LISTENING

Priests. A DC punk band. I first heard them last fall when they were the music guest on the Chris Gethard Show episode with special guest stars Sleater-Kinney. I was like, this seems pretty cool. Checked out their Bandcamp and made a playlist of their stuff on Spotify, and I was like this is pretty good. Slowly, it grew on me. And then I started following their tumblr and realized how cool they are, as in, how thoughtful/intellectual their music is.

Firstly, you can check out all their lyrics here. Check out, in particular: “USA (Incantations)” (“Unless you are a rich, land-owning, cisgender, heterosexual white man-man-man through and through, things were always bad for you here.”) Or, “Modern Love / No Weapon,” with references to poet Diane Wakoski and the Modern Loves’ song “I’m Straight.”

Secondly, they are “into the idea of neutralizing incredibly gendered language patterns that exist,” and thus each of them is cool with being referred to as “they/them/their.”

Thirdly, this was their reading list at one point: Against Interpretation & Other Essays by Susan Sontag, We’ll Be Here For The Rest Of Our Lives: A Swingin’ Showbiz Saga by Paul Shaffer, Nevada by Imogen Binnie, What Do You Say After You Say Hello by Eric Berne, Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza by Colin Atrophy Hagendorf, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color (4th ed) edited by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa, Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

I think sometimes you can listen to some artists and be skeptical of the intention behind the sound. Are these artists making art or craft? I appreciate music that is on the crafty-side, but it definitely occupies a different space in my mental discography. There’s thought and purpose that goes beyond the individual in these Priest songs and I appreciate it because it allows me to invest more thought in their songs as well.

Fave tracks: “Leave Me Alone,” “And Breeding,” “New.”

 

WATCHING

Welcome to Me (Piven, 2015). Directed by Shiva Piven. Starring Kristen Wiig. I’d seen this floating around in my Netflix recommendeds, but was apprehensive about it. Then I read this lengthy-but-worth-it article about female directors in Hollywood and noticed this film was on the list of good, recent films by female directors, so I was like, “I should watch this.” GLAD I DID. It’s not amazing, but as always Kristen Wiig brings a unique balance of comedy and drama to roles such that you can’t envision anyone else playing it better. It has a very Truman Show (Weir, 1998) and/or Synecdoche, New York  (Kaufman, 2008) vibe. The premise is: a mentally ill woman, recently off her meds and addicted to Oprah and infomercials, wins the lottery and creates her own show at her favorite infomercial studio. But the show becomes this weird thing where she does a lot of reenacting of past moments in her life as a sort of self-therapy. And also she neuters dogs on television. It’s very strange. But also very funny.

 

READING

NOTHING. Besides web articles and news feeds and other dumb things. I should read more. I’ve been busy and not prioritizing reading every night. I really want to read Carrie Brownstein‘s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, but want a physical copy (not an e-book version) and I doubt they sell it in Taiwan…

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