Jason Molina – RIP

I wish I can recall the first time I heard Songs: Ohia. For the life of me I cannot. I need this memory like oxygen. My journey with Jason Molina needs a beginning. But does it?

On and off I have listened to his lonesome vocals for a good part of a decade. His songs that carry such emotional heft, beasts of burden with sagging, tortured backs.  The on periods were obsessive and intense. The off periods filled by other singer-songwriter types. Each time I returned it was sweet and comfortably familiar. Nothing beats an old faded T-shirt. Habits.

There is now an end to the journey. Molina is no longer creating. The world is poorer for it. I actually don’t need a start or an end. All I need is forever.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Galaxie 500 and my alcoholic fugue

Just had half a bottle of red wine and I feel a bit blurry at the edge. Yes, I know it is pathetic. And what better music to augment the haziness but Galaxie 500. Hailing from Boston and enamoured of the Velvet Underground they trade in a kind forced decontructionist sonic spectrum. Infantile but sexy at the same time.   

Dental abuse

Just got back from the dental office with the agonising memory of 4 fillings in a single sitting still stomping on my nerve endings. The absolute worse part is the drilling. The boring twinges of pain that spreads within the gums and then travels up the few inches of spinal cord before reaching the brain where it explodes into this great ball of terror and extreme discomfort. The whole proceeding is soundtracked by the high tone whirring of the drill. Like how a movie soundtrack heightens the mood of the moving images on screen, the drill elevates the emotion to sky scraping heights. The irony is you feel as if you are going to die and go straight to hell.   

Apology to blog

Hello blog. How are you? I know its been too long. I totally understand if you do not want to see let alone speak to me now. Just that….no excuses. I won’t even try. Every excuse is just a lame ass waste of time. There is no excuse, there is no weaselling my way out of this. Please accept my apologies. For old time sake’s? 

Ode

I stand naked in my wrinkled skin

The weight of failure a cross to bear

Nothing before me broken things behind

Dust and hair a dirty halo around me

The days like picks chipping at stone

Surely one day a heap of dust

Blown away by the wind

Until nothing stands

Crumpler – someone who crumples

I am now the proud albeit guilty owner of an uber-hyped and over-priced carrier bag from Australian Crumpler brand. Few weeks ago the brand name registered on my cultural radar but never took a foot hold. Water off a duck’s back. A friend bought into the associated hip cache and started talking incessantly about her purchase and before I could say “herd mentality”, I was looking up the website and balking at the prices.

There was something unsightly but attractive about the lurid colours and ridiculous names. Took the plunge and plunked down hard cold cash at the checkout counter and walked away with a Considerable Embarrassment wrapped in a water repellent paper bag. Threw off the bag back home and slung the thing over my shoulder all the while checking myself out in the full length mirror. Narcissus would have turned in his grave if he ever existed.

A warm fuzzy feeling suffused my body. I was now one of the beautiful people. I was a professional with a six figure annual income but individualistic enough to be down with the cognisant. I was of the Man but not of the Man. Now if only I own an Apple laptop to slip into my bag……WAIT! What is this I hear? Oh just another piece of my soul sloughing off as the capitalistic cash register chinks merrily.

Kid A – revisited

radiohead

Exactly how and why Radiohead’s Kid A has come to stand as the definitive artistic statement for rock consumers born after 1975 is almost ridiculously difficult to discern. People believed (and continue to believe) in the metaphysical heft of Kid A : in its aesthetic worth, its innovation, its meaning. In 2000, Kid A felt true and inscrutable; five years later, it somehow still does: From its chilling opening organ figure to its closing silence, Kid A is enormous– a huge, sweeping testament to Radiohead’s ever-swelling worldview.

Kid A was an obvious departure from its predecessor, the guitar-swollen OK Computer , and it alternately challenged and confounded Radiohead’s core audience. Regardless, the record’s supposed difficulty also lent it a certain sense of gravity: Kid A is confrontational and insistent, mysteriously capable of convincing some of the most stridently anti-electro guitarheads that inorganic flourishes can feel bloody and real. Consequently, in the months following its release, Kid A transformed into an intellectual symbol of sorts, a surprisingly ubiquitous signifier of self. Owning it became “getting it”; getting it became “annointing it.” The record’s significance as a litmus test was stupid and instant and undeniable: In certain circles, you were only as credible as your relationship to this album. And that kind of intense, unilateral, with-us-or-against-us fandom felt oddly, uncomfortably apropos in the face of all that sound.

It is in this weird sense that Kid A was (and continues to be) the perfect record for its time: Ominous, surreal, and impossibly millennial, its revolutionary tangle of yelpy, apocalyptic vocals, glitchy synths, and beautiful drones is uncertain about both its past and present– and, accordingly, timeless. –Amanda Petrusich

I love this review by Amanda Petrusich on Pitchfork for one album that held a lot of bad memories for me. It inevitably became the soundtrack to a very bad personal patch.