Monday, February 29, 2016

AshTreJinkins- "Home Burn"

from Zone of the Enders

Friday, February 19, 2016

Beneath the Stain of Time, The Feelings Disappear

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the reckless claim that Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails is the ultimate version of the song is the idea that Cash’s cover somehow validates the original, that somehow the song was just sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere waiting for a broken and aged old rock star to make use of it, presupposing that the track was not the cataclysmic climax of 4x platinum album devoured from the inside out by hordes of adoring acolytes.   

America’s strange obsession with the lyric as the primary focal point of a pop song has resulted in a persistent campaign for the stripped-down and bare.  Sure enough, there’s a haunting quality to letting just a voice and a guitar (or perhaps a piano, violin, et al.) do all of a song’s work, the phantasmal remnants of the various foregone sonic layers lingering as if memories in the white space between the notes.  It’s important to note however that this kind of distillation can never be more than an artifact of the original, its affects achieved wholly in relation to editorial- what it chooses to include and the notes the cover version decides not to play. 

In rare cases, the stripped-down cover, by the careful use of this editorial, can become a byproduct that surpasses the original.  However, when you’re dealing with a track as fully realized as Nine Inch Nails’s “Hurt”, this is a tall order.  Furthermore, in eliminating the sonic elements that made The Downward Spiral such a unique and alien terraform on the pop landscape, one removes the real “meat” of the song.   Nine Inch Nails’s lone songwriter Trent Reznor was lambasted in his day for catering to the suburban mallrat crowd via his anthemic, disheartened lyrics, but the lyrics were just one part of the equation.  Reznor’s lyrics could be forgiven for populism and/or puerility because they marched in lockstep with some of the most adventurous music ever released on a major label. 

In his day, Beach Boy Brian Wilson faced much of the same criticism for not fashioning himself a neo-Keats for the hippy era, relying instead on simple, universally applicable lyrics.  The plain talk worked because they were linked to emotionally resonant explosions of ecclesiastical sound, massive shifts forward in harmony, grandeur, and compositional invention that complicated variations on prosaic phrases you had heard a million times before.  Reznor’s The Downward Spiral tilted the scales in the other direction, making a millions-selling fist-wavingly accessible record that constantly sounds like it’s falling apart, a record whose mix sounds infected with disease and rotten from miscare, eyes glossy and throat soar from staring into the abyss that stares back far too long.  It calls people pigs and talks about not even caring any more in a way that brands those declarations as damages and scars, ten shades darker than a boys-will-be-boys pissing contest.   

Most commemorations of an album will pay lip service a record’s lasting influence on the current landscape, a discursive tool that also serves to support notions of a compulsory forward momentum in music.   The trope of the “influential” record is tied to the same logic that purports Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” to be stronger or more significant than the original. It’s the rockist notion that a new idea in music only becomes noteworthy when an established member of the musical hierarchy bestows their blessing upon it.  Largely the purview of musical critics with no connection to an era’s pulse, these arguments almost always turn out to be laughably irrelevant, be it the Rolling Stones making disco passable, Madonna sanctioning rave for American shores, No Wave becoming a recognizable cultural force thanks to a few forgotten Brooklyn hipsters, and hip-hop’s hard won validation at the hands of Blondie (“Rapture”), Sonic Youth (“Kool Thing”), R.E.M, (“Radio Song”), Anthrax (“Bring the Noise”) and, ahem, Nine Inch Nails ("Down In It").

As such, people misremember Nine Inch Nails for their after-effects- a batch of aggressively whiny 90s solipsists who put guitar to synth with little to no sense of imagination (Gravity Kills, Stabbing Westward, Filter, God Lives Underwater, and the protégé, Marilyn Manson). However, despite its influence, The Downward Spiral is praise-worthy specifically because there is and was nothing else like it out there.

