He was an artisan, there was no mistaking that. He had those little glasses that artisans wore, perched right up on his nose in a wise, knowing way. You could just tell that this dude could carve cool little things out of wood. And he could probably bake a loaf of bread that would make your grandmother weep. Nothing that came from this man, this master of crafts and practical arts, would resemble the cheap industrial simulacra that most people purchased, ate, drank, lied upon, or respired within. This was a man for our times, a man who could produce artisanal dips, whips, sauces, and waters on command. A true human, in other words, and not just a wet sack of sorrowful hot breath.
The last of the new interns had run far far away, leaping over the hedge and across the stream to the bright green freedom of the forest, and beyond there to the mountains studded with the wrecks of old planes, the accidental ruins of the time before the time before. Huddled in the soft metal shelter of the relics, the interns rub their hands above an impromptu fire, lit no doubt when one of them shot a flare gun into a pile of paper, and shout to each other above the wind about their plans to live fresh lives without the strictures of any program, guide, or government, their eyes at wide aperture to take in every prospect, their voices garbled by desire, statements distorted by words formerly only thought and not spoken. I imagine the tales they told and tell each other, here and on the mountain, and I construct the diorama of their escape with the aid of mental condensation of thought and the manipulation of the flattened pulp of extinct trees, a scene of overjoy before the catastrophe, before the mountain battens down its hatches with its thick wind and snow blight, a fluttering of moths before the crackle of the lamplight. I put the box on its side and install the figures. We later take turns with the telescope, spying on their progress, those young dumb pioneers who know nothing of climbing, cold, ice, or how to build a fire, but yearn without saying to stand on the peak, they will walk through cold as thick and present as clear jello to their tombs at the top, where they’ll look down through the valley at us, gazing back up.
[Caveat: the audio for this is taken from the awesome video for this song which you should go watch]
You Go Where I Put You is a little less
Mu than Thighs on Vinyl
the first Fitness song
a little more
Junior Boys x NIN (?)
Big neon synths
Smooth louche vocals
"You always wanted something out of reach" (Tantalus?)
and says, politely, understandingly,
"YOU CAN HAVE A FREAKOUT"
And I do. I have many.
Throughout the day.
"You go where I put you
I know what's best for you."
This is a song for times of arrogance,
certainty, BIG plans, little grooves, and
the feeling of knowing you might be right
This is after you've been strung out on Women, Fels-Naptha, Androgynous Mind, Cindy Lee (all Pat Flegel), and Viet Cong (Matt Flegel). You find Faux Fur, the now-sadly-defunct band of Matt and Pat's little brother, Andrew. Faux Fur sounds more like Women than any of the other post-Women bands. More like Public Strain-era Women than anything else that's come after Public Strain. Which isn't to say that Faux Fur sounds exactly like Women, but it's pretty close. This band is more playful than Women ever were, which is probably a good thing, and they know (or knew) their way around a tune. Almost all the tracks on their second album (self-titled) are catchy and feature that same sort of wirework guitar tone that you can hear on Women's albums, in Chad VanGaalen's work, and in parts of the Viet Cong album. "Stoop" is one of the best songs on the album, so sinuous and defiant. This album is well worth your time---it sounds like glamorous evil. It's too bad Faux Fur's gone, but let's see what happens next.
Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes goes way real on Aureate Gloom. Telling secrets. Talking some hard talk in Bassem Sabry about "a master's voice," and how he's never followed it. There's chatter about how this record is a true record of some tough times in Barnes's life--and no doubt, you can hear it--but he's not navel-gazing here, or at least he doesn't indulge that impulse entirely. Barnes seems like he's mourning not only his own personal relationship-failures and nadirs and bummers and fuck-ups, but also ours, all of ours, our horrible bullshit tendencies to destroy and consume and hate and burn and kill everything, why not. Thinking hard about the inherent shittiness of human beings is bound to produce some downer tunes, though Barnes does well to keep things steady, hummable, and wild.
God sent St. Anthony a robot, express, to help him pass the time in the desert. The robot arrived on a Tuesday morning, outside Anthony's mountainside tomb-home which lately had been disturbed by turbulent sandstorms. God had not told Anthony that he was sending the robot, for He wanted it to be a surprise. He wanted to see the hermit's face when he stepped out of his tomb for his morning micturation and saw the automaton standing there, attentive and personable, ready for fellowship and conversation. Anthony's expression when shocked--his bearded rictus of surprise--was known throughout Egypt for effecting joy and delight in all who perceived it, so genuine was the emotion displayed on his face that those who saw it could not help but partake in the experience remotely. "Like the surprise of Abba Antonius," was a common saying in Alexandria at the time, a figure of speech used to denote something that was without guile or disguise.
Sauna is the easily the most accessible album that Phil Elverum has released in a while, or at least it's one of the easiest to listen to. So pretty, all the way through. I like the way that he characterizes this album as almost an assemblage of things he's been thinking about, or was thinking about when he recorded it last summer. His records occasionally feel a little like books--and this one does especially, with a mix of influences fed through a unique sensibility to produce something aesthetically remarkable. There's a bit of the darkness of the last three records, but also some of the insane melodic invention of It Was Hot..., Glow pt. 2, Mt. Eerie, Dawn. I can see why he referred to it as the "ultimate" Mount Eerie record, since it definitely feels like a summation of everything he'd explored previously. Perfect winter record.
Walking walking walking walking, tree root, stone, walking walking walking walking. Ridge, draw. Valley. Frozen stream. The fabric-fall poof of pine boughs shedding clouds of snow. White, gray, filtered white, harder white, dirt. Wandering, walking walking walking walking.
This is some class-A mope-around jamming from Death Cab, taken from their best album (for me), The Photo Album. This was the top of their game. I knew it. I told Ben in an open letter that I posted on the DCFC message board*. I was like, 'hey man, this is the best you've ever been. Over Christmas break from school, I was at home, shoveling the shit out of some horrible snow, and I listened to this album on my Discman. Hard. In the cold. With actual icicles dangling from my numbed-out hands as I shoveled chunk after chunk of wet and heavy snow with my family's bullshit toy of a shovel. This album kept me warm, in a way, sort of conceptually, as I miserably cleared our driveway and sidewalk, and as I mentally audited the mistakes I had made in my recent relationship. Movie Script Ending, man, that spoke to me--like a friend putting a hand on my shoulder and being like, 'everything sucks. remember that. Women are hard to figure out, like a puzzle that's running away from you and telling you to fuck off.' Don't ever change the band. Keep making this.' They did not keep making this. Transatlanticism was fine and good, but I didn't really enjoy it as much as the Photo Album, and then after that I stopped paying attention for whatever reason. The Photo Album is still pretty fun to listen to.
*Not really, but if I had, I'm sure it would've been something like the above.
Dude is a genius, not that I'm taking a bold stance by saying that. But I think Aphex Twin is capable of pretty much anything in terms of soundcraft, melody, rhythm, etc. I can imagine handing him a stack of complex musical thought experiments, produced by thinkers and musicologists around the world, like, say, "A planetoid is discovered to be hollow. What sort of percussive noise would it produce when struck by a storm of micro-meteorites?" or "All the cars on a highway, for no known reason, erupt in a sort of horn-song for the duration of the drive from one exit to the next, a distance of four miles. Edit the resulting horn-song into four compelling up-tempo hits." And then he comes back a month later both with music that matches the criteria and then some extra music that he just thought of on his own; he started from the thought experiments but then added other, stricter, weirder constraints as well. There is artistic ambition and restlessness and then there's what Aphex Twin does, which is a whole other game.