The best of recent music findings 2
I really enjoyed when I did this, last time. Recommendation posts are fun and I want to make more of them. They’re very digestible and resourceful, and always paint a nice picture of my mood at the moment. I’ve met some new people as a result of the last issue, and managed great conversations as well. Who knows what else could happen now?
This time I have once again a pretty varied selection, but of course, one stands out most from all the others. I'll be discussing BlandShoes' music today; how it has affected me in the past few years, and the possibility of a future tribute. Heavy stuff, happy stuff, all kinds of stuff. Hope you enjoy.
Also, new Panchiko album kinda bussin
I'm not sure of when exactly it happened, but one day a Blandshoes song popped up in my Soundcloud Weekly. Don't remember which it was either, it's been a few years, but it led me into the rabbit hole that is his music. So, I downloaded some tracks, threw them in my now corrupted SD card, and listened to them almost religiously every other day in walks and doing chores. When that SD died, so did my attachment to all the music it held; that was mid-2022, I believe. Blandshoes rapidly transformed from a marvelous find into a faceless liturgy, and from that vanished as a collective spirit, just like it happens to all playlists of random songs and artists.
It was at the holiday season of 2022 when Blandshoes' work spoke to me again, this time in the form of feelsogrossinside_. That song is so amazing, I just couldn't get enough and bumped it everywhere for quite a while. It also reopened the doors for exploration, and I discovered in his profile nothing but new and more amazing music. Since then, I've been delving deeper and deeper, uncovering stories, hidden artifacts, awful truths. Blandshoes became more than a name and face to me, his music turned more significant, and his story, real.
At first, Blandshoes is like br3ttd0g_59 if he wasn't trying to be funny (so, like 100 gecs and the new wave of penis music 1000 gecs brought into this world), but the more you get into it, both literally and figuratively, the deeper his music philosophy gets. It's immersive, very, and so him. Everything he's made is so him. His Soundcloud profile is an amusement park of his self, where you can truly experience, be it for a few hours or a full day, all there is of Blandshoes, all Blandshoes was through his music.
I find it so beautiful how Soundcloud allows for this kind of experience, from artists that are not numbed by their history, just pouring their all into works uncontrollably, like overflowing with proprietary beauty. It's good not to have boundaries as an artist, but that's also incredibly hard to achieve once you've become a "full-blown artist". The boundaries you set with time don't exist when you don't worry about it, and that's why Soundcloud is so great to me, and it's this kind of freedom ignorant to freedom that I find so wonderful in Blandshoes music. And I'm so thankful for feelsogrossinside_. It was because of this song blowing up that Blandshoes reappeared on my radar, and from there it was a full-on rollercoaster on which I'm still riding to this day. So many ups and downs, and big loops. Now, sadly, with the queue and the booth already within view, the car slowing down, at the end of the ride.
Something everyone will come to realize one day is that the internet is forever, or at least it is set to exist far longer than any human life of today or of day's past. That means you, me, and everybody else we know. When we die, our digital footprint stays, all we have left for posterity remains past, and independent of, us. In a nutshell, one day you'll realize that the internet is full of dead people.
Creative works, social media activity, all there is of individual action done by any living person on the internet, will remain true long past their decease. That's because the tools to rid this history often die with them, and whether you want it or not, affecting the world in any way may influence other actions that by themselves may affect the world in different manners. Our footprints, digital or not, are far beyond our reach and control. We might be able to control our ways, but we can never truly control what will result from them. And that's a very scary thought.
