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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2007-01-28 - 1:48 p.m.

Whereas the Earlies' first album was a kind of sweet, trippy haze of woodwinds and vocal harmonies, their new one is psychedelic in a bigger, badder way. Like a not-so-fun trip into a world of frog-monsters and lizard-kings and such. But I like it! This would not disappoint Flaming Lips fans who are mad at the band for their last album.

And for completely opposite reasons, You Am I's latest is great (Emusic has the release date as summer 2006, but we just got it at work, with a 1/23/07 release date, not sure what's up)...anyway, it doesn't take any noticeable leaps forward from the scruffy pop-punk things they've been doing forever'n'ever, but it's a completely satisfying album. The song "Secrets" is particularly shiny, as is the Kinks-genteel "Explaining Cricket."

I went to another all-day meditation retreat yesterday with the wonderful Buddha-teen Ethan Nichtern. For anyone who meditates but hasn't been regular in their 'tating lately, I urge you to immerse yourself in a day of it. It gets you right back on track and plugs you directly into that wiser part of yourself that gets drowned out by the more seductive, stupid you.

What I love about New York--and this is a cheap and tired observation but today it's new and fresh and mine--is that you come downstairs from your 8-hour meditation session, see a stripper supply-store next door and go, "Oh, I like those gold platform boots, I think I'll try those on..." and then walk up the block and have a beer and do karaoke with your friends at Sing-Sing.

(Anywhere else, you'd have to drive to all those places.)

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that I feel great today after about a month of feeling like death warmed over, and the eternal lesson is re-re-re-learned: happiness has very little to do with what or who is out there, and every moment provides an opportunity to reboot and start over, minus the jadedness, wisdom intact.

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