Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Personal Short

When you died I collected everything you had made on the dining room table and there was so much that I had to use the living room rug and sofa also and I didn't know if you made those things for me or for someone I didn't know and if that was true if it was me.

Personal Short

You found it in the street and brought it home with you. Your home no longer belonged to you, but to it.

Personal Short

That someone in the world in the world listened and again, listened to "I can't get no satisfaction" and thought, while staring at the ceiling or making out with a familiar man thinking, that's me, or, alternately, you mean, any satisfaction. Cannot get any.

Personal Short

When I was young I saw nothing but you and now that I'm old I see nothing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Personal Short (Against)

Against the window the city was framed against the window was the city and framed was what a building built falling out of frame of window against the city framed behind the building. I was framed by the window from the building, the city, window frame.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Article theft

I found this to be interested reading. It was lifted from Pitchfork's end of decade music retrospective. I knew I liked Matmos. (Bands were asked to do a top ten from the last ten years.)

"Drew Daniel, Matmos
Photo by David Serotte

People Who Died: Nine Deaths from an Unfinished Decade

These are people who died. Some are famous enough to have already merited orgies of public mourning and some are not. Celebrity death lists trivialize what makes people worth knowing about, creating a false equivalence of "noteworthiness" that levels down the difference in cultural significance between, say, Rosa Parks and Pat Morita. Risking that, these deaths marked the cancellation of something that mattered to us (Matmos) as a band and/or to me as a music fan, and I'm going to try to say what each death subtracted from the mostly finished decade that we've just experienced. Accordingly, this is not a "top ten" but a negative nine.

Edward Gorey:
I stumbled onto Edward Gorey's work as a child, demanding that my parents shell out big bucks for the poster-sized collection of his drawings of the sets and costumes for his New York City ballet adaptation of "Dracula". I was smitten by his elegant, spidery world of kohl-eyed ballerinas and Edwardian aristocrats who seemed to disappear into their fur coats amid the Imperial clutter of endless dark estates. Only later did I get the nasty punchlines hidden inside his work, stances which the silly violence and the stagy, unreal despair only hint at obliquely. In his work the creepy and the ridiculous coincide-- a very easy trick to describe but very difficult to pull off well, as the derivative trash that pays homage to him now indicates (The Corpse Bride, anyone?). If we are now living in a decade in which goth aesthetics have scored a Pyrrhic victory and in the process surrendered any genuinely critical edge (consider: the Twilight franchise, "True Blood", Hot Topic, etc.), then Gorey's death this decade looks awfully symbolic. He was the last Goth who mattered.

You probably noticed that a lot of amazing singers died this decade. I won't play favorites but will console myself with the idea of a "We Are the AfterWorld" style choir in which Julie London, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Celia Cruz, Blossom Dearie, Odetta, June Carter Cash, Ray Charles, Syd Barrett, Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes, and Luther Vandross all take turns killing it. Heaven must have an insane karaoke bar rave-up going right now.

Among this bitter harvest Aaliyah's loss felt the cruelest because, unlike those acknowledged and sanctified greats, one feels that she had yet to truly peak when she crashed. She radiated potential energy, and had the once-in-a-generation pop career that promised to keep transforming itself, turning into something rich and strange. If Timbaland has had ample opportunities since to demonstrate his production prowess with other singers, there's no question for me that his peaks with Aaliyah remain the defining goosebump inducing pop-music-right-now-is-so-awesome moments of the last fifteen years. The empty space of the virtual catalog that might have been still aches.

Roger Vadim:
Many people who inspired our band died this decade. It's certain that we would not even exist were it not for the work of, say, Robert Moog (mass produced analogue synthesizers), Les Paul (multi-track recording), Martin Denny (spooky pop instrumental mood music)... The list could go on. But I have to single out Roger Vadim as a particular source of inspiration.

In a decade in which Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni died, why pause to mourn a creepy wifeswapping hack like Vadim? Sometimes the trashy and the minor figures make something that touches you more deeply than the acknowledged masters and Criterion Collection certified great artists, and for me, Roger Vadim's film Barbarella is foundational. It transcends kitsch and offers a design for living: music (those fuzz guitars! That Bob Crewe generation theme song!), clothing (that peekaboo plastic bra! Ugo Tognazzi's fur suit!), design and architecture (the fonts! The sets! The spaceship!), sexuality (Q: "What are you smoking?" A: "The essence of man."), philosophy (Jane Fonda asking "why would anybody want to invent a weapon?"). We love it so much we named our band after the Matmos, the sentient psychedelic goo beneath the city of Sogo that "feeds on human evil". While we're at it, let's pour one out for Barbarella's oily, chiseled hunk of man-flesh, John Philip Law, who played the blind angel Pygar. He too died this decade, and if you don't know his oeuvre, go rent "Danger: Diabolik"." Repeat after me: "An angel doesn't make love, an angel IS love."

