Aug 29, 2008

Downtown This Night Is All Gone

Kyle Pfister - Kyle (2005)

Everyone has gone home for the holiday, leaving the entire floor empty as midnight. So I carefully pull my headphones from the jack and let the pulsing synth of Woven's new album "Designer Codes" loose under the halogens. The first note of Trumpeting Strength spurts out like a fire hose, landing hard against a line of file cabinets along the wall and quickly pooling on the gray carpet at my feet. The cube soon fills to the brim and spills over into the next like an enormous ice cube tray. Places that usually house eight hour batches of complaints and exceptions now fill one-by-one with cymbal crescendos. As the sound deepens in Fragments, three ring binders and toner cartridges take float and clink heavy echoes against each other in the waves. I've climbed to the top of the copy machine, which is quickly picked off the floor by the tide and stays anchored only by the cord still plugged to the wall. The Soundtrack To A Chance Meeting dances in eddies between my toes. I place my head against the glass and begin photocoping my thoughts as I fall asleep. I think it's important to capture a memory of them in a frame on my desk on Monday. I crumple the photocopy of that thought about the frame and toss it into the sea of Nothin so I can remember only unconsciousness. The paper floats for a minute, unfolds slightly, becomes saturated, and sinks. To catch the current of She Blows My Amplifier, I reach down and pull the cord from the wall. Thankfully, the hallway is long and straight and I've got all weekend.

Woven - She Blows My Amplifier (mp3) [Appearing October 14th at The Frequency]

Aug 25, 2008

Collaborating with Eternity

Jim Torok - I Don't Know What To Do (2007)

In search of answers, I bought a muted green paperback pamphlet this week from 1948 with a title in blue and in a jagged sunburst shouting "Collaborating with Eternity". The subtitle, outside the sunburst, continues "How to Crash the Barriers of Time and Space and Live in the Eternal Now". Directly below the line of text simple only in its font was stamped a shooting star and a quick sketch of what seemed to be Saturn with a hay-like ring, but could just as easily have been a seeded bird's nest. Under the impression that it may have some helpful vintage philosophy to impart about making ones way in this eternity, I flipped it open and read the first sentence: "Time and space are two toys which God has given to man with which he amuses himself while waiting outside the Garden of Heaven."

The yellowed pages proceed to question why the world is viewed in terms of space and time instead like the angels in heaven view it - as a simple temple in the midst of eternity. That would certainly be easier. But my favorite part is a few pages in when the author quickly drops the pseudo-philosophy angle altogether and like a preacher raising his voice and fists simultaneously, decides that all capital letters will help him make his point: BUT IF WE TRUST ALL TO GOD AND STAY OUR MIND WHOLLY ON HIM, THEN ALL THINGS COME TO US IN PERFECT ORDER AND IN PERFECT SEQUENCE, AND OUR MIND IS KEPT IN PERFECT PEACE, BECAUSE WE TRUST IN HIM.

Yes, alas, perfection and perfection and perfection. The answer is Jesus.

Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat (mp3)

Aug 22, 2008

The Nobility of Mobility

Mary Mattingly - The New Mobility of Home [The Nobility of Mobility] (2004)

There are two interactions with the earth: absorptive or reflective. To me, the images express a yearning, yet an inability to absorb. A placemerge happens; the combinative process in photography of merging places to create new collusive possibilities - in landscape; new predictive telluric changes and re-location of imagination. As the cut-up maps and mapping of the land from aerial photographs, photography configures new and predictive spaces. The nomadic subject adjusts, re-configures, and re-learns what it means to survive. When I think of the nomad, that person can be an environmental or political refugee, a wanderer, a displaced worker, an explorer, a gamer forging new virtual lands, a voyager, a helper, a mapper, and in not much time I expect essentially anyone and everyone will be re-focused on survival, acclimation, and movement. - Mary Mattingly

Ghostland Observatory - Heavy Heart (mp3)

Aug 20, 2008

We Are The Landlords

Elena Willis - Aberfan 1966 (2007)

Take a minute out of your day to mourn a child and a set of human parents. Mourn the hope you know in your heart and don't see in your arms. Do you ever wonder why coal waste exists to engulf and suffocate? Or rain to crash levees and drown? Because our blood is ocean, our skin oil. Because we are participants in a ritual larger than the tragedies we think are the end. We are the essence of the hope we mourn, not the mourning. Place no blame, point no fingers, take your aim.

