Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Offthesky and Man Watching The Stars - Afar, Farewell 7.9

                Afar, Farewell’ starts out with near silence. It is such an unassuming, natural sounding album it is hard to forget exactly how much effort this must have taken. Drones on here sound particularly gentle, classical in nature. There is a particular northern quality to it. Much of the album feels less like people made it and more like it simply rises out of the ground. Offthesky and Man Watching the Stars merge so gracefully it can be hard to distinguish the difference between the violin and the drone. Both play off one another to such a large degree that they feel symbiotic in nature. 

                ‘Patience’ is aptly named. For the amount of time they spend is clearly worth it by the ending’s gradual increase in color and tone. In ‘Captured In A Quill Of Sloe’ Man Watching the Stars clearly takes over, with the violin becoming particularly prevalent on this track. Drone does come through during the quieter moments but the violin makes its presence known, particularly at the halfway point. The reverse is true for the near silent ‘Star-crossed Through Empty Thick’ which feels more about the sheer space than any discernible melody. Here the focus appears to be on the sound’s geography than its emotional impact. For this reason it remains utterly fascinating as do the very minor, barely perceivable flourishes. In the closer ‘Farewell, Brother’ the song has a rather nostalgic hue to it as it recedes into the sunset. 

                These are quiet, thoughtful tracks. Each one builds off the other. Altogether they form a unified whole of sound.

Goodbye Drinks by Sarah Jean Alexander

                Poems about beds are a real turn-on because sleep is excellent. Sarah understands this while she lies in bed awake heated by a warm electric blanket. Though she has to go to the bathroom she decides against it. Being the center of a bed is great. Everyone is great at sleeping. Not everyone is great at life. Some are meant to be dreamers. Although it hurts being a dreamer someone has to do it. It is the only way to forge new pathways. 

                Sarah looks up porn on the internet. Long ago the internet used to be nothing but pornography. Yet now the internet pretends it is a place to read the paper. That’s bullshit. The internet needs to own up to the fact most people still use it for porn. What Sarah uses it for is for watching porn straight for 72 hours. How can one even watch porn that long? Will there ever be a ‘Citizen Kane’ of porn? If there is a ‘Citizen Kane’ of porn they probably wouldn’t need to change the title much. 

                Cops annoy Sarah. This is probably because she is a rebel without a cause. She’s just a poet who works at a bar. Poets drink pretty heavily so Sarah appears to have a pretty good hookup regarding life. Nude photos may or may not involve the cops. Her phone takes good nude photos of herself. Apparently they are sent to a bunch of jerk-faces. The reaction from the nude photos appears to be ‘Is this a cry for help’ and Sarah’s answer is ‘Yes, you fucking idiot.’ 

                Making people cry is how Sarah runs her life. She smells the pillows of previous dream passengers. People smell the best in pillows. Trace amounts of affection are held in every pillow. When people cry they cry into pillows. Pillows feel more emotions than any other part of the bed. If somebody has nightmares the pillow absorbs the nightmares and replaces them with nice dreams. This is the pillow code of conduct. 

                Body heat should be canned. This Canned Heat can be used when somebody’s feeling lonely. It can be used as chicken soup for the body and soul. Love can be in this can nourishing the soul and restoring it to full health once more. Sarah even knows who she wants to spend the rest of her life with, it is with somebody who smiles on the outside and cries on the inside. It is the opposite of an EMO kid. It is a man who has internalized disappointment like a good adult. She watches him pay for a drink and leave. 

                People got to avoid turning life into a big drinking game. Yeah poets are cool but it is okay to avoid alcohol and such. Sarah put up the instructions for those interested. It is okay to be not interested. Sarah’s sense of humor is depressed as hell but pretty damn funny. And this is just another example of her bright soul.


                A remix of a bunch of videos by another poet, is this allowed? Yes when that poet is Steve Roggenbuck heck yeah. Steve Roggenbuck is the Skrillex of literature. He remixes this so hard. One feels the bass drop. Fuck all the haters who say otherwise. Haters gonna hate but appreciators gonna appreciate. And this is what Steve does. Every ounce of Steve’s vegan body is dedicated to boosting helping others through trials and tribulations. With this remix of Daniel’s ‘Best Of’ work Steve shows what really matters. Daniel’s work matters. Anybody who watches this video can see it. The twinkle in Daniel’s eye is there. Some may call it ‘reflection from his glasses’ but it is more than that. 

                The clip shows is an ancient art. It is a way of remembering the past and forging ahead into the future. Originally crafted by the Simpsons many decades ago the clip show stays with society. People adore the clip show. It summarizes everything they like about a show, a news broadcast, etc. Flashbacks never felt so meaningful. Daniel has a way of reaching into one’s heart. Unlike many vloggers he does not steal hearts. Thankfully he keeps the heart where it belongs in the body pumping blood like a gangster. 

