Pastoral Genocide

Let An Easy Rider Share Your Bed
May 28, 2008, 4:54 am
Filed under: Writing | Tags:

september nineteenth, ninety eighty nine. tepatitlán, jalisco. in the sweet breath of twilight, juan paolo ruiz (son of maria picasso lopez and josė javier ruiz) kicked uncertainly at the hardness of the earth. the crowd around him was enormous and loud. hungry. quickly stepping off fifteen paces, he crossed himself, silently hoping for preservation, resolution in the yawning face of an only slightly contested failure. he sprung forward heavily, his body pushing and heaving, a ferocious display of quiet desperation. he jumped. the crowd gasped as he passed through the clouds and into the thereafter. they waited and waited and it was only after six hours that they began to accept the fact that this was forever. before being shushed by his mother, one boy yelled into the quiet darkness of the night: conocia juan paolo ruiz, conozco a dios. it seemed only right.


Do You Believe in Love After Life?

Cher creeps me the fuck out. I will say, however, “Updated Hair-era Cher” is a drastic improvement over “Big Hair-era Cher.” “Big Hair-era Cher” looked like a Merv Griffin mated with an giraffe and a Brillo Pad and wrapped the offspring in a casing of fishnet and black leather. If I ever meet Cher, the conversation will go like this:

Me: Hi Cher.

Cher: Oh hai there pumpkin, ur super cute.

Me: Thx. I’ve got a quick question for you.

Cher: O rly?

Me: Why the long face?

Me: lolololloolololoololooolool.

Fatherhood. I can remember being seven years old and staring bleakly at the television screen while Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive. It was late afternoon on a gray fall day and I was sitting on the living room couch with my dad, unable to fully grasp either the gravity of the situation or the defeated mannerisms and slouching shoulders of Johnson. I asked my father how you got the HIV. He sighed stoutly and protractedly turned toward me. Seventeen years later, the verbatim of his reply is still etched in my cerebrum: “Magic Johnson got HIV because he fucked anything that moved for over ten years,” he said. “This is what happens, you get AIDS. It’s not rocket science. Wear a rubber, for chrissakes.”

The intended message was undoubtedly one of personal responsibility. I think thats what should count.

Anyway. The theme for today is… out of print emo discographies. O RLY? you say. Yes, really. Thank the good lord for the interwebs. Setting aside, of course, the fact that its wildly ironic to thank our purported creator for what’s tantamount to an overflowing fountain of delicious porn. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the road to hell is paved on the merits of ATMs filmed in dingy motel rooms.

Indian Summer: Science 1994. 2002: Don’t confuse this release with the slightly more comprehensive 2006 release “Hidden Arithmetic.” For what its worth, “Hidden Arithmetic” is comprised of a 12 song, live performance combination of 1993’s “Live @ Pitzer College” and 1994’s “Live @ Blue Universe” and it is exceptional. However, it’s still in print. “Science 1994,” for its part, features all nine of the band’s (supposedly) studio-mastered songs. Highlights include: Angry Son, Orchard, and Reflections on Milkweed.

Download Indian Summer’s “Science 1994.”

Union of Uranus: To This Bearer of Truth. 2004: Hailing from the Canada’s unremarkable capital city, the illustriously nondescript Ottawa, Union of Uranus played chaotic, emotional punk from the early-1990’s through the mid-1990’s. Yes, I know thats vague. But DIY musical history – unlike most other white people-based recreational and or/artistic endeavors – is notoriously undocumented. The last label-released, non-discography effort was 1998’s 12′ split with His Hero Is Gone, but WOTS is that, for all intents and purposes, Union of Uranus became inactive at some point before that. Notably, Union of Uranus’ “To This Bearer of Truth” was the final release on the now-defunct The Great American Steak Religion.

