Thursday, June 30, 2011 

And you'll never see me go

Between work being ridiculous and attending this (even more awesome than you'd expect, which is pretty awesome; yes the Q&As were both pretty much like this), I've had an email full of links to post for far too long now. Many of which contain my own work; the biggest example would be my Playing Favourites interview with Mountains over at Resident Advisor, which I am immensely proud of. There are also reviews of Junior Boys and Jesu over at PopMatters, and a few contributions to their best of summer lists: The Crying of Lot 49, Slowdive, and Teenage Fanclub (you have to scroll down for those three).

In less personal news, here are two riveting stories about the limits of the human body that I've read about three times apiece: one on The Barkley Marathons and one on the training for Seal Team Six. Both are relatively insane things to do to yourself; is it weird that I kind of want to try the Barkley one day (if I can ever manage to get into good enough shape)?

Speaking of getting in shape, which is partly an issue of willpower, Reason had a really good essay on the idea of precommitment. It's an idea that's as old as Odysseus lashing himself to the mast, and it's surprisingly powerful. Don't get me wrong, Reason largely publishes bullshit ("free minds and free markets," lol), but this particular essay is worth reading.

This essay on Roger Federer and the inevitable passing of great athletes was already great, but recent events have given it a bit of extra poignancy. Although (awkward segue alert!) not as much poignancy as this note from Iggy Pop to a young fan (courtesy of the always great Clem Bastow).

Finally, if you can read all of this article and not think that Paul Bridges is a fucking hero, you either don't know shit about illegal immigration in the United States, or you lack basic human empathy. I want to give the guy a hug, myself. And if that story is a bit too depressing to end on, well, there's always this (and the next strip too)...

Friday, June 17, 2011 

My self esteem is heatin' up the room

Feel good hits of the 17th of June, 2011, special "I'm in one of these videos" edition:

01. Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts Are Wrong
02. The Delgados - Witness
03. Red House Painters - Wop-A-Din-Din
04. Radiohead - Give Up the Ghost
05. Memoryhouse - Lately
06. Tindersticks - Travelling Light
07. The National - Available
08. Low - Something's Turning Over
09. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Albanian
10. The Mendoza Line - Sleep of the Just

1: I had such a hard time trying to decide which track from Tell Me to post; I am completely obsessed with that record. Her voice! The arrangements! The lyrics! Her voice! The pervasively doom-laden atmosphere! Her freakin' voice!
3: About a cat, which is not normally a type of song that I'm fond of. This is a great one, though.
5: These guys live. Jesus. Hurry up with the album, already!
7: I know this is an old song, but it's a recent performance; these guys get mislabelled as just being about fashionable ennui (or something) too often by people who aren't really listening to the band. "How can you blame yourself, when I did everything I wanted to?" is one of the more horrifying lyrics I've ever heard in an otherwise normal rock song.
8: Yep, that's me. I'm pretty sure you can see my housemate as well, but the person in question never turns enough for me to be sure. It was a great show; the same guy has a bunch of the songs up on YouTube, which is awesome.
9: Does not even come close to accurately representing them live.
10: Believe me, I am more upset than you that this is the only video version of this cover that I could find.

Monday, June 06, 2011 

All of my fragile kingdoms

This song can be found here, and is awesome. I am shamefully remiss when it comes to answering emails from musicians who want me to listen to stuff, and honestly a lot of what is sent at me essentially randomly isn't very good. Clara Engel (real name or Scott Walker homage?), however, is clearly on to something, even if I don't like anything else I've heard quite as much as I love "I Wear Your Coat."

So yes, it's been about a month, and I've had stuff I want to write about piling up. Maybe I should start one of those tumblrs or something. First of all, my review of EMA's astounding, essential Past Life Martyred Saints went up, and I honestly think it's the best review I've written in, let's just say a while. Comic book/video game/music writing genius and occasional correspondant (because I wrote him a fan email about Phonogram) Kieron Gillen even liked it enough to mention it, which is flattering considering his own words on the subject (found at the link).

Also, as people might have seen on Facebook, I interviewed Nick Offerman. That was pretty awesome. Hopefully I wasn't too much of a goof.

And actually, the rest has to wait... I'm going to Detroit for a soccer game tomorrow, and I still have to pack for that. More soon, I hope.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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