It may sound odd to accuse white rock star Trent Reznor of being the victim of rockism, particularly now that he’s something of a streaming music business guru and an Academy Award winning composer of respected film scores, but at the time of The Downward Spiral’s release, industrial music was still a fringe genre that thrived on being a transgressive scene bolted and boxed well into the underground. Furthermore, despite being something of a poster child for the scene, Reznor was barely a participant.  Pretty Hate Machine despite nicking a few cues from Skinny Puppy, was mainly a techno-pop album and the follow-up Broken was pretty focused on hard rock, its loud guitars all but drowning out  the programming and synths.

The Downward Spiral was something different, a principally textural work which somehow nonetheless bestowed its listeners with track after track of tunes, a work of subtle detail and aching nuance that simultaneously pummeled the ear drums.  There are those who think that experimental music which rejects traditional song structures is the pinnacle of sound expression, its abstraction unbeset by the limitations of form and musical theory.  On the opposite end of that scale are the poptimists for whom traditional song structure’s formulas come off like direct language, a communication method easily understood by anyone it interacts with, its compositional limitations fully capable of containing infinite degrees of variation.  However, if one can find the sweet spot between the avant-garde and pop, it can be a place that advances both forms simultaneously, approaching the sublime.

The Downward Spiral is that sublime album, even when it’s clunky or ornery or oh-so-teenaged.   Audiences misremember the lyrics on the album (the same ones to which Cash supposedly added gravitas), which were criticized in their day not only for being juvenile, but also for being solipsistic.  Reznor’s frequent “I” statements were said to be depoliticizing industrial’s base economy of rejectionist manifestoes.  Robert Christgau declared that the album was “musically, Hieronymus Bosch as postindustrial atheist; lyrically, Transformers as kiddie porn”.   While it’s true the lyrics are far more journal entry than journalistic, Reznor’s deep dive into depression is driven by superstructures, relaying the most dehumanizing effects of religion, capital, desire and normative culture down to an intimate level.   It hypothesized that these things would neither set you free and nor make life worth living, that at root beyond the body politic and the broader pressures lies an impenetrable existential core, with potential to become nihilistic when all these barriers have been stripped away.  Despite all this, the body, ever-industrious as a machine can be, will work to find new forms of control.

In the incantations of the opener, “Mr. Self-Destruct” (1), this is made crystal clear.  Reznor rattles off a list of things that “control you”, such as “the high you can’t sustain”, “the need you have for more”, “the hate you try to hide”, et al. The song’s main work though is taking place behind these words as the feedback-driven backing track intensifies until it turns into nothing but harsh, punishing pure viscera.  “The first song on the record, "Mr. Self Destruct," sounds like I wanted it to be: the shittiest sounding thing that, by the end, just deteriorates into noise”, Reznor said of the track.  There’s SFX from THX 1138 that open the song, but they translate as S&M, a reward punish economy that you either lean in or resist to your own detriment.  Without it, the first half of the album posits, we’re all animals.  We fuck, fight, push, et al.  Reznor’s own spirit animal appears to the pig, who he first attempts to bargain with (“Hey pig/Nothing’s turning out the way I planned”) before declaring himself its king (“All the pigs are all lined up/I give you all that you want”).

The rest of the album relents from the brutality of “Mr. Self-Destruct” slightly, until the epitomical wall of sound that closes out the album on “Hurt” (which Cash left out) comes crashing down.  Throughout those inbetween moments, Reznor avoids anything that sounds explicitly like a “real” instrument.  If there’s a guitar, it’s decayed and detuned, rotten or tape-warbled.  Even when things are melodic, there’s an extra focus on counter-melody and noise, constantly analyzing and inverting wave frequencies.  It’s environmental discord as allegorical cue-in to depression, unable to ever strip away the rust, the shit-feel, the malaise.  “Everything’s blue in this world.” 

As a solipsistic record, The Downward Spiral’s largest concern is indeed the self. Its children may be nu-metal with their aggressive complaints, metamorphosed by an army of white males into misogynistic tirades against exes and vitriolic howls decrying how hard it is to not be allowed to stab people. But what this makeshift trench coat mafia discarded was how the hatred on TDS was either directed inward or only reflected outward at a great cost.  This is transparently evident in the sonic clutter, the menagerie of broken entrails hanging from the skeletal remains of each melody.  That a deranged, desolate song like “Closer” wherein sex is used to “get away from myself” and is “the only thing that works for me” can be used unironically in a film like Magic XXL as a slab of unproblematic sensuality speaks more about our willingness to the contort the music to our needs than its implicit simplicity.

