a man must test his mettle, in the crooked ol' world!

"you see I’m what you call kinda a moral traffic light really, I’m like saying ‘RED! GO NO FURTHER! BUEY BUEY BUEY!’"

My love of my cat is an internet meme…


d|p 1.1 - William Basinski

This is the first track of composer William Basinski’s infamous The Disintegration Loops. Basinski tried to digitize some musical loops he recorded in the 1980’s that were on magnetic tape, but found that the tape was so old that it deteriorated as it went through the copying process. The result was one, several-second long loop of music, slowly falling apart and becoming more distorted over an hour-long period.

Basinski finished the project shortly before September 11, 2001. During the last hour of sunlight on that day, he and his neighbors went up to the top of their apartment building to watch the smoke billow from the destroyed World Trade Center towers, and Basinski recorded the skyline. The next day, he listened to the first of The Disintegration Loops as he watched the footage.

Above is the first of The Disintegration Loops, played over the video Basinski recorded. The loops received a 10/10 from Pitchfork, but only when one listens to the slow decline into nothingness of the track while watching the sun set on a desecrated Manhattan skyline is it that one gets the full impact of the project.

A favorite of mine.

Apparently I’m gonna get kicked off tumblr for copyright infringement, soo, I guess that’ll be that.

hand to
hand to
mouth to
mouth to
mind to
mind to
mouth to
mouth to
mind to
oh woman, why aren’t you moving, with me yet?
do you forget, what you try to remember?
do you remember, what you try to forget?

- so, this is real

well when i was a boy
my daddy sat me on his knee
and he told me, he told me many things
and he said “son, there’s a lot of things in this world
that you’re gonna have no use for
and when you get blue
and you’ve lost all your dreams
there’s nothing like a campfire
and a can of beans!”


From The Blackened Air's inner sleeve, artwork by James Nastasia

still some of my favorite album art, completely captures the mood of it.


From The Blackened Air's inner sleeve, artwork by James Nastasia

still some of my favorite album art, completely captures the mood of it.

a sign
that i’ve been praying for
a solemn augur
pure and true
to tell me what to do
a true
god that i can settle for
and spin my body in a long slow arc
like how my problems are


Songs and notes to accompany the photobook DUST
published by P.W. Elverum & Sun, June 2014
get one here and follow along:

This is a wordless book of photographs that has no story and no point. Honestly, it is very difficult to come up with music that relates to the book because for the most part my aim in assembling these images was to convey some kind of statement about impermanence and void. I guess most people would try to relate these ideas with something more visually bleak, but I think it’s very interesting to consider these ideas while walking around in beautiful places, in the midst of the realistic sensory overload that is everyday life. To me, a picture of a new red car parked in front of a dilapidated karate building says “emptiness” because I notice the bushes growing through the window and the many layers of history erasing and replacing each other. Many layers on every page, in every view, all the time every moment, physical matter churning around so constantly that nothing is really solid. Appropriate music for this book would really be non-music, just the sound of a breeze, a trickle of water, traffic, etc. But here are some of my favorite songs anyway and some ideas about how they might relate:

pages 5 & 6 / 0:00-2:54
"The Piano Drop" by Tim Hecker (from Ravedeath, 1972)
The whole album is amazing and deserves to be heard as one piece of music, but for the purposes here this song will do. The glimmer on empty water, the moon in an empty sky, sharp symmetry, a razor horizontal line, a circle. The real wild world occasionally makes straight lines and points, poking our minds open. This music is an excellent interweaving of the wild and the precise.

pages 9 & 10 / 2:54-4:17
"Open Field" by Maher Shalal Hash Baz (from “Blues du Jour”)
The photo on page 9 is literally of the man who made this music, Tori Kudo. On tour in Matsuyama, Japan I had the good luck to spend a morning hanging out with him. I can’t summarize his work here, but the way the figures seem to accidentally pass and miss each other (on both pages) and the disorienting skew of page 10, plus the piercing moon, pretty much capture the sensation of Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Moments of accidental brilliance, constantly.

pages 11 & 12 / 4:17-6:00
"Some Lightning" by Thanksgiving (from “Nothing”)
Specifically the words “the shape of those rocks coming out of the ocean, that is my shape”. These rocks seem to jut out so strikingly that they become charismatic personalities. Mirrored by the mid-summer toasted wild grass on a sloping hill, the atmosphere here is of a young poet hanging out under a tree by the water saying sayings to the inanimate surroundings. This early Thanksgiving song was made by a very young brilliant Adrian Orange, an actual real-life lounging grass-grove poet who went on to write the best songs in human history. I picture him in that grass.

pages 33 & 34 / 6:00-10:26
"Generous Palmstroke" by Björk (from Vespertine singles)
The house on page 34 is a couple blocks from my house. I walk past it daily, listening to music in my headphones. Frequently I listen to this specific Björk song, trying to figure out how she made that close humming texture, while I walk to the studio to work on my own music. Close and spooky and dynamic. I haven’t been able to figure it out but I’ve been listening to it for many years. Many nights I walk past this house’s roses lit like that, dramatically. Both of these images have a similar close and spooky feeling. Unusually intimate.

