Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Religions, As of Late

Things that tickle, or fondle, or spoon, or do various unspeakable things to my eardrums in 2012:

Julia Holter- Ekstasis
Death Grips- The Money Store
Maria and the Mirrors- Gemini: Enjoy My Life
Grimes- Visions
Carter Tutti Void- Transverse
Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny-Yours Truly, Cellophane Noise
Burial- Kindred EP
Mark Van Hoen- The Revenant Diary
Azealia Banks- “Fuck Up the Fun”
Plan B- “Ill Manors”
Nicki Minaj- “Stupid Hoe”
Jay-Z and Kanye West ft Frank Ocean- "No Church in the Wild"
Young Hunting- The Night of the Burning EP
Pye Corner Audio- Black Mill Tapes Volume 3: All Pathways Open
Aaron Dilloway- Modern Jester
Sleigh Bells- "Comeback Kid"
Liars- WIXIW
Ancient Methods- mnml ssgs mix
Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends- S/T
Vatican Shadow- Iraqi Praetorian Guard/Kneel Before Religious Icons
Hype Williams/Dean Blunt/Inga Copeland- Attitude Era/Black is Beautiful
The Weeknd- Echoes of Silence
D'Eon- Music for Keyboards vol 1

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy that Barely Resembles Our Own...

"After American Graffiti, George [Lucas] had wanted to do Apocalypse Now. George ... had worked on the script ... back in 1969.Then, when Warner Brothers backed out, the project was abandoned. It was still too hot a topic, the war was still on... and it just wasn't going to happen. So George considered his options [and] he decided, 'All right, if it's politically too hot as a contemporary subject, I'II put the essence of the story in outer space and make it in a galaxy long ago and far, far away'. Star Wars is George's transubstantiated version of Apocalypse Now. The rebel group were the North Vietnamese, and the Empire was the US"
-Walter Murch, editor of Apocalypse Now

"It's of course no accident that the current power elite (Spielberg, Lucas, Gates, Blair) belonged to the so-called counterculture of the 1960s. Capital, needless to say, is indifferent to individual human motivation, but happy slaves are better slaves, and the reprogramming of the way the master class thinks (about itself, about workers, about capital) has been crucial to the presentation of the multi-nationalised capital's current dominion as immutable fact. And George Lucas' 'transubstantiation' of Apocalypse Now into Star Wars is emblematic of the shifts in late capitalism since the 60s. The smooth transition from hippy to hyper-capitalist, from slacker hedonism to authoritarianism, from engagement to entertainment, retrospectively reveals what the punks knew so we when they cackled 'never trust a hippie'. Far from posing any threat to capitalism, the dope-smoking, soap-dodging rockers of the 60s were acting as capitalism's reserve army of exploiters, whose time spent at festivals and on the experimental avant-garde fringe did little or nothing to engineer lines of collective escape, but yielded instead resources for the new forms of enslavement that loom everywhere around us now. Exactly those likely to have 'approved' of Kubrick's critique of corporate-controlled environments in 1968 are now administering their own 'total control' systems, all the more sinister for their shirtsleeves 'informality', all the more enveloping because the bosses wire themselves into the circuit, flaunting their own self-exploitation as both inevitable and exemplary. As Deleuze and Guattari had it in Anti-Oedipus, "The bourgeois sets the example, he absorbs surplus value for ends that ... have nothing to do with his own enjoyment: more utterly enslaved than the lowest of slaves, he is the first servant of the ravenous machine, the beast of the reproduction of capital. 'I too am a slave'- these are the new words spoken by the master."- Mark Fisher, SF Capital, Transmat (2001)

Monday, May 28, 2012

From this, the 4th part of an exchange between Simon Reynolds and Greil Marcus, all of which is worth reading:

"SR: I actually think the message of "Born This Way" is inadvertently reactionary. Obviously there's a political necessity for the "this is how God/Nature made me" argument to be made; I can see that, as a strategy and as rhetoric, it makes really good sense. But it's actually more radical to say, "actually, I wasn't born this way, I'm choosing to be this way, as an act of will." Which actually resonates more with pop history too, because pop is all about people reinventing themselves, choosing to be more glamorous or weirder or more deviant than they actually are.

GM: It's a shibboleth. It's what we're supposed to believe, regardless of what we do believe, or what doubts we might have. It's a good way to stop thinking. Any argument like that.

SR: Pop is about going against Nature, defying fate, making your own destiny."

I think it's this that has always struck me as retrogressive as the typical lefty argument for LBGT rights- the argument that "Yes, you see. They're just like the rest of us." Part of what has always seemed exciting about queer culture (Burroughs, dance music, new queer cinema, Genet, et al.) has been its outsiderness, its ability to not be chained to the mainstream and thus create new movements from this peculiar vantage of non-acceptance. Some of this comes, of course, from the "double-life" aspect of being in the closet and is interminably bound to being denied certain privileges that heteronormativity allows, but the American political struggle seems to at some point have been hijacked by a lobby aiming for assimilation- dependence not independence. Perhaps this is a result of corporations having taken the lead in gay-friendly initiatives, marketing, "diversity" programs, et al. Draping themselves in the rainbow flag, these businesses’ real aim is to colonize all mental space, to create a sphere wherein "diversity" means as little risk as possible and otherness can be crushed at its moment of detachment. It's not so much the otherness that Capital fears as the detachment. . Every single lifestyle has a long tail waiting to wag it. Every color, creed, orientation, or gender wears the same personality to their job interview.

