Friday Endorsements 08.08.14

Wow, we're still here -- a whole basin of ingredients! We're taking our time. We're stirring the pot. We've got sediment to deal with, but our endorsing sieves are FINE FINE FINE. Will you join us for a cup? 

Adult Jazz - Gist Is


I love this record. So much. The first time I heard it I flipped out. I did a flip out the window and ran down the street, mouth locked in silent scream, both arms up, head swinging frantic, looking for understanders.  There were none.  I despaired.  And then I joyed.  And I've been joying since.  It's a joy of sweet awe and appreciative humility, a joy of wonder and renewed faith, a springful joy (nudge), a pure cool and warm joy at the same time.  


I really couldn't believe it, how great I thought it was immediately. Listening back the second third fourth times skeptically I thought I was starting to see through it, that it was more conventional than I'd hoped, that the guys weren't straight modern musical geniuses.  I ended up liking it more than ever.  It drives me jealous to think this is a debut album.  What magic hole did these dudes pop out of?  Is there an advanced kind of perfect pitch where you have perfect rhythm too, and perfect sensibility and taste?   They have it.


What a great arc and flow to this record.  Surprises everywhere, just what you didn't know you needed, laid out clear in open space. What confidence.  Brilliance.  Oh man I love that feeling, when music re-ups on all its promises and you're reminded why when you were fourteen you needed to find a guitar and hold it or you might as well bury your brain in sand.  I'm gonna post this video here, so you have something to click on, but it's a contempitble tease because the only correct way to listen to this album, Gist Is, is all the way through every time.



Roundup: Three Documentaries

First off, I was absolutely going to endorse Adult Jazz today but I think that Joe's words above really capture how the record hit me as well. Where did they come from?! It's really all too much. 

Second ON, I want to endorse Brian Eno this week for his open letter to Americans regarding Palestine and Israel over on I recommend you read it, and continue this difficult and taboo discussion, regardless of how hopeless it may seem. Empathic hearts, eyes, and hands are capable of social repair and novel action. Eno's letter and a response from his friend Peter Schwartz can be found here. 

Ok, let's get to the films! First up:

The Imposter


An 11 year old boy disappears in Texas. A cold case. Over three years later, this boy reappears in Spain. That's the background that you need to know for this difficult but highly educational documentary. It is shot like a thriller, and everything from the reconstructions, to the narrative structure, to the editing and capture of the interviews is totally brilliant, top calibre work that catches your breath in places and calls forward uncontrollable screaming at one's television in others. Thanks to my friend Justin Goodemoot for this recommend!

Pay attention to who believes what and why. There is so much in this...



Remember when you were 14 years old and you decided to sail solo around the world over the course of 2 years in a boat you built from scraps with your dad? Remember that court battle that ensued before being allowed (god, ADULTS ARE SUCH A DRAG) because maybe you were unstable or your parents were bad and you shouldn't do it, no!? 

This movie makes me ask myself just what the F am I doing with my life. And that's a good thing. This girl has so much spirit, such a sense of adventure, has learned so many zen lessons about her fluid relationship with nature, all well before 18. And I'm sitting here watching MOOOVIES about it. 

What kind of adult will she be? Will her home always be the sea? I want to join her and find out -- but with a few more friends and musical instruments!

The Institute 


You're walking around downtown San Francisco. You see this poster. What do you do? Dismiss it as a joke? Shake your head and scoff at cult-y wackos and their proselytizing? Or do you go to experience your FREE induction?

This one is close to my heart because it unfolds, again in the style of a mystery, the experience of a handful of people who, when confronted with this poster, decided to plunge down a rabbit hole that just kept expanding and expanding. There were no guarantees that they weren't going to have their time wasted, or get caught up in something nasty. They learn of a disappearance, they learn of a rivalry, they are tasked with the recovery of key artifacts, and they just maybe recapture a sense of flow, magic, and life pulsing through the concrete walls of their urban Adspace, er, landscape. In short, the choice between artificial nonchalance and Nonchalance Par Excellence (THE WAY OF THE FOOL) is offered. A spiritual school? A game, just?

What do you do when a potentially dangerous adventure casually asks you to follow?

All three of these docs are streaming on Netflix, if you know what that is. It's like Video Hits Plus, but without the video tapes and arcade in the basement. Enjoy!


Daily Beast Article, Vanishing New York


This is an interesting article with the guy who runs the Vanishing New York blog. An important topic. It's happening all the time, all around us, has been for ages. It is, in my opinion, something to lament. But should we be sad about it? Angry? What do you think?


Posted on August 8, 2014 .