Wednesday, April 20, 2011


"With what elevated, -(with) what triumphant feelings unseen and unnoticed by the world my life is filled! ... I swear I will do something that the ordinary person does not do. I feel leonine strength in my soul, and I perceive clearly my transition from childhood spent in school exercises, to a young age..."

-GOGOL -at age 27, (a letter to V. Zhukovsky, June 1836)

...Inevitably, I've been thinking about age, as my birthday week subsides and we drift, bemused and still bundled, into a persistantly chilled late April lull.

In an ominous year (1984) on an ominous day (Friday the 13th,) I came into being under devestatingly endearing parents who would later reveal to me that, yes, I was technically an accident.

I don't believe in over analyzing anything that isn't music - and that goes for life, my work, my, er, ..."legacy...," my manner of speech or my bad jokes, my missed opportunites and varying motivations. So this is me, absolving myself of worrying about mortality...

Though, sometimes I feel self-conscious that words are not enough... either mine, Gogol's (or Neil Strauss, -below)... so here - take a listen to last week's Sound Opinion's Podcast, where they replay an interview with renowned grunge-galvanizing producer Butch Vig, on this, the month of the 17th anniversary of Cobains death, (again, age-27 feels ominous)... But, Vig's words are releveant also because this is the year of Nevermind's 20th anniversary (and the release of a new Foo Fighters album, helmed by Vig).

That said, I'm musing on a collection of interview snippets from writer (and proclaimed Pick Up Artist) Neil Strauss: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys Into Fame and Madness. The book, featuring recovered revelations pocketed into numerous interviews (for Rolling Stone and New York Times through the late 90's and early 00's) reads like an impressive resume of: look-who-I've-gotten-to-hob-knob-with - from Johnny Cash to Lady Gaga to Led Zeppelin to Tom Cruise to Madonna to the White Stripes...

The thesis of the journalistic anthology is that there are truly telling moments about one's true self often subtly slipped out and sutured sleekly within the shrugged off shuffle of passing conversation...perhaps developing a better picture than the one the public, or mainstream, or whoever in the big pop-culture-gobbling ether, thinks they know...

"Everyone Loves You When You're Dead," he writes at the books conclusion. "Because, when you're dead, your happiness and accomplishments are no longer a threat to their belief system and self-esteem. You've been appropriately punished."

What does it all mean? I'd rather not dwell... But I'd recommend it; an interesting read... (see: White Stripes interview, circa 2001...harping upon the scab of their origins (Detroit) being a focal point of their fame...and Jack White tangoing with Strauss over whether he's overly defensive)


But let's move on...

Singel Barrel Detroit -documents the arts exuded by this town's current population, tossing various musicians and performers out of their natural elements and into the more wooly and wild locales of it's multifarious landmarks of curiosity and historical relevance, however faded/proud/pounded/preserved they appear - which makes for dynamic short films.

The cinematic collective recently debuted their latest episode, featuring Bars of Gold inside the Lafayette Coney Island in downtown Detroit. Now, 80% of Bars of Gold is made up of members of another, somewhat similarly styled band, called Wildcatting.

Listen to MP3's from both bands and watch a live clip of "both bands" performing in the middle of a narrow restaurant (pleasingly well populated despite this having been filmed rather early, on a cold Sunday morning, following the last day of an already-demanding/late-night-dotted local music festival).

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