“Never Is A Promise” by Fiona Apple

The nice thing about writing as a hobby is that the strangers you inevitably connect with online have similar interests. So when a writer follows you and vice versa, it’s a bit of a cosmic head nod.

When William posted a Fiona Apple song over on A Thousand Mistakes, I felt inspired to share one of my favorite Fiona Apple songs, “Never Is a Promise”.

It’s an incredible song about finding self-worth and courage underneath an element of control and self-absorption. It’s even more incredible she wrote this when she was only 16 or 17. And there is a whole album (Tidal) ready to break your heart.

You’ll never see the courage I know,
Its colors’ richness won’t appear within your view,
I’ll never glow – the way that you glow,
Your presence dominates the judgments made on you.

A Brief, Strange, and Semi-Erotic History of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”

The original horror movie about cat people that’s not the CATS remake.

EDIT: Happy 73rd Birthday, David Bowie!

In 1942, French director Jacques Tourneur directed a film using by DeWitt Boden with the eponymous name Cat People.

Would you believe me if I told you that a movie made in 1942 called Cat People had some deleterious portrayals of women and human sexuality?: “The plot focuses on a Serbian fashion illustrator in New York City who believes herself to be descended from a race of people who shape shift into panthers when sexually aroused or angered.” Oh dear.

Nonetheless, the film is considered pioneer of the horror genre and cinematography.

40 years later, legendary American film writer and director Paul Schrader directed an early 80s update of Cat People with some huge 70s and 80s players: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, and John Heard. The 1982 version of Cat People is described as an “erotic horror” on Wikipedia (if the appearance of Malcolm McDowell didn’t tip you off to the kind of party this is).
Continue reading “A Brief, Strange, and Semi-Erotic History of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)””

Death Was Here

Before there was punk, there were three black brothers in Detroit making noise in a band called Death.

It’s a tenuous time for white privilege in the United States. Black people in the U.S., quite frankly, busted ass over the course of hundreds of years to go from being literal property to owning property and being able to (kind of?) vote and use the same public and private buildings, services, and- Lord have mercy- water fountains as white people (among a host of other things that will take up roughly 30 posts if not more; don’t get me going on environmental justice and food deserts). In 2014, bleeding heart liberal white people like myself were reminded by the police perpetrated murder of black teenager Michel Brown of just how far we hadn’t and haven’t come. Two years  after the murder of Michael Brown, white liberals and many, if not most, people of color and poor people were all delivered another swift kick to the balls when reality star and really shit businessman Donald Trump was elected “democratically” to lead the U.S.

Continue reading “Death Was Here”

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy + Bryce Dressner, “One With the Birds”

A new twist on a song I needed most right now.

I originally wrote this on Friday, August 9, but I wanted some time to pass before I published it. It rambles a bit, but I promise, this is music related.

Following David Berman’s death and some personal events, I have been reflective about loss, grief, and death.

This time of reflection coincides with a time I am actively journaling (for the first time in years) with meditations from philosophers and practitioners of Stoicism serving as my guide. Maybe older white men are not contemporary society’s version of wisdom or a friend at this time, but I have found a great amount of general wisdom from the Stoics. The best answer to our problems is often the most simple. The tricky part of Stoicism for many (myself included) is accepting our past and exerting some control on our lizard brain.

Continue reading “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy + Bryce Dressner, “One With the Birds””

RIP David Berman

Saying “goodbye” to the Rebel Jew of the Silver Jews who instilled a sense of wabi-sabi in many.

The earth has not completed a full rotation since the news that David Berman left this mortal coil reached the general population.

Yesterday evening, I found out the news via my friend Stu. For roughly 30 seconds, I thought it was a cruel joke but genius PR ploy by Drag City on the heels of the Purple Mountains tour.  David’s date of death had not been added to his Wikipedia page, which gave me hope despite the Google news panel confirming over and over again– like a grotesque carousel– that he was, and is, dead at 52.

Sam and I were in a bit of a spat at the time, and I could not tell him this news in the middle of a fight. I waited for him to get home to break the news.

Continue reading “RIP David Berman”

Appreciation: That Real Big Frickin’ Weirdo Mike Patton

What is it? It’s it.

I talk about 18/19 year old me a lot because 18/19 year old me was so so adorable and so exciting and also so so stupid in the way late teens/young adults are.

Continue reading “Appreciation: That Real Big Frickin’ Weirdo Mike Patton”

The Muppet Movie 40th Anniversary

“It’s not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad.”

Perennial childhood classic The Muppet Movie turned 40 this summer. Kermit the Frog goes on a cross-country mission to get out of the swamp and into Hollywood while simultaneously running from the evil Doc Hopper, who just wants those tasty frog legs. And so began the first of many (seven!) Muppet movies.

I used the phrase a “childhood classic”, but that is too simple as The Muppet Movie and, just as significant, The Muppet Movie (Grammy winning and Academy Award nominated) score have continued to be huge personal influences on me as an adult (as I am sure it has to many of you).

I listened to the soundtrack to discuss some of the themes that are more tangible to adults.

Continue reading “The Muppet Movie 40th Anniversary”