Some Stuff That Helps Me
Harappian Night Recordings: The Glorious Gongs Of Hainuwele
In the vein of Teeth Mountain & Avarus, this record collects a bunch of tribal-leaning, noisey etudes of pure fucking-around-with-music. I love it. I wish I was hanging out them & banging on stuff & clapping & howling along with them.
Similarly to a lot of great drone music, there's really nothing I can actually say about his kind of record. It's a bunch of musical weirdos banging around on stuff, like how Can were at times & how Finnish free-folkers are or how Sunburned Hand of the Man are. It makes me happy & makes me want to have fun & do weird stuff & make life less boring.
Peste Noire: Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor
This is a surprisingly strange record. I was expecting it to be like a big huge avalanche of black metal power, but instead it's a relatively spare (relative to Peste Noire) movement through martial drinking songs, idyllic landscape recordings, snarled renditions of trouvere ballads & then pretty close to straight up rock. All the while with big echoey drums that fill the cavernous space where the buzzsaw guitars would have been. Just as Alcest stepped away from the black metal form toward MBV, some of this steps toward J&MC. Then other songs are just weird. I'm not sure that I like it all, exactly, some of it feels like it's a little brother trying to get his older brother's attention. But I'm very, very interested in it, in a way that I am not interested in Bill Callahan or Fleet Foxes. It creates it's own parameters of what "rock" can accomplish, instead of twiddling the knobs of the familiar.
Mayday Magazine's Poetry Criticism Roundtable
Even though I find few new ideas in these, it's nice to hear this range of opinions laid out succinctly. I side most with Johannes' take. Negative critique (& positive critique, but that isn't the reason for the roundtable) is reification of aesthetic dominance & correctness. I'd go a bit off of what he says to say that it is the attempt to unify the effects of art into the ego of the reviewer, rather than to experience art as a way of understanding something new about the world, which is what I think art does. I like this quote from his piece:
But what comes out of these quarrels? More quarrel. A lot of time is spent getting angry about non-issues. No new ideas, no new frameworks for reading poetry, no new ideas about poetry have come out of these quarrelsome exchanges.
I imagine that all those poets who get all frazzled about the Dickman brothers (or frazzled about the reviews of the Dickman brothers or the reviews of the reviews of the Dickman brothers) will wish they had all that time & energy back. Or perhaps they continue to pick at the scabs of their own self-inflicted wounds.
It's so weird that KJ's initial letter seems to assume that the only reason someone writes positive reviews is to suck up. It's a huge strawman that then allows him to return to the traditional binary of boring reviews: thumbs down or thumbs up. Who gives a hula hoop about whether one person likes a piece of art or not? Taste is boring, or rather it's the assumption that everyone should share the profundities & pleasures that arise out of one's individual reading practices.