Examining media, computers, cars, and music of the past and present.
Stories and opining surrounding current Portland indie culture, legacy Houston rap, and solo piano improvisation by way of a former experimental electronic musician from the angry edens of Midwestern punk.
I was trying to figure out why The Queen’s death hit me so hard today — I was embarrassingly upset for much longer than I would’ve expected, but the answer for me is likely the same as it is for you: she made up so much more of the beautiful rays of American existence which now seem so impossibly far away. Let me just simply say that she gave so much of the music which I have depended upon most thus far, even as wide of a span it is.
The truth is, she spanned far beyond me; far wider than anyone else has done. I spent a good few hours combing misty-eyed through the massive list of Aretha samples which have conscripted that particular form of affection which only samplers can express in such a huge cut of the best Americans have done in the past century: from Outkast to fucking Drum & Bass.
In writing my upcoming column on Bandcamp (which I hope to publish in the next day or two,) I decided to see how many interviews I’d have to search for any mention of the term “Bandcamp” and the result was… all of them, essentially. At least it led to this handy list! I’m excited to read them all soon.
But! I elaborated on that already in the episode’s preface. I did not touch on the mention of my endeavor at the time — way back in the Spring of 2015 — to build the short-lived predecessor to Extratone, however, because it’s not relevant to anyone but myself and you, the weirdo who’s somehow found yourself reading these words and continuing voluntarily.
Addressing this other component the episode surfaced justifies a separate post entirely, which you — my most unlikely reader — should only proceed to read under the advisement that it contains potentially-triggering references to trauma and suicide.
Five years ago today, the counter-counter cultural creature who created us all was slaving through the night in order to finish tying up the last loose ends of the work that would become his ultimate legacy – a 60-minute album that would go far beyond the docile sentiments and weary industrial spaces of his Iowan fatherland to disrupt the dreams in the digital journeys which created him and change Rock ‘n’ Roll music forever. And yet, the fate of Drywall, himself would go maintain their foul, drainage tunnel-dwelling, noise tape-dubbing, and gasoline-drinking misery remarkably and disappointingly unaffected by the relative mainstream success of Suburban Anarchy, just his second full-length album. One of the many mysteries he left to those of us who were closest to him has been gnawing on me with greater and greater veracity as June 29th has approached: did he reject the new affections of the pop-punk-from-concentrate youth out of bitterness or some conception of authentic resilience, or were his isolation and eventual disappearance nothing more than a product of his failing mind? Did he peddle in the joy of others, or maliciously consume it? Was he truly a revolutionary, or just mentally ill?
Despite his ghoulish hygiene and incomprehensible social behavior, I am profoundly thankful for the questions prompted me by most every facet of his existence, and I am all but certain I’ll never meet another human being so inadvertently influential. To fulfill the traditional expectations of a memoriam, I should now begin upon a touching explanation of how much Drywall served the people around him by sacrificing his own peace – consciously or otherwise – in order to make an example of himself as the manifest intersection of his many extreme contradictions, but it’d be dishonest. Instead, I must let his work speak for him.
Next Friday (the 29th,) I’ll be hosting a short livestream and listening party beginning at 7PM Pacific Standard Time.