A few weeks back, David Bowie released a single and video (“Where Are We Now”) for his upcoming album, The New Day. I loved its expansive and unfolding manner as I mentioned here (though I had unwittingly reblogged an unofficial, and thus defunct video).
This past week, I’ve been listening to Low’s latest album, C’mon, and the similarities are palpable. This here has quickly become one of my favorite tracks ever. The titular phrase is repeated like a mantra but never feels repetitive as the music swells and moves it, unravels it. These similarities are hardly a letdown - if this style of music is something Bowie is keen on exploring in The New Day, then I think we have something great to look forward to.
In the meantime, put on a good pair of headphones or just crank up your laptop volume and give this track (and the whole album!) a listen. It’s how I imagine an internal cardiac massage would feel.
My grandfather will die soon. We’ve known for a while but now this certainty has a time frame: “within the week.” I imagine him now propped up at an angle in a bed in a hospital in Baguio, a wristband indicating DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) hanging below the tattoo on his forearm of a lady in a grass skirt. He doesn’t have the strength to tighten his fist, to make her dance.
The news came on Saturday, only hours after learning that the older brother of a friend from high school committed suicide. My parents ditched their vacation to jet from Hong Kong to Singapore to Manila to Baguio to get to him as quickly as possible. I took the A train home. I listened to sad music. I tried to sleep. I rolled out of bed. I went to work.
Near the end of my shift, the loathsome radio started playing “Hotel California.” The store is dead quiet when The Eagles spit out the lines, Some people dance to remember/ some people dance to forget. This prompted a purchase of whimsy - a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Carmenere blend I had picked out for my father when I went to visit my family in the fall. This is a wine I have sold to customers as being like “a warm blanket,” or “a big hug.” The bottle weighs, like, two pounds with broad shoulders but the wine itself is soft and mouth-filling. Dark chocolate, blackberries, herbal spice. I share the bottle with my roommates, distracted, and take the last glass into my bare room. I think and then, I remember.
I seriously love this band. They present this desolate, expansive, sonic landscape punctuated with emotive percussion. It’s a sound that overwhelms and retreats. It’s the crash of a wave and the withdrawing tide. It’s an entire winter - the cold, the space between blizzards, the wanting.
I have made two New Year’s Resolutions. One, use people’s names more often. Two, get on Tumblr again. The second one is ridiculous, but I’ve been trying to get in the habit of writing again but every time I sit down by my window with the sun pouring in, a cup of tea or whiskey or last night’s wine on the sill, I get so caught up in the idea of writing that I hardly get anything down. Writing for an audience might be the sort of pressure I’ve been lacking.
Anyways, I’ve been listening to a lot of “slowcore” the last few months. I lay some blame on one of my co-workers, who has smuggled Kinder Eggs over the border and thinks he might be dead, since he introduced me to Codeine. Also, it appeals to various ideas I’ve been forming in regards to deliberate action, empathy, and statuary.
Sad music’s coming people. Just thought you should know.
Context: A blacksmith confronts Louis XVI after the assault on the Tuileries August 10, 1792. As translated by Paul Schmidt.
"No. That was the shit our fathers had to take Oh, the people are no longer whores. One, two, three, And your stinking Bastille came tumbling down! Those stones sweat blood, it made us sick to see it Hiding the sky: its rotten walls said everything And always kept us cowering in the dark! Citizens! That was the shadowy past that fell, That screamed and fell the day we took the tower! We felt within ourselves something like love. We embraced our sons, and one another, that day. And just like your horses, flaring our nostrils, We walked around, strong and proud, and felt good right here! We walked in sunshine, heads held high, like this, Across Paris! They bowed before our dirty clothes! Well, we were finally men that day! We were pale, King, we were drunk with a terrible hope: And when we gathered before the black towers Waving our bugles and branches of oak, Pikes in our hands, we felt no hate, we felt ourselves So strong, we wanted only to be gentle!”
I've been following this comic for over five years now...
Oh gosh, the latest chapter (599) of Naruto is comprised entirely of well-paced flashbacks that moves from cute to devastating. More impressive is that there is no spoken text until the final page of the chapter.
I’d say this was a gutsy move on the author’s part considering he’s working for a serial publication, but considering this strip has practically been Jump’s flagship since chapter one, I suppose he’s allowed some artistic license.
I love this port. Churchill’s Finest Reserve has an alluring and dark aroma with delicious raspberry and chocolate notes without being cloyingly sweet. I mean, gosh. It goes well with chocolate covered raisins (this is a silly pairing) or rice pudding. I’d drink it with brownies too. I think I’ll have another glass. Oh hi, everybody - I work at a wine shop in Manhattan and I haven’t blogged about my life in three months. There are at least twenty bottles of wine in the basement that I have yet to recycle. This is research - I’m a professional.
“All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. And then there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.”—Jean Rhys (via wwnorton)
Difficulties in Trying to Live an Elegant and Cultured Life on a Budget #12
Must settle for a cheap Bordeaux (will probs try Chateau de Monrepos) this week rather than splurging on that gorgeous Kaltern Pinot Grigio because I bought Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works as translated by Paul Schmidt on a whim yesterday.