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

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