Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sympathy for Jesus

Too lazy even to put together my own mp3 mix today, so here's some videos. And here's some shit I wrote some time ago.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

You're Goddamn Right My Kid's Gonna Lean About Krautrock!

I think a good gauge of how much of a music snob I am is that not only do I know about Krautrock, but I prefer the term Kosmische Musik.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Interplanetary Interlude #4: The World as Meditation

Ok, folks, a new official episode for real is coming. It requires some research, and I've been quite busy lately with my delusions and self-analysis and existential abysses opening up beneath me, with too much masturbation and bad food, with the dozen books I'm a quarter of the way through but still uncommitted to, and with THE ENDLESS NOTHING ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET (also all the cool stuff- yeah, my stuff is here, too: it's both). But until I get shit together, here's a bunch of songs with no thematic connection (actually that's not true: there's a thruline or two- can you pick them out?), only that they've provided what peace and joy I've had recently.  For those who think my voice is the worst part of these shows (as I do), this might be your favorite episode.

"The World as Meditation" is stolen from my favorite poet, Wallace Stevens. Laurie Anderson is a NYC-based performance artist (more on her soon), and "O Superman" might be the best pop song of the 80's (even better than anything off ZZ Top's Eliminator!). Muscles of Joy are a group of lasses from Glasgow (a Glasgow lass group). Tyrannosaurus Rex is the hippie precursor to the glam-rockin' gong-bangin' on-gettin'-it T. Rex. Tall Dwarfs are giant/tiny mythical creatures from New Zealand. Faust are Ger-men who sold their souls to a minor demon for the gift of perpetual but respectable obscurity. The Vertigo Swirl sound a lot like Captain Beefheart's Magic Band on this eponymous track, and I mean that as no slight. More Beefheart knockoffs please! (Oh, not you, Tom Waits. You just uh, carry on.)


1. O Superman- Laurie Anderson
2. Interchangable Letterset- Muscles of Joy
3. She Was Born to Be My Unicorn- Tyrannosaurus Rex
4. Nothing's Going to Happen- Tall Dwarfs
5. Jennifer- Faust
6. The Vertigo Swirl- The Vertigo Swirl
7. Water Breaks Its Neck- Muscles of Joy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Robert Harrison on Jimi Hendrix

Looks like Jimi Hendrix is on the charts again. This is only interesting because, uh, I guess charts are still a thing in music. But it's really a pretext for me to turn you on to the show Entitled Opinions, if you've never heard it. This is an intellectual talk show based at Stanford University, and broadcast on KZSU. It's been a big inspiration to me in doing both the Interpletary Music and Anarchy & Culture podcasts. Here's a monologue on Jimi Hendrix by host Robert Harrison. There's also been great shows on Heidegger, Wallace Stevens, Nietzsche, Dante (Harrison is a Dante scholar), Kurt Weill, Freud, the Unabomber, Jesus, and a shit-ton more.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interplanetary Interlude #3: Eiridh Tonn Air Uisge Balbh


1. Shay Fan Yan Ley- Linda Thompson
2. Astral Weeks- Van Morrison
3. The Rocky Road to Dublin- The Pogues
4. Killarney Boys of Pleasure- Ceoltiri
5. Blackwaterside- Linda Thompson
6. Polska Set- Ceoltoiri
7. Far Away- Ceoltoiri
8. The Balinalee- The Pogues

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Want My Avant-Garde TV

This video is great (hat tip to WFMU). I'm a bit dismayed by some of the comments on Youtube, though. For instance, someone remarked, "I really wanted to mute all idiots laughing... bunch of ignorants." To which someone else replied, "I think Cage considered the idiots laughing as part of his music." 

Now, I totally agree that Cage considered the audience reaction as part of the music. But I don't think he would have considered them idiots. Why? Because art is supposed to be stone cold serious? Do you think they laugh because they don't "get it?" Do you think you get it?

If you do, then you don't. If you don't, then you do. Get it?