The album builds to the disgusting and degrading “Big Man With A Gun”, a song whose lyrics have absolutely no redeeming qualities.  This a composition driven by a propulsive EBM synth arpeggio that recalls DAF and Front 242, who used the genre’s accellerationist thrust to detourn the intrinsic fascist bent of technocratic futurism.  Appropriately, Reznor angles this fascism inward, concentrating on his own destructive bent towards power.  The song was rightly condemned out of context by music’s 90s anti-speech stock villains, C. Delores Tucker and William Bennett, who also mistakenly identified it as a gangsta rap song (further proof that conversations regarding TDS tend to center around those who ignore its music).   “Big Man With a Gun” is Reznor or his album’s protagonist hitting rock bottom, one last bout of acting out in the form a fantasy of skullfucking a victim to death.  Though the gender of his target is never explicitly identified, the song’s phallocentricity (“I’m every inch a man”) and its equating of gun violence with rape culture makes it a song that at the very least addresses patriarchy.  Reznor has stated that he intended the song to be about his disgust with hardcore rap lyrics and nearly left the song off the album.  However, even though it may be the most dispensable piece on the album, it’d also be hard to imagine the tonal narrative without its disruptive chaos. 

The album’s final quarter immediately following “Big Man With a Gun” disengages from rage and focuses on, as a NIN/Aphex Twin remix puts it on the subsequent remix EP, the beauty of being numb.  “A Warm Place” (2) may be the most tranquil piece Reznor ever composed, but even it cannot shake an unsettling tremolo that disturbs the balance of the track throughout.  “Eraser” commences with what sounds like ethnic or Fourth World instrumentation (vaguely recalling David Sylvian’s “Brilliant Trees”), but the rhythm is weak and flimsy (when I was a teenager I always thought it sounded like someone blowing into the end of a straw).  It’s an attempt at Zen erected on a crumbling artifice.  It’s not long before this rickety backing is replaced by pounding tribal drums and squeals of “erase me/kill me”.   

Though conceptual, The Downward Spiral’s cycle was not esoteric or mysterious like old prog-rock concept albums.  It had a basic arc that culminated it its finale and strongest song, “Hurt”.  Watching the song as a closing encore at Madison Square Garden in 1999, even those who hadn’t wrestled with depression, self-harm, drugs, social anxiety, or just generally being a social outcast, still understood the impact and the weight of every word, translated into simple verse with the masterful penmanship of someone who just wasn’t made for these times like a gothic crown prince of shit Brian Wilson.   On Cash’s “American” series of albums, Cash formed a habit of adapting more modern artists like Beck and Soundgarden to fit the man-in-black mold and “Hurt” was a perfect choice for its latest iteration, but there was something intangible lost in translation; the scrim of lingering feedback that opens the track, the purposefully pitch bent guitar sound, the warbled tape that slights the vocals as if Reznor is undercutting himself before he even gives himself a chance to speak.   Where Cash sings with weariness, he also sings with confidence, but Reznor is still unsure of himself until the final phrase.

When the percussion rolls in on a basic four-to-the-floor pattern, it gently nods to a crescendo, but doesn’t quite prepare the listener for just how awesome it will be.  And it’s a shock, a pre-Shyamalan twist, completing the finale of perhaps mainstream music’s bleakest ever album on a note of redemption. “If I could start again/A million miles away/I would keep myself/I would find a way”.  Reznor sings these lines with relative restraint until the final three words “find/a/way” are punctuated by a wailing noisy beacon of sound and nearly two solid minutes of feedback drone that just drifts in and out like a pulsating wound.  Here is the zen that the album’s previous tracks were searching for and also the realization that put all of those hundreds of kids in Madison Square Garden in tears, the idea that you’re allowed to continue, that you can keep yourself.  For all the Christ allusions and its many denunciations (particularly on “Heresy”), Reznor was forgiving us- for being mortal, for being human, for being male, for being so goddamned hurt and confused all the time.   It was salvation by way of confession, which only made sense in that final chord, the last moment of the journey, a moment of clarity, which could either be suicidal absolution or total affirmation.  It was an acknowledgement that control and suffering linger on, but so do we. 

