Jun 22, 2007

That Your Body Makes

Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Umbrellas (1991)

I've filled a case full of meager treasures and am heading to find a lover in the sky. A sky with a busty blue monochrome draped with long aeronautic strings of white pearls teetering frighteningly high overhead. I plan for us to step into a vast, still bathtub of earth filled the brim and watch our displacement splash overflow into the shape of mountains at a distance and spill over the edge of the horizon. And as Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers suggests, make metaphorical love to the landscape. If you're in Madison this weekend while I'm away, be sure to greet the Great Lake Swimmers on Friday, June 29th while running your fingers along the bar at Cafe Montmartre.

Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine (mp3)

Great Lake Swimmers - When It Flows (mp3)

Jun 19, 2007


Zhu Ming - Bubble Series [performance] (2003 in Sydney) [360 degree view]

Zhu Ming flings his frail naked self into the throws of modern life via an inflated, translucent womb and carefully engineered umbilical cord. His visceral performances courageously deconstruct respected icons of confidence by confronting isolation instead of covering it with pristine silk suits and carefully-pruned avenues. Tear off your clothes and feel the wind. Your age-associated neural modulation of hormones will thank you for redefining what it means to be respectable and adult.

Jun 17, 2007

The Disrupted Comfort of Home

Tony Oursler - MMII [Self-Portrait in Yellow] (1996) [You Tube]

Portugal. The Man - Stables and Chairs (mp3): If one's shoelaces became mysteriously tied to the legs of one's chair in an otherwise empty house, this would be the sound of pulling oneself back up from the floor. Its guitar is gradually evolving different types of confused as bruised black and blues develop. And it sounds simultaneously familiar and foreign, much like my friend Timm.

Jun 15, 2007

An Apple Without A Core

Liu Jin - Hanging Angel [Factory 79] (2006)

Rose Polenzani - Blue Angel (mp3): Rose's honest complexion tells you everything her tense chin tries to hold back. It speaks quietly of a subtle purity echoed in her YouTube videos, including this charming rendition of an ancient Riddle Song. And if you were to meet her skin out for coffee, it would stop halfway through its greeting and glance into your eyes so you would understand and let it sip its coffee. Rose plays in Madison tonight (6/15 at 8PM) at Mother Fools Coffeehouse.

Jun 10, 2007


June Bum Park - I Parking (2002)

Immediacy flows dangerously between enemy coasts of everything and nothing... and doesn't even seem to notice. Though one ebb thoroughly enjoys the playful cadence of today's winds that most of us missed, another seems to spin cold in self-restraint with a mental simplicity that misleadingly shares traits with stupidity. It prefers to avoid nicknames and ignores romantic assertions of cognates. As Tennyson philosophizes the purpose of its flow by noting "self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead to sovereign power", it just flows. It pockets time saved from analyzing and takes the time to be. But what's the purpose of being without meaning? It's content that the realness of just being, like the straight-forwardness of this track, is the meaning.

Black Bear - I Believe In Immediacy (mp3)

Jun 7, 2007

JustSayin Showcase #2

Sunday June 10th (6PM) at Cafe Montmartre
Amy X Neuburg and Beatrix*Jar

AMY X NEUBURG is an internationally-renowned, classically-trained experimental opera singer from Oakland, California. Her incredible live performance innovatively uses electronic looping and sampling to construct complex, emotionally-intense songs that she classifies as "avant-cabaret". She's never been to Madison and is Not To Be Missed. SERIOUSLY. Even if you've never heard her, just come. I promise. I will personally issue you a refund if you don't enjoy it.

Amy X Neuburg - myspace

Learn the creative short-circuiting of low voltage, battery-powered electonic audio devices (including synthesizers and children's toys) to create new musical instruments. The workshop will be taught by the Minneapolis art-sound duo Beatrix * JAR who will also perform.

Beatrix * JAR - YouTube

Jun 6, 2007

The Year of the Cicada

Britta Johnson - Share This Place [excerpt] (2003)

Empathy with bugs is rarely so emotional. Until they swarm into our living rooms or onto our albums, we pay little attention. But ignorance of their presence does not indicate a lack of a relationship. The word ignorance is rooted in an active complicity of ignoring something that exists. Insects intimately inhabit the dark spaces in our houses and the crevices of our bodies. Their hardened fragility is able to penetrate the indestructible walls we construct around ourselves only to die in the middle of the floor. If we take the time to zoom in, we marvel at their relatively super-human strength and Odyssean diligence, but are confused by their foreign anatomy and frightening futility.

This flexing of perspective inspires tremendous human art, including
Yoko Ono's Odyssey and watching Lucifugia Thigmotaxis through a View Master. From under the soil during this year of the cicada is born another inspect-inspired project; a collaboration between the quirky subtleties of Mirah, the adventurous instrumentation of Spectratone International, and the stop motion animation of Britta Johnson. And it's amazing.

Mirah & Spectratone International - Gestation of the Beetle (mp3)

Don't appreciate insects? Try this one, it's irresistibly relevant...

Mirah & Spectratone International - Community (mp3)

Jun 4, 2007

You're A Wasp Nest

Mykola Zhuravel - Aggressive Beekeeping (2002)

Madison music blog Muzzle of Bees welcomes The National to the High Noon Saloon this Saturday with the highest of acclaim for their recently released album "Boxer". It's certainly a steady companion and formidable follow up to "Alligator", but this weekend is our chance to see how it plays live.

Matt Beringer's vocals scratch like a slightly-more-dexterous Bill Callahan and resonate like sustained effort through a struggle. Words push through his throat like an arm through an uncooperative wool sleeve; reasonable sacrifice if the outcome is the comfort of a favourite sweater. Some National songs emerge gristly and confrontational ("Abel"), but most glisten softly with perspective like shattered beer bottles in morning streets; telling remnants of a past scourge. Everyone wants to witness a crisis, but lasting importance is asserted by those gradual experiences that necessitate extended reflection. Their persistance leaves the shallow pomp for the birds while embedding deep in intention, tone, and focus. Stories steeped in such experience can be heard throughout The National's work.

The National - Wasp Nest (mp3) [From "Chery Tree"]

Jun 2, 2007

Let Time Change Your Ways

Julia Fullerton - Fishnet [from Teenage Stories series] (2006)

This song helps decide how long to wait for absolute certainly before accepting knowledge. How long to hold onto knowledge before letting it go in the breeze. How long to sit in the breeze before moving in for the night. And how long it will take to start another day.

Madeline Peyroux - Don't Wait Too Long (mp3) [headliner of Jazz Fest this weekend in Madison]

Jun 1, 2007

Humbled By Giants

Mike Kelley - Frankenstein (1989)

Kimya Dawson - I Like Giants (mp3): Kimya writes everyday parables that are straight forward enough to fit into children's books. But instead of discouraging youth from chewing on the binding, she enjoys the wetting of the cover's watercolored clouds that she'd describe as "cute as fuck". Poingnat lessons engorge blunt red from the reckless honesty of her speeding words. She is the beautiful difference between having truth and having too much truth.