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"To Heal," a sort of intelligible constellation of what I’ve been listening to this month.

"To Heal," Underworld
"Live to Tell," Madonna
"Two Weeks," FKA twigs
"9X Outta 10," DJ Quik & Kurupt
"Waiting for the End," Linkin Park
"Why I Wait," Kitten
"Shoot High, Aim Low," Yes
"Why Should I Love You," Kate Bush
"The Other Side," El Debarge

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"To Heal," a sort of intelligible constellation of what I’ve been listening to this month.

"To Heal," Underworld

"Live to Tell," Madonna

"Two Weeks," FKA twigs

"9X Outta 10," DJ Quik & Kurupt

"Waiting for the End," Linkin Park

"Why I Wait," Kitten

"Shoot High, Aim Low," Yes

"Why Should I Love You," Kate Bush

"The Other Side," El Debarge

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Text

Before The Myth of Sisyphus he had carried round The Unnamable and Nightwood for at least a year, and for two years before that the ultimate overcoat book, Heart of Darkness. Sometimes, driven on by horror at his own ignorance and a determination to conquer a difficult book, or even a seminal text, he would take a copy of something like Seven Types of Ambiguity or The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire out of his bookshelves only to find that its opening pages were already covered in spidery and obscure annotations in his own handwriting. These traces of an earlier civilization would have reassured him if he had any recollection at all of the things he had obviously once read, but this forgetfulness made him panic instead. What was the point of an experience if it eluded him so thoroughly? His past seemed to turn to water in his cupped hands and to slip irretrievably through his nervous fingers.

Edward St. Aubyn, Bad News

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The Afghan Whigs: “Lost in the Woods” (Do to the Beast, 2014)

The bloom of his cigarette tenderly cast his features in amber, and this combined with further distortions of his mood made his mouth look like a woven insect. The rain falling on and around the awning placed in the air an ambient whine, as if evolving a jet engine. He stood here for twenty minutes maybe, but the abrupt halt in his actions deeply amended his sense of time and purpose, and after a while he could no longer determine in which direction he had been walking, and whether it had not always been raining, and whether this was the narrow shape of his life, a distracted glow in the rain. Leaves fell damp and graceless from a tree nearby, none of their conventional flutter, and he felt the order of nature had been accelerated, and that he alone contained in the limits of his body the word “delay.”

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Local cat discovers bug clinging to the exposed brain of the sky.

Local cat discovers bug clinging to the exposed brain of the sky.

Audio

Say Anything: “Hebrews” (Hebrews, 2014)

What is this? Strings programmed to perform little angry, efficient quarter turns. Synths that have the shape of a computer error. Real, fleshy drums. Max Bemis’ voice, equally annihilated and smoothed, so tenderized. All angles and blurs, no shapes. The new Say Anything album was written and performed without guitars, and their absence is tangible. The songs feel subtracted from, their textures all weightless and desiccated. Violins and keyboards sound like ghosts of another album. Voids everywhere, like a spiderweb. In the odd allusiveness of this landscape, Bemis himself sharpens; his lyrics cluster and flurry. Feeling persecuted by fans, critics, invisible enemies, he unfastens, raveling just beyond the range of comprehension. Bemis has never been an entirely conscious lyricist, and on occasion he’s unspooled completely into racism and misogyny. The chorus to this song renews his confusion of other oppressed people with himself (“I’m just a sick little Injun”). His method of self-reflection is reckless and omnivorous; he takes other people and countries with him.