Monthly Archives: December 2008

love [archive]

sometimes i have a hard time telling the difference between two things.

for example, chairs and tables both hold things.
for example, television and sex both entertain people.
for example, christmas trees and cars both require electricity.
for example, chairs and tables both entertain people.
for example, television and sex both require electricity.
for example, christmas trees and cars both hold things.

i have come to accept that if i cannot even tell the difference between chairs, tables, television, sex, christmas trees, and cars, then the endeavor to distinguish between Love and everything else in the universe is a hopeless task. Continue reading

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2008 sucked [archive]

or maybe it’s just me.

maybe i listened to too much Handel, Scarlatti, and Bach to pay attention to the new music springing up all around me. or maybe 2007 just was an excellent anomaly. or maybe 2008 just sucked. whatever it is, my BEST OF 2008 list is kind of contrived, mostly because i’ve barely listened to any albums from this year. i seriously kept getting into music from either two years ago or two centuries ago. so now that i’ve essentially erased any chance of this list having merit, i’d like to happily introduce the BEST ALBUMS OF @))*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:

  1. Ghosts I-IV – Nine Inch Nails

    i can’t actually believe that i think the best album to come out in 2008 is a nin album. I mean, 1994, yes, but 2008? well, precisely thirteen years, eleven months, and twenty-four days after the release of the greatest album ever concieved, its creator bestowed upon his pigs something less dramatic, but just as evocative. completely void of vocals, this is the daydreamers’ album, an album for poets. it’s an album to drive to and album to fuck to. it’s got racing car guitars and fight club blood synth scars. ‘ghosts’ proves that trent can still layer a cake.

  2. LP3 – Ratatat

    this album is a digital creme brulee. i first heard about it from adam, who texted me telling me that something about it was so me. i thought it was decent, like the rest of Ratatat, until once again from adam, a mix featuring “Shempi” changed my mind entirely. i was hooked. i got so hooked, that i’d make a point of telling everyone it was the best Ratatat album to date. i also made a point of asking everyone i knew exactly how horrible they thought the album cover was. until elise said she liked it. i don’t understand this world, but i love it.

  3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

    stoned at the quines’, adam runs to throw on some tunes… WHOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA spring is certainly upon us. i heard these guys played at a festival in Big Sur and was not surprised; i’m certain i was there. it’s hippie folk freak fuck snare chicken madness hymn music. it’s really the harmonies that get me, like they really know what they’re doing with sound. they don’t know, but they feel. like Fleet Foxes. just say it. that’s feeling sound. Fleet Foxes.

  4. Moon Safari [10th Anniversary Reissue]

    why do all my favorite albums come from adam? at least i Remember that i originally got into the 1998 masterpiece because of meryl, dan, and shannon. i guess reissues wouldn’t normally belong on a list like this, but the second disc of this release features such awesome live versions and remixes that it’s irresistible. it’s dancey, chill, and, like the studio album, the perfect thing for any good party.

  5. The BBC Sessions – Belle & Sebastian

    i have a little confession to make. i haven’t listened to this or any albums lower than this more than one time. i really didn’t listen to a lot of 2008 music. but come on! this is BBC and Belle! how could that combination possibly be bad? okay, i’m listening to a cover they did of “Here Comes the Sun.” come on, the song was practically written for stuart murdoch.

  6. Oi Oi Oi Remixed – Boys Noize
    i don’t know why so many people were all hot about Justice’s album last year when we had Boys Noize’s “Oi Oi Oi”. all Justice did better was copy Daft Punk and release their album in june instead of september. big whoop. with half an hour of remixes from the likes of Feadz and Para One, this album rocks so fucking electro-hard.
  7. Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust – Sigur Ros
    a guy’s pasty white ass is on the cover and it’s a happy album. wow.
  8. The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull – Earth
    remember how i said i’ve only listened to all these albums only once? i lied. i’ve only listened to the first song on here twice, and that’s it. but that guitar just does whatever the hell it wants to and those drums are so lazy. it’s like melted chocolate rolling down a hill at one mile per hour. into my ears.
  9. Miniatures – Matthew Robert Cooper
    shh… most obscure album ever! definitely not the beautiful side-project of mr. Eluvium. definitely not music to study to. definitely not music to fall asleep to. definitely definitely definitely not music to imagine you’re the size of six atoms trying to fit through a space in the wall the size of three. definitely.
  10. A Cross the Universe – Justice
    if you hated Justice’s “Cross,” you’ll HATE this album. what kind of musical act tours on their debut and thinks it good enough to warrant the release of a live album? Daft Punk. that’s who. if i weren’t so busy with classical music, i’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be on the list. but it’s cool.

