Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Age Family Vacation Alert

In what may or may not be the first NY Times article with the word "vibe" in the title, senior Book Review editor Dwight Garner takes us on a textual trip to the New Age mecca of Sedona, Arizona in "In Search of the Vortex Vibe in Sedona."

A few years ago, USA Today called Sedona the most beautiful place in America. At sundown, that doesn't begin to cover it. And it's not just the views. There's a vibe in the air, something not quite audible, a kind of metaphysical dog whistle that calls people out to have a look around and to try to feel something that, if you're not a committed New-Age pilgrim, is hard to put into words.

Hmmm, vibes ARE hard to put into words. Maybe that's the whole point. Anyway, I'm glad that such an elusive concept is considered LEGIT enough for inclusion in THE PAPER OF RECORD.

Here's another choice quotation:

This isn't Aspen. There's a tasteful, turquoise-arched McDonald's on the main street here but no Louis Vuitton outlets in sight.

It was surprisingly easy to find a picture of this McDonald's on Google:

Speaking of tasteful McDonald's, check out this one in OLD SAN JUAN:

See more here.

Now I'm going to enjoy one of those painfully rare spring days when NYC, or at least Columbia, develops it's own Sedonatic vibe. Don't forget that Morningside Heights sits atop a giant GEODE.

Friday, March 31, 2006


As some of you may know I have a new band with ROSTAM, CHRIS and CHRIS called VAMPIRE WEEKEND (yes it has the same name as the forthcoming film). We played our second ever show last Saturday at the Columbia RELAY 4 LIFE. It was a very positive experience.

We don't have any finished recordings as a full band but Rostam did a sweet techo remix of our first song "Walcott." He also made a nice website for it:


The song basically recapitulates the plot of the film but also contains trace elements of poetry.

Monday, March 20, 2006

St. Patrick's Day Massacre

After returning from five days in sunny San Juan I was greeted by both the harsh cold of winter in New York AND a seriously devastating population fact:

the population of Ireland is 4,015,676.

I realize that not everyone is as into population facts as me, but let me try and put this in perspective.

-The population of the USA (!) is 295,734,134

-The population of New York City is 8,168,338

-The population of the UK is 60,441,457

-The population of London is 7.5 million

-The population of Italy is 58,103,033

-The population of Finland is 5,223,442

-The population of Luxembourg is 468,571

This seriously blows my mind. I've tried to convey this mind-blowingness to other people, but NO ONE'S FEELING MY VIBE. Can you believe that Ireland is closer in size to Luxembourg (both in real terms and proportionally) than to the UK?

I have a bad tendency to equate population size with coolness and I have a serious soft spot for Ireland and its peoplez so this is NOT adding up for me. When the Wes Man and I realized that Columbus, Ohio had a bigger population than Boston we started planning imaginary road trips there.

The population of Puerto Rico is 3,916,632. The area of that island is 9,104 sq km.

Ireland has almost the same population but its area is 70,280 sq km.

I know there must be tons of good reasons (potato famine, this etc.) why Ireland has such a WEAK population, but STILL!

If anyone out there is as surprised by this as I am, CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT IT?
Maybe I should try to go here.

There were 1/4 as many people at the NY St. Patrick's Day parade as there are ON THE WHOLE ISLAND OF EIRE (1/6 if you count Northern Ireland).



All you AMERICA-HATERS better write George W. an apology letter because on his recent trip to INDIA he finagled a SWEET DEAL which is gonna give us DELICIOUS INDIAN MANGOS at our supermarkets. I'm not sure what India got in return. Maybe some uranium hot dogs or something...

This is from a transcript of Bush and Singh's press conference:

PRESIDENT BUSH: And, oh, by the way, Mr. Prime Minister, the United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangos. Part of liberalizing trade is to open up markets. And as a result of your leadership, and our hard work, we are opening up markets.

You know Bush doesn't actually like mangos. He only eats BBQ. He's trying to make peace with all the blue-state food snobs.

Peeps with TIMES SELECT can learn more here.

Also props to Alec for putting out some positive vibes over on prosebeforehos.

Saturday, March 11, 2006




"People are dying, and we are celebrating!" said Khawaja Izhar, 75, the chairman of Anti-Kite Flying Democratic Front. "Why allow kite flying for even a brief period?"


Saturday, February 25, 2006


I was struck by two pictures published in the NY Times this past week. Coincidentally, both were taken in Africa.

The first shows some school kids on a class trip to see a hot-spring in Kenya. Here's the article.

The second shows Macon Hawkins of Kosciusko, Texas, currently a hostage of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. Again, here is the article.

The contrast between the beautiful pink shirts of the first picture and the insane threat of ultraviolence in the second (rocket-launcher to the head?!?!?) reminds me of this song (piece?) by Terre Thaemlitz. In it he convolutes the melody from "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton with an actual speech from Radio Freedom, the voice of the African National Congress.

The speaker starts out with general talk of freedom and inequality but then gets down to business with some super-specific and practical suggestions:

"The lone policeman must be made a target. He must be destroyed so that we can get his weapon."

Thaemlitz serves it up smooth. Try putting this on next time you've got your girl (or boy) over.

