I was never one to consider meditation. Not only can I not get my legs into the requisite pretzel, but the process always seemed rarefied to the point of comedic exaggeration. People finding transcendence in ohms and ahs and incense sticks. There seemed to me a very drink-the-kool-aid aspect to the whole business. And that’s how I probably would have kept on if not for Sleep Cycle, the first and only solo album from Animal Collective guitarist Deakin. It would be hugely presumptuous of me to say that Sleep Cycle is an album about meditation. I don’t believe that to be … Read More
The internet has made the act of finding music a lot easier, but it is more of a repository than it is a guide or an informant. Unless you’re willing to put in the hours, it is very easy to bypass oodles of very helpful data without even knowing it exists. You can flit through youtube videos of ethiopian pop music for hours, but you’re not going to get the vital context that goes with it unless you pursue that information yourself. It is terrifyingly easy to treat the internet as a limitlessly vast, incredibly shallow pond I mention this … Read More
I want to start by saying something about my own current emotional state before I get into my thoughts on Jim James’ latest solo effort, Eternally Even. I don’t really even need to get into all of the extremely obvious political goings-on; everyone knows what happened. But I will say it has me feeling extremely numb and cynical. So I’m listening to Eternally Even through ear muffs, viewing it through a grayscale lens. I know I’m supposed to be objective, and I don’t think this necessarily biases me against Jim James, who I generally like. But I feel responsible to … Read More
About a decade ago, it was decided that all games would be rpgs. So now every game has leveling mechanics. Every game has bars to fill up. It’s extremely rare to find a progression system in a game that isn’t basically an RPG progression system. You shoot guns to level up guns. You buy gear with money. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unless, of course, you’re an RPG. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an RPG. It’s an RPG’s RPG. But it’s living in a world of shooter RPGs and action game RPGs and sports game RPGs. And that’s … Read More
Hamilton Leithauser has a frayed rope of a voice. Like he just got done playing an entire show (plus encore) but now he’s gonna sing another couple ditties just for you and he isn’t gonna tone these puppies down none, no. He’s gonna go for the rafters again. What is a rafter but something to shake? This worked excellently in his old band, the Walkmen. They were the classiest group of disheveled NYC punks you ever saw, and they ended their career on a series of high notes that includes the wonderful album Heaven. Leithauser’s back now, but he’s paired … Read More
Preoccupations is out now, courtesy of Jagjaguwar.
Damien Jurado – Visions of Us on the Land Visions of Us on the Land is out now, courtesy of Secretly Canadian.
Metal Gear Solid V: A Metal Gear for a Modern Age I’ve had about 3 moments per mission in Metal Gear Solid V where I’ve thought “man, I wish I was recording this.” Of course, that’s always been true for the Metal Gear Solid series, obsessed as it is with sheer absurdity and surrealism. The older games are different though, their craziness encapsulated. The moments you end up wanting to share with others are cutscenes. The youtube videos that get passed around aren’t the ones showcasing gameplay, they’re the ones where dialogue is exchanged and shit hits the fan in extremely cinematic ways. V … Read More
Shoegaze is the eye in the center of the storm. A typical song in the genre will create a whirlwind of guitar noise and thunder, as loud as anything else, and then somehow find a cozy corner of that hurricane to chum around in. The boundary lines between shoegaze and other genres are constantly blurring and being redrawn, but it’s easy to get a feel for the “shoegaze sound”. Here are 15 songs that have helped make me the lifelong devotee I am today.