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40 TABS STILL OPEN ON MY PHONE
Object-oriented ontology. I still don’t get it.
“Absolute Sons of Bitches: Global Fusion Grooves, 1970-1977.” Looks amazing, still haven’t listened to it.
On the Wire radio show archive (dub and reggae specials). Another deep storehouse of crucial ephemeral broadcasts, like Ron Hardy at Gridface level. Listened to about 20 minutes of just one single archived radio show and it was absolutely killer. The very first track had to immediately go into the exclusive BLASTA FAR I DUB TOP 30, and thanks to Shazam himself for letting me know that it was “Chapter Three” by Joe Gibbs & the Professionals (from the African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3 LP), because who knows if and when the radio host was going to tell me…
Tikkun olam. My son was studying this concept at college and telling me about it.
Who Directed It? Master Filmmaker Edition. I was very proud to get an 80.
Crime “I Knew This Nurse” live in 1977. Man these guys were so gross and heavy.
Sweet Pea Review. Completely forgot about this short-lived early 2000s web-only music fanzine. Extremely extensive interviews with Alan and Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls, John Fell Ryan of Excepter, and W. Cullen Hart of Olivia Tremor Control. Also a big handful of long thoughtful essays about things like post-punk and the AACM. So long and thoughtful that it’s hard to read online — print it up in one of those late-90s-style perfect-bound music/art/culture digests like Yeti, Badaboom Gramophone, or Sound Collector and we’d really be getting somewhere!
Amateur on Plastic (2022, d. Mark Robinson). Produced and directed by Mark Robinson of Unrest and Teen-Beat Records, this is a documentary on D.C. outsider music legend Butch Willis, whom I know nothing about. Haven’t watched this yet, but somebody (that I probably don’t even personally know) somewhere (probably on the internet) told me it was great.
This might just be the most official official website for Bruce Conner, someone that Blastitude might just consider to be one of the greatest artists of all time.
TRANSCRIPT: The Roots and Consequences of African Underdevelopment, Walter Rodney, 1979 at Black Agenda Report. Like object-oriented ontology, I often have to reread multiple times to achieve comprehension. But it’s worth it. Rodney’s book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is essential, even just for the title alone.
“The Story of The Parable of Arable Land” by Kelechi Wisdom (June 2023) in Perfect Sound Forever (Oct/Nov 2023 issue). Learning about the original Thompson/Cunningham/Barthelme lineup of the Red Crayola has always felt elusive. Whenever I would read more about it, even in extensive interviews with Mayo Thompson himself, it seemed like I was understanding less. Maybe that incredible trio of albums (Arable Land/Coconut Hotel/God Bless) is just so brain-scrambling that it always drops me right back at square one every time. Which is maybe exactly the intention that the oft-charmingly-obtuse Thompson is describing in that Bomb magazine interview with Keith Connolly linked above when he says, specifically of God Bless, “It was made to put paid to musical possibility as I understood it at the time. It represents the end of the game as it stood.” Regardless, this recent Perfect Sound Forever article by one Kelechi Wisdom comes as close to illumination as anything else I’ve come across. Focusing on the making of their mind-blowing first album, this piece is well-researched, well-informed, and has great photos.
Sonicyouth.com/zines. Thee Fanzine Hemorrhage blog hipped me/us to this internet location where one can peruse and/or download PDFs of the entire (?) run of super-fun very-1990s printed Sonic Death zines that the band edited and published and quasi-distributed, I believe only as a fan club giveaway. I have a couple originals because I was an actual (if not literally card-carrying) member of said Sonic Youth fan club. They even mailed me the Goo Demos CD! (P.S. I can finally spell “hemorrhage” right without looking it up. Only took me about 47 tries!)
“The Genius of Synecdoche, New York” parts 1 through 5. On a rainy Sunday afternoon not too long ago, I casually started watching Synecdoche, New York (2008, d. Charlie Kaufman) because it was leaving Criterion Channel in a few days. My son wandered in and joined me about 5 minutes in, and we both found ourselves completely engrossed for all two hours of this mind-blowing and ego-shattering film. I choked back tears at several points throughout, at least once apologizing vaguely to my son for drawing him into such an intense emotional situation. As a mere 20-year-old, he mercifully did not have the depth of middle-aged quotidian emotional experience this film so artfully pressurizes that would allow him to understand what I was going on about. He was still as impressed by the film as I was, and a few days later texted me a link this YouTube review, commenting that it was “longer than the movie itself” and that he had watched the whole thing. I still have not, but I want to.
