Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Velvet Underground Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes
Velvet Underground Columbus 1966
Stars of the Lid The Tired Sounds of...
Michael Yonkers No Kidding CD
Neil Young Dead Man
ANP Quarterly #9
Harmony Korine on Letterman

VU bootleg day... no matter what the fidelity (and the Columbus recording has gotta be one of the most infidelic bootlegs ever) I could listen to this stuff all day... the sound of the Columbus one of course ends up working in its favor, spreading out a shadowy and oozing dream cosmos entirely upon the head of a pin in the middle of the deep space inside an atom. Set opener "Melody Laughter" (31 minutes long) sparked a nice discussion with co-worker about how what they were doing was basically ancient music, a raga played on one chord, so it ignored all that bullshit like time and progress, and it could really only be learned by community practice, so it ignored all that bullshit like authority and scholarship, so it was true American freedom/trance music that rang of not only Native American sweatlodge pulses but also droning cracked folk songs like Clarence Ashley's "Cuckoo," which brought Henry Flynt's 'novabilly' classics You Are My Everlovin' and Purified By The Fire into the discussion. All that from "Melody Laughter".... The Michael Yonkers disc is new stuff on the quality Portugal label Ruby Red Editora. It's billed as "SOLO NOISE GUITAR" and it's intense, a definitive document of the absurd industrial techno noise that he gets out of that homemade future cyborg guitar. 11 tracks, 37 minutes, what you see is what you get, very basic presentation, and if you have it on at low volumes it might not sound varied or especially interesting, but turn it up and there are chasms and canyons and all kinds of lost zones in this stuff. Picked up the great new issue of ANP Quarterly with a definitive non-obfuscatory interview with cover subject Harmony Korine, and stuff on artists I'd never heard of like Tomoo Gokita and Leigh Ledare and Uta Barth - the large-scale reproductions of their work are amazing. On the magazine's advice I checked out Harmony Korine's appearances on Letterman. There's one from 1995, right after Kids came out, and it's great, but the one I came across first was this one from 1997 promoting Gummo, and man, of course people are gonna talk about his nervous and bedraggled appearance (not to mention the horrid disgustovision YouTube quality) but his deceptively skillful comic delivery is really something. Go watch it now before I spoil some of the jokes, like when, talking about James Cameron's Titanic, also out that year, Dave asks, "Would you one day like to direct a film on that scale?" "Yeah, the second one. I'd do the sequel." Which is a great joke in itself, which Dave may or may not realize as he asks, "And how would that go??" "I'd use a rowboat. I don't know if it'd sink." Dave pulls out a copy of Korine's just-published book A Crackup At The Race Riots and makes fun by flipping to a page that has only one word on it: "Hepburn." Korine says "Yeah that was supposed to be the first page... but it ended up being like page 67." Just before that, Dave asks "Are you a novelist?" Korine says, "I wanted to write the Great American Novel. Or just a novel. Well, I just wanted it to be American." So good.

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