Richard Harper here, curator of this fine site. I’m proud to say that my second book of poetry is available now, entitled The Body In the World.
A full-fledged, self-published book, I have written these poems over the past 2 years (mainly) which has proved to be rather epochal in my ride through existence to say the least. I won’t waste a bunch of words on describing it, save that the content could be best summarized as didactic.
I like poetry a lot. I like reading it and hearing it read. I’ve tried to be mindful of this as I brought this together. I don’t quite know what to make of its place in my culture, but maybe we’ll have a formal coming out party for it in the near future in a way that suits the book itself.
Order a copy if you want by clicking the link below. If you do, I appreciate that you took the time to chill out and dig through the words and ideas.
Big thanks to many: Lauren Plummer, who is effectively my editor at this point; Lilly Lomein for sound advice and listening skills (and Beatrice-like fodder); Luke Howard (site) for helping me lay everything out, annihilating tabs, and for being a long-time comrade. Also to all us Blacktooth homies.
With pocket phones and computers being all the rage, we begin to wonder about which of these manufactures our handling our lives with a potential recklessness. One of the first lessons we should take from history is that those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them, and – as is the case with every new advance in human societies – we’ve seen countless examples of technology that is still in need of development being implemented into society’s daily use with zero regard to the harmful effects on the users (i.e. Garbage Disposals, Ice Makers, GMOs, etc.). So it stands to reason that we should raise the red flag as to the safety of iPhones and computers. However, unlike others, we want to focus today on LCD screens specifically. These are the silent killers among us today.
Today marks the release of Chrome Pony’s full length, slackingly entitled ‘Lazy Bones’ –
but there’s nothing lazy about it –
There are chops, licks and hazy moments, sure, but just do yourself a favor and get it. It’s in our store over there on the side, and you can grab at all your weirdest digital outlets, streaming and beaming into your medula oblongata. Check them here: TUMBLRLAND — they’re playing shows up and around always.
You get a lot of listening and a lot of taking when you sit down with awesome women and ask them about music. I did just that the other night with some of the finest in town. (Full disclosure: all close friends, one lover, and I’ve played – currently or in the past – for all of them.)
The impetus for the conversation stemmed from a desire to hear what ladies I knew had to say about music. The in/equality, the un/fairness, and the sweet, fun aspects of it. I wanted to have a more robust understanding of it all, to get some knowledge dropped on me, which is precisely what happened. The content ranged from the wildly unpredictable to what you would expect. But it’s all fantastic. These are sharp ladies with surfeit knowledge about a razor thin subject and they do it all gracefully. In addition to what’s below, we also hit on Laurie Anderson, Janet Weiss/Sleater-Kinney, Carol Kaye, Lower Dens/Dirty Projectors, Tina Weymouth, and Madonna (they were all torn as to the opinion on her). It was a great chat, one that caused genuflection, and I’d like to share with it with you all.
These ladies are all at different points as to how they engage with music, thus the interesting fodder. You can download/listen to a track by each of them and their bands – as well as links/additional info – after the jump (click the German below).
The evening of November 3, Open Gallery – here in Nashville – will play host to an environment built up of corporeal experience. ‘Jerkwater Burg’ is the collaboration of Nashville artists, under the guise of Blacktooth Records (in the archival sense), who work in varying mediums, combining their abilities in order to manipulate multiple senses with the hope of wholly influencing and enhancing the physiological, psychological, and emotional state of its audience. It is not a gallery showcase, but a temporary hyper-reality, designed to encourage its inhabitants to feel something new, something strange.
In ‘Jerkwater Burg’ an attempt is made to house an environment not unlike what Alan Watts described as, “the experiencer and the experience becoming a single, ever-changing, self-forming process,” one where the situation is familiar – semiotically, artistically, etc. – but unlike the unification of the place and person, we desire a slight discomfort with what we call the Arpeggio of Meaning while still holding belief in the singular experience. Magical. Curious. Off-putting. Inviting. A kind of forcing of an unconscious suspension of disbelief.
