Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Rolling Stones

and the Velvet Underground.

 

my soul is going up to the sky
above the Chelsea drug store.
Let It Bleed, baby
peel slowly, and see
I’m going to the Beggars Banquet
I’m beginning to see the light
Jesus
gimme shelter
there’s a pain where there once was a heart
 all my friends are junkies
(that’s not really true!)
I am the prodigal son
that’s the story of my life
what goes on? Some kinda love
if you try sometimes, you just might find
you get what you need
lets drink to the salt of the earth
it’s sunday morning and i’m falling
out of grace
help me in my weakness
help me find my proper place
Said, “Father will you look on me as a child?”
Well father said, “Eldest son, kill the fatted calf,
call the family round
Kill that calf and call the family round
My son was lost but now he is found.
Cause that’s the way for us to get along”
Hey.
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the first thirty seconds of “Monkey Man” sounds like the first thirty seconds of rebirth.

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Film, 6′ by 8′, blk/wht, no frames

There are bodies scattered over the earth, even the darkest skin pale against the black gravel. Oversoaked with void. On this mountain, they look like sprawling limbs of driftwood, left behind on the slope from when the slope was a sea by a curious forest, and it cannot be said whether or not they live. It gives the sense of an object that cannot be held. A canary built with water, a dragonfly made of rumors. The thought of paper cranes in a country where stories are only sung.

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A woman like any other woman who could have been a friend is sweeping under heavy rugs in a dark room with just one window, high above the tall cherry drawers, and she does not ask what good is it doing, because already she knows. She doesn’t remember when exactly she found out. It was gradual, over a long spell.
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I escape slowly to a sort of yard, away from the baiting of telephone. The rooms make me feel one eyed, but at the sky I feel merely winking. Not the city or the river can be seen from here, a small tomato vine in a funny corner with metal trash. As far as I can, I stare to the next block of skinny roads wedged in beige concrete, and wait for a giant with dirty shoes to turn the corner, or someone equally lost, who has nothing and yes, would come up for a glass of orange tea.

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Another Year

I watched Mike Leigh’s Another Year tonight. It had woven within it something that I cannot name. Maybe it is the reason why I still read stories or listen to sad songs, or beautiful songs, or will look at pictures of faces. Maybe it’s just one reason of many equally undefinable reasons.

It made me think that maybe I can grow old, walk through long years over and over again and die good, proving a hundred angry songs wrong. Maybe I can become a man without selling my soul to cool, and give until it hurts and wake up the next day and find reasons to call joy into life. Maybe I can be good. Maybe I can die good. Maybe I can be relentless and good for many years no matter what they say, until death makes me stop.

Every summer, I come back home and at some point will believe the lie that I have no friends, I never have, and will never make any, and all the memories I have of love and laughter are hollow elegant tricks I feed my brain. Each summer I fly home, and days become quiet, and still, and the phone is quiet and still, and eventually I let myself hear stupid things. Sometimes I’ll think thoughts I’d never tell myself, like “You are lonely.” “You are the only one.” “You’re gonna die alone.”

But what is alone? In the truest sense of that word, I have never been alone. I think everyone has some brand of abundance, and if they deny it and don’t see this then they will become depressed, and will try to take from other people.

I think I’m starting to see the abundance. I have a license to give without reserve. I see that this can be difficult, but I think I can do it, and I think I can do it for this year, and the next year until my years are done.

This film is “unmarketable.” It consists of long scenes of everyday talk. The main characters are not hip anti heroes. They are just good people trying to make the most of things. There is no flashy camera action. There is no mega indie minimalist one-shot trendy camera style that is equally asking to be noticed. Scripture is read in the film once and it’s not supposed to be a subtle satirical message about organized religion. Good characters smile and laugh in the film, and it’s not supposed to be a subtle satirical message about people who seem to do the right thing but only act happy. There are long silences. There are lonely people, and sad people. The film sees these people, perhaps not knowing what to do with them, but it sees them and it really looks, and it causes others to look, like John Lennon did, even though he didn’t have answers and he only had a guitar. In this film, there are uncool people. There are good people.
Everybody is talking about Transformers 3 right now, because it’s dope or whatever, or several months ago it was something else that was super funny, or really cool and awesome and well made, and most people will never see this movie, because this movie is a “boring movie.”

But I was riveted, because I saw that there are still good guys walking around who see the lonely people and who still give a shit and do something about it, even if it’s just opening up the front door for the night. Even if nobody gives them credit. Even if people don’t know you saved the world. Even if a hot girl you know doesn’t know you saved the world. And there are still people who want to talk about these people or be like these people. I don’t want to be Sam Witwicky with his supermodel girl thing who replaced Megan Fox, who people talk about because he saved the world in New York or someplace slick and modern and full of potential fans and drinking buddies. I want to be the old man who opens the door for the night to the lonely people.

Mid-Year Report

A few lists I made, because hey y’all, lists are comin back in style, mark my words. All of these lists are in no particular order, because the law states that I don’t need to do that until the end of the year.

My So Far-vorite Albums of 2011.

Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
The Antlers – Burst Apart
James Blake – James Blake
Radiohead – The King of Limbs
Battles – Gloss Drop
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Adele – 21
Washed Out – Within & Without
Beyoncé – 4
The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Wild Beasts – Smother
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Panda Bear – Tomboy
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place

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Discovered albums/ albums that I realized I loved/loved a lot more this year:

Mos Def – Black on Both Sides
Justin Bieber – My World 2.0
Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People EP
Jackie Wilson – The Jackie Wilson Story
Menomena – Friend & Foe
Santigold – Santogold (but really only “Lights Out,” and “I’m a Lady”).
Otis Redding – Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings the Blues
Black Star – S/T
Grizzly Bear – Friend EP

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So Far-vorite Movies of 2011:
(I’ve seen close to none. These, however, are in order.)

The Tree of Life
Hanna
Super 8
X-Men: First Class

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Best Graduation Commencement Address:

Conan at Dartmouth

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