listening listening may 2017

all the music that caught my ear in may of 2017. listen, won’t you?

reading watching listening

How to Be Drawn – Terrence Hayes
Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
Saga Volume 1 – Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
She Hulk: Law and Disorder – Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Ron Wemberly
The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band – Michelle Cruz Rodriguez
Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko
Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon – Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido
Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound – Tara Rodgers
Saga Volume 2 – Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Paper Girls – Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang
Hot Day – Inés Estrada
Caboose 9 – Liz Mason
Powdered Milk 9 – Keiler Roberts
Lower East Side Librarian Goes Downtown – Jenna Freedman
Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream 5 – Laura Park
King-Cat 76 – John Porcellino
Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces, The Bloody Chamber, The Company of Wolves – Angela Carter
Sixty Odd – Ursula K. Le Guin
The Ants – Sawako Nakayasu
All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
Nurse Nurse and Operation Margarine – Katie Skelly

Teen Titans Go
Star Wars – The Force Awakens
Hail, Caesar – Joel and Ethan Coen
Uncle Grandpa
La Casa de Mi Padre
The Secret Life of Pets
Star Trek – Beyond
Chicago Red Stars


No More Weak Dates, Blackest Winter, Personal Sunlight, Me and Mines (Cute Chicks), Others Pt 1 – SassyBlack
Negative Scanner – Negative Scanner
Soundcloud tracks by Lương Huệ Trinh
Segundo – Juana Molina
Certain Blacks – Art Ensemble of Chicago
Crisis – Ornette Coleman
Magic – Ron Carter and Eric Dolphy
Fleuve, Quatorze/Quinze Ans, Courses, A)B)C)D)E), Karl & Geneviève, The Watery Graves of Portland et Geneviève, Gris – Geneviève Castrée
Mirror, Further and Chorus – Flying Saucer Attack
Cheetah – Aphex Twin
Volume 1 – Wooden Shjipps
Heavn – Jamila Woods
As2Water Hurricanes – Sol Patches
The Waiting Room – Tindersticks
And the Anonymous Nobody – De La Soul


good morning.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=669726230 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=1594639979]

flotation device 14

I made a new zine. Who knew it could be done? This one is about a band I used to play in and a store I used to work at. If you want one. Get in touch.



you are every song by every david bowie, laid end to end, orbiting suns.

how’d you get into jazz anyways?

What opened my ears to jazz? Funny you should ask. Hard to pin down exactly. But in an effort to oversimplify the unquantifiable, I think having the Minutemen and Sonic Youth in heavy rotation for years and then getting into the chord changes in drum and bass songs and then hearing Squarepusher’s Music is Rotted One Note when it came out helped.

Bonus Squarepusher cuz it’s so good –

akira, geinoh yamashirogumi

I loved Akira the movie as a kid and the comic when I was finally able to read it, I loved even more. But really. The soundtrack to the movie has been the biggest part of my life. In high school a friend let me borrow a worn out vhs tape of the movie to watch and I must’ve told him that I liked the music. Because I remember a dubbed tape of the soundtrack showing up in my life. And I remember laying there in my room as a fifteen year old listening to the tape straight through. And just being so engrossed. Completely absorbed. It sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. Ever. It wasn’t rock, it wasn’t dancey, it wasn’t western classical. To me it sounded like it came from out of space and time or something. From the future of another world. It was a completely mind expanding experience to listen to it.

I had no words to look it up with, no context. There was no info with that tape. There was no internet to look any of this up. This music just existed in this suspended bubble in my brain. Unconnected to anything else I had experienced.

Objectively speaking. It was the first time that I heard gamelan and gagaku music . But it took five or six more years for me to learn what that even was. This music by the collective, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, laid some massive groundwork for what I considered to be music.

At the time I was mostly listening to punk rock of the 80’s, Nirvana, early 90s indy rock, hip hop and industrial music. I was starting to get  kind of “weird” with my music taste and exploration, but it was still all very within the realm of kind of the established rock canon. But this soundtrack blew that up for me. Opened the doors for free jazz, drum and bass, noise,  contemporary classical, avant-garde 20th century music, etc.

Last night while I was getting my son ready for bed, Kaneda, popped into my head and I started singing it. So I had to listen to the whole thing today. The first time I have in years. So I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this. And while all the songs are amazing and I remember being enamored of all of them, I particularly remember having a massive emotional response to Illusion. The sound of it was so heartbreaking and massive. And it was just a shakuhachi, chanting, and a few pieces of percussion. But it felt so raw. I remember feeling like it was so wild and chaotic. It disturbed me and made me feel sad and intense. Part of that was being a teenager for sure. But it’s also kind of an intense song.

Since we now live in the future, here’s the whole soundtrack so you can listen to it.

[archiveorg AKIRAOriginalSoundtrack width=640 height=140 frameborder=0 webkitallowfullscreen=true mozallowfullscreen=true]

The correct track order is:

Battle Against the Clowns
Winds over Neo-Tokyo
Dolls’ Polyphony
Exodus from the Underground Fortress

For further reading, here is an article from Perfect Sound Forever about the soundtrack. 

Get their out of print albums here.

Also, a bonus. Here is, I think, Geinoh Yamashirogumi performing Battle Against the Clown live.