Friday, March 10, 2017

8 haikus

it's not just colours.
can we legislate humans?
controlling the vibe?

it's white people who
created supremacy
ideas run deep

white people exist
everyfuckingwhere in this
enormous nightmare

as do blacks and browns
and does the illusion that
we do co-exist

so we celebrate
our own re-definitions
of classy systems

and not classism
let's continue to live through
truths in the music

recognizing that
our sounds in reality
transcend all colours

and true freedom is
never losing our pulse when
they cut off our ears

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bluesday, January 24: Kishi Bashi

Fourth track of his third album, Sonderlust, came out in 2016, probably listened to it once since 2016 ended and 2017 began. I say, some artists need to bend the purpose of the art, or why it was formed, you know, the real story behind the making of a really great song, in order to let it truly seep under their skin, into their bones, bloodstream, body, brain, until it truly becomes a part of them. Is that not, at least, the partial reason of why art is made in the first place, as we seemingly random souls wander the dirt of this earth, trapped in empathic mazes of sonder? Less the music finds us before we find it. But the complexity of life oftentimes lacks serendipity, stripping it of all romance, all deterministic promises of hope, perhaps. K.Ishibashi went through some shit on this album, a far departure of that magnetic "prehistory" of lustful tenderness. The production- namely, arrangements, namely, use of synth melodies- echoes this departure of wistful majesty, probing around traditional form and classical, repeating motives, driven by a buzzing rhythm instead of the soaring violin lines that have defined his gorgeous sound paintings in the past. 

Though the past is the past, it gathers and scatters and never really leaves. What an ironic color of the blues, sonderlust, the angst of choosing the ignorance of still being alone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bluesday, January 4: Brand New

Grey clouds hovered over me the entire heavy rainy drive home. It was the hardest drive so far.

I forgot about this performance. Super young Jesse, don't really know why he has a slight British accent, makes sense though. We've grown together. We're at the landing. I'll never forget seeing them at Riot Fest and who i was with. Jesse was terrible that day, screaming parts that should be sung, losing his voice halfway while the muddy post-emo kids close to the stage moshed in the biting rain. I'm older now, and so is he. I keep forgetting that in 2016 they put out an official release of some of the Devil and God demos. Perhaps it was some kind of closure for Jesse. I'm hoping so.

Oh, to have the blues.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bluesday, November 22: Dreezy

Dreezy hails as the "Princess of Chicago Rap" since 2014 by Vice Magazine. This song's from her debut album that came out last July. I expect big things from this chick. I've been listening to a lot of this new shit to be able to relate to my students, who are just too cool. Self worth, or the lack of it, is generational.

"I wanna give it one more shot / but all he wanna do is take one more shot."


Love is not sex is not sustainability is not reality. I'm so happy to finally be in a place where I get it. But damn, the triggers this song pulls that are connected to my heart strings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bluesday, November 15: The Blow

This song hit me hard when I was at the gym, running without stretching, sweating the blues off. The beauty of music, I guess, is that it can have the same meaning over time, but your role as a listener can change.

How can I achieve sustainability without puncturing love's work with the pressure of the depth I have learned to hone in thirty years? Perhaps as a Pisces, I can learn to swim in shallow waters. It doesn't mean I have to stop living in the bluest of the ocean, or that beauty is forfeited. It just means I'm more limber. And maybe that's a good thing.

The Blow will always remind me of a specific summer, with specific people, the messiness of fluidity, and the southside of Chicago. The blues were always there, always vibrant. It's definitely not present in the same way, but perhaps its hues can make themselves more visible, with time and thoughtfulness. I will not re-live heartbreak; I will transform it into a lifeboat. So nobody drowns.

