"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.



You will always be a light…

(I don’t care how many places say it’s We instead, that’s not what I hear every time I listen and in some obscure way it would weaken the song for me; maybe partially because I don’t know if I could tell you, when it’s powerful for me, whether I’m the You or the person broadcasting love in their direction)

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition (Scribble Media) directed by Robert Fantinatto


"I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition" 2013 official trailer from I Dream Of Wires on Vimeo.

It makes sense that the version of I Dream of Wires that’s currently available on DVD is the four-hour “Hardcore Edition” (with a shorter cut being saved for theatrical release); most people who are going to want to spend any time at all watching a film about modular synthesizers are probably in it for the long haul. There’s enough of interest here—to anyone interested in music, technology, cultural history, and so on—that a shorter cut of this documentary is more immediately appealing to a wider audience, but those willing to watch a movie that’s basically as long as most 5-6 episode miniseries will find some pretty rich rewards within.

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If you have any interest in synthesizers/music made with synthesizers/electronic music/etc, I recommend the hell out of this documentary (my review goes on for a bit under the read more with why). It’s four hours long! It’s practically a miniseries! There are some small bits I had one issue or another with, but it’s mostly a delight.

The Stooges — “Fun House” (Take 3)

So, as I’ve mentioned here before, a few years back Anaïs rather awesomely got me the Stooges’ 1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions box set. I’d dipped into it a few times (and have the whole thing on my iPod), but I’d never really taken the full plunge. Every time I was picking something to listen to and I’d scroll past it I’d just think “someday… but not now.” A few weeks ago, maybe because Scott Asheton had just passed away, I guess, I thought “no, today is the day.” So for the past couple of weeks whenever I’ve been out and about I’ve been listening to the box set, in a row, not allowing myself to pick anything else.

I mean, I feel like if you know enough to even know about the box set you already have a pretty good sense of whether or not you need 30 takes of “Loose” (28 of them pretty much in a row) in your life. I’m not going to recommend it or not, really; it’s fundamentally a pretty indulgent and even deranging thing to listen to, so of course it’s got my highest possible recommendation. “Loose” is a great song but it’s even greater 28 fucking times in a row, c’mon.

There are parts that are interesting in kind of a technical way, for example witnessing on multiple songs how Iggy was playing with lyrics right up until the final version, various performance differences, little bits of studio dialogue, a couple of songs that didn’t make the cut. And that stuff is genuinely interesting! It’s really cool to hear the album coming together. And certainly you get a whole new appreciation for what a great band they were (they fractured shortly after this; as good as Raw Power is, it’s identifiably not the same band, not quite), in my case especially David Alexander’s bass, jesus christ. But what this box set is really about, to me and I imagine I’m not alone, is listening to maybe the greatest rock and roll record ever made on obsessive repeat for almost eight hours straight. I could feel myself getting giddy around the eighth take of each song as it would kick in again because they were all always so great

Obviously it’s basically only for confirmed fans of the album, but if you really want to inscribe the damn thing on your mind and soul (and ears), wow, what an amazing eight hours. I’m sure if I put the time in I could come up with an alternate version of the album from other takes (except for “L.A. Blues,” because there’s only two versions here and the other one is 17 minutes and by the band’s own admission in the liner notes kind of aimless) that I like “better” or rather think is just as good and has that added novelty value, including this one, which is incredible. As fierce as Fun House is, some of the earlier takes that arguably don’t work as well overall or are lacking in some small way (or go off the rails early and get shut down abruptly) really peel the paint off the goddamn walls. But all the takes here also make me appreciate the final album, too. It’s still pretty much perfect.

But, I mean, it’s not almost eight hours. The box set definitely has that over the record.

Played 142 times


Coyote Eyes - DenMother

There’s something about the main loop (I think) in this one that’s really knocking my socks off.