Bo Diddley:
A few years ago my partner M.C. Schmidt and I were asked to play a Matmos concert at the Fondation Cartier in Paris as part of an exhibition about 1950s rock and roll. Since we make weird conceptual electronic music we were kind of baffled as to why we were even asked (such are the vagaries of European arts funding), but we immediately knew that in this context the only sincere and heartfelt response was to focus entirely on Bo Diddley, a musician we both adore. Everybody loves "Mona" and "Pills", but have you heard the comedy records where he tells the dozens with his sidekick? Seek out the Chess boxset immediately.

We built some "diddley bows", the African-American monochord folk instruments from which he flipped his stagename, and then played his eponymous anthem "Bo Diddley" nonstop for 45 minutes, much to the exhaustion of the two Parisian friends that we talked into playing that shaker rhythm on the front of the stage unceasingly. I'm sure guitar players could say far more than I about the secret mojo of that inimitably gnarled, tremolo-ed-into-next week swampy guitar tone, but from my perspective Bo Diddley offers electronic beat-makers a lesson in the lifechanging, hallucinatory possibility of a simple, elegant pattern. Boom Boom Boom, bap bap x infinity. The beat goes on.

Michael Jackson:
I mean no particular disrespect to the Niagara Falls of sentiment poured out over Michael Jackson's death when I point out that it contains more than a few trace elements of hypocrisy and schadenfreude. For some listeners at least, Jackson's death functions symbolically as a kind of "just punishment" for the now-forever-unresolved pederastic crimes he stood accused of for so long. For these people he can seem to be both a martyr to public curiosity and, yet covertly he is now also someone who finally paid in death a debt that his acquittal of the legal charges left irritatingly outstanding. Many people who acted sad about his death were in fact relieved by it: Now he wasn't around to survive and age further and embarrass himself/us by getting in the way of the nostalgic investment in childhood that his art makes so wonderfully portable.

I loved his music and I loved its shameless pleasure principle, but I winced as much as anyone else at the permanent distortion induced by the radioactive decay of child-stardom. Many years ago I bought his autobiography "Moonwalk" and read it in search of ironic hipster chuckles, only to be blindsided by the genuine pathos of his weirdly needy behavior (i.e. the anecdote about MJ locking an employee who is phobically afraid of snakes in a room with his pet boa constrictor). If we gawk at his gestures with a mixture of longing and censure, that says more about us than it does about him. When you're done reading the lyrics to "Morphine" and speculating about his life, I recommend that you listen to him sing "Butterflies" and think about his art.

John Balance & Karlheinz Stockhausen:
Once, backstage at the Sonar festival in Barcelona I witnessed a meeting that taught me a bit about the scalar logic of admiration. As does happen at these starstudded European festivals, I was nervously meeting in person a musician I had idolized from afar since I was teenager: John Balance, the visionary mystic singer for the industrial occult group Coil. Balance (nee Geff Rushton) and his partner Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson were my romantic and artistic ideal: a queer couple who made esoteric, powerfully ambitious, and uncompromising work together. A lifeline for me as a teenage closet case, they were my best case scenario for what I wanted in my own life, and now they were right there in front of me. When I met Balance, he turned out to be entirely free of otherworldly trappings and sinister fogbanks but was in fact a friendly, sweet, and approachable sprite.

It also turned out that he too was bubbling over with nervous energy, because he in turn was about to meet a musician he had idolized since he was a teenager: the Grand Old Man of experimental modernist composition, Karlheinz Stockhausen. After the composer, clad entirely in white, finished majestically diffusing a spatialized multi-channel live mix of his musique-concrete masterpiece "Hymnen", I watched Balance nervously meet and greet with Stockhausen, replicating my shy introduction to Coil but at a higher order of sidereal magnitude. Coil informed Stockhausen that they regarded him as already an honorary member of the group, a fervid compliment that Stockhausen accepted with an aura of serene gratitude. This enfant terrible of high academic elektronisches muzik was gracious in person, happy to talk about tiny details of source recordings for his early works with shy and not-so-shy admirers such as myself, and clearly comfortable on Planet Earth despite his stellar origins.

