Monday August 15 2022
Today, Numero Group begins the process of reissuing the Ui recordings: here is “Drive Until He Sleeps.” Our catalog will be doled out in small pieces over the next twelve months. Every few weeks, a new old treat will appear on the streaming platforms. In late 2023, a vinyl version of the music will appear, as will a few surprises. I have been in this band for most of my adult life and many of you have no idea what we sound like. Now you will. If you do not want to wait a year, you only have to wait one month for Lifelike, the album many prefer. If this is all too rapid for your liking, you could tune in to the pitch drop and wait eight years for the next blob to fall.
There’s a lot of unexpected pain and loss around me, and this has brought me into a place of gratitude. My immediate conclusion is that I should never complain about anything ever again, an approach that I am entirely sure will work. I am turning to friends and favorites, because I trust them and know there is something I need to hear. My friend AJ was interviewed for Embedded, and this reminded me to subscribe to The Small Bow for money. I have been reading from day one but I wasn’t paying. (Maybe you are in a similar zone here. In which case, no problem. But also this.) Here is a recent Small Bow fragment that resonated:
I heard someone share something at an ACA meeting this week, and I can’t stop thinking about it: “I need to take more risks to feel safe.”
I called the dude later to see what he meant. I’m paraphrasing, but he said when he became sober, he recognized his fears as part of his un-recovered past — “old ideas,” IYKYK. And the risk part for him doesn’t mean skydiving or anything like that; it’s more about initiating conversations at dinner parties, trying new things that he always defined as “not for him,” or showing up to family gatherings or other commitments he used to blow off. Newly sober, this was seismically uncomfortable and borderline impossible. Now, he saw it as an essential part of separating the person he is now from the man he used to be.
It is a frabjous day for the Gaitskids—an interview with Alexandra Schwartz just dropped at The New Yorker Dot Com. She wouldn’t read your Substack (or hers) either! Very reassuring, as one of my favorite editors unsubscribed from this newsletter today. In her own Substack, Mary Gaitskill described Dick Cheney as a violent and loyal dog who speaks English.
There is a growing “Mike Davis appreciation cluster” at Post45. I can recommend Eric Avila’s personal remembrances and Charlotte Rosen’s writing on the suburban homeowner association bits of City of Quartz. Unrelated to Mike Davis: I recommend this recent conversation with Jim O’Rourke, especially if you don’t know who he is.
I told you about East Portal a few weeks ago, but failed to mention that nothing on the East Portal album loops. This got me thinking about non-looping music, which is anything made without digital memory instruments, obvs, but then I found myself absolutely nuts for two musicians using loops.
Shiken Hanzo is a British producer who makes something like drum and bass, but not entirely. I feel that he is in a lineage with Source Direct, who I love beyond most things. (Here is the remaining Source, Jim, tearing it up for an hour in 2019.) Here is a recent podcast with Shiken Hanzo, two interviews, and his Bandcamp, and almost all of the releases there are pay-as-you-like.
Tripmaster Monk has been out for a while. He is of the DJ Shadow school, in terms of pacing and sample preference. Here is a superfun mix, his YouTube channel, his SoundCloud, and a playlist of all the SC tracks.
Heidi and I saw her parents this weekend, which was lovely. Carol and Peter were excited to see the bass I use in Ui, which I’d picked up on the way out to NJ after Brooklyn Lutherie re-fretted it. We found out that only two people make her dad angry: Diana Krall, because she wore weird jeans and was “disrespectful” in performance at Chautauqua once, and Mayim Bialik, who he does not like as a Jeopardy!® host.
I love Ariana Reines and her Invisible College project, and I was given spiritual sustenance by the August 3rd episode of Heaven and Earth Magic, a long stretch of solo guitar music programed by Jocelyn Romo. Stuart Hall’s 1983 address, “A Marxism Without Guarantees” has been posted at Salvage. A sample:
The idea that there is a key which can be put in the ignition lock and turned so that we will all fall about – men will love women, blacks will love whites, the unemployed will love the employed and vice versa, is wrong. All these and other things which have divided and marked and intersected the apparent unity of the working class given by its economic position, are not going to be resolved and locked up by the end of a single and homogenous and predictable process. That law of inevitability has done serious damage to marxism. It has done serious damage to the marxist movement, because it has created a policy of inevitability. And it has created institutions which depend on the politics of inevitability. It has disarmed us, in relation to the complex new forms and arenas in which modern forms of social struggle, including the class struggle, has to be or have to be preserved.
All is not entirely lost because Marx that historical processes would determine their own undoing, and that today’s history is not yesterday’s history:
This is the Marx who makes us attend to the determinacy of things, but does not pretend to know what the end result of them is, that is to say the Marx who establishes the questions we ought to ask about the modern world but does not pretend to have all the answers.