29 February, 2012

For my dad.

Taking a break from studying to post a record I think my dad will love.

The latest from these Washing(S)ton(ed)ian co-eds, Possession is the Dad album of the year. With their sophomore release Christian Mistress cast a spell more binding than anyone could've anticipated. (Not unlike thine girlfriend →3 years into dating.) The production is clean and might've hindered the band two years ago when they recorded and released Agony & Opium, but now seems almost a necessity as the songs are fucking classic (hear: "Pentagram and Crucifix," "All Abandon," et al.) and each member must needs a platform from which her/his every action, and soulful whim, can be scrutinized, but as one scrutinizes a very decadent dessert, in a sort of incredulous rapture, like: "oh Dark Lord Below! how is this so good?!" (Hear: bass fills in "Haunted Hunted.") And all this without forgetting that they've, C Mist have, considerably dulled their edge. Danhammer of Metalreview.com calls Possession a "sun-drenched cruising speed once you’ve crossed the border," whereas A&O was the "rubber-burning hell-ride fleeing the police." Two years ago I would've spit before calling that a good thing, but that was pre-The Hunter, and, more notably, before that fateful summer as a lawnmower w/ only the X and/or DVE as reasonable options to listen to all day when, eventually,  I learned how to love (or at least tolerate) radio metal, classic rock, nu-metal and really terrible, shallow, but infectious and created to stick in your brain like gum in your guts pop music. Thankfully Possession is nowhere near that. But at the same time, I do think my dad will get a kick out of it, as they say in Florida. My dad digs riffs, one of the many attributes of his I'm proud to inherit. And riffs Xtian Mistress got. Underneath them riffs is groovyfuggin bass and some solid, even interesting drums, but what's best of all about Christ Mist ain't any of those things. It's the vocals! Seriously. Try to tell me there's a better part to this band. You wanna have this debate about Led Zep, I'll see you there. Sounds like a great one. But Christine Davis is the best part about her band.  Remember that part at the end of Empire Records when that whore gets up on the roof and sings "Sugar High" or whatever the f. that song's called? Well Chris Mis is kinda like that, 'cept not the worst thing ever that makes you wanna dig your fingers into your eye sockets and stab #2 pencils into your ears. Christine Davis might have the same coke-crackle, smoke'n'pot timbre as puffy ginger lady from ER, but Chris D's voice is smoother; her singing is honey where as Ren Zell's is more like what you hack up after you've accidentally drank from someone's spit bottle, which, for those of you not from the Appalachian region of America and not initiated into the sacred covenant of having drank the devil's creosote, is a bottle, usually an empty plastic soda or water bottle, filled with brown spit and tobacco spat out by the person "chewing" the "chewing tobacco." It causes immediate and violent retching. Listen to this record to get that image out of your head. It's as perfect as any highly derivative but contextually unique American record can be in the year 2012 Annos Santorum. Sounds like they sold their souls to write it.

Check it out, Dad. I think you'll dig it. (Call me if you need help getting it to work.)

23 February, 2012

21 February, 2012

Within every mote sprawls a universe . . .

. . . as complex as this one which we call home.

Read that in the skinny stall in the downstairs mens room at the CCAC Allegheny Campus Library, formerly a seminary school, the building which we now call the Library Building, some thousand years ago, monks and sumnours called their lodgings, or logdjyingsz, to say it in "Olte" Pittsburgese. It's really a humbling thought, though, innit? That every single atom  - say, for instance, every atom of even some post-Indian buffet purge I jettison onto the grey icy sidewalk outside Margaret's apartment - is teeming with manifold universes waiting to be unfurled by our destructive hands and minds.

