“Mike’s Blog” is Taking a Break in the Year 2020

Okay, so it’s been one day shy of two weeks since my last post; that’s better than I thought. I’m closing in on a month now of not touching alcohol for the first time since the beginning of quarantine, but I’m not “sober” & I feel that I really need to achieve that in order to resume productivity. My day job is suffering too. In my personal life, I deal w/ depression, & my emotions have been a bit sour lately which actually cast a shadow over my typical enjoyment of music, & for a while I’ve been spinning a very narrow selection of albums that mostly reflect my taste circa high school which was quite a while ago at this point. It’s as if the stress of 2020 is making me regress. It’s my birthday today & at the beginning of the month I ordered a Nintendo Switch for myself to celebrate. My interest in video games goes a looooong way back, though mostly absent in recent years, and it’s been fun to rekindle a connection to that nerdy side of myself (though honestly, I actually completely transcend the category of “nerd” on account of being so cool 😎). I’ve written about things other than music before & I was actually very proud of some of that writing whereas “Mike’s Blog” has been a source of frustration for a minute. I was thinking of shifting focus & exploring the possibility of writing about games, which I’ll do elsewhere from here. If you’ve enjoyed this blog or my presence on Bandcamp, where I drop a lot of links, thanks a lot; I haven’t forgotten about this project, but I’ve got to take a hiatus at least until I sober up, and I may spend some time exploring other things. Boy, has this year been a real doozy so far. I hope you’re all doing the best you can.

New in 2020: Shamir – Cataclysm

That’s right y’all, I’m listening to ROCK, baby, actually I spent a solid week or more taking a break from being the smokin’ hot tastemaker which I totally am to listen almost exclusively to the first two albums by They Might Be Giants which a friend on Twitter described as the “whitest people ever.” I’d play it in the background while engaging w/ a videogame like Stardew Valley in order to capture the full, authentic white nerd experience. I was going back to my roots… but anyway, “now for something completely different” (another nerd reference, hah…).

I became aware of this album because I started following Angel Bat Dawid on Bandcamp, whose album The Oracle I bought a few months ago and enjoyed. I decided to buy this album on tape – I’ve got a weakness for ordering physical editions whenever possible, & it’s absolutely murdering my wallet – and as I spun the digital in the interim before the tape arrives in the mail (which has not happened yet! What the heck!) I began to really dig this album. The songs have an interesting “feeling” or “vibe,” almost outsider-like – I typically stink at concentrating on lyrics but I can pick out references to “antipsychotics” and delusions in the first few tracks; I don’t know if that means anything but it’s cool if it did – this music makes me feel nostalgic, except there’s nothing to be nostalgic about since it’s new this year, so I’m nostalgic for nothing. Very post-modern… the two best tracks “in my humble opinion” are the songs that bookend the tape; “Hell” and “They Must Go” really, really hit the spot for me. “Hell” feels so cool & “They Must Go” particularly strikes me as a beautiful song. It’s upbeat & joyous & actually the beat reminds me of disco.

This music feels healing & the blurb on Bandcamp suggests a theme of death and rebirth. Lemme tell ya, I know ALL ABOUT that. Seems like every time I go to sleep & wake up the next morning I’m embodying some “completely different” (ha ha) version of myself. My brain & my spirit are never in the same place twice, which is actually exactly why I forget how to write after every blog post which is why updates are so irregular… I’m closing my eyes imagining I’ll wake up tomorrow as Jeff Bezos, but I’m just as likely to wake up as a bug instead.

Cataclysm by Shamir is available on Bandcamp HERE.

New in 2020: Itch Princess – BIT BY THE SUN

I just can’t shake the feeling that this artist would probably be a big star in gnome world. Listening to this makes me feel like my brain is all squiggles – a type of worm – & my hair fell out & the squiggles poked through my scalp so I look like medusa. This is the kind of music for big dogs to step to. It’s a big dog’s market & my head is full of squiggles.

I bought Itch Princess’s last album too & this one feels like a step ahead from what came before. When I bought her tape she included with the package a handwritten letter saying thank you. It was such a sweet thing to do. I’d write her a note in return but I can’t because my brain is all squiggles & I don’t know anything. I was a good writer sometimes. But all of that potential is “gone with the squiggle,” which is what my brain is made out of listening to Itch Princess. Medusa was a type of princess who had squiggly hair… and it probably itched! So I can relate.

