“On your passport, you look like you’re trying to tell the person that was taking your photo, ‘I’m a Russian spy and I know nineteen ways to kill you with whatever I can find in this room.’”

“That’s not good.”

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DISPATCH 048:

Sean Nicholas Savage: “More Than I Love Myself”

"I need your body more than I need my own. I need to live with you more than I need a home."

When you only look at things through a small rectangle of glass, your view of the world tends to be remarkably small. When all of your opinions are conceived as you remain glued to a half-comfortable chair, you start to believe that everything you say deserves to be etched in granite. When you waste people’s time with idle chatter and grapevine whisperings, you’ll only end up as the butt of everyone else’s jokes. When you live only to serve your own needs and your own satisfaction, you will end up alone inside of a quaint, little box of your own creation.

This past weekend, I cannonballed into chlorine and my eyes stung with happiness. I set fire to wood and launched smoke into the heavens. I sang with my whole voice and felt no embarrassment. I explored the forest and crossed boundaries. I nightmared, stole blankets and was held closer. I crossed a bridge ten minutes before it collapsed. I came home a folk hero.

[Other Life drops May 28, 2013 on Arbutus] [Photo by Angus Borsos]

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DISPATCH 047:

Deerhunter: “Blue Agent”

"If you ever need to talk, I won’t be around. If you ever need to fight for life, I’ll make no sound."

There is no rekindling in my little section of the world. There are no revivals. There are no resurrections. I’ve learned my lessons and fought my battles on that front more than a couple times.

But holy pants, Deerhunter is great.

[Monomania drops May 7, 2013 on 4AD] [Photo by Robert Semmer]

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DISPATCH 046:

Bowerbirds: “You Need Not Scream”

"I will not struggle. I will not scream. I need your skin. I need this feeling."

Every once in a while, allow yourself to feel some pain. Open yourself up to actually living instead of just plodding through the world unobtrusively. Take chances. Knock things over. Shout your words instead of mumbling them. Bleed a little. Then, bleed a lot. Remind the people that you love that you do love them whenever they pop into your head for even a split second. Let things in that absolutely terrify you. Wake up early and stay up late. Delete things from your life that wear you out or feel like obligations more than passions. Make lists of dreams, not lists of television shows or podcasts that you need to catch up on. Strangle your comfort zone. Stand up for yourself. Be heard, but more importantly, listen.

[The Lost Souls EP was made available to those that contributed to Bowerbirds’ recent Kickstarter campaign] [Photo by D.L. Anderson]

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My Brother, My Brother And Me: "Body Movers’ Union Meeting"

I just spent two minutes cleaning up the bits of bagel and cream cheese that I spit out all over my laptop upon hearing Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy discuss the potential musings that might occur during a union meeting consisting of only body movers from the morgue. Get the whole episode here.

"My name is Morpheus."
"My name is also Morpheus.”

Brilliant.

[Artwork by Justin Gray]

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Magnolia Electric Co.: “Just Be Simple”

In what I can only describe as the type of emotional gut punch that you’ll spend the entirety of your days trying to avoid, I read the news of Jason Molina’s passing earlier today on Facebook. 

Fucking Facebook.

Molina’s life and career is not the sort of thing that one places a final period on after seeing a quick update made by a casual acquaintance from Portland, Oregon who’s attempting to be the first of their friends to claim ownership over love of a man’s musical legacy. 

We shouldn’t be sitting around, fumbling with our devices, competing over who knew the deepest cuts in his catalog or who saw his final (no, really, his final) performance or making claims that we’d seen this sort of ending coming for him and why, oh why didn’t someone actually do something to help him? 

Jason Molina was a goddamn cowboy. 

He should have ridden off into the sunset, wrinkled with advanced age and hobbled from the wear and tear of one last hellacious thrill ride on the road. We should have been sitting in bars raising glasses quietly in his honor, years and years after that last perfect glimpse of him as he breached the horizon. We should be whispering our own versions of the stories that he told to our loved ones and wondering aloud, “Whatever happened to that guy?”

I never met the man and I only once had the privilege of standing a few feet away from him as he coaxed those haunting words and melodies from a place deep inside of his soul and presented them to us without expecting a single thing in return. Without ever coming into contact with him, his music changed the course of my life on more than one occasion.

I am not saddened by the loss of all the new material that he might of someday written. Over the course of two decades, he gave us more of his music and his life than we ever had truly earned or deserved. I am saddened that his story is one that is all too common in this day and age. I am saddened that he never found peace and was never able to quiet the anxiety he must have felt every single day. I am saddened that I never had the chance to express to him what his songwriting means to me, even if my words might have fallen upon deaf ears.

In truth, when I first saw the news this morning, I felt a bit silly for caring so much about the passing of a man that I only knew through the words and sounds that he chose to share with the world. In expressing these feelings of ridiculousness that were resting with me earlier today, I was told something that will most assuredly stick with me for the long run:

"There is no reason or method behind personal connections of soul and art. Things just exist, attractions just live - nothing actually makes sense if you try to find reason or answer. You feel the way that you do because he invited you into his world."

Thank you, Jason. Wherever you are, thank you for inviting all of us into your world. I hope that we didn’t overstay our welcome or track in too much dirt on the carpets.

"The night has always known when it’s time to get going,
when it’s really been so long that it starts showing.
It’s always had that ghost 
who always almost tells me the secret.
How there’s really no difference
in who he once was and who he’s become.
I think he’s been letting me win and I think he’s doing it again.
Thanks for letting me win.”

[Magnolia Electric Co. was released by Secretly Canadian in 2003] [Photo by Kyle Johnson]

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Hold on, Magnolia.

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“Marnie learned another life lesson. How adorable. Wanna gummy frog?”

Alex Karpovsky as Ray Ploshansky from "It’s Back" (Season 2, Episode 8 of Girls)

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DISPATCH 045:

Benoît Pioulard: “Hawkeye”

"There is only this."

This is the sound of happily choosing to stay indoors because of the pissing rain and the howling wind. This is the sound of not caring if the rest of the world passes you by for an afternoon or two. This is the sound of every timepiece crashing to the floor and splintering into oblivion. This is the sound the world makes when you illuminate it with only a flashlight. Listen.

[Hymnal is available now on Kranky] [Photo by Will Calcutt]

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DISPATCH 044:

Blackout Beach: “Beautiful Burning Desire”

"I’d better run into the woods behind the wooding hall and drink whiskey just to away."

A moody, masterful remake of the Fuck Death opener that repeatedly draws you in, only to violently push you away just as you get comfortable. Carey Mercer’s vocals are even more unhinged this time around, proving that he and The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser definitely spent their formative years studying at the same school of vocal gymnastics. Mercer’s course load just happened to wander down a pathway towards a deeper and darker version of the craft.

[Blues Trip is available on Blackout Beach’s Bandcamp] [Photo by Shawn MacDonald]

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