Plaid – Plaid

Plaid

 

I’ve learnt something recently. Caring is sexy. Like, real sexy. This, to some of you, must be obvious. Talk long enough with someone you could find physically attractive and the moment they start talking passionately about something is the moment you want to fuck them. And it draws you in, when a person, wielding an informed opinion, begins pontificating, begins complaining, begins begging the virtues of a facet of an unknown far away field. They lure you into their field and manifest as your lusty guide. Telling you what they want you to know, you hearing what you want to hear, and mainly it’s down to their tone of voice. The seriousness. The raising in volume when they reach their declarative crescendo. And it’s the faces they pull too. A supercilious brow is the sexiest! Like a hook, I am lined and sunk… or whatever that metaphor is meant to be.

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Plaid are woefully unrepresented on this here internet. After plenty of keywords searched I figured I’m just going to have to do it myself. I hope the introduction was ravishing enough. As I go up in belt holes and gain a few more listening years under said belt, I’ve become more attuned to a band’s ability at songwriting, and Plaid happily prevails. I’d liken them to a cross between Frightened Rabbit and Masters of Reality, a propensity for acoustics and verve, able to write a decent vocal line. Their 2011 debut Plaid appears to have gotten lost in the wash of releases. I will hold up their label Gravel Road, and say, get this record out there! Them indie/folk dudes need to hear this!

Have click on the image above to open Spotify.

 

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The Field – From Here We Go Sublime

The Slang of Teenage Years

I admire the imagination of each successive teen generation. As the ages swoop linearly, teens are great recyclers of vocabulary. On mass appropriation brings about creative, and surprising new definitions, that reflects the zeitgeist psyche once again. What’s more, new lexis appears like a production line. Each generation has their own slang, their own in-speak. You adults wouldn’t understand our code. It’s banking outside, Miss, that is not a ting. It’s impressive witnessing the harmonising of individuals, as social groups form their own vocabulary. Considerable universe building at work. Making sense of it all. All through fashionable words that the young surf like the current wave, that insult older generations and their precious language. I recognise jealousy when I see it. There’s a prescient consumer culture fear of becoming uncool, a side effect of wrinkles. The undercurrent, the gradual carrying out to sea, is that people realise they’ve been dulled by the world. Creativity gets washed ashore while we paddle hard at work, at reality. The Teen’s flagrant ingenuity  rocks the oldster who’s craving new ideas of new escapes, new universes. Though they’re turbulent years, I think teenagers really do have something to be admired.

A little about the music. Above is The Field’s 2007 debut From Here We Go Sublime, a solid checkpoint for anyone interested in techno and trance. It’s kept me up for a good few nights I can tell you. This record, the best in The Field’s discography at divulging this kind of sensation, is like watching a complex water fountain dance before you. Leaping loops journey up the tiers, while columns sink and intertwine. There are effervescent lasers cloaking the sheets of water that tumble down in continuous splashes, dissipating on impact of the greenly hue of the lowest, rippling base. It projects a climbing in the midst of falling feeling akin to diving in to a pool: heart and stomach soar as the body clinches with gravity’s fall.

How will spying through voice recognition technology impact our behaviour?

Interesting story: Samsung smart TV policy allows company to listen in on users

“The policy states: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

I saw an interesting video of John Macafee, of Macafee computer security fame, talking about online privacy which I think has some relevancy. The attitude, I have nothing to hide, should not equate to the big technology corporations having the attitude: Then it doesn’t matter if you give us everything.

Last year’s revelations about the NSA proved the public’s data is being trawled for national security reasons, whatever they may be…

From Unique-Design’s website: “it is in the best interests of government policy makers to get the populace to conform to a certain manner of social behavior that the government policy makers believe to be the best template for society. To get the populace to conform government policy makers will use any method that is socially acceptable, including enlisting corporate support and facilitation, to change the manner of behavior of the populace so that it conforms to the desired model of acceptable citizen behavior.”

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Handing over everything nonchalantly is lazy. Our data is a powerful tool in the hands of the right people. It’s imperative for business and governments to manipulate how the populace behaves in order to guide us into templates of the acceptable consumer they desire. But, what’s pivotal is that it’s subtle. We, the populace, must not notice they are doing it for it to be effective. Thus, we change with no argument. They infiltrate by using backdoors of social norms. Businesses are able to record conversations from our living room. Unthinkable before the internet age.

We may think we have nothing to hide. That’s not the point. We are being guided into homogenous behaviours. There’s only one Google. There’s only one Facebook. There’s only one Apple. Monoculture. The internet has splintered us into isolating microcultures where what’s cherished by me is alien to you. But we both use Google. It’s the new town centre and it’s free. If you aren’t the one buying something, then you’re the commodity being sold. 

Omnipresent surveillance alters behaviour. When you were a child and you knew your mother was watching, you played differently. Even when you were outside and she was watching through the kitchen window, you still knew, and changed play from what it would have been without her watching.

