by Ryland Walker Knight
—Click for treats
Sunday afternoon I learned about The Field. First thought: How could this dude elude me for so long? Mostly my fault, if we want to say fault, since I don't exactly go looking for music the same way I used to at the start of our last decade (ie, read Pfork). However, how come it took somebody new to hip me to this? Turns out my friends all already thought I was hip to it. They just figured I wouldn't need a nudge in this direction because it suits my musical temperament so well. That is, it has its pop roots—it's dance music after all, there's a cover of "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime" on the newer record—but it's weird and illegible enough to intrigue other parts of my brain. Dance music, and minimal dance music at that, gets a bad rap for being "repetitive" but that's precisely where the fun lies. Not just because it builds a beat to vibe with and dance to but also because repetition is an order to play with just like anything else: the differences, exciting and terrible and awesome and so many things, emerge over time. Put otherwise: these two albums have been on repeat a lot because they tickle my brain as much as my sides; they stimulate concepts up top and feelings below in the body. (This was also my so-called "over-intellectualized" argument in favor of Midtown 120 Blues last fall, too.)
Also, for all my love of Cut Copy and Pavement and Prince and any other wacky pop, I'm pretty into minimal-architectural sounds that arrange a space (a field!) of play. For a long time all I did was listen to Fennesz. That was like living in a cave, however, and putting The Field on repeat is like living a perpetual drive across the Golden Gate bridge with the sunroof open and not minding the fog's chill because you know there's sunshine ahead.
—Suits living West of it all, too
This also gave me good reason to update the widget after a long time off that tip. I've added the two albums that headline this post, the Cavell book we should all be reading together, and two of the best American films last year (The Informant! and Fantastic Mr. Fox), about which I'll have more to say in the not-too-distant future in other outlets. As ever, thanks for reading, and for any Amazon purchases you make (I know there are some of you out there indulging/helping me! and that's great!), and, duh, stay tuned for more. Heaven knows that I'll be around, maxin' with or without socks, dreaming about words and sequenced spaces.