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Jul 31, 07 08:19 PM

Sab Tab.

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I'm obsessed with Black Sabbath. I picked up a copy of Never Say Die!, their last record with Ozzy. An actual physical CD. I was annoyed that I couldn't find any classic Sabbath on iTunes--I'm all about instant-gratification-impulse purchases--but I imagine that when presented with iTunes, Black Sabbath replied: We don't need your iTunes. We are Black fucking Sabbath.

I remember digging Never Say Die! as a 14 year old, and, unbelievably, it actually is awesome. Especially what one could quaintly call side one, and the track "Johnny Blade," one of those typical Sabbath tunes that's like three different songs jammed together, with sudden transitions and tempo changes. It's also built around a synthesizer line, which is un-Sabbath-y, but great.

I dialed up the tab for "Paranoid," too, which I maybe want to cover with the fellows. Maybe. My manager always says, "Your sensibility is more indie than your audience." Which I'm not sure is true, but I understand what he's saying. Even more so, I don't know how many people would appreciate a brass-out Sabbath cover. I can imagine, though, some youngster coming up and saying, THAT NEW SONG WAS AMAZING!

(I'm happy to have any audience, and you guys have been very nice to me)

I was disappointed to find out that the lyric is not, as I've always thought, Can you help me? ARE YOU FROM MY BRAIN?! Oh yeah! Actually, it's Can you help me occupy my brain? Which seems quotidian to me.

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I got a book on Esperanto--a teach-yourself course. Esperanto is a completely invented language, devised in the late 19th century. You can read its Wikipedia entry here. It's a goofy, geeky idea, but supposedly two million people speak it. There are clubs, conventions, plays written in Esperanto, Esperanto bands.

Its purpose was to to be an international language that's easy to learn. And it really is. The grammar is ludicrously simple. No irregular verbs, no irregular anything. All the tenses have the same endings for every pronoun (as if you could say I am, you am, he am, we am...you learn one "am" and you've got the present tense dialed in). Everything is pronounced exactly as it's spelled. It's gorgeously elegant, too, with this ingenious system of suffixes and prefixes. It sounds something like Italian crossed with a Slavic language. It would be a great language to write an opera in.

I've been studying German for a little less than a year, and I'm loving it--it's very precise, complex, and logical, and I find it beautiful. As difficult as it is, it's shown me that English is the most difficult fucking language this side of Cantonese. Why is English the world's common language? It's great for us, but really, it's ridiculous.

I learned Esperanto's past, present, and future tenses in five minutes. Seriously!

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Scrap has an obsession with Matt Damon that is at once a joke and not a joke. He falls asleep every night to either The Departed or The Good Shepherd on his laptop. I once was standing on the street with him and he turned to me, after two minutes of silence, and said, "I just pretended I was Matt Damon."

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Pete McNeal, my drummer, has a band called the Greasy Beats. He wrote a tune for the band called "Besus." Rhymes with Jesus. It is righteous. Please to make the listening is here.

Posted by Mike at July 31, 2007 8:19 PM