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Date: April 14th, 2020.
Time of Writing: 9:22 PM.
Weather: It seemed clear outside. When I stepped halfway out the front door to help take the groceries indoors, I felt a chill.
Mental and Physical Health State: A bit of a headache which I chalk up to mild sleep deprivation and also lack of water. Mentally I'm feeling okay. I'm getting back into something of a rhythm.
Day Overview: Woke up really early today in order to make it in time to my College Writing class over Zoom. I asked Tsz the night before if she could call me to wake me up if I hadn't messaged her that I was awake yet, and I considered letting that happen even when I was awake, but I didn't want to waste her time. The listenalong the night before on the music discord was a big success, and I'll detail some of the albums below, but it kept me up really late, as a downside. The Zoom sesh was alright, I got some okay enough feedback. Then I did some work for other classes and then suddenly lost most of my motivation and energy and sat on the couch for a while. I only just recently got out of that slump and got to watching a film for film studies, also detailed below.
On My Mind: My computer is usually parked in the dining room of my house, sandwiched between the living room and the kitchen, two rooms which both have televisions in them. When my mother opens the pantry door, which leads into the dining room and the kitchen, I'm caught in a crossfire between two different incredibly loud news programs. Sometimes they're the same one, but it's always the same, because it's mainstream news, cable news stuff, and that's always the same all the time. I have to turn up my headphones really loudly to block it out. They never turn it down enough. My room at university was so, so quiet compared to this. I'm going to have to give myself ear damage to escape brain damage, at this rate.
Works In Progress:
- PROTO by Holly Herndon: The concept behind this is absolutely incredible. The live training bits, once you realize what they are, are great.
Frontier are really, really awesome tunes. Where this album falters is in the spoken word bits, where it takes itself so seriously it borders on parody. I'm sorry, but these bits are just sort of terrible, and they happen more than once, breaking up the flow of the album really awfully. It might sound like a small gripe but it's totally not. It really detracts from this thing. 8/10 taking those into account. Take those out and this is an easy 9/10.
- Love and Affection for Stupid Little Bitches by Black Dresses: Vascillates between noise for the sake of noise (best when done dizzyingly, worse when done as flat distortion) and softer though still grimy artsy pop. The lyrics here are great all around, but it's kind of blind-siding musically. I need to chew on this one more. I put it down as a 7/10 in my RYM account, but I need to honestly listen to this more.
- The Sound of Music by Laibach: For the first three songs, when the novelty of this one still hasn't worn off, it's quite amazing. It's bewildering, if you know the backstory. But the joke wears itself out pretty fast, and then you're left with a pretty dull album. It doesn't function right as a concept album, because of the live korean folk songs at the end; it doesn't function right as a live album or a document of the event, because all evidence of that is shunted to the back. It would have been more interesting if it was more of a live recording, or if samples from the concert were interspersed with the music. Otherwise I didn't really like this one. 5/10.
- Monster Movie by Can: Familiar, yet very different, to me as a Can listener. I've only heard the Suzuki trilogy of albums before this, and while the band behind the music is much the same, and Mooney and Suzuki honestly have a pretty similar vocal style, the underlying philosophy of what they're making is different. I can't really chalk that up to a difference in frontman, but what I can chalk it up to is the band's relative youth at this point. This is their debut album, and it sure feels like one in the best way. The musical ideas in this are being sought after with full force, full enthusiasm, no reservations. The last track was trimmed down from a six hour improv session. As someone who's tried to improv before and can barely do it for a couple minutes that is nuts okay?? Nuts! The problem with this though is that there's very little of a sense of restraint here, the restraint that would lead to a refining of vision in the Tago Mago-Ege Bamyasi-Future Days trilogy that I love so much. And though there's not really a specific point where it super comes through, it's sort of all over the album in a way that pokes its head out every so often. It's pretty good though! 8/10.
- Waltz with Bashir directed by Ari Folman: Maybe it's the animation style. Maybe it's the lack of real live footage until the very end. Maybe it's the incredibly scripted sounding interviews. Maybe it's the fact that Folman never got to interview someone on the other side of the conflict. Maybe it's the knowledge that the idea forwarded here, that the Israeli army didn't know about the massacre until it was happening, is demonstrably false. But something about this movie, to me? Feels fake. Incredibly fake. The stories are well told, their truthfulness notwithstanding, and the score is pretty good, and it was entertaining enough on the level of
I want to know what happens next, but as a historical document it fails. 6/10 I guess.
- Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Season Two animated by Studio Deen: Episode Five
Works Produced: Just the tiniest bit of writing. Several hundred words. I'm also working on getting a pageview counter working for the website. Stay tuned!
Other Thoughts: Thank you for reading my blog. If Yuuko on the main page didn't have to wear a mask, she'd have a party favor thing in her mouth, the ones you blow air into and they go prbbt! Surprise! That kind of thing.