Ever peeped the Occupational Outlook Handbook as presented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics? Kind of a mind-blower. My son’s high school guidance counselor brought it to my family’s attention a couple years ago, but I’m finding it might be just as useful for my own self, who at age 53 is beginning to try to figure out how and where the hell I’m going to land this metaphorical plane b/w what I want to be when I grow up (yes, still, truly).
Get Crazy (1983, d. Allan Arkush). I had no idea this movie existed until reading Billups Allen’s 101 Films You Could See Before You Die book (2023, Goner Books). Peak 1980s raunch-comedy stupidity, like almost as dumb as Zapped (1982, d. Robert J. Rosenthal), but it’s also Allan “Rock’n’Roll High School” Arkush himself making a heartfelt love letter to the 1960s/1970s hip-capitalist derelict-urban-ballroom era of highly chaotic rock’n’roll concert promotion and operations management. Plus you’ve got Lou Reed being rather hilarious in one of his rare acting jobs.
Supplement to Tab #17. More Arkush content, and shoutout to Joe Dante, as good at podcast co-hosting as he is at film directing.
Pleasant Gehman on the Disgraceland house. I love reading about punk houses, especially a punk house where a (non-musician!) punk legend lived and served as de facto superintendent, and written in the words of said punk legend herself.
Holy Terrors by Arthur Machen PDF. Shout out to Project Gutenberg, might as well have some classic weird fiction open on your phone for when you’re getting from point C to point Z and the CTA app (also forever open on your phone) is telling you the next bus isn’t coming for 23 minutes.
Alan Licht’s “Minimal Top Ten” and “The Next Ten” and “Minimalism Top Ten III!!!” and “Minimal Top Ten List #4” is a list published by user “funks” on the vast and odd Rate Your Music website/database/community, odd being a compliment here at Blastitude HQ because it means you’re not run-of-the-mill and ordinary, and any website/community that would host a (56-page!) music list as extensive and absurd as the Reviewed by Blastitude list (by user “epizootics”) must be, in the immortal words of Paul Leary, “pretty fuckin’ odd.” This list is the most one-stop of all online shops where one can grapple with Licht’s fascinating ongoing survey of the minimalist music of the 20th and 21st Centuries, but it also doesn’t preserve the individual integrity of Licht’s original four lists, collapsing them all into one single list of 109 records, even assigning individual numbers to records that Licht just gives a passing comparative mention to in his original lists (such as Pete Rock’s Petestrumentals or Anthony Moore’s Flying Doesn’t Help, the latter only mentioned by Licht as a rock/pop contrast to Moore’s minimalist work). The first two lists were physically published in the first and third issue of the defunct 1990s magazine Halana, the third was digitally published on the now-deleted 2000s Volcanic Tongue record shop website, and the fourth was digitally published just a couple years ago by Licht himself on his Tumblr. A more succinct presentation of the first three lists (though still collapsed into one, which still bugs me) can be found here on the Root Strata blog, but the internet archiving of Licht’s minimalism survey is feeling a little tenuous, right? I think it’s time for an enterprising publisher to perfect-bind these four lists into an actual book with quality full-color cover reproductions of each album! (I can’t, sorry.)
Albert Ayler Quintet live in Bordeaux, 1966. Uploaded a mere two months ago, and of course it’s on Jay Korber’s YouTube channel. Viewing footage of Donald Ayler on trumpet is indeed a bit like sighting a (holy) ghost.
Option Talks: S2 E3 - Luke Stewart. An interview with contemporary new music bassist/composer/heavy thinker Luke Stewart is always worth a read and/or listen, if only I could figure out how to work Chicago mainstay Experimental Sound Studio’s arcane “paste this RSS feed’s URL” podcast technology on my phone. (Still haven’t listened.)
“Can We Get to That” by Dave Tompkins. Dave “How to Wreck a Nice Beach” Tompkins going deep on no less of an American musical pillar than Dr. Funkenstein himself? Hell yes please. H/t Jay Babcock over at his Landline ‘stack for this one (and that Kosmiche Country playlist Jay reps is worth your while too).
