david holds a phone in front of his face.

August
1. Various, Sky Girl – Compiled by DJ Sundae and Julien Dechery (Efficient Space, 2016)
2. Tomorrow the Rain Will Fall Upwards, Wreck His Days (Blackest Ever Black, 2016)
3. The Kinks, Face to Face (Pye Records, 1966)
4. The American Friend, dir. Wim Wenders (1977)
5. Mr. Robot, dir. Sam Esmail (2016)
6. Various, Last House on Dead End Street (Vombis, 2016)
7. Prodigals: Stories, Greg Jackson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016)
8. Tito Puente, The Complete 78s (Fania Records, 2010)
9. David West, Peace or Love (Tough Love, 2016)
10. A steady rotation of hot tracks by Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd, and Beyonce.

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Weekend Week Start

book cover for the art of cruelty by maggie nelsonbook cover for the detective and the pipe girl by michael craven

I read a bunch this weekend, while falling asleep, while almost napping on Saturday, while waking up in the middle of the night. I read news articles, discogs prices, and books. One book was a thriller ebook page turner downloaded on my phone called The Detective & the Pipe Girl by Michael Craven. It was a standard mystery novel, predictable and addicting to read.

I’m also reading The Art of Crueltyby Maggie Nelson. She writes about art, violence, and the ways violence occurs through art in people’s lives. She asks questions that are the obvious ones to ask, which surprisingly are the least often asked versions that people analyze when writing about violence. Her work is much more compelling than studies about violence and the media (what does that mean exactly?) because she writes about art works both contemporary and not so recent, popular culture, and current events. Reading her essays at the same time as devouring a neo-noir mystery gets complicated.

For example the detective narrates an entire about how he learned to fight. There are repetitive instances of meeting women for the sake of meeting women, who are barely described as more than “beautiful” or “sexy”. Often the main character is not the person doing the most sexist, ridiculous actions, however the narrator is doing all the telling. A sideline character is described by the narrator as always seeking out women. It’s the main description of his character. The narrator also repeatedly states rhetorically “Do you know a person like this? You know a person like this”. The whole “it is what it is” approach works at first then gets frustrating because things rarely are what they are, especially in cliched detective books.

Part of me wishes that every mystery paperback novel came with an essay from Nelson’s examination of violence. I paused more than once and wondered why I was still reading the detective book with it’s distorted views. Addiction to mindless violence on the page? Does it make me feel good about how a narrator presents his survival methods as “total commitment” and some father issues?

Anyway, thinking about all the above along with other things I enjoy, like listening to music. Sometimes I like the intensity of musicians like Vatican Shadow, who transfers current wars’ events into a rager of electronic music. Maybe these are better things to analyze than a quick action mystery read. Even if seeing blasting music is something completely different than reading a book. Wow, is that what has happened to me? Writing about reading books whilst falling asleep, instead of making it out to seeing live spectacles of loudness? Though I’m still reading The Art of Cruelty so insert a stay tuned message here.

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Last Day of FMLA

Friday was my last day of FMLA leave. I was thinking about these life things and wanted to post something reflective, in a looking back style. Instead I enjoyed the day and didn’t post anything. On my leave, I learned to put away my phone and computer when I’m with the kids. I’m still learning how to do that better, like when Zelda is falling asleep and I’m checking my phone next to her bed. I need to stop doing that. Anyway, here is what I’m missing today.

Missing Trudie. I miss many things about being at home. Cleaning spit up. Hearing Gertrude squeal. Watching her get taller and taller, telling her about that, and her liking standing up tall. Saying, Yeah milk drinking!, after she drinks milk and watching her grin while milk dribbles out of her mouth. Taking away her teething toys after a couple of minutes when she gets mad at them. Watching her watch things like a crazy orange blooming plant, an oak tree, some bugs. Feeling a breeze outside and seeing Trudie look around at the wind. Even trying to get Trudie to fall asleep, which was really hard for me, is something I miss, swinging her endlessly in a car seat.