You'll have to forgive me, Dower & supplicants: I'm taking an introductory Astronomy course, and tomorrow - when the moon will be completely benighted from our mortal eyes - is my first exam of the semester. Already I know I got extra credit because das professor said that perfect attendance leading up to the first exam will result in extra credit on said exam. When asked why continued attendance perfection didn't count for extra credit WRT following exams, Dr. Warloque drew "puckishly"* inward and, smirking, said something like: "Well, I'm hoping that you'll be drawn to come to every class on your own volition by that point." One really ought to appreciate a professor who appreciates an audience. He's the real deal, Dr. Warloque. Which is why I'm taking his class seriously, studying hard, making those who are now distant, undiscovered constellations proud.  Busting my ass, but, in turn, neglecting you, Dower, and you guys, too, you pathetic unworthy repulsive &c. supplicants. But it's not all for naught at least. Remember that post a few back with my English Comp. 2 essay in it, the one about Willa Cath(et)er's short story, "Paul's Case?" Well, I got an A/A - on it according to Mrs. Prof. Pat Patterson's Content/Grammar grading scale. Not to mention a little, delicately handwritten addendum in a red so sanguine it honestly gave me a smidgen of a hard-on for the notwithstanding extremely stylish but quite elderly Mrs. Prof. Pat Patterson; in tight cursive, flattery she wrote: "Thank you for the very enjoyable read, David."

Okay, that's enough bragging about myself without any sense of restraint or irony. (Just whooped Matt's ass at chess.) Feeling good enough about myself to shut up about myself for a little while at least.

Here's an album that demands your immediate attention:

Alright, I gotta go study then ride. Me and Panzer-Ritte have been really hitting it off lately. My amended New Year's Resolution of being able to do a flat 360 and hop-to-manual anything ( -∞, my waist) seems more possible than ever**. Also, this one kid in my Pre-Calc. class who wears a jacket I think might be made out of kangaroo thinks our professor, Dr. Nahed Okasha, has a "tell" WRT his pop quizzes: any time he assigns more than ten problems for homework, we can expect a PQ the following class. I'm skeptical, mostly cuz the kid has a soul patch also, but I'm still going to do my homework three times instead of the normal two, just in case. King Pall prefers to err on the side of anxiety-wrought caution, y'all.


"But he was not without his detractors . . . "

* puckish: a term that Dr. Warloque actually introduced to the class, saying then asking: "I can be a little a puckish sometimes. Does anyone know what that means?" To which yours unruly raised his pale, eczema-splotched hand and croaked: "Yeah, it's like the dude from A Midsummer Night's Dream, right? It's like 'mischievous,' (whose pronunciation inundated my tongue and deprived me of intellectual orgasm), right?" But never fear: a few days later he would ask the class if anyone knew what "indefatigable" meant. Without looking up from my notes, I said: "It means 'cannot be fatigued.' Beowulf was an indefatigable swimmer." Perfect pronunciation and all. Didn't even bother looking up to catch the impressed countenance of Dr. Warloque. Did glance over at Brittney, though. She was playing with her hair and looking at her phone.

** Don't worry, Bug, we're still flying our asses to somewhere. Which reminds me: Tim, are you still an unworthy supplicant? If so, we need to talk, viz. FLA trip this Vernal Equinox.

OH! Almost forgot: Happy Birthday, David Foster Wallace. Would've been fifty today. Here's a link Marge sent me, it's a compilation by Harper's of everything DFW wrote for their publication. Read any one of them. He was truly a genius. Sorry if you can't view it w/out a. Happy Birthday, Mr. Wallace. I wish I could('ve) shaken your hand, instead I'll know you vicariously through the volumes you left behind.

16 February, 2012

The Pax Cecilia

The Pax Cecilia 
 Nouveau: A Theatre of the Air
 (2004), independent.

WITH PERMISSION FROM THE ARTIST: The obscure debut album, Nouveau: A Theatre of the Air from US post-metal act, The Pax Cecilia. An engaging journey from start to finish.

The Pax Cecilia
Blessed Are the Bonds
(2007), independent.

The Pax Cecilia's sophomore album, Blessed Are the Bonds, is the band's conceptual masterpiece. Must hear to fathom.

14 February, 2012

Could use a neck rub myself.

Now more than ever Rubber Necking deserves your achtung. Not sure which one of the three has been killing it lately, or if it's been all three of them, Ian, Cubs, and McD, but RN is reaching some dope new heights these days.

Also you should d/l and blast the new Decaying so loud its like mortar shells going off around your face. And of course buy it if you like it.