Download Union of Uranus’ “To This Bearer of Truth”

This insanely dense, unofficial discography-slash-box set serves as a four disc chronological diary of The Hated’s recorded life. Additionally, the set includes alternate recordings of early sessions laid down by two post-The Hated projects, Three Shades Dirty and Slack. The Hated were from Annapolis, MD and existed just outside of the massive shadow of late-80’s groups such as Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and Hüsker Dü. Like the aforementioned, The Hated creatively explored the phenomena of emotion in rawly confrontational manner. As the band matured, they gradually – then suddenly – experimented with a range of mixed-tempo song structures which, today, serves as one of their distinctive hallmarks. At the time of the The Hated’s dissolution in 1990, they had released efforts on Vermin Scum, Simple Machines, Troubleman Unlimited,and Panx. Supposedly, Troubleman Unlimited is eventually going to release an “offical” discography, but the project has been delayed more times than a Yemeni in JFK International; I doubt it ever happens.

Download The Hated’s Unofficial Discography Disc 1

Download The Hated’s Unofficial Discography Disc 2

Download The Hated’s Unofficial Discography Disc 3

Download The Hated’s Unofficial Discography Disc 4

Babbys Are Little Gifts From God.
May 19, 2008, 4:21 am
Filed under: Beef | Tags:

May 16, 2008, 9:25 pm
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Songs About Dancing Bears, Etc.

Dancing Bears. By no means would I consider myself a Randy Newman fan, but this cover of “Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear” is unreasonably spectacular. The original song is, in itself, something of a masterpiece. Keeping in mind that this song was written by a grown-ass man, check out the lyrics:

I may go out tomorrow if I can borrow a coat to wear/Oh I’d step out in style with my sincere smile and my dancing bear/Outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming/Oh who would think a boy and bear/Could be well accepted everywhere/It’s just amazing how fair people can be/Seen at the nicest places where well fed faces all stop to stare/Making the grandest entrance is Simon Smith and his dancing bear/They’ll love us, won’t they?/They feed us, don’t they?/Oh, who would think a boy and bear/Could be well accepted everywhere/It’s just amazing how fair people can be/Who needs money when you’re funny?/The big attraction everywhere/Will be Simon Smith and his dancing bear/It’s Simon Smith and the amazing dancing bear

Etc. Here are some Muxtapes that are, perhaps, worth checking out: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Etc, Etc. (1) Matt Pryor posts a new song – titled Loralai – here. (2) You can stream Kevin Seconds’ new album, “Rise Up, Insomniacs!” here. (3) Scenepointblank recently posted a cool Ted Leo interview. (4) Sigur Ros is planning an upcoming world tour in which, unfortunately, they say “fuck you, guy,” to the vast majority of the United States. (5) The Gaslight Anthem have finished recording their upcoming full length, “The ’59 Sound.” Tentative release date: August 19, 2008.

Boom. Cops and crackheads and tranny love gone awry.

it’s late august, a hot summer night//and the red and the blue dance in frenzy of light//frozen, two men stand like pillars of salt in the street//they’re poor and they’re black and they’ve both got the bug//one’s dressed like a woman but you can see he’s a man//the other has been stabbed in the arm and he’s obviously mad//they both claim they’re in love//and though its hard to see, maybe they are//but they seem so desperate, and covered in sweat//the cops, they mumble quietly and shake their heads//wondering, just slightly, how two beating hearts became this

Moving Mountains – Pneuma
May 13, 2008, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , ,


Take some time away from everything and concentrate on the cognitive simplicity of muscle memory. Inhale. Exhale. We’re alive, somehow. In world that’s become lost in the foggy narrative of epistemological mechanics, there’s a small, worthwhile beauty in existence.

With such passive veracity, Moving Mountain’s “Pnuema” rises from the dust and the dirt and into the sky. It’s a lofty creation with meandering complexities and a penchant for stunning panoramas. The melodic elements of the album rise above the contours of the earth, the microscopically nondescript rug of green and brown, the checker board patterns of agriculture and history. Dots of towns and places. Places with doctors, preachers, murderers, clerks. Above, a ceiling of azure masks infinite black. But here, in this glass ball of sound and function, there’s a feeling that we – as the listener – are a part of something bigger than we could ever possibly hope to be. Simplicity is perfectly balanced by reverie and the only thing with any real importance is the criticality of breathing.

“Pnuema,” exerts melody that is comprehensive and sweeping. It’s a wildly panoptic album, a massive, emotive glacier that culminates in a gorgeous riptide of acquiescence. A reminiscent amalgamate of Eno’s “Music for Airports,” Sigur Ros’ touching falsetto, and Mono’s sweeping phantasma, the album – in its collectivity – is a gripping, powerful force that towers somewhere from the atmosphere above.