Missing playing records almost whenever, even to help with sleeping. Slowing down AFX records to make them play longer. Finding out Trudie likes moody, scarier sounding music instead of bangin’ tracks. Listening to country.

Things I will not miss. Not much. Except the unpaid leave part. Having no maternity/paternity/parental leave sucks.

Here is a picture of Trudie, though I’m still not sure about posting pics of my kids online. So there are also some eyes off center on the picture.

Trudie and Eyes

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June 2015 Chart of Interest

June 2015
Chart of Interest
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Stone Quackers by Ben Jones on FXX
Young Skins: Stories by Colin Barrett
The Glass City/Golden Garden – Pender Street Steppers (Mood Hut)
Al Dobson Jr – Rye Lane Versions (Rhythm Section International)
Hunting Lodge – Will (Dais Records)
Frontier Ballads – Pete Seeger (Folkways)
John Wiese – Deviate From Balance (Gilgongo Records)
Le FabShop’s 3d print designs (Youmagine, Thingiverse, etc.)
Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

All the reading and re-reading of Frog and Toad books with my daughter is fun, humorous, and – unsurprisingly – psychedelic feeling. It makes the process of eating a melting paleta way more fun than I thought possible. All the Frog and Toad tales are still making heavy resonations with A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I finished the book months ago and yet cannot stop thinking about it.

All these things are separate and connected to my everyday life as a dad, team-member with my wife, maker of happenings, and librarian. I should and will talk more about all those things another time. Life.

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Recommended Reading

Dan Piepenbring, Working on my Novel (Paris Review)

Marc Masters & Grayson Currin, 200 Words: Thought Broadcast (The Out Door)

Matt Phillips, The Family Dollar deal embodies everything wrong with American capitalism (Quartz)

Jeanne Marie Laskas, The New Face of Richard Norris (GQ)

David Bryne, Peter Schwartz, Gaza and the Loss of Civilization (David Bryne)

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Summer Mega Mixes

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Summer Mega Mixes

What's playing on the kitchen boombox, headphones, and back of the house work rooms. Sweat to these summer mixes of various genres and selections.

Aug 04, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 54
DR. DUNKS - dr. dunks show july 30 2014 by KNOW-WAVE

Eric Duncan DOES make the best edits. He goes into full-on rock mode on this recent Know Wave radio show, with all the subtle effects and repeated riffs that make the familiar sound crazily good and new. Contains a snazzy mix of Prince and a loop of the guitar from The Who's Eminence Front. I learned about the later from a Miami Vice episode with a night boat chase, 1980s slick soundtrack style.

Aug 04, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 56
A SILENT FLUTE the microphone centre

Leave it to A Silent Flute to bring together the ultimate sweaty, sunshine-y, hilarious mix. He describes it as "80s/90s Dancehall Winners". I say the mix is all ridiculous jams, booming and grin producing. This might not be everybody's preferred mode of relaxing, however I just want to smile away into a dreamland of sweet digital rhythms and reggae pillows.

Aug 04, 2014 - ausmuteants.bandcamp.com - 54
AUSMUTEANTS split personalities

Not exactly a mix, however it was originally released on cassette and sounds like a continuous fried mind music session. One of my buddies turned me onto Ausmuteants, saying we have to go see them on their first U.S. tour coming up in the Fall. Punk, synth, and desparation vocals wrassle with some drum beats that sometime sound like drum machines, and other times slammingly sloppy breakbeats. Summer paranoia calm downs.

Aug 04, 2014 - mixcloud.com - 46
POWELL & VEREKER melon magic w/ powell & guest mix By vereker- 1st august

Powell's mix show is a must-listen. Refreshing microphone banter and heavy electronic music. This mix features Vereker who makes unpredictable house or techno or futuristic giallo thump on the floor music. Emphasis on kick drums and head banging propulsion. Noise on the dance floor.

