#Consumerism #Depression #Change

At this point in my life, I understand two things:
1. I want to live.
2. I never want to be in a Bed, Bath and Beyond trying to find the proper vessel in which to dispose of snot-covered tissue paper while listening to Smashmouth's cover of "I'm A Believer" again.

Therefore, I must change my life.

But what next?

I'm not sure.

Until I figure it all out, I have some distractions.

Providence bookstores almost always have something I want to read, but never, ever, what I am actually looking for, so I placed an order with an online behemoth. At this point, I am so disgusted by Amazon's business practices that I actually spent the $10 extra dollars to go with Barnes and Noble, aka the Olsson's killers. Olsson's was the only bookstore I have ever worked for (in the music department, of course), and one of the greatest independent book/record stores to have existed in 20th century America. Yes, Barnes and Noble are now the good guys.

The what and why should be obvious to most readers except, perhaps, for Prague Fatale. I'll never, ever be a good literary critic (or maybe I could be the best one in decades) because I don't care about literary values. I've always read nonfiction from an almost sociological perspective and what I most value about my favorite novels has a lot more to do with the coherency of the human world described and the way that the beliefs and values of the actors within them approve and sanction actions, both their own and others, in line with or contravening those aforementioned beliefs and principles, has always been much more interesting to me than, I dunno, style, poetic descriptions, psychological "realism", etc. Which is all a roundabout way of saying nothing. 

When I don't feel like reading reading, I read hard-boiled fiction. Solitary nocturnal wandering around empty yet cosmopolitan cities, cheap and plentiful whiskey, male loneliness and moral ambiguity: yes. I tend to reread the same novels over and over again, and, actually, that is true for all books when it comes to my habits, so I haven't ventured too far behind the obvious: Hammett, Cain, Chandler. So take the following in context of the preceding: bearing in mind that he is working well within the conventions established by his predecessors, especially, I think, Chandler, Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels are a real delight, and, excluding the relative lack of innovation in comparison, I believe his novels belong in that rarified category of involving detective/crime fiction that doesn't insult the reader and offers real surprises in its smilies. 

So yeah, ordering from "an evil corporation", totally worth it. I actually felt a little, well...


I guess what I am trying to figure out


I really haven't read as much post-1968 French theory as I let on. I am a bit of a phony, really.

So, while I intuitively understand that whole collapse of liner/meta-narrative thing, I guess I'm trying to figure out why it happened. Maybe someone has already answered. I have a book by Lyotard lying around somewhere. I'll get to it someday.


My best hypothesis so far.

Well there's a few.

I mean, the rise of consumerist individualism.

But you knew that one.


More like.

That whole linear narrative thing had another thing attached, right. Progress.

Towards. The forwards that provides the past with agency.

And here's where I wonder.

What came first.

Did utopia die because the narrative died or did the narrative die because utopia died?

And why did utopia die?

The impossibility of a social subject?

The materialist conception of humanity?

Like, we're all just skin and bones and all. I mean You Only Live Once, but humans live forever?

Is our inability to "fix" the environment symptomatic with a general weariness with life?

Does that weariness come from feeling like there is nothing really to look forward to?

Why is there nothing to look forward to?

Because there is nothing to look forward to or because there is no forward?


Music Music 3

Moar 4 Yew


Well, this one... The Byrds are, like, overrated by the people who make music I don't like and underrated by the people who make music I like. Hmm.

Another HOUSE masterpiece, one of those divisive records, the ones whereby, if you like, you are down, if not, well, not... Summarizes so much for me...

I never really got into Erykah but I always feel like I should have.  I guess it's not too late but every time I try, I am not surprised. This track, though, as pop more than art, really connected with me when it was released...

Amusingly enough, I came up with another one that is so obscure there there is actually no Youtube video. What do I do now?

Whoa how could I post that Badu track and then not post this?


Music Music 2

Oh so much more.

Oh so much more.


Fuck that one is good. Seriously. Like Sentimental Education good.



Oh and.

Too obvious again?

If I take all of the obvious ones, maybe you can tell me something I don't know. Because, believe, I am bored with what I do know.

I mean:

He tried pretending
our dance is just a dance
but I see

Isn't that the line that justifies every dance music critics' career choice to their parents?


Might as well post "Rock Around The Clock" but I won't.

Perpetually "Uncool"


I may be just me and all but here's something.

Right now, Simon is soliciting your ideas regarding your favorite music about music, and, for some reason, in my brain, another idea was sparked on the back of his.

What are your favorite songs that won't be revived?

Perpetually "uncool" is how I have described it above, but I want to make a distinction between perpetually uncool and the guilty pleasure. The guilty pleasure usually involves some committed rockist admitting to loving a pop song. Perpetually uncool is something different.

I will try and explain.

Beer with me.



As far as I can tell, there are two versions of being cool. Number one is being "cool", being detached, being aloof, turning insecurity and defensiveness into virtues. Number two is being passionate, emotive, ardent, and not caring who notices or what anyone thinks.

What has been know as alternative culture has warred within itself for decades now about which definition of cool should be the predominant one. I have, and still, choose the latter, the ardent, the unashamedly passionate. But, there is no, and there has not been, for many years now, question in my mind as to which version has "won" the debate. The other one. Detached. Ironic. Superior. The qualities of the victor. My side lost.

But the war went on for a while.

And so now, what I mean to ask.

Now that "cool" means one thing (detached, defensive), what are your favorite songs from the other side? What are your guilty pleasures when guilty means rooting for the passionate, ardent side of alternative culture against the other, more detached side? When "guilty pleasure" means picking a record just as obscure as the music you are "deviating" from?

Forgive me, I am a bit drunk.

Perhaps I am not explaining myself well.

Let's try again. Never mind your "pop" guilty pleasures, what are your "alternative" guilty pleasures?

Here are two picks.

Number one is "Joey" by Concrete Blonde. A heartfelt record about alcoholism and failure that can't possibly resonate with those generations weaned on craft cocktails and micro-brewed beers as legitimate leisure options.

Number two is... well, fuck, I just forgot, because I am drunk. See above.

Actually, wait.

Number two is anything from Greg Sage's solo album. Nerds will know Greg Sage as the lead singer of The Wipers, a band fated to be perpetually underrated even as their music deftly avoided the aesthetic cul-de-sac of American punk music while establishing a creative vocabulary not contingent upon the innovations of their British contemporaries. Those first few albums are unimpeachable. Yes. And. Yes. Not really, well, loved. I mean, you can walk into any record store in Brooklyn and those Wipers reissues will be waiting for you, sealed, and yet, well, yet, I mean, to put it bluntly, loving the Wipers in 2015 will not get you laid, just the respect of the bespectacled clerk ringing up your sale. 

And as an aside. If any straight men have ever wished they were gay, it was certainly: the guy buying Youth Of America and the guy ringing him up for the sale.

...And that's still the Wipers. I'm talking more obscure, here, folks.

Way back in the early 1990s, Greg Sage put out his first solo album, and, well, I think it is great. It's ultra-earnest. And there's a drum machine. And it's not house or techno. Just a brilliant singer-songwriter doing his thing in the studio with no other live musicians there to interfere/improve. Loving this album can't be a guilty pleasure because, you know, it's fucking Greg Sage and the album in question probably only sold a thousand copies or so and yet, you know, it's not cool, not because it isn't cool, but rather because it is actually too cool for cool people. 


Dig this!

So what are your picks?

Make sure to leave a comment or something... I want to know your thoughts and I may not know you or your blog...


Music Music

I feel like there are a lot of these sorts of songs/tracks in dance music. I will try and think of more, but here are some obvious ones from the disco era: