If You Find The Earth Boring...

Social Music

I’ve been out of town for most of the last three months (first attending the weddings of some friends, then attending a few academic meetings and now contributing five weeks of lectures to a class), but upon returning I had a welcome and wonderful first installment of Social Music’s subscription series (curated and put together by Mike from Yeti Magazine) in my mailbox. Although I have barely had a chance to listen to them over the last week, the first round of records in the series are Richard Bishop’s (of Sun City Girls fame) Graviton Polarity Generator, a compilation of Jamaican Gospel music, the self-titled Cloudcraft album (featuring The Clean’s Hamish Kilgour) and a split 7-inch single (with awesome artwork by Portland artist and musician E*Rock) featuring a side each from New Zealand’s The Bats (always a personal favorite of mine) and Chicago’s Califone. I also picked up two other records from Social Music that weren’t part of the subscription series: a retrospective of The June Brides, one of my most favorite bands ever (got all this stuff but it’s nice to have it all on one record), and Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies, a great white-gospel compilation. Check out the Social Music website for more information.


One of the highlights of each month for me is the arrival of The Wire magazine (I’ve had a subscription for more than a decade and a half now) and one of my favorite monthly columns, simply called Epiphanies and located in each issue’s back page, is where monthly contributors write about their sonic epiphanies. While this month’s copy is undoubtedly waiting for me at home right now, I was able to read this month’s Epiphanies column from Kenneth Goldsmith on The Wire’s website.  Kenneth Goldsmith is the founder and curator of the extensive online media library UbuWeb. Through The Wire’s website, Kenneth Goldsmith recommends visiting the following places on ye olde internet: VVORK, an online art gallery; the image blogging site PJ’s Mix; the online poetry collective Jacket 2; the great Thai Music Blog Monrakplengthai; I don’t know what this is all about, but it’s a cool site called The Unknown Hipster; and the absolutely wonderful music blog, Holy Warbles, led by sonic archivist and awesome dude Owl. UPDATE: See The Wire’s new column called Collateral Damage in response to Kenneth Goldsmith’s Epiphanies column.  Here’s essays by Chris Cutler, Bob Ostertag, Robin Rimbaud, Marcus Boon, Amanda Brown, David Keenan, Eric Lumbleau

Chris Menist’s Paradise Bangkok DJ Mix

Chris Menist is a Bangkok based DJ and record collector who has a new DJ mix on the Paris DJ’s website (and a place where you can listen to tons of other DJ mixes).  He recently curated, with his partner DJ Maft Sai, two awesome compilations of music from Thailand: The Sound of Siam - Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz, & Molam in Thailand 1964-1975 on the Soundway and Thai? Dai! The Heavier Side of the Luk Thung Underground on the Finders Keepers record labels. You can listen and download his Paradise Bangkok DJ mix on the Paris DJ’s Podcast feed or you can listen or download right here: [wpaudio url=”http://ifyoufindtheearthboring.com/media/01 Chris Menist’s Paradise Bangkok Mix.mp3” text=”Chris Menist’s Paradise Bangkok DJ Mix” dl=”http://ifyoufindtheearthboring.com/media/Chris Menist Mix.rar”]

Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

More than a month ago, two friends were married in the luxurious locale of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and the girl and I went down south for a few days to join in the festivities.  The wedding in Hilton Head was beautiful and included a small ceremony on a boat which took us out across Hilton Head sound.  This couple now calls Hilton Head home, so they were able to point us the right direction and we investigated a bit on our own. Including the day of the wedding, we took two days to explore Hilton Head Island.  It was early spring, so we missed the summer crowds inhabiting the island during the peak tourist season.  We had a great run on the beach and an enjoyable time walking around the island – unfortunately in vain – looking for a Tennis court.  Thanks to the girl’s savvy deal finding ability and sleuthy island investigation skills, we explored some new restaurants and found some good thrift store shopping – apparently where all the Hilton Head retirees unload their vintage clothes and housewares. After the wedding weekend, we planned our “spring break” jaunt in the city of Savannah, just a little farther south across the South Carolina/Georgia state line and the Savannah River (Savannah gas lamp photo link). Before leaving for our trip, just about anyone we spoke to asked if either of us had read “The Book”, so in anticipation of our Savannah stay, we both started reading John Berendt’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.  Unfortunately, this book, like many books in my life, had been sitting on my bookshelf for I don’t know how long, still unread, so, the timing couldn’t have been better to give the book a read.  So, we both read the book before, during, and after our Savannah trip. We spent three nights and four days in Savannah, exploring what the city had to offer.  We stayed in The Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn, which we would recommend without reservation (no pun intended, but seriously make reservations as it appears there is often a waiting list there).  The daily breakfast was wonderful and healthy and in the evening the staff provided milk and freshly baked cookies.  When we didn’t opt for the full day Savannah visitor parking permit some of the staff ran quarters outside to our parking meter while we toured Savannah; talk about service!  The location was positioned perfectly to have the best of downtown Savannah close at hand, but also had access to Forsyth Park and the Victorian architecture of the homes and buildings surrounding the park.  My freelance photographer girl and I spent plenty of time walking around taking photos and documenting our stay.  She works very hard to get the perfect angle for the perfect photo. The Savannah Bed & Breakfast is right next to Mercer House, the central location for Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.  We didn’t take the house tour, but we did admire the carriage house gift shop, as well as the Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil store, which is just a block away from Mercer House.  In this store you can find everything you could have ever wanted with the Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil logo on it, from a washcloth to candle snuffer. Spring was just coming on in Savannah and the blossoms were now beginning to peak.  Of course, we’d both seen Spanish Moss before, but we never tired of taking pictures of blossomed branches covered with hanging moss. Savannah as a city has just the right amount of quirky charm to it.  As you walk along the central Bull Street, architecture from Georgian and Victorian eras clash with the funky modernity of art students going to and from classes at Savannah College of Art & Design, affectionately known as SCAD.  Although Forsyth Park was probably our favorite park, Savannah has many beautiful parklets to get lost in, and if you enjoy walking Savannah is a great city for you. Finally, as we headed out of town, we spent the morning in Bonaventure Cemetery, a few minutes outside of Savannah.  Bonaventure Cemetery is filled with plenty of dark southern history, coastal Voodoo, and local lore and legend, which is evident if you’ve read In The Garden Of Good & Evil.  If you enjoy taking photos of moss covered marble statues and reading the names of the long departed, then venturing a little outside of Savannah will be worth your time.

From Me To You

While I’m not a huge follower of beauty and fashion photography, I love to check in with the blog From Me To You from time to time, mainly to see the incredible animated photos that Jamie creates in, around, and inspired by New York City.  Check out her blog for many more photos.