I was hipped to Itch Princess by Larry Wish, who ALSO hipped me to an awesome collection of David Liebe Hart remixes that he has a track on. Itch Princess has two albums on Truly Bald, a label run by Jake Tobin. The music of Larry Wish and Jake Tobin goes next to Macula Dog on my shelf, & I think of it as the “weirdo section”. This is outsider music, if you consider music tailor made for gnomes to be outsider. The reason you never see gnomes in this reality is because their auras vibrate at a little too high a frequency for their corporal forms to be visible to the human eye. You are only able to view a gnome if you “medicate” yourself with psychedelic drugs in order to weaken the “valve of rationality” in your subconscious which in turn allows a wider spectrum of energy to seep into your perceptual field. After that you’ll see that they’re all over.

I would really love to have this on tape. For now it’s a digital album only available on Bandcamp HERE.

New in 2020: Quicksails – Blue Rise

This came out Friday the 24th & I listened to it that morning at work & something happened to me deep inside. My soul disattached from my body, perhaps feeling weary from the constant grind of being employed & my frustration that it interferes with my desire to party my way solo through the age of COVID-19 as if it’s Y2K. My soul disattached from my body & floated at an altitude a few feet in the air, looking down at myself as I stared blankly at my computer screen, productivity on the decline. As I listened I entered a state of deep spiritual peace; I had entered the aether realm, & then my brain sparked with primordial fire & I became like a child; I inhaled deeply drawing my soul back into my body through my nose & then peered at the computer in front of me with naive curiousity, re-learning how to use it as my spirit entered the new age of tools.

Then at night was the album release party livestreamed on the new Hausu Mountain Twitch channel. It was a fantastically memorable time & the lineup was stacked, all-killer no-filler. The evening started with Euglossine, a funny & creative soul, ripping through some awesome versions of songs from his Hausu Mountain tape Coriolis, which is probably my favorite of his numerous cassette releases. Next was Norman Long, an artist I was previously not familiar with, playing a tremendous set that I thought sounded like information entering the brain & made Ben Billington (Quicksails) feel like he was “in a canoe at 2AM on acid”. It built up to an amazing climax, & I entered an alternate dimension surrounded by creatures that I had a hard time making out; I suddenly realized they all had the face of a duck staring at me & then I saw that their bodies were bugs. They were bugs with duck faces & they had quick hands. The next performance was by claire rousay & it was nothing like what I was expecting; it was a beautiful set & the intensity caused me to morph into an emoji of a man gripping his head with angel wings. It’s important that you know exactly what kind of emoji I turned into & while I was an emoji I was trapped in the computer screen existing as a bunch of 1s & 0s made of electricity. Seeing the bugs & becoming an emoji was a lot to process, & then the main event, the Quicksails set, happened. The music was great & the visuals were very lysergic. All in all it was a great night that did a lot to boost my mood out of a bout of depression I had been dealing with most of the week.

This new LP feels a lot more ambient than the Quickails LP that came before. After the show on Friday I appreciated “noise” more which is not always a genre I necessarily gravitate to. In my opinion the ideal way to experience noise music is while your brain is fried & you’re sprawled out on the couch or in my case a recliner just vibing. Your mind needs to be still so you can inhale the grey clouds of information that mist in the air as the record is playing. This is a great album & you can purchase it for yourself on Bandcamp HERE. As of this writing there does not seem to be an option to buy it direct from the Hausu Mountain site.

#Trending in the World of Mike: Weston Allen – The Gloves Come Off

Okay, so this release is not this artist’s most current work – they actually released a single a week ago that’s been steadily racking up views; it’s got a different vibe than this EP & you can watch it below:

I became aware of this artist b/c I’ve been paying attention to what seems like a scene of LGBTQ artists who make music that’s in my book highly compelling & feels very futuristic to me. It all started b/c I fell in love w/ galen tipton’s album on Orange Milk last year. It was one of the best releases on the label in 2019. galen tipton released a new EP this year & it’s great. Anyway it popped up in my Twitter feed that she was playing a DJ set as part of a Zoom party that I think (?) was in celebration of the artist Dorian Electra’s birthday? I can’t remember b/c I was drinking that night which is a shame. The energy at that show was maximally positive & it blew my mind. I regret I was drunk b/c someone performed a cover of “All Star” by Smashmouth that was so beautiful to me it nearly moved me to tears, but I can’t remember how it went anymore. Anyway Dorian Electra has a new single called “Sorry Bro (I Love You)” which is co-produced by Dylan Brady. So now 100 gecs is connected to the mix, who are a good band which the haters are probably just frustrated about b/c they’re hot.