"I still believe in the phrases that we breathed / But I know the distance isn't fair to cross"

The beauty of the additive shines through this song. Sometimes, simplicity accentuates function. It's why art is necessary in the first place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Bluesday, November 1st: Wilco feat. Feist

Funny, how one lyric can direct you to a bridge of a song, then after another listen to the whole thing, realize it's the one you've been looking for all day. It seems a little odd that THIS is the Wilco song for Bluesday. I know their discography (pre 2015) better than any band and this song is not sad. Not at all. But I'm going through a paler shade of blue today. Kinda like fog off a lake right before dusk.

I never truly understood these lyrics before. I think it's because I've never had the love Tweedy is singing about in this song. I never truly understood these lyrics before tonight, and for that, I am grateful.

Also, Feist is adorable. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

some Saturday nights

Don't get me wrong, I like the people here. But some Saturday nights you're missing home real hard and you just gotta yell at the dumbass drunk college kids as they jaywalk in black costumes in the darkness across Commonwealth Ave. on a red light. Sometimes you value your alone time to contemplate why you feel alone when you're far from it. Altered substitutions. The function is the same but this time around, it just sounds different. It just feels different. Sometimes you just gotta stay in on a Saturday night, take off that mask, and learn about Coltrane Changes again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bluesday, October 25: The Wallflowers

This place is old, it feels just like a beat up truck
I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn
It smells of cheap wine, cigarettes
This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn
I'm so alone and I feel just like somebody else
Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same
But somewhere here in between the city walls of dying dreams
I think of death, it must be killing me

Come on try a little, nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than in the middle
But me and Cinderella, we put it all together
We can drive it home with one headlight

I don't know if I completely like the piano in this version. Usually I'm a sucker for the additive, but I feel like the automatic drive that happens in the drums right when you hit the gas pedal of the original version better suits the tone and lyrics of this song.  Jakob Dylan said the "she" in this represents his band's originality and ideas, and the song is about the death of them.

There's got to be something better than in the middle. I know it's out there. Where is it, though? Am I even on the right road? How long will I be driving with one headlight?

I guess there's comfort in knowing that they make it home.

Oh and P.S. this song won a Grammy two years after it was released. The Nineties: when record sales lasted longer than two weeks. Maybe it'll take that long for me, too. Maybe shorter. Maybe longer. Who knows? NOBODY. SO STOP OVERTHINKING.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bluesday, August 9: Rx Bandits

I couldn't take the fucketry today. And then I saw a tour announcement poster for the 10 year anniversary of ...And the Battle Begun. It's my second favourite Rx Bandits album (behind The Resignation), which had a large hand in shaping my politics straight outta high school. I kinda can't believe it's been 10 years.  I remember seeing them at the old Bottom Lounge in Chicago when it was still off the Belmont Red Line station. I'd totally see them again, even without the horn section they used to have. They're remarkably good at painting continuity within the album, stroke by stroke, telling a story that has a beginning, middle, and end. We're transported into a different part of the world, the one we're taught to ignore: the place where we create fantasies, into Matt Embree's optimistic brain.

"At the end of the world we'll all have a big party from sea to sea and into the desert sands / we'll feel comfortable naked, won't need our prescriptions to say we're happy and admit we're all scared of growing old" - Epoxi-Lips

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bluesday, August 2: La Vie en Rose

At what point in your life do you stop believing in destiny? Does growing-into-this-world mean losing that certain charm, that more than just whimsical attraction, that kind of lustful hope of a bad romance, intensity spilling over the gut of what is supposed to make sense? I re-watched How I Met Your Mother to catch all of the things I didn't catch before, and I guess this time around, I understand human relationships a little bit more. How the aftershock can cause a lasting effect, or doesn't, but how it can leave a mark, or won't. Perhaps I can make a compromise with this world. Perhaps synchronicity is real, and that fate is not always buried beneath a pile of casualties, dead weight one carries along the way. But how to manage mania, especially the kind that toys with the figurines in this never-less-than-romantic head: that's the real growing-into-this-world, I think. Perhaps then... maybe then, you can stop believing in destiny, and actually start living it.

I'll always be a sucker for beautiful, soaring melodies, even when they aren't soaring.