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APE AND TACO

*DISCLAIMER: This site has nothing to do with apes or tacos, except in the broad sense that I am a human that eats tacos, and as a human, I am an ape.

Listen, Watch, Read: March 5th, 2017

LISTENING

ars Paradoxica is an autofiction podcast that’s pretty fun. It’s about an American quantum physicist in the 21st century who builds a device that accidentally transports her back in time to WWII. She’s taken by the American government and sent to work on her time device as part of the war effort. At times it’s kind of hokey and feels more like an old-timey radio drama than some of the other audiofiction podcasts I listen to, but the writing invested me early on in the journey of the main character (Dr. Sally Grissolm), so I’m in!

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Listen, Watch, Read: February 26th, 2017

LISTENING

Vivian Girls. I’d heard of them before but never really listened to their stuff. Their name comes from a novel written reclusive custodian/artist Henry Darger. Their sound makes me think of: if three Salem witches had been given a guitar, bass, and drums, some effects pedals, and huge amps and told to thrash and then they escaped burning at the stake because their music time traveled them to the 2000s. Maybe that’s because of songs like “Sixteen Ways.” (Other creepy-tinged songs include “I Heard You Say” and “My Baby Wants Me Dead”).

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Sex & Death & Water & Food & Sleep

It’s weird that we only talk about the last three (water & food & sleep) when all five are intrinsic to the human machine. Why is that?

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Listen, Watch, Read: February 19th, 2017

LISTENING

I listened to nothing new, I’m afraid. Mostly just basking in bands I’ve already mentioned like La Luz, Angel Olsen, and Chastity Belt.

WATCHING

Open TV is a web series platform empowering queer, trans*and cis-women artists of color to produce and distribute indie series. I had heard about the show Brown Girls from some online blog and went to a screening of the pilot along with two other Open TV productions (Afternoon Snatch and Brujos). So last week I binged a bunch of their shows. Well really only three, but that feels like a bunch. But since they’re web series (not more than 8 five to ten minute episodes in a season) you don’t feel that guilty for steamrolling through them all. Except for the fact that now you’ve got to wait at least a year for another ~30 minutes of content. DAMN MAINSTREAM MEDIA WHY CAN’T YOU GIVE THESE MARGINALIZED CREATORS MONEY TO PRODUCE THEIR CONTENT!

Continue reading “Listen, Watch, Read: February 19th, 2017”

Listen, Watch, Read: February 12th, 2017

LISTENING

WITCH, the Zamrock band from the 1970s. I love Spotify and I know Spotify has hurt artists (because it’s a streaming service that doesn’t pay artists a lot), but I love it so much. I’ve discovered so much music I probably never would’ve heard. Like WITCH, the Zamrock band from the 1970s. Zamrock is Zambian rock, which I didn’t even know existed (obviously I knew Zambian’s made rock music, but I didn’t know there was a name to it besides rock).  When I first heard the track “Like a Chicken” I assumed it was a modern garage-rock band from SoCal comprised of white boys. It sounds old, but a lot of bands today are emulating the effects of older rock music. Then when I tried to find more of their music, I learned that WITCH is a Zamrock band from the 1970s. WITCH stands for “WE INTEND TO CAUSE HAVOC,” which is the best f**king name, in my opinion.

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Live in Chicago: AJJ, Joyce Manor, Priests

Saw two concerts recently and thought I should write about them since this blog is probably 75% music commentary at this point.

My friend Matt told me about this Joyce Manor show he was going to and I thought: why not?!?*

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Listen, Watch, Read: January 29th, 2017

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.

Continue reading “Listen, Watch, Read: January 29th, 2017”

Listen, Watch, Read: January 22nd, 2017

LISTENING

Wimps are a band from Seattle. I read a review that likened them to Devo and there’s definitely reason for comparison there. I’d heard of them before and kind of glossed over their music for some reason. Can’t remember why now considering how last week I stumbled on their Live on Pressure Drop TV YouTube video and was completed sucked into their aesthetic. It’s like comedic, self-depricating, angular post-punk. It works. Perhaps it’s my current mindset, but I just dig it. I blast “Dog Pills” and “Repeat” and “Couches” and “Vampire” and “Hello Frustration” in my car and sing along. The lyrics seem cathartic. I even taught myself how to play “Dog Pills” (I don’t even do drugs, I don’t know why this song resonates so much with me).  I concede it’s not everyone’s kind of music, but the joy and fun they seem to have while playing makes me really wish they’d tour in Chicago again sometime soon so that I can attend a show and totally vibe off their energy. My only dilemma right now is should I buy a Wimps shirt?

 

WATCHING

They Call Us Monsters (Lear, 2017) is a documentary about teens convicted of violent crimes being tried and sentenced as adults. It follows three guys – Antonio, Jarad, and Juan – who enroll in a screenwriting class while in prison waiting for their trials. I suppose the idea of the film is similar to one I watched a few weeks ago – The Act of Killing – in which the creative process may invoke some introspection, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, etc.. And certainly it seems like it does to a certain extent, however at times the screenwriting component to the film seems contrived. The films most affecting sequences are the ones captured in the courtroom when everything ceases being fodder for a fictional script their writing and becomes the harsh reality for these kids.

 

READING

I finished When Breath Becomes Air and really must recommend it. It’s so beautifully written. It’s so moving. I cried reading the last few pages. I didn’t want to put it down, but it was over.

Heart / Clock

When I was in Taipei, I was a part of the Taipei Writers Group and wrote a story for their fourth anthology Twisted Fairy Tales for Adults. And since they’ve got the Taipei International Book Exhibition coming up and will be plugging their books, I figured I’d plug the book virtually on my blog!

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I’ve been thinking about the story I wrote in that anthology a lot lately, perhaps because I’m stressed and the story is about stress and how our minds and bodies handle stress. Or perhaps because I’ve been thinking it would make a good audio fiction piece and I’m wondering how to go about doing that (write the script, find some actors, go record… it doesn’t seem that hard…).

“Heart / Clock” is about a woman who is overworked and letting the stress get to her. Then one morning she wakes up and sees her heart on her bedside table. Her alarm clock is ticking inside her chest. Check it out and the other fabulous modern fairy tales in the collection.

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