Saturday, December 18, 2010

Smoking by the dumpster in December.

The worst part about working at the mall this winter has been smoking outside. Every 15-minute-break, I have to go to the back and suit up in winter gear, and then ride the elevator down. I maneuver through racks of clothes, still getting "excuse me, do you work here?" at least once each pass. Even in a black hoodie. Even with a hat on.
When I get outside, I steel myself against the wind rolling in from across the vast, white lot. I always feel like a salty sailor (salty semen, if you will) standing on deck on some arctic expedition. There are also the customers outside; 1 in 5 will make some sort of face and/or a nasty comment about the smoke. And it's never directly TO me. It's always some passive aggressive phrase like "cover Kraden's face! Ew!" I sometimes stand right by the pretzle joint's dumptster as sort of a "hey - this is a designated stinking-area. Fuck you."

Nobody has sympathy for a working gal' any more.

Anyhow, so this mix has been in heavy winter rotation. I've learned that if I wear earbuds on break with the music cranked - I tune everything else out but the sacred moments of inhalation, hold, and exhalation. I haven't really gotten tired of this mix the last two shifts of work. Stream directly below or hit the download link at the bottom.

MediaMonkey Track List

# Artist Title Length Album Track # Year Genre Rating Bitrate Media
1. Pungent Judy Coffee Machine
2. Japanther Fuk Tha Prince A Pull Iz Dum
3. The Replacements Careless
4. Blank Dogs Falling Back
5. Dow Jones & The Industrials
6. Oneida The Winter Shaker
7. The Cure - 10.15 Saturday Night (home demo)
8. Afterlives - I Am the Heroic
9. Polvo - My Kimono
10. Cave In - Juggernaut
11. Swans - Half Life
12. T.N.T. Tribble - Half a Pint of Whiskey
Total Tracks: 12
Duration: 0h 37m 47s

I went to an awesome basement show last night. It was the first party-type thing I'd been to in a long time with teenagers. It got nice and rowdy but maintained a good vibe because all the bands were stellar and nice dudes. I ended up with whiskey and awesomeness ensued: little basement slamdancin, fell in the snow (don't remember), Rallys (also don't remember). I've got a pretty awesome boyfriend. He played a killer set with The Bashville Boys and managed to wrangle me away from a group of teen girls in somebody's kitchen.

Only got a couple pics courtesy of my phone and someone's facebook posts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hey Ladies.

The female voice is a fickle thing when it comes to some kinds of music. I always used to say that I didn't like most female vocalist fronted bands "oh, except for Sonic Youth, and wait! Bikini Kill! Oh Oh and Kim Deal in The Pixies...." and that seems to go on and on. Because the truth is - the older I've gotten, it seems - I really enjoy a lot of bands fronted with ladies. It just doesn't matter much to me anymore. As long as they sound nothing like Nelly Furtado or some shit like that. Well, there are some ladies that give it a stretch - girls-screaming-metal is almost never cute or brutal. I actually have trouble conjuring up the ballz to sing lyrics I write to some of my band's songs. I always here the singer from Pissed Jeans singing the song in my head. My voice is, sadly, far far from his.

A few nights ago a girl-buddy/bartender of my favorite place, Savages, asked me to help her come with more girl-fronted bands she could play at the bar while working. There is enough testosterone in that joint to fuel a tanker and a few songs with a feminine touch can do nothing but good. But the guys in there don't want to hear sap - so here is a mixtape I came up with. It's chalk-full of brutal femininity while not being a long, whining nag.

You can download it here or just stream it below.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

My sentiments exactly.

False Jesii Part 2
by Pissed Jeans

I know there are things going on tonight, but I don't bother
Only ten minutes across town that's right, but I don't bother

I could put on a tight black shirt, but I don't bother
I could hit the gym so it looks real nice, but I don't bother
I could tell a joke and make the whole room laugh, but I don't bother
I could show up with the coldest six pack, but I don't bother

No to everything

I could match you drink for drink, but I don't bother
I know I could make her boyfriend mad, but I don't bother
I could captivate with a story of mine, but I don't bother
I could go on and start a conga line, but I don't bother

No to everything

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scare Trax!

