Category music

David Bowie Was Probably Worse Than A Rapist

When I was an undergraduate at Rutgers University back in the 1980s, my favorite book was probably Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. Made into a film in 1971 by the Italian director Luchino Visconti, it told the story the last days of Gustav von Aschenbach. A renowned German novelist in his early 50s, Aschenbach, […]

Sibylle Baier – Colour Green (1973; 2006)

Driving home one evening, I recalled it had been about a month and a half since I’d stumbled across Sibylle Baier’s lost 1970s gem Colour Green. I listened with earphones that first time. But now, in the velvet darkness of the car, with barely another vehicle on the road, it was time to explore how […]

More Than a Record, Less Than Your Soul: On the Preservation of Culture

A good friend of mine owns a 1985 Plymouth Voyager woody. It was one of the first mini-vans ever produced or so he tells me. I don’t know enough about cars to say. Perhaps someone can enlighten me in the comments section. It has a nice look; I’ve always liked woodies. But the paneling is […]

Forgotten Gems: John Fahey’s “Charley Patton”

If he’d never picked up a guitar, John Fahey probably could’ve been a great writer. He probably wished this was the case. His first book proper, an unusual and quite entertaining memoir, was titled unambiguously How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life. However, before he wrote this, Fahey was a masters student at UCLA. And like […]

Wilco-Summerteeth (1999)

This is the Wilco record to get. It sounds like unreleased Velvet Underground tracks played by the Electric Light Orchestra. The country sound that had defined Jeff Tweedy’s recordings up to the point this album came out is dicarded entirely. Something like psychedelia is attempted but not quite reached. Where psychedelia came from psychedelic drugs […]

Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives Pt. 3: The Bank

She is in the blue distance She’s a visiting wonder He’s in the blue distance He’s a dream come true Am I sleeping and weeping Or just turning over? -Blue Gene Tyranny, “Leading a Double Life” (Check out Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 here and here.) The small repeating cast of Perfect Lives, partly a […]

Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives, Pt. 1: The Park

Years ago, I became interested in the notion of involuntary speech. My way of approaching Perfect Lives came out of that interest. I had been observing people-particularly in New York-and I noticed that many many people were talking to themselves, publicly. Since I talk to myself privately, there seemed to be only a thin line […]

Montage of Heck (2015)

Twenty-one years after he committed suicide, Kurt Cobain remains an enigma. Why did he kill himself at the age of 27? Was it the heroin addiction? The stomach pains? Was it undiagnosed clinical depression? Did Courtney Love have him murdered? If Montage of Heck, the first documentary about Nirvana made the with the full cooperation […]