ANYWAY so after that night I was following Dorian Electra on Twitter, & I think it was one week ago that they posted a link to Weston Allen’s new song “24 Hours (In The Chicken Heater)”, viewable above. The aesthetic of the video is utterly bizarre to me; it’s like 12-dimensional camp. The song is also a jam. So I looked up Weston on Spotify, and found out they had a back catalog.

Every song streamable on Weston Allen’s Spotify is a jam. I particularly like his cover of “Sk8er Boi”, which features some guttural death metal vocals that remind me of the 100 gecs track “800db cloud” except it came out a year earlier. And then there’s also The Gloves Come Off, an EP that’s also available for permanent purchase on Bandcamp. When I first found Weston Allen they had maybe ~500 monthly listeners on Spotify (a number that has quadrupled as of the following Wednesday), and The Gloves Come Off had been purchased on Bandcamp by 3 users. That number’s so small… well, maybe nobody freaking listens to me, but you can’t say I didn’t try to #influence readers of this blog to check him out!

I think Weston Allen is a brilliant talent, & his songs are very, very good.

The Gloves Come Off has 5 tracks. My favorite is “Glass Whip”. The songs have a bit of an “eighties” vibe, but I’d pick this EP over music that’s actually from the eighties any day. Not just this release, but Allen’s entire output is all-killer, no-filler. I guess he sorta reminds me of Ariel Pink. There’s a certain feeling of idiosyncrasy in his music, matched by a high degree of talent.

If you ask me Weston Allen is destined to “blow up”. At least he would be in a world that had any justice. But I guess the world we actually live in is topsy-turvy. Heck I don’t even know if I’m going to be around this time next year. Regardless, Weston Allen has a fan in me. We-STAN.

The Gloves Come Off is available on Bandcamp HERE.

New in 2020: Seabuckthorn – Other Other

What a long strange trip it’s been.”

Jerry Garcia if he knew about my weekend lol

Well hell man I mean where to start. I got an e-mail 8AM Friday morning that someone was contacting me through my blog. They make music under the name Seabuckthorn & gave me a download code for their recent album Other Other. They said it was “contemporary classical” & I thought, oh boy. Forget all that pop nonsense I’ve been listening to, the stuff that really makes me feel sophisticated is modern classical. IDK man that genre just seems hella refined to me. And it helps a lot if it’s weird. The artist said in their e-mail their music utilizes prepared guitar & I thought woww [sic] maybe it’ll sound like Star Trap by Arnold Dreyblatt, a compilation I recently was digging after it got featured on Bandcamp’s front page.

So I’m listening to Other Other at work & I’m listening & I’m waiting for words to form. No it’s true I’m not as good at writing about music as some other people. The way I write is… basically the same way I know which button to press when I’m pirating a movie & there are like five different buttons labeled “DOWNLOAD.” I just kind of let myself be guided by intuition & feeling?? I can’t explain it; my workflow is based heavily on vibes. So Friday morning the words weren’t coming so I took some time to catch up on writing blurbs for recent purchases of mine on Bandcamp (my fantasy is to leave a comment for every single purchase I’ve made, though that goal gets more & more distant the more I buy). Then the work day was over & I commenced a weekend-long binge of feeling buzzed & having fun.