13 February, 2012

Essay for English Composition 2 w/ Prof. Pat Patterson

(Had to write an essay for a short story we read and discussed in class. We read like three short stories a week, and there were several others we could've written our essay about, but I chose to write about "Paul's Case" by the late, great, former Point Breeze resident, allegedly sapphic Willa Cather. Here it is. [Since Emmy said she read my last one.])

David Pearce
ENG 102
Prof. Patterson
12 February 2012
Theme II

  St. Augustine of Hippo once wrote, “Dilege et quod vis fac,” and though this has been misinterpreted and misquoted all to Hell, its essence (“love and do what you will”) resounds all throughout “Paul’s Case.”
  At first glance, “Paul’s Case” is a tragedy of minor proportions.   And while Paul’s suicide may be no great loss to “the immense design of things,” the story’s denouement is undoubtedly sad.  The reader, up to the moment that Paul jumps in front of the train, is all the while rooting for Paul to “come to his senses,” all the while hoping for some deus ex machina to intervene and stop Paul from killing himself, but, by having such hopes, the reader finishes the story feeling she had been just as delusional as Paul for thinking there could’ve been any other outcome besides Paul being scattered to the wind by a speeding train.  But is this story really a tragedy, or is it a tale of Icarian triumph?
  It’s easy to write Paul off as an idle dreamer, a young man with more fantasies than ambition; Cather even says so by pointing out that Paul “had no mind for the cash-boy stage.”  And of course this becomes all the more obvious when Paul flees to New York with the stolen money, which he spends  on clothes, and a nice room, and even some silver from Tiffany’s, only to “look the part” rather than actually be it; which superficial veneer seems to more than suffice for Paul. His love for the theater and the atmosphere surrounding the stage and its players is also indicative of this trait of Paul’s.  Cather tells the reader that “in Paul’s world, the natural nearly always wore the guise of ugliness, [and] that a certain element of artificiality seemed to him necessary in beauty.”  So Paul is wholly content with just being in the presence of this artificial beauty, and being associated with it merely by proximity.  The reader learns it’s Paul’s ultimate dream, not to sell out theaters across the nation, or to star in a Broadway smash production, but to be rich and to have nice things, without having necessarily worked to earn them, and most of all to escape the doldrums of Cordelia Street.  And isn’t this in a way very much like Icarus, goaded by his father to climb towards the sun given flight by ephemeral, waxen wings?  Every morning when Paul wakes up in his stolen artifice, (which is itself only a stage for Paul’s play, after whose showing will be torn down so that a new story can be told upon it) he expects that his waking dream, the one he stole and ran away to have, will come to an end.  This is most evident in the premeditation of Paul’s purchasing the handgun.  Here’s one instance where he’s got a leg up on Icarus: Paul knows full well he won’t be returning from his flight.
  In the final paragraph, we’re given one last time, an omniscient insight into Paul’s thoughts: right before the “picture-making mechanism” is crushed, Paul realizes the folly of his action.  But this regret-filled epiphany at the very threshold of death is not what one might expect a suicide to have in his final moments of cognition.  Yes, regret comes in the form of “Ah! But there was so much left undone,” but even this thought turns out to be just another delusion.  Paul does not regret acting on the impulse of ego mortido because he loved his father, nor because he realized school wasn’t so bad after all, but because he realized he would never be able see the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, or “the yellow of Algerian sands.”  Again, at first glance, this is a total bummer: that even with his last thought Paul could not muster some appreciation for how decent he’d really had it all along, no matter how banal it was in comparison to his fantasies.  Rather he remains steadfast in his beliefs until his very end.  Really, Paul dies a martyr for his own fantasies, preferring death to the mundane Sisyphean world into which his father was coming to drag him back.  Following St. Augustine’s advice, Paul dies having done whatever he needed simply to know what it was like, if only for a fleeting moment, to be rich and to sojourn to New York.  And he dies, also, without apologizing for his actions (read: sins), for he clearly saw nothing wrong with what he did, going so far as to wonder that there were honest men in the world at all.
  By taking his own life, Paul is rejecting his Calvinist upbringing by usurping Providence, thumbing his nose at God and His “immense design of things.” And he dies knowing what it had been like, if only briefly, to soar alongside the great klieg-light in the sky.

