Author Archives: cleek

Viva America!

In an era of waning American exceptionalism, inhabitants can at least pride themselves on an underratedly important, probably shameful distinction: They reside in the paper-towel capital of the world.

This status is unquestioned. According to data shared with me by the market-research firm Euromonitor International, global spending on paper towels for use at home (but not in office or public bathrooms) added up to about $12 billion in 2017, and Americans accounted for about $5.7 billion of that total. In other words, the U.S. spends nearly as much on paper towels as every other country in the world combined.

Suck it, losers.

Parquet Courts

Last summer, while he was down in NC for a visit, I played some Parquet Courts for my dad, and he was immediately hooked. So, when they announced a December show in NYC, he floated the idea that he, my brother and I should all go to see them. So, that’s what we all did.

My brother already lives there, and he generously put us up, and put up with us drunken tourists, for two nights. Dad lives upstate and drove down to meet us.

We missed the opening band – Sun Ra Archestra – since we didn’t think an NYC show would actually start at 8. But it did. We go to see them walk off, though.

PQ were exactly what I was hoping for. They were energetic and tight when they needed to be, but perfectly sloppy otherwise. Set list was great, if short: lots of stuff from their fantastic new album, and good stuff from the others. No “Stoned And Starving”, however.

Mrs and I were mightily impressed by the bass player. I rarely listen to bass players on records (mostly because my ear buds do a crappy job with bass frequencies). But live, his contributions stood out. And I began to suspect that he might be the key to their sound.

I also had had too many vodka-tonics.

No Purchase

I’m still anti-streaming. I like to own my music (even if it’s digital). This hasn’t been a problem…. until now.

I heard good things about a rapper called ‘Noname’. So, I went to iTunes to check her out. iTunes doesn’t have anything for sale (or for preview in their store) from a female rapper named Noname. They have some other stuff by other people/bands with that name. Odd? You can stream her stuff from Apple Music, though. You can stream it from SoundCloud. You can stream it from Amazon. But you can’t buy it on any of them. You can stream it from her own website, or you can buy her latest record on vinyl for $30.

I don’t understand.

But, you can stream and buy it on Bandcamp.

I really don’t understand.


SAN FRANCISCO — A startup in San Francisco is trying to make an aged whiskey that’s never seen the inside of a barrel and can be produced in about 24 hours.

The first bottles of the result — a product called Glyph, billed as the world’s first molecular whiskey — recently hit shelves, retailing for around $35 each.

Endless West, which manufactures Glyph, begins the process by studying existing popular aged whiskeys at the molecular level, to understand and map the flavor profiles. Endless West then builds Glyph from scratch by adding a plethora of different chemicals to medical-grade alcohol. The entire process is completed overnight.

Don’t skimp on the 5-Butyl-4-methyloxolan-2-one !

It Wasn’t Me, Or You

The dominant narrative around climate change tells us that it’s our fault. We left the lights on too long, didn’t close the refrigerator door, and didn’t recycle our paper. I’m here to tell you that is bullshit. If the light switch was connected to clean energy, who the hell cares if you left it on? The problem is not so much the consumption — it’s the supply. And your scrap paper did not hasten the end of the world.

Don’t give in to that shame. It’s not yours. The oil and gas industry is gaslighting you.

Puzzle Mashups

…when Vancouver, Washington-based artist Tim Klein gets a hold of some jigsaw puzzles, they become surreal images like those painted by Salvador Dalí. And the way he makes them is surprisingly simple: for years, jigsaw companies have been using the same cutting molds to make puzzle pieces. All Klein has to do is find interlocking pieces from different puzzles, and a mashup comes together.