These comments completely ignore the influence of Zen on Cage's work. This is the musical equivalent of a koan. There's no "getting it," as in rationally understanding it. It is its action. It is what is happening. You either enjoy that or you don't, and there's no prescribed way to enjoy it (though Cage himself says he prefers laughter to tears, and hear hear for that). The only people who really don't get it are the dildos who pay to go see/hear 4'33" and then just sit there in silence. The piece isn't supposed to be four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence, it's simply four minutes and thirty three seconds. Cage didn't believe in silence, so that's actually the one thing the piece can't be.

By explaining the music this way, have I indicted myself along with people who think they understand it and look down upon others who don't? Perhaps, but I don't mind the paradox. I find it appropriate, and it amuses me.

Humorlessness, pretentiousness, and conformity is destroying the arts. I want my avant-garde TV.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Calling All Mutants!

Os Mutantes are coming to Salt Lake City! "Os" is the second-person familiar plural pronoun in Spanish (and I assume Portuguese as well), so there name translates roughly to "You Mutants." (Or, as I like to translate it, "Y'all Mutants.") So I'm calling on all you mutants out there in SLC to come join me at Urban Lounge on May 10.

Also check out my "Song for Sunday" entry, in which I do an impromptu and ill-informed occult reading of "Bat Macumba."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Experimental Sunday: Einsturzende Neubaten

Howdy folks. Are you having a good time? Enjoying the chants, the drones, the sacred noise? Good. More is forthcoming. More writing will be forthcoming as well. Which you might not care for. But this is not about you. Just gloss over it and crank up the jams.

Y'know, I do like to read from time to time. Too bad the internet distracts me from the fact that I have an amazing library of mostly unread books. I could be spellbound by Fearful Symmetry or The Golden Bough, but no I'm on goddamn twitter or ok cupid trying to impress people with my stupid nonsense. Anyway, one of the things I've most enjoyed reading recently (last night, until 5am, because somebody left a case of PBR at my house, and I am a madman) is a blog called "Fuck Theory." You love it already, no?

There's a great post on the German industrial band Einsturzende Neubaten. It's a band I keep hearing about, but have yet to really investigate. Till now. Love it. Like a postpunk Faust. Here's the part (of the post) that really got to me:

I was not a happy teenager.  Without too many maudlin details, suffice to say that the domestic situation I grew up in left scars quite a bit deeper than the average teenage angst.  By the time I was 15, every fucking day was a wild oscillation between nuclear rage and terrible, self-loathing depression.  I had all of these pent-up energies, and no idea what to do with them.  And then, at the age of 14, I discovered two aesthetic investments that would change my life forever - Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs, and Einst├╝rzende Neubauten. 

Replace "Einsturzende Neubaten" with "The Velvet Underground," and I could say the very same thing. But I'm not going to get into that now or here. This is about the music. First though, I'll say that while I'm just an amateurish idiot who don't know shit about crap, I think what this guy's doing with this blog is very interesting, entertaining, and there's a lot I can endorse here. For instance:

On the one hand . . . 

. . . but on the other.

This is a philosophy blog, btw. Again, I don't know Deleuze from my own dick, but I know authentic writing from academic wankery. I keep finding bloggers, who make no money and have no cultural capital to speak of, but who can write and think glorious blazing circles around the New York TimesNew Yorker, et al. Chuck that shit, my friends. They aren't smarter than you, they aren't cooler than you. They're privileged and therefore clueless. (Oh, and did you know they lie, like all the time?) What you think is valid, is beautiful, is true. They're main street. They're a park bench on main street. We're in the fucking jungle, the fucking desert. We're in fucking space.

But, oh yeah, this is about the music. Which is about everything. Here's Neubaten:

One of the band members plays the shovel. Neato.

Now I know what "industrial" music actually means.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Channel Interplanetaire

I've started a YouTube channel for some videos I'll be making from Interplanetary Music episodes. It's under my own name, because I'm too lazy to start a new channel under Interplanetary Music.

Sign up, space cadets.

Where has pop surrealism gone?

Down with boring "indie" music (and film)! Up with pop-punk surrealism! Let us stop being cool and start getting weird.

Why can't you have your cake and eat it too? 
Why believe in things that make it tough on you? 
Why scream and cry when you know it's through? 
Why fall in love when there's better things to do?

[Check out the appearance of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs at 1:11.]