Are you afraid to have someone believe in you?
Can you commit to your ideals?
Even if you think nothing of it,
are you willing to allow others to think the world of it,
and of you?
Pedagogue of Young Gods.

All slavery ever does is free you.
All anyone ever does is an example.
All power is just collective energy.
To abuse the privilege is to sell your soul
and that is to rent with the illusion of owning.
We are the landlords.
If you misunderstand us,
you're dead and deserve your demise.
Your dominion is your overthrow.
The controllers are controlled.
Spread the word,
it will save you
and depends on you to be understood.
There is no school bell, only nursery.
Our heroes reward us with stars,
ever-still, ever-moving.
We sing to ourselves in our cars.
Music is our sanctuary.
Anywhere you put it it's ours.
Our living voice,
our living testament.
We dream aloud,
we scream and shout.
Our courage will defeat them.
Our struggle will unite us.
Our wisdom is ourselves,
our resources our own,
our blood ocean,
our skin oil.

We are mountain and waterfall,
they cannot contain us.
Their prisons will not restrain us,
their customs will not un-name us.
We are what they know in their hearts,
you guessed it,
you knew that,
you felt it,
you tried to doubt it,
denied it,
but you knew it,
ain't nobody had to tell you.
We had them from the start.
A world apart, a world within,
ancient and luminous.
The before before and the hereafter.
We are the essence of laughter.
The comforting prayer
and the gatekeepers
and the street-sweepers.
A mountain of ports outside of a city of dreams.
A bird that prays, yet offers its wingspan to the wind.
Things are not as they seem.
We hover above while giving the appearance of scurrying below.
All is as it should be.
We are more than we know.
More than we hoped and dreamed,
a generation of generators,
a power source and supply.
The better we learn to live,
the better we learn to die.
Old as anything,
old as everything,
we are participants in a ritual
older than our collective memory,
a marriage of heart and mind,
secular and divine.

All is as it should be.
Slavery carefully bred us.
No child of Greece or Rome can behead us.
We are ahead of our time.
Slavery was simply a state of mind.
Hip hop reminded us of confidence.
Overcoming now is simply common sense.
You deserve the ice and the riches of Solomon.
But don't let warped values turn you into hollow men.
Education is the only thing given that cannot be taken.
Learn to think for yourself,
analyze the forsaken.
Pimp your fears,
surrender to love,
dance all night when you need to.
Play this song for a thug,
let 'em know ain't no judgment.
We all hustle and grind,
any system against us is against the divine.
But there's no sense of glory in repenting,
and repeating,
their mistakes.
You have a greater calling.
Answering it is all it takes.
Take a second to hear this
and go back about your day.
Know that laws don't govern us,
we're governed by what we say.
What we think, why we think it, how we handle.
Place no blame, point no fingers, take your aim.

Shoot to kill. The bullshit.

Saul Williams - Pedagogue of Young Gods (mp3)

Aug 18, 2008

Half Asleep or Worse

Catherine Murphy - Comforter (2007)

When I first downloaded this new album by Diamonds (for free) and listened to the opening song "The Waking", I was struck that its power is in the changing. Instead of two separate songs, one of 2:28 and one of 2:12, the power is that this song is only one, of 4:40. The familiar blankets of slow waking here are also blankets of endless hope and joy. I wonder what fabric softener they use.

Diamonds - The Waking (mp3)

Aug 17, 2008

How Much I Really Love To Hear

Karin Weiner, Anonymous, 2008

This is where I belong. With you. Birds. With you birds. With you. Birds. This is. This is. Where I belong. With you. With you. Birds. You. Birds. Without you. Birds. This is where I belong. With you, birds. With you. Birds. With you, birds. This is. This is where I belong. Where I belong. With you. Birds. Birds.