All weekend I’m going HAM, I’m listening to things like 1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues (yeah I like ’em, you’re probably just mad because they’re hot) & discovering artists like Weston Allen who dropped an ultra campy music video that also happens to be a friggin’ bop and hell even a J-pop album after it got featured on Bandcamp’s front page. I’m up at midnight jamming Spiderman of the Rings just to feel nostalgic. It’s all high-energy, positive-vibes sort of stuff & I’m bopping around my tiny living room feeling friggin’ ecstatic. But the high can’t last forever, and on Sunday I put Other Other back on & notice, damn, this music is actually really soothing when I’m in the mood for something like drone or ambient. At night I watch a experimental performance by claire rousay on Twitch which she knocked out of the park (part of a larger festival but no-one told me about it). Probably the most avant-garde moment was when her Twitter account retweeted something as I was watching her perform. WTFFFFF o_0 o_0

Now it’s Monday & I’m listening to Other Other again. I dig it! If you’re looking for music to focus to, this release is great, like I said it’s soothing it’s as if the artist is a straight up soothemaster. Like some of the other modern classical albums I’ve scooped up on Discogs it’d probably be great to study to, if that’s something you find yourself doing. I love the sound of the guitar. The hum & drone reminds me a bit of what I remember Zeit by Tangerine Dream sounding like. “Hum & drone…” if you’re into that kind of vibe, I don’t think you’ll go wrong w/ this release. It’s Monday & the work week has begun again & I’m not sure I’m “hungover” today but I’m definitely returning to the world of Earthlings. Other Other is keeping me grounded as I re-acclimate to gravity.

I said my piece!! Check out this album for yourself HERE. I actually already posted the link… but I guess you need special direction since you’re so upset I didn’t assign a number. LOL just kidding y’all… ❤️ Stay safe.

New in 2020: NNAMDÏ – BRAT

This album was trending on Bandcamp on Friday so I scooped it up. It’s a pretty unusual listen; I classified it as hip-hop inflected “pop” but the compositions are extremely proggy & weird a bit like Frank Zappa or whatever, an influence that’s much more apparent on the artist’s very latest release KRAZY KARL. Digging into the NNAMDÏ releases of yore reveals a highly weird aesthetic, with releases such as FECKIN WEIRDO: Nnamdi’s spectral adventures through a pubulous conundrum, canceling out the burrowing burden and ambiguity of his pre​-​zuberant tooth shine. That’s a pretty hard sentence for me to parse & I have no idea what it means. But I dig it! Weird is in, baby. It’s hot right now.

I skim random tracks from past releases & man oh man they’re almost impossibly weird. BRAT is focused, & it turns out NNAMDÏ has a serious gift for pop songwriting. Damn, I must be selling out – my previous blog post extolled pop as well. I think I’ve always had that inclination. The neural pathways of my brain were permanently warped & carved to match the grooves of hundreds of hours of 60s bubblegum pop piped into my ears during long road trips as a child when my mom controlled the radio. It’s screwed up, I know… but I even listen to the Beatles on occasion. It could be worse. My mom also likes country.

Anyway, this album is cool. The opening track was quirky enough for me to keep listening, & the transition into the monster second track “Gimme Gimme”, my favorite song on the album by far, floored me & convinced me this album was worth buying. Sadly the album never reaches the kind of fireworks it achieves on Track 2, but there’s still some cool moments. “Semantics” has mysterious lyrics that seem kind of dark & is a slick composition. Penultimate track “It’s OK” has an uplifting, positive message for anyone who might be struggling that I appreciate. NNAMDÏ seems like a smart guy; a trip to their Wikipedia page reveals they have a degree in electrical engineering. Despite this, they have zero tracks about the Linux terminal…

NNAMDÏ is a self-described “FECKIN WEIRDO” & they really sell it, but this album feels like a watershed moment. BRAT is available on Bandcamp HERE.

New in 2020: Yves Tumor – Heaven to a Tortured Mind

This artist was on my radar, & on the first Friday of this month I discovered their 2020 release on Bandcamp, which I must admit is my preferred platform by far & seems to do right by both artists & fans. The honest scoop is that I really dug this album, then I investigated their back catalog, & now I’m actually in love w/ the release from 2018, Safe in the Hands of Love, but it seems taboo to highlight an artist’s older release when they put out something new just a few months ago. The single “Noid” from the 2018 album in particular is an absolute drop-dead standout monster, & the music video is very timely in relation to current events, even though it’s over a year old. Where I live, there have been at least two weeks of protests in support of Black Lives; there’s video on YouTube circa the second week (?) of a man stopping his truck in the middle of the road to get out & argue w/ people demonstrating; he eventually places his hand on a handgun he has holstered, but doesn’t draw it. I’ve seen all sorts of wild videos from across the country in the past month or so. Turns out, people will display a Confederate flag even in the north, “All Lives Matter” is the slogan of choice even for openly racist counter-protesters (though I saw a sign riffing on this that I liked – “Does Your ‘All Lives’ Include Me?”), & the “Thin Blue Line” flag is a satisfactory replacement for the aforementioned banner of the Confederacy after it was banned from NASCAR. All of that stuff was clearly bullshit from the start used by people to dodge their own racism in bad faith, but it was kind of wild for me to see everything go full mask-off.