i thought a second about the first reason i gave for having a contrived BEST OF 2008 list, about my having listened to too much older stuff, and i realized that i should do a RONNY’S FAVORITES OF 2008 list. basically it would be all the shit i couldn’t stop listening to this year that made me miss Hercules and Love Affair, Fuck Buttons, and all that other great trash. look out for it. Continue reading

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Feels [archive]

foreword, by adam: the idea for this posy sprouted out of a late night conversation between my friend ronny and I across the internet. we were discussing love and music and this album, naturally I might add. and so i said we should both do a song by song description of the album. granted, ours are about as similar as day and night, and it might have to do wit the fact that we’ve listened to the album in highly different amounts, but maybe its simply because we are two different humans different in the same thing. And i’d go further so say that no two humans can inherently view the same thing and describe it in similar words. so i hope you enjoy this, and maybe get a view into what i think is one of my favorite albums, through two sets of eyes and ears. and brains.

ronny’s introduction: ‘Feels’ is a cool album because it has the courage to do what’s right, and what’s right is to be free. Nothing is logical on this album, and that’s precisely why you will appreciate it. Screams and ambience, instruments I don’t know the names of, instruments I’m not sure are actually instruments, sounds, sounds, sounds. Animal Collective can seriously make music because they kick the earth as if it were a bass drum.
SS = Secret Sound
At a very young age I realized that even songs I hated could have a very specific sound in specific parts of the song that would just sound so delicious and sexy and amazing and wonderful and I would wait for minutes just to hear that stupid synth or vocoder manipulation or drum track or whatever it was. It would drive me crazy. ‘Feels’ is an album full of these delicious sounds, and the songs are good too! SS references those beautiful sounds that strike my nerves and drive me crazy. Keep your ears open for them!

adam’s introduction: where do I begin? I guess a preface would state that this album was given to me by my dear friend josh in the fall of last year. Amongst sung tongs and strawberry jam, its stuck out the most for me. I gravitated to it strongest. I also was going through an interesting period of my life. It was the first quarter at school I felt like I really started to let myself find myself. I didn’t know it at the time. I was clueless, this is all in retrospective. I also had my first encounter with a girl post-break up and man was that one of the craziest things ever. Who knows what really happened, but what I can tell you is that my heart went racing and it was interesting how it ran. It was a tiem of self discovery to say the least, and this was my sound track. It has quickly become my number the album that is most dear to me. It’s the closest to my heart. I enjoy the feelings it give me. My descriptions of these songs are rather emotional based and are how I enjoy the song and where it takes me. I hope you enjoy. You might want a cup of tea, this is going to take a while.

1. Did You See the Words ****
Hitting the snare drum every single beat is a good way to start a record. Another good thing to do is to hit the crash cymbals as hard as you can every single time the last syllable of a sentence rolls around.
SS = ah-ah-aieee / oh-oh-ohhh

Did You See The Words: I imagine myself falling down a hole, or dreaming, and seeing objects flying by me as i fly through space and time. The giggling hints at the theme of thisland I’m going to enter, and its welcoming albeit a bit spooky. I land softly and slowly on the ground and begin my journey. I’m upbeat feeling adventurous and looking forward to what’s coming. I’m even giddy. The grass is green, the air is oddly cold, and the trees are barren. But it still feels warm. Avey stars singing to me, and I feel like he’s talking right into my brain. The drums come in and I pick up the pace and soon I’m ooh and ahhing along with panda bear and I’m flying through this magical land with energy and excitement all over.
This is one of my favorite songs on the album undeniably. Its up beat but not fast but moving but mellow but so happy. I sing along (on planet earth) all the time. At the top of my lungs when its appropriate. I sway I’m happy I’m optimistic, I’m not really thinking I’m living and it feels so good. I love the closing panda bear noises. I often find myself repeating them around campus and in my head at odd times. I try to sing in key. I like the way that the layers peel apart as they came together, albeit a bit rougher. But at the end, I’m full of energy and excitement for what’s ahead.

2. Grass ****
Do you like noise? I hope you like noise. It’s pretty dissonant in here for most of the time, with the vocals varying between singing, talking, asking, rhyming, suggesting, whining, and SCREAMING!!!SC!!RE!A!!MI!NG!!!!! So good.

