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Should I just go fuck myself?

Jeffrey Tambor’s twitter beef with Dunkin’ Donuts

Setting aside its lyrical structure and Hank Kingsley-esque non-sequitur timbre, which betray a measure of self-satire, this tweet altogether fails to recognize itself as a special instance of noise: the noise made by middle-aged American actor Jeffrey Tambor protesting the loud music in a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise; the silent majority’s ire stirred against an increasingly deafening public sphere; the “let me speak with your manager” blast of a man grousing about an “I only work here” mentality, and sangfroid company policy. Nonetheless, the tweet is merely text, and mute in itself: it contains no audio, no link, no animated gif. It is not a speech act; it only performs one. Its noise is the residual silence of a silence that’s digitally mediated. The soundlessly vociferous symbolic order’s scattered echo. Loudness on the Internet—almost always observed inaudibly on a screen—quietens the cacophony of the real.



The “more epic” Oasis video

Just because it has helicopters, and was shot on 35mm film—“the height of movie-making technology”—does not make it “Apocalypse Now”. Noel Gallagher was right in asking, “Who has the time?” to listen to Arcade Fire’s pretentious 2013 double album. This is for those who dream of a feature-length “November Rain” redux.


Pink Floyd – The Early Years 1965-1972

Pink Floyd’s ultimate mission will remain incomplete until the very matter and fabric of every little thing in the known universe is woven from strings of Pink Floyd, until quantum copies of “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Atom Heart Mother” spontaneously reproduce in each entangled pair of electrons—like the “Being John Malkovich” segment where Malkovich defiantly crawls through his own portal, only to encounter infinite reiterations of his unavoidable, abhorrent and eternal self.


Matthew McConaughey for Wild Turkey

Like a growing number of true stories, this looked like an Onion piece at first. I get the impression that Matthew McConaughey would pitch ice to a Canadian. After all, you can’t spell McConaughey without also spelling Con—and with a capital ‘C’. But Wild Turkey is particularly low-hanging fruit for the Oscar-winning actor turned product-peddler. It’s the ‘A’ in ATF: the Holy Trinity for which America’s ever-ballooning appetite will never be satisfied. And bourbon and millennials require no further introduction. A more tautological branding gesture I can’t imagine.


Derek Baron – Crooked Dances – Penultimate Press

Erik Satie rents a bedroom in a Brooklyn brownstone. He plays the piano quietly while his roommates come and go, talk on the phone and microwave leftovers. The piano’s pedals creak and the instrument is slightly out of tune. There are interruptions: a doorbell, a cat. Traffic. But life goes on. This outstanding recording from the field is edited like the dénouement of “The Last Movie”: jump cuts, repeated phrases, leading toward its protagonist’s inevitable death. An air conditioner’s drone carries chopped-up sounds of dishes and dialogue snippets: “Ugh, I don’t know where to put all…” “I told my uncle weekend…” Its effect is simultaneously stabilizing and disorienting—like a meditation at sea.  Lately I’ve been listening to this LP first thing in the morning.