The consequence is idiosyncratic behaviour will disappear. We will behave in a new acceptable manner. I wouldn’t have had a slug bucket when I was younger. Societal pressures of acceptance will guide us into conformity. We’ll lack creativity and ideas, of doing things differently for fear of ostracisation. We’ll be predictable and unoffensive. Lowest common denominator behaviour.

Do you think it will be the same for the rich? Those who can afford quality education? Those, where power resides? Those, in a two-tier society of the 1% and the other 99%? Those, who think they are better than us, a different species, even.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke

rilke-portrait

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke

So much appreciation for Project Gutenberg. Here is a collection from the Austrian Poet Rainer Maria Rilke, a master of the melancholic and the mystic. His Letters to a Young Poet are beautiful and warming so check that out too. Here’s a sample of what the collection has to offer:

THE SPANISH DANCER


As a lit match first flickers in the hands
Before it flames, and darts out from all sides
Bright, twitching tongues, so, ringed by growing bands
Of spectators—she, quivering, glowing stands
Poised tensely for the dance—then forward glides

And suddenly becomes a flaming torch.
Her bright hair flames, her burning glances scorch,
And with a daring art at her command
Her whole robe blazes like a fire-brand
From which is stretched each naked arm, awake,
Gleaming and rattling like a frightened snake.

And then, as though the fire fainter grows,
She gathers up the flame—again it glows,
As with proud gesture and imperious air
She flings it to the earth; and it lies there
Furiously flickering and crackling still—
Then haughtily victorious, but with sweet
Swift smile of greeting, she puts forth her will
And stamps the flames out with her small firm feet.

Fela Kuti – Zombie

What is the Validity of Knowledge Gained in Peak-Experiences?

While I regularly entangle myself in the webs of the internet, willowing through portals and down wormholes exploring the dark sticky areas where I can’t feel another’s presence, I sidewinded into some delving thoughts that made me look at myself.

I’ve been reading Abraham Maslow on Peak Human Experiences and recognised elements of what he had to say in 1970. Incredible how far behind I am. I wish we were saying these kinds of things today.

Here’s a snippet which I found related to me, you, all of us, most:

“The surf will be here forever and you will soon be gone. So hang on to it, appreciate it, be fully conscious of it. Be grateful for it. You are lucky.”

Joy, Ecstasy; these are real emotions attainable by everyone, but the real superlative living is recognising how extraordinairy the ordinairy really is. Look at how you can see eachother using your eyes, those sensory perceptors giving you a live feed of light, colour, shade, the external forces extrinsic to the mind flying inside.

A fraction of you is revealed when you speak. Consider the person you are inside your head, the person who speaks from your mouth, and the person others perceive you to be. If each were to meet they’d be unrecognisable.

People barely listen to the miscommunicated, ill-thought out words, that poorly reflect the muddled thoughts of what one was thinking projected by the incredible complex system of irrational emotions we are perpetually juggling.

No wonder it’s easy for big business to prey on our wishes to be individuals, our personal isolation is practically innate. Most feel they are unrelatable to eachother and seek lowest common grounds.

Think on this. It is natural for us to communicate. Maslow says we could not exist without a society. Buddhism says without another perceiver who are we to say we exist. We need eachother. It’s natural for us to communicate and we do it effortlessly too.

How much are we conscious of speaking?

We are on autopilot for many of our daily actions. We don’t forcibly think about chewing our food. We don’t measure how we step up onto a curb. We don’t remind ourselves to breathe. We have Morning Routines. We do these actions using what neuroscientists call the ‘default mode network‘. Our autopilot. We aren’t thinking about what we are doing, we just do. Kind of like those other animals and their natures.

By no surprise then, we think before we speak as much as a sheep thinks before he bleats.

Some of the reasons we place ourselves as God’s gift to the world, as above the animals, is we can say we have greater intellect. We have the best memories. We invented technology. We have philosophy, we wonder why? Our mental capacity is superior as we have the largest brains relative to our size. No doubt we have dominated the Earth with our proud powers of extinction, not only of other animals but of our future selves too.

Yet with all this brain power our communication is poor. Admittedly, we can barely interpret our own emotions in our thoughts. When we say I’m feeling happy today, do we say this to ourselves or do we know it intuitively, and behave differently, we change the way we communicate in body language as well as our tones and register. It does not effect how much we consider before words tumble out of our mouths. We can say the wrong things in a good mood as much as in a bad mood.

I’ve been focusing on questions these last few years.

Calling for information out of someone requires them to stop and think, as opposed to acting and reacting, to give correct or biased information that suits them – check out the numerous lies we say – either way it involves a consideration of themselves, what they feel they should say and depends on who they are talking to including the context. There’s lots to cognize. Brilliant.

People like talking about themselves, and they like those who will listen to it even more.