(1)    Reznor was lead down the rabbit hole to industrial through his college adoration of synthpop.  On Soft Cell’s final album, in which they were following the muse of Throbbing Gristle far more than Northern Soul, they had a song named “Mr. Self-Destruct”.  Reznor had to be aware of this.  In fact, he covered Soft Cell’s “Memorabilia” as a B-side from the Downward Spiral sessions.

(2)    In a weird bit of cryptomnesia, the melody for “A Warm Place” is almost note for note a copy of facsimile of a David Bowie ambient track recorded for a Japanese commercial called “Crystal Japan”.  Reznor acknowledged that he had plagiarized the song without knowing it and confessed to Bowie, who gave Reznor his blessing and apparently liked Reznor’s version better than his own.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Death is Coming

Living for the City

"[Paul Morley's] city where “everything that has ever happened is available” [in his book Words and Music] sounds bizarrely similar to the loony notion of a Universal Library written about recently by Kevin Kelly in a New York Times Magazine cover article—he envisages every book and every magazine article ever written, in all languages, and eventually every movie/TV program/cultural artifact EVER, being gathered into one vast database accessible to all—which glorious prospect isn’t enough for Kelly, who then imagines the Universal Library getting miniaturized and compressed into an iPod-size device that everyone of us will carry around wherever we go (presumably because on the subway to work you might just need to refer to an editorial from an 1865 editorial in the Brattleboro Reformer, or a Sanskrit scroll, or...). Where Morley writes about how in his city of sonic information every item on every (play)list leads to another set of lists, Kelley drools about the prospect of hyperlinks that connects the concepts and key words in any given text to myriad other instances, a paper(less) chase of endlessly receding references and footnotes, a dementia of reading lists and annotations (share your margin-scribblings with your friends!). Both, intriguingly, allude to the immortal nature of these edifices of data, a hint of that extropian hope that it’s possible to cheat death. Kelley’s pocket-portable micro-cosmopolis, Morley/Apple’s “city of music” that fits into a cigarette packet-sized memory box---these are the latest versions of the Singularity that all West Coast techno-utopians seem to believe is nigh, the point where the exponenential curve of Progress reaches vertical: a smiley-face version of the Apocalypse, in which the accumulation of all Knowledge = Enlightenment = World Unity aka the Global Village/Love’s Body/the BwO/etc. A fantasy of Total Connectivity as the End of Difference and the End of History. What’s repressed in this scenario is the fact of finitude—the finitude of resources, of an individual’s time; the limits to the sensorium’s ability to process information (there’s a speed at which stuff isn’t even experienced as such). The liquefaction of culture is actually the liquidation of culture......

"No, this City doesn't sound like a place I'd enjoy living at all."

- Simon Reynolds, Blissblog post, June 1, 2006

Well, Simon, how does it feel living here now that we're forever inside that pocket-portable cosmopolis? 

Column Envy

With more primaries and super Tuesday coming up and Senator Sanders rising in nearly every poll, you can expect liberalism's thinkpiecetanks to get on the defensive.  So, to prepare yourself, here's a sneak peek of some of the types of headlines you'll be seeing in the upcoming weeks. They'll be deciding which bylines will be assigned to Thomas Friedman or David Brooks on a rotating basis.

