawk War” Sufjan Stevens Illinois
    And one more: “A Touching Display” Wire 154

    • Tonight’s the Night has been next on my Neil Young ‘to-buy’ list for a while now, reading the stories around the recording and such makes it sound like a real interesting album.

    • It would best be described as a “bleary” record. I love it, but it seems best suited to late nights an an adult beverage or 3.

  2. Heh – nothing better than ending a good story with an instrumental break!

    A few weeks ago I tried a shuffled Random 10 from the Twins’ World Series year 1987; this week I’m giving their other World Series year 1991 a whirl:

    “Topanga Safari” – Djam Karet, Burning the Hard City
    “One More Go Round” – James Taylor, New Moon Shine
    “Live Throbbe [bonus track]” – Ozric Tentacles, Strangeitude
    “A.D. Rock” – Rick Wakeman, 2000 A.D. Into the Future
    “When It Rains It Snows” – They Might Be Giants, Miscellaneous T
    “Corkscrew” – Steve Howe, Turbulence
    “5 Bagatelles – I Prelude” – Gerald Finzi, FINZI: Clarinet Concerto, Five Bagatelles
    “O’ Bilancio” – Rick Wakeman, Black Knights at the Court of Ferdinand IV
    “Frozen Man” – James Taylor, New Moon Shine
    “How Much is Enough?” – The Fixx, Ink

    Enjoy Labor Day weekend!

    • A 1991 list without any tracks from ‘Nevermind’?

      I didn’t know such a thing could happen.

  3. Nice. I caught the Meat Puppets reference too. Your list rocked this week! Mine not so much:

    1. Blue Canadian Rockies – The Byrds
    2. It was a Very Good Year – The Sounds Like Us
    3. Get Off Your Porch – Charlie Pickett
    4. People Have the Power – Patti Smith
    5. Respect – Aretha Franklin
    6. Talk Me with You (When You Go) – The Jayhawks
    7. Golden Slumbers – The Beatles
    8. High Road – The Feelies
    9. I Aint’ Ever Givin’ In – Fred Eaglesmith
    10. So Fine – Chancellors

    Bonus: What You Do to Me – Teenage Fanclub

    • I actually did a bit of IPod cleanup this week – removed some NIN, added some Nirvana, shuffled a few others around, and sure enough, I get back-to-back with Cobain’s troupe.

  4. Coldplay – “The Hardest Part” X&Y
    America – “Ventura Highway” History: America’s Greatest Hits
    John Mellencamp – “Hurt So Good” The Best That I Could Do
    Wilco – “More Like The Moon” More Like The Moon EP
    Red Hot Chili Peppers – “I Could Die For You” By The Way
    Ozzy Osbourne – “Dreamer” Down To Earth
    Wilco – “You And I” Wilco (The Album)
    The Nadas – “New Start” New Start
    Petey Pablo – “Raise Up” Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry
    The Nadas – “Where I’m Going” New Start

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