There's an implication in the idea that gays are "born this way" that they've arrived with this stain through no fault of their own and therefore deserve to be treated no different than anyone with any other kind of congenital abnormality. The idea that any one might "choose" to be gay, given the circumstances of the hardship faced and the displeasure of not being included amongst the fantastic world us heteros have been running, is so bizarre and “unnatural” that it’s even a consideration. To defer from this inclusion is to defer from the essentialist myth of our own progress as one species under the unifying grip of Control. After all, we're making progress by legalizing gay marriage, right? Now gays can be exactly the same as the rest of us. And when every kind of difference congeals into a singular bloodstream to host onto the same parasites, that's progress, right?

Friday, May 18, 2012

RIP Donna Summer

Released in 1977, the year punk broke,"I Feel Love" might just be the most important record of the 1970s. Not a year goes by when I don't hear somebody rip it off (or reference it, depending on what their take on it is). Science may one day be able to clone a human baby, erase one's human memory, or travel back in time, but it's probably safe to say that no one can ever replicate how it felt to hear something like this for the first time in the context of 1977's musical history. It's the kind of song that, like "Love to Love You, Baby", you never want to end, which is why I always like the Patrick Cowley long mix: Year Zero for a great deal of the interesting music that followed, but that wasn't nearly the whole story. infamously sampled by New Order on "Blue Monday":

Monday, May 14, 2012

RIP Donald "Duck" Dunn

Legendary Stax house bassist and member of Booker T and the MG's.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

D*Step Aims High From the Midrange

There's a part of me that deeply believes almost every word of this to be true, but then there are times when things like this:

don't seem like the worst things in the world.  In fact, I don't really find them more patently offensive than whatever underground d*step has become.  It only seems appropriate at this point that d*step blows up instead of continuing to blow itself. In terms of ethics and solipsism, yes, the exalted DJ god stuff is completely toxic (maybe even moreso than Brostep's chauvinist swagger), but I don't know that it's always the Hiroshima its critics make it out to be (okay, maybe a case can be made for that reaaaal shitty Tiesto/Guetta/Deadmau5 strain). In fact, lest sounding like "the musical equivalent of a guy sucking himself off", as the mnml ssgs article above states, I find Skrillex to be more like the musical inverse of Coldplay- an act that wastes its potential by pouring too much effort into its bombast.

The big shame about the Cypress Hill collab though is that they didn't use dubstep proper to rescue their career roughly a decade ago when the grime, rust, and atomic clouds of the music could have better matched that dilated weed-smoke murk of Cypress Hill's earlier, far superior paranoid sonics.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak

"People say 'Oh Mr. Sendak.  I wish I were in touch with my childhood self, like you.' As if it were all quaint and succulent like Peter Pan. Childhood is cannibals and psychotics vomiting in your mouth. I say 'You are in touch lady. You're mean to your kids, you treat your husband like shit, you lie, you're selfish. That is your childhood self'. In reality, childhood is deep and rich.  It's vital, mysterious and profound. I remember my own childhood vividly...I knew terrible things.  But I knew I mustn't let adults know I knew...It would scare them."

“I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You’re going to trip over that for a good part of your life.”

“Certainly we want to protect our children from new and painful experiences that are beyond their emotional comprehension and that intensify anxiety; and to a point we can prevent premature exposure to such experiences. That is obvious. But what is just as obvious — and what is too often overlooked — is the fact that from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”

"Tell them anything you want"

"Please don't go. We'll eat you up. We love you so."

Friday, May 4, 2012


Shake_Your_Rump by Beastie Boys on Grooveshark

Finger Lickin' Good by Beastie Boys on Grooveshark

Groove Holmes by Beastie Boys on Grooveshark

Something's Got To Give by Beastie Boys on Grooveshark


Manny Scretching Jr aka Nitro Deluxe

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

At one point, we dreamed of traveling the world and romanticized faraway places and their exotic cultures. Now, we don’t even study geography anymore and we don’t travel, we just transport our home to other locales and leave our stench wherever we go. There was a time when dreamt of exploring outer space, but now that we’ve been there its yield isn’t enticing enough to convince us to keep returning.

At some juncture in our recent history, we dreamt of a leisure society wherein automation and technology would allow us to focus our energies on creativity and passion, where leisure would present opportunities for evolution. Now, we can do just about everything that can be done through our telephones and we’re still working menial jobs and living unfulfilled lives, our anxiety disorders skyrocketing to near pandemic levels. Then, it seemed like the answers lied in inner space and the world of the mind, but we just used this as an excuse to celebrate ourselves and to shut out others.

 It’s not that the future failed us or that we failed the future or that our ideals were too wide and didn’t anticipate the turns. No, the problem was that the future was hard and so we outsourced it to someone who could do it for us. Except what they created was a false future made out of hijacked dreams. We’re not actually living in the future, but instead we are participants in what capital cthulhu believes we want progress to look like.  We are passengers on board a satiating vision of misinterpreted dreams, just close enough to withstand protest, but distant enough to be plausibly denied.  We're actually somewhere ancient, somewhere unfamiliar, that's been painted to look like home. But no one belongs in the past.  No one should feel like anything but a visitor in any one's memories.

"I don’t think of alienation as being alienated from some essentialist conception of what we should be. If we build cities the way we build them right now, we’re going to build a kind of consciousness. My particular bête noir has always been the suburbs. If you build suburbs, you get a suburban political consciousness; you get a suburban human being, with all that goes with it. And, frankly, that’s not the kind of human being that I admire. Now, I’m not going to say that they’re not human; they are very human, in fact. As human beings, we always adapt to our environments in certain ways; adapt our mental conceptions of the world according to the kinds of experiential world in which we exist. It is not inhuman to be that way in the suburbs. But what you have to do is build something completely different so that people end up being human in a completely different way. You can say I’d like to be human in that way, rather than this way. And therefore it’s a class conflict, it’s a cultural conflict, and so on."

-- David Harvey