Thursday, 28 January 2010

You Could Practically Hear the Clicking Sound: Moving Out of the 'rents

The couch by the dove
covered with almost-finished errands,
promises I made when I thought I'd
have more time.

The days spun by like the Wheel of Fortune,
you could practically hear the clicking sound
as, living in two cities, my nerves frayed
like dental floss.

Plans for goodbye rituals, chucked out
like Starbucks mugs missing trash cans,
daily affirmations lost sorting through
string after string of broken lights.

So, with clothes mountained on the floor
in front of my bed, I note that
my suitcase is never empty for long,
the stress is always equal,

but it is different leaving a place
you know you can come back to,
even if its a long dark hour away

on a highway you never hoped to know so well.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

It looks different in the day, without so much incandescence.

The day started with a round of donuts and some impromptu readings from Sartre. The last few days of teardown are a lot of feet-dragging, doing the work of six hours over the course of a week, then being hit with tasks where you discover that what you thought was "throw a few parts in a truck" is more like "dismantle an entire miniature fucking house". . .
Spooling up cords, etc.

This would be relaxing, idyllic even, if I weren't also basically living in Seattle and preparing to move all my stuff there, loaded up on commitments, obligations and ideas but very little in the way of financable income.

So what's new, you ask? Ha. Ha ha ha.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Give Me Something I Can Take Away-- Year in Music 2 or something

My opinion has always been that you can't quite make a "Best of" list until sometime in June, when you've fully caught up on Year Previous, by which time you are hopelessly "behind" on the next year, because, after all, it is a race. So I probably forgot a couple records in making this list, but it was still fun to make. I didn't include albums by bands I Always Like if I didn't think they were great(sorry Pearl Jam), nor did I include records made by humans I have physically touched in a non-concert setting. Feel free to berate me on my choices.

St. Vincent—The Actor
For me, St. Vincent is like meeting someone at a boring party, deciding she’s nice enough, but pretty much like every other person there and they’re talking about like, wine or something, not that there’s anything wrong with wine, but the hostess, who you really do appreciate the invitation and everything, she’s cute and all and probably the best person out of that douchey study group where you met, but really why did you come to this party anyway? So then, like, later, at some isolated situation that is not a party you meet St. Vincent and she is funny and weird and clever and sort of fucked up in a really interesting way. You do not want to marry her, but hey, she made this sweet album and listening to it is rad.

MF Doom—Born Like This
MF Doom remains a bizarre dude. Not in the “HI MY NAME IS LIL WAYNE/KANYE WEST AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT ALL THIS CRAZY SHIT I DO I DO SOME CRAZY SHIT BECAUSE I AM AN ARTIST WHO HAS NOTHING TO SAY BUT CRAAAAAZY SHIIIIIIIT” but more in a way that I would give a crap about, ever. The growing collective of People Who Want Graham to Smoke Pot rejoice.

Fever Ray—S/T
Want to come over to my house some frosty winter and have sex with me while we listen to Fever Ray? BDSM/cosplay optional.

The Obits—I Blame You
Someone give Frohberg a check so that he can just keep making good albums like this. Eases up on the Hot Snakes’ breakneckery, throws in some surf, some swing, rockabilly, keeps the guitars clean and crisp, lyrics smart and straight-up. Guy should be teaching classes on this shit, but most “rock and rollers” are too busy worrying about their hair and practicing sneers in the mirror.

Animal Collective—Merriweather Post-Pavillion
I think it’s possible to be highly overrated, have a pretty annoying fanbase and still be really good.

Japandroids—Post Nothing
Go for it boys, you’ve got your youth, earnesty-thinly-hidden-by-swagger and a history of pop-punk, power-pop and shoegaze in your arsenal. If the results are a bit immature sometimes, well, so am I. And that’s fine.

Anti-Pop Consortium—Fluorescent Black
Remember when __indie kids/rockers/hipsters/art kids, whoever___ gave a shit about whether the hip hop they listened to was actually good and not just an excuse to throw a theme party where they could throw on huge glasses and act out racial caricatures in the name of pop-culture parody?