Only One Candidate Has the Guts to Ask Exxonmobil Super-Politely to Change Their Entire Business Model or to Do Some Kind of Halfsy Compromise in Exchange for a Position At the Department of the Interior

Here's Why Working Class People Are Wrong About How Much Money They Can Live On #TheFightFor$7.26

Bernie Sanders is a Man of Integrity and Honesty, but the Economy Will Collapse if We Don't Occasionally Drone Strike the Fuck Out of Some Women and Children

Killer Mike or Some Other Prominent Sanders Supporter from the Black Community Said Something That's Not So Outrageous But Something a Black Person Is Not Allowed to Say- Why Hasn't Bernie Sanders Thrown Them Under the Bus, Which Would Incidentally Win Back Black Support That Hillary Clinton Has Been Losing?

17 Logical Fallacies That Absolutely PROVE That Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Are Exactly the Same

The Best Option For Your Dying Debt-Riddled Cancer Patient Relative Is For Pharmaceutical Companies to Keep Running Multi-Million Dollar Ads During the Superbowl

We've Placed a Lot of Stock in Presenting Millennials As Apathetic Entitled Fuck-Ups and Now Their Do-Goodery and Knowledge of the Issues Has Got to Stop

My Parents Worked Hard to Put Me Through College and It Built Character and Class-Based Antipathy in Me 

You Won't Believe Who Thinks They Have a Right to Autonomy Now

Sure, I Smoked Marijuana and Didn't Get Caught, but That Doesn't Mean We Shouldn't Stop Ruining People's Lives Who Are Not Me and My Upper-Middle Class Stoner Classmates Who Now All Coincidentally Work At the Same Strategy Consulting Firm

Something About White Collar Feminism and Women Sticking Together That's Not Even a Distant Cousin of First, Second or Third Wave Feminism and Somehow Passive-Aggressively Undermines the Pleas of Working Women, Women of Color, Trans Women, and Sex Workers.

Why Waiting Around Until Popular Opinion Has Changed Actually Benefits Oppressed Peoples With No Time to Wait

Black Tears- "The Long Decline"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WWWings- "MMMix II"

Perimeter- Void

new from that Remissive Records imprint where all the recordings are me

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Recent Enjoyables

Various -Apocalyse Survival Kit (Free DL)
Various- Terminal Dream
Loom- European Heartache EP
Moro- San Benito EP
Transposon- Octagona (Tessier-Ashpool)
Hostage- NT1 single (Tessier-Ashpool)
Xosar- Holographic Matrix
David Bowie- Blackstar
Arca- "Urchin"
Little Simz- "Top Down"
Beyonce- "Formation"
Kanye West ft Kendrick Lamar- "No Parties in LA"
DIIV- "Under the Skin"
Chairlift- "Crying i  Public"
Odd Nodsam- "Burrow"
Murlo- "Odyssey"
FaltyDL- "The Ah Track"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Missed this long expose over at Alternative Press by Luke O'Neill on sexual misconduct in the punk scene.  Harrowing stuff, but worth a read to see what music is currently working to shake out.

"Jeff Rosenstock, a punk scene veteran of Bomb the Music Industry! and the Arrogant Sons Of Bitches, is also angered by the dismissive attitude surrounding the problem. He’d just gotten home from a show he’d played in Texas this year when he saw a fan tweet that she’d been groped by a number of men in the crowd.
“I was taken aback by the fact that anyone like that would attend our shows,” he said. “I’ve always felt that it was pretty clear that our band has feminist ideals, meaning that we believe in the equality of all people. So, I tried to clear things up on Twitter and say, ‘Hey. This is not okay. If you're this kind of person, do not come to our shows ever. Or stop treating people like that. You don't have to be a dickhead forever.’
What really pissed him off, he says, was the responses. “In my eyes, a brave fan spoke out about being sexually assaulted,” he says. “That is a hard thing to do, partially because people refuse to believe that it's a thing that can happen, especially in our punk scene. So people started getting mad at her for ‘ruining my band’ and ‘spreading a feminazi agenda.’ Those were the nicer comments. I saw some vile shit being said to this person that I don't want to repeat. All by strangers on the internet who refuse to open their eyes to the fucking reality that, yeah, hello, this happens all the time at shows.”
At a recent show in Philadelphia, a large fan in the crowd had been touching a young girl in front of Rosenstock. He stopped the music and asked him to stop. Security didn’t do anything about it. “If that guy was smoking weed or snuck in a beer, he would have been booted in a heartbeat. But instead, we had to stop our show and our friends and the audience had to solve the problem. Isn't that abhorrent?