In practice, we have Blandshoes. As of Maia, 2023, he's been dead for over two years. Everything on the internet that he's touched, from YouTube comment sections to retweets of funny memes on Twitter, stayed the same way he left. The songs he didn't delete, the re-uploads, the selfies he took, the shitpost he made, all that seemed to be in constant activity and transformation when under his control, simply stopped one day. And to this day remain exactly the same. Potential died with him, and I cry for this perinatal mortality of all the wonderful things he still had to offer. I cry for what wasn't archived, I cry for what was obfuscated, I cry for not being there, and I cry for not knowing it sooner. It's rough to receive news like that, even now, years after it happened. But it hurts the same. Blandshoes' music was part of my life for so long, carried special meaning beyond the levers of my heart, and now, well, now it feels like the end of a journey
Nothing in life is forever, because life is the whole of us, and we are not forever. One day his music will become bland for me, lose its juices, the potency of its significance, and will seem to die and will be replaced by something else. When I listen to music now, more than ever before, I find myself pondering about the human aspect. To think all that's human-made was made by people like me is scary. To see all around me as the footprints of a gargantuan line of humans; of thinking, breathing, speaking humans, dead or alive; is haunting. They're everywhere, have always been, so, what now?
I keep on living, we all do. Once it settles in, I'll forget about it, live blissfully in the ignorance of the awful aspects of reality that I —we all— will eventually get used to. But the journey isn't over yet, despite the resounding coda. And I have something else to say.
I am currently working on a tribute to Blandshoes' work, and you'll hear about it around here when the time comes. Has to do with this playlist I've made, gathering my favorites of his songs, and will be a video/audio thing for YouTube.
Until then, here are some of the best "entry-level" Blandshoes songs available at the moment. And shoutouts to all archivists who are keeping his legacy alive.
This guy is another of my lucky finds on Soundcloud. Dollar bill you really can't believe you've just found pinched between the concrete slabs of the sidewalk. Like an important, divine sign for you only, but one you're too busy to acknowledge, so you buy a Snickers bar and just go on with your day. What I want to say is that despite having him on my radar for quite a while now, I never really stopped and listened to his music. Now that I've done so, I know that I missed a lot.
Cedar Drv fits quite right with my favorite DIY music group: the guitar and vocals recorded when nobody's home, talking about the latest issues and serving later as memoir of either awkward times past, or hurtful aspects of life best to be forgotten, immortalized in audio form. Not necessarily for the overcoming and comfort of letting out of a damp, closed chest, the painful secrets kept elusive for the sake of normalcy; but also for this inherent desire of the artist to listen to the whispers coming from the utmost depths of inspiration, and make art ignorant to common reason, which is most likely to come back and bite their butt.
It is a kind of voice memo type music, vide The Lemony Creams and their "Highveld Emo", but of course with a much different smell. The complexity of the instrumental can also be found here, with a beautifully elaborated acoustic guitar at times, and others with an amazing clean sound nonetheless, that ties in greatly with the emotional vocals telling their sad sack stories. A fulfilling experience on every album, heavy on the highs and brilliant on the lows.
At the moment, I have two of his albums as my favorites: "Dog days" and "Coat hanger music for people who sleep in the closet". The former is, in my opinion, the greatest way of getting into his work. Presenting this collection of bangers-only, tales of living-memory in the slowness of dog days, it serves as a synthesizer of his work's better qualities; lyrically, musically, creatively (as in controlled experimentation), et cetera. The latter, "Coat hanger music...", is a novelty piece of superb construction, better had as an experience rather than .mp3s in your favorite player. It tells this strange story of a cold afternoon alone, testing out and discovering new ideas, that feels extremely familiar if you, one day, ever thought making music was cool. It's obvious why this is my absolute favorite lol
Also, "Collider" is really good.
The Ian and Ion Show 1988
It was a recording of a high school "radio station" at Nease High School in St Augustine FL in 1988. It played on one lonely speaker in the cafeteria at lunchtime. My friend Mark George was Ian because he loved Joy Division's Ian Curtis. I was Ion because science and symmetry. Our teacher was Jim Howard, a dj at an indie club in Jacksonville Beach, FL, "Einstein a go go". He got the school to buy us two turntables, a mixer and a microphone. We had a deal with the local Turtles record store that we could get 5 LPs a week and would return them the next[...]