Comprised of Nick Pizzolato, Gregory Dunn, Mitchell Lee, and Frank Graniero, Moving Mountains’ sound belies its size. Stumbling outside the poppy gentrification of new-world musicianship, the band symphonically assails the glimmering infinity of ocean and sky. “Pangea” – which, not coincidently means “to breathe” in Latin – is the group’s first release. The ten movement (song) album possesses a pastoral architecture that forms a mosaic of textures and overtones. This is the world, set to a soundtrack of swirling melodies.

For all of its oversized beauty, however, “Pangea” never forgets to breathe. It’s a puddle of uncommon simplicity masked by an expansively evolving vanishing point. Undeniably, “Pangea’s” scope alternates cinematically from frame to frame, but in doing so, it retains a steadfastly dogmatic sense of auetership and recollection. The product is a touching harmonization of natural and mechanical semblances manifested in an oeuvre of mirrors and melodrama.

Listen, See, Download, Purchase, Youtube.

Something About Seattle

She told me it was over, that she was leaving. On her way out the door, she yelled something about Seattle and then stole my car. From the bedroom window I watched as she backed furiously out of the driveway and sped off into the afternoon. That was the last I saw of either her or the car.

I work in a canning plant ten miles away from my rented one bedroom apartment. Each afternoon, I wake up begrudgingly and ride my bike across town. Winter is looming, cold and terrible. Things are different in Alaska. Less exciting, less meaningful. This place is purgatorial holding cell set against a backdrop of snow-tipped mountain tops. Its beauty belies its cruelty.

I came up this way when I was 18. I took a bus from Little Rock to Tulsa, from Tulsa to Spokane, from Spokane to here. I bounced from job to job, drinking sometimes hard and sometimes long. I caught on with a fishing outfit for awhile. Made decent enough money that I spent mostly on booze. Eventually, I got a job in a canning plant and it stuck. I’m a supervisor now, I work 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., four nights a week. I drink less and I read a lot – books, magazines, the newspaper. It’s ok. I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen, epiphanic or otherwise.

I haven’t been home since my mom died in ‘96. I’m not sure where home is anymore. Not here, that’s for sure. I’m planning on getting out. I’ve got a couple grand in the bank and it’s more than I’ve ever had. But something’s keeping me here. Maybe it was her, but I’m not entirely sure.

The day that I decide to leave yawns only slightly awake. It’s December and this place is foggishly dim, even in the afternoon. Against the cold, I bike downtown, to Citizen’s Savings and Loan. I close out my account. Four thousand, four hundred and nine dollars. Seventeen cents. I feel good about it, mostly. I stop by Henderson’s for a drink before heading home. I pack my things into a brown suitcase. A couple shirts, a handful of books, a black and white picture of my mom from when she was 20. I light a cigarette and look around the apartment. I’ve lived here from 8 years and I still don’t have a thing on the walls. It’s good to be leaving, I say aloud.

I call into work. I tell them I’m done. They say its fine and wish me luck. I wish them luck, too, and then I hang up the phone. That night, I sleep well. I wake up around noon and head out the door. I’m leaving behind some tattered furniture – a peeling bureau, a steel corner desk, a stained queen mattress that sits on the floor, a lime green couch that I bought from the local Salvation Army. I lock the door behind me and drop the key in the manager’s box on the way out. My former landlord is an Aleutian fellow named Sam. Nice guy, a big hockey fan. I quickly scribble a note to him on the back of sporting goods catalog. I apologize for the lack of advanced notice. I push two twenties into the fold for his trouble.

I shrug against the cold. I won’t miss this, I think to myself. I straddle my bike and start to peddle. The wind is pushing voluptuously against me, almost demanding that I stay. But I’m not staying.

I arrive at the bus station out of breath. My fingers and toes are remarkably numb and my face feels chapped and stiff.

At the ticket window, a cute native girl greets me with a forcibly impatient half-smile. She’s chewing gum. “Where to” she demands. I pause for a second, unsure. I clear my throat and almost say Seattle.

“I’ll take a one-way ticket to Spokane, please.”