Aug 28, 2006

Leslie Hall and Net Neutrality

Accessories for Lonley Men

Noam Toran - Accessories for Lonley Men (2001)
[Including a device that steals the bedsheets during the night,
one that blows warm air on the back of the neck,
and one that shares a cigarette.
]

The You is clearly the full-band sound of singer/songwriter Josh Verbanets. Though impressively distinct in style, the songs are all hoisted onto the shoulders of a strong vocal perspective and carried with a bouncy pop gait. Stop by your local record store [Strictly Discs, B-Side, or MadCity Records in Madison] and take a copy of The You's new release "For the Masses" for a walk around the neighborhood. The fresh personality is good company and the crisp writing is sure to inspire thought, perhaps even a gathering on the fields outside.

The You - Young Bluesman (mp3)

The You - I'm Going To Kill Myself (mp3)


Aug 25, 2006

Camping Sounds

Dre Wapenaar - TREETENTS (1998)
I've neglected to post about the odesseyian adventure and reckless abandon mixed drink that is summer camping in Wisconsin. I've neglected many other vitals recently including paying parking tickets, finding a job to pay rent, and buying toilet paper... but in my current pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps git-er-done mood, this post seemed the most appropriate to complete. And honestly, what is weightier than a dynamic group of young adults putting aside an entire weekend to venture into the wilderness to learn important life lessons, puke them back up, and learn them again... sometimes at a rate of 60 in an hour.

Alongside beautiful people eloquently composing reflective text, I offer the following thoughtful playlist as a descriptive homage to Campsite #38 and hopefully as some inspiration for similar last-minute adventures.

DAY ONE: When there are pressing decisions to be made, depart for the closest secluded forest for a weekend.

The Theater Fire - I Heard About You (mp3)

Cursive - A Disruption from the Normal Swing of Things (mp3)

Miguel Mendez - Drinking Beers (mp3)

The Rapture - Get Myself Into It (Prince Language Disco Edit) (mp3)

Ray Lamontagne - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover) (mp3)

The Doves - Firesuite (mp3)

DAY TWO: Before noon, I can only be awoken with a cocktail of the following recipe: 1) a hot dog penis, 2) a healthy dose of peanut butter, 3) "wakin bacon", and 4) a swig of vodka, whiskey, and orange juice.

The Evangelicals - Another Day (And You're Still Knocked Out) (mp3)
pink spandex, team flaccid, breaking a slide

Crosstops - Camping with Two Bisexual Girls (mp3)

The Tossers - Drinking in the Day (mp3)

Scala - I Touch Myself (Divinyls cover)

Girl Talk - Bounce That (mp3)

The New Pornographers - The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism (mp3)

Leslie & The Lys - Bonus (Dinosaur) (mp3)

Eve 6 - Here's to the Night (mp3)

DAY THREE: To my extensive pickup line repetoire (most famous for the raspy, crooning"Hey Ladies") was added "If you get off work soon, there are body shots in the parking lot".

Summer Hymns - Wet Mess (mp3)

So Many Dynamos - Search Party (mp3)

Caroline - Sunrise (mp3)

My Brightest Diamond - Something of an End (mp3)

Well... I suppose.

Aug 20, 2006

The Vanishing Kids

Mark Titchnew - We Want to Exceed Expectation (2004)

The worst possible time to write about a band is probably when it is leaving town. However, in the case of the Vanishing Kids, their upcoming move from Madison to San Franscisco may be just what they need to take their music next step. And it makes for an irresistable pun.

The Vanishing Kids - Shadow of a Doubt (mp3)

The Vanishing Kids - Sleeping Beats (mp3)

Any parting words or advice for the San-Fransiscian-bound?

Aug 16, 2006

There Is Much More To Being Homeless Than Not Having A Home

assume vivid astro focus - Installation View (2004)

Yes, I am one of you... those with "homes" filled with matching red-and-white striped "leases" and "jobs". Yes, now I'm deserving of "credit". And I finally buy into the popular conception that homelessness as a "bad thing". Pin a conformist purple heart on my shirt and send me to my room for the night. Why the change of heart and the clean set of clothes? Because there is MUCH more to being homeless than not having a home. I concede that sometimes I rely unhealthy on Will Oldham for company, but homeless people are completely supportless. And we should be clear in our semantics that they are not simply between housing situations, they are complexly disenfranchized from traditional support. Perhaps I will one day enjoy the flexibility of a stint of nomadic wanderlust bliss, but I hope I never find myself sleeping in supportlessness.

