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A Meditation Inspired By, If Not Exactly on “The Four Aims”

I had the pleasure of spending last weekend combing New England - not for anything particular, just combing - on a rock and roll tour with the rock group Bunny’s a Swine. Enumerating the ways in which it was a pleasure would be tiresome since you can likely imagine, at this point, what the pleasures of a rock and roll tour generally entail, but among these many, unenumerated pleasures was that of listening to this song, “The Main Ingredient” from the Flower-Corsano Duo’s record “The Four Aims” on a real vinyl record. (A word of warning that I’m not really gonna talk much about this actual song here. I’ll do that another day, maybe. It is a world’s worth of music and worthy, in my estimation of a Ken Burns documentary or Steven King novel or something.)

As much as I love this record, I don’t own it. This is largely because I don’t make a point of buying records I really want but instead haphazardly and whimsically collect them, truly collect them, I think, picking them up based not on my desire to listen to them, or really to have them, but on some other impulse often related to an intersection of, at any point in time, how loose I feel with my cash and how excited I am about the idea of listening to records in general. For the most part I’m satisfied with Spotify, and low on dough.

It’s a shame, though. Listening to records has become a thing I’m supposed to do of late - living as I do in Brooklyn, being as I am a white dude in the right age range, playing as I do in a band, professing as I do to have a discerning ear when it comes to tunes - but I have difficulty getting into it. Part of it is the object itself, which people talk about fetishizing. I can see this, I can see the appeal, but most people I know who listen to records regularly aren’t the sort who obsessively catalog, preserve, and treat records as museum pieces, so while I may be expected to be a hipster, that doesn’t seem to mean that I’m expected to wash my hands before I touch a record. What we’re talking about then, is not my aversion to object worship, but just stuff in general, an aversion that is more theoretical and practical more than it is real. I have stuff, but in a perfect world, I tell myself, I wouldn’t. So that’s one thing. Another is that I’m lazy, and that my stylus seems to collect dust more intensely than any I have ever encountered elsewhere. To play vinyl is to disrupt the flow of whatever else I’m doing, while courting the anxiety that my tracking weight is too high, that I’m ruining my records by playing them too hard. I have records, and I do play them, but really only on special occasions.

What we have in this case, is a truly special occasion, then. Towards the end of a morning spent listening to records - George Harrison, Leonard Cohen, a cover of “Ram” - I find myself, in a house full of people, basically alone in the living room with a Califone record playing that nobody really cares about. I find “The Four Aims” and freak out a little to myself. Turning to the other soul in the room, I proclaim how awesome this is. He shows interest, but leaves the room a minute or two in, and I settle in to bask in the flow of notes.

It’s not about the act of putting on the record, it’s not about the object itself, but, of course, you stupid asshole, it’s about actually listening to the music. I may rant about how MP3 bloggers have perverted music discourse, turning a beautifully open medium into yet another shill, but in focusing on the effect on criticism caused by a valuation of pure dissemination over thought, I have long ignored or dismissed the fact that the medium is as much to blame, perhaps, as the method of using it. Not that I can totally disavow the MP3, or digital music in general, and not that I would even advocate that they be disavowed, but I would, upon reflection, urge myself and others to separate from them from time to time. The medium that supplies the material appreciated colors the experience, and changes at least slightly that which is appreciated. There is value in the rapid fire nature of streaming, the concision of digital collection, but the analog event is worth experiencing, maybe not for some crusty old “it sounds better” or even “it’s about the ritual”, but at least because it’s different from you what you do at your fucking office.

Music becomes a soundtrack, simple background noise too easily when it is treated as something to turn on and off at will, regardless of setting, so I’ll take a moralistic stand on wax from a position I have too rarely seen: to listen to vinyl is to fight the good fight against turning even our most profound music experiences into wallpaper. Of course, I’m still broke, so there’s that.

«Le istanze dei residenti di Cerreto: dalla ferita “trasporti” alle puntualizzazioni politiche»

Nuova tappa della campagna d’ascolto “La Città che Vogliamo”: il candidato sindaco dei Popolari Alessandro Ciasullo incontra i residenti di Ariano Scalo

Depotenziamento della Stazione Ferroviaria, dei trasporti su gomma, e chiusura degli Uffici Postali. Sono questi gli scippi recenti dei residenti di Cerreto che si trovano a dover riorganizzare “l’identità” di una delle zone dell’arianese storicamente più vivace. Così la comunità si è ritrovata in cerchio per un confronto dialettico con i Popolari.

La campagna d’ascolto “La Città che Vogliamo” ha, per l’appunto, fatto tappa ad Ariano Scalo dove nonostante l’inclemenza climatica, un buon numero di cittadini e cittadine ha risposto all’invito del candidato sindaco Alessandro Ciasullo e della squadra dei Popolari. Alla terza manifestazione itinerante, si nota sempre più la necessità di essere ascoltati e parallelamente la volontà di raccogliere le istanze delle singole contrade al fine di creare, entro gennaio, una proposta organica per la città di Ariano.
«In questi momenti in cui tutto vacilla, dobbiamo inquadrare le prospettive e rilanciare l’assetto della nostra città» ha affermato Alessandro Ciasullo il quale sta annotando personalmente istanze, lamentele, anche recriminazioni, che costituiranno il materiale principe del programma 2014/2019.  

