Annual update, since I don't ever come here (but plan to change that as I need a place to write!)... you can find me on twitter, tumblr and instagram (@maldorora) to keep up with my random glimpses of life.
2013 started badly starting in 2012... it seems there was an excess of unnecessary deaths and excess violence, a hyperchaos more typical of what we feared in 1999 of the coming century. Even though we have the most immediate and expansive communication ability ever, we cannot express ourselves properly. We share, but we hide. We are bombarded with information to the point we can give a 140 character opinion, but we cannot adequately determine why there is still a gnawing ache of isolation and un-understanding when things go awry.
2013 was intended to be a good year, but didn't have a chance, due to death's fickle sickle. The shocking and sudden ascension of precious lights: playfuleye (truly, one of the most pure, creative, and full of grace kindhearted people I have ever known, lost far too young, now a Starre, words not enough), Ustad Rafi Akbar-Zada, my Afghan music guru, son of a poet laureate of Afghanistan, scion of the Afghan court musicians of India, Radio One DJ who brought George Harrison and North Indian Classical into Afghanistan, great heart and gentle eyes, the strikingly profiled Sufi continuum of StarreLight who taught me tampoura and rebab (on an instrument secreted from Afghanistan during 2000-2001, made by his Mughal family's maker from one of the last old groves of Mulberry trees before they were burnt by the Taliban, inlaid with turquoise and mother of pearl and flamed with the golden heart of the wood), Seth & Josh's father, relatives/, coworkers, and friends. And John Taverner, whose Protecting Veil and Syvati are some of the most exquisitely numinous glimpses of a higher power of beauty I have ever heard.
However there were bright moments, from brunches with friends to spontaneous trips to gardens, parks, and petting farms.
Some random memories:
-seeing Clint Mansell live in NYC !!!
- driving to Nashville and back in one day to take in the Art Deco Automobile exhibit at the Ferst, and picking up a stupendous c1929 black and white flashed glass ziggurated Deco chbjandelier for the library;
-getting o-fish-ally published by the Dark Mountain Society, a British psychogeography collective of modern mythkeepers and protectors of the unspoken names of the old lands;
-taking friends to see the MAGNIFICENT Atlanta Ballet production of Dracula;
-My first Metropolitan Opera-- the rather strange nuclear-era production of Faust;
-completing the dark epic backstory of Alois and Kataryzna with sakurakurakura....soon to be a graphic story of the darkest shadows of the alchemic journey and primordial sexuality;
-dug a fish pond in the backyard, complete with little waterfall and rock garden, inhabited by the stalwart black goldfish Tilikum
-experimented with hugelkutur for the garden, but was outsmarted by the 5th wettest year ever on record (seriously it rained every day it seemed over the summer! unhappy tomatoes!)
-typing this up on a new lenovo yoga 13 laptop after my tired vaio (rehabbed earlier this year with ubuntu, but still died) gave up the ghost
-loved seeing the pet shop boys at the atlanta symphony!!! the dancers made the show super fun!
-loved gil shaham and the stunning performance of what I normally hate, Carmina Burana, saved by the STUNNING Nmon Ford;
-loved seeing Gary Numan in concert again (haven't since the Changelings opened for him back in the early 2000s... really like some tracks off his new album and Dead Son Rising)-- fun seeing the ancient gerigoth guard of ATL and "Films" "Metal" "Down in the Park" along with newer songs.
Stoker was probably my favorite film, but really looking forward to the Wolf of Wall Street.
Remarkable music of 2013. I didn't really have a chance to seek out a lot of new or "popular stuff" so I'm sure I missed out. In no particular order:
These New Puritans - Fields of Reeds. A dream, a folkhiddenfogscape of memory. "Dreams" is like a lost coil track feat. rose mcdowall.
Raum- Event of Your Leaving (feat Liz from Grouper-- dreamy soft yet dark atmospheres)
Clint Mansell- Stoker soundtrack
Russian Circles- Memorial- possibly one of my fave releases, sad and sombre, with nice contribution from Chelsea Wolfe
Bonnie Prince Billy- S/T cassette release (yes, CASSETTE)
Beastmilk- Climax - guilty pleasure driven oldschool style gothrock with a sort of QOTSA twist
Danny Brown- Old --Seriously one of the most magnificent wtf creative albums in a while, up there with old Dr Octagon. Amazing debut, sonically solid, old nu skool kidnapped by aliens Afrika Bambaataa on mushrooms what is soul funkadelic trip.
Anoraak- Chronotopic- solid electronica album
Matmos- The Marriage of True Minds- always love their concepts, and this one stays true to form.
Olafur Arnalds-For Now I am Winter- while some of this is a bit too polished for me, the tracks with Arnor Dan are utterly miasmically beautiful. Haunting strings, percussion, piano wrap together in a sorcerous fog. Check Kiasmus' mix of the title track.
Kanye- Yeezus- yes, I listened to it once, prob should again, as I respect anyone this powerful/popular throwing out something like this in a year of pop pap.
Ghostface Killah- 10 reasons to die- perfect.
The Parlour Trick- A Blessed Unrest- I miss the rachels, and this album fills the void and takes me to another place that is at once like discovering a time capsule of old wax cylinder recordings transmuted into a higher understanding of the infinite loopings and parallelograms of time and memory. I love Meridith Y's exquisite theremin workings over cello and haunting piano, completely honest and unaffected unlike OTHER piano/neovictorianesque acts I could rip apart...
Rhye- Woman- while I am not normally in the mood for Sade-like stuff except on rare occasions, this album was stupendously attention-grabbing. Michael, a counter-tenor, has a voice that is undeniably stunning.
Tim Hecker- Virgin beautiful, haunting stuff here, as always.
The Haxan Cloak- Excavation - absolutely brilliant, chilling, suffocating terror.
For the record, Blixa Bargeld & Teho T's still smiling > the new nick cave
Depeche Mode's Delta Machine was unlistenable-- very very disappointing!
Loved the Dancing Marquis by Marc Almond and cannot wait to hear his new projects.
And yes, I did like a good bit of the Knife and the National and the Arctic Monkeys' new albums from a popular music perspective, but overall, I tended to relisten to old faves like Tubeway Army, lots of early classical, Wire ,etc and was introduced to the spine-tingling terror of Bob Gibson's folk music by L. Try his version of "Well Well Well"!
May 2014, year of the wooden horse, be one where we learn to do more in person and share less online, knowing that the best memories are those which are experienced in person and shared in the moment. Be well. Be gentle. And do it anyway.