Culture vulture

Communing with the elements
Culture Vulture has spent many an hour pedaling through pleasantly refreshing precipitation, contemplating the cycle of renewal brought about by judicious amounts of revivifying rain. And we have done our best to enjoy the occasional rides through heavier rain. With a good slicker and some plasticized rain pants and boots, even a downpour is merely a chance to interact with the elements in a more direct way than the average automobile-bound commuter does.

It’s only when storms reach gale force and the sun has gone down that riding in the rain gets truly challenging. Monday evening’s ride home from downtown qualifies as one of our more adventurous jaunts. Getting buffeted from the side by a 20- or 30-mile-per-hour gust of wind-driven rain while clothed in several non-aerodynamic layers of fabric and plastic and trying to see one’s course through glasses made opaque by darkness and raindrops is, to put it mildly, a test of one’s commitment and equipment. But arriving at home to be greeted by dogs joyfully capering in the puddled yard gives one’s commute a sense of genuine accomplishment. And sitting in a cozy house on a stormy night with a glass of deep red wine glinting with reflections of firelight is all the more satisfying when one has spent some time communing personally with the storm.

"(Silence)” is golden
Culture Vulture is sure that our music-obsessed readers will rejoice to know that the Ciccone Youth song “(Silence)” is once again available for individual download for 99 cents from iTunes. The “tune,” a tribute to or rip-off of avant-composer John Cage, consists of 63 seconds of digital silence. Earlier in the month, the song had been given limited availability as an album-only cut sold with complete downloads of Ciccone Youth’s The White(y) Album (a 1988 side project of arty noise rockers Sonic Youth), but now the song may again be purchased alone.

“Conceptually, I love the idea that it’s there and you can download it,” Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo told the New York Times. We’re sure his banker is equally pleased. Culture Vulture will do our best to find out how many downloads of nothingness are inspired by this important news in the coming weeks.

Stop the insanity
Ever and anon, Culture Vulture will drop a complimentary line to a fellow columnist. We also occasionally spend a convivial hour chatting with Bud Miller about the current state of Chico’s “scene” while sipping a restorative beverage or three. We have been known to knock back a shot of well gin with a certain columnular advocate of the emo life. On none of these occasions has even a shadow of animosity or hostile rivalry been in evidence.

Were that it could be so for the editors and publishers who inhabit the rarified and rivalry-ridden heights of the newshound hierarchy. What a world it would be if those at the top of the information chain could meet and learn to cherish the mutual personality traits that bind them to the profession.

Cheers, boys.