Friday, August 31, 2007

February 3, 1998

I went to a free showing of [the Chomsky documentary] in DeKalb. They were showing it on a TV in a Unitarian church. The six or seven other people there seemed puzzled someone they didn’t know showed up.

April 7, 1998

Thumping disco theme, followed by Bach for harpsichord, followed by ominous screeching atonal string music for an axe murder scene, followed seconds later by by tropical smooth jazz. Followed by what sounds a chorus of thirteen year old girls singing “La-la-la la, la-la-la la...”

April 12, 2003

Josh: I don’t have time to read between the lines.
That’s why my E-mails are one line long.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

April 5, 2003

I felt exactly the same way, except for the not-liking-it part.

(unknown date)

I made rice and fell asleep early.

August 8, 1994

Understatement of the month: “[Cage’s In a Landscape] actually predates the Eno/Budd collaborations.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

March 27, 2003

Instead of pronouns indicating gender, there are different pronouns to indicate whether the person is kept in a cage or not.

May 30, 2006

My Cage/Tudor Indeterminacy has CD rot. I’m excited; I’ve never owned a CD with CD rot before.

May 14, 2006

One was thin and grouchy, the other fat and silly and nice.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

March 27, 2003

Josh: I am working on a surprise for you.
Uh oh.

July 6, 2007

Four years after my landmark idea to poke fun at Ryoji Ikeda by calling him “Ryoji Cicada”, and now that all the fuss has died down, I have developed a second apt, funny thing to call Ryoji Ikeda:
Ryoji Ikea
Stay tuned in 2011 for more...

June 26, 2006

M— is right, drone and reductionism are fads, like platform shoes, not permanent, timeless possibilities of sound. Duh!

Monday, August 27, 2007

March 3, 2006

I’ve been attending the Boston Symphony every week. You can stand in line for eight dollar “rush” tickets. The last two weeks were all-Schoenberg programs. This week was Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony followed by Beethoven’s 9th. I made the mistake of not leaving after intermission. The first three movements of the Beethoven are OK, but then at the end a big chorus comes out and starts singing a bunch of stupid lies about how all mankind are brothers. Well I’m not all mankind’s fucking brother and they’re not mine. Mankind can fuck off! Mankind should pay me eight dollars to listen to such garbage...

March 26, 2005

Josh: She has been in no less than two of my dreams.
I notice you don’t put a ceiling on the actual number.

February 19, 1999

I haven’t put the orange juice away in the kitchen cabinet lately, but once I shook it to mix the pulp in, forgetting I had already taken the lid off.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

January 7, 1999

When both the radiators in my new apartment go full blast (the one in the bathroom going constantly, the one in the living room switching on and off frequently with a loud click), it sounds exactly like Fuck by the Hafler Trio.

April 28, 2003

The discography fairies sprinkled magic dust on me in my cradle.

February 3, 1998

Herr Flugzeugsgesellschaftkommandant Ronsen?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

February 8, 2000

There are little Japanese penguins all over my office.

August 6, 1999

I just came across this highly amusing E-mail I wrote you in 1995: [...]

September 9, 1999

It’s funnier if you say “salad” instead of “salads”.

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 11, 1997

I’ll let you know if an experimental music scene is visible from the interstate.

February 8, 2002

sentences I have overheard at Northwestern that began with the word “dude”:

2/8/02: “Dude, she speaks perfect Chinese!”

If I’d begun this list years ago, it could be really long by now.

November 18, 2001

I threw away an old mirror today. I propped it up by the dumpster so if anyone wanted it they could take it. As I was propping it up I saw myself reflected in it and for a moment I thought “No one’s going to want this, it has my reflection in it.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

April 1, 2003

Josh: a search on google for my name brings up 730 entries. a search on google for your name brings up 685 entries.
A search for “Don Rickles” brings up 32,600.

April 11, 2006

Pitchfork: So, what’s up with Russell Haswell’s hair?

Autechre: Yeah, it’s growing, isn’t it?

Pitchfork: What the fuck? I was just in London at this Melvins show and I saw him and damn, he looks like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings or something. Totally cute. Is it a girlfriend thing?

Autechre: It is, yeah.

September 22, 2005

If you zoom in real close you can see the blood on my mouth from when I killed the animal with my teeth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

May 16, 2006

I sort of want to know, but am unwilling to expend the necessary 5 seconds of effort.

October 26, 2005

In urgent breaking news today, Liz Phair is “all about podcasting... totally”.