In this final week of October - I'm just now getting around to digging into the internet-Halloween craze. Every year lots of bloggers are posting killer Halloween comps - and I'm joining the ranks once again. Behold, one of the scariest comps out there. NSFW or children - this is in the true spook-spirit. Best listened to on headphones and/or in the dark.

The first song is one I put together using some old Aleister Crowley recordings with looped sounds from BBC Sound Effects - Death And Horror, ripped from glorious vinyl. I used Virtual DJ to mix it. The rest of the tracks are all evocative of my Halloweens past. While straying away from obvious classics like The Misfits and Moster Mash stuff - I've included music that reminds me of youth. Sludgy, dark metal like Swine and the twitchy theatrics of Idiot Flesh make me want to load up on eggs and toilet paper, steal a sixer from someone's parents, and hit the Halloween streets.

Download it here, Jannell's Scare Trax 2010, or listen to it below with no download. Spread it around and let me know if you dig it.

There are a few Halloween comps I've run across that I've really been digging. The first new Halloween comp I've come across this year is by artwork (which is standard CD case format - so you can print it off and give this as a righteous gift) is rad and the artists and arrangement are fantastic.

From the blog: I've been gathering these fiendish tracks from various sources including YouTube which has been very helpful in digging up some pretty spookatucular sounds,and songs.Once again I designed the artwork myself with what I consider to be better than ever.

And he put out 2 other volumes! Awesome!

And is where to check it out and download. Leave the guy a comment if you dig it - that's the only way these dudes know their doing a good job! One other comp to mention asap is Halloween Hits, which is only up for the month of October. Better get it quick!

Stay tuned for more Halloween links, tunes, and news.

Monday, August 2, 2010

No one's alone with videophone.

You may be one of those people who bitch and moan about the future (being now, 2010) is lame. You wanted a hover board and robot slaves. You wanted a machine that would dress you, shave you, and feed you breakfast. I may not have a hover board - and nothing shaves my legs for me - but I've got Skype.

I came stumbling in right before dawn today after another sleazy night downtown. I plopped down on the dirty couch - the silence of an empty room was pressing me down and spinning my head. You know how it is when you've been out with people all night - loud bars and laughing and yelling. When it's all over and I start to come down - it feels like falling down stairs over and over in my brain - like an Escher staircase of drunken doom. I tried to play guitar. I failed. I tried to read - it made me sick. I could not watch tv. Sometimes the buzz of the tv itself is enough to make me anxious. I was not tired and I turned on some Japanther and stared at the wall - starting to feel like the last person alive. Then my computer rang.

One thing about drinking on Skype is that you will want to hug the far-away-friend you are talking to. And you can't. But you can: show each other cool stuff in your apartments, play guitar, and look at each others cats.

Living in Muncie,Indiana - I've had a lot of good friends move to bigger cities. Just recently we lost Peter Gaunt to Austin, TX. I have no doubt that it is a good thing - but that thought doesn't help when you miss your pal late at night.

It does help when a rad pal rings you on videophone when you're drunk and lonely. We had a pretty good time and even thought I couldn't hug him - I felt like I got to hang out with my pal. I love the future.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sticky summer bummers.

The months are stacking up like a pile of well read books - stories and events running into each other. The summer is a sudden thing for me; no more winter blues - just sweaty blah. Nostalgia smells strong in this hot-breath air. And the warm air draws people out of hot-box apartments and into the bars, the streets. It has always felt electric and slightly sinister.


Walking home from the pub last night - a friend and I went into a recently abandoned apartment building. We were reeling from last call and red-faced from walking all over. It was an older brick building - structurally sound. There are so many abandoned properties that are livable in Muncie - left due to taxes, the recession, etc. The inside was lit with a yellow bulb. The wood trim around the heavy, locked doors, was carved in ornate patterns. The stair railing was wrought iron. It felt solid and cool in my hand.


