LISTENING

In the December LISTEN, WATCH, READ, I wrote about my new obsession with Swearin’ but I thought I should expand on that since this week I’ve been listening to them A LOT, and more than just “Kenosha” and “Irrational”.

I don’t know what it is about their sound that I’m so drawn to. Perhaps it’s the shared vocal duties of guitarists Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride. Perhaps it’s the Breeders-like sound, particularly the Pod and Last Splash era. I think it has to do with Crutchfield’s timbre and the effects on her vocals being similar to Kim Deal’s at times. (Consider: Swearin’s “Mermaid” and Breeders’ “Glorious”, or Swearin’s “What a Dump” and Breeders’ “When I Was A Painter”). Anyway, you might not see a connection there, but as I was listening this week I felt it. Additionally, Swearin’s lyrics are just awesome, in my opinion. Check them out for yourself.

 

WATCHING

I watched Never Get Tired, the Jeff Rosenstock / Bomb The Music Industry! documentary from Sara Crow as part of a podcast I’m doing with my friend Matt. So If you want to know how I feel about this film, listen to our podcast! But I’ll give you the gist here: it was really well done and definitely confirmed my suspicions that Jeff Rosenstock is a really good person, perhaps a genius, and that I should appreciate him and his music even if I don’t listen to it every day. Give the film a watch if you’re curious about DIY punk.

I also watched Hunt For The Wilderpeople (Waititi, 2016) and found it thoroughly entertaining. It wasn’t too unexpected but it felt very original and funny.

 

READING

Today I finished John Maclean‘s Fire On The Mountain, which is about the 1994 Storm King / South Canyon Fire, since it was recommended to me during my training in wildfire at the end of November. So far – over halfway through it – I really enjoy the book. In high school I had to read Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire about the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire that killed 13 young men. I remembered liking parts of that book but not others; Norman started more narrative-like and then spent the second part of the book investigating for himself. His son John, with Fire On The Mountain, spends the whole time blending narrative with investigative journalism-style writing making the book much more pleasant and digestible to read. It might also help that I now know what the terms and tools associated with firefighting mean. Would definitely recommend for those curious about wildfire and “natural disasters” (I put that in quotes because, as the beginning of the book explains, there were so many communication failures in the first few days of the fire and even within hours of the blow up that killed fourteen firefighters).

 

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