#dandywarhols (Taken with Instagram at The Wiltern)
#nicolasjaar live now (Taken with Instagram at Echoplex)
there is a literary tradition that bends toward the self-destroyer. whether that is the pursuit of protagonists into the hell of their immolating soul. or out from that place into moments of resurrection. you know them. whether its Bukowski, Camus, or Christiane F. whether it’s all true or riddled with lies, they make great reading for the experientialist who wants to live in a deathwishist’s skin.
i have read a lot of these books throughout my life. probably starting with the early Balzac editions from La Comédie Humaine, and most specifically, the insanely tragic Lost Illusions. i even remember standing at the book stall in a Barnes and Noble one afternoon and reading the entirety of Slash’s bio in one go. it was epic.
and so it goes that people we meet in our lives have lived these thousand deaths. and some of them, also, have the humility, courage, and poeticism to write about it. and some even do it well. one of these walks among us. he is a friend and list recipient. and before i got to know him as a human being, i read his arresting, tragic, and very unique addition to the genre, My Monster.
Dave Darmstaedter was a high-level male model who descended into wild and brutalizing drug use until he was dropped by his agents and agencies and forced to take work in the porn industry to keep his habits enthroned. but the story begins, and ends, with his life as a recovering addict and single father in Hollywood during the 90’s. it’s dark, tragic, funny, and ultimately viscerally real. there is hope here, but it comes in small envelopes. here’s a taste:
I look out of the window over the sink. The moon is still out. It’s that time, seconds before dawn when it’s still dark but you can see things better than the dead of night. I get a view even if it is over the top of the buildings in back of ours, through black telephone cable wires and satellite dishes. I can see the tops of the palm trees that line Beechwood Street. The long hanging palms look black. Better than the sick green look they have in the light of day. I’ve been to Hawaii. I’ve seen healthy palm trees with rich green palms hanging. I think about how I used to go to Hawaii from New York and kick heroin on my way to Japan to clean up for those forty thousand dollar a month modeling contracts in the eighties. Four rough days curled up in a Wakiki Hotel then gradually making my way back into the sun; going to beaches all over the Island, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, getting all tan and healthy.
I wash the dishes and watch the black sky turn orange and blue in the sunrise. I feel a soothing warmth come over my body as I give myself to the sky. I’m in it. In the sky. In the world. In the universe. Melting. Magic. Power. God. The dishes done with a smile. Easy. Sweet. Brief reprieves that keep my monster mind at bay.
the fact that the book is now available on Kindle for $3.99 is its own kind of fiction. because we have now arrived at a place in the digital economy where these experiences can be had for so little that we kind of lose a sense of their traction in the world. that they are real, that they have value for us. i highly recommend the book. not because it will drop you to the floor. or tell you things you’ve never heard before. it has not been written for that sensationalist feedback loop. no, i have this one in my shelf because it is the profound artifact of a life lived in the face of punishing humiliation and redeeming self-objectification.
and because he is my friend.
In 1957, Jack Kerouac wrote “I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream.”
now that the overground has re-familiarized themselves with Mathangi Arulpragasam (last listed, here), the world’s most in your face Sri Lankan, it seems like a perfect time to drop her new single and discuss the video that’s been produced in support.
directed by French visionary Romain-Gravas, who helmed the beautifully controversial Born Free shoot, Bad Girls does for Arab urban culture what the trailer for Style Wars did for street art in the 1980s. this is all gangsta posing, with acrobatic car stunts, majestic Arabian horse riders, crumbling architecture, burning desert wrecks… fronted by boys rapping in kaffiyeh, while the girls gyrate with AKs, covered all except their heavily made-up eyes… led by their leopard-panted queen. if you haven’t seen the video, you are in for a treat. this is probably one of the most culturally relevant and paradigm transforming works to be released so far this millennium.
@gmunk. Something about this. If part of the prophecy had this kind of ancient mystical. Vibe.
all you have to do is wiki the name and you’ll know everything there is to. know. let me see what i can just riff off my head:
NYU student co-founds Def Jam records and is generally responsible for the signing and widescale delivery of seminal rap set-ups like Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and yes, RUN-DMC. a love for hard rock gave him an innovative/alchemical edge to his productions which led to the RUN-DMC/Aerosmith rework of Walk This Way, which was an evolutionary moment in the MTV geneological tree. not to mention album production for what was the Cult’s greatest album, Electric, which came out the year i got out of high school and inspired so much bad behavior, i am having withdrawal as i write this. all i need to say is three words: Love. Removal. Machine.
let’s see what else. oh, yeah, the day i met him. it was the first time i had ever been to LA. we were shooting something on the beach at Malibu… and we had gotten permission from a friend of a producer of ours. and that friend turned out to be Rick Rubin, who came to his door in a long white kaftan and a massive beard. cool.
other than that, i know that he is into transcendental meditation and that Rick produced my favorite (Mark Romanek video-directed) Jay Z track, during which he shines his typical rock vibe onto the rap and gets a shout out from J.
and that’s that. but the reason i write all this is because Rick Rubin just dropped this fantastic kickstart ruination of Justice’s On’n’On. it’s one of the best vocal, progressive rock pop tracks i have heard in maybe a year… and it is most definitely your weekend song.
Justice - On’n’On (Ruined by Rick Rubin)
wow, it doesn’t take much to throw me off my game. take those treads right off the track. this was supposed to be the year of spiritual integration. so it’s true after all, the real purpose of this digital platform is to pull you out. so that you are looking outside in, trying to remember just what it was you came here to do.
time is chemical. it stretches and contracts depending on the state of the experiencer. i spent the last year swimming in hours of freedom to contemplate, fabricate, gesticulate. and now i can’t buy a half hour to post a song on this small corner of psychic real estate.
and forget about even the slightest attempt at creative writing.
but that is the price of dreams come true, revenge of my crew,… of karma due.
so i’ll take what i can. and i can take it. but i need to keep my love in tact. i need to keep my balancing act. this is the promise i made. this is the edge of that blade. take me higher, take me to that eternal sight. if nothing else ever comes true for me, then the final thought will be that i found families beyond my family. truths outside of my truth. and love that had me sold on the positivity of every human relationship. all sapiens are my teacher. see you in it.
Shear-Jashub - Save It