June 12, 2005

Once upon a time, there was Dawn.

Then they introduced Ultra Dawn. It was a success. For a long time, there were Dawn and Ultra Dawn.

Now, Dawn has been renamed to Non-Ultra Dawn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

April 8, 2003


April 10, 2003

In the comic book, you’ll have a big muscular arm growing out of your neck.

February 9, 1998

Is it some sort of small animal? Does it bite?

Monday, August 20, 2007

March 26, 2005

“We have some ontological problems and now I think a whole pile of shit is coming from the cosmos.” — Bela Tarr

April 2, 2004

Jennifer looks like you gave her a black eye, ripped her dress in half, and took her hairbrush away... then bought her a diamond bracelet to apologize.

March 19, 2004

Abba/Boulez question: why is “Voulez-Vous” pronounced voo-lay-voo, but “Boulez” is pronounced boo-lez?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

December 20, 2002

The friend of your enemy, is he not your enemy also?
Josh: Does that mean the enemy of my friend is also my friend?
Josh: What about my best friend’s girl, who used to be mine?

April 6, 2003

You have to go to Romania immediately.

April 29, 2003

Let’s swap. Were you serious about swapping?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

June 5, 2007

“Monism is pretty bad, but dualism... is just plain lousy.” — Ezra Pound

October 20, 2006

from my coworker Reuven’s blog: “The doctors were rather intrigued by my uvula, which they approvingly called ‘fleshy’, and called the nurses over to get a close look.”

June 2, 2004

Question: which is the better translation of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island — Sydney Kravitz’s or Jordan Stump’s?

Friday, August 17, 2007

July 27, 2004

From Ira Gitler’s liner notes to Cookin’ by Miles Davis:

My nasal passages were completely sealed and I was gasping for breath. Along came Miles & Co. You may not know it but when you become stimulated and your adrenal glands go to work, it acts as a wonderful nasal decongestant. Well, after one set I was breathing freely. After two, I had forgotten that I ever had hay fever. That is the kind of excitement this group generated.

April 1, 2004

Josh: Google hits for “Josh Ronsen” = 907. Google hits for “Seth Tisue” = 910.
It’s personally disappointing to me that most web pages do not actually mention either of us.

September 4, 2003

I dreamed a widescreen epic last night. Sometimes I was in the movie — not participating, just present. Other times I was in my seat in the theater watching. It was about a mad general leading an army east through Russia towards a confrontation with a never-seen Asiatic, Genghis Khan-like figure. The film combined Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, Doctor Zhivago (it had specifically early-sixties colors), Patton, and Kubrick’s unmade film about Napoleon. In fact, the general resembled a taller Kubrick, or perhaps Pavarotti. He was always shot from a low angle, and the camera followed as he stormed around being autocratic. There was a confusion in the dream about whether the general was the star of the film, or the famous director of the film, or both.

At one point, the general changed his mind about attacking the Asiatic general and decides to head back west for a while — only delaying the inevitable confrontation, not abandoning it. All the prostitutes are upset, because they’d just gotten finished making themselves up as Asian women, to be used as spies against the enemy, and now they had to undo their hair and wipe off all the Asian makeup and prepare to look some other way instead.

In one long scene the mad general mentally prepares to confront his enemy. His relationship with the enemy general was personal. Perhaps they were once close friends and allies, now become bitter enemies. Or perhaps they’ve never met but are just really into the nemesis thing, like Rommel to Patton in Patton, the only-he-is-truly-fit-to-be-my-enemy thing. The general storms around operatically, declaiming, and at the climax of his monologue he calls out his enemy’s name. It was Latin-sounding, something like “Arrhenius”. He declaims the name Arrhenius on an ascending scale, going up at least an octave, almost singing: “ARR-RHEN-I-USSSSSSS!!!” Suddenly, I realize everyone in the theater but me is shouting it in unison with him, and then everyone laughs. Obviously it’s a famous scene, not just to film buffs but in popular culture too, considered a great scene but also a little corny and overblown, so people laugh at it too, very much like when Stanley Kowalski shouts “STELLA!” in A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m puzzled, sitting in the theater, that I don’t know the line, and I’m also puzzled why it’s famous.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 5, 2005

Josh: I thought the Lilith Fair solved all those problems.
Liz Phair is creating them again as fast as Lilith Fair can solve them.

July 19, 2003

Are we dividing up the English language now? Dibs on “erumpent” and “suborn”.

