Biscuits, Triscuits…


Bushwick Daily
December 15, 2013, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Bushwick Daily

Lately, I have become a contributor for the Bushwick Daily. I most recently contributed some picks to Bushwick Daily’s Best of 2013 Playlist. Check it out here!

 

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Wildcat Apollo- S/T
October 10, 2013, 10:48 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Hey, it’s a new review! New music! FINALLY!

 

Wildcat Apollo

Wildcat Apollo

Release date Oct.30

Sometimes we forget why we love listening to music. With a lot of the new music coming out that seems to rarely ever stretch itself out of the vein of boring mediocrity, it’s hard to get that feeling; the one we forgot about. It’s the feeling of complete unadulterated joy and happiness from sound; listening to something that makes you remember every memory that made you smile as well as all the ones that made your heart break so many times. Wildcat Apollo brings that back with their music.

This Brooklyn/Austin four-piece formed of brothers and best friends in 2012 and is about to release their first full-length. The self-titled debut was recorded this summer in Austin at the Bubble with Frenchie Smith, who produced and mixed records by Built to Spill, Meat Puppets, the Dandy Warhols and many more. 

Each Wildcat Apollo song is wildly unique yet is also intricately threaded through the album to create a cohesive record. There are some songs, such as “Shrug,” that bellow out a 90’s youthfulness with noodling guitar parts, unhindered vocals, and tightly knit drum parts. The male/female vocals blend solidly together as the entire energy expresses the fun clearly being had by all members of the band.

Others like “High and Low,” are more akin to Broken Social Scene in that there is a similar solidarity between the instruments and vocals. There is a partnership in teaming up to lull together, rock together, and dance together throughout the song.

Then there are songs that maintain some of those elements but exhale a dance-rock/post-punk sound with prominent bass lines, and echoed vocals. “Gotham,” for example feels underwater, blurry, and sun-stroked with it’s blistering whirs and echoed but full female vocals.

Some tunes, like “The Colorado,” just sound like the soundtrack to an indie-rock western. It is a variety of styles that Wildcat Apollo infuses into their music but they are doing something right because every song feels like something that has been missing.

I could go on for days detailing each song and why it encompasses the feelings of youth and diving into ones past but it seems better to just tell you to listen to the damn album.

Wildcat Apollo’s ballsy and emotion-filled record leaves a listener drained yet wanting more. Each song seems a lot shorter than it really is because it feels like they should last forever. The album may as well be the soundtrack to the emotions of everyone’s entire life. It’s a roller coaster ride of an album that speeds up, slows down, and makes you feel. It makes you remember why music like this matters, and most of all, it feels real.

Check out their tunes here: http://www.wildcatapollo.com/

by Lauren Piper

 



“Sunny’s Magical Tea Party”- Patrick Maguire
October 8, 2013, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

 

 

All the guests finally arrive.  There is Teddy and Mr. Flamingo, Puff Puff the lion, Piggy Squealson, and Joanna.  Teddy had asked if Ribbit the evil frog could join but Sunny would hear none of it.  A blue blanket, suspended by a great many push pins, hangs securely overhead.  The tea party is lit by a single electric lantern.  The animals intentionally distance themselves from where the lantern’s circular cover creates a diagonal pocket of shadow. 

Upon the tent’s construction, some weeks prior, Sunny explained the purpose of the false azure sky.  “It keeps all the bad things out so we can stay safe.” 

To which Puff Puff the lion retorted: “But we would protect you, Miss Sunny!”

“I know, but this makes it so you don’t have to.”

And Sunny’s words ring true.  The loud, angry voices emanating from the kitchen are wholly swallowed by the magical tent and the dining party is none the wiser.  Though if she could hear them yelling, the subject matter is anything but unfamiliar.

Small plastic wafers are being heated in the fluorescent pink oven, which was purchased from a catalogue.  It was featured on page thirty-seven beside a baby blue workbench for boys.

Each of the attendees has been allotted the plate and saucer that presently sits before them.  An additional bowl filled with honey occupies the center of the irregular friendship circle.