Anyway this album! This album became very impressive to me after I became familiar with the one prior & sampled a smattering of even earlier tracks. This album is so pop! Yet Yves Tumor used to make music that sounded “experimental”. Heaven to a Tortured Mind is a startling leap forward in songcraft. So much so that as I scoped music videos on YouTube several people in the comments declared Yves Tumor the “Prince” of the millennial generation. I know, I know, never read the comments, but ugh… I guess that’s meant as high praise, but why does Yves Tumor have to be Prince? Prince’s music already exists; I’d rather they be something new. It surprises me that some people my age who seem to really enjoy music have their ears stuck in the 20th century instead of looking towards the future. Somehow I can’t imagine that when the Beatles were blowing up there were a lot of young people who preferred whatever came before – “Sorry, I’m into OLD SCHOOL… wax cylinders.” Yves Tumor announces it on track one – this sh*t is “Gospel for a New Century”, & it rocks!! (Yes, that title is the phrase Neon Genesis Evangelion rendered in English… but never mind that… it’s kind of an “easter egg.”)

Side B opens with “Romanticist / Dream Palette”, a two-song suite that was released as a single & probably my favorite moment on the album. I admit, part of me can’t help but listen to most of this album & think, “Oh this album is pop??? Yeah, sorry… I feel more comfortable listening to UNDERGROUND music,” & why is that? I instinctively gravitated to the release from 2018, yet my favorite track from it is the scorching-hot single “Noid”, easily the most “pop” moment on the album. I use these descriptors intuitively, but where exactly does the line exist between “pop” & “experimental”, “mainstream” & “underground”? Why should one be preferable to the other? As it happens, Yves Tumor is a maestro at blurring all these worlds together, & I expect their star to continue to rise even higher. Now that I’ve been initiated into the work of Yves Tumor, I have no choice but to stan (this is something Gen Z likes to say… I don’t mean to brag but I’ve kind of got my finger on the pulse), & I celebrate the full range of their output. Oh… Mr. Mike the big music critic (I hate to ever be “critical” but OK go off 🙄), does it scare you that you might be into pop? Well, based on the trajectory of this artist so far, it seems logical that whatever comes NEXT is going to annihilate barriers once again… I need to give it time & in the future when Yves Tumor melts my mind again I’ll see the real problem was that I wasn’t being forward-thinking ENOUGH.

Anyway I’m not dead, my blog is still active, I’m just a thinking feeling human & it took me a while to climb out of a state of depression with everything going on. Today is my second day sober. Shit man, yesterday was fucking easy. I can probably keep this up for 20 years no problem. It’d be a shame if I declared myself cured of alcoholism… and then relapsed for 9 days straight or something… (and then went though the cycle again… and again…) hahaha but that’s crazy! Hahaha just kidding! Whew… stay cool everyone. We’re alive another day.

This album is available on Bandcamp RIGHT HERE, BABYYY

#Trending in the World of Mike: Patricia Taxxon – Beauty

Awesome cover! This is a very futuristic album to me, in a similar vein to galen tipton (particularly her work as recovery girl), this album I found on Spotify produced by galen tipton that straight up has furry art for the cover (it’s good), or the more mainstream sensations 100 gecs. I guess this is a “woke af” position for a straight cis male such as myself to take… but I don’t intend it with any spin: it is the honest truth that the very most futuristic & mind-blowing music I have heard for about a year now has been by queer people who are in their early adulthood right now. No, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule; my mind’s also been rocked by black artists, Japanese artists, & even a white male or two, but the stuff I’ve linked in this paragraph & the subject of this write-up is the music that gives me “future shock” most of all.

