reading watching listening

Reading
Mirror Empire – Kameron Hurley
Event Factory – Renee Gladman
Elysium, or the World After – Jennifer Marie Brissett
Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
The Ninjas – Jane Yeh
On the Steel Breeze – Alastair Reynolds
Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
Texture Notes – Sawako Nakayasu
Just Kids – Patti Smith
Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried: My Life as a Revolting Cock – Chris Connelly
Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews – Simon Reynolds
Lapsos – Inés Estrada
Susceptible – Geneviève Castrée
Heads or Tails – Lilli Carré

Watching
The total non-event that was RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7
The amazingness of Swansea City FC
The continuing sadness of the Chicago Fire
This fabulous season of the Chicago Red Stars
Women’s World Cup 2015
Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce
Uncle Grandpa

(and as chosen by my son…)
Alice in Wonderland
The Wizard of Oz
Big Hero 6
Home
Scooby Doo
Minions
Justice League

Listening
Syro – Aphex Twin
Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP – Aphex Twin
Jerusalem – Sleep
Rosa – La Lá
Hasta la Raiz – Natalia Lafourcade
Ison – Me Jane You Listen
There are like ten songs that absolutely rule by Nicki Minaj. I’ve been listening to those.
Fountainsun, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Hide. Live at Bohemian National Cemetery. A live show, even!
The Unquiet Sky, Guiltless, and From All Purity – Indian

radio loways may / june 2015

01. Don’t Change – INXS
02 Blonde Redhead – DNA
03. Suicide – Spacemen 3
04. Clockwise – Notekillers
05. Seven – Thundercat
06. There was a Time / Feel Alright – James Brown
07. Methods – Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf
08. The Works II – Alvin Curran
09. Shadow – Ernst Reijseger
10. Tuff Gnarl – Mike Watt

Unhelpful Notes
When I was a kid I loved INXS. Especially the albums Kick and X. Suicide Blonde was all the rage as were New Sensation, I Need You Tonight, etc. As I got older and into weirder musics, INXS fell by the wayside and seemed cheesy and pointless. But then I got even older, and I learned that they are cheesy, but not pointless. As far as pop goes, they’re pretty alright. And this song from when they were still largely babies, is pretty alright too. Babies making anthems. Bonus props for them for figuring out how to get the Heroes guitar sound.

The rhythm on Blonde Redhead is fantastic. The bass slow motion reverse duck walk in the video is pretty awesome too.

This, I think is my favorite Spacemen 3 song of all time. For me they are at their best when they do the long, drawn out, rave up, psych jams. Their flirtation with americana and more stripped down songs is alright, but this is where they thrive. Clearly. All they need is a synth drone and one riff and they are monstrous. I have no original opinions about this band.

I love, love, love, prog future soul. I feel like this is the type of music that should’ve been used in any future based movie to show what music would sound like in the future. It has such a weird sensibility and yet it’s totally palatable and easy and poppy. Delicious, Thundercat, delicious.

These two tracks from James Brown I think are my favorite. The beat and riff and endless loop repetition of the horns is amazing. I could listen to it for hours. I think this is the best version of these two, cuz it just goes on and on. Someone please remix this so that it goes on for like twenty minutes at least.

The Ernst Reijseger piece is perfection. Cello and organ. Beautiful. That’s all.

Usually I would say the original is better, but this cover of Tuff Gnarl I think is better. Maybe it’s cuz I’ve heard the original so many times that to hear it new is to hear it better. I feel like there’s more expression in this one. More emotion. More weirdness even. Sister is probably my least favorite Sonic Youth album. Maybe cuz the production is so shit. Everything sounds muffled and muddy. There are some good songs on there but overall they’re buried in the mix. So maybe hearing this one sound bright and clean helps too.

This edition was a dude fest sausage party. Apologies for that.

april 2015

April 6, 2015

Sadness this morning. Sad eyes without thoughts to back them up. Just there. Physical. No tears. Just the feeling behind the eyes. The opening and closing of ducts. Close the eyes. Shut my eyes to feel it. Accept it. Take it in. This is me right now. What does me feel like? What collection of stories am I right now? What is the sound of my voice right now? Who speaks and who talks. Coffee mouth. Register that. Focus only on that coffee. That liquid. Where does me end and coffee begin and back again. One to the other. Breathe into my eyes. This is now, this morning.

On my back in the yard of my parents house. Late afternoon. Sun falling behind the pine tree. Branches taper towards top. Patterns against blue sky. My sister next to me laying also on her back. My partner standing, drink in hand. Blonde with curls. Flower dress. She smiles. Our son plays with a giant blue ball. Our niece, his cousin, chases after. My sister’s husband is there, and our parents. Their voices. Smoke from a fireplace.

April 7, 2015

Dreamt I was a ghost. Waiting for people to open doors so that I could pass through. Can’t go through a closed door.

We wake early. Too early. Dark out still. Awoken by her alarm clock mistakenly set to the radio. She unplugs it in a hurry to shut it off. Too late. He wakes. Too early. Dad, can we get up? He whispers next to me.

No. I groan sigh mumble. It’s too early. Doze on and off for another ten minutes while he whispers unrecognizable sounds.

