bright reaction

it smells like cigarette smoke mixed with a hot spring breeze

out here on the verandah i sit on a thin futon-shaped piece of foam, covered in a white sheet on which dirt has been scattered by wind and stray feet

i just woke up from a nap in which i listened to spiderland through speakers

the song "good morning captain" woke me and sent my mind spiraling back to a day buried deep in my past

something about the guitars and the atmosphere created on that album makes me feel like it has integrated itself into the fabric of my being somehow

i don't really like listening to it often


an album that accompanied me through the final horrific days of my most recent job was this:

polvo's exploded drawing

every song is weird, asymmetrical, at times humorous, then endearing; one moment the chorus of jangly guitars is intense like punches to the stomach and then the next they regress into an introspective calm. upon listening for the first time you might get seasick, or, it will be the most enjoyable, wild ride of your life.

for me i can say with every ounce of honesty and truth in my body that this album has saved me from many a sad day.

they are actually from a city only about a half hour away from the one where i grew up, a place i thought was (and still think is) the squarest and most mind-numbingly uncultured place on earth, a creative and topographical dead zone.

i fucking LOVE YOU, POLVO

the sun slants in like a golden sword as the odds grow shorter

i am in the great country of AUSTRALIA right now. it is hot and the sun is dangerously strong. two olive-backed sunbirds construct their dangling nest off of a clothesline each morning and i watch as they pay my close presence no mind. at night three or four geckos crawl slowly across the ceiling of the verandah in the candlelight, then stop at mysterious intervals and are completely still. kangaroos of varying sizes stare me down from afar and, when i have been deemed not a threat, continue about their scavenging and general mischief. bright green flies and the tiniest bees i have ever seen along with butterflies of every color constantly fill the air with their delicately-humming, swirling presences.

my time is spent reading misanthropic stories and poems and

strangely enough

not thinking

when a thought i admire does come across the horizon of my mind i try to write it out as coherently as i can so a future self, if she so needs a helping hand, can find the little encouragements i like to put out for her

like cookies little kids put out for santa

or something like that


when one ceases to think one calms the storm of thoughts, passions, emotions that usually battles itself out during every waking moment

you'll find that the cessation of thought is not equivalent to the cessation of life

lay down and immerse yourself in sound! become enraptured in the ideas and themes and art that bring you closer to a constant dream state, that place where life suddenly feels less like a re-run of the same cardboard people saying the same cardboard things and more like an endlessly vast field

RUN with a fury to the highest peak of your consciousness and never look back


  1. Have you listened to Celebrate the New Dark Age or Today's Active Lifestyles? They're such an awesome band.
    I really dig your blog by the way! Can't believe you like 2 Litre Dolby and My Disco, only just discovered them recently myself!

  2. Hey, thanks I'm glad you like it! :D yeah Australia has produced some pretty awesome bands that I would have never heard without the good old internet.

    I have heard those two records you mentioned, Celebrate The New Dark Age is still my favorite Polvo of all time. Something about how the sound is so jagged and abrasive it's like razor-sharp daggers.

    1. Same here, will never remember how cathartic and amazing Fractured Like Chandeliers sounded the first time I listened to it.

      Are you still in Australia? Could recommend a few local bands if you're in Queensland or Victoria.

    2. Sadly not, I left a few months ago... back in the states. Hoping to go back soon, like REALLY fucking soon. So you're there?

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  4. Never forget I mean, yeah in Brisbane. Wouldn't advise coming back here until it cools down a bit! Just got back from a trip to Europe and was pretty sad cos My Disco played a show the night I flew out :'( Have you heard of Love of Diagrams or No Sister? You might like them if you like Polvo but they're quite different of course.

    1. No I had not heard of Love of Diagrams! I have heard of No Sister, though... I think... Thanks for the reminder :D

      And yes, I don't plan to go back until your winter or fall, I think. I heard it's currently like the hottest wet season you've ever had? Could be totally wrong about that >.<

  5. Also, My Disco! would be so fucking cool to see live?

    HTRK is definitely the best thing that came out of Australia, however, you have to admit! I'm really biased, though. You should listen to The Sidewalk Regrets, too.

    1. I was fortunate enough to miss the worst of the weather when I was overseas; apparently we had a few 39 degree days!

      I love HTRK! I have Work, Work, Work and Psychic 9-5 on vinyl, my favourite album has to be Marry Me tonight though. Saw them live once too and they were really good but I think that my friend's drunken antics may be part of the reason they haven't come back to Brisbane since haha.

      Had a listen to a couple songs off The Sidewalk Regrets and they're great, thanks for the recommendation.

