Archive for the undigested Category

St. Vincent, Coffee, & Constructivism

Posted in music, poetry, random, review, The Trading Post, undigested with tags , , , , , , , on 10/08/2012 by alex c

St. VincentMarry Me
Naum Gabo & Antoine Pevsner – The Realistic Manifesto


“While it would be impossible to explain, in simple terms,” the plinkiness over what is this beat? Now, now, I may not understand modern pop music, but I do understand flight and Kenny Rogers this morning reminded me to tear my mind on something I’ve only seen under the influence. She’ll make me sorry and I don’t doubt it given how this has transpired so far, giving way to distortion.

Little drummer boy, and probability ensures that is what you are, get rolling bum bum bum, bum. I guess. Here we find a native tradition and a graft from an alien culture. Alien only to one who never made a habit of orchestrating what didn’t need to be orchestrated in the first place. A simple proclamation will do nearly always and if we want to get into what constitutes “mysterious” then I’ll admit my ignorance of everything. If I remember correctly it was “Why ask why? Try Bud Dry.”

My face is red, too, but it’s a temporary blood pressure thing and not merely my lefty sympathies. This city’s black b/c it’ll always be the style here. Guilty party after guilty party and how long did it take me to figure out the difference between style and fashion? The excitement of collaborators as they meet to plot in the local drink, the recently-dubbed Last Bohemia. We know who dunnit, we know who owns the stakes at least, we recognize a good fade out.

In futurism I can taste what I cut my tongue on, but Andy Warhol & The Beach Boys left a lingering stench of passive aggression and I feel it in the powerless melodies and three-part harmonic middlebrow miasma. Whatever that was.

Someone says get rid of the bass and adopt the tuba, which seems like a good idea only in the way that the Gypsy Kings make an Eagles song listenable. Too much dance in the steady rhythm of the telegram. I can handle the flamenco as long as I’m sitting down, which, helpfully, I am at the moment, unable to stand without knocking the props off this cluttered sitcom set. Speed may have been a pompous program, but at least it was an ethos. I can hold a mug and empty it.

Pianos are nice, a life-lesson oft-discussed and never learned for lack of discipline. Another life lesson imposed via petropharmacopeia. Avoid catatonia at all costs, in this case it’s nearly free since I know the barista and, fortunately, lack internal ulcers. I’d be painting in abstract shapes if I could pain at all.

On the upside these things are brief and the despair will subside as soon as the palate is cleansed. I was probably mistaken with this choice, or, more likely the case, there really is something to this disaffinity with so many peers. “In them we do not measure our works with the yardstick of beauty, we do not weigh them with pounds of tenderness and sentiments.” Sentiments are to heavy for any contraptions I own and, anyway, I hate the word tender. What is everyone made of? I can’t follow the line of logic anywhere.

There are so many things I’d love to renounce, on behalf of culture or taste or what-have-you, but God help me if people all liked the same shit. Regardless, it’s a great way of saying I’m right, you’re wrong, and also that painting sucks.

I can agree with the affirmation of tone as the only pictorial reality. I like weathered concrete and irregular rhythms, though under certain constraints that I can only gauge by analogy to pornography. For example, it’s nearly impossible for women to wear high-waisted jeans, but they do it anyway. Some of these passages would make great samples, but on the whole, I just don’t know.

This fretwork was more interesting before the bossa-nova: I love the ocean but I’m wary of the beach. Whenever people talk about plasticity I’m, like, what? Canals are cool, as are railroads, yet here were are hostage to the car. The smell of gasoline versus the smell of brine. Pickle me when I’m dead.

There’s nothing left in the tank. I’m just sitting here listening and dulled. Something should have happened by now. One can make things happen or wait for things to happen or whatever-the-fuck. Globetrotting adventurers are usually morons.




UNDIGESTED #5: EARTH—Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

Posted in music, review, undigested with tags , , , , , , , on 02/15/2012 by alex c

Welcome back to another installment of UNDIGESTED, wherein I listen to an album for the first time and share my [pretty much] unedited thoughts while it plays.

Today I’m checking out the new Earth album Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (full stream here, listen along!). I kinda dug the first one, but I didn’t get super into it. The glass onion is good to go now, however, so let’s see how this turns out!