Joe Lagapglia - Birds Flew By (mp3)

Aug 16, 2008

Built Backwards From the End of the Cassette

Clarence Morgan - Reworked Iconography (2005)

In a sweat stained-basement or onstage at the dingy watering hole: this what we seek. This is where we find the music that we burn for. This is where it finds us. It’s not at your patted-down by hired hands, heavily air-conditioned, megamall concert plexes. You can’t find them opening up the stadium for Coldplay. You won’t see any tweens tearing them up like they are the second coming of the Jonas Brothers. You won’t even find them being cried all over by the blogosphere.

You will find them where passion drips from the walls. Where you play because you want to – where you play because you need to. Rhythm is racing hearts. The melody moves boulders. Bouncer Fighter is musically generous – bordering on destructive. They scratch and claw at the ceiling. You’ll leave in pieces.

The Midwest be warned. Bouncer Fighter is filling up the van and heading from Minneapolis to Chicago and back. Check their myspace page for dates. Madison, you are up first. They play Sunday at Frequency.

This is a special extra dirty live track.

- Nic

Bounce Fighter - Grizzly Bears and Electric Chairs (mp3)

Aug 13, 2008

No Time To Analyse

Karin Weiner - Above The Abyss The Clouds Are Gathering (2008)

As I sit in the dark after days in silence, this song is my new sonar. Its doppler drives me outside through the cracked screens to meet the rush of cars passing the corner intersection. There are times to analyze and there are times to close your eyes and be taken.

Thom Yorke - Analyse (mp3)

Aug 12, 2008

Bigger Things

Jim Torok - If I Just Believed In God (2007)

Dreams are too pretend and "are" is too definite and "too" is too judgmental. Ba dee dee dat ba ba de dadee dadee da. But don't worry because dreams threaten your security, worry because you already know your security isn't real and yet you're choosing to live your life like it is. Da dee dee dat ba ba de dadee dadee da. Stress is just choice and "just" is too dismissive and "choice" is too simple. Ba dee dee dat ba ba de dadee dadee da. But don't worry because stress seems unavoidable, worry because choosing stress can be a more complicated and meaningful choice. Ba da deedee da deedee da dee dadee da.

Aug 9, 2008

I Tell Myself I Have Nothing To Say

Matthew Sleeth - Trolley (2003)

I have a reoccurring dream that I am a shopping cart, or a "trolley" as seen here by Matthew Sleeth. Not riding in, or using, but being. The sensation is stiff, stuck in a straight path, and constantly bracing for an inevitable head-on collision. It's a night with accelerated inertia and perpetual conflict. A night spent bouncing off walls and thin metal bars with nickel chrome finishes shivering like tambourines. The dream finally ends in black by rolling off the edge of a stage and staring at the ceiling. Karl Blau has dreams too, caused by direct sun. But they sound more like organs than tambourines, and more like napping dragons than grocery carriages.

Aug 6, 2008

Wayward Dreams

Adam Stennett - Girl With Tussin Looking Left (2007)

Today smells like the gray exhaustion of a decrepit Saab and the adhesive glue of cheap packing tape. Somewhere on the way to here in the dark heat, bank robbery and hiding in the closet became options for a nice summer Thursday after work. The footsteps outside on the sidewalk could easily become heavy pounds on the door. The life posted on craigslist could easily empty the apartment. Tonight is noisy silence for a split-lipped lullaby.

Southerly - Split-Lipped Lullaby (mp3) [Playing The Project Lodge this Saturday]

Aug 2, 2008

Just As It Should Be

Russell (animation) and Chelia (music) Huettner - Swift Wings (2007)

Make & Send:
The practice of making songs and sending them to your friends right away. This family shares music like bathroom sinks and goodnight kisses. Music is their paper plates and peas and walks around the block and calls to grandma. It's a casualness about melody that can't get closer to real, unspoken love.

Cheila Huettner - Call From My Gram (mp3)

Cheila Huettner - Hiatus (mp3)

Russell Huettner - Nothing Really (mp3)

There are so many more to be found here.