From The Criterion Collection essay by Michael Azzerrad:
At some point in their lives, probably every sleepless person has switched on the TV in the wee hours of a weekend morning and chanced upon a fishing show. Invariably, a beefy, half-forgotten retired athlete shares a boat with some laconic, baseball-hatted master of the piscatory art, patiently awaiting a bite. The pace is glacial, the visuals unmoving, the murmur of the narrative positively narcotic. It’s the visual equivalent of ambient music. When a hooked fish finally breaks the surface, it’s as momentous as when the creature bursts out of that guy’s stomach in Alien.
The comedic potential of this mise en scène did not go unnoticed by John Lurie. Watching some droll home videos of himself and his buddy Willem Dafoe fishing together, Lurie, a man who is nothing if not always thinking, swiftly came to a brilliant realization: Here was a way to deduct his vacations from his income tax! This was the genesis of Fishing With John…(Cont.)
“Fishing With John: Episode 4” (Dir. John Lurie, 1991)
How do you feel about unbridled subconscious terror filtered through the icy synthesizers of yesteryear and an unsettling but strangely appropriate displacement of self? How about putting all that in the context of an awkward, contemporary R&B-studded middle school dance? If your first thought was “sign my ass up!” then you’ll need to head over to Gorilla vs. Bear and check out the new track from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s ‘Can’t Hear My Eyes/Evolution’s a Lie’ 7″, out now on Mexican Summer. You can groove on it here.
I’m not as versed in his back catalogue as many hyper-obsessed AP fans, but “Can’t Hear My Eyes” features the cleanest production that I’ve heard on an Ariel Pink track. Many may still prefer the muted lo-fi beatbox funkscaping of his earlier work, but — according to the man himself — “everything you think you know [about Ariel Pink] is WRONG – DEAD WRONG. THIS is me, naked, without the buffer of awful tape noise drowning out any lack of vision” (via).
“Are You Gonna Look After My Boys?” from FF>> (2002):
Chris Corsano is, easily, one of the most talented and innovative drummers on the planet. He has worked with Six Organs of Admittance, Thurston Moore, Nels Cline, Jim O’Rourke, Jandek, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and even toured with Bjork.
If this video doesn’t make you doo-doo in your pants a little bit then you need to visit your proctologist immediately.
Oh Dominick Fernow (a.k.a. Prurient), you win. I just tried to listen to your “And Still, Wanting” album, which came out earlier this year…and tried is the operative word. I love noisy music about as much as anything in this world, whether it come in the form of dissonant classical music, shoegaze, black metal, free jazz, no wave, or, you know, whatever. All that stuff that makes people think I’m really pretentious.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m open-minded. I like some of your stuff, and I love the concept of what you do, much like I appreciate Merzbow or Wolf Eyes or Hair Police or Whitehouse or…whatever. There are moments on this particular album that sounded brilliant to me, but I just don’t have the endurance. Do they make a Viagra for harsh noise music? It’s like every time I try to set down and take in your work I start out thinking: “I can handle this! This is cool!” and then within a few minutes I’ve switched back to “White Light/White Heat”.
I know that maybe this is a point; that you are trying to cleanse the world of scum (me?) by punishing us with waves of aural assault. I’ve heard that this is, like, negative meditation shit, and I think I probably would’ve really dug that when I was still a teen and hated myself…but now I like myself and I smile and I like kitty cats (but I still listen to Burzum and Joy Division). I get it, I just don’t get it. I think you are a swell dude, just don’t hold against me that I’m a pussy.
However, this video is kinda cool, so…truce?
Is it really almost 4:00 a.m.?
Today Travis and I had another minor marathon of Twin Peaks, when perhaps we should’ve been outside enjoying the 60+ weather before Nature turns Oklahoma into a hockey rink on Monday. But who needs Vitamin D when you have David Lynch?
After lusting over Audrey Horne for a couple hours, Brett and Blake came over and we caught up on The Office so that we could all lust over Jim because he is so NICE and so puppy dog CUTE.
Then Halley joined the fun and we watched The Dark Knight again so that we could lust over either Christian Bale or Heath Ledger, depending on personal preference for chisel-cheek Brits who act like Americans with weird superhero accents or dead guys in makeup. Too bad the movie somehow caused Blake to gain two pounds. Hahaha. What a fatty. My real question of the night was how tiny little Halley was able to eat nearly an entire box of dry cereal while we watched the movie. I think she might not be a human.
On the drive home I was unable to find the button on my Civic that turns the car into a motorcycle. I knew someday I’d regret not buying an Accord.
Klaus Nomi anyone? Anyone out there at all? Should I keep blogging or just put “The Correct Use of Soap” on the record player and talk into the mirror?
This post is dedicated to my close friend, Jennifer, who is spending the next few months working in Asia, hopping between China, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
The Hanggai Band are a group of Mongolian musicians living in Beijing who filter traditional Central Asian sounds through a slightly more modern approach. That’s not to say that this is the Inner Mongolian retort to Vampire Weekend by any stretch of the imagination, but rather a respectful update on centuries-old techniques.
Here is a video, featuring a short live performance, from within the YouTube wasteland, no doubt stealing precious space from videos of drunk guys lighting their farts on fire:
You can download a live track by The Hanggai Band on the always wonderful blog Benn loxo du taccu, to which I owe a debt of gratitude for turning me on to this music. And if you like what you hear, you can find the album on eMusic.