I got the strongest sense of deja vu while standing there. It was a sudden, intense feeling of familiar loss. The walls seemed to be swollen with heat and moisture and the air was redolent with old plaster. It reminded me of the crumbling family home I had to sell for taxes around July or August - 2002. That was such a hot, sticky, somber affair. The walls were caving in in the kitchen - bursting with rainwater and mold. The roof was falling in. There was no a/c and the toilet was broken. It had become a very sad, empty place. I finally had to leave. My mom stayed on until the last possible day. We frantically cleaned it out - sweating over boxes and utter defeat.


And I think I just glanced back in my memory - my brain lubed up with beers. I was back at that house - my whole consciousness. Recently on a trip through Anderson I made Jim let me get out of the car and peer in the windows of my old house. It had a sign that declares it unfit for inhabitants. Inside someone had set up a degenerate bachelor pad: a dirty couch, a toaster oven, and bags of clothes were in a corner. It was not my house and I didn't really care. But I have that with me all the time. These things we go through become slight lines on our palms; they are stacked up inside of us and give us precedent for what comes next. To literally make a connection with the past like that was both jarring and strangely natural.

I now present you with a summer mix of melancholy music. It is dangerously woven together with some of the saddest, beautiful songs I have. Mixes like these are coping mechanisms - they are aides in the very important need to grieve occasionally. I don't promote staying in and listening to sad bastard music all the time. But when I do - this is what I jam. I hope you enjoy it.

Sticky skin, salty tears: A melancholy Summer mix

1. M83 - You, Appearing (3:39)
2. Vivian Girls - Before I Start To Cry (2:23)
3. A-SQUARE (OF COURSE) - Somehow (2:50)
4. The Modern Lovers - Hospital (5:31)
5. The Smiths - Asleep (4:09)
6. Mogwai - I Know Who You Are But What Am I? (5:17)
7. Pink Reason - Motherf*cker (3:18)
8. Guided by Voices - Drinker's Peace (1:51)
9. The Smashing Pumpkins - Blank Page (4:51)
10. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Something's Wrong (4:01)
11. Television Personalities - All My Dreams Are Dead (3:00)
12. Fucked Up - Golden Seal (3:35)
13. Elliott Smith - The Biggest Lie (2:39)
14. Guided by Voices - Learning to Hunt (2:24)
15. Neil Young - Oh, Lonesome Me (3:50)
16. Violent Femmes - Something's Wrong (2:22)
17. Magik Markers - Bad Dream/Hartford's Beat Suite (4:13)
18. Elliott Smith - Waltz #1 (3:22)
19. GG Allin - When I Die (3:53)
20. Band of Horses - The Funeral (5:22)
21. Alessandro Moreschi - Track 1 (2:51)
22. Sonic Youth - mama you've been on my mind (2:30)

Here is a way to listen online w/out a download:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fumbling for the trigger.

Inspiration ebbs and flows. I will go through weeks and not be able to pick up a brush or pen or pair of scissors. And then there are the times when you can't tear me out of my studio, not even to go down to Savages Ale House. I can't decide when it's on or off; inspiration is a fickle thing.

I look for muses - things or people I can't get out of my head. Friendship crushes make for pretty good muses. As do funny children, neighborhood bums, and stray cats. My boyfriend is good to me creative wise. He gives me honest opinions on everything - music, drawings, paintings, life-choices-as-art. I always return the favors.

Things I do to find inspiration:

-Read and re-read books I own that seem to make me think critically. I have this one book, The Theory Toolbox, that a college English professor used in his Literary Theory 101 class. I always keep it around.

-I add lots of contacts on Flickr and peruse their latest uploads periodically. I also join groups that have content I like. Be discerning with your tastes and this can be a great tool. Go adding every person willy-nilly, and you'll end up with a slide show of people's kids, drunken fracases, and weddings. Yick.

-Go out and have a time. It can be a good time or bad time or straight up frightening. Artists of any kind need to have experience doing all kinds of shit. David Choe does this best. Try to soak up new people, places, smells, sights, sounds - and keep a journal. Duh.