The fact that John Balance and Karlheinz Stockhausen are both now dead makes this memory of witnessing their brief meeting particularly precious to me, and it also makes me feel unbearably old on the other side of this decade. In both cases, there is still much that is left unfinished by their departures from this planet: the Stockhausen magnum opus weeklong "Licht" cycle remains to be performed in its entirety, with several sections still un-premiered. John Balance was growing more stable and productive as he tried to wrestle with his demons of alcohol and depression, and if the late work of Coil is an index, he had a great deal left to transmit. Their deaths were grievous losses for experimental music, and I can only hope that, in the lines of a Coil lyric, "they walk serene / in spaces between."

"Bimble" was the handle of someone I interacted with online. If it is not quite right to say that I even knew Bimble, it's not quite right to say that I didn't just because we only typed things at each other. I knew that Bimble was passionate about post-punk, about divas, about queerness, about argument, and I came to savor the informed, juicy opinions (and completely over-the-top rants and tirades) that he posted and posted and posted on the internet discussion boards I Love Music and I Love Everything. When I learned through ILX of Bimble's recent death by suicide, it showed up for me as a new kind of experience: the ghostly negative space left in the wake of the all too real death of a virtual, web-based acquaintance. Many of us take part in online discussions now without ever meeting our associates, endless flickering symposiums of chit chat spiced by occasional trolling, brutal snubs, darted zings and decisive bans. No less than files and images and links, all kinds of affective charges flow through these spaces: people encourage and inspire and connect with each other, and they bait and torment one another, online as in offline, world without end.

As the years of this last decade have gone by, our emotional and psychic lives are increasingly ported into the shared spaces of networks, and their transparency across platforms and across geographic distances can lead us to tacitly succumb to the "digital = immaterial" sophistry of bygone cyber-utopias (so 90s), beliefs that we don't actually hold but which still underwrite our sense of etiquette about what is and isn't part of the so-called "real world". But if our web-life offers escape routes and avenues of outreach that sidestep material boundaries, Bimble's departure from the discussion boards and subsequent suicide enforces a painful sense of limitation. Nobody needs reminding that web life is supported and contained by Real Life, and it risks the height of disrespect to treat Bimble's real death as thinkpiece blog fodder. But on a space like Pitchfork, a site which, if it means anything, means that people's overwrought, a little-too-passionate online views about music are worth transmitting and reading and thinking about, this also feels like the right place to honor him. RIP "Bimble". Now go and listen to some Section 25 and Fra Lippo Lippi.

Jacques Derrida
Maybe it makes for an easy target to mourn Derrida on Pitchfork at all, but it would be dishonest of me to not include him out of pseudo-populism. I saw Derrida speak at Oxford when I was an undergraduate there and the atmosphere of pilgrimage surrounding his visit was electric, suffused with a worshipful fervor that makes perfect sense in the context of, say, musical fanculture, but which is rarely displayed so nakedly in the austere realms of critical theory. His death was the same kind of blow to the intellectual life of a decade that the nearly paired deaths of Levinas and Deleuze produced in the mid-1990s. Derrida's death offered many things: A sudden pause for thought as the political and ethical turns of his late work came to dominate the discussion of what he had been up to all along, a relief from the pressure of his insistently self-transforming voice, and a void into which opportunists poured in to appropriate and eulogize, while institutions squabbled over the rights to the archive and the estate.

The ugly NY Times obituary with its cretinous carping only proved that Derrida's work still annoyed and escaped capture: it remains easier to dismiss the half-read than to do the work of reading, easier to claim that the undigested is indigestible than to train yourself to engage with difficulty. I'm going to let Derrida have the last word: "This is what must be enunciated, this is what must be recalled, for at stake is an act of memory- this is what must engage memory in the present, in the presence of the dead, if that can be said; for however difficult this remains to say (Cicero will agree: difficillius dictu est, mortui vivunt), the dead live and the absent are present." (Politics of Friendship, 95). Amen."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The moment before--

The tension of the beat and never following through with an event-maybe the rap is the event?-the beat slides back and churns on itself, never progressing beyond the absolute, the sustained moment of waiting for the next. A perfect, horror filled video, all suspension. All suspense holds a terror. The context transforms it. All is in transit, almost unaware of the next thing, but also linked with the next, inevitable thing. The image occurs as if the image before it has not, but the thing before it buoys it forward (all suspense!) and when the music changes into the triumphant "I know I'd rather complain" (I believed, until I looked up the lyrics, that this song said 'I'm in love / rollercoaster.' Ah, slippery language) all surges forward, and you are ready for it and it is a payoff that does and does not. And maybe it is only the silence at the end that works as the payoff and the release.

I also love "every little defect gets respect."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Personal Short (6/23)

How long it has been, you say, of course we are not the same. I say, not physically. You say, I think with some wistfulness, what happened to what you removed from me. I say, again, we needed a place to stay. You stop the film and I stop it. I take the film into the street and burn it.

Personal Short (Unknown)

I envy the walk you make daily, nightly to and from your home and that you are alone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Aloha, my gentleman . . .

"Aloha, my gentleman!

The most important thing a man can do for
his woman is to show
the love to her...
I like optimistic people who smiles
even when something is going wrong.
That is what I am always trying to be.
I believe that true love exists
and perfect relations between men and women
are possible. I am sure my
soul mate is looking for me and we will
be happy together. I want him
always to take care of me, to be
kind and honest, loving and tender.
I am of that kind of people who like making
small miracles for their
beloved. I like traveling and I hope
my soul mate to share my hobby.
Theatre is my passion! I dreamed to be
an actress but it did not come true.
Now it is just my hobby. I
also enjoy listening to music, watching
movies, dancing.
I am fond of cooking, and I do it
perfectly. I like to be at home
and to make it cosy. I am fond of flowers
and animals and I want to have a
lot of flowers in my future
house. I would like to find a strong,
intelligent, patient, faithful
man. I want to meet a man who
would not betray me one day.
He must be so loving, so
kind hearted and so tender that I
could not imagine my life without him.
Take a look at me

Do svidaniya

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recipe for Rice Casserole

"Put in a pot rice and grated cheese, which is very good, and salt; and stir everything well. And then put with that as much broth as seems to you to be enough, that is concentrated broth of meat. And put on top whatever meat you desire, and cook it in the oven. And when it is nearly cooked, take it out and put slices of fresh cheese on top, and egg yolks and spices. And then return it to the oven and finish cooking. And when it is cooked, serve it on plates or in bowls, whichever you desire more."

--from the Manual de Mugeres

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Dutch I cannot speak
and Spanish I cannot.
English I cannot speak
and German.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I really love this.

Eat your heart out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pirate Television.

Found in my apartment, worried that it would vanish, that it would not be there when I returned to document it, that whoever was transmitting this thing to me would simply not--

The theme that I see is danger, plea for help, the things waiting out of frame, the colors of their substance betraying them, escape, transformation.

This is love.

This is the shivery stuff of my backshelf nightmares.

Reposted from Who Killed Bambi?

Monday, March 30, 2009

A rumor.

The site will be the Hollywood Bowl. The players? Of Montreal, Grace Jones. My heart? Exploded with joy and with everything this world is capable of.

I must, I must, I must.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Study for Veronika's Jacket.

Acryllic on found wood panel (found painting on reverse), 2009.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wanted: Special Man

Good day, gentleman

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky...but why, why can't it be mine? I want to become your sky and want you to be my star, which is called Sun! I am modest, active, energetic,fair, tender, feminine. I like contrast and being filled with positive emotions.I am a good housekeeper and I like traveling. If you want to know more you'll have to ask!

Warm hugs
Olli A.

(100th post! Woo!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Found in the Rain

I went walking yesterday with a friend I hadn't seen in years and we encountered a box. There was rain in it and books.

I opened to this page:

"I know why
your belly's soft,
because so many men
have pressed against it
and into it. [. . .]

I shove my life
. . . . . . . . . deep into yours
until the melting
and the melding
brings us both so close
that cross or crowbar
will remain unable
to divide us."

from and to each season . . . , Rod McKuen

Horror is all around us, waiting to be opened up and exposed to the air.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Personal Short #15

Causality drove me from door to door begging for a telephone. No one answered but I could hear some whimpering beast shaking each knob. I couldn't know why I needed to call. There would be the tones of the keys in my ear and ringing, a person in the room crying on the floor pulling herself away and into and through the open door to a kitchen, a hallway. I would hear you pick up and say, hello? Is it you?

Personal Short #14

The damage from the flood was most severe when I spoke of it.

Personal Short #13

You told me you had broken a rib. I did not move. You said I woke up and I was this way.

Personal Short #12

The structure has been made in a way to harm he who stands beneath it. O how I love to stand beneath it. I imagine the nose sheared away. I imagine my grinning skull. I fit this way so well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Personal Short #11

We were attacked in the cab. You could see in his eyes that he had been taken. The cab slowed and you pushed the door open, nearly fell out. You left a shoe. You slammed the door. I said to the eyes in the mirror, here, you can stop here and I'll get out. The cab kept moving, stopping at lights and it passed over the quiet seats. I locked my eyes on the deserted mirror and I though how are we moving and I heard him on the seat and I kept my eyes away.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Personal Short #10

When I fell on the ice on the sidewalk you didn't notice, but walked forward steadily, you didn't need to look down and you continued without me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Action for Facebook (lost and found)

Search for names on Facebook. Select those names on Facebook that have no friends. Erase all your other friends. Wait and wait for your new, potential friends to accept your friendship, though do not be concerned if they ignore your request. Relish those who do accept you for you. In this way be the only friend to these people. In this way be a collector of unique, if not rare, specimens. Care for and wonder after these who accepted your offer of friendship.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Watch for the Ebony Deer.