Superwolf (Will Oldham & Matt Sweeny) - My Home Is The Sea (live) (mp3) [courtesy of the Kwaya Na Kisser from the Moonshine Festival in Laguna Beach, CA on 10/10/04]

Kath Bloom - A Homeless Dream (mp3)

Now that I have a home, I get to fill it with stuff again... since I threw everything out yesterday. This time I want to try the style of Brazilian collage artist "assume vivid astro focus" complete with a giant stretching woman (yes, that is a real room). I honestly do have a bunch of creepy mannequins, but I'm deliberately trying harder to scare my mother less.

Aug 15, 2006

Bulimic Belongings

Troika - Exploded Monologues (2003)
Exploded Monologues is a device that spatially transports the origin of the artist's voice to various speakers held at a distances from the mouth. The artist is able to control which speaker outputs his vocalizations, kind of like a personal surround sound system. He is able to obsess over controling the audio he exports to others and the way they experience it... kind of like music blogging.

I enjoy 1) sleek, clean minimalism and 2) postmodernist found-object collage. The symbiosis results in my life fluctuating regularly between accumulating, arranging, and living among large assemblages of deliberately random objects and then desperately purging myself of all of it. My environmental bulimia hits hard in transitional periods such as my current annual move where my belongings are laid out in front of me and I have to deal with consequences of having piles of contrasting boxes filled with mood-distinct comforts. An ideal situation would be to have at least two apartments, each serving as a comfortable respite from the other. However, the reality is that I have no apartment and lots of stuff that makes little sense together and absolutely no sense to anyone but me. So, most of me is currently piled on the curb for collection. In this spirit, feel free to rummage through the following box of electic mp3s and take bits of me that might look good on your mental mantle.

The Scourge of the Sea - Out of the Trash (mp3)

Page France - Junkyard (mp3)

Awry -
Brave Elephant (mp3)

My Brightest Diamond - Something of an End (mp3)

A Shoreline Dream - Love Is A Ghost In America (mp3)

Soulwax - Miserable Girl (mp3)

TV On the Radio - Wolf Like Me (stream)
*This song is from their new upcoming release "Return to Cookie Mountain".

The Lovely Sparrows - Chemicals Change (mp3)

The You - Young Bluesman (mp3)

The Idyllists - Chloe (mp3)

Paul Brill - Paris is On (mp3)

Bridges and Powerlines - Mumbles (mp3)

Final Fantasy - Arctic Circle (mp3)

Aug 11, 2006

Our Own Mold

Polona Tratnik - Microcosmos (2004)

Moving week for a college house inhabited by eight guys is synonymous with mold. Despite different cleaning strategies (one roommate obsessively scrubs himself without contaminated soap to avoid invisible invaders while others leave food in the sink for weeks while on vacation), an inevitable layer of gelatinous filth has managed to pour itself over the entire surface area of our lives. Perhaps in defense or toxic delusion, I've become strangely intrigued by piling molds as natural byproducts of the living condition. I prefer to think of our sticky state of affairs as a replication of Polona Tratnik's scientific exploration of the natural outgrowth of our own bodies onto surfaces and into the form of molds. In her gallery installation "Microcosmos", a sterilized porcelain bathroom was completely enclosed and exposed only to the artist's bodily microorganisms. The ensuing growth was able to confront our gut repulsion with our own biology, deliberately reframed as both natural and beautiful.

Science Groove is a novelty scholarly science collective led by a research scientist and musical maverick named Do Peterson. Striken with the common realization of the science community circle jerk, Do dropped out of his PhD program to apply his love of science to something that would actually find and interact with people in the real world (yes, "IRL"). The resultant deliverable is tied closely to textbook-accurate lyrics, but with the toe-tapping energy of well written pop hooks. The music struggles a bit standing on its own and sometimes is largely a ratio of Sesame Street for adults to dry science professor trying to keep his students awake, but I'll be the first to postulate that it's much better than the lecture that inspired it. And for all you recent science grads, you're going to love every minute.

The Frames - Rent Day Blues (mp3)

Science Groove - Hooray for NMR Spectroscopy! (mp3)

Science Groove - Oxidative Phosphorylation (mp3)

Science Groove - Come On Down (The Electron Transport Chain) (mp3)

Science Groove - La M├ęthode Scientifique (mp3)