Ronzani III

Toeing The Line Since 1999

lookatbannermichael asked: What is your opinion of Elliott Smith, as both a man and a musician?


I didn’t know him personally, unless our paths crossed when I was in Portland in the mid-eighties, which I don’t think they did. We played on a bill together in either ‘97 or ‘99 I think but we didn’t hang out. So I’m not really qualified to give any estimation of him as a person. As a musician he’s a spectacular guitarist and one of the best songwriters of his generation, and also he’s sort of the player from our indie minor leagues who got called up to the big show and instead of fizzling like so many before him, shone. His major label albums not only weren’t disappointments, they were triumphs, and they were kind of…validating, maybe? to people who were writing songs that might have seemed too dark or introspective or bookish for the mainstream. His success suggested that the world had changed a little - not seismically, just a little, but in an interesting way. His death was very hard for me. 

I have a special fondness for Heatmiser’s Mic City Sons, especially the opening track. 


Bill and Bob helping us through our Monday.

Welp. This is glorious. I have no idea what this movie is about and I don’t care. Bill Murray + Blood on the Tracks + cigarettes + 90’s headphones + cargo shorts = Good enough for me. I’ll worry about plot shit later. I haven’t been to a movie theater since the last time I was in Florida. Reckon I’ll be making my return to both for this one next month. Let’s sneak the Raisinets in this time, AJE.

Okay, it’s later now. Here’s the plot, courtesy of Wikipedia. 

St. Vincent (Bill Murray), a drunken, gambling war veteran retiree, gets recruited by his new single-mom neighbor Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) to watch over her undersized 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Vincent’s ideas of after-school activities involve racetracks and strip clubs, but eventually the mismatched pair begin to help each other grow up.

I have a theory that I can’t cry anymore now that I’m all jacked up on anti-depressants. I came close when my cousin John spoke at my Uncle’s funeral. It was a strange feeling. As he neared the end of his speech and began crying I thought to myself, “This used to be palpable.” The emotion began to enter me but was halted by a newly constructed fortress around my heart. It was the benchmark of this burgeoning inability to emote. But no more. If I don’t cry at this Bill Murray as a drunken, gamblin’, Bob Dylan lovin’, war vet who bonds with the 12-year-old neighbor kid movie, I’m seriously going to have to do a cost/benefit analysis of a life on Effexor. If I don’t cry at this movie, my therapist is going to have the pleasure of hearing me wax about the dehumanizing impact of anti-depressants for a full hour, maybe more. If you’re reading this, Marc Pechter, #1) Stop taking your work home with you! And #2) Consider yourself warned.

Lauren, this Bob’s for you! Pretty accurate, yeah?

I’ve officially come around on Bill Burr. I’ve had this exact same thought about kids. That you just have to have them at some point to avert your focus from all the doom. It’s not that the doom goes away, it’s just that you don’t have time for it. Like some days the doom is especially doomy and you just want to go get all fucked up in your garage and listen to music at a deafening volume. But if you have kids you just gotta be like, aww fuck, I can’t do that because my shitty kid has to be at practice at 8 tomorrow and I can’t be wreaking of bourbon on arrival. Without the kid you can just succumb to the doom and fuck right off, basically without consequence. Only eventually you drive yourself crazy and you realize you would’ve been better off not drinking in the garage til sunrise. And you could’ve avoided that dark doomy spiral had you just impregnated some poor woman years ago before you doubted everything and became a cynical black hole in the form of a human. Because you would’ve been forced to avoid it. Kids force you to avoid yourself.

I didn’t realize that when I vowed to leave the gambling world forever, forever meant two weeks. I was seeing life like a gambler again and domestic life had no thrill to it, no stakes. The bzzzzz of the toothbrush sounded like the drone of daily drudgery, of monogamy, madness, and death.

—Beth Raymer

I needed that. I didn’t know that I needed that because I didn’t even know that existed.  But my god did I need that. The urgency. The eye contact. Wide and intense. Hers told me, “I’m giving myself to you. This is not easy for me.” I looked back as if to say, “We’re safe together.”

Then we slept. I had the good fortune of waking up before her and seeing her beautiful yet burdened face. Ordinarily bearing the weight of things she’s unwilling to talk about, I finally got to see it relaxed. Her heart had slowed. She and I were at peace, however momentary.

I needed that.