Wednesday, March 17 2021

Until April 6, The Kitchen will be hosting Carlota Schoolman’s 1976 video of Talking Heads playing as a trio. Scroll down a bit on that page, and enjoy thirty-four minutes of scared little buddies inventing a world. In related archival joy, this fifteen-minute film of Karen Dalton playing in 1971 was just posted. It’s the only live footage of Dalton I’ve ever seen. Aside from being confused by her teeth, I am very unconfused and moved by Dalton’s roughed up keen and the gentle banjo and melodica playing of her buddies. It’s all as if nobody else was there.

Let’s meet the spring like Frank Sinatra in 1965, recording “It Was A Very Good Year.” We know what sings, we know what pops, and we think the recent past was “longer than the first act of Hamlet.”

Throw open the windows for this Jaye Ward mix: “I tried to stick to a non-dance sort of deal but as I never plan things it does sort of escalate into some banging moments haha!” I enjoy her Magical Real show for Netil Radio, which lands halfway between hot and cold, programmed by someone who loves dub but doesn’t necessarily need to play dub. (This has become a theme.) If you want the spritz of new growth, go for Colored Craig’s live house set at The Black Lodge from March of 2019. Joyous and free, it takes a sweet turn at 41:00.

Andrew Key’s Roland Barfs Film Diary is a good companion and antipode to Nick Pinkerton’s increasingly dense and epic film essays (not that anyone asked me to pair them). I keep thinking about how Key describes the way that Robert Altman and Elliott Gould work together in The Long Goodbye:

This new Two Shell EP absolutely sends that milk truck all over Busytown. The beat-based records are coming harder now.

I’ve been dreaming of hotels. I’m the stranger at an expensive boutique spot. Fuck yes, concierge, I want smoothly organized house music and cushy waffle robes. Pamper me, anonymous holding company. To duplicate this feeling, I have been using arovane’s Wirkung during the daytime.

Daughter of a Rasta with Freeky Reeky is “getting you up to speed with the current rhythm and energy of Jamaica. An hour of strictly dancehall, straight from the island—saddle up.” This is an accurate description.

I’m encouraged and energized by Cured Quail, a magazine and website that’s been around for a few years. They’re just now coming out with Issue 2 of a journal. From an editorial note in Issue 1 (2017): “The present authors thereby invite those interested to participate in the dilemma of a journal that, in all likelihood, will not be read. Bothered by the fact that the leniency of language has turned against itself, this introduction outlines the terrain and substance of Cured Quail. We would like to approach the fact that words, like the lives that carry them, appear predominantly without meaning—while, following in the spirit of Karl Kraus’ Die Fackel, refusing to look the other way. Rather than cynically guilt people into reading more, Cured Quail would like to encourage others to indulge in the discontinuity between themselves and what is to be read. The aporia potentially offers an alternative to readers who, justly distrusting the authors, find in that disjuncture experiential content. After all, words subsist in saying something that hasn’t been thought or thinking something that cannot be said.”

The project seems to be more than slightly arrayed against cultural criticism as it exists now, and Twitter, and a certain timidity in the face of promotional concerns. I recommend the magazine and the blog, which is hosting some excellent essays, some of them not even originally in English!

We close with the deep pleasure of Jim O’Rourke talking to Ken Vandermark for almost two hours. I find Jim’s enthusiasm for the work of others both inspiring and calming.