Tuesday, March 14, 2006

waiting for the worms

Nothing much new to report today, just taking up some space at work. But I wanted to throw something noisy up and at you. Look out!

"Hydrofoil," Nels Cline & Devon Sarno

There's nothing resembling Wilco or the Geraldine Fibbers here. This is Nels at his exploratory best, but it's a slow, steady kind of search, like you're feeling your way around your grandfather's cellar, the one that hasn't been cleaned or sorted through for years. And this isn't your father's father, the one that smiled a lot and used to tell you straight-faced stories of nonsense (and you'd buy them because you were a kid), this is your MOTHER'S father, the one you didn't know very well, the one who lived up in Maine and died when you were little.

What did he used to do with himself? After he retired we saw less and less of him, your grandmother says, her voice smelling like stale bourbon and fresh bitters. Sometimes they'd hear music, sometimes some mechanical noises, but mostly everyone let him keep to himself. "Go see if there's anything you want," she told you. "I'm not going to touch it."

Weird dusty machines hopelessly try to resist cobwebs in the corner, and there's so much stuff piled up that it seems to be leaning over your head. There's just this narrow path of beaten wood floor that goes from one workbench to the other, leaving only a little space for a washing machine that hasn't worked since the '60s. It's scary, but there's plenty of light, isn't there? Thank God that bulb over your head hasn't burned out, there's not nearly as many shadowy places for things and ideas to hide.

Say, some of this stuff is pretty cool. Is that a tesla coil wired to a Ham radio? How many car batteries are hooked up to that thing? And what's that smell all of a sudden? Now that you think about it, there's nothing to be afraid of...in fact, all this looks....kind of interesting, actually. I bet a few of these things would fire up if you tried hard enough. Let me just check the wires, maybe get a new transistor or a new set of couplings. In fact, down here things aren't so bad. A little bit of dusting, maybe some WD-40, and everything'd be good as new. Why don't you just have a seat. Is that door closed?


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