I was delighted to learn recently that Altai is out in English. I bought it the day I heard. Altai is the sequel to Q, which is one of my all-time favorite books. The authors also wrote Manituana, another of my all-time favorites.
I’ve been reading Altai as fast as I have time to read books at this point, often while holding an infant. I’m nearly done and plan to have more to say then. For now: it’s great. Buy it. You can read reviews of it and whatnot here.
Music’s important to me and has been for almost as long as I can remember being me. Certainly for all of my adolescent and adult life. My tastes have changed a lot. Most recently I’ve gotten excited about some electronic music. I met someone recently into the same stuff and with a similar personal history as a music fan – moving from punk and whatnot into this stuff. This guy was about ten years younger than me. He said “this is the first time I’ve been into music that’s happening now as a scene.” That’s not the case for me, but it is part of what I find exciting. It’s nice to be somewhat plugged into a creative something current. There’s stuff I like about this music that’s tied to how it differs from the stuff I’ve been into for a long time (punk shows don’t really work for me anymore at this point in my life, hopefully they will again someday), but what’s most interesting to me is the aesthetic sensibility that’s in common across these kinds of music. Some quotes in this review – http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13614-5-five-years-of-hyperdub/- of a Hyperdub compilation really captured this for me. (These bits also have what I like in music writing, stuff that explains things to me that I’ve already been experiencing and have had a kind of intuitive grasp on but which I haven’t articulated or seen articulated clearly.)
“Dubstep– the nocturnal, claustrophobic subgenera of British electronic music that emerged from garage and 2-step– is descended from dance music but doesn’t sound like it’s made for dancing. The tempos feel slow, the mood is usually threatening, lonely, or both. (…) Hyperdub is usually cited as dubstep’s most prominent and progressive label, but it’s hard to even call most of their releases dubstep, strictly speaking. (…) Hyperdub’s sound isn’t dubstep, it’s urban noir in the 21st century, or at least how the 21st century looked in 1970s science fiction: A procession of florescent signs over an empty street. (…) Most of the music on it sounds made for the head, not the feet. In a way, it’s like a modern analog to Warp’s 1992 compilation, Artificial Intelligence, whose sleeve was a picture of an empty armchair in a living room– electronic music that has a place in the home. (…) These guys aren’t public faces, they’re lost in the crowd– they’re people spacing out in their living rooms, alone.”
Note to self: think about other art with a similar sensibility. I’m sure there are photographs and paintings that fit with this, and probly some literature. An example that springs to mind is Carson McCuller’s novella “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” but I’m sure other stuff has a similar feel though that’s not an urban story. Maybe some of Nelson Algren’s work as well.
I remain angry and I continue writing jokes. The anger’s everywhere. The jokes are here: http://crashcourse666.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/do-i-do-to-handle-stress/
When I write new ones, I put them there. So check back there if you want to read the new ones. I try to write one a day. A friend and I have both agreed we will each do a stand up comedy act at an open mic night. Not sure when. Some day. That’s part of what the jokes are for. Oh and I’m running again. I’ve been off the climbing for a few weeks, unfortunately.
Some friends and I were talking recently about being happy.
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It’s been a week of awesome and awful. Read the rest of this entry »
My friend Scott sent me this piece by Karl Nesic. Nesic is one half of the radical publication Troploin, the other half being Gilles Dauvé. Nesic and Dauvé have just written two pieces about Troploin, assessing where the project is at. The preface to the piece, called “What Next?,” says the project “stands at a turning point,” and while it continues as a collaboration between the two writers, “they have preferred to assess the situation separately.” I like this, them saying basically “here’s my take, in a personal capacity” rather than waiting till they agree on a shared perspective. The piece by Dauvé is here. There’s a lot to these pieces but I want to just focus on one element of Nesic’s piece, because it helps me think about what we’ve been doing with Recomposition. Read the rest of this entry »