do you want to be afraid?

She hooks her little fingers around my ankle and begs me not to leave. "It's not safe out there", she breathes. Eventually her fingers tire and she lets go of her own accord, dusts off her little blue sweater and watches me walk through the front door. She really is quite well-behaved.

She waves to me from the window. She leans too heavily onto the screen, which slides out of its grooves. I watch as she falls right out of the window, hanging onto the ledge with one hand as her body swings sickly from side to side. I walk past the corner and the blue hedges, the traditional boundary of my childhood, and she disappears, pulled back into the house and into my memories by her forever over-protective big sister.

At the bus stop, I ask her, "Don't you want to be happy?" I smile and thank the driver as I get on the bus and I know that she has reeled in the tether.


the night has opened my eyes

As of last month I have joined the ranks of the employed. Because I work all day and spend the entire night recuperating and otherwise being lazy, I haven't had much of a chance to catch up on 2011. You may think, it's only February, how much new music can a person really get behind on? Technically I'm still catching up on 2010. Luckily, I got off work early on Sunday, and was able to sit down and listen to some music.

As always, the mediafire links will only be up for about a month, or a little longer, depending on when I get around to it.

+ - Wise Blood
Bandcamp | Pitchfork Rising | Mediafire

Not my vote for best album art of the year, but a very strong EP. There are some obvious influences from Animal Collective and particularly Panda Bear, but on its own Wise Blood does an incredible job of reinventing pop songs. The songs are fairly short, and at only five songs the EP is just long enough to make a future release "highly anticipated". (And, I am aware that this is from 2010.)

Zonoscope - Cut Copy
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I hesitated to review Zonoscope. That hesitation started post In Ghost Colours, when nearly anything from 2008 was suddenly tainted by memories I wanted to put behind me. So when I knew that I would have to listen to Zonoscope, I expected the worst. But after having listened to it all the way through (and then nonstop for the next few days), it's hard for me to remember exactly why I would ever hold anything against such an amazing band. Even if you are in the middle of battling snow, or hail, or whatever else winter is throwing at you, Cut Copy manages to bring a breezy, summery album that is easy to like.

Space is Only Noise - Nicolas Jaar
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

This album fell under my radar after hearing "I Got A Woman". For those that are already familiar with Nicolas Jaar, Space Is Only Noise may feel a little slower than his previous singles, and for those that have never heard of him before, it is easy enough to enjoy the album. The songs feel light and melodic, and is easier to take in all at once, rather than randomly or in pieces.

Dye it Blonde - Smith Westerns
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

This album appealed to me right from the opening track, with the whole album feeling drunken, joyful, and dreamy. The Smith Westerns find a perfect balance between 2011 and 90s Britpop influences. I feel like I might be selling the album short if I don't write more about it, but I'll be honest and just say that it would mean more to me if I had spent more time with it.

This is all I feel prepared to write for now, though I am sitting on quite a few more albums. I guess that will just be something for readers to look forward to.


everybody cares, everybody understands

I was planning on making a playlist for 2011's best music so far, as well as some of the albums I didn't get to in 2010. I also have big plans for making a Sasquatch sampler playlist. And even though today was my only day off for the rest of this week, I didn't have much of a chance to get to it, mainly because I am exhausted.

For those that don't know, I have joined the ranks of the employed, and full-time at that. I have been working at a cookie bouquet store, which sounds a lot nicer than the reality. The reality is, I just barely survived Valentine's day. So though I would love to spend a few hours struggling with a thesaurus, I am actually planning on spending the night studying some Chinese and eating noodles.


i think it's alright to feel inhuman, now

Lake Washington, c. 1912
Postcard: "Just a few words as I am real busy doing nothing.
I have nothing to do but eat and sleep but O,
I would rather have something to do."

Like Alexander before me, I set the city on fire before descending in my white-glass diving bell. As my city of friends and bright futures burned to ashes, I spent the summer in my diving bell, a locked, pressurized chamber full of borrowed air, with Bauby and Alexander. Historians will tell you that it is impossible for Alexander to have stayed in his diving bell for days, just as those around me had sat back, folded their arms and said, "You'll get better."

"Getting better" is as labored as the evolution of deep sea technology. It moves as slowly as "the speed of a hair growing from the base of the brain" (which made Jean-Do excellent company). As summer turned to fall, my diving bell turned to a benthoscope, capable of withstanding the higher pressure as people were losing their patience with me. "Life doesn't happen like this. You have to try harder to be normal."

Last month was the difference between the diving bell and the smoke helmet. It was the difference between a locked chamber and actual mobility, the difference between crying at the thought of leaving and actually packing my suitcases. But this diving suit was imperfect, I laid my head down in a bed that wasn't my own and the helmet soon flooded with the reality that I wouldn't be able to stay out like this. I left the apartment and went back to the safety of my diving bell.

These days I can put on an atmospheric diving suit, I can leave my diving bell. I can cross those railroad tracks and run past the school bus depository. I can watch the sun set over downtown Bellevue, I can believe that I will eventually see the surface again. But these days I am still tethered to my diving bell, I am still afraid to get on that bus and see Tyres in ruin.

I whisper to myself, "I think it's alright to feel inhuman, now" and continue to recover the wreckage that I wrought on my life.