Grass: I’m with Kristy Engemann and shes doing her dance in place that is so good. It makes me so happy and I do it too. Shes not smiling but I am and were just being kids dancing with ourselves and its upbeat. And when Avey starts to sing I imagine a thousands arms going up in the air to reach his vocal chords. Its multi colored lights in the forest at night. The forest is warm though. With leaves and animals. The drums lead me on they lead me on! My journey in this land is of to a wonderfully happy start. The screaming and the drums are brutal, but they are replaced by birds and playfulness. The screaming is red lights and big black shadows. And I’m very small in front of them.
This song is explicitly about love, and being in love with someone. Not necessarily for the person to read or listen to I feel like. But more of a journal entry. Meant as a way of putting his feelings down to get them out of his head. It’s a quick song, and when the delay pedals finally stop delaying the forest is quiet and dark and I realize that the beginning is over and that I’m scared about what’s ahead of me. Its going to be way more emotionally diverse than I ever could have imagined.

3. Flesh Canoe ***
Songs with suggestive titles usually get me all worked up, but this one doesn’t. At first it kind of just sounds like a slow-paced ‘Grass’ without that pounding tribal beat and the epic screaming. The track certainly provides a nice ambience, it’s just not really interesting.
SS = —

Flesh Canoe: I’m wondering again, but this time it’s cold again outside. It’s not inherently empty, but I’ve got my green beanie on and I’m, wandering. I think at one point I sit down close my eyes, and let my mind do the wandering. Scary shadows in the background and its after dark now. Its that place when you rub your eyes when they are closed. Flying through intergalactic shapes and colors. The voice is scary, and raw, but what he is talking about is beautiful, albeit scary and interesting.
My friend Alex Leong informed me of the content of this song on our recent trip to Los Angeles. And after watching a live radio web cast of it, with just Avey and doctess, it was inherent that, while in the lyrics, this man is just discussing his feelings for his lover. And they are crazy, literally really intense, but at the same time that they are just natural. And the way he phrases he feelings reminds me of how I often times think and write. I personally feel a deep connection with this song on a fundamentally lyrical ground, which I don’t always feel. I sometimes forget that I’m not the one singing this song. This sound conceited, but I don’t know how to explain to you how comforting it is to know that someone thinks in a similar manner to you.

4. The Purple Bottle *****
Holy crap listen to those drums! Klickety-klackity. Strum that guitar! This is my favorite song on the album. Random drum roll! A little quiet break….. Random drum roll! Fast singing…. Break over, strum that guitar! Swoosh! Snare! Drum roll! Swoosh!
SS = dee-do-da-do-da-doo-doo / You-get-that, whooooooo…

The Purple Bottle: We are up and running again. We’re light and playful, no more head-trips, this is all action, all body high. It’s definitely my experience with weed cookies. Its light and I’m having a good time. I try and sing along as I run, but I can’t sing fast enough so I find myself simply swaying and dancing. The length of the song gets to me and I’m glad its long. I’m glad it has the first part and break down and a second part. It’s in this middle part that pulls me in most. I get really emotionally involved and centered. Its like I’m meditating before the storm, and when Avey starts to sing again its not simply playful anymore. I’m invested. I’m amazed that they made things so simple and carefree; yet in the end make me so emotionally invested. I scream the lyrics while gripping my hair (CRUSHED ALL I COULD THEN I TOUCHED YOUR HAND) and this really I only sign of what’s going to come in the second half of this album. It’s a great recap of where we’ve been, and where we’re going. The playfulness, the sugar coating is gone. The lines are defined, the colors are bright, and its getting colder as we go on. Jackets and gloves help, but what helps most are the wrinkles in your brain.
Hands down, stevie wonder version is better, lyrically speaking. It really hits home a lot more, and sounds more natural, it gets me super amped and excited and I scream it from time to time. The lyrics of this song are once again so personal, and I feel like I can relate. It ends in an intense heart beating drum bashing.

5. Bees *****
Whatever is making that sound, must never stop making that sound. I mean those heavenly strings that introduce and conclude the song. With some heavy ambient effects, dreamy piano, and a caressing voice, we could be swept to a cloud of beds, even after the excitement of the last song.
SS = the bees, the bees, the bees, the bees, the bees, the bees, reoor reoorrrrror ror

Bees: we’re broken down. At the bottom. Nothing assumed nothing given. Relaxing. Wandering. I used to wake up to this album when I had an 8 am class on campus. And I still do from time to time. But its just very pleasant for me. It’s a comfortable room. Not uber comfortable like plaid flannel, but like Egyptian cotton. Light brown. I’m very centered. For me, this is a breath of fresh air in the album. A very nice one too. I’m happy to be here, to have arrived here, nervous of leaving, but once I’m out the door, I’m on the rollercoaster again.

