Sunday, February 28, 2010

To this day I swear it was nice.
When I mentioned Silk Flowers' As Above So Below record a couple months back, I sort of downplayed just how much I was listening to it. There was a point right after I got it (middle of December) when I would put it on after work and play it for what felt like hours--side A, flip, side B, flip, side A, flip, etc. That's calmed down a bit, but hasn't really stopped, and now I have it on my iPod and sometimes listen to it while walking around delivering mail. It's so good! And strange. In the song I posted before ("Falling Palms"), there are notes that get played and then immediately begin to fly out of control, like they can't be reigned in, and even though the song doesn't feature any vocals or words, there's some kind of narrative going on. And the creep-o synths at the beginning, and the guitars that come in! It's fucking great. But who do you recommend this to? People who post pictures of themselves holding Bauhaus records? People who like Cold Cave? I actually don't know anything about Bauhaus. With Cold Cave, you can run close to something like Pille Palle Alle Pralle (that's not a knock, either), while Silk Flowers could be working in an office down the hall from Eliane Radigue, where she's playing drones using an old refrigerator or some kind of air conditioning unit. I'm not saying you can't dance to it or meet girls to it, it's just different. Aviram Cohen sounds like he's making fun of '50s horror villains, and there are distant mechanical/extra-musical sounds, the sound of a car idling and computer thought bubbles and TV static. Sometimes you're in the castle level of a Sega game, sometimes the chord changes are awesome. Are you into those types of things? Maybe you're into zoning out and dancing a little bit, or staying home and picturing night life, or maybe you like drawings. Maybe you like finding things in a place you wouldn't have thought to look. I just think this record kills.

Silk Flowers - "I Walk With You"
Silk Flowers - "Crescent Glow"

I turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and it wasn't so bad. I'd assumed it would feel like a kind of death, or like it would have a sting to it, but it didn't. When you're in your 20s, it's your job to be reckless and sleep on people's floors, have questionable facial hair, fuck things up repeatedly, do a lot of heavy thinking even though you really, really don't know shit. Turning 30 was a big step away from that. It felt like a retirement from that. I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and I heard what I think may have been Vampire Weekend on the in-store radio. I got some books, paid for them, and walked out. Whoever that music is for is officially none of my business, you know what I mean? I'm 30. They're not talking to me (lyrically, maybe; musically, not even close). Breaking music down by age-group isn't a great thing and it doesn't always work, but sometimes it does. It might not apply to Vic Chesnutt. He was 45 when he died this past Christmas, and plenty of people loved his music, and when I saw him back in whenever it was, June or July, it wasn't just a crowd of people 30 and up watching him. I went with Leah, who's 25, and when I mentioned the show later to my friend Erik, who I think is like 21-22, he was pissed that he hadn't gone. I've just been listening to At The Cut a lot, and I've been daydreaming about travelling south and having a house of my own, and reading a lot and getting a dog. There's something about his songs that makes the pace of being older seem nice and appropriate, and never boring. Listen to the guitars (strings?) on "Philip Guston"! The Silver Mt. Zion people and Guy Picciotto did an incredible job here as well. It's a really beautiful record. Oh and the lyrics to "We Hovered With Short Wings" go like this (capitalized just like it is in lyric booklet):

we hovered with Short wings
over the Hillock hillcrest
Our breath like radiation
glowing, showing Bones
with Much bellowing And roaring
a Change of Directioning
We wrench around
dumbfounded At our wretchedness
hungry As a hunter
our Breath is Keen opinion
the Old guard plays patty-cake
with The edgy Conferees

Vic Chesnutt - "We Hovered With Short Wings"
Vic Chesnutt - "Phillip Guston"
Vic Chesnutt - "Flirted With You All My Life"

Some other things (tumblr things): Deep Wound, Pussycat, Mark McCoy, and this Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions song that sounded like a Truth & Soul comp song from a distance the other night. Seriously great. Two books I read this morning were Noir and Mesmo Delivery (not trying to brag, but the copy I read is an original Ad House version!), plus a big chunk of Kill All Your Darlings. Constant bookworming! Also watched Inglourious Basterds again and continue to be in love with Emmanuelle Mimieux. Also, did you know Middle America broke up? WHAT THE FUCK. My other new band project, long in the planning stages, will now feature a girl named Debbie playing bass and hopefully, if we're lucky, an ounce of what MA had going on. I wish I could post a song from their demo/tape but I forgot to have Tyler burn it for me. Next time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

General update: Hey! So, I've been in a total fucking fog for the past two months. I've been staring straight ahead at nothing, shoving food into my mouth without even tasting it, talking to people and not really thinking about what I'm saying. I think Christmas was good, and then New Year's was alright, and then everything kind of went haywire, so I kind of went autopilot. I started reading, pretty much all the time, and when I listened to music, it was partly just so that I wouldn't have to hear myself think. There was a lot of Figure 8 ("I Better Be Quiet Now", "LA", "Everything Means Nothing To Me"), and I tried to picture Prince covering those songs. Then there was Big Star ("The Ballad of El Goodo", "Thirteen", "September Gurls") because I guess I needed '70s pop in a huge way, and then a lot of Roxy Music ("Beauty Queen", "2 HB") and the first Eno record ("The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch") to balance it out. Tons of Elvis Costello, too ("Accidents Will Happen", "I Stand Accused", "Man Out Of Time"). Lately I've been jazzed about the LA Nuggets box ("Jump Jive & Harmonize", "If You Want This Love", "The Times To Come") and ESPECIALLY the Max G. Morton mixtapes over at Workin' Nights (the other mixes are probably great, too, I just haven't listened to them yet; I've heard good things about Tortilla Blanket). Oh and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Galaxie 500, Oliver Onions, Neon Blud, Felt Letters, and some other shit. I think I spent a lot of time looking at pictures, either at They Don't Call Them Lovers... or at A Journey Round My Skull. Negative Pleasure is pretty cool, too, but I can't stand people who are maniac tumblrs. A couple posts a day, tops! For the love of christ! Oh and, not sure if these were secrets, but I love comics and I love Erykah Badu (I still need that Taco Loco record!). I'm trying to focus on things that are great/awesome/sawesome, and less on things that are horrible or things that I miss terribly from the moment I wake up, through my whole workday, through my dinners/beer blasts, through Buckingham Commons hang-outs, through comic talk and movie watching, through grocery shops and long commutes, 30th birthdays, Puppy Bowls, games of Phase 10 and Skip-Bo, all the way until I finally, finally fall asleep. Two of those good/great things are: I'm going to be DJing a wedding for some rad people in May, and I have a new band project in the works. There are always things that are totally not shit-tastic at all. So obvious! What else? Fuck, I don't know. More posts soon, and it won't just be me rambling about whatever. Album talk! For real!