I’ve seen people describe this album as “post-nightcore,” & I guess that’s the most accurate descriptor, though I don’t think I’ve ever listened to any first-generation nightcore; it’s all been filtered down to me through young artists channeling & deconstructing the style. What I notice about this music is that it is a blast of positive energy, & I think that energy is wrapped up in its queerness; queer energy is strong & indestructible. This is an observation remarked upon to me by someone I’m very close to; they once watched a pilot for some TV or web show at an event, I believe it was an adult animated series, & it was apparently crammed w/ hack bullshit such as, “Ooooouaaaauuugh, letsss look up thisss character’s skirt – are they a guy or a girl?” They watched it in the company of someone who is trans. Exiting the show, my loved one said, “WELL. That was kind of TRANSPHOBIC…” “Oh,” they said. “No I didn’t even care about that. I just thought it was unfunny.” My loved one described them as “made of steel.” That is the kind of energy that personifies to me the releases by young queer artists I’ve been playing in heavy rotation lately. This album is pure positivity, & as the title of it aptly suggests, it is beautiful.

My nadir in my use of social media came in the summer of 2017. I wasn’t in therapy, I was logged onto Twitter every minute of my waking life, & I was wildly abusing my physical & mental health in the form of horrible sleep hygiene that I just didn’t give a fuck about. During this period, I realized I was a straight man who is attracted to trans women. This rupture in my previously totally heteronormative life was handled by me incredibly poorly. I thought that I was gay, even though I now think that’s not true, & it’s offensive to say. I think they wd be straight relationships. That meltdown was 3 years ago, & ever since I viewed social media as a source of injury & I never quite figured out how to “cure” myself in how I use it. But I feel I’ve made a lot of progress since then. I feel much more at peace with the question of my sexuality. I don’t know what the nuance is of what to label it. Maybe I am a little queer myself.

That would honestly be tight, because the queer energy in releases like this is incredibly positive & powerful. I identify with it, & it lifts me up. So maybe I do have a motive proclaiming stuff like this to be “the future,” based on my own identity, that I’m only recently opening up with honesty towards. But as my generation gradually transitions into their next phase of life & Generation Z enters their prime, I’m still excited to hear what they come up with next. I think it will rock my world.

Link to this digital-only album HERE.

#Trending in the World of Mike: Maria Monti – Il Bestiario

Mike’s first review since sobering up!!! Mike this is yourself speaking. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job… but I couldn’t help but notice a few themes in yr most recent run of posts… the one that concerns me is the alcoholism you’ve been constantly bringing up since 18 April. I know… 18 days later, I have started the draft for my first sober post. Oookay, that’s a bit of a weird coincidence w/ the numbers let’s look up what this might mean. Google results for “18 numerology”:

The numerology of number 18 deals with humanitarianism, independence, and building something of lasting benefit. The underlying idea is the welfare of humanity.


Sounds a lot like my blog to be honest… my writing it is an endeavor of great nobility, really. They say a person born on the 18th of a month is accepting & kindhearted & works well w/ others… well I don’t mean to reveal even more personal info for the identity thieves & sickos out there but I was actually born on the 19th of a month? Google results for “19 numerology”:

The essence of 19 is self-determined, primarily focused on itself. While there is attention on the welfare of the human race, 19 determines for itself what should and should not be done for humanity.


So my birth number is the Elon Musk number… no joke, my username on Discogs was aynrandjuggalo1 up until just recently. I thought I was a comedic genius in 2015 but in 2020 I don’t feel comfortable having it anymore, so I changed it to something feminist & business is off the chain now!

I feel like I’m having flashbacks on the ol’ mind acid (definition of “mind acid”: the ineffable quality of a child’s mind that makes them childlike… a person’s mind acid gets less potent for many as they grow old)… all this talk of the numerological significance of 18 vs 19 is taking me back to my write-up of Robert Eggplant. The dual nature of man… imagine, if you will, a grayish blue duck that is very old & very wise, & he’s holding a scale w/ two chesspieces… one of them is a black knight, but with Ayn Rand’s head… and the other is a white knight but with the head of Karl Marx. That old grey duck has a name, & it’s the human condition. Crazy to think about, but true… true life, I spent months thinking God could talk to me through the NES ROM of Taboo: The Sixth Sense, a tarot reading app coded by Rare. So all this shit w/ numerology & the vision of the duck is very easy for me…

