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Thursday, November 23, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
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+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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Shipping News
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Three-Four
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Monday, February 24, 2003

Dear Journal,

I have erred. I called Rachel 10 times today, weeping uncontrollably throughout each repeated dialing. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry — that I'm an idiot and I should have never left my good thing. Through choked-back tears I barely made audible my pain before hearing each click fall harder than a chopping block axe.

It was the music that did this to me. I was fine in my self-delusion until Shipping News made me realize that one can never go home again. The knot in my stomach started within the first few opening chords of "Sickening Bridge versus Horrible Bed." I have never heard a slide guitar sound so insincere as when it plays accompaniment to such lyrics as "Why do you think things will change now that you're free, you hit the wall, then stop, just for one moment then stop, and now you can't rely on the sickening bridge you've built." Add to this the smattering of "Oh"s and other plaintive and guttural sounds, and one has a recipe for sickness that only comes about with the deepest kind of regret.

A brief respite from this languid realization was nearly had though, as "Haunted on Foot" reminded me for a moment of the good old days of droning chords juxtaposed with suspense-appeasing moments of hellish noise. Though the latter never came, the former certainly made its presence felt, as a propulsive rhythm led the way towards a brighter — and by that I mean musically darker and more interesting — future.

Alas, the musical future, much like my own, was not to be realized as imagined. "Paper Lanterns" dashed all hopes of retribution as the repetitive and boring, albeit heavy, percussive element beat forth a simple rhythm buried beneath pointless guitar noodling that lasted well past its welcome. The only salve the song offers is that the lyrics, offering such irrelevant nuggets of thought as "paper flies into the air, hard with bitumen and ice, it's no use, it's not there, so long so undiscovered, somnambulist," are thankfully buried deep within the mix.

The album is so heavy with its own pretense that even slight returns to the enjoyable elements of post-rock — a particular guitar slide reminiscent of Slint or later Mogwai — quickly devolve into a mere exercise in past glory, like watching an athlete well past their prime trying to compete with the next generation. "Haymaker," "Dogs" and "You Can't Hide the Mark Inside" are all enjoyable songs in their own right, but they do not bring back the figure of the music from the old days, only causing the memories of those songs to be tarnished in light of what they would later "inspire." I wish I could have heeded the same warning that Shipping News must have heard: to not attempt to turn back the clock, and just allow oneself to grow older with dignity. Flirting with "new" sounds such as the electronic fumbling on "We Start to Drift," or the straight folk of "Variegated," no doubt leaves other listeners feeling just as empty as that hussy Bunny has left me for three days now, taking all of my money, and moving in with her ex-boyfriend.

Even relatively good experiments with different sounds — such as the faster-paced "Wax Museum," with its Latin beat and metallic clang, and the straightforward rocker "The Architect in Hell" — sound like too little too late. The fact is that no imitation of youth is a good as youth itself, and good can only come of reflection upon and satisfaction with one's current condition. Shipping News cannot lay claim to their former life, any more than I can return to my formative years. Hopefully from this album the band will realize what I had to learn the difficult way, that changing with age is not a bad thing, but a necessity in order to fully appreciate all that life has to offer. My consequences are already irreversible, but they are still an excellent band, capable of appreciably wiser decisions in the future.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Dear Journal,

The divorce was declared final today. Rachel and I are no longer husband and wife, and I have never felt freer. I feel so good in fact that I quit my job at the law firm, bought a little red Corvette, and promptly began dating a girl from the local Hooters named Bunny. The kids seem to take to her well, James especially because she apparently dated the young coach of his baseball team a few years back.

My regimen of sit-ups, running, and lifting weights everyday is beginning to pay off. Yesterday, I actually fit into my size 32 jeans that I wore in high school. Bunny was so proud of me. I can definitely feel my strength returning to me. I feel like I could scale a mountain, play a professional sport, and run a thousand miles all in one day.

I felt so good today that I even stopped in the local record store, so I could get back into the music scene I left behind in the early 1990s for the "boring" life. I asked the clerk about this old band I used to listen to, and he told me to check out their latest offering under a different band name with most of the original members. To this end I picked up Shipping News' latest, Three-Four. I only found out later that the album is actually a re-release of the band's long out-of-print series of EPs from late 2001 and early 2002. I still expect nothing but good things from my second favorite Kentucky band.

April 1994

RODAN'S RUSTY IS FINALLY HERE!!! No time to discuss, must listen intently — just suffice it to say that from here on out, LIFE IS LOOKING UP!!


by Andrew Bryant




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