The children’s stove dings twice to signal that it’s contents are ready for consumption.  Each plate is given two cookies and Sunny accents the treat by pouring a dab of honey over it.  After Mr. Flamingo complements the scrumptiousness of the golden sweetener Sunny describes it’s acquisition to the table.  She was given the honey from a group of apologetic bees that routinely buzz the hedge out back as an act of atonement for a stinging incident.  The noble queen had commissioned her best worker bees to tap the most elegant flowers.  The purpose being to prepare a gift for Sunny.  In an extravagant ceremony thirty of the strongest bee soldiers flew a ceramic pot out to her.  In return she promised never again to use the spot as the setting for her jungle adventures. 

The guests love the story, well, all but Teddy who mumbles ‘hogwash’ under his breath.  Sunny has half a mind to exile the curmudgeonly bear to the haunted closet where Ribbit the evil frog is no doubt reconsidering past transgressions.  Ribbit knows what he did.

With the tale completed everyone concentrates on their meal.  Sunny scans her band of friends.  Joanna sits to her left.  At one time the rag-tag pound puppy was incarcerated behind cardboard bars on a felony count of cuteness.  Sunny would have none of that and sprung her free for 12.95.  Though quiet, Joanna often provides Sunny with moral support.  Just one look at her marble eyes beneath those big floppy ears prompts an uncontrollable grin.

Going further around the circle sits Piggy Squealson.  Piggy has fluffy white hair covering the majority of his body.  His left ear hangs half off and sometimes when hugged with an unusual tightness his stuffing puffs out.  Some time ago Sunny wanted to see if the serrated knife she stole from the kitchen was sharp enough.  Piggy Squealson’s ear was the litmus test, mostly because Sunny knew he would forgive her.  In the end she was too scared to use the knife as intended but loved Piggy all the more for his sacrifice.

Puff Puff the lion takes the place directly across from Sunny.  His name comes from an unfortunate incident with the dryer.  His once ferocious mane is now a permed poof.  Puff Puff is a regular sidekick on Sunny’s adventures since his hand puppet form makes for easy traveling. 

Mr. Flamingo is the next around the continuum.  He nibbles at his meal with a certain refinement.  Sunny adores the uneven lumps that contort his neck and bulge his torso.  She made him in a crafts class from a pattern the teacher had handed out.  His many deformities and miscolorations are what makes him so charming to Sunny.

Finally, Teddy holds the place to Sunny’s right.  His old button eyes are no longer sewn in tight and his once smiling face has fallen to more of a frown.  Once the prized toy of her father, Teddy and Sunny have a strained relationship.  But, as bitter old friends sometimes do, neither will give up on the other.

“The tea is made from all that is good and it will ward off all that is bad.”  Sunny announces the reason they are all here.

“But oink what if oink it doesn’t work?!” Piggy Squealson wrinkles his nose.

“We have to try Piggy!  How will we know if we don’t try?”

So, they all gulp down the putrid potion.  It tastes so awful it has to work.  She used the reddest leaves from the tree in the front yard, milk from the refrigerator, cereal dust from the bottom of the box, and squeezed the juice from a single blueberry.  All of which was stirred and mashed with a cinnamon stick left on the kitchen table from yesterday’s diner.

Each looks into the other’s eyes to see if there was any signs of the potion taking effect.  The front door slams but the magical blanket holds it’s will.  Though if she could hear it she would recognize that this is her mother leaving without her.

Sunny yells distractingly: “Let the parade begin!”  With full stomachs the party takes to it’s feet.  Sunny swishes her oversized t-shirt left and right.  The drums kick on over an angelic chorus of horns.  Joanna joins behind, shaking her head so that her ears flop to the beat.  Piggy Squealson gets up on his hind legs and moves his hips to bounce his curly tail.  Puff Puff the lion lets out intermittent growls to match the melody while imitating a windmill with his arms.  Mr. Flamingo flies up and down while conducting the band with his beak.  Teddy doesn’t join the line but he does eek out a smile which catches Sunny’s eye.  In an instant she leaps on him and the other animals follow.  Teddy mistakenly lets his happiness show while playfully trying to get out from under the mound of bodies.  When the pig pile is over each lies exhausted beside the other. 

And then her father enters the tent.  The festivities quickly end.  The magical blanket has failed.  Today’s concoction is no good.  He lays down beside her and folds his hands around her.  They will have to attempt a different recipe tomorrow.