Our idle frustration with our own inability to project a concrete meaning on experiences is fascinating to us, and in our current age we think that many others feel the same. Perhaps it is that these affects exist entirely outside of logistics. We invite you to explore ‘Jerkwater Burg’.
You may accidentally find yourself in the middle of Jihad or adorning yourself with Mimosa in the springtime. Perhaps you’ll discover your lover to be too coquettish in this space, or that all your friends are a pale mutiny of dispossessed voidoids hatched in a misty somewhere between fictive and mundane. And we know you’ll want to help – we do too, that’s the idea – but we can’t help, and we view all these attempts at meaning as banging your head against a wall: it’s nice when it stops.
The more unsure we are of the exact spacial provence we’re inhabiting, the further into the liminal hinterland we go. You have to know it feelingly in these ugly, mystifying times and the last thing we want to do is rest on our laurels when it comes to this slug we’re trying to salt.
Jota Ese will soon be crowned a little bit, perhaps noticed a little bit, maybe even take more shots of Tequila in a little bit, but suffice it to say – no matter what bit drops – he don’t stop. I don’t even know how many records the dude’s put out at this point, but I think I’ve heard them all. Most of them at least. I’m trying to pad my rep before I blast this record, nawmean?
Regardless, he put this one out at the perfect time. And that could mean a few things. Perfect time as in: The Mayan 2012 end-o’-the-world hasn’t happened, so that’s good timing. It could also mean in regards to the weather: Summer-bikini-babe-club-jams are out, smooth, break-you-open-with-a-thimble tunes are cropping back into rotation. It could also mean that the unspoken needed to be spoken and I’ll be damned if I saw it coming from this guy.
I won’t focus on the mildly-provocative title, because odds are it doesn’t matter to you. Make it abstract and you’ve got it. Musically, Jota just straight nails it on this one. You have everything that he’s been stirring together in his lounted pot for a long time, all finally marinating with each other and all the spices and herbs. You’ve got that jazz, the jive, the poetry – as Doodlebug would say. You got the psych-out freak-out, you’ve got the beats, the lows and the highs. You’ve got Bob James for heaven’s sake. It’s erudite and edgy. It’s full of late night groove juice and poppin’ off commentary (quietly). The video that goes along with it is well worth the watch. It’s good. Jota Ese’s good. I’m beginning to wonder if, like the album’s opening sample, he didn’t find some crossroads off of Dickerson where the green grass grows. Maybe he met the album’s Miss there.
Majestico is releasing a fairly good take of their staple songs this Saturday. Get on it, get played on, get tape on it. The neon kind. Watch out for the punks that come your way, Bay-Bay say. Is Love God? say Jose but we don’t know so now you know. I’d personally rather see my teeth in drag than drag my teeth all around this town but that’s the city for you. Good luck.
Watch the video below. Shot by Jake Smith and Graham Fitz Fitz
What Pussy Riot has done over in Russia is of no small importance and cannot be understated by everyone the world over. Even this small thing I (Richard) am typing here is justified and should be done by all. No facades, all praise.
I don’t read many blogs. One I return to frequently is The Quietus out of the UK. They always have fascinating records that I know nothing about and write fantastic pieces on a variety of subjects, almost none of which pertain to the current spin cycles of the surface or the underground. I did, however, expect to read an article on the Pussy Riot verdict, but I did not, however, expect to read this one. I can’t agree with it enough and have no interest in deferring any of the language or tone. I’m posting it here because it’s somewhere close to the heart of us here around Blacktooth, and because it is articulate about subjects that don’t get held together often (in my opinion), and because Pussy Riot rules for what they did. Add them to the pantheon, from Guthrie to Bombino.
“And the Pussy Riot case does remind us – religious or not – of a very worrying truth: that when faith gets too cosy with the centres of power and social control, it risks betraying itself.”