I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "vet" of the scene, but in high school I went to my fair share of "tough guy hardcore" punk/metalcore shows.  Mainly because there was nothing better to do and a lot of my friends were really into them.  There was definitely a sense of community there, but the vibe was overwhelmingly male.  Women were far more likely to get punched than touched inappropriately because of the nature of the moshing/hardcore dancing, but I also wouldn't be surprised if any of the latter took place.  The kind of frequent groping/assault/intimidation was certainly was prevalent among girls I knew who'd frequent the same establishment on the weekends when the venue would transform into a nightclub for Top 40 dancing.  It's built into the structure of the music venue that the intimate closeness can easily translate into misbehavior.  

I take it that this kind of overarching maleness is far less so with the Warped crowd, where the music tends to be less about grunting and growling. As with the never-dying BernieBros thing, it should be no shock to anyone that male privilege does not end with a supposed liberal value structure.  If rape culture could be isolated, it'd be far easier to villainize and subject to specific scrunity. But it's everywhere, not just something in MRA fuckboy forums.

Prison as Public Housing

 "Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary wasn’t picking out china while she was first lady. She bravely broke the mold and redefined that job in ways no woman ever had before. She not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel."...

On the campaign trail, she continues to invoke the economy and country that Bill Clinton left behind as a legacy she would continue. So what exactly did the Clinton economy look like for black Americans?...

Harvard sociologist Bruce Western explains: “Much of the optimism about declines in racial inequality and the power of the US model of economic growth is misplaced once we account for the invisible poor, behind the walls of America’s prisons and jails.” When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent. This figure was never reported. Instead, the media claimed that unemployment rates for African Americans had fallen to record lows, neglecting to mention that this miracle was possible only because incarceration rates were now at record highs. Young black men weren’t looking for work at high rates during the Clinton era because they were now behind bars—out of sight, out of mind, and no longer counted in poverty and unemployment statistics...

 Despite claims that radical changes in crime and welfare policy were driven by a desire to end big government and save taxpayer dollars, the reality is that the Clinton administration didn’t reduce the amount of money devoted to the management of the urban poor; it changed what the funds would be used for. Billions of dollars were slashed from public-housing and child-welfare budgets and transferred to the mass-incarceration machine. By 1996, the penal budget was twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps. During Clinton’s tenure, funding for public housing was slashed by $17 billion (a reduction of 61 percent), while funding for corrections was boosted by $19 billion (an increase of 171 percent), according to sociologist Loïc Wacquant “effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the urban poor."

Bill Clinton championed discriminatory laws against formerly incarcerated people that have kept millions of Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and desperation. The Clinton administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release, supported laws denying federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, and signed legislation imposing a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense—an exceptionally harsh provision given the racially biased drug war that was raging in inner cities.
 Perhaps most alarming, Clinton also made it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history (even an arrest without conviction) and championed the “one strike and you’re out” initiative, which meant that families could be evicted from public housing because one member (or a guest) had committed even a minor offense. People released from prison with no money, no job, and nowhere to go could no longer return home to their loved ones living in federally assisted housing without placing the entire family at risk of eviction. Purging “the criminal element” from public housing played well on the evening news, but no provisions were made for people and families as they were forced out on the street. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, more than half of working-age African-American men in many large urban areas were saddled with criminal records and subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and basic public benefits—relegated to a permanent second-class status eerily reminiscent of Jim Crow. 
It is difficult to overstate the damage that’s been done. Generations have been lost to the prison system; countless families have been torn apart or rendered homeless; and a school-to-prison pipeline has been born that shuttles young people from their decrepit, underfunded schools to brand-new high-tech prisons.
-Michelle Alexander, Why Hillary Clinton Doesn't Deserve the Black Vote, The Nation

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fracture & DJ Spinn & Taso- "Acid Claps"

Unserious Voters

"Hillary Clinton exists in a world where “Henry Kissinger is a war criminal” is a silly opinion held by unserious people. Her problem? Lots of those silly and unserious people want to wrest control of the Democratic Party away from its current leadership, which is exemplified by people like Hillary Clinton.

