heart and soul

i have traversed into dark territory... murky, maze-like, a place with subversive undertones.


i have never been happier in my life. i am so fucking comfortable here. it feels like pure bliss.

let me try to explain ;

music has always been the truest window into my soul. having this companionship with music and the voices that hold me up gives me confidence to believe in something that had always been inside of me. i haven't been really making music as much lately as i have been listening to music that inspires me and really does give me energy to live and breathe much like food powers the body throughout the day.

the phrase "brain food" cheesily applies here in this situation - my brain feeds and thrives on all this new music, and i'm going to share it with you right now. i am utterly ecstatic here, folks. it's a new development in my life and i've done more fantastic and ridiculous things lately that i would have never done had i not been living under the influence of all this pure reckless sound creation.


you all have encountered the band Joy Division before, correct? if not, i'm sure you would have already if given the chance to have knowledge of their existence. your life won't be the same once it really hits you.

i used to think they were boring, to my great shame. i would have thought much of the music i am about to show you was boring, because i was a stubborn shortsighted human who thought that i knew the extent of my own potentiality. in any case, take a listen -

"Wilderness" (Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures, 1979)

someone very special to me once gave me a huge boxset that contained all of Joy Division's music along with a sizable booklet detailing their story, and this person told me that within the boxset i will discover all of the musical education i will ever need. i didn't quite know what was meant by the statement, but...

this album is pure and utter darkness. it isn't the darkest we are to see, but it is so on a level that i haven't really heard before in music. there is such a bleakness that comes through the slinky bass that seems to cut through you with its deep tone, through the singing almost melodic lead guitar, the reverberating drums that echo off the walls inside your head as you listen, and the somber wavering baritone of ian curtis' voice - it comes together in this marvelous orchestral-like way, where one voice is introduced at a time until the whole comes into view as this astonishing display of four disparate souls intertwining in a single expression.

"Twenty Four Hours" (Closer, 1980)

choosing a song off of their second and final album, Closer, was difficult because they all embody the truest sense of what Joy Division is to me. however, this song is probably my favorite. it is upbeat, foreboding, self-exploratory, and ian is speaking directly to the listener here. soul completely bare. i can't think of anything that cuts to me deeper... the lyrics combined with their chilling sounds. i'm sorry i don't have anything much more intellectual than that to say about it but i very much would recommend just sitting down and listening to these two albums. allow yourself to get lost in it, and if you haven't already done so i think you will become addicted.


"Courtesan" (The Sidewalk Regrets - The Sidewalk Regrets, 2000)

i have been completely obsessed with this seemingly-unknown band from australia lately, going so far as to listen to the entire album endlessly for days on end, as loud as possible. i think i am finally getting to the point where i don't even want to listen to it anymore, even though it's only been about a week of me knowing its existence. still, it fucking kills.

the bassline of this song supposedly was ripped off of "The Pink Room," an Angelo Badalamenti classic from the Twin Peaks soundtrack where a double bassist plays this mournful yet sensual line amidst pure slinky nightclub swinging jazz. this song is sensual too, darkly so, and the singer's voice is as pure a tone as i've heard from nearly any singer. i feel as though i'm listening to someone project words and emotions directly from their soul with absolutely no filtration process, as completely unaware of or unconcerned with the self as is possible, only sound being created from within. i think that is the most sensual thing that could ever be done... it is sexual, really. sex requires one to put everything in, to make your entire self bare and vulnerable and open to an other. music, real music, is much the same.

"Jason's Song" (same album)

here is a slower, more melodic song that showcases a different direction for this incredible band that has literally almost no fanbase in the world (to my limited knowledge) for absolutely no good reason. i find it to be rather elegiac in tone, yet wryly humorous and lighthearted in its own way, and it's just all around a fantastic thing to behold. the first time i heard it i thought it was my favorite on the album because of all the pure, dripping passion.

for fans of Rowland S. Howard, HTRK... even Joy Division.


and finally, to top off this trio of perfection, a band who has eluded me for far too long, too long to have been legal or socially acceptable, so long that i find it hard to believe i was really existing before...

okay, now i'm exaggerating. still, this shit is

Solid Gold

by Gang of Four (1981)

no one song could be cherrypicked from this album because they are all so fucking god damn on fire. literally on fire. from the very first introduction of the instrumental voices, as though a foreign element was introducing itself to me for the very first time, i fell weak at the knees. or really i think i just became infinitely intrigued. i wanted to know what more was there to this band that i was missing. and upon the unfolding of this album it all became clear.

slow, plodding structures building upon themselves. bass and drum interplay disjointed yet mechanically synchronized. the vocals of jon king commenting on a way of life, a societal infrastructure, with bleak yet poignant yet sometimes absurdly silly honesty. just like what punk was all about; here we have a form of expression that didn't attempt to hide any part of the truth of pure emotion, i feel as though i'm listening to an honest and valid display of discontent, dissatisfaction, frustration, observation.

i hear so so much Steve Albini in this. so much Big Black and Shellac. it's eerie yet amazing. some of the best most punch-in-the-face music ever.

i think my favorite song actually is the second track, which begins at 03:23 and is called "What We All Want." there is just something about the pure grooviness of the rhythm that is so fucking attractive to me, it is like the missing piece to a puzzle inside me that i didn't even know was missing a piece. i feel just that much more complete just upon having heard this awesome fucking track.

