I forget what I'm doing all the time
The following struck something in me in the year 2012
(then I forgot that I had begun writing this for 11 months, then finished it)
Jeff Zagers - "Key Conduction" cassetteThis is THE premier unheralded unheard album of 2012. Constant subject of 'who is this?' where ever I've played it, yet there are only 40 copies in the world: a sad state of affairs. This album-length cassette is a superiorly dense, strobing, multicultural and nondenominational sampling of the majority of valuable innovations that Western music has to offer. People that say they like a little bit of everything should take note, but we all have our own idea of what that really means. Jeff is just trying to do his part to destroy music and reorder the parts he reduces it to into beautiful superstructures made of limited means and indefatigable imagination. More power to him.
Russian Tsarlag - "Voyage to the Encrusted Pillow" CDrCarlos handed this to me in Tampa, now he's in Providence, things are much the same. This one is a little calmer and/or less new wave than the other recent albums, quickly saw reissue on cassette via Not Not Fun, back out of print now. There is nothing like these songs. Impure pop. Opener "Waiting for the Rat" is the killer show-offy this-is-what-this-is-and-can-do number that has long been threatened. "Again" is a strychnine love song that somehow gorilla glues bedroom-intimacy-horror-freak wail-n-fumble to the sultry paranoid grooves of mid-70s R & B. Essential. Night Burger Noah Anthony made a really cool mix tape that's over here. Thinking about doing another one, cuz as good as that is, almost none of my favorites are on there.
Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland - "Black is Beautiful" CD/LP
I don't know why this music speaks to me, but it does, while I mistrust it and it's most of it's fans or advocates (except Brian Blomerth) which probably means it's truly good, right?
Nate Young - "Regression Volume 3 Other Days" CD
This album just saw reissue as a wonderful sounding double LP thanks to the dudes from Demdike Stare and the idea of the vanity imprint. Young's magick has been particularly strong of late, even in that classic rock noise band he do. Skateboard, write, jam, warp, paint, cut grooves, repeat. Steady practices and exploration of your capacity keep life pretty interesting. I've always appreciated the Wolf Eyes dudes for showing that in name and deed.
Daniel Lopatin and Tim Hecker - "Instrumental Tourist" CD
Don't really care for much of what either of these guys have done before, but this clubbed me over the head. Non-denominational electronic music, variously fractured, orderly, melodic, textural, careful, silly, heavy, fun. Sort of jazzy, too? Like a David O. Russell movie in sound.
Lazy Magnet - "Acts Without Error" LP
"No Dolby No DBX" cassette
Two versions of the same or a very similar song cycle. Sort of like DMT/Nightclub version versus red wine/bedroom catharsis version. Daryl Seaver's dad is very handsome.
Form a Log - live download (http://blowinguptheworkshop.com/)
The best bands barely exist nowadays, thankfully there are still new recordings coming out all the time.
Tracey Trance - "Pyper Kub" cassette
The burping manifesto is released into the cosmos and Tracy starts spinning the splice of life stories into chewy bubblegum and sudsy beer power pop. Thank you, Ty, this is beautiful. Recently reissued on LP by some insane coalition of 5+ record labels, go grab it!
Rale - "I Sit by the Window and Watch Walls and Ceiling" CD
"The Moon Regarded and the Bright One Sought" cassette
The CD is a gritty and detailed journey thru a complex world of textural sound and perhaps indeterminate compositions because altho tracks begin and end, elements often continue across sectional "breaks" and the album moves as one giant nearly ceaseless work. Something is being regarded in this process with regards to density and careful attention. The cassette is a circular suite of complex swells and negative spaces that is strong and beautiful and sort of relative as to whether or not it meets the concerns of "music" per se. I play it on continuous loop for periods of time, especially while writing, it feels ancient and definitely has the capacity to stimulate orderly brain function for me. Do people want that out of music? Bill doesn't seem to care. My world is a better place for his polite impetuousness.
Taboo - "Ice Livestock Earth-Mound Blood" LP
I am not an apologist. This work is too challenging for the lay person but strong and potentially rewarding medicine for the schizoid rest of us. With no constraint on the possibility of preachiness (you stand warned) I want to address the protesting and punky-sanction against the west coast Taboo/Ancestral Diet tour dates of 2012. Fascism, which Taboo have been accused of, visibly lives on in telling other people what they can say and present or represent, especially under threat of violence or censorship. That fascistic intention rings all the more pathetic and terrible if persons purporting a specific political intention in others can't establish evidence for these accusations beyond their personal, and thus potentially very misguided, readings of their victims' artistic endeavors. I use the word victims here because I posit that this is a definitive example of persecution. Standing against something that we don't understand, something we can't admit comfortably to not being able to fathom the precise depth, dimensions or inference of is a deeply human flaw which has led to terrifying aberrant human milestones like the Spanish inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the medical practices of the dark ages, etc. But since the enlightenment era humanity has allowed for, hell, even rewarded, if compelling enough, the distance between knowing (the creator) and pondering (the audience) in all of the arts. It was regarded kindly as purposeful mystery, one of the primary tools in the palette of aesthetics, and we didn't bully people for not declaring their intentions. Especially not fucking pagan rock n roll weirdos who live in seclusion from and transgression of status quo value systems in a fashion FAR more wild and idiosyncratic and individualistic than their detractors seem. I say to the protesters: while you decry what you don't understand, showing plainly many boorish and fascist intentions, I take pleasure in not understanding and trying to decipher the poetic codec of artists work for myself. And all the while Taboo don't give a fuck about either of us or our perspectives and do not seem interested in converting anyone to a 'cause.' Punk rock made people comfortable self-righteously demanding musicians explain themselves and their intention in their work, and in the process nearly completely killed songwriting as a viable artform, but we gotta move on whether or not everyone can get on board. It's in the interest of laminar motion in terms of creativity and freedom of expression. Otherwise we'll stop producing visionaries and our society will disintegrate in consumerism and self-policing niche-community social mandates (oh wait...). What a painful world that would be to live in. Hopefully there will never be a shortage of ambiguity, freedom, indecision, wariness or personal visions of the world. Be careful. Find out what you are really seeing. It might just be yourself and your own dark impulses. Happens all the time.