                Daniel Alexander enjoys being a dog. His energy levels are through the room. Many sloths are jealous of his extreme enthusiasm. Perhaps it is Daniel’s healthy eating habits that give him the jolt of energy he needs. In fact Daniel is a known ‘snack collector’. Rare snacks are kept by Daniel for absolute emergencies. Some of Daniel’s snacks are over fifty years old. Most of those ancient snacks are PEZ. PEZ isn’t technically food or even a snack but it counts. Once the world is fully destroyed PEZ will remain for nothing can destroy the chalky determination of PEZ. 

                Music comes through these clips. Daniel wrote most of it. Is Daniel the Leonardo Da Vinci of alt lit? He does everything. Consume food, draw, vlog, write, he really is a well-rounded snack. People compare Daniel to jawbreakers because his output makes the jaw drop. With this collection, a veritable ‘lovefest’ of all things snacks related Steve shows his true love for this Texan alt lit superstar. Perhaps Daniel Alexander is the ultimate juggernaut of the Texan alt lit scene. Can anything slow him down? Is he ever going to stop? The answer of course is no. Daniel Alexander is forever. He’s a diamond in the rough.

Beautiful Mean Things by Jakob Maier

                I thought to myself “These are grammatically incorrect, hateful, and completely incoherent. They must be YouTube comments.’ I was right. YouTube is a place full of hate. Whenever I read through various YouTube comments I think ‘Does beauty even exist?’ For YouTube is full of this sort of stuff. Jakob’s performance is all the more remarkable because he deliberately trolled for the purpose of receiving these nasty comments. I applaud him. He is doing God’s work putting these big old ugly things on pictures of pretty flowers. 

                The balance between the ugly and the beautiful keeps it in check. Jakob creates a trolling form of Flarf. By creating this ‘interesting’ YouTube video of beat-boxing to a Skrillex song he has created a new form of art. From this art he culls the worst of the worst. Anonymity is given a bad name on YouTube. That’s how the thing works. I try to give anonymity a good name. With these jag-offs on YouTube it is hard to be pro-anonymity. Every person on YouTube has some stupid name. Every person on YouTube spends inordinate amounts of time breaking people down. God damn it I hate those mean YouTube commenters. They should try ineffectually beat-boxing. 

                Flowers on instagram on the other hand are things of beauty. Normally people take lots of photos of themselves on instagram. Artsy photos are another big thing on instagram. The amount of empty playgrounds on instagram scares me. I wonder ‘What is wrong with these people’. Unlike the YouTube commenters instagram users are okay. Generally if somebody has an instagram they also have a twitter account. The two become one in the eyes of the internet community. Many have cried due to the power of instagram pictures of flowers. I have. All the time I sob uncontrollably due to flower photos. For if nature contains that imagine what souls look like on the inside. I imagine they look really swell. 

                A 12 year old mocks Jakob. Too bad the 12 year old sucks at more important things like being a respected member of their community. People love Jakob. Nobody likes that annoying 12 year old who has never worked a day in their life due to child labor laws. Yep 12 year olds contribute very little to society. Society finds them annoying. Other comments state how such a YouTube video will disqualify Jakob from becoming gainfully employed. However this is a really stupid comment. YouTube stars make lots of money. 

                It ends with a favorable comparison to a cow. It is enlightening. Experience the magic.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Øe – Transfer 7.7

                Transfer’ is the sound of ripples across crystal clear water. Serene is a beginning to this beauty. Yes this is digital but there is a tremendous sense of humanity behind it. Moments of this rival the transparent sweetness of 12K’s best artists. Everything here is natural and perfectly appropriate. While the songs are long there is the appealing quality that they shift in terms of texture. Here every unpleasant noise is scrubbed clean leaving a sterile yet active environment. In many ways this feels like how a digital environment would react, with sounds bouncing off of sound. 

                ‘February / Seek’ sounds infinitely optimistic. Through these elongated tones there is a sense of hope, of ease. While it flirts with an organ-like wonder it deftly avoids it. Rather the piece resembles the merger of an organ and water. By the end of the piece the tones appear to almost bubble up out of the pristine smoothness. ‘Seadawn / .Ksd’ possesses even more in the way of field recording, random ambient noises. However the ending tone, around the seven minute mark, is so lovely it encourages a repeat listen. Rare snippets of guitar can be heard on ‘Sad / Jitter’ though this could be the aural equivalent of an optical allusion. Finally the closer ‘Hatsuyuki / D Quant’ is what a digital choir might sound like, consistent, nearly-otherworldly, yet oddly familiar. 

                Øe creates this teeming world of life and sound. It engrosses through tiny gestures. The long track lengths are just a way of getting to the beauty of smallness.