Dad, he whispers. Can we get up? Yes. But I can’t play yet, I can only watch something on the couch, okay?

Then he says, Today, after school, I will come home and have a snack and I will eat dinner and we will play and then I will go to bed and it’s mom’s turn and then i will sleep and when I come in to this bed I will sleep good and you can sleep more.

I am overcome with emotions once I realize what he is saying. Sympathy and wanting to help. Empathy. I am happy. You are a good boy. I say and kiss him on his head. Let’s go. Listo?

April 8, 2015

Laying in bed, listening to my family breathe. Her occasional snores without rhythm. His breath through his mouth. The cat between my legs, I am pinned. Snot running down the back of my throat. Every breath I have to swallow. Every swallow clogs my throat. Viscous breath. An itch in my throat. Snot coat and raw throat. Listening and periodically turning my head. One side. the other side. Pull the blanket over my mouth. My nose. To warm the air before I breathe it. Listen. Fall asleep.

April 21, 2015

We rake the dead stems and stalks of last years flowers and plants. Now dry husks. Pull them out by hand. Cracking them at the base. Heaping a pile of them in the yard. My son trampling them, then saying they are snakes. He and my dad are on a safari around the corner along the side of the garage. my son finds treasures. Metal wire, frames for landscaping, now without context. A glass decorative bulb buried in the ground. These are treasures. We are looking for treasure, he says.

It had been sunny and mild earlier in the day, but afternoon brought heavy clouds and a cold breeze. Drops of rain.

Cleaning the yard. My dad shows me how to get rid of weeds, creeping charlie, he calls it. With a spade.

We pile the dried stalks and stems in our metal fire pit adn I drop three lit matches in. Smoke gouts in three spots then flame. Instant ash and embers. Some carried in the wind with clouds. My son and my dad adding sticks from the yard. My dad shows him how to break the sticks up. Using both hand sto push one end into the ground until it snaps.

I add a few more bundles of dried stems. Each time the flame erupts around the bundles my son says, whoa, and stands at a safe distance throwing twigs over, around and sometimes into the flames.

The smoke and rain and cold clouds transform the evening from spring to fall as we sit on our couch looking out our windows.

denise levertov

I thought I would be more into Levertov based on what I read about her, but the heart wants what it wants. Her poems just didn’t click with me. I think they’re good, but I’m just not feeling it for whatever reason. The ones that struck me most were the ones about mundanity, but I think that’s where my interest is these days. She was also an activist and wrote in response to current events and injustice. Those were interesting, but again, ultimately they just didn’t resonate with me. Oh well.

The Dogwood

The sink is full of dishes. Oh well.
Ten o’clock, there’s no
hot water.
The kitchen floor is unswept, the broom
has been shedding straws. Oh well.

The cat is sleeping. Nikolai is sleeping,
Mitch is sleeping, early to bed,
asprin for a cold. Oh well.

No school tomorrow, someone for lunch,
4 dollars left from the 10 – how did that go?
Mostly on food. Oh well.

I could decide
to hear some chamber music
and today I saw – what?
Well, some huge soft deep
blackly gazing purple
and red ( and pale )
anemones. Does that
take my mind off the dishes?
And dogwood besides.
Oh well. Early to bed, and I’ll get up
early and put
a shine on everything and write
a letter to Duncan later that will shine too
with moonshine. Can I make it? Oh well.

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The Goddess

She in whose lipservice
I passed my time,
whose name I knew, but not her face,
came upon me where I lay in Lie Castle!

Flung me across the room, and
room after room (hitting the walls, re-
bounding – to the last
sticky wall – wrenching away from it
pulled hair out!)
till I lay
outside the outer walls!

There in cold air
lying still where her hand had thrown me,
I tasted the mud that splattered my lips:
the seeds of a forest were in it,
Asleep and growing! I tasted
her power!

The silence was answering my silence,
a forest was pushing itself
out of sleep between my submerged fingers.

I bit on a seed and it spoke on my tongue
of day that shone already among stars
in the water-mirror of low ground,
and a wind rising ruffled the lights:
she passed near me returning from the encounter,
she who plucked me from the close rooms,

without whom nothing
flowers, fruits, sleeps in season,
without whom nothing
speaks in its own tongue, but returns
lie for lie!

pascal

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He was ten years old. He lived with us for eight years. We called him Pascal. He knocked over glasses of water when no one was looking. He slept between my legs. He meowed loudly at three in the morning. He let me carry him like a baby. He had a secret purr. For a while he had David Bowie eyes, but then he had Colonel Tigh eyes. He proudly carried toys to us like they were freshly caught mice. He told us about it. When our son was a baby he patiently let him bother him. He used to pull pizza out of the trash. He had chronically weepy eyes. He didn’t accumulate nicknames like Yoshi did or Orangey does. No Velvet Gentleman, no L’Orange Gras. Just Pascal.

He didn’t let on that he was sick. His kidneys failed and his body was shutting down when I took him to the doctor yesterday. But we didn’t know that. His temperature was dropping and his heart beat was slowing down. We had to put him to sleep.

He was a good cat and I will miss him.

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