Sonic Youth Live - 1998-06-20 Freilichtbühne Loreley, St. Goarshausen, Germany [Video]. Another S‘stack h/t, this one via Tyler Wilcox’s Doom & Gloom From The Tomb newsletter, brought me to this idyllic and virtually accessible German setting for a concert by Sonic Youth on their 1998 Thousand Leaves tour, a setlist I had already experienced in person just a month earlier in Chicago, in the decidely more urban and enclosed environs of the Riviera Theater (speaking of derelict urban ballrooms). Killer opening set by Kevin Drumm that night, not to mention The Ex themselves.
Christmas on Earth (1963, d. Barbara Rubin). A film that (the aforementioned!) John Fell Ryan called something like “the greatest NYC film of all time” in a maybe-not-hyperbolic turn of phrase that I cannot quote exactly because it was somewhere in a Facebook comment on an original post I don’t even remember and good luck using that 96% garbage platform’s search function for any actual gold in the pan.
Fuck You Press Archive. Are you kidding me? One can currently download PDFs of 14 complete original issues of Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts online?
Interview with Arie Van Vliet, singer/guitarist with Lewsberg. Fun to read this after catching Lewsberg in Chicago during their already-legendary-on-YouTube 2023 tour of the United States. Love this band so much.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe really did invent rock’n’roll guitar, didn’t she? (Definitely not hyperbole.)
The Blastitude #28 Record Reviews Section. This was written and published by yours truly over 13 years ago, and I hadn’t looked at in at least 10 until a colleague mentioned that he had just read/re-read the whole thing and it made them “miss genuine editorial and actual record reviews more than ever… the good ones, the takedowns, the brutality.” Gotta say, I was kinda on fire back in 2010, pretty fed up with Not Not Fun not-psychedelia and Termbro weird-punk alike. I feel that now, 13 years later, I’ve decided to stop fighting and caring, and that all the history of recorded musical expression and my own emotional/visceral reactions thereof have receded into a gentle passive medicated and middle-aged mush (which even includes some Not Not Fun releases, still no Sun Araw). And this might be a good thing. (Enter the Andre 3000 flute album, right on time, literally came out yesterday. I’ve listened to it four times.)
Molly Brodak. Always a little rough to be impacted by someone’s work (in this case a friend recently Instagramming a very short poem by her) to find out they had died just a few years earlier, and before reaching the age of 40, and then to have that sad truth create an even deeper resonation with the work. (The poem is called “How to Not Be a Perfectionist,” and its entire text is “People are vivid/and small/and don’t live/very long.”)
This image of Patty Waters performing live in 1966 with (L-R) Burton Greene, Steve Tintweiss, and Shelly Rusten, an image that is haunting me just like the music on her two ESP-Disk albums haunts me, or the image on the cover of her second album College Tour haunts me. The words Jimmy Johnson wrote about the latter image in Forced Exposure #18 could apply to this image as well: “The lovely cover sums up many, many things.” That’s right, pictures. Keep on being worth a thousand words. This live photo was just published in an interview conducted by the intensely prolific and deep Tone Glow substack (which makes this Blastitude substack seem about as prolific as J.D. Salinger or John Kennedy Toole), wherein it was also mind-blowing to learn that Patty Waters and yours truly Larry “Fuzz-O” Dolman both grew up on farms in the Loess Hills of Iowa, on opposite sides of the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, about an hour’s drive (and two or three decades) apart.
Spirit “Nature’s Way,” Live from the Bottom Line in New York. Speaking of music that has always haunted me, this beautiful song man…
Antilibrary, a concept from essayist/thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb that I came across on the wikipedia page for tsundoku, which I showed my sweet wife Angelina to explain what I meant when I apologized for the tsundoku patch that had errantly sprouted on the floor next to our bed.
And 36, and 37, and 38, and 39, and 40 being the inevitable series of Bandcamp tabs I intend to check out but never do. Right now it’s anything on the Disciples label, anything highlighted in Miles Bowe’s May 2023 installment of the Acid Test column (hope Miles didn’t get laid off by Songtradr last month), volumes 1 and 2 of the Nischom Music Service, Elletroformule by Giuliano Sorgini, Los Microbios from Vermont, and Ridgewood Ayahuasca by Bad Trips (not the west coast Bad Trips from the 00s featuring Grady “ex-Monoshock, ex-Liquorball” Runyan on guitar, but an east coast Bad Trips from the 20s with a Slasher Risk connection).