Monthly Archives: October 2012

Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

Here is the full album on Grooveshark, as usual. However, most of my first impressions were formed after seeing the performance here imbedded:

Calling to mind some sort of post-apocalypse, an industrial desert of black clouds and oil fires. The soundtrack you imagined as you read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

The singularity of the one man, leashed like a dog to his monstrous machine (a bass saxophone), cowed. Screaming endlessly, futily, his face red and purple, gasping, veins bursting, into this mess of brass and rust. The percussion of keys are ominous hoofbeats, or the turning of locks. The hoarse overtones squeal like the inside of a slaughterhouse. The droning fundamentals are distant foghorns, or the mourning of an unseen behemoth. A picture thus painted.
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Migraine

There’s no attempt at narrative here, and I’m not making any sort of point. I’ve had a busy week, without much time to write, so I’ll just describe a typical migraine. They’re different every time, but this will give you a good idea about what they’re like for me.

I could be doing anything, and it could be at any time, but I’m usually reading, and it’s usually in the evening. And I’ll be reading and then I’ll realize in this slow, sub-conscious way that I can’t read what I’m reading. I go back to the beginning of the line, assuming at first that I was tired and just sort of spaced out. And then I realize, as I can feel my heart rate go up pretty quickly and my palms being to sweat, that, no, I didn’t get confused or anything. The entire central part of the page has been replaced by a blurry, gray, zig-zaggy mess. This is the beginning of the aura, the first phase of a migraine. It is the chaotic parade of symptoms which precede the pain.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor — ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Omg omg omg. Little in the music world could make me giddier than a new, completely unexpected album from the (until recently) permanent-hiatus-or-maybe-broken-up legendary Canadian anarcho-post-rock outfit, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. So I might have a bit of a bias. Forgive, forgive.

Look at this building, dude.

‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! was released on Constellation Records.

So they’ve gone ahead and done just that, though. Here is the album. Here is their website.

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On Family

Five or six years ago, I was at a pizzeria with my father and little brother, Dan. A large group had arrived shortly before us, so the service was crap. We were hungry and waiting. Dan, who must have been seven or eight at the time, was not dealing well with his impatience. He was starting to give a sort of show, advertising his unhappiness. He sounded mournful sighs and squirmed around in his chair. My father was doing his best to placate him until our food arrived, but we hadn’t even been given breadsticks to calm our hunger. Dan was loud. People were staring. The big party that arrived before us was being served.

So, Dan has trouble communicating. And he can’t deal with not getting his own way. And when I say he can’t communicate, I really mean he can’t speak in more than fragments. And when I say that he can’t deal with not getting his own way, I really mean that he is essentially incapable of empathy. Dan is autistic.
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