I’m a little late to post this, but since I didn’t really listen to, watch, or read anything last week (February 5th, 2017) we’ll kind of just let this stand in for that.

LISTENING

The new Priests record Nothing Feels Natural came out and literally the day it came out I woke up in the middle of the night and listened to it. I didn’t need to listen to it in the middle of the night (it came out in daytime) but I woke up and had nothing to do and then realized that the new Priests record came out, so I listened to it.

At first I wasn’t really digging it, but perhaps that’s because it was the middle of the night and I wanted to be sleeping, but couldn’t sleep. Regardless, the next day I listened to it while at the gym and it grew on me to the point that I just listened to the whole album on repeat for several hours.

There are so many great tracks in the album, and also a greater range of sounds than previous albums. Like the first track “Appropriate,” which features saxophone work that immediately made me think of the Olivia Neutron-John’s “INJURY TRAIN AND I’M NEVER GETTING OFF” / “VULNERABILITY” record I heard a couple years ago. This didn’t surprise me as both ON-J and Priests are based in D.C. and in fact they’ll tour together in the Southwest in a bit!

Other tracks I enjoyed were “Suck,” which sounds island/disco-y and “Nothing Feels Natural.” “Pink White House” recalls most similarly the feeling of their previous album Bodies and Control and Money and Power – noisy, poppy, and critical of the political landscape. However, my favorite track is “Jj” which feels almost surf-poppish until the bridge.

Priests are on tour now so I would recommend checking out their schedule and hitting up one of their shows! They’re great live. SO MUCH ENERGY.

 

WATCHING

Something, I’m sure. But I can’t remember. A movie, maybe? A TV show? Whatever.

 

READING

I started re-reading Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler. I read it freshman year of high school and found it really intriguing. It’s one of those books that keeps hold of you after you finish it. In this case, it’s even kept hold of me six years later. It’s told in second person. The author is speaking to “you, the reader,” which can seem gimmicky, but it’s not because the book is an exploration of meaning in texts and the relationship between author and reader. It’s about “you” trying to read If on a winter’s night a traveler but having to stop because the book is manufactured wrong. You go to buy a complete copy but find out the book you were reading was not actually If on a winter’s night a traveler, but another book, so you go in search of that one, but you constantly have to stop because the book you’re always trying to get for some reason is never complete. It’s a wild goose chase. The exploits of you trying to read the book and interspersed with segments of the book you’re trying to read, each one with it’s own style.

To be honest, I started re-reading it because I want to adapt it into a film (despite the fact that I am not a filmmaker), which is ridiculous because the book is ridiculous! Told in second person for over half of it and constantly interspersing these disconnected bits of other books.

As I began re-reading, the thing I found most frustrating was the male gaze in the book. Hugely present, which for some reason my 18-year-old mind didn’t pick up on, probably because I hadn’t yet been exposed to feminist interpretations of pop culture. But anyway, it ticked me off and got me thinking about a question I’d posed a while back about male gaze vs. female gaze. I think a filmic adaptation probing this idea of gaze could be interesting.

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