Aug 29, 2011


Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices
The Outside Room LP
Not Not Fun, 2011

The note left on the hotel window read, “I walk a lonely street.” He could well have been a record collector.

Record sluts like us contribute almost nothing to the arts aside, of course, from financial support in 10 and 20 dollar increments over a lifetime. It still seems like a ghastly descent into the hands of the artists, however much we love our dealers (and want them to love us). And, sure, when you consume at this quantity this urgently there are sure to be corners turned and miles marked. But look at me. I live like a memory junkie—sitting here, tipping back capfuls of Rabarbaro, listening to Lazy Smoke like I’m in some mid-afternoon TLC-produced reenactment of myself; a grim, flaxen-faced imagining of long-blown-out wilderness. In ear years, I feel more like 67 than 27. And when I start stuffing hearing aids in with wax- and dust-clotted fingers, I’ll know the buzz is over and a swamp of hum and crackle is beginning.

So, it is with the shake of a meth-wrinkled hand that I crook a thumb for Weyes Blood and the Dark Juices—though it’s probably more the shake from the initial unease of another Jackie-O Motherfucker alum spinning in my house. (Though, as Richard Belzer once recited, “Junkies will always pick quantity over quality.”—Ed.) This one beats the rap, though there were times I expected Hope Sandoval to hook a black widow nail around the corner and sing back-up. But it all worked out. Queasy waves of the dirty penny stench that emanates from all great heroin music are pooling all ‘round this LP and, for now, that’s all well and good. Hopefully, they’re just like me: shotgun, never steering. Nice to see Not Not Fun branching out into the Desertshore crowd!

Aug 28, 2011


J. D. Emmanuel
Trance-Formation 1: Ancient Minimal Meditations
(Aguirre Records ZORN14)

Somewhere in the Midwest of the 1980s is a lawn chair beside a card table in a basement, waiting for J.D. Emmanuel, hoping he’ll roll a save or go chaotic neutral; stay a little longer for taco-flavored corn chips and cold grape Nehi; cups his cheeks while his friends put on Bo Hansson, Deuter and Harmonia at the wrong speed; maybe tip back the bottle they found in the cupboard, adjusting the level with water to avoid suspicion; discuss the upgrade to the 20-sided die. But no.

He had to go off to that retreat, where the floors are dressed in thatch rugs and the breeze is free of mildew and Irish Spring, and an old man plays a sweaty flute. To be fair, things didn’t go totally wrong. J.D.’s still J.D. somehow somewhere. I’m just not sure about the crowd he’s running with.