Terre Thaemlitz - Between Empathy and Sympathy is Time (Apartheid)

I heard this track a lot over the summer thanks to Joe Grimm, the Wind-Up Bird.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Nota Bene: New Balance = Nuclear Brightness

It's time to update the "ghost shoez" repository. Internet Vibes is now the official place to witness and talk about the New Balance ghost shoez phenomenon.

This first one was submitted by an anonymous internet user in the comments section of an old post. I present it here for your convenience:

This next one is another random facebook find:

Finally, here is one that was living on my very own computer. The ghost shoez-wearer here is the one and only Jake Longstreth, bro of Dave and oscillationist with the Dirty Projectors on the epic summer tour which I also took part in.

I placed the pics in order of ghostliness (descending). There's also something ghostly about the similarity between the big guy in the red jacket and Jake in his red shirt, no?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

hello, it's me

The previous post has inspired some lively (and mostly good-natured) dialogue both on and off the court. There are definitely some things I'd like to clarify and expand on, but I don't have time right now.

In the mean time, I would direct you to John Atkinson's blog in which he weighs in on preppiness by posting a new and truly great Three-Six Mafia song about poppin' one's collar. The VIBE circle is now complete!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


My life has been both supremely mellow and intensely hectic this semester. I'm not even talking about a bi-polar kind of oscillation either. I'm talking BOTH at the SAME TIME. Anyone familiar with the Buddhist concept of NON-DUALITY? Me neither...

Anyway, I apologize to all my friends who came to enjoy Internet Vibes. I enjoyed writing posts and corresponding with you all. Maybe just check it once a week. Who knows? You might find something!

Today I want to talk about something very personal to me: PREPPY CLOTHES.

Some time in high school I started having strong feelings about Lacoste shirts. My friends and I used to go to the rummage sale at the Congregational Church and find great old Izod/Lacoste stuff probably last worn at the Glen Ridge Country Club's '87 Fourth of July Gala.

I mostly liked Lacoste shirts because of the alligator; an image at once quirkily powerful and powerfully quirky (NON-DUALITY). I soon realized that the quirkiness was lost on most people. A substitute teacher saw me wearing a turquoise Lacoste shirt with a popped collar and said "You look like the bad guy from a John Hughes movie." He was probably right, although I'm not blonde.

The ICONICITY of the Lacoste alligator is both appealing and repelling. On one hand it is beautifully simple and weird. On the other hand, it lends itself to CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION (which is a state of mind and NOT an absolute action). In recent years, Lacoste has made sweaters and t-shirts in which the alligator is monstrously enlarged to cover one's entire chest. This amounts to a crass FETISHIZATION.

Unsurprisingly, RALPH LAUREN (ne Lipschitz) has done the same thing with his POLO LOGO. I've always been kind of out with Polo although I've recently come around to it. There is something MASTERFULLY SUBVERSIVE about a Jew from the Bronx starting THE preppy clothes company and picking a logo as over-the-top as a polo player on a horse. Ralphie must have been smiling as he designed it.

MAN, I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY! This is the problem with Internet Vibes, everything turns into a novel. Let me just wrap up with some quick bullet points:

- PREPPINESS & AUTHENTICITY - "Do not pop your collar if you don't sail."

What is authentic for a guy like me? Fourth-generation Ivy League, deracinated, American Jew born on the UWS, raised in NJ to middle-class post-hippie parents with semi-Anglophilic tendencies AND propensity to put on Eastern European accents and use obscure Yiddish phrases. The obvious answer is that I, like all of us, should be a truly post-modern consumer, taking the bits and pieces I like from various traditions and cultures, letting my aesthetic instincts be my only guide. In fact, all of my friends (even the children of immigrants) seem to be in the same boat. We are BOTH disconnected from AND connected to EVERYTHING. Now we've transcended mere clothes.

A few weeks ago, a girl at a party was giving me a hard time for wearing my very-beautiful Sean John jacket with fur collar. I could probably write a novel about that. I'll let you fill in the blanks to relate this anecdote to the rest of the post.


While walking around Shimla, a mountain town in India which was formerly the Summer Capital of the British Empire, I came to a Pringle store. Pringle is a super-nice Scottish sweater company. This was right on the main drag in Shimla; a town where the honeymoon suite at a hotel costs $10 a night. This story has no point.

MADRAS, perhaps the most conspicously preppy fabric because of its bold ugliness, is of course from INDIA. In an effort to thoroughly de-preppify the nation, the city of MADRAS is now known as CHENNAI.

Let's not forget that there are NO ALLIGATORS in FRANCE. ALLIGATORS live in the swamps of FLORIDA or CHINA. Also, don't forget their brothers, the CROCODILES, who chill out in the "HEART OF DARKNESS" itself.



Wait, take a look at these pictures. They might help you to FEEL MY VIBE.

Scottish Taliban? Best of Both Worlds? In this L'Homme Run promotional photograph, my ideal alter-ego takes form.

In this picture, I am melancholically pondering issues of identity and authenticity. Note the popped collar.


I've never felt super connected to JUDAISM, but I did go to HEBREW SCHOOL and I had a BAR MITZVAH. Growing up Jewish, you are presented with three images of your people:




Now do you see where I'm coming from? Interestingly, Christianity teaches us that THREE can be ONE. I guess you would call that a theory of NON-TRILOGICITY??!?!?