Maslow outlines: ‘The empirical fact is that self-actualizing people, our best experiencers, are also our most compassionate, our great improvers and reformers of society, our most effective fighters against injustice, inequality, slavery, cruelty, exploitation (and also our best fighters for excellence, effectiveness, competence). And it also becomes clearer and clearer that the best “helpers” are the most fully human persons. What I may call the bodhisattvic path is an integration of self-improvement and social zeal, i.e., the best way to become a better “helper” is to become a better person. But one necessary aspect of becoming a better person is via helping other people. So one must and can do both simultaneously.’

I strive to express myself fully to become an example for others to follow and make their own. By talking to others and asking them about themselves, it makes them consider themselves, to think about their situation, and allows them an opportunity to express what they have on their mind after thinking about it.

We are cognizant animals. We are lucky. A sheep can bleat, but we able to say far more than that to eachother. Lets try.

Right, with all the pontificating out of the way I’ll point you to the excellent jam at the top of the page. Fela Kuti is a wonderful Nigerian saxophonist who essentially invented the Afrobeat genre back in the 70s, this record Zombie, is his best, dating 1977. There was politcal strife around this release as Kuti was quite the vocal dissident against the still corrupt government of Nigeria, and so upon Zombie’s imminent release governmental troops stormed his apartments as an attempt to arrest him. Discovering that Kuti had escaped, the forces trashed his home and, I kid you not, threw his mother out of the apartment window, a fall that caused fatal injuries. Crazy! Real life is scarier than fiction. That’s a fact.

Big Black – Ethnic Fusion

Big Black - Ethnic Fusion

Is the internet now just one big human experiment?

The fact that this is news to people is ridiculous. The Internet, and the time you spend on the internet is BIG BUSINESS. Of course they’re going to try and manipulate their audiences, just like how newspapers have an agenda, they’ll write a story in a certain way that appeals to a certain audience, pushing their agenda in the same breath. Manipulation is everything. They’re trendmakers, if they can coerce you into something, guess what!

Look at the banking sector, one of the richest industries. Consider how fruitloop half of their decision-making is, how reckless it is of every day people’s lives and finances. Do people really think companies the size as such as these actually care about social responsibility? Or do they care about their shareholders, and how to make them more money?

If a business can manipulate its consumers into spending more time, attention, and money with them, they will go above and beyond to be as advantageous versus their rivals as possible. Look at governments spying on other governments during peacetime, they are after eachother’s secrets because they want to gain an advantage on them!

And this is business! And this is the internet! And this is the media! They know you can’t go anywhere else, you won’t leave Facebook if they control what you’re doing. Governments want controlable populations to keep the elite in their place at the top.

This isn’t new, it’s been happening for centuries!

The only business I would trust is one privately owned, and not run by a board of shareholders. A benevolent dictatorship is the most stable, beneficial for all governance, yet guess what? It’s impossible because by our very human nature we are greedy and full of desire in which we grab for more. No one is honest, our minds are instinctively built to deceive so this is equivalent to shouting in a bin.

Void of any kind of commercial value, indeed there are no videos on Youtube, I present Big Black’s Ethnic Fusion at the top of this post. This record is heavenly, I can see the night sky when I close my eyes, I feel bonfires on my skin, I hear dusky oaken voices of forests calling me home…

We should wander out into the outback, we should taste the river’s water and spy rare birds from afar and envy their flight, for they can go farther than we ever could. Climb higher people and listen to the echoes of the ancients in this music, I know I know, it’s only from 1983, but music this good lasts forever, forward and back in time….

Roland Kirk – Kirk Live in Copenhagen

I like vinyl as an experience of listening to music. I’ve not been convinced by the idea that it is warmer sounding per se, or that it sounds better due to less compression. Something other people can hear, I suppose.

What I take from the experience I’d best describe as holistic; the act of opening it up, wiping dust carefully off with a sleeve of whatever clothing nearby, painfully lowering the needle as the warped disc begins its initial rotations, watching it rise and fall undulating like the ocean from beach level.

I end up paying more attention to the music. Streaming, or on CD, a few songs can whirr or buffer by, easily I don’t notice the transition from one song to the next. I can see there’s loads of songs, who cares! Yet, on vinyl I have to watch that shit incase I don’t want to fuck it up y’know. It’s delicate.

So it has my attention more, I learn the songs faster, I start preferring sides, the track order builds appreciation: the first one, the middle couple, that side with one long song I can meditate to for 22 minutes. The flow of the record reveals itself with evermore clarity. This is a curated experience by an artist you like. Dig in to it.

With vinyl I believe the musician’s decision-making from top to bottom, from packaging, colours, weight, production becomes more apparent, and in this medium you place yourself in the best position to appreciate it.

In this post we have Roland Kirk playing Kirk in Copenhagen dating back to 1964 and it is top drawer jazz. A multi-instrumentalist who could play several instruments at once, oh yes. He makes you and I look pretty weak.