Monday, February 26, 2007


Hello, My name is Kirsten K----, and I am going to die.

I think that for as long as I live, which will not be long, I would rather not hear the word inoperable again. They give you all the technical terms, show you all the scans and always remain professional, but there’s still something in their eyes…something that hits you with crushing weight; it forces the air from your lungs. That’s when you know the finality of it all.

At first, the days don’t feel the same. Everything is like a halo surrounding a dark center, bright hues at the edges. Things seem sharp and crystal, precious and yet so sad. You feel sorry for yourself, and you try to convince yourself that the time left is going to be an amazing Hollywood ending.

But reality lingers. The days still have twenty-four hours in them and each one is one step closer to the inescapable. I soon began to realize that nothing has changed. The world is still the same. The sky is still blue. The sun is still bright. My mother still annoys the hell out of me and I am living my life exactly as I always have.

That’s why I’m leaving. I have to get out of this place, wander around the open skein of the world for a little while. I probably will never see my parents again. Six weeks ago they told me I might have a couple months to live, if I was lucky. So I’m not expecting to make it back any time soon and I don’t expect to be giving any blustery good-byes. There have been more than enough tear stained cheeks and snotty noses in my life to last a lifetime. I will be slipping out the open window in my room, a short drop to the damp ground below and a quick dash into the vanishing. I will be their ghost, their little girl lost.

(go to 2nd departure)

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Monday, February 12, 2007

1: Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar

Here we find magic. Music that cuts through my veins and pumps through my bohemian heart. My love of gypsy has found a home with this group of youngsters who grow old before our ears. They traveled back through time to the Eastern European Frontier to steal our hearts and get us drunk off our adoration. When I listen to them I suddenly see my life unfolding before me like a dream that I long forgot. I see my lovely long-skirted wife teasing me in the shadows of great trees, and her long dark hair falling on me with desire while the leaves crush beneath us. Her violin heart whispers high beautiful notes at me and I fall asleep knowing how free love can be.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

2: Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust of Retreat

The band of misfits and wandering souls have mesmerized us with their strange orchestra. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's have begun their jaunt into the world of atmosphere and dreams, across the landscape of calamity. When I was little we were bombarded with visions of a destructive world that we can't escape and for some reason this band brings back that feeling but with almost a hint of euphoria following it like a shadow. They have a natural ability to find the tendril of pop that weaves its way into my soul. And the poetic laundry of words tumble about my brain and resonate with perfect clarity. I hope that we've discovered a magical journey of creative music that will travel through many years to come.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

3: Gotan Project - Lunatico

Melodic dreams from another world. Gotan Project's cascading aural drama unfolds before our ears and unveils picturesque visions upon the stage. Foreign and beautiful we find ourselves in smoky bars where men wear hats and women wear their sensuality for all to see. In the corners darkness swallows the weak and danger deals its hand of remorse. The last wicked sign of civilization went to bed long ago and the rest of us look for promises of temptation that might put us in the grave or make us wealthy beyond our years. And through the haze and beating hearts we hear the sound of thick lofty wisdom rising from the ashes. The crowd gets on their feet and echoes adoration because Gotan Project has eaten us alive.


Friday, February 09, 2007

4: Joy Zipper - The Heartlight Set

I was given this album on New Year's Day at 12:01 in the morning and I still haven't stopped listening to them for over a year now. Two years ago we discovered Joy Zipper with American Whip (Dosed and Became Invisible is still the coolest song ever by the way) and for the past two years they have become one of our favorite bands. They have that psychedelic pop sound made famous decades ago and you don't have to look too far on the radio dial to find it, but here's the problem. No one has these precious skills. I put Joy Zipper on the Pandora station and wait for a magnificent array of beautiful music to descend upon me, but nothing comes out except crappy mainstream bullshit that doesn't deserve the gutter where they eventually find themselves. And I'm thinking, "Are there truly no other bands that can make wonderful music like this?"

Apparently not.

There's just something good about Joy Zipper.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

5: Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

Neko Case is a siren, a haunting voice from the landscape of historical American geography. From the hills of Appalachia over the green valleys where country was born through the choking sands of the dust-bowl across the plains of Texas under the scorching desert sun of the west and right down to the oceanic views of Hollywood she brings the ghost of yesteryear into the present. Her dark melodic tongue waggles at us from the light of the drive-in movie screen and whistles at us from the towering redwoods. Her deep reverent howl travels along the country wind whispering memories like they just happened yesterday. Her heart slips right down into our ears and shines a light that warms our bellies. She is the soul and melody of a country drunk on moonshine and happy to be alive and sad to know the past and afraid of the future and wild with hunger and woozy with the sound of her voice.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

6: Lali Puna - I Thought I Was Over That

This was a real treat. One day Xtina read about this album from Lali Puna on one of the many, many blogs that she follows. For some reason I normally don't go after remix, b-side albums like this even though we have one of their earlier works that we really enjoy. But then I found it used and bought it immediately. Lali Puna is one of those bands where an album like this seems to fit in perfectly (just like the Flaming Lips). Their sound is easy to tweak on the monitor so that the remixes make sense, like that's exactly how the song was supposed to sound in the first place. So this one definitely made its way into our subconscious, worming inside and eating all the good parts.


Monday, February 05, 2007

7: The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon

Is the verse still a weapon to be reckoned with? The Coup seems to believe that it still has power to create devastating change. Even though music is more accessible than ever it's almost like it has less of an impact on people. We're constantly moving and shaking and buying in order to get the next big sound before it even has a chance to settle into our conscience. Whether or not it is trying to affect the way we look at the world or actually change what is happening is less important than whether or not we discover a hit so that we may stamp ourselves with coolness. Instant downloads and bootlegs of the new mega-album from the next-hugest-band-ever before it even has a chance to hit the airways has invaded our music psyche.

But, still, words have power and they always will because they have the ability to communicate. If we take the time to allow them to sink beneath our skin and percolate into our nervous system and bloat our organic consciousness then we begin to feel the power of art, the way it can change you and make you see through new eyes, feel it as only you know how...not the way those damn corporados wish to make you feel. That's the power of art, poetry and music. That's the power of the verse.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

8: Jens Lekman - Oh You're So Silent Jens

Jens Lekman is crazy. That fits right in with most of the music that I enjoy. As the music descends from the speakers into your ear canal you begin to wonder what caused you to purchase this wacko in the first place. Yeah, his lyrics transcend all normalcy and they definitely make a smirk crawl over your lips, but is that really enough for you to believe in? Then you listen again...and again...and again and then you begin to recognize his sound coming for you, and the moment you here it you tell yourself, "Yeah, that's a cool song." He's a pop musician from the other side of pop, the dark shadowy side that doesn't quite fit into any sensibility. That's okay, because that's the way that I like to think about myself. Why fit into the norm?

Besides, the song "Black Cab" is the coolest song we've heard all year.


Friday, February 02, 2007

9: Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go

Bonnie "Prince" Billy makes music that is gentle as the spring air. A pleasant softness that overtakes you when you feel the warmth of the sun and hear life motion relax all around you. He has a way about him that spans a broad range of emotions. Sometimes you expect complete madness out of him, which is why I have a hard time constantly tapping into the strange genius of Will Oldham. But every couple of years I need to get my fix. This year I felt that the time was right so I ventured back into this realm and find myself very satisfied with what I have discovered.