Thursday, December 31, 2009


Everyone is reflecting on the decade and I guess I should too--holy cow, what a boom-and-bust decade, for me and everyone else, in every sense. (Happy to report I'm currently in boom mode, and not taking it for granted for a second.) On January 1, 2000 I was standing around a giant bonfire at Amy and Aaron's house in the woods, where they have solar panels and an outhouse, hiding only half-jokingly from Y2K. Then I flew back to New York City, where I lived. I lived there ten years ago! In my $750 one-bedroom apartment on a cozy little mafia corner in the Gowanus trough of Brooklyn. It had an eat-in kitchen and a bathroom with a tub and a hard bristly stick-on carpet and a living room and a large bedroom that faced Third Avenue. Tiny little baby roaches would race for the drain every time I came home and turned on the light. Foot Foot would sometimes catch the bigger ones and try to play with them. It was my first apartment all my own. I loved it. I was the research editor at Out and the merch person for the Magnetic Fields and had very short bangs and had not yet mailed in my application to Iowa.

But I am too impatient to think back about the last ten years because it wasn't until a few days ago that I suddenly actually realized it was the end of a decade (again? already?) and the thought overwhelms me. What I really want to think about right now are two forthcoming albums I am really excited about:

1. The Magnetic Fields' Realism arrives in January. I anticipate a perfect January album. (Every year I end up listening to some album on constant repeat in January; always a month of writing, solitude, solace. Then that album becomes forever a January album, evoking snow and woodsmoke, long drives, long nights, lamplight. Distortion shared it with Trees Outside the Academy in '08. Last year was the Blood Bank EP. ) This one: in the style of orchestrated '60s Brit-folk. "I can't stand the sound of an acoustic guitar for more than three minutes at a time," says Stephin. Well, bring it.

2. Quasi's new one comes in February on Kill Rock Stars. I've heard these songs live a few times now and they are the kind of songs that sound like classics on the first listen. A gentleman called Brewcaster put up several videos from their excellent June show at Disjecta in Portland. Check out "Little White Horse" and "Never Coming Back Again" and "Bye Bye Blackbird." Agh! I love them! To the point of teenaged hand-waving incoherence.

For the neoennial occasion: "Merry X-mas" by Quasi (from the unjustly overlooked When the Going Gets Dark.) Oh how do you do?

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