25Sep2013 2045: Still
Still meeting with publishers. Still attempting bread. Still handling HOA matters. This much typing is already encroaching on Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. time so suddenly MUSIC
[J Boog - Audio] is reggae about not wanting to lose his reggae. This is a theme in reggae I've survived; some nebulous "they" is trying to take music away from people. Count me among the "they", I guess. The single's album art -- and really? a single? -- is a big ol' boombox, but please enjoy your reggae with headphones. Please.
[King Krule - Neptune Estate] is...ambient hip-hop? Like, there's a breakbeat and some bass. But then the rappers sort of fade in and out and don't seem particularly interested in the song. That makes all of us
[Shigeto - Detroit Part 1] completes the lame hip-hop trifecta. This is something one would hear during the interstitials for Adult Swim back when people watched Adult Swim. Without the promise of Aqua Teen Hunger Force at the end I can't see myself enjoying this tune.
What's above a trifecta of bad hip-hop? [Shawn Christopher - Black and White] is the...grand slam? Shawn raps above another mellow Adult Swimish groove about how hard his life is. The part of his girlfriend is played by an Oompa Loompa.
And wrapping up the month is [Jagwar Ma - Uncertainty], wherein Jagwar puts on his best smoove moves to pick up a goth chick. "How can you look so gloomy? / When you're gloomy how can you look so good to me?" I know these lyrics because they're about 50% of the total length of the song. Dial it back, Mr. Ma, you're coming on a little strong. Gotta finesse her first, buy her an absinthe or two.
18Sep2013 1245: Renaissance
I haven't been this bullish on my work for months now. Customers are showing up! Publishers are talking to us! If you have a million bucks lying around, you too could own a scrappy game development studio! I'm very nearly peppy at my desk. It could just be me getting enough sleep for a few days, despite the nocturnal efforts of vomitous cats (plural vomits, singular cat) and whoever THE FUCK called me at 2AM from a blocked number. Not cool. Not that having an unblocked number would make it cool.
Or maybe it's the Peelander Z concert I went to last night! Those guys have the best stage presence. Punk is 30% more awesome when there's a cheerleader involved. The tiny venue didn't have enough room for the most acrobatic shenanigans -- low roof, narrow stage -- but Peelander Z has honed their show for most of a decade now and it's a thing of beauty. Spider helmet!
Or maybe it's the impending prerelease of the new Magic set. Who doesn't like Greek mythology? I always enjoy heading in to the card shop and getting slaughtered.
[Ski Lodge - Just to Be Like You] jangles through some lofi 80s Brit-styled rock. It's a fluffy truffle of music that I can't really form an opinion about one way or another.
Oh gods no, the return of the dreaded "featuring" tag! [Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip - Nakamarra (feat. Q-Tip)] emphasizes Q-Tip twice. Has there been a good "feat" since David Bowie? Maybe Run DMC feat. Aerosmith? Nakamarra, with just the naked text sitting there in my playlist, was threatening to be a total raptastrophe. In truth it's just a mellow jazzy R&B love song with a totally not-bad rap bridge. Disaster averted! Three for three pretty good songs this week! I'm in a totally peppy mood with a souçon of hangover!
I'd also recommend some Prissy Clerks, who opened for Peelander Z last night. Writing them down before I forget their name. Man, I kinda remember shoegaze.
11Sep2013 1245: The Bloodless
Did I really just completely space on the post last week? Man. I was in the grip of my Seasonal Cold, that vile sinus aggression that appears when spring and fall roll around. I was trying not to think about anything beyond healing, and shitty Google singles were the farthest thing from my mind.
But there's only thing to talk about anyway. Today on Monty's Behind the Curve: The Kingkiller Chronicles. I had finally heard enough good things from enough sources to pick up The Name of the Wind two weeks ago...and then I spent the entire Labor Day weekend out on my patio reading it. Pretty sure that's how I got my cold, actually; it was a bit nipply outside.
These books! Plotwise they are the blandest hero's-revenge-journey you can imagine. The main character, Kvothe, is born talented; given an incredibly broad but nontraditional education where he excels at everything; loses his family because of Evil; and spends the next 700 pages at Special Magic School. But the plot is the least of all reasons to read them. The magic being taught at Special Magic School is varied, believable, and just powerful enough to be desirable. The nested story structure tickles my metatarsals. Above all else, Patrick Rothfuss can write like a motherfucker. He seems like a man who enjoys the simple weight of words, rolling them around in his mouth before putting them on the page. It's been a good year for books already, but Dumas is necessarily a translation and Vanity Fair is chained to ancient diction. The story of Kvothe is fresh and new and vibrant, the most delicious phrasing imprinted on every page. I catch myself reading it aloud.
JRR Tolkein is a great plodding battleship of Unlikely Fantasy Hero, a landmark series from a man who was more of a linguist than a storyteller, the towering mountain that still overshadows every author. GRR Martin is the grim Russian gulag, a solid edifice of despair built to outlast an apocalypse. China Mieville cares more about weird than words, eavesdrops on angels and tries to transcribe the spirit of their soulless banter. But Patrick Rothfuss writes what should be spoken, stories that sound like they live around campfires. He populates the world with dozens upon dozens of chants, songs, idioms, and tiny rhyming saws that color a world that may have existed for ten thousand years. These books are so good I am literally damaging my health to read them faster.
In the bad old days, missing the first week of the month meant that I'd never find the free music showcase. However, Google continues its trend of not being such a screwup. [Blondes - Elise] is...oh jeez, it's over seven minutes. The first two minutes are just build-up, layering in synth after synth in preparation for the actual song...or that's what I thought. Turns out Elise is an instrumental -- possibly my least favorite type of song -- and does nothing of consequence for an unconscionable length of time.
[Chelsea Wolfe - We Hit a Wall] takes a plodding drum beat and a sad Cure guitar to interesting places with an echoy lady frontwoman. Interesting places that Bat for Lashes has already been.
[La Yegros - El Bendito] leads with a technicolor carnival mashup of every Latin song I've ever heard. It's my racist conception of what Brazil sounds like pushed through a calliope and syringed directly into my nightmares. This lasts for less than a minute, but is powerful enough to make the banal Latin song that follows almost palatable. The nightmare returns during the bridge and asks -- with all the false workaday enthusiasm of a clown -- if you are having fun yet.