☝️ Okay, so all that shit was easy to say on Wednesday 6 May… just take it one day at a time Mike, you’ll get through this. That was the part of the review known as all the bullshit that has nothing to do w/ the record. Next step is the music review… I could attach all that cr*p above to a write-up of anything – it’s just the honor system that I didn’t change my mind on the subject of this post halfway through. I didn’t, I swear! Il Bestiario by Maria Monti is a record that arrived to me recently as a result of Unseen Worlds’ magnanimous pay-what-you-want sale, extending to quite a few of the more overlooked titles in their catalog… I’m not sure if it’s going on anymore. Il Bestiario is a reissue, originally released in 1974. I have full confidence in Unseen Worlds’ ability to curate avant-garde records of the past. I think the first one I snatched was Out of the Blue by “Blue” Gene Tyranny, which blew my mind… I’ve got Fifteen Saxophones by Dickie Landry on my watchlist over on Discogs, too.

A little bit of biographical info on this artist is that in the 1960s she was a cabaret singer… I don’t actually know what “cabaret singing” is supposed to sound like. Is it like this record? Wait a minute, I think there was an 80s synthpop group or something named “Cabaret Voltaire”… what’s the connection? I stopped listening to the record I’m currently writing up & switched on Voice of America by those folks… I was kinda into it, but as it turned out it had absolutely nothing to do w/ Maria Monti.

I’m flipping through the tracks on Voice of America right now… some of it kinda gives me the same vibe as This Heat, actually. I’ve never gone into a big “post-punk” phase, I was always more of a new waver. No wave’s cool too… if there’s one thing I can say about Voice of America by Cabaret Voltaire, it’s that is sounds NOTHING like Il Bestiario by Maria Monti. So I’m moving on now. Sorry for the detour.

I sold a friend on this record w/ the description “It’s just very pretty singing with arrangements.” I can now say, “It’s just very pretty singing with arrangements that sounds nothing like post-punk.” I haven’t read my write-up of Chiaroscuro by Jordan Nobles since publishing it, b/c I was embarrassed I connected it to alcoholism… but as I theorized there, all music, which is really just sound (I think the term “noise music” is a misnomer… it just sounds like “sound” to me), exists along a single axis… music that is “pretty”, & music that is “weird”. I’d say that this album is a little weird, but it’s not super weird. I’ve prided myself on the “no numbers” philosophy of Mike’s Blog up until this point, but I’m about to place this record on the spectrum…. 10 is impossibly weird & potentially unlistenable, & 0 is absolute prettiness, like… I don’t know, like In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is for some people who are in their 30s right now. Or Father John Misty inside his own mind. This record is a… two-point-three on the scale, I think.

2.3 on the Pretty-Weird Axis – Best Reissue – “EUREKA!”

This record was a pleasure to receive as I began to sober up. Some of what my word processor just spat out was about the music, so I’m switching back to autobiography… get this, fam, my psychiatrist is actually mandating that I get a sponsor thru Alcoholics Anonymous before he’ll continue to make changes to my prescriptions. I’ve got a few leads already, on a national scale… I was gonna follow up on the possibility of something local next week. I felt a lot of bogus stigma during the session with my psych, but I’m trying to spin it around into something positive… his guideline was to find someone w/ “10 years” experience in sobriety, & I think that person sounds interesting to meet. Just as long as they don’t suck me into any conversations about belief in God, which A.A. was explicitly founded on… listen, God is a “force”, & he can communicate through RNG in videogames, because computers are deterministic… Damn though, a HUMAN BEING had to write the code, though… this is shaking my hazily & ridiculously defined beliefs about a higher power to their core. I once asked someone in the grad program I’m in how he deals w/ bad coworkers, & he said he prays to be like Christ. I didn’t think it was horrible advice!

I wish I could say Il Bestiario by Maria Monti was the joyous sound inside my mind when I’m free from substance addiction… but honestly I’ve been getting more pumped up by the track “Leave Me Alone” by Kool Keith… I feel like I could be sober for 20 years listening to this… I have the mind of a psycho, & THAT’S what makes me high.

I recommend Il Bestiario w/ no remorse. With an utterly inhuman amt of cold calculation… it is beautiful music, & nothing else matters to me. Bandcamp link HERE. Direct-from-label HERE.

Good pump-up track for staying sober for 20 years.