This is an accidental masterpiece. A more perfect album made by a dental hygienist on LSD I’ve yet to encounter.
There is no question to why it flew under the radar upon its initial release. In the huge wake stirred by the sinking ship of flower power, anything not heavy enough to float sunk to the bottom. Parallelograms was simply another weird record in a weird year full of weird records. Continue reading →
First up on this list is a modern 45 originally released in 2007. And it’s a truly ridiculous one! The Ridiculous Trio is a band made up of a drummer, trombone player and a trumpet player and they only play instrumental covers of The Stooges songs. Absolute insanity that works surprisingly well!
My favorite song by Michael Jackson is hands down “Human Nature” from the 1982 record “Thriller.” The tune is haunting, sexy, sad and beautiful, and I’ve always admired the particularly androgynous way in which Michael expresses the amorous yearnings expressed in the the lyrics. The light and floating quality the vocals is reminiscent of some of the great female arias of the classic American Soul era—the pining voice of Diana Ross come to mind in particular for me.
“Human Nature” floats with buoyancy that the rest of “Thriller” doesn’t even come close to, in large part as a result of the song’s plaintive structure of question and answer, a discourse which in the end doesn’t add up to much and sounds even more damn mysterious in the end. This maddening mysteriousness, somewhat akin to the circular question and answer song “Que sera, sera”—is an excellent mirror to the true puzzle that was M. J. himself—always intimate, compelling, and totally unknowable as a person.
April 5th 2017 is a year to the day of my first broadcast on Freeform Portland. Not my first radio show, not by any means, but I remember it felt good to be on the air, and does so every day I do my show. Getting to Freeform Portland is a life long story. Here is the short version. Continue reading →
Shakespeare and the Velvet Underground. Shaken, not stirred. The cityscapes that Dusty Santamaria conjures up are refuges for both refuse and revelation where the low and high aspects of our spirits (and, by extension, our culture) co-mingle in a lovers’ dance. His songs, poetry, and paintings are filled with religious imagery, classical references, and the smoky, yellow light that spills into the street, bubbling up from the bottom crust through the cracks in the fabric of our society. “Symbols, images, and surrealist dreams- My Mind’s a junkyard,” Dusty laments in “Shiverin, moanin, shaking, stoned,” the second song on the Sylvia Says EP. The characters that inhabit Santamaria’s cityscapes are restless, plagued by vice, and haunted by an impending sense of emptiness. Everyone is looking for an escape though they know they must return to the emptiness. Everyone is looking for meaning though they know modern reality is cruel and mechanical. Above all, everyone is looking for love… with only fleeting moments of tenderness afforded.
Soundspace is a new radio-based installation series for Freeform Portland focused on recontextualizing radio as a space for new modes of listening, hosted by sound artists Samson Stilwell (who played the second Foreign Accents show ever at Turn! Turn! Turn! in October, thank you Samson!) and Ben Glas. Each month a new sound artist installs an exploratory piece to the airwaves for you to mull over, get lost in, and whatever else works. The series, which meets every other Sunday from noon to 2pm, is live-streamed at Beacon Sound, but the general idea is that the broadcasting medium puts the concept of a sonic installation tied to a specific locality in a new, far more flexible cast. Continue reading →