Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We Cant Stop Here....

...this is Bat Country! Just had to shamelessly plug a new band that Jeff and I have recently gotten into. Their name is, Im assuming, a reference to Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and they describe their music as Doom Americana, which seems very appropriate given the retro feel of their aesthetic and the nature of their lyrics. They can say it better than I can though, so here is a blurb from their bio:

Seattle's one and only licensed purveyors of guaranteed, genuine, undiluted, 100-proof Doom-Americana, Bat Country are currently waiting outside your window with rusty shovels to bury you in the creeping existential dread of their pretty, pretty melodies. They are influenced by, in no particular order: The life stage, vaudeville, silent film stars, speakeasies, film noir, dive bars, minimalism, over-complicatedness, over-thinking, wide open spaces, hypocrisy, smoke and mirrors, constant vigil...

Bat Country at the Can Can in Seattle 8/15/10

I often feel that it does a disservice to both artists when you compare the music stylings of a new band to a more familiar one, but analogies and metaphors are the steam that the English language runs on, so if you like Tom Waits or The Peculiar Pretzelmen, you will probably like Bat Country. The lead singer's voice sounds delightfully as if it were forced out over a gravel road, but is saved from its own harshness by the combined rich and airy tones of the two accompanying female singers. Their songs range from ribald to melancholy and the band's use of the accordion and bass cello is not just charmingly retro, the instruments provide a strong supportive foundation to their music.

They dont have a CD out yet, but here is a little sample of what you can expect from the band. If you see their name on a club or bar's event list make sure you come out and support them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taking Your Vitamins

The job search continues ad nauseum . I cant imagine a more frustrating endeavor than to send resumes and carefully crafted cover letters out into the void and almost never even receive a word back. Would it really be so hard to dash out at least a quick line or two in response like 'Sorry, the position has been filled' or 'Thanks for applying, we will let you know if we want an interview'? Then I have to remind myself that I'm not unique, there are countless people out of work right now, many in far worse situations, and they are all scrambling desperately for the same small pool of available positions. No company, no matter how kindhearted, could ever hope to respond to each and every applicant in such a faceless mass. But oh, if only this were a physical fight, instead of one waged in cyberspace, and if only I had my trusty harpoon.....

Anyway, the upside is that the usual sense of futility in job searching is often punctuated with moments of pure amusement, little bits on insight into the current human condition. For example, did you know that in Seattle, you dont just have to be an ordinary barista, you could be a cowgirl barista, or a bikini barista, or a lingerie barista. Wow, gives that cup of morning joe a whole new meaning....and moves yet another formally reputable job position just a little closer to sex worker.

Then there was the ad I came across entitled 'Do you like juicy hot dogs in sweet buns?'. Yes, this was a posting for a cook at a hot dog stand, but the unsavory innuendo in the title would likely put most people off.

On the other side of things, I have come across postings for sales jobs at adult novelty stores that somehow make both the store and the position sound as wholesome (and boring) as wonder bread. How professional can one be when directing a customer to the leather harness section or demonstrating the use of nipple clips?

There are ads that are obviously for exotic dancing positions that are never so crass as to mention the nature of the position, but that locals can decipher when they see the name of the employer (a well know gentleman's club)

I usually laugh when I see these job ads but I often find them depressing. Not because I'm upset by the objectification of women or anything so political as that....its just disheartening to really see sex sold so baldly as a commodity. On the consumer end you are at least fed the illusion that a real exchange is taking place, you have the right to a fantasy, but on the production end there can be no glitter, no gossamer, sex work is a business like any other and must be run with the same cutthroat organized professionalism.

I really started thinking about this today when I came across a posting that called for the submission of erotic stories. Of course my mind was immediately filled with images of Anais Nin toiling away over her typewriter for her mysterious 'collector' but no....there could be no such shady romance here, the company was looking to acquire as many cheap stories as they could for their online system. Each story had to be of a specific length, and since they would be sent to client's phones, they had to contain break points every 300 words so that the information could be sent in chunks. The goal was "a very manageable tidbit to read on the go, while still creating some intrigue and arousal". Wow...so erotica is now something that people would like to get in quick efficient doses, just like that morning cup of coffee. No fuss, no time wasted, just your daily allotment of arousal.

So in the not too distant future (as in later this week) you can grab an espresso from a half nude barista, ride to work while reading the latest short erotic story, then finish the day off with a visit to the local sex shop where a sales girl dressed like a stock broker will explain how quickly one can orgasm when using the new Vibro 3000. At no point would you become more than briefly aroused but by the time you go to bed you will have the same satisfaction as someone who remembered to take their recommended dose of cod liver oil three times a day.

If this dreary forecast is not to your liking, then ditch the iPhone (and the vitamin supplements) and curl up with a real book. You wont receive your information in quality controlled, easily absorbed chucks, and you may waste some time, but I think you'll be happy rather than just satisfied.

In the meantime I'll keep searching...