Aug 04, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 50
SURGEON (ambient set) at freerotation 2014 by dynamic tension

Seems like the Freerotation event was the party/place to be this summer. This set by Surgeon is ambient and incredible selections. Lots of Coil and Coil-related projects included. I keep telling my family I have "A sense of dread" because this was playing the kitchen during our daily oatmeal eating. Later this mix got played at night. Step off the deep end, or close your eyes off the deep end.

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Recommended Reading

Pierre Alexandre De Looz, From Vogue to nest: 032c activates the secret history of CY TWOMBLY by HORST P. HORST (032c)

Keith Murphy, ‘Purple Rain’ Turns 30: Prince’s Engineer Shares Majestic (And Maddening) Studio Stories (Vibe)

Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Morphosis’s favourite tracks (The Guardian)

Tanvi Misra, How Turbans Helped Some Blacks Go Incognito In The Jim Crow Era (NPR)

Greg Jackson, Wagner in the Desert (The New Yorker)

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Recommended Reading

Tom Junod, The State of the American Dog (Esquire)

Derek, Where to Buy Good Pants (PTO)

Matthew Kent, Actualise The Minimalism: An Interview With Thought Broadcast (The Quietus)

Hilton Als, Ghosts in the Sunlight (New York Review of Books)

Ariella Budick, James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography, MoMA PS1, New York – Review (ft.com)

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Individual Level Update

boxes that seem to grow
We just moved into a house. We also just bought the house. We love it so far, even with the expanding tower of cardboardium taking over many rooms. The cardboard will shrink, the dust will settle. For now, boxes everywhere.

I need to charge my phone, gotta contact the water company, research the vintage stove market/vintage stove repair scene. Also share some music. Share some updates about teen services at my library branch (teen jobs roundtable! iPad podcasts!). All that might happen in this space. Til then here’s what’s playing in nearly every format. All my records are still boxed up, and I listened to them til the end of moving.

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Summer Music 2014

What's playing in my head, car stereo, and rickety iPod.

Jul 02, 2014 - dubstore.co.jp - 50
GLADSTONE ANDERSON, LYNN TAITT jamaica’s glad sounds (dub store japan)

Instrumental piano music that sounds like heaven or the the combination of soul and ephemeral jumping up and down.

Jul 02, 2014 - dubstore.co.jp - 64
GRANVILLE WILLIAMS & HIS ORCHESTRA wailin’ / old macdonald (dub store japan)

Zelda loves this version of Old MacDonald. Instant smiles and Ernest Raglin on guitar. Dub Store Japan with the rocksteady gem again.

Jul 02, 2014 - roots-archives.com - 56
THE BUNNY LEE ROCKSTEADY YEARS (moll selekta)

Slim Smith’s “Build My World Around You” has this shoo-be-doobie-do part that is listenable all day.

Jul 02, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 56
BLACKEST EVER BLACK berlin community radio june 2014

The label to always watch puts out a monthly radio show mix that is on constant rotation. Noir jazz, drone, jangling songs, dub smolders, and more. Selection is always deep, introspective, and thrilling.

Jul 02, 2014 - finderskeepersrecords.com - 65
BRUNO NICOLAI the case of the bloody iris (finders keepers)

Possibly Bruno Nicolai’s greatest work, lovingly issued on vinyl as a 10”. Supreme vocals that I never fail to hum. Dissonant orchestral sounds combined with melodies, making a classic giallo soundtrack. Dream record.

Jul 02, 2014 - minimalwave.com - 63
SANDRA ELECTRONICS want need (minimal wave)

Two techno producers (Karl O’Connor aka Regis and Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant) craft feedback driven electronic mantras. Repetition, distortion, and pulsing drum machines combine into an electronic version of shoegaze. My Bloody Summertime moody music. The collected early works on the Sessions cassette is also good driving around hardware store parking lots music.

Jul 02, 2014 - penultimate-press.blogspot.com - 50
KSIEZYC self-titled (penultimate press)

I learned about this from a Blackest Ever Black tape I was listening to all this spring by Gewissen. This record is a reissue of a 1990s Polish classical/contemporary ensemble. Sounds like witches rising from the record in a droning synth haze, or friends turning into possessed ghouls who start extending sentences into long song fragments. Also incredibly beautiful and elegiac.