6. Banshee Beat *****
This one thinks it’s so subtle, starting all soft and modest. Even the singing makes me think like I’m just entering something really tame. But we’re not so stupid. After two minutes of that entrancing guitar, soft drumming rises up, slowly, slowly. The guitar keeps vibrating, another appears, was it always there? It’s doing weird things. His voice, so gorgeous, when he sends it swinging up like a seesaw. This is the longest song on the record and it doesn’t even feel like it.
SS = the swimming poooOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLllllll

Banshee Beat: The first guitar notes make my heart race. I’ve just climbed down tree nine and I’m with three friends and said girl who I was obsessed with at the time. I was excited, literally having a time of my life. Everything was new and exciting, I was incapable of staying still. Shaking with adrenaline excitement and what I thought might have been love. After the tree I put this in one of my ear.
I often find myself whispering the beginning words to myself as I sway side to side with my eyes closed, lost in a state of memory, nervousness, nostalgia, adrenaline and clenched teeth. (fish fry). This song has everything for me. Its my most listened to song on the album and it has everything in it all in one go. Its emotional over load but I love it every time. It takes me to a place that is ecstasy but is scary, It’s a whirlwind of colors and noise. But only drawn in colored pencil. Its crazy, its yelling out to me its calling me its taking me, I don’t have a choice and there is no way that once this song is started I can stop it. Nervous shaking is the simplest description of this song and how it makes me feel. But I love it
It ends in a haze and I’m lying on the floor glad that the storm has passed, bittersweet it was. Its like when you close your eyes at the end of a night when you’ve drunken a whole bottle of wine. Its spinning, its disorienting, but your smiling cause you know that once you get through the spinning and rush, you’re in nirvana.

7. Daffy Duck ****
The song honestly has a very similar feel to the previous track, which is good because it follows it, but at the same time it is different enough to work well on its own. Less conspicuous than ‘Bees’, the ambience here might be the best on the album, just because all the random tracks sing like a chorus.
SS = the spot where everything goes mute but the vibrating guitar strings

Daffy Duck: this song is an interesting one. Once I laid in nirvana in the said girls bed with three others to this album all drunk, one on mushrooms. This song was skipped. I agreed in the moment, even though I’m an album kind of guy, but its acceptable. This song is a cold room at 5 am when the sun is coming up where the last one was a chilly room with lover and a blanket. And you can see your breath, outside, and your hands are in your pocket. And you’re wandering in the morning, trying to find yourself, and when the day will lead you. You feel lost, but not content in it. You’ve been here before, but you’re here again and you need to find the way out of this mood, this frame of mind.
Its unsettling, this whole song, but you try and settle in it, but its that rock under your sleeping mattress, it never goes away and you’re kind of happy when you forget about it. I hate to be this honest, but this song as of this day doesn’t hold it as much for me as others. But I still can imagine myself, lying down sleeping to it, as I have done. Or better yet, I’m so drunk I’m over being drunk but you cant make it disappear. But when you are out there on that cold morning, you never get out of the mood by your own devices, you ultimately fail. You’re wandering in the forest lost, dejected. But you do get out of it, but it wasn’t how you originally planned for it. (for me it’s the next song)

8. Loch Raven ***
This really sounds a lot like early mum, like ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic — Today Is Ok’ type stuff. that pulsing star, going up and down through everything. whispered lyrics. cool track, but nothing crazy.
SS = —

Loch Raven: A deep sigh is what I first hear from this first note. Its like the beginning of Banshee beat all over again. Except this time your not really going anywhere, you are where you are and you are having a good time. There is no driving force but a relaxing force. You’re smiling again but you’re not scared of what your going through. The dark night is over and you know it. You can feel it. You don’t even have a good excuse for why you’re here. You can’t explain it, but things are looking up. Light pastels in the sun on a crisp fall afternoon. Long shadows in Central Park. This song is Alex Leong for me partially. She informed me of their lyrics on our recent roadtrip to LA and she sang them. And it was really cute. i will not give up on you. gonna gonna chase you. i imagine her singing both those lines. I’m sad to see this song go, but it leaves me in a comfortable state. I really enjoy the final noises that fade out this song. its a sign of whats to come in a mellow way.