-Imitate. Of course this doesn't mean copy. Pay homage to an artist or thing that inspires you by making the imagery, technique, smell, whatever - yours. Recently I've been trying to draw film stills from random sci-fi movies. I didn't set up the scenes or costume the actors or write the story - but I admire them and like to try and get them on paper.

-Have creative people around you. They don't all have to be artists in your medium or even artists at all. Most of my friends are musicians - as am I. Even those who don't profess any certain creative outlet are people I find inspiring, intriguing, attractive, etc. I also encourage friends who have moved away to keep putting up pics of what they're working on. I love that.

-Music. Music is a huge part of my creative process. I incorporate music and songs in my stuff a lot., Pandora,,, NPR concert archives....siiiiiiigh I love them all. I also like going to various music-sharity blogs and downloading a few rad albums and just listen to them, beginning to end.

-Take off your bra. Leave your shoes on - don't be a hippie. But a bra will suffocate any inspiration with each breath.

-If you're into the whole pastoral thing - go out in the woods or something. That isn't my cup of coffee but I get it.

-Make your space for what you do. I slowly cover the walls of any workspace with various things that make me happy to look at. Also any kind of reference stuff that you may need to look at a lot. I keep a color wheel and various pictures of skeletons hanging up in front of me and need to look at them frequently.

I wish I followed these guidelines as easily as it is to write them down. I decided lately to try and incorporate visual art into what I reeeeally enjoy doing - which is making mix cds (next best thing to deejaying). I made a bunch of fold-up cd cases w/ all this stationary cardstock I had sitting around forever. I'm messing around w/ making each one a different themed art piece w/ a corresponding CD and cool shit inside. Here are the starts of a couple:

And here are a couple of other things I've been pleased with lately. Not exactly gallery-ready stuff - but fun for me!

To end up this post - here is a mix I recently put together for two special ladies in my life who always seem to enjoy a good DJJNELL disc. It fits in well with the impending fall weather. Download or listen right here on the page. Track list at the bottom, dude.

Download Taargus Taargus Sept 2010 Mix

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The fries are salty with the tears of regret and the snot of stupidity.

Partied out in 99'.

That's right. Those little fried sticks of death are salted with crying eyes. Maybe not all of them - but at least a few batches.

It's the dogged days of the working stiff. If my 15-year-old-self heard me complaining - I'd probably punch myself in the 'natch. In another reality I am 15 - hauling rancid kitchen trash from the Waffle House kitchen to the dumpster - sneaking a quick smoke. I probably just finished a 9 hour shift as a horrible short-order cook. My pal Rik is waiting for me in the parking lot and later I'll ride home with him - listening to Cannibal Corpse and trying to score a case of beer off an old drunk we both know. We'll go drink warm beer in my room and pee out the back window. Tomorrow I'll walk to work and do some variation of today.

In another reality.

In my real today - I worked a bullshit shift at a mind-numbing telephone answering service job. Then I watched several hours of Law and Order: SVU, pantless. The day ended with cathartic, sweaty band practice and beers. Cooked a cheap steak, ate it, pants back off, and worked on a mix cd.

I could stay up late and work on painting another satanic goat's head. Or I could end a decent day on the upturn, retire to the a/c frigid bedroom, and fall asleep with a book. Hell, I can do anything I want. Shitty job or not - it is summer, this is America, and I want to drink and spray paint and roller skate and play guitar and totally kill it. And I will!

Tomorrow. Probably. After work.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flea market fun, bat blunders, and hot dog delights

After work today Jim and I had to rush out of the house. We spotted a bat. Jim stood outside, openly bummed that such a little monster could botch up such a pretty day.

So I enlisted the neighbor kid to help get it out. Paid him $5 bucks and got this little guy on a stick. He's okay - just pissed.

After that it was onto the flea market. This is my sanctuary and my favorite Saturday destination.

You can enjoy biscuits, gravy, and cigarettes outside.

Lots of pretties.

This is Steve. He sold me Tommyknockers on VHS for a buck.