Category American Plain Songs

A Man Called Ove: Celebrating the Use of Space in Swedish Cinema

What are we beyond our memories? It was just after having a petty argument with the florist, an ignorant teen as she was that Ove first exposes the dimensions of his existence. Grieved by the death of the only love of his life, Sonja, we see him dissipating his space by magnifying his trivialities. A […]

How is the New Fascism Different?

Fascism has been frequently defined as “the merger of state and corporate power.” This phrase is commonly attributed to Mussolini, though there’s no evidence he said it. Regardless, this soundbite has resonated exists as the most common coherent definition of fascism and works well as a still object against which I can attempt to measure society’s current […]

Day Breaks: Understanding Life’s Journey through Full Circle

Norah Jones has witnessed a magnitude of success that was quite overwhelming for her own devices. What could’ve been just another experimentation of a pseudo jazz artist, developed into this whole new genre of contemporary music that had overlapping tones of pop and blues. Come Away With Me as a record librated Norah from a […]

The Corn Palace

I spent all of last summer on the road, living out of a 1995 Toyota Avalon I bought from a friend’s mother, sleeping on the couches of accommodating relatives, friends, friends of friends, preternaturally Christian strangers, and on the front seats of the 1995 Toyota Avalon I bought from a friend’s mother. The car was […]

The Space of Not-Knowing: The Internet and Economies of Information

The present is a time of overwhelming access to information. Much of it is contradictory, vague or seemingly meaningless. Far more facts than can ever be processed are available in already digested forms. Discussions of early Judaism frequently point out the novelty of a community based around a book instead of a geographic proximity. The […]

On the NSA

(This is a short story from my recently released spoken word album More Apocalypses That Probably Won’t Happen.) They had found a way to democratize God. Video and audio and 3D drone scanners recorded everything and stored it in giant digital monoliths. You could have your life flash before your eyes without having to die. […]

Money Hates Your Heineken and Wants to Fuck

  “You can get money for blood, Blood money for doing no good, But they won’t take my love for tender” -Elvis Costello, Clean Money “Pimp put on weight from fighting them off, In the mall, you see it and like it, it’s yours, Thats a nice fit, you ain’t gotta price, shit, I pays […]

Toward the Thing After Occupy: Pastiche, Parodic Capitalism, and the Need For New Resistances

There is great divide in the world. This divide is between the people who consider a large portion of the population disposable and everyone else. These are the lines on which we must resist. There is a great divide in the left. This divide is between those embracing the tactics of structuralism and those embracing […]

The Landscaping of Neoliberalism

Last summer I traveled the United States with my friend Brian in a beat to shit car sleeping on peoples’ couches. We were trying to find what the United States are right now and make a film about it. Much of what this involved was walking around random towns and cities photographing buildings or their […]

Pictures of America With Captions: A Photo Essay, Part One

(First of a several part photo essay based on the shooting of Plain Songs by Daniel Levine with Brian Spellman. Enjoy.)