August 14, 2005

From an interview with Todd Margasak. Todd is talking about playing in Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra:

interviewer: How do you like these game pieces?

Todd: That wasn’t a game—that was real.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

September 4, 2002

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I sat on a rock
by the rusty fence
separating the woods
from the overgrown parking lot
behind the abandoned restaurant
on the highway
leaving the city
and read a comic book
and listened
to the gamelan musicians
of the royal family of Jakarta.

Later, I passed through
a child-sized hole
in the fence
and walked past the poison ivy
growing by the stagnant creek
and stood among the asphalt markings
and shattered machines
of the extraterrestrial signaling beacon.

March 29, 2003

Josh: He feels that music aligns itself with the thought plane but the waves can be shared on all living beings’ path toward the absolute.
No they can’t.

February 16, 2000

Hello baby! Hope your weekend was good, I spent mine with our model of the month, Alicia. We went to the TWO LIVE CREW SHOW! Jeez! Talk about booty shakin’. The place was packed with scantily clad, sweat soaked dancers. My nipples wouldn’t stay inside my tank top. I love all the feedback that I get from you, so remember to tell me what you think about Alicia or any of our other models. Kisses, Jasmine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

September 16, 1996

Herma, Mikka, and Eonta will be well-adjusted, but little ST/4 will grow up hating her father.

October 21, 1997

Stanislaw Lem refers to “the state of things on earth today” as “obnoxious”. That made me laugh.

February 3, 1999

Most enjoyed moving-in chore: oiling hinges of squeaky doors.

Monday, August 13, 2007

April 15, 2003

My foot, a dark shape against the white tile of the bathroom floor as I urinate: so far away, yet part of me.

August 15, 1995

interviewer: From Bogota to Santiago, from Prague to Sofia, not to mention Berlin or Paris, your work gives people an impression of being in touch with the moment, with actuality. Do you share that feeling? Are you a philosopher of the present? Or at least one of those who think their time?

Derrida: Who knows?

October 18, 1996

Top three comments overheard while Gastr del Sol were playing:
1) “This is very thorough.”
2) guy #1: “Rachel’s.” guy #2, agreeing: “Rachel’s.”
3) “I’m telling you, I didn’t fuck her yet.”

Sunday, August 12, 2007

November 24, 1993

I think it has the word “crumb” in the title.

April 4, 2003

They had inside information on the development of the 11 European mega-ants, as documented by CNN.

October 21, 1998

Breakfast: toasted slices of Wonder Bread with an extremely thin layer of Grey Poupon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

April 28, 2003

Josh Ronsen: tapes Derek Bailey for girls.

April 28, 2003

“Scartchy Squeekings” is a good name for a prostitute, cowboy, or attorney.

November 17, 1997

Will you let me steal stuff from the store you work at?

Friday, August 10, 2007

March 25, 2003

A large unpleasant insect is sitting on the score. Boulez has just told Ligeti to pick it up and eat it.

March 25, 2003

Josh: You can translate 100 pages of Ligeti interviews for me, right?
I can if there’s only one word on each page.

May 13, 2001

How about that new cropped short bleached blond hairdo on Joan Jett!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

January 3, 1996

“What is so ghastly about exposed intestines? Why, when we see the insides of a human being, do we have to cover our eyes in terror? Why are people so shocked at the sight of blood pouring out? Why are a man’s intestines ugly? Is it not exactly the same in quality as the beauty of youthful, glossy skin? ... Why does there seem to be something inhuman about regarding human beings like roses and refusing to make any distinction between the inside of their bodies and the outside? If only human beings could reverse their spirits and their bodies, could gracefully turn them inside out like rose petals and expose them to the spring breeze and to the sun...” — Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

May 12, 1996


A design committee includes a perceptive highbrow. Due to his criticisms, the proposed flag design is nixed.

April 23, 1996


A tale of three women.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 17, 1994

I forgot to shut the coffeemaker off. Indestructible charred coffee residue formed. After that nobody asked me to make coffee anymore.

March 15, 1995

Josh: I guess it takes all types.
This is one type “it” definitely does not “take”.

July 19, 1995

I think he’s more like a cross between Buster Keaton and William Henry Harrison.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

August 31, 1996


“Vast Loud Lust King” — sounds like a Soundgarden song. I don’t know Jay.

June 24, 1997

I walked four miles to the Empty Bottle but the jazz show had been replaced by some indie rock thing. For one of those four miles, I walked behind two punks holding snakes.