9. Turn Into Something ***
So this is certainly the Animal Collective sound, but it seems lazily done. I really feel nothing when I hear this song, except a longing to hear the album in its entirety again.
SS = —

Turn Into Something; It’s a jolt and you’ve hit the ground running. This song woke me up when I was listening to it in the bed with others. It was unsettling because I was so happy to sleep in ecstasy. It is abrasive for me. And mostly when I listen to this song I enjoy the ecstasy of it. But more recently when I’ve been in the mood for upbeat animal noises, I put this on and its better out of context for me. Its upbeat, silly, happy, and once again thanks to alex, this song is about a special relationship turning into something. I imagine a music box with a ballerina dancing, but this time with a partner.
The last half of the song is amazing for me. Its the best part. Its like someone took the song and then hit it with a baseball bat and it didn’t have a functioning brain but was on life support. It’s trippy to say the least. Atmospheric and lost but with a smile. It’s a good close to this experience for me. It puts it all kind of in perspective. It wakes me up, but reminds me of what I’ve just been through. It’s a nice goodbye. I imagine the four (five with doctess) waving goodbye as I slowly get pulled backwards, out of the land they have created and back into reality, or this world that I have created for myself. I’m happy to leave, but i know damn well that I will return very soon.

end notes, by adam: thank you for getting this far. i appreciate you reading these silly words we had to say. let me know anything and everything if you feel so inclined. Continue reading

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what a western weekend [archive]

i have a 20-page paper to write about Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, and chaos/order/adaptation/structure. instead, i think i’ll make a blog post. this is probably going to be the closest thing to an actual journal entry that i’ve posted since the summer. this past weekend has just been incredible.

thursday night was the opening night of meryl’s art show, entitled “CARNIVALOUS.” with a focus on the flesh and its delights, the paintings did indeed make one feel as though he were in attendance at a carnal carnival. i believe there were ten paintings in total. pigs, ants, lights, swirls, humans, fruit, water, Daft Punk, rock & roll. that night was a festive night, for we celebrated the twins’ birthday right after the art show.

friday is the most suitable day, according to scripps college, for noon concerts. so, at 12:15 in the afternoon on that bunny-infested campus i was treated to a work by Haydn and a work by Schubert, courtesy of the excellent Quartet Euphoria.

immediately following the quartet’s performance, i attended a film screening of Coppola’s “The Godfather.” i haven’t seen this movie in at least four years, and i was blown away. probably much more than i was the first time, if i was really affected at all the first time i saw it. i could not really think about anything, the whole weekend long, without thinking about how it related to Coppola’s masterpiece, and in turn, how the masterpiece relates to everything in the universe.

attending a performance of Handel’s Messiah did not help dust away these aimless philosophical wanderings in my mind. it emboldened them. as i sat in my seat, the beings of meryl’s paintings rose from the floor like so many fleshy robots from the Neon Genesis series. mobsters were killing each other for love and religions were on a crusade to have the most simultaneously beautiful and sublime God. if you ever go to sleep and wake up again, i bet you believe in something.

saturday was a day of rest. i awoke, torrented, showered, ate, and then computed some more. i had some sake. i had some teriyaki. i had some more sake. i had some wine. i had some hummus. i had a little more wine. and then i had a whole lot of brandy with a whole lot of madonna, celine dion, and michael jackson to chase it. what do the virgin madonna, the widow celine, and the smooth dancer michael have in common with Jesus? i didn’t really think about it. i just danced to drum and bass, while my cells did the thinking. the drunker you are, the more you delegate.

today is sunday, and sunday is hardly a day for rest. i have just returned from Glendale, where i and my class watched a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. oh Hamlet! Hamlet, my Messiah. Hamlet, my Godfather. Hamlet, my delight. Hamlet, my drug. Hamlet, my substance. Hamlet, my hug. Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet. Be! Be! you have no choice! there is no question! Be! Be! cut yourself until you’re bleeding all over your own dead corpse like an electron with a choice. Be! cry all over your filthy stage like a skinned snake for dessert. Be! have sex with your father and kill your mother and love your brother and rape your sister like the composer of dreams you are. Be!

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

i’m going to write 20 pages about my weekend. Continue reading

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the difference between death and immortality [archive]

Imortality is infinite life and death is 0 life

one second

immortality causes death, death doesn’t cause immortality

One hurts for a lot longer



7 letters


An erection Continue reading

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