New Old Reviews – Elliott Smith
September 24, 2013, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Dig This Real | Tags: , ,

New reviews will be written soon, but the beginning of school is a hard time. I have been writing blogs about my children twice a week with pictures and details about what they are doing. I love writing, and writing those blogs is something I am so passionate about, but when I get home it’s very hard to write one of my own. So for another week please accept these old reviews and I promise something new will appear.

Picture 4

Picture 2

 



“Early Morning Pluck”- Patrick Maguire
September 23, 2013, 7:14 am
Filed under: Micro Fiction | Tags: , , ,

I’ve never had much love for early morning spiders; those careless arachnids that spin their one strand webs over shaded paths.

Their uselessness astounds me, baffles me even. Never have I seen an insect stupid enough to be caught by such a flimsy trap so this can’t be the way they acquire food. They could be using it for transportation but how much traveling could a spider do to justify remaking such an extravagant bridge daily? It could be the beginning of some grand web by a particularly ambitious eight legged beast but I’ve gone on vacation and come back weeks later to no more than the few strands that are built daily.

Even if I cannot figure your reasoning, you tiny creature, I know that every morning I will meet your web on the way to my car. Every morning, every morning for more than a decade now. Lately I’ve been thinking perhaps we aren’t struggling against each other. Perhaps we struggle in parallel. You know you try so hard not to be as useless as those early morning spiders but sometimes…



“Do You Dream, Dezi?” – Patrick Maguire
September 13, 2013, 7:32 am
Filed under: Micro Fiction | Tags: ,

Back before those-that-claimed-they-loved-me began questioning my mental state, I used to live to dream.  Every night traveling to the same familiar location.  Experiencing unusually cordial encounters with those that anchored my waking life.

I so rarely met a new face.  That’s why she stood out.  Dezi.  Her name was simply present, as if I’d known it all along.

Grace told me that I had constructed her out of my unconscious.  Said that Dezi represented my want for love and acceptance.  Treated her like some kind of loose leaf handbill for my emotional needs.  This backbiting psychotherapist reeked of peach pits and perpetually sucked on lemon drops.  She was also full of shit.

Regardless, the dreams are gone now.  Scooped out by bastards and whores.  But I can get them back, through 2C-E.  Fifteen milligrams reveals the window, twenty undoes the lock, and twenty-five lets me through.  So I chase down thirty with a bit of water.

Oh, those tiny crystalline shards of wonder.

My habit is no more economically debilitating than a caffeine addiction and infinitely more thrifty than hundred dollar an hour doctorates.  I’ve cast away the lie that my health has no price tag.

During psychedelic sessions I can only manage four words:

“Do you dream, Dezi?”

She never replies.  Never tells me I’m ungrateful.

Tusten told me I had to find peace and love within myself.  Said that Dezi was purely a random construction of my mind.  Scolded me for directing my focus away from enlightenment.  I always thought Tusten was a stupid name.  His ideas were just as idiotic.

The room in which I dose perhaps served as a pantry under previous tenants.  Charcoal drawings, flaking pastel colors, jigsaw floor to ceiling.  The phenethylamine draws her from my second-rate artistic renderings.  Her dress is woven in fractals and edged by tracers of tracers.

Suborned specialists have, at one time or another, awarded me every disorder that can be pharmaceutically treated.  It was somewhere between taking Lorazepam, because the well educated misdiagnosed my heroin addiction for catatonic depression, and being prescribed Methadone with Xanax that the dreams stopped.

Every substance abuse counselor has been asinine.  No one’s wanted to talk about Dezi.  Not Donny or Jason or Megan or Steve or Aubrey or Rich or Dameon or Jennifer, none of the counselors I’ve had.  They were always more interested in horseshit stories about stealing microwaves and flat screen TVs.  Group is a bunch of addicts getting new contacts to score from.

Those-that-claim-they-love-you are a tricky bunch.  In youth they abandon you.  In adulthood they shun you.   And as parents, well, they give up lying at some point.

Everyone’s given up but me.

Just me… and her.  Dancing for hours on end.  Birthing performance pieces that depict everything from creation to Instrumentality.  Her body arcing in an overly familiar fashion.  Showing off a face that says ‘no one’s gonna love you.’

Always replied by a smirk that says ‘I know.’



Dig This Real oldies
September 11, 2013, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Dig This Real | Tags: , ,

At some point in the throws of grad school I reviewed Neil Young’s autobiography Waging Heavy Peace. Here is the published piece!

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