12.29.2009

I've always depended on the kindness of strangers...

Gee. Golly. Gracious.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/opinion/29herbert.html?ref=opinion

Is it bad faith or naivete? I am trying to understand the logic here and it feels like a screwdriver inside my head is trying to get out.

Wall Street taught the US Government alot about speculative income.

I want to try this with my landlord. "Sorry I am late on rent but I spent the money I was supposed to spend on rent on beer because I believed I was getting a raise."

12.24.2009

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/opinion/24kuperman.html?adxnnl=1&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1261666871-xzs+2Jlpy3EqSBV8Jf384A

Let's do it, baby. 'Cause DYStopia is the only 'topia we can envision. Let's take it all the way. No need to hide the American death wish behind "just war". Let's "just" have war.

"It was dark as fuck on the streets/
My hands were all bloody/
from punching on the concrete"

12.23.2009

Amen, My Brother

http://recoveringrockaholic.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/the-people-vs-music/

LWE on Vinyl

Good essay here taking a more personal perspective on the vinyl vs digital debate.

As you can imagine, a miserable bastard like me has all sorts of things to say about this issue (and just in case you were wondering, vinyl, every week), but I want to reiterate a point originally made not by me and yet I cannot offer a citation. The relationship of techno to technology has never been an unquestioning one. Never mind the nebulous concept of "soul", techno has always been about turning machinery towards achieving the goals of humanity and culture. If a technology does not serve these things, there is no reason to embrace it.
Ultimately, for whatever reason, a lot of people out there subconsciously seem to want to be replaced. I wish I could find something exciting in this, "the future". Humanism feels so reactionary nowadays and yet...

12.10.2009

You Didn't Already Know This?

Sorry Folks.

Disco revival/edits is just the 00's version of 90s acid jazz/rare groove.

What? Sniffing cocaine in Brooklyn, NY is cooler than in the West End of London?

You Already Knew This

History is the name given to the narrative of decisionmaking by the poltical and economic elite. Some of us have a choice in how we die but we are all collateral damage.

12.04.2009

2009 - The Year In Music - The Entire Essay - Fuck You

Mostly it was a bit crap. Even though almost everything I published about music was vituperative, I am sure it wasn't enough to actually cause at least one person to put down their instrument and think before actually bothering to publish their music and inflict their "personal brand" on myself and others who feel faith draining out of our souls slowly, yet inexorably, like sap from a tree.

Best Album of 2009:
1. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Dark, arty, novel sonics and you can dance to it. Anyone who had "more important things" to accomplish than this surely failed miserably.

Good 12"s of 2009:
1. Ribn - Mined (Millions of Moments) - techno - not innovative but it works (actually late 2008)
2. Hunee - Tour De Force (WT) - house - not innovative but it works

Best Singles of 2009:
1. Soft Cell "Frustration"
1. Expose "Come Go With Me"

Neither recorded this year, obviously, but most records recorded in 2009 only sound like they were recorded in 2009 because they conformed with 2009's particular portion of the retro-fetishism that has mostly characterized this decade (or because they sucked) (and really, any truly well-written end-of-decade summary would have to include the narrative of the fashionability of past moments in musical history).

I spent most of 2009 working at a day job I don't particularly enjoy, and, worse, that makes me feel like I am contributing negatively to human history. "Frustration" is the theme song of my subway ride home, a bitter song perfect for staring into the bitter faces of my compatriots-in-travel*. "Come Go With Me", which I only own on vinyl, and therefore cannot play on the subway, is my reward at home. The lead singer invites me back into intense world of possibility that I forego due to exhaustion. Someday I might join her**.

*"Bedsitter" acts as a great counterbalance to "Frustration" on the album - I often wonder what would happen if the two protagonists were to meet and realize their budding nihilism wouldn't abate by switching places.

** There was a lot of talk about perceived gender imbalance in one of the lengthy ILM threads deconstructing the Pitchfork end of decade list. What never seems to come up in these debates is who the audience is for the artist(s) in question. Regardless of gender, some artists write for their own, and some for the other. Instead of merely analyzing the demography of the list, it would be more interesting to ask why it seems less common for men to listen to records by females directed to males (eg the Expose record in question, which is technically gender-neutral but doesn't seem to be directed towards lesbians [of course I could just be saying that because I am male]) than it is for females to listen to female-directed music by men (there is a great live recording of Teddy Pendergrass singing "When Somebody Loves You Back" where the music at times almost inaudible due to screaming female fans but, alas, I cannot find a link).

Good News

Simon has graciously pointed out that a good writer has made her timely reappearance after her earlier online manifestations vanished months ago.

Her short-but-sour decade roundup, ultimately to include ten songs (a gesture kind in its brevity but frustrating; I would rather have a long list from a a disaffected writer than have to depend on this one, in which 180 records are listed for the sole purpose of buttressing the self-serving enshrinement of facile hype [aka the top 20] into History, for insight into what happened and to see if there is anything worthwhile that I might have missed), includes this paragraph, which quite ably summarizes the way I feel, and would render my own forthcoming "decade in music" essay redundant if it weren't for the lack of foolishly complex sentences such as this, which are surely entertaining to my readers (the long multi-sectioned sentence below is much more artfully written):

A lot went wrong and my own sorry generation are largely culpable. Smug, lazy and intellectually self-satisfied; historically uneducated and therefore fixated on superficial understandings and re-stagings of the past; unwilling to risk seriousness, or rather, mistaking creative conservatism and po-faced self-absorption for seriousness; lacking sex, glamour, rage, resentment, a death drive, or anything vaguely fucking resembling a reason to make a mark upon the world – you, my peers, are possibly the most boring lot of Westerners since those born ‘tween the World Wars grew themselves up on Patty Boone and Georgia Gibbs.