pages 41 & 42 / 10:26-16:25
"Hello Earth" by Kate Bush (from “Hounds of Love”)
Even though Kate Bush doesn’t always sound so detached from earth (usually persistent and prominent snare hits), this song is totally loosed and floating. These images are from a morning drive through Somerset in southern England. I don’t know where in England Kate Bush is from, but it’s close enough. Wandering through unearthly trees in a British fog, thinking of generations past, diverting frequently into spooky eastern European mens’ choirs, voices from behind trunks. These trees almost look like a set from a movie, but it was really like that.

pages 49 & 50 / 16:25-19:32
"Over Dark Water" by Mount Eerie (from “Clear Moon”)
OK, yeah, I know, it’s taboo for me to put my own song on this list, but it is very appropriate. This image on page 50 is exactly of what the song is about. This photo was taken on Deception Pass bridge late into a sunset, looking west. You can see the strip of orange sky through a slit in the clouds, out past beyond the dark water and the blinking green light of a lighthouse. Geneviève, the singer in the song, appears at an unnatural elevation, lit from the side by distant headlights. The song is about mentally riding on those high winds, like valkyries or witches, westward over these exact waters towards the ocean, illuminated orange and wild. The murk on page 49 is the tumult of the water below, the distorted bass.

pages 83 & 84, plus 91 & 92 / 19:32-30:05
"Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog" by Wolves In The Throne Room (from “Black Cascade”)
Pages 83 & 84 are meant to basically scream “Pacific Northwest”. The image of Snoqualmie Falls is hopefully immediately recognizable from the opening credits of Twin Peaks, appearing here as a lazy visual shortcut, but foggier. The shredded massive cedar trunk feels like a scream to me. I don’t know what could do this to a tree. Epic forces exist here. Wolves In The Throne Room is definitely the music for these images. Their whole project is to give voice to this epic force, specifically Pacific Northwestern, in an exaggerated and sacred way. This song in particular starts with a pretty amazing primal scream, something definitely coming up from beneath. The title is a reference to a painting I love by Caspar David Friedrich of a lone wanderer looking out over an “other world” type of landscape, back to the viewer, weird and alien and symmetrical. The image on page 92 is a nod to that painting: 3 figures watching an indistinguishable orb in a copper night fog. The vivid sharpness of the stars on page 91 is also found in the music, chiming in the overtones (if you listen to it loud enough).

pages 107 & 108 / 30:05-34:09
"Renihiliation" by Liturgy (from “Renihiliation”)
Two thick black metal songs in a row, sorry. I think it is necessary to do it all the way if you’re going to do it at all. Liturgy makes music like a very sharp blade. It is precise and enveloping. It brings me immediately to another place, cold and clear. These 2 images, blasting through piercing snow in a car and arriving in the thickest of white walls of snow, so thick that everything goes dark, this is the feeling of Liturgy’s music. They call it “transcendental black metal” and I agree. It is a movement to a brighter place, not darker, but somehow so blindingly brighter that it feels like a wall of white noise. It might as well be black. That wall of trees might as well be solid.

pages 131 & 132 / 34:09-37:39
"Tirili Tovann" by Kirsten Bråten Berg (from “Nordisk Sang” compilation)
Page 131 was taken in western Norway, traveling up the fjord, up the river, into the mountains. This is a traditional Norwegian song. I’m not sure what it’s about exactly but I made out the word “skogen” (forest). It is easy to picture Kirsten Bråten Berg on that ridge in the background, singing out to a neighbor 2 fjords over, like Swiss yodeling but much more beautiful, like a bird that can fly super high and loves getting whipped around on the high atmospheres, or like a wild river that gracefully consumes tree groves. The placid river scene on page 132 is at home in the Skagit Valley and is also a component of that music, the omnipresent low drone note on the fiddle.

pages 57, 58, 59 & 60 / 37:39-42:26
"Aavehuminaa (Katjalle)" by Es (from “Kaikkeuden kauneus ja käsittämättömyys”)
This is the sound of my imagined version of Finland, made by actual Finnish people. These first 3 images are in Helsinki. There is no picture of a sauna here, but the feeling is there. Inside those ordered buildings on 57 & 58 (taken a year apart incidentally) there is clearly some coziness happening, behind an iconic birch trunk and a grid of walls and window coverings. On 59, a power plant and the setting sun’s glow stand in for the transforming otherworldly sauna feeling. Out of nowhere a stack of trucks blasts across west Texas, into a new thing, like the ice plunge wakeup. This song by Es is one of my favorites ever and brings me immediately to a snowy tundra in my mind, high winds whistling and squealing, opening the door to a tiny hot room where everything transforms.

Phil is pretty amazing.

and where are you nowoh mother of the worldah we feed from your handsand we drink from your filth and your oilso send them downto scrape and suck the soilkeep us safe insideyour damp and rusty coilin and out and in and out againin and out and in and out againmother sun / mother of senseless thingmother comekill time as it begins

and where are you now
oh mother of the world
ah we feed from your hands
and we drink from your filth and your oil
so send them down
to scrape and suck the soil
keep us safe inside
your damp and rusty coil
in and out and in and out again
in and out and in and out again
mother sun / mother of senseless thing
mother come
kill time as it begins


and may i find
my way

to the reason
to come home

and may i find
my way
to the foot
of your throne
and may i find
your arms
my neck
and may i find
your little mouth
of this

anytime it’s overcast I try to go to the mountains.

Angeles National Forest, 8/3/14

in light of all this bullshit with my job, maybe now is the time to just pack all my shit and move to the pacific northwest. all i want is clouds and rain and green mountains.