Two albums and a novel:
1. Blindness, José Saramago
I don’t know how Saramago managed to write such a horrifyingly disgusting book that is so beautiful. I guess that’s why he wins the Nobel prize. But all I can really say is, this book was amazing enough to make me call into question my undying devotion to contemporary American literature. After I finished his novel, I thought about Don DeLillo and Bret Easton Ellis and the authors whose work I am so frequently defending to those peers and critics who refuse to see their merit, and I thought, my god I don’t want to read one of those books after this. And yet I have begun to read Americana. But only because I cannot find a single English copy of Seeing anywhere in this city.
2. Dear The National, why is High Violet so depressing? And what happened to your lyrics like “I can hear the sound of your laugh through the wall” and “this river’s full of lost sharks?” I am by no means attempting to provide any kind of review for this album. Just explaining my reaction to an album I’ve been anticipating for almost two years. Don’t get me wrong. I think this album is amazing, is totally beautiful, but don’t go out there in interviews and tell music writers that this is your best album yet. I hate when bands do that. Because it makes me lose faith in their ability to judge their own music. But then I’m thinking while walking “home” up Anchorena last Wednesday, this is your best album. I’m still struggling with that opinion though, especially because there are no songs as crazy as “Abel” or as breathtaking as “Ada” on High Violet. But I did get that full to the brim heart ready to explode with tears and laughter feeling when I listened to “Terrible Love” for the first time. And “all the very best of us string ourselves up for love” definitely competes with your older lyrics. But they’re about all the lyrics that do on this album. Dear The National, I’m sorry this doesn’t make any sense and that some of my sentences in this giant paragraph very obviously do not like each other. But you won’t read this. And anyway, this isn’t my Best Paragraph.
3. Infinite Arms, Band of Horses
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Funeral.” And though I will always remember exactly where I was when I first heard this new album, it’s only because I happen to be in Buenos Aires, which is not normal, and which therefore makes everything I absorb/consume/experience here memorable, even when it is not memorable in its own right. Remember “Is There a Ghost?” Common! That song was completely disarming. There is nothing disarming about Infinite Arms. It is pleasant and very enjoyable, but no where near as memorable as Band of Horses’ previous two albums. The only exception is the final track, “Neighbor,” which sounds a little Fleet Foxes-y, and is epically beautiful. And the first track might appeal to me more if I hadn’t listened to the so similar sounding “At Any Moment” by Shane Bartell so many times before.
Ok, that’s all. Take all of the above as reflections and not judgments, because I feel no where near engaged enough with what I am currently saying to have anyone take it seriously. These are just three of the things that have been occupying my time in the last week as I’ve made my way through neighborhoods and chilly nights. Still haven’t gotten around to listening to the new Black Keys or Dead Weather albums. Or LCD Soundsystem, but I'm hesitant to purchase that after Port O'Brien's emphatic [and seemingly negative] one line review of it on twitter ["LCD SOUNDSYSTEM I DONT GET IT"]. And I am still searching for the elusive English bookstore.