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS ENTIRE ALBUM. and then we shall move on together to their other ones, of which there are quite many...

another day, another day


have also been listening to and eating up music by Joanna Newsom. she continues to amaze me. this album, excluding the two (annoying) songs where she isn't playing a harp, is quite a lovely little stroll into an imagination that is at once childlike and pure, yet somehow ancient in wisdom. she is one of the most talented musicians still living today that i have ever seen perform, and she appears to be very fearless in her approach to music-making. heart eyes

The Milk-Eyed Mender, 2004


i have begun to fall

the absolute constant motion i have found in certain musical forms has given me wings with which i have begun to fly.

it is an incredible discovery, one that i hope to share successfully with you; it will give you a newfound energy you didn't know you possessed. the music, in a word, is -


"My Black Ass" (At Action Park, 199fucking4)

first introduced to me when i was 15, now 7 or so years ago, Shellac... well let's see... i initially must have written them off as cheesy stoner rock or something, just not anything revolutionary or important to me, because i never gave them their due listening. i can't believe this stupid shortsightedness of mine!

beyond words is this band. the descendants of earlier punk and hardcore acts such as Rapeman and Big Black, both bands including Shellac's main vocalist and guitarist Steve Albini, Shellac is a band that fucks with your head in the most pleasurable way. the following evaluation of their effects on the human mind is that of a young girl who has heard the following albums of theirs: At Action Park of 1994 and 1000 Hurts of 2000. the latter was her favorite album before she heard, for the first time in 7 years after hearing it only once before, the former - her new masterpiece in the world of art. at least for the time being (subject to change: often).

At Action Park's opening track, "My Black Ass" offers a nonchalant attack on the senses. i would classify most of Shellac's music that i have heard just like that - an attack. the lyrics by no mean betray their style - it is all brutal, forceful, quite a session of wonderful and sometimes not so consensual intercourse of the internal world and that which penetrates it.

in their album notes, under "Personnel," they classify themselves as mass, velocity, and time.

need i say more about their awesomeness? and when you watch them play live,



i can't even believe my ears, especially at witnessing just how tightly wound and together the bassist and drummer are at all times. they coexist so beautifully, and of course Steve Albini was just the most ecstatic performer and guitarist. the vocals come and go in this set because it's all about the energy, that pure unadulterated momentum.

this music does nothing but caress your most violent sentiments with a similar reverie. it sweeps one away in rapture, inducing a yearning for expansion in all directions. i find it to be just... intelligently-handled anger, seductive almost. am i going too crazy here?

"Watch Song" (1000 Hurts, 2000)

i posted earlier my obsession with bands such as Unwound and their doppelgangers but this thing with Shellac, it is... different. so much more raw and mangry (a new word i just made up, deal with it). i think i'm so attracted to this sound because, much like Tyler Durden from Fight Club, i have become fed up with being a complacent sleepwaker.

they call themselves a "minimalist rock trio" and i would have to agree with this assessment. minimalist to the point where it isn't minimal in substance but minimal in redundancies. basically, everything about their sound is real, true, reaching you from heart to heart. the heart of one heavily-breathing beast to another - to you.

"Crow" (At Action Park, 1994)

the bass and the drums work together in unbelievable contortions, and Albini's guitar is a conglomerate of uncomfortably perfect sound convulsions and pitch modulations. they create sounds you didn't even imagine could be created.

the end of this song - "Crow" - is a sound of constancy, of repetitive endless fluctuations of the mind's fancies. i don't fucking know man. i am out of words to describe how i feel.

time flies as a crow flies
in a straight line
through you not around you
your life is only that with which
has its way with you


currently i am experiencing the first initial pangs of falling deeply in love with something. someone. it stings in the most beautiful way. the desires are almost completely one-sided, it seems, and the struggle lies in conveying these desires in a way that will alert the other to your state of being, without startling them. to be desirable in your desire.

i have never felt so sensual in my entire life. it is like the color red has suddenly washed all over me after years of being merely pink.


editing this 4 days later


now i have heard shellac's album Terraform (1997) and can say with confidence it has given me another dose of acceptance that Shellac as a singleminded unit is now one of my favorite artists in the history of the world.

it opens with a 12 minute track, the majority of which is just four notes repeated consistently without hardly any variation.

it's called, "Didn't We Deserve a Look At You the Way You Really Are?"

a brilliant track, an interesting concept, another installment of beautiful repetition that grinds away at you but does not bore through you quite yet, because of how much it moves you. the next track, however, is my absolute favorite! you can even hear it on that live album video i linked up there, at the 4:08 marker. the song is called, "This is a Picture."

a perfect example of exactly what i look for in music. the instantaneous change from the harsh-edged angularity of the beginning repetitious riff to the harsh yet resounding seconds/sevenths, intervals that call to me with beautiful dissonance and continue to pop up in my musical journeys. when Albini begins to speak-sing with his midwestern-sounding accent, his drawl if you will, i go weak at the knees... it is definitely one of my favorite Shellac songs of all time.

of course, the bassist and the drummer in this sync are so painfully, intricately intertwined in a way not matched anywhere else. at least not to my knowledge.



hold this guitar, be careful
can't you see i've got my hair full
of heartbreak, girl

this man embodies "the idea of creating and living in your own delusion/fantasy world, outside of what everyone else expects you to be, committing to creativity above all else" - words from the greatest thinker and musician alive today regarding another fantastic musician.

my favorite RSM song is and has always been and probably will always be this one, "Showing Shadows" off of his arguably most popular or at least most accessible or if not either of these it's the first one i heard - 1976's Phonography.

what i love about RSM are his chords... he is in touch with the greatest sounds, and although the textures and structures are primarily of a pop sound (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just something i don't experiment with as much when i personally make music) he makes wholly unique and seemingly unending worlds out of these songs, of which he has made over 2,000... a never ever ever ending artist until the end of life.

it is quite incredibly, really. how can someone not give up to this extent? in the face of all kinds of obstacles - time, time, time always one of them...

fuck time