Like I needed another reason to love Fever Ray. First video:

If I Had A Heart from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

Thanks to Mashaney for the tip that led me to Who Killed Bambi? which led me to the video.

Personal Short #9

I am sure, but I am curious.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Action for Facebook (Not Illegal)

Find a photograph that you admire of an acquaintance on Facebook, perhaps a person you have never met. Tag that photo with your name, so that your admiration will always be linked with that photograph. So that somehow what you admire is transferred to you and strangers looking at the photograph will wonder who you are, to have tagged a picture of a styrofoam tray of silver minnows' heads with your name. Repeat until you are satisfied, until you have, in some part, changed.

The Age of Silver

The Second Phase of Sound from "Bambi's Long Journey into Night"

1. Melodies and Desires / Lykke Li
2. She's Having a Baby / The Knife
3. Plastis Wafer / of Montreal
4. Shoot Your Shot / Divine
5. Girls of War / Die Monitr Batss
6. Charge Of The Vivian Girls / Snagglepuss
7. Shake it to the Ground / DJ Blaqstar (feat. Rye Rye)
8. Hundredaire (Let U Go) / Hey Willpower
9. Tigers in the Fire / love grenades
10. Smile Upon Me / Passion Pit
11.I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar / Jonathan Richman
12. I Got A Thing / Silver, Platinum & Gold (Disco Re-Edit By Dimitri from Paris richard Jones, Andrae Moore)
13. The Lucky One (James Yulli Remix) / Au Revoir Simone
14.How Dark Is Your Dark Side / His Name Is Alive
15.Rolling Down The Hills / Glass Candy
16.Dans la merco benz / Benjamin Biolay
17. silver horse / Yoko Ono

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recent Found Objects

Personal Short #8 (The Victim)

I walked over an overpass and I was going to fall from it. Then I was not allowed to cross bridges. I couldn't sit in a chair. My life, like this, turned hostile.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it."

"But what she noticed first was a bright red wooden tray with a number of rings on it. They were in pairs-- a yellow one and a green one together, then a little space, and then another yellow one and another green one. They were no bigger than ordinary rings, and no one could help noticing them because they were so bright. They were the most beautifully shiny little things you can imagine. If Polly had been a very little younger she would have wanted to put one in her mouth."

The Magician's Nephew, C. S. Lewis.

I love the way this leads up to the final sentence which is perfect and accurate, because by the end of the paragraph, the words have become so delicious, I want to be Polly and slip the shiny little ring in my mouth too. The genius of "a very little younger!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Personal short #7

I saw in the mirror looking at the face a face that was mine and after I was done looking it stayed after me looking after me until I was gone and it was done.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Personal Short #6

I was leaning back and she was looking at me in the face, not unkindly. She said you don't have to get rid of it but it will always give you trouble.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Note on Music.

"Music is the ferment of a particular sensitivity, very acute, as much as, and even more than, passion itself. It is a danger, a benefit for the person who knows how to take it.

I mean that its charm is irresistible, and one escapes in spirit with it so promptly into a better world, so that sometimes, without deliberation or reasoning, one can postpone the accomplishment of certain tedious acts necessary to us: 'Martha, Martha. I have never forgotten you, and I love you more than Mary. It is she who turns me away from you at her hour when she comes. I do not call her.'"

To Myself, Odilon Redon 1900

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Personal Short # 5

The dog wouldn't stop barking. I couldn't read without it barking at every paragraph break. You said you didn't feed it any more. You said you didn't know how it got in and you didn't know why it wouldn't go away.

Personal Short #4

I trained to do it. I trained by thinking and thinking.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If only she knew.

"Aloha, my friend

My happiness! I ask you, answer me!
I’m absolutely adequate and cheerful person. But the thing is that I’m working much, sometimes even too much and because of it I’m lack of men attention. I’m catastrophically out of time for my private life and to build my own happiness. That is why I have to use power and might of the modern life – Internet. My only desire is to find a Man, the real and desired one. But otherwise this is not an end in itself. In man I appreciate the good sense of humor and even can forbid some shortcomings if he will be able to make me laugh. Do you want me to cook for you? You are right!
My dishes will effect you! Do you want to have pretty woman nearby? You will be dazzeled by my beauty. Believe me, I am your treasure!"