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April Listening

vinyl records on the wall

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April 2014 Listening

Here is what I'm listening to at the start of Spring 2014.

Apr 08, 2014 - editionsmego.com - 61
JEAN-CLAUDE RISSET music for computer (recollection GRM)

One of my favorite INA-GRM records reissued by Recollection GRM. Risset makes descending tones that anybody who likes electronic music need to hear. Sounds like falling down staircase while doing a science experiment.

Apr 08, 2014 - blackesteverblack.bigcartel.com - 51
GEWISSEN robisheaux reminds us (krokodilo tapes)

Somehow I checked the Blackest Ever Black website at the exact right time to score their two new Krokodilo cassette tapes. This one is almost a complete mystery. Who made it? Why is the title a quote from a book review concerning rural class disparities during the Middle Ages? How is it so scary sounding and soothing? Drone countryside scariness.

Apr 08, 2014 - feralaudio.com - 64
JOHNNY PEMBERTON & STUNT ROCK twisting the wind podcast

Johnny Pemberton interviews Billy Stunt Rock for a long talk on the beach. Features a staggering recollection of midwest rave stories: raving hard, revolting against the rave, collecting Betamax tapes, and creating something every week.

Apr 08, 2014 - thetrilogytapes.com - 65
WILLIE BURNS tab of acid (trilogy tapes)

Speaking of midwest rave memories, this record is built from the thudding acid techno of the 1990s. Yet it's a brand new record. And it feels slower, groovier. The other side of the record gets introspective and moody, the sunrise you see at the end of the night.

Apr 08, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 63
E3 (ZAMZAM SOUNDS) tricast 02

A mix of new digital reggae, soundsystem dub, and dubstep whatever genre I cannot believe I'm typing. The music is all sounding good. Stark and thick. I might need to check out some ZamZam Sounds releases.

Apr 08, 2014 - discogs.com - 50
GENE KRUPA self-titled 1956 album (columbia)

Gene Krupa's 1956 self-titled album. Slowing down, speeding up, frenetic, and jumping jazz band tunes. Contains one of my all time favorite drum intros on "Drum Boogie". Found this digging for 1980s noir jazz, this might be better. Zelda digs this.

Apr 08, 2014 - soundcloud.com - 65
MAXWELL AUGUST CROY & SEAN MCCANN i (students of decay)

I still keep listening to the sound samples on soundcloud. Anxiously awaiting this record to arrive. Go to nap/sleep/dream in this ambient, chiming, mud music.

Apr 21, 2014 - facebook.com - 69
CENTRAL EXECUTIVES a walk in the dark (golf channel)

Sexy dance music from NYC. Or maybe elsewhere. Mystery music makers churn about Arthur Russell sounding keyboards while diva vocals edge toward sultry. Slow motion and steady four to the floor thump thump thumping. Sounds strangely good and addicting.

Apr 21, 2014 - fastcocreate.com - 64
VARIOUS wolf of wall street music from the motion picture (virgin)

Robbie Robertson gathers together the classic rock, rowdy R&B, howling blues, and jazzy shades that sound tense and taut. I haven't yet watched the movie, but I already cannot stop playing the soundtrack. If I could learn all I know about music from Martin Scorsese movies, I would be a very happy dude. I actually first heard Gene Krupa's "Drum Boogie", listed above, on the Raging Bull soundtrack.

Apr 21, 2014 - chondriticsound.bandcamp.com - 61
PURE GROUND daylight & protection (chrondritic sound)

Ouch and burn. Pure Ground are a synth minimal wave band from Los Angeles. They make music that sounds like a bad day of woke up this morning feelings mixed with repetitive synth lines. Pure Ground use a sense of minor key melody and beaten up pop structure to make heavy music. "Atlantic Wall" gives me chills every time I hear the middle of the song, when keyboards suddenly lift off with an almost identical bass line. Could this be soaring industrial music? Vinyl pressing of music originally released on two cassettes.

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