Sigil of Brass

I don’t know what a “sigil” is at all, but there’s a nice bell-like tone in the guitar. Sure sounds like Earth. Just that guitar, though, and only 3 minutes. really? That felt like 1:30, tops. Continue reading

Undigested #4: Mastodon “The Hunter”

Posted in music, review, undigested with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/20/2011 by alex c

Today Mastodon posted a full album stream of their upcoming record, The Hunter. After getting more pressing work done I sat down and took some notes. Because it’s streaming via youtube “visualizer” there aren’t proper track divisions. However, I thought it would be helpful to mark off approximately where in the stream each song begins. Go have a listen yourself and flip back to my pithy, helpful comments. They’re really insightful and not at all the work of a bitter, disenchanted former fan. Continue reading

Undigested #3: YOB—Atma

Posted in music, undigested with tags , , on 07/19/2011 by alex c

An inadvertant one, as I’m just deciding to do this about 8 minutes into the closing track, “Adrift in the Ocean”, which declared its intent to be the best song YOB has ever written with its terrifyingly gorgeous arpeggiated intro. (there is a mosquito that’s attacking my foot. I hate it.) I expected it to be punctuated via heft of cymbal & distortion but—SPOILER—only got a tom-heavy, Neurosis-jam “intro 2”. Always foresee the critical change and delay its resolution. They know this and delivered. I really only have one question:

Here’s the first track, “Prepare the Ground“. Now go listen to the whole damn thing.

Undigested #2: Loss – Despond

Posted in music, undigested with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/08/2011 by alex c

LossDespond (Profound Lore, 2011)

1. Weathering the Blight

Spoken intro with a simple bass (or baritone guitar?), that’s a little different. Not sure it’s necessary but whatever. As Butthead said about Hum’s video for “Stars”, “It sucked, but at least it was short.”

2. Open Veins to a Curtain Closed

Ah, here’s the heavy. Those are some drawn out guttural bellows, “cookie-monster vocals” on a ton of downers. The oppressive heat we’ve had the past few days in NYC have been opioid in their downerism. I try to get out, run errands, bike ride, whatnot and then end up naptime. I don’t do air conditioning. Too cheap to pay for it and it makes for a sickly environment, chills and hot flashes, an allergenic flu. Clean Spanish/Flamenco-influenced guitar lines cut through the sludge, that’s a novel turn. That break at about 5min fooled me into thinking it was the next track. Nope. Very clever, gentlemen. This album made Brandon Stosuy’s Haunting the Chapel best-of-’11-so-far list. So far it’s reminiscent of Deadbird’s Arkansas-style gloom, very deliberately paced.

3. Cut Up, Depressed and Alone

Quick cuts between tracks, this time for real. Sounds very similar to the latter half of the previous track, which was a decent shift from its own first half. I’m sensing a theme here with the depression and self-mutilation. That’s not to knock it, but they’re not being subtle about it at all. There is a Dylan Carlson’s-”Americana” vibe to all this, just more bass-biased distortion and grime. Early Earth was still a little more “buzz-y” than sludgy to my mind. But now here we are again in a drawn-out, clean, slow guitar accompaniment to guttural vocals. The punctuating smash is a piercing. (Is that an obvious, redundant phrase? I can’t tell.) Well, turns out these guys are from Nashville, which could account for the Deep South feel to the presentation. Also could be a coincidence. A few friends and I are currently enmeshed in Gravity’s Rainbow, so I feel susceptible to suggestions of conspiracy, paranoia and a distinct lack-of-coincidence. . . Continue reading

Undigested Update—I’m Failing Better!

Posted in music, undigested with tags , , on 06/20/2011 by alex c

Due to the fact that I’m not particularly bright or forward-thinking, I failed to find any audio examples for my first “Undigested” post on Fushitsusha. My friend Keara pointed this out to me by saying—and I’m paraphrasing here—”Hey, you should put some tracks up on there, you look like an idiot.” So I found the first two tracks and added them. I’ll be continuing this practice as long as the series runs, though if any band wants me to remove anything, just get in touch.

Undigested #1: Fushitsusha, Pathétique/Hisou

Posted in music, undigested with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/17/2011 by alex c

Lots of blogs have done the old “put iTunes on shuffle and write” gag. Hell, I just did it for my last post here (and I did it for my old blog, too). Yesterday I had the genius idea of getting an album I had yet to hear and write up initial impressions or thoughts or meanderings. This could conceivably turn out a colossal failure, but being the man of wild risks that I am, I don’t see how I could not try it.

Picking an album proved a bit of a pain, mostly because I have a whole queue of albums waiting patiently for listens. Ultimately, I thought it would make sense to check out a band I’d never heard of before yesterday so I went with Fushitsusha’s 1994 album Pathétique [also known as Hisou]. What follows is my unedited take.


Somehow or other I’ve heard the name Keiji Heino but wasn’t at all familiar with any of his work then this came up on some dude’s list of painful-sounding records that he loves. A lot of seemingly random drum bashing and cymbal crashes punctuate feedback guitar. I can see why this would make such a list, so far it’s like near-metal free jazz. It’s raining outside and pretty damn gloomy. Now the first song is over
Continue reading