"Bernie Sanders’ critique of Clinton is not that she’s cartoonishly corrupt in the Tammany Hall style, capable of being fully bought with a couple well-compensated speeches, but that she’s a creature of a fundamentally corrupt system, who comfortably operates within that system and accepts it as legitimate. Clinton has had trouble countering that critique because, well, it’s true. It’s not that she’s been bought, it’s that she bought in...
"These people may indeed be “unserious,” in the sense that Clinton’s theory of “progressive change” is more realistic—that is, it has a better chance of leading to policy changes that have tangible positive outcomes for large groups of people—than Sanders’ theory of bottom-up “revolution,” at least in our current political climate. But no one is satisfied with the current political climate, and lots of people are looking for leaders who seek to fundamentally reshape it, not work within it."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Yeah Queens

Winning Hearts and Minds

 "I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better—better than anybody had run it in a long time"- Hillary Clinton, the latest Democratic Debate


A couple of them singles went steady


The Last Angel of History dir John Akomfrah (1996)

Stunning documentary on the Afrofuturist tendency in post-diasporic music/other sicence fictions taking the form of a "datathief" who travel back in time trying to assemble the pieces from a fragmented, postmodern history.  Named after Walter Benjamin's notion of angel who looks backwards into the past while flying forward in history, the film connects how the mass displacement of Africans has always found resonance, sometimes concurrent (most presciently via P-Funk, Lee Perry, and Sun Ra), in the notion of alien-ness as otherness.

Featuring George Clinton, Goldie, Derrick May, Octavia Butler, Juan Atkins, Mad Mike, A Guy Called Gerald, Ismael Reed, Samuel Delany,  andDJ Spooky, as well as music critics Kodwo Eshun and Greg Tate

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Moro- San Benito EP

Sick experimental electronic music from Argentina on NON

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bros Before Pose

The BernieBros thing off the bat seemed like smear-y garbage, but Greenwald here hits on all the major touchpoints.  There's no such  thing as a harassment-free community online, which is a larger issue, but it'd be naive to think liberals are free from this. Liberal women who write things on the internet particularly know this and it's the precipice of male privilege to be unaware of how prevalent regressive attitudes are by so-called progressive men (even this article has its own share of sexist assumptions worth their own share of time).  However, to pin this as unique or emblematic of Sanders supporters is some pretty transparent straw-man shenanigans.  The major concern should be in this pull quote below:

"If you’re a Clinton media supporter, the last thing you want to do is talk about her record in helping to construct the supremely oppressive and racist U.S. penal state. You don’t even want to acknowledge what Alexander and Coates wrote. You most certainly don’t want to talk about how she’s drowning both personally and politically in Wall Street money. You sure don’t want to talk about what her bombing campaign did to Libya, or the military risks that her no-fly zone in Syria would entail, or the great admiration and affection she proclaimed for Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, or revisit her steadfast advocacy of the greatest political crime of this generation, the invasion of Iraq. You don’t want to talk about her vile condemnation of “superpredators,” or her record on jobs-destroying trade agreements, or the fact that she changed her position from vehement opposition to support for marriage equality only after polls and most Democratic politicians switched sides.

Indeed, outside of a very small number of important issues where her record is actually good, you don’t want to talk much at all about her actual beliefs and actions. Watch how many progressive endorsements of Clinton simply ignore all of that. It’s much better to re-direct the focus away from Hillary Clinton’s history of beliefs and policy choices onto the repugnant, stray comments of obscure, unknown, anonymous people on the internet claiming (accurately or not) to be supporters of Bernie Sanders. The fact that it may be an effective tactic — mostly because most Democratic media figures are equally fervent Clinton supporters and thus willing to unite to prop it up and endorse it — does not make it any less ugly or deceitful."

The Big Club