"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"

This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.



The Afghan Wigs — “The Slide Song”

Most of my favourite Greg Dulli songs are the ones where I feel like he’s confessing the terrible weakness that’s at the core of his persona (which is why my real favourite is “The Killer” on Blackberry Belle). But then again, maybe I’m in the minority here; when he sings “I got the devil in me, girl” at the end of “John the Baptist” it’s always sounded pathetic to me, not seductive (and therefore sympathetic, which is the trick he always pulls). The last two Whigs albums before they originally called it quits, especially, it always feels to me like he’s thrashing back and forth between the Nosferatu and Lestat parts of that persona. But, you know, this is the same song where he sings “baby, don’t make me worry about you” reproachfully; some problems, some people, don’t ever get fixed.


Recently my grandmother found out I’m queer. Her response was to tell me that she disapproves of me living with my “friend” (i.e. my girlfriend) and that I should give up my vile queer ways and become a Christian (Lol). She even sent me a bible.  Here are its remains, which I made into black-out poetry.

Poem 1: Bisexual (from Leviticus 19:9)— “Have sexual relations with her.  Have sexual relations with him.  Have sexual relations with both a woman and a man.  Have sexual relations with yourself. Vomit on everyone who does not respect you.”

Poem 2: Fisting (from Judges 8:5)— “water/ lap the water/ drink/go down to drink/your hands/go down/I give into your hands/go down/encouraged/down/on the seashore/the whole hand/your hand/inside/I get to the edge/and shout/grasping/crying out/Beth/Beth/Beth/Beth/Beth/God/I came”

Poem 3: A Letter to the Exiles (from Jeremiah 28:13) — “Ze said: ‘Do not let lies name you, nor harm your heart. Gather. Raise the sword against them. They scorn and reproach, for they have not listened— again and again have not listened.’ “

Poem 4: Child (from Ezekiel 16:22) — “Your father and your mother rubbed salt in. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough for you, for on the day you were born you were despised. Live! Grow.  I looked at you and saw you were enough.”

Poem 5: Father (from Ezekiel 16:22) — “You never adored us. You became very angry. You took some out on us. Your sons and daughters were not enough? You slaughtered— in all your detestable practices— our youth.”

Poem 6: Misandry (from Acts 27:41) — “Dangerous men should be broken.”

No art ever makes the horrible things in life ‘worth it’ (cf also the quote about Miles Davis from here), but what a beautiful, beautiful response.


Walk into the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco from now till the end of February and you’ll find a gorgeous art installation that features 20 miles of ribbon cascading from the church’s vaulted ceiling arches. Artist Anne Patterson is behind Graced With Light, an installation consisting of nearly 1,000 satin ribbons with colors inspired by stained glass. It took the artist months to prepare, which she did in her art studio in Manhattan by constructing a 3/16-inch scale model of it with embroidery floss. Then, on site, it took Patterson and the Grace Cathedral community eight days to hand-assemble the project.

Graced with Light incorporates both music and video projection. The artist envisioned it as “a series of light pathways, connecting heaven and earth, manifest as ribbons. The ribbons carry our prayers, dreams and wishes skyward, and, in turn, grace streams down the ribbons to us.”

So what’s it like to actually experience this? “Many people chose to lay down in the pews,” says Patterson. “One audience member told me that it was the best therapy session he had ever experienced. As he was lying down looking up at the ribbons, he imagined the things he wanted out of his life flowing up the ribbons and the things he wanted to welcome into his life streaming down the ribbons into him.”

From Mymodernmet

Kind of super want to get a drink with Kanye and find out what he thinks of Parmenides (not just because I love this answer).

(Source: christmasonthemoon)

R.E.M. — “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”

It’s old home week here today, I guess (blame insomnius for linking this on Twitter). Most people I know tend to love the early stuff but I’m completely unapologetic about the fact that Automatic for the People through to Up was and is ‘my’ R.E.M. Up came out in 1998 so I still had a few years of high school left, and that was the period when I got Plumtree’s three albums and they became my favourite band in the world instead. And it was through ordering Plumtree albums from Endearing Records that I heard about Readymade and got their albums, and they made my kneejerk default favourite album of all time. I’d feel worse about that album being one I first heard when I was 18-9 if not for the fact that if I start listing other albums I really love plenty of them are ones I first heard much later in life (I don’t think most of us want to feel like our tastes are trapped in teenage amber, do we?).