Monday September 5 2022
You remember Civilistjävel!, who we interviewed a few months ago? He has a new mix up at Bleep. I would call it “field-step anthems played by a swamp monster in an abandoned arcade.” Our man in Sweden describes his mix like this: “Mixed in the north of Sweden, where I’m currently working from home. A few old tapes, unreleased sketches, music from friends and inspirations and some very old folk recordings. A mix scattered and diffuse, just like the mountains outside my window coming in and out from the fog.”
I have a new batch of writing up at Shfl and a column on Built To Spill up at 4Columns, my home away from home.
I am once again asking you for your support, meaning that I want you to read this new Mike Davis interview. In case you will not, some excerpts:
“The base for a more activist, more aggressive, but also more strategic left politics exists. Students in inner-city high schools in California are a sleeping dragon. If you measure things by opinion polls, this generation is more leftwing than the 1930s. A huge number of people under 30 say they’re in favor of socialism or they’re prepared to listen to arguments for socialism. That’s astonishing.”
“I hate Raymond Chandler, yet I’ve read him and reread him so many times. He’s a fascist, and I mean this in a precise sense. He represents the small businessman being trampled by outside forces. Each of his novels has an openly racist section. But of course, you care about the writing, and you end up forgiving things that really aren’t forgivable. Chandler was a strange guy. He’s buried a mile from here.”
Also, it turns out that news of Davis’ cancer was shared on social media without his permission. So he’s getting lots of letters, and here is one that struck me: “It is pretty common for people to underestimate their own legacy. So allow me just to say that I’m glad that you did not die on the barricades too soon, before we had your wonderful books. After all, aren’t they a kind of barricade for the ages?”
I recommending browsing the Bandcamp collection of Will Bankhead, from The Trilogy Tapes (who also did the art for Ui’s “Dropplike” single in 1996). Just start near the top of the grid with Goldblum, or try this 35-minute Henning Christiansen track from 1991, which features four people walking around yelling at each other across the ocean. This is a golden age for music that moves like madness.
slicing space-time into objects by xu is one of my favorite albums of the summer. I can recommend almost all xu records. Calm, dense, carefully tweaked. Peaceful music without the goop.
Take a look at Hüsker Dü on Good Company, broadcast in 1986 on KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Come for the live shred, stay for an interview that feels much further away from 2022 than 36 years.
Record label legend Creed Taylor died recently at the age of 93, and this post by Eric Harvey will get you up to speed on who he was and what he did. Listening to Harvey’s excellent CTI playlist, Heidi and I ended up trying to figure out what makes something jazz. A “nobody asked” assignment for sure, but the dominant feeling on CTI records is funk full stop, which hardly makes them not jazz but it feels productive to confront a question that begins to lose relevance the harder you try to answer it.
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The legendary Teddy Blanks has been helping us with the artwork for the Ui reissues on Numero Group. (In the case of the “Drive Until He Sleeps” single, he’s reconfiguring the original Lifelike art by Richard McGuire.) Teddy put me on to the Sainsburys Archive of their packaging art. If Tumblr was still what it was, there would be multiple Fuck Yeah Sainsburys design pages—and there may be, for all I know. New Broadcast album? Nah, mate—it’s a Sainsbury’s Blackberries sack from 1968.
Listen to It’s Ecstasy from the Pine Walk Collection, forty-seven minutes of cheerful Eighties disco that could probably be sorted out and classified more specifically than that, but all you’re gonna get from me is “cheerful” and “sung largely by women.”
Monster update: Roger Freeman, American fascist, on the danger of educating working people in 1970: "We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education.” Sometimes, you can just think of the bad guys as The Bad Guys.
The Kaoss Edge website is still there but the link to a Kristeva PDF is broken.
I have unintentionally given you a second Trilogy Tapes item: this two-hour Basic Rhythm set for TTT on NTS, broadcast on August 22nd. You can download the uptempo chaos for free on that Soundcloud page.