Jul 31, 2008

If You Can Find Me, Come Find Me

Jessica Rowe - Girdle (2008)

Love and Death. A haughty toss-up. This is what those straight-faced lovers push around. They have such weight and such beauty, crushing these bones. Roma di Luna make these old tales dance and scream. Listen close, and you can here it.

She evokes all those things we keep close. He stomps about, making us feel the wind hard against our wracked flesh. We feel the wind blowing, and it blows somewhere towards the end of us.

It’s rich and tough, gorgeous and overwhelming, heart and guts, it’s all of those things and it’s love and death. Listen close, because it’s all inevitable.

- Nic

Roma di Luna - The Romance of the Wolves (mp3)

Roma di Luna - Ghost Dance (mp3)

Roma di Luna - I'm Gone (mp3)

Jul 28, 2008

Trees Lay By

Tim Simmons - Leapish Moss Wood Path (2004)

At the end of the day I will find a tree to sit and sink by. To ease into the soil and press my tissue up against its roots. The grits of my bone coarse against the soft bark and my breath warm against its leaves. A spirit stays grounded in space only as long as space stands still. Then it becomes grounded the evolution of every second, of every year until it falls into the sea. I will be visited only by songs about trees and Josephine Foster who will know me by a slight touch of her finger in the puddle of my potassium and a touch to her lips.

Josephine Foster - Trees Lay By (mp3)

Josephine Foster - The Garden Of Earthly Delights (mp3)

Jul 24, 2008

The Rumen of the Week

Susan Dupor - Fallen Deer (2004)

Rabbits Without Spleens - Falling On Deaf Ears (mp3): This is tripping over your feet and falling face first into the soft end of a dream. Into the deep symbolism of the a feathery pillow. Into the paunch of a rabbit with no spleen.

Jul 22, 2008

A Surrogate Hospital

Jenn Ackerman - Trapped: Mental Illness in America's Prisons (2007)

While in Arizona, I thought I'd post a local band.. oh and on the state of our care for our mentally ill. When the economy turns south and brings institutional budgets along, precedents suggest the most vulnerable become the most undesireable expenses. I'm not sure when it became acceptable for "treatment" to be synonymous with "imprisonment", but I'm sure the definition of recovery will be impacted as a result. Michael Wasmund's compositions sound like this intersection of cold concrete and quality of life.

Michael Wasmund - Mental Hopsital Rec Room (mp3)

Jul 20, 2008

From a Minnesota Hole

Bob Dylan - Untitled

Let the following be Nic's introduction (without the enthusiastic bear hug he'd characteristically impart). He's a valued friend who will be contributing weekly in our format of art - words - music... and I'm excited to have him.


I am from Minnesota. You know, the one that’s cold, and filled with quaint little folk. I want to share a secret with you. Don’t tell anyone…but, Minnesota has one of the best music scenes in the country.

So, every week I will tell you about one of my favorite little secrets.
This first week, I want to get Minnesota’s most famous musician out of the way. Before it all he started quiet. He started small. Guitar, voice, hamonica dusty road. Bob Dylan didn’t invent what he did, he was a drop in a river. These songs show the vulnerable. The lovestruck kid from the iron range, his heart a deep hole. Listen for him scratching his way out. Listen for the heart. Let him make you feel trapped again. Let him make you remember. Let him go. - Nic

Bob Dylan - Dink's Song [Home Recording] (mp3)

Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right [Demo Version] (mp3)

Jul 18, 2008

We All Fall Down

Gunilla Klingberg - Cosmic Matter (2007)

Merill is a puppet master. She puppets ears drums, up and down to say yes and left and right to say no at her whim. Her blunt yodel pounds the membranes and her screech plucks the hair cells. She makes the lifeless listener expressive with only dirty moans and a ukelle. It's a hard job, but someone has to make humans shake inside. And she does it with her knuckles pressed deep in the skin.