Di seguito alcune battute dell’incontro.


Angelo *: «La richiesta è semplice: istituire almeno la fermata dei treni che passano attraverso Ariano Scalo – esordisce uno dei residenti di Cerreto –. Contemporaneamente è necessario ripristinare le corse dei pullman sostituitivi dei treni regionali»
Alessandro Ciasullo: «Abbiamo subìto decisioni provenienti dagli ambienti istituzionali nazionali e da una delle più grandi aziende italiane. Eppure credo che il ruolo di primo cittadino sia anche quello di andare in Parlamento e far notare le esigenze del proprio territorio, le ingiustizie perpetuate, e prospettare alternative coerenti. Un sindaco con dinamicità e serenità d’intenti deve rappresentare la città. Detto ciò, vi anticipo che tra le ipotesi di riorganizzazione dell’Azienda di Mobilità Ufitana c’è anche il servizio a chiamata con dei mini-bus. Tra l’altro, si è in attesa del bando unico regionale che ci permetterà di comprendere in che modo l’elemento locale si può intersecare con il vincitore unico della gara regionale».

Peppino Corsano *: «Il mio allontanamento dal gruppo dei Popolari è dovuto all’aver costatato come alcuni personaggi ci hanno prima attaccati in campagna elettorale, poi me li sono ritrovati nella compagine di maggioranza. La mia – prosegue il geometra Corsano – è una critica per risolvere questi problemi e agire diversamente nel futuro prossimo».
Alessandro Ciasullo: «Sono più che convinto che con il ricatto non si va avanti, per quel che riguarda il nostro gruppo siamo partiti presto proprio per permettere a voi concittadini di comprendere cosa sia accaduto e quello che possiamo fare se avrete fiducia in me e nella squadra dei Popolari, rinnovata e con elementi portanti come l’ex assessore comunale Li Pizzi e l’ex consigliere provinciale Gelormini. Sta di fatto che le nuove disposizioni per la formazione dell’assise cittadina, con la riduzione dei componenti e con l’aumento della presenza femminile, ci porrà a riparo da meccanismi disfunzionali e perversi. È una nuova era politica che si sta disegnando, coniugheremo lo slancio dei membri più giovani, con una buona dose di vitalità, con l’esperienza consolidata di esponenti che si sono contraddistinti per integrità».

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Chris Corsano live @ the Silent Barn (03/15/15)
video by: Robert Mizaki

Hopscotch Music Festival chooses Owen Pallett as improviser-in-residence for its 2015 edition

The full lineup for the 2015 edition of Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival won’t be announced until sometime next month, but in the interest of keeping our interest until that time (not that they had to try), Hopscotch has just announced this year’s (and its fourth, historically speaking) improviser-in-residence, set to take the event by storm with an atypical spontaneity of all sorts. Previous improvisers Chris Corsano, Merzbow, and Thurston Moore mostly kept to the music side of things, but there is every indication that this new individual will do all kinds of crazy, unexpected things. Did you want free pancakes thrown out to you at the shows this year? Well, just maybe…

Owen Pallett, recently known as “Owen Pallett” and previously wielding the gamer-coddling moniker “Final Fantasy,” will be doing the honors this year. He released the deceptively accessible In Conflict last summer, and his previous work has earned him both actual awards and BFF honors with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler.

Pallett skipped over the entire state of North Carolina during his North American tour last year, so expect a tour de force de violin to make up for it!

• Owen Pallett: http://www.owenpalletteternal.com
• Hopscotch: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com http://j.mp/1HMBuX3

An incredible wall full of adventurous sounds from the great Roaratorio label has arrived at IT Records. Way out free jazz, modern composition, freak rock and outsider song sharks! Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Paul Metzger, Rodd Keith, Nelson Gastaldi, Rotate The Completor, konstruKt, Philip Corner, Knife World (with 3D cover art and viewing glasses built into the record label itself!), Steve Lacy, Pauline Oliveros, Davu Seru, George Cartwright, Talibam! and “A” Trio. 

Fans of the dedicated outré are heartily encouraged to investigate.

SOAK SHOUT OUT! Slip Into These Sleek Slides & Flip-Off Those Flip-Flops Forever !

SOAK SHOUT OUT! Slip Into These Sleek Slides & Flip-Off Those Flip-Flops Forever !

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/329348239/soak/widget/video.html


GOSSIP GIRL BFF & NY handbag designer MICHELLE VALE is launching the shoe every woman is pining for this summer. SOAK was founded in 2014 with former Fashion Editor ELENA CORSANO to create a stylish alternative for what-to-slip-on when the stilettos slide off!

SOAKs are perfectly practical. They’ll get you to yoga and out for…

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