    2. Ooooooh vinyl HTRK, that sounds really nice. I've never listened to them in that way before >.< I've recently been really really loving their three tracks on Part Time Punks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELmfb3EZEoM - "Synthetik"). They just have such a different feel than the album version, like they take more freedom and more space to move around in the groove, and I love it.

      The reason I know about many Australian bands is I know someone who lives there who likes the exact same music as me, and like you too. There's one more band from there that I know of which I'd probably recommend - Hungry Ghosts. Heard of them?

    3. This version of Synthetik is really good, definitely agree with how you describe it. Unfortunately every time I listen to this song I can't help but remember Nigel Yang death staring me >.<

      No I haven't, I'll check them out! Have you given No Sister a listen yet? They were utterly mesmerising to see live and if you ever get the opportunity I'm sure you won't regret it.


      I also think it's really cool how you're super into Shellac, I've been obsessed enough with Steve and his guitar tone to buy his entire rig minus the Travis Bean! Saw them play a free instore about a year ago and that may have been one of the best moments of my life.

  6. Nooo Nigel didn't die! Sean did... you worried me there for a minute :D

    No Sister: Someone is saying it sounds like "sonic youth mixed with unwound" so I am pretty intrigued. So far, I really really love it! Holy moly. This is exactly what I think I was looking for. Dankeschon.

    I fucking LOVE SHELLAC! I have heard that seeing them live was a completely different experience than listening to them on record so I am most definitely gonna try to catch them if they ever tour in the US... what things make up Steve's rig? I know about the harmonic percolator. I received a huge giant loud Traynor bass amp as a present (same one Bob Weston uses I think?) and just bought a Fender Bass VI so I'm kinda going after trying to re-create their incredible bass sound.

  7. No worries, glad you like them!

    I'm gonna go see them on the 15th and I'm super keen! The first time I saw them I think what amazed me the most was their use of prepared guitar; they use screwdrivers and drumsticks (and of course alternate tunings) under their strings to make sounds you'd never expect an electric guitar to make.

    Steve's rig (from what I know) is a Fender Bassman amp with an Intersound/Tapco "Instrument Voicing Preamp" (supposedly the most important piece of gear to achieve his guitar tone/s due to equalisation and distortion) connected to the harmonic percolator (which I personally believe he doesn't use nearly enough to have a significant influence on his overall guitar tone) and a noise gate of some kind connected to an amazing aluminium necked guitar which I hope to have the money to afford someday.

    All I can really say about seeing Shellac live is that I really want to see them again as soon as possible and that I'm sure you'd love it if you did too :)

    I actually have a pedal that supposedly imitates the preamp from that same bass amp too; it's called a Tronographic Rusty Box. I think it's actually pretty hard to get close to the same sound as Bob or Steve without spending a fortune on a Travis Bean guitar but at the same time having the same control over the equalisation will probably get you close enough.

  8. Holy SHIT has it been 7 whole months since the last time I've said anything here?

  9. Haha just saw you replied, so it turns out that the thing about needing a Travis Bean/aluminium necked guitar to sound like Steve is a load of shit...you could get the same/similar-ish sound with a cheap practice amp. Basically just a slightly overdriven solid state amp with a lot of high-midrange to get that clanky sound, that's something Steve and Ash Bowie have in common actually, at least on the best Polvo albums.

    Managed to figure out how to get Bob Weston's bass tone yet?

  10. Not yet! I haven't been using my bass amp as much lately because I live somewhere it would most likely not be so appreciated. Really need to get a practice space somewhere.

    Have been totally fucking LOVING No Sister lately, definitely going to put something up soon about their latest release. Would kill to see them live... literally...

    1. Glad to hear, with any luck they'll head to the states sometime soon.

      By the way what's your favorite Unwound album? I think mine has to be Repetition, Leaves is awesome and probably the most critically heralded but they're almost like a different band on that record.

  11. Hey, sorry for the delay in reply. I used to consider Repetition my favorite album too, but I think it might be New Plastic Ideas just based on the sheer amount of songs on that record I desperately love. You are totally right about Leaves sounding like a different record; I really don't know what happened to Justin's vocals!

    What have you been listening to lately? Anything worth recommending to me?

  12. Hey, tried to send you an email in response but I don't think it went through.

    I've been getting back into electronic stuff lately like Laurel Halo, Burial, Boards of Canada, OPN and Autechre. Actually I got to see Laurel Halo play at an art gallery a couple months ago too. I also got Stereolab's Dots and loops as well as Ash Bowie's solo stuff and that Windsor for the Derby album you posted a while ago, which is really good!

  13. my email is bishopmallison@gmail.com! fuck yes for you liking the windsor for the derby album, it's quite lovely. send me a message sometime, i'm more likely to reply via email... electronic sounds nice. i've been on a steve reich kick for a little while now. also into this australian band EXEK which you'd probably enjoy.