If you ever asked yourself why radio entertainment is still a thing, I must say people like me are part of the reason. I'm not old or anything, held back by tradition on my interests, but there's something about the radio and, more than that, listening to music on the radio, that feels really special and unlike any kind of musical experience mp3 and streaming brought to our society.
Living in a house where the teenage spirit is heavily present, music is playing 24 hours a day. Be it someone practicing, bumping whatever on whatever speaker, or just mumbling lyrics stuck to their head, it's inevitable, but one change I brought coming in here was the radio. I presented my peers with the magic of unpredictability, and trust in the taste of your best —parasocial— friend. Listening not to $ELLOUT shit stations, of course, like the ones you can't really run away from, these days, but with another magical thing called media archives, that allows us to experience the same as the youth of past times; listening to old news, to old-new classics, to (now) old people saying cool stuff and presenting us with nothing but the best of the music of their time. Like a time machine, listening to old radio shows really takes you back, because the intent of immersion radio has to it as a concept, somehow remains true and timeless today.
A niche I never thought I'd ever come across, though, is school radios. Not college radios, those are still 100% a thing, but whatever kind of clandestine shows popping up here and there in high schools all around the world. A great example of, also the only one I got, is the "Ian and Ion Show". Like you've read at the start of this segment, it was a cool project by some cool kids dreaming of becoming radio hosts and, would you look at that, succeeding at it.
From a brilliant opening with Teenage Riot, going into Tom Jones and playing even The Smiths and Edie Brickell, this is some superb programming of incredibly tasteful choices, encased in a 30-minutes-or-less capsule that feels just perfect for a high school cafeteria score in the late 80s. I love it so much, and honestly cannot stress enough how cool it is. You really got to try for yourself on this one.
For the neo-punk find of the day we have Bubbles' demo, "Party On".
This demo presents Bubbles as a bright-colored pseudo-punk band, perfect for young people barbecues. The hardcore they present is as dangerous as the bursting of bubbles, and as light as can be for heavily-distorted guitars. The first and last tracks, "Dear deer" and "Beach party" are pretty cool and are the songs you have to listen to in order to "get" the idea of the band.
All in all, it's lovely. I ask nothing more from the project, and am glad for the experiment brought to the table. Another great demo for the collection of great bands that died with less than 10 minutes of music.
Shoutouts love(s) of my life, Kaya (and BITROT).
Go kitty go!
This clip makes me happy.
My activity everywhere has been very lackluster, I feel like, compared to many or all other moments in my career up until now. That’s because it doesn't matter how "not affected" I attempt to make myself look, it really did shake me that whole thing that happened.
I feel bad, I feel lazy, I'm in a constant chase for comfort, avoiding all the risk, avoiding all things that make me feel less than I am, even if it's only momentarily —, to reach a better state. When writing I simply can't avoid pouring my truth into the word, and at the moment this truth is something absolutely despicable. Tried to go around it and nothing I made felt right, but I did find comfort in making art like everyday, only other kinds of art. Got back into drawing, draw some cool stuff, got into pixel art as well. Soon you might be seeing some cool blocky stuff floating around the website maybe. More than that, started diving into the world of DAWs and VSTs and even made a few songs. For the first time in a while my Soundcloud will also be hosting some original stuff, so that's cool.
It really sucks that virtually my current projects were put in hiatus, and even now, when a comeback to normal is on sight, I still feel hopeless somehow. It’s a kind of feeling I’m not sure of when will go away, so bare with me if you feel like it.
Check out this story I wrote for NIGHTMARE MIRROR, and there’s a new LOST TAPES too. Also, I finished dumping the picture archive into The Trove, so you can check out the last pictures of old gen me.
Hexie zine #3 is out, and guess who was a guest writer for it? Cool stuff.
To truly end it all, this weekend a pretty big project I’ve been working on will come to The Trove, so stay tuned for that! Here’s a sneak peek.