Friday, March 20, 2009

Shitgaze, Shostakovich, and the Shangri-Las

I realize i sort of trailed off on that last post, but the good news is i have a rather inadvertent 'spring break', in that i work at a university, and they don't need as many workers, so i pretty much have the week off. I've been having a difficult time finding time for everything while working full-time, so this week i really hope to drill down, work on this blog and my print 'zine, as well as playing music and taking care of my heart, body, and soul.
So its been pretty strange in my head lately, since i've been working, really. My schedule is opposite of most of the rest of the people that i know, getting off of work in the middle of the night, coming home to an empty apartment and my thoughts. Lots of space to furnish my own interior universe, lost in daydreams, listening to headphones. My main past-time, lately, is listening to music and reading comics (Fables at present, which is quite good). Lots of fuzzy pop music, diddling my neurons and tickling my ears, falling into the psychedelic soup of silence behind my eyes. Things get really thick and heavy when i spend a good deal of time alone, all that acid i ate rearing its neon fangs, and i twitch and fight against the void, but it is always there, waiting for me. So i've been going through it, some times with grace, sometimes kicking and screaming. And when it all gets to be too much, i have recently found the pleasures of '60s Girl Groups; the Ronettes, the Crystals, The Shangri-Las. Sounds of joy and innocence and heart-break, adolescent and sincere, a refeshing remedy to these post-ironic times. Against the backdrop of soul-searing noise-static that i also like to immerse myself in; Fennesz, Gray Daturas, Yellow Swans, Merzbow, these pastel rosy hues sprawl like cuneiform, the most deranged and demented, novel and different sounds you could imagine. The dichotomy pulls me like wild horses, and i'm somewhere in the middle of this extremes, Old Man Gloom and Peter Pan, duking it out, and trying to find a compromise.
In the midst of all of this, i have discovered the delightfully titled Shitgaze movement; Wavves, Blank Dogs, Zola Jesus, Pink Reason, and it does seem to strike a balance between these extremes, noisy as fuck, buried in the red, while amazing pop melodies (sometimes) lie buried beneath the scum. In short, i love it, and can't get enough. Its got me saving my pennies and dreaming of the day that i get my very own cassette 4 track and start contributing to society.
This week, i've also taken on an assignment to work on a piece for my friend Teresa's new zine, Dorktits. Its a platform to air our geeky dirty laundry, and i've decided to expound upon my passion for russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who is a hero of mine, and i also adore his music. His string quartets reduce me to a drooling stump! So i've got heavy martial russian classical music on one hand, Diana Ross on the Other, and Blank Dogs somewhere in the middle, scrawling obscene graffiti on my dreams. These components make for a very interesting and surreal interior experience, and i realize that i am changing, mutating, going with it and trying not to be too afraid.
I had a dream this morning that my girlfriend was breaking up with me, had a messenger deliver the message in a condescending 'How Dare You, You Scumbag' tone of voice. I walked away, bewildered and hurt. There was a girl, sitting in the hallway, preaching to uninterested passer-bys, convincing them to have hope, to not be jaded, to continue to struggle and fight. She had 3 bigs blocks of wood, bound in iron, with 3 stone turtles in front and 3 daggers. Some person started to confess, she told him to go tell it to the trees. She described a scene of majestic, old-growth forests being clear-cut with angry biting chain-saws, and it was all too much, too much, i fell down on the floor sobbing, curling up into a ball. My own personal grief, with the weight of the world bearing down, how could i survive? How long can i carry on?
I woke up with tears streaming down my face. I never EVER cry, that well's been dry since i was a kid, and i was just sobbing like a babe, thinking of all those magickal forests, gonegonegone. I put on Wolves in the Throne Room, who are a black metal band that speak of these issues, reviving the old Pagan ways, fighting the war against the powers of darkness, meeting in secluded dimly lit groves to light the fires and DANCE! I felt their power roar through me. I felt better, cleansed of poison. Sue stopped by, was feeling angry and misanthropic herself, and we lie together, allowed ourselves to feel better, and i saw that we were together, close as ever, and we help each other get through this life, which is often a bitter barren wasteland. The voice of Hope. The voice of Healing. We lie together, curled up like semi-colons, and realized that we are no longer alone.
So all of this going on beneath the surface of an other-wise unexciting daily existence. Everything internal, and i finally have a moment to decompress and realize what the fuck's been going on, and where i'm at! So on that note, i will point you in the direction of a few of my favorite hidden clearings lately:
Will Oldham discography - for those hardy souls, willing to brave the darkness and find the light. I'm trying to absorb his body of work, before seeing THE MAN in April!
Girl Group sounds - a pretty choice Girl Group sampler, some deep dusty cuts. Enough to hold me over until i can find the One Kiss Can Lead to Another box set, which i will post when i find it!
shh... its a secret - i can't really say what this is, but i promised myself i would post it here, when i found it, since i spent literally weeks looking for this. Aerophones and Aeroplanes, you are the shit!

I hope to post some reviews this week, if anyone is interested, and some archaic archival recordings, since sharing it and talking about it makes me feel less hermetic, twisted, and obsessed! Hope everybody is doing well.

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