Tune Yards - Hatari (mp3)

Tune Yards - When You Tell The Lions (mp3)

Jul 15, 2008

So Get A Move On and Jump In

Martynka Wawrzyniak - Untitled (2006)

Today Forward Music Fest announced tons of amazing bands who will be playing Madison 9/19-20. Two-day passes are on sale now for only $25 at www.ForwardMusicFest.com. Here's a sampling of some of the new pieces I'm most excited about:
  • The Brooklyn duo High Places whose free-flowing indie moo moo has recently been draped all over the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Gorilla vs Bear. [myspace]
  • The sunny, enunciated pop of Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, fresh off Rilo Kiley's spring tour. [myspace]
  • Howe Gelb's alt-country band Giant Sand, which boasts an incredible list of past guest members and originally employed half of Calexico. [myspace]
  • Milwaukee's indie-rock all-stars Decibully. [myspace]
  • Dreamy-ballad collective Stars Like Fleas (featuring Madison's own Ryan Smith and Oldham-lauded solo artist Sam Amidon) who recently released what Pitchfork called "one of the year's most ambitious and daring records". [myspace]
  • The insane performance rock of Monotonix. [myspace]
  • A DJ set by Bloodshot Records' owner Nan Warshaw and the gentle new oldies of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir from her label. [myspace]
  • Punk remants of Leftover Crack, Choking Victim, and The Degenerics on their first tour under the new name Star Fucking Hipsters. [myspace]
  • Chicago band The Dials' popular eclectic retro-pop stylings. [myspace]
  • The reunion of Scared of Chaka, an influential punk rock band that includes The Shins bassist Dave Hernandez. [myspace]
  • Midwest indie darlings Headlights whose polished videos are some of the very few still shown by MTV. [myspace]
  • The acoustic stories of Kazutaka Nomura as PWRFL Power, taking a break from being a national insurance salesman. [myspace]
  • Haunting gusto from Chicago electro-outfit Aleks and the Drummer. [myspace]
  • One-man oddity Grampall Jookabox and his handmade Midwest folk. [myspace]
  • Plus Madison favourites Pale Young Gentlemen, Screaming Cyn Cyn & The Pons, Droids Attack, Blueheels and many more...

High Places - Jump In [For Gilkey Elementary School] (mp3): If the project didn't already have a theme song, I'd suggest this one.

Jul 12, 2008

The Fragile Inspire Care

Cesar Harada and Tommaso Lanza - Industrial Fragility (2007)

Cesar Harada asks us politely if our modern arrogance is trained by the disrespect we show towards the increasingly disposable objects that we surround ourselves with. What if your coffee mug, instead of being replaceable for only $1.00 at Walmart, demanded some respect in return? What if it was not designed to sit perfectly plum and serve, but instead to be fragile and complex. What if it was made of thin crystal and sat on the absolute edge of your desk, requiring the care of regular monitoring and adjusting so it wouldn't topple and smash on the laminate tile below? Would its inherent challenge teach us to pay attention? Would our relationship with it become less dominant and more giving? In a society of what morals does designing to inspire care replace designing for convenience?

Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree (mp3): Perhaps this is what Chis is trying to show you by choosing banjo over electric guitar and asking you to light his body on fire and send it out to sea on a lone fishing boat. He thinks our fragility is also what makes us worthy of love.

Jul 7, 2008

My Kind of Party

Clunie Reid - I Need You To Behave (2007)

A pair of Benjis for you: one sang like he's caught between sips of coffee and the other after his last vodka and red bull. Same voice, different tone. Once waiting for the party and getting old, once in the middle of it and forgetting his name. Tonight he's going to pass out on your lawn and sell a million records - I suggest you join in.

Benji Hughes - Waiting For An Invitation (mp3)

Benji Hughes - Why Do These Parties Always End The Same Way (mp3)

Jul 2, 2008


Slater Bradley - Gold Dark Night of the Soul (2007)

Shugo Tokumaru says
Parachute like a child rushing to add purple flowers to a field that before looked only like this: -------------------. He's got xylophones like crayons. Buckets full of wax nubs and bells falling off the bone to scatter in that field. Where Night Piece was slightly atmopheric and reflective in nature, this is skipping stones. This is a drawing of quick fluttering love as light choirs and wind chimes. He'll be the one in short shorts waving it in the air like bees wings to show you come September.

Shugo Tokumaru - Parachute (mp3)