(I'll be sure to let you know when I end up getting on it.)

03 February, 2012

Rise over run!

Or; Nothing Left Alive but a Pair of Glassy Eyes.

Today, this commercial I saw in the cafeteria asked me: "Is your semester hard this year? 4 classes back to back? Yikes. Maybe you're thinking this whole thing is turning out to be far more than you had expected?  Have you been feeling distracted, and inconsequential? Staring out the window at a parking lot in General Literature?; have you been competing with an eyes-rolled-back-into-his-skull-at-all-times, genuine autistic kid for most correct/incorrect answers shouted out during MAT-142?; are you catching yourself heavy mouth-breathing thru-out Intro. to Astronomy? Watch out for the Child! Are you listening? Is your Job especially diffikvlt? Are the pebble-filled wounds on the palms of your hands, and the bloody sores on your raw, bare feet, and the lacerations about your ecce homunculus especially bloody and irritated lately? Feeling like a zombie stalking about for pigs' brains and balls to glut? Well, you're in luck, you CLERK, it's not just you. Millions out there - "

"Out where?"

"Excuse me! Up here, please! Pay attention now. Millions out there feel this same alienation every day. It's not them, though, it's you. Everyone knows this much. But you've been losing sight of this because you've been losing sight of yourself. There. I've said it. Now it's up to you to think on it. //Man, you've forgotten what this is all about. Which is?, I hear you ask. Well, I'll tell you what this is all about. It's about Tomorrow. That's what. Fucking Tomorrow. The opposite of carpe diem, cuz that movie sucks, and that attitude's cool only if you're Kvlt Cocaine, Jim Morrison or Achilles. And fuck the impending armageddon. Don't sweat that shit. This year's just some tunnel certain people wanna hold their breaths thru cuz they ain't got asthma and they take their precious breathing for granted. And stop worrying that 5 billion years from now the sun will turn into a white dwarf, or the world will slow down its eastward-spin revolutions per day so much that a sidereal day will take thirty of our present calendar's days. Not even your great great great grandkids will be around to see that. You gotta focus on Tomorrow again, man. You've gotta get your head back in this game. Pigs brains and balls or no. Look, the research paper in P²'s class is bucking you, understand that, but you got better ideas in there. Here. Here's at least three other ideas better than that lazy internet one you threw at her today: 1.) Occupy Pittsburgh 2.) Rick Santorum 3.) The Tom Cruise scandal, which you could just totally make up. The internet one wasn't bad, but you had a better one out on the porch earlier. When you were staring at 2Man while he was talking to you and assuming - as people are wont to do when you look them in their eyes - you were listening to him, but, instead, you were thinking: 'I consort with hoodlums, I know dete to a Frankeleyn, my baby she treat me too good and I am no worth her, etc.' but you thought of a good research paper, too. Remember it. Also, of course, I know all of this. I know your ideas for what the internet paper will actually look like, too. And I'll tell ya: you've got a good voice, but that ain't nothing like real, bona fide inspiration. Remember those fine and mellow eyes. Get back into it, man. Your heart is hypbernating, that's all. Winter didn't even come this year, cuz of the tsunami knocking the earth off its axis prolly. Resurrect your heart. Impress yourself! Hell, you're not even listening to music right now, at least not music of your choosing, there's always secondhand music everywhere you go. So put your earbuds in and put on some metal! Something that kicks ass! Like Taake or Amon Amarth. Ooh!: Cormorant's good. But, dude, before you head off to your next class, I want you to know It's always here for you. Let others trade their brains for sand, but you keep straight, because life is too short to let it fall like that. And envy not those ahead of you, for yours is a path which I watch, now and forever. With you, here whenever you need. Narcissus's puddle and the light behind the prisoner's of Plato's cave allegory at once. A didactic distraction. Never forget how much better you feel. The Dower."

And then in my ear buds: "Sorry to jump in here, but one more thing: Don't let the money situation get to you either. That stuff is as ephemeral as the gods are fickle and cruel. It'll come. You gotta work for it, and that's just a fact of life. But it'll come. Alright, now go kill it."