April 20, 2003

No music is “intelligent”.

Monday, August 6, 2007

June 25, 1994

“Three’s Company” is on and three of the five people on the screen are wearing shirts or sweaters with horizontal stripes.

June 3, 1994

I’ve been invited to play Trivial Pursuit and drink Mai Tais. Actually, I invited myself on the Mai Tais part.

December 9, 1994

This exchange in the new issue of Bananafish made me think of you:
Rocket Boy: Imagine a bee the size of a dog.
Bananafish: Oh, boy.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

November 11, 1994

In addition to, there is now I suggest alt.put.a.lampshade.on.the.sun.

July 26, 2000

I’ll take you to the Golden House for French toast. You can wear my fez and play my trombone.

August 24, 1999

The 1999 winners: Iannis Xenakis and Stevie Wonder.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

December 21, 1999

“The wall of pornography was actually a failed attempt to make new friends.” — Gerard Klauder

December 15, 1999

They brought me peach tea instead of the green tea I asked for. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are two dollars.

December 23, 2000

I dreamed I was at the White House. Bill Clinton told me the Leonard Peltier case had been weighing heavily on his mind.

Friday, August 3, 2007

April 19, 2000

The bruise I got from taking a girl-hurled beer bottle in the leg has only just now healed.

April 5, 1995

I ask you, I practically beg you, to access my web pages, and what do you do? You go and do it! <shakes head in disbelief>

April 4, 1995

Have the baby chickens been introduced to the 100 monkeys?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

May 15, 1995

Josh: They have both dated Winona Ryder.

January 4, 1995

What do you prepare your guitar with? Or do you just say to your guitar,“OK, guitar!” before you play it?

April 27, 1995

Josh: Oh no! Seth’s replies are getting shorter and shorter! Does this mean this thread is near its end?
Could be.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 26, 1999

November 20, 1999


November 17, 1999

Aristano, Lennie - Lee Konitz Meets the Upsetter LP (Celluloid)
Art Elvis - Coelacanth Floor Elevators - Action-Situations LP
Art Ensemble - Official Wafer Falling CD (For 4 Ears)
Ayler, Albert & Guhl, Andy - Knackmaster Everywhere/Budd CD (Drag City)
Ayler, Alice - Love It Up LP (MCA)
Ayler, Alvin - I am Sitting Swine CD (Eighth Day)
Bailey, Bo - Go Bo Diddley, Bo - His Grind! LP (Streamline)
Beatles - Skew-Whiff: A Tribute to Sounds CD (Drag City/Bad Vugum)
Braxton, Anthony & Bailey, Derek - Music by Phillips, Butterflies, and Hone Special LP (Emanent)
Braxton, Anthony & Lovens, Paul - Mouth Eating Circus - The Ice Masterpiece Colossus CD (OJC)
Cage, John - Big Gundowns and Military Waltzes CD (Factory on a Trip to the United Stars)
Cage, John - Forbidden Planet of the Apes CDx2 (RRR)
Coleman, Ornette - Attitude: The ROIR Sessions CD (ROIR)
Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Nice LP (no label)
Doneda/Rogerigegege - Towards Thirsty CD (Island)
Ex, The - 68 Millions to His Father Yod CD
Feldman, Ornette - Science Fictims CD3 (Merge)
Giuffre, Jimmy - Walkin’ Tuff Dub Encounter CD (Virgin)
Haters - First Love CD (Hat Hut)
Haters - In Toronto 1969 LP (Capitol)
Howlin’ Wolff, Christian - Relaxin’ CD (Blue Note)
Merzbow - Noisemble of Chicago (Les idees fixes/Mute/Spoon)
Mirijanian, Ray - The Electric Spanking Tiger Mountain CD (Tzadik)
Music by Phill - Spasm Band Their Feet Froze to the Ground CD (ESP)
Nancarrow, Conlon - Studies for Prancing CD (SST)
O’Rourke, Jim - Solo: Live at Moers LP
Rypdal, Terje - What’s the Mothership Concerto For CD
Shellac - The Misty Music for Making Heads LP (Nessa)
Sonic Youth - Confusion is the Most Popular Finger 7″ (Drag City)
Spontaneous Music for Bondage CD (Distemper)
Sun Ra - Cosmic Tones for Frank O’Hara/Metallic K.O. LP (Bomp)
Tudor, David - Microphone Improvisations Sex CD (Gyroscope)
Young, Lamonte - New York is Sex/Kill CD (ESP)