Sunday, April 29, 2012

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"In many ways, the academic qua academic is the Troll par excellence. Postgraduate study has a propensity to breeds trolls; in the worst cases, the mode of nitpicking critique (and autocritique) required by academic training turns people into permanent trolls, trolls who troll themselves, who transform their inability to commit to any position into a virtue, a sign of their maturity (opposed, in their minds, to the allegedly infantile attachments of The Fan). But there is nothing more adolescent - in the worst way - than this posture of alleged detachment, this sneer from nowhere. For what it disavows is its own investments; an investment in always being at the edge of projects it can neither commit to nor entirely sever itself from - the worst kind of libidinal configuration, an appalling trap, an existential toxicity which ensures debilitation for all who come into contact with it (if only that in terms of time and energy wasted - the Troll above all wants to waste time, its libido involves a banal sadism, the dull malice of snatching people's toys away from them). "


Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Oramics

"We also have soundhouses, where we practise the healing powers of sound; where we analyze each human being's innate waveform and induce those harmonics to resonate which have fallen out of sorts; where the criminal is put into a harmless restful sleeep until his mental powers have come to terms with themselves and he is again in harmony with mankind; where man and beast are given the means of communication, one to another, so that man despises not the animal kingdom, nor any other form of life, no, nor even the 'inanimate', but humbly learns the wisdom derived from contact with another aspect.

"Here we learn the harmonic series of the elements, the cycles of the years, the oscillations of the tides, and the induced resonances from those forces far out in space.  We explore the sounds which move boulders, the overotones which transmute the metals, but moreover, we acknowledge the wavelength of our own time and respect the existence of beings without that time, finding thereby means to produce summation tones penetrating the very fundamentals of these worlds beyond our frontiers.  For here we excite the subtle higher frequencies the inner consciousness of man linking him, in truth, with the infinite timelessness of that still point where all is comprehended"

--- Daphne Oram, revision to New Atlantis

New Atlantis

"We have also sound houses, where we practice and demonstrate all sounds and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter sounds and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep; likewise divers trembling and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which set to the ear to do further the hearing greatly. We have also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the voice many times, and as if it were tossing it; and some that give back the voice louder than it came, some shriller and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice, differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in tubes and pipes, in strange lines and distances... "

--- Sir Francis Bacon, New Atlantis (1624), pinned to the wall in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Daphne Oram before she left in 1959.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Take Me in the Hoooo

A new post at the Documentary Mixtape blog on Toni Basil's "Mickey"

Storage Wars

My thoughts on the death of the record store are a little ambivalent.  I'm a large advocate of physical media and am a proponent of the idea that commodity fetishism breeds a kind of mystical and persuasive power within the object that can either be used to either align people with an ideology or place them in opposition to it.  However, I find that my best experiences in record stores involved finding ways to game the vermin collectors, whose demise I secretly cheered when Napster's implicit (though misguided) altruism came along.  Even now, most of the record stores I encounter (particularly as I've moved to the suburbs of CT) price albums way too high, figuring maybe people don't have access to the internet where they can order items at cost, pay shipping and handling, incur occasional international customs charges, and still get them cheaper than the in-store deals at said hoarder-type emporiums.  At least the competition of the cities drives prices relatively low, but in the 2010s when you can get a used DVD or video game for 5 bucks, why the fuck should anybody be paying $10 for used LPs unless said item is super duper rare?  Production costs are so much lower on music.  Why haven't we found a way to price it down and still make money without resorting to hawking mp3s/m4as?

So, often, my biggest joys were finding record stores too stupid to know what things were valuable; finding the first Gas LP for $10 at a punk store that probably had no idea what it was, discovering Trans Europe Express in Near Mint condition at the Salvation Army in Poughkeepsie, or finding dirt cheap out-of-print stuff by Loop and Spacemen3 in stores where those groups didn't provide use value for one's cultural capital.

With that said, I'm excited to be going to Record Store day at a store I have never been to before (Red Scroll in Wallingford, CT).

Fave Record Stores (still open version):

Amoeba- Berkeley, CA
Philadelphia Record Exchange- Philadelphia, PA
Other Music- NY, NY
Mystery Train- Amherst, MA
AKA - Philadelphia, PA

Fave Record Stores (RIP version):
Trash- Danbury, CT
Hospital Records- NYC, NY
Spaceboy- Philadelphia, PA
Volt- Danbury, CT
Rhino- Poughkeepsie, NY

Friday, April 6, 2012

This Generation Rules the Nation

A new entry at Documentary Mixtape, even more delayed than regular blogposts here! (Blogpost is now a compound word).


I'm a pretty third-rate blogger to begin with, but this blog has been sadly inactive for about a month. The reason for the lack of updates is for a number of reasons: 1) currently buying a house 2) not writing as many reviews recently, which I thought would free me in other dimensions, but doesn't seem to have done so 3) focusing on other projects including a series of personal music projects, the likes of which are below. I don't like to use my writing blog to promote my own music (the vast bulk of which has been posted over here: Here), but in the interest of someone ever actually listening to these songs, even if for the sole purpose of having someone tell me they're piss poor, I'm going to begin posting new albums or tracks here without comment when they are released.