Friday, July 01, 2005

press the eject and give me the tape

I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath to see what the Neglected Record of the week was. So I'll waste no time.
Maybe this has something to do with my failure to go to the Sleater-Kinney show, but the record of the week was Field Studies by Quasi. Give it a sample listen here. I freakin' loved it. I remember buying this record on a whim when I went up to DC for the Radiohead show that never happened . There was about a foot of standing water in the outdoor venue. Got that? The outdoor venue was, um, flooded. It turned out to be a great weekend anyway, as I got to hang out with some of you, dear and loyal readers. Anyway, I bought the cd on a whim, and I loved it right away. I wore it out for a few months, but it had the misfortune of being in the "q" section of my cd stacks. I rarely even think about anything in the q's. Quarterflash? Nope. Queensryche? No sir. Queen? Nah. Queen Sara Saturday? (remember them, NC folks?) Try again. This is the one and only record that lives in that wing of my library. I've digressed again. Why in holy fuck did I ever let this record collect one single smidgen of dust? I played it two times in a row from soup to nuts, then I went back and played my favorite jam from the disc one more time. I mean, I liked every song on the record, so it was hard to single one out, but a gun was being forced to my head, so I chose "A Fable With No Moral". I don't know what it is, but I just love that song. Throughout the album, though, there's lots of really cool textbook Janet ("don't call me Walt") Weiss drumming. But actually, I find her ex-husband's vocal stylings to be more compelling than anything else about this band. I had a lot of fun with this album, and I intend to keep it in "B" rotation for a while. If you happen to be Dutch or Deutsch, they'll be coming to your neck of the woods this summer, and you should go. I know I didn't go see S-K, and I don't really have a leg to stand on, but I don't care. Do as I say, not as I do. Okay, here's the thing. Maybe I'm just getting too old, and I can't RO-CO anymore, but Sleater Kinney is just too loud. There. I said it. Quasi isn't at all like that.
These things aren't meant to be record reviews so much as a retelling of my listening experience, so I won't get into the nuts and bolts of it. Nonetheless, I'll give Field Studies 4 ½ out of a possible 5 saute pans.

Of course the Scrabble geek in me started to think about the possibilities of playing the word "QUASI" in a game. I came up with a hypothetical situation in which my opponent has played ZIT at H12¹, through an existing I for 22 points. It's pretty late in the game, and he thinks he's setting himself up to hook an S or an I to ZIT, getting a triple word in both directions. He knows there's only one S and one I left, but is taking a chance that I don't have either. I play QUASI from 15D ², hooking the I to ZIT. 72 for QUASI and 39 for ZITI for a total of 111. For a non-bingo, that would be a spectacular play. For the same points, I could also play QUAIS, which is also an acceptable play. But Janet Weiss plays drums for Quasi, so that's the freakin' point here. This is, of course a theoretical play that wouldn't happen over a real table. Nobody would play ZIT there, leaving the triple for the taking.

now playing:
Throwing Muses -- University
Throwing Muses University

¹ The Srabble board is a 15 by 15 grid. For purposes of tracking plays, the colums are lettered A through O (left to right). The rows are numbered 1 through 15 (top to bottom). When a play is made vertically, the coordinates of its starting position are determined by the letter first, then the number. A horizontal play is tracked using the number/letter coordinate. In the example, the Z in ZIT was placed in the center column (H), and on the fourth row from the bottom (12). The play is made vertically, so the letter comes first. It starts at H12, and that's all the info needed. Z is on a Double Letter space. 20 for that and one each for I and T. 22 points.

² In this example, QUASI was played alon the bottom row, starting in the fourth space from the left. Since it's played horizontally, the number goes first. It starts at 15D. The Q is on a Double Letter space. 20 for that and one each for U, A, S, I. 24 points for the word, but since the I landed on the Triple Word space, it becomes 72. Since I made ZIT become ZITI, I also get to triple that word. 10 for the Z, and one each for I, T , I (I don't get to double the Z since it was already on the board). 13 tripled is 39. added to the 72 is 111.

1 comment:

Xtian said...

Field Studies is amazing. Now do yourself a favor and run, don't walk to your neighborhood music joint and pick up Featuring Birds. Then Sword of God. Both are bloody freakin brilliant. You can ignore the latest record, Hot Shit. (They got the second word right, at least.) Still, for those three albums alone, Quasi are about 8 billion times better than Sleater-Kinney. *In my humble opinion.* P.S. I remember that trip to DC fondly. As I recall, at the time I was all love sick over some stupid girl and really just needed the time to chill with folks that mattered.