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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: August 29-September 6, 2004

Tuesday, August 31, 2004:

Thanks to everyone who sent me words of common sense about not taking that AMG review too seriously. You all totally cheered me up, and for those who didn't see it, Ben came up with a number of lines that were probably omitted from the final draft of the review. My favorites:

"A penny saved could buy you something worse than Disclaimer, I think. Wait, let me read that again."

"I look for two things in great music, and it's not on Disclaimer's album."

"This is one of the most Thelonius Monk albums haven't heard."

"This, my friends, is my fifty words written on the album by Disclaimer, the pseudo-nym one of Chris Willie Williams, who has three names, unlike his band, which has one name, being Disclaimer. I can tell you that I have indeed heard it, and it certainly is an album."

"This album most certainly is not rule."

So thanks, all.

At work today, a review came across my desk of a paper "written" by one Danut Marcu, in which the reviewer pointed out that the paper was flat-out stolen from another work, described Marcu as an "infamous plagiarist," and cited a few examples. It made me curious as to how an "infamous plagiarist" could continue to be published despite having such a reputation, so I did a little research and discovered that, ever since 1989, nearly every review that Math Reviews has published of "Marcu's" work has contained an explicit reference to a verbatim antecedent of said work. It was very interesting.

My favorite review, written by Jerrold Grossman from my alma mater, read as follows: "The author has copied the results and proofs in a paper by A. F. Sidorenko, made a few minor editorial changes (such as replacing 'at the other hand' with 'on the other hand'), introduced some typographical errors, and added two brief concluding remarks, the first of which is trivial and the second of which, in light of known NP-completeness results, is silly. In keeping with his past practice, Marcu does not cite the work he has plagiarized."

So now I'm rather fascinated with this Marcu character, simply because of the sheer number of articles he's published that are seemingly indisputable cases of intellectual theft. There are literally dozens of the things! He must be a truly charismatic character to be able to pull the same scam again and again, doncha think? I'm truly curious as to what makes this guy tick, and part of me wants to make a Beautiful Mind-meets-Shattered Glass biopic of him. (Though I somehow expect that the story credits would wind up in arbitration with the Screenwriters Guild.)

CURRENT MUSIC: Milkshake x Infinity by The Other Leading Brand. Everyone seriously needs to contact Mike and order a copy of this, because it may be the best electronic album I've ever heard. I'll be reviewing it soon, but for now, I'll just say that it's like Beck's Odelay, Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, DJ Shadow's Endtroducing..., and The Orb's best work all played simultaneously, with the octophonic sound of the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka. It's totally the album of the year, and I promise you I'm not just saying that because Mike's my friend. (I've never said that about even the greatest albums by Mark Prindle or Steve Knowlton, and they're both very talented friends of mine as well- Milkshake is truly a masterpiece.)
CURRENT MOOD:
Sleepy.
ANOTHER AMUSING EUPHEMISM FOR DEFECATION THAT I LEARNED ON THE JOB:
You'll recall that Robin and I recently decided that "Brownian motion" would be a good such slang term. Well, today, we were discussing the euphemisms for excretory functions that we grew up with in our respective households, and hilariously enough, Lisa grew up calling the act of pooping "to grunt," and Pam grew up calling said act "big grunts." Isn't that a great coincidence? And gosh, you smell an awful lot like flowers...
TIME:
11:30 PM.

Doot? | |

Monday, August 30, 2004:

The All Music Guide- Jason MacNeil, to be precise- reviewed my album here. It gets two-and-a-half stars. Equal to Laserblast.

I don't think it's a particularly well-written review- I don't understand what he means by "Chris Willie Williams is intent on believing that you will enjoy a look back at something that Herbie Hancock mastered Rockit," and it's not often that you see the phrase "leaves little to be desired generally" used in a negative way- but awful nevertheless isn't a word I especially wanted to hear with regard to the disc.

Still, I'm glad he took the time to listen to the album, and it's rather cool to be compared with Herbie Hancock, Ben Folds, Gary Numan, Velvet Crush, and Matthew Sweet all within the space of one paragraph.

But gah. I mean, it obviously means more to me that my friends like the album than strangers at AMG or Splendid... but who has the more objective perspective?

CURRENT MOOD: I give up.
YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT OTHER ALBUM GOT TWO-AND-A-HALF STARS?
Ever Since I Was a Kid by Protein. The worst fucking album I've ever heard. Fuck.
TIME:
7:39 PM.

Doot? | |

Sunday, August 29, 2004:

I had an incredibly disturbing dream last night. I dreamt that the Fab 5 from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy were all hunted down and kidnapped separately by the Russian Mafia, herded into an alley together after being beaten and drugged, and they were then all slaughtered. The killings were on the front page of the Detroit Free Press the next day, and there were blurry pictures of each guy's lifeless body, horribly bruised and brutally disfigured... but the Mafia had given each corpse a mud mask and a cucumber slice on each eye. My subconscious apparently has a nasty sense of humor when I fuel it with three spinach-and-tofu egg rolls before bed.

When I woke up, I was overcome with death anxiety, which was not really helped by watching two episodes of Six Feet Under (I've grown to like the show, but I'm six episodes into season two and they have yet to really capture the helpless horror of obsessing about one's mortality), so I went record shopping. Six CDs later, I'm feelin' pretty good.

CURRENT MUSIC: Disc two of the Bonzo Dog Band's Cornology box.
CURRENT MOOD:
Fine.
NEWEST ENTRY ON THE LIST OF SONGS THAT WILL BE EXPUNGED FROM HISTORY WHEN I AM KING:
George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone." Just heard it in some commercial, and that was the very moment that my feelings toward that song morphed from "grudging tolerance" into "volcanic hatred."
TIME:

Doot? | |

PAST JOURNAL ENTRIES: May 3, 2003-May 9, 2003. May 10, 2003-May 16, 2003. May 17-May 24, 2003. May 25-May 31, 2003. June 1-June 7, 2003. June 8-June 13, 2003. June 14-June 21, 2003. June 22-July 1, 2003. July 2-July 13, 2003. July 14-July 20, 2003. July 21-July 26, 2003. July 27-August 4, 2003. August 5-August 9, 2003. August 10-August 16, 2003. August 17-August 23, 2003. August 24-August 30, 2003. August 31-September 6, 2003. September 7-September 13, 2003. September 14-September 20, 2003. September 21-September 29, 2003. September 30-October 4, 2003. October 5-October 11, 2003. October 12-October 19, 2003. October 20-October 26, 2003. October 27-November 1, 2003. November 2-November 16, 2003. November 17-December 3, 2003. December 4-December 12, 2003. December 13-December 20, 2003. December 21-December 27, 2003. December 28, 2003-January 3, 2004. January 4-January 11, 2004. January 12-January 17, 2004. January 18-January 24, 2004. January 25-January 31, 2004. February 1-February 8, 2004. February 9-February 14, 2004. February 15-February 24, 2004. February 25-February 29, 2004. March 1-March 7, 2004. March 8-March 25, 2004. March 26-April 7, 2004. April 8-April 17, 2004. April 18-April 24, 2004. April 25-May 3, 2004. May 4-May 10, 2004. May 11-May 15, 2004. May 16-May 25, 2004. May 26-June 7, 2004. June 8-June 12, 2004. June 13-June 19, 2004. June 20-June 26, 2004. June 27-July 7, 2004. July 8-July 20, 2004. July 21-July 31, 2004. August 1-August 6, 2004. August 7-August 28, 2004.


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