A Place to Bury Strangers—Exploding Head
When you are this loud and ominous you can get away with having the word “heart” in more than one of your song titles.

The Mountain Goats—Life of the World to Come

When I heard that Darnielle was doing an album where each song corresponded to a Bible Verse, I wasn’t surprised; in fact I was almost surprised he hadn’t already. As a songwriter, I think JD is pretty much unmatched, so he’s uniquely suited to a project like this and the results are stunning. The melodies are strong here too, giving a way in to casual-er MG listeners.

Future of the Left—Travels With Myself and Another
. . . but he can’t put his finger on it; he’ll never be that kind of man/He’ll die in his bed on a summer’s night, with his hand on his favorite thing. There are words he could use to describe it/metaphors that should have applied-- he’ll die in his bed on a summer’s night with his hand on his adequate bride.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Yeah, sure, Satan rules-- that doesn't mean I can't be practical: Music '09 part 1.

For the first of my ("a few of them") year-retrospectives, I am going to avail you of some music which, for various reasons, I have enjoyed. The following songs may have appeared here before, and very well may again; it is my blog and I do what I want. Some are just songs, others are full-on music videos, but the songs are really the point. I also realised that I wanted to put some Yeah Yeah Yeahs on here, but I already put Metric and The Kills and I can't give too much love to the ladies at one time unless they get used to it. Also, some of these are from 2008 albums, but I first became aware of them in 2009. Tralala. Singles!

So without any further adieu: 2009: The Year In Tracks, as negligently and half-assedly perceived by Graham Isaac

You love this band. I love this band. The Internet loves this band. The Internet Backlash Against This Band loves the availability of such a readily backlashable band. Everyone wins.

This song had so much to do with my life Dec 08-March 09. I miss the part about listening to electro-pop making cultural and contextual sense.

"Sometimes, performing basic tasks or even getting up in the morning can be harder than any sort of social or political change."--R.Johnson.

I hear you, brother.

If, when I was 17, you'd told me I'd be way into a song with a line about "trying to love again" when I was 28, my response possibly would have been "Right, if I live that long." Its kinda cheesy, but I like the concept of regaining things you've let go, and that sometimes its worth the struggle, or that damage isn't irreparable.

I don't, however, particularly like Eddie Vedder's hand gestures in the music video.

The new Neko Case record was really good, but I felt it wasn't quite as compelling as the last two. Still, this is, hands down, one of the best songs to exist in 2009 or beyond.

* sigh *

yay, pop!

. . . and finally, after a list so fraught with omissions, songs I just happened to feel like listening to right this instant and perhaps at no other time in my entire life, I ask you to picture the following: You are Me. I know, pretty awesome deal. But don't get too excited-- 1)you work the worst-paying, near-most abusive job you've worked in your life and you can't change it because 2) your immigration status is in limbo. You want to stay but you know that 3) Your Grand Attempt is a straw-horse. You have many things you want to do, good reasons to stay and despite (because?) of the sorta-shittiness of the town you're in, you feel at home. But you are getting kicked out and 4) in light of these developments, the girl you were with (and really, you know, actually liked) is back with the same guy she spent the last three months complaining about to you.
In short, your life is falling apart, but really all that's for it is to walk slow with your hands in your pocket. This is a good song to do that to.

Friday, 1 January 2010


I woke up on borrowed pillows from Amara and Jonny's couch, Michael Noonan was watching Fight Club. Jonny made bacon and eggs and then Amara and I did some Cafe Vita and I did some sister-driving-move-helping-stuff. Putting 6 foot mannequins in to mini-vans. Squishing mattresses into movable spaces so my goofball sister will have somewhere to sleep besides floor. Getting to (slightly) know South Seattle as a place in and of itself rather than just "well, downtown ends here, and I guess Georgetown is pretty cool. . . "

I still have some weeks before knowing where I will live when it is not on a campground with holiday-themed events. I still don't know-know, but I do feel like the last day of '09 and the first day of '10 in solid, repeatable ways.

"I don't hurt anyone with my penis, I just swordfight them."-- Bronwyn, offering sisterly advice