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blast from the past, part 2

went out to see front 242 friday, a stone's throw away from where i'd seen bauhaus two nights earlier. this is another band who were a real influence on me in my younger years. they weren't as dear to my heart as bauhaus, and i had actually seen them before, but they put on a pretty good show. their stuff is still superior to the cookie-cutter ebm (a genre they basically invented) that's put out now.

unfortunately, for the second show in a row, my favourite track got left off the song list, which was a little bit of a disappointment. (to be honest, it was more of a disappointment with bauhaus, since i was kind of expecting lagartija nick and it was one of the only singles they didn't hit in their set. i wasn't really expecting 242 to play rerun time, since it's a) old and b) not very well known.)

as far as electronic shows go, 242 put on a pretty energetic one (it helps when you have two band members unencumbered by keyboards). they're exceptionally tight, which is both good (music like that loses its effect if it's less than pristine) and bad (i could close my eyes and be convinced i was listening to "commando" on a really loud stereo, because it sounded exactly the same).

the audience in general seemed more energetic at this one than at the bauhaus show. i guess it's more energetic music and the crowd (not me) was a little younger, but i have to say bauhaus was definitely the superior show.

all the same, it's sort of gratifying to see a a band of that vintage showing why other groups in the genre are still playing catch-up with what they were doing 20 years ago.

and at least no one spilled beer in my vicinity for this one.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…