August 5, 2008

I'm Back

Renewing my old website was too expensive, so here I am with a blog. The name 'sinnersbleeders' comes from the titles of my two full-length albums: Sinners, and Bleeders of the Vast Expanse. I could've included the two EPs, but I didn't think 'sinnerssleepyheadssuicidehillbleeders' was very practical.

After a three month break here's a greatest hits version of what I've been enjoying over the last while:

I found a perfect album. It's called Zuckerzeit by the German group Cluster. I've added it to the very short list of albums that really really matter to me because they seem to point the way to a dark, beautiful future (also on that list: Kid A, and Liars' Drums Not Dead).

Loving this album so much, I then bought their next album Sowiesoso, and found it dull dull dull. Soft soft soft soft Rock.




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I'm late to the party, but I just discovered French author Michel Houellebecq. First I read (and was relatively unimpressed with) his latest novel The Possibility of an Island, but inexplicably remained curious enough to then read an earlier novel called Platform, which is the most exciting book I've read since I read Bukowski's Post Office a couple years ago.

Woe. This book Platform meant a lot to me. Or I think it has.




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Three new films have entered the pantheon: Louis Malle's The Fire Within, Karel Reisz' Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and the 2003 film from first-time director Andrei Zvyagintsev called The Return.

The Fire Within cut especially deep. I need to watch it again. The first time was with Jeff Coutts in the middle of the afternoon in Edmonton. After the film -which he'd never seen before either- we smoked American Spirit cigarettes on his balcony, and I felt like my wounded spirit was floating into the horrible, meaningless sky.

The Return wounded me too; but in a much more constructive manner. I'm a person who can be changed by art, and The Return made a difference.

There was a woman in that movie who knocked a hole in me with her stillness and mindcrushing beauty.
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I went to the Osheaga festival yesterday. I saw Cat Power, Spiritualized, Iggy and the Stooges, and a bunch of others. But the surprise highlight for me was a Montreal band called Duchess Says. It was the kind of rock'n'roll I'd forgotten did -or stopped hoping might- exist in anything other than my visual fantasies while listening to a record. For once a band was better live than they could possibly be on record. Amazing and out of control. I remember rock'n'roll. I do.

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I also saw Bon Iver in July. It was the best concert experience of my life. The room listened quietly to his songs. I swear to God. It was the environment of my dreams. He rewarded our reverence with a wonderful performance, which included a new song called Blood Bank that was astounding.

Favourite song of the moment:


Birthing and Birthing by Slim Twig.





Also read and thoroughly enjoyed this summer:
for the first time:
-Joel Hynes' Down to the Dirt
-Walt Whitman's I Sing the Body Electric, and A Song for Occupations.
for the second time:
-Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One
-John Steinbeck's East of Eden
-Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
-can't remember what else

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And finally,

I'm making music again after a long hiatus. It feels like I'm beginning to finally make the kind of music I've dreamt of since I was thirteen and first realized that what Nirvana did on In Utero was within my grasp, if I could just learn a few chords on the guitar.

It's possible I'll release a small EP of old songs before I put out the new album.

If you're still reading this far down: thanks for the attention.










8 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice to have you back.

jon said...

glad to have you back! i can now stretch my artistic interests again. i can't always keep up, but the points at which i do are always worth it (i.e. The National is awesome)

(although my brother helps me with that as well, as i'm sure you know)

forrest said...

Hi Matt, your blog is a good resource...I am really glad that youve included Saturday Nights and Sunday mornings...post office was certainly exciting.

matthew a. wilkinson said...

Jon: thanks for the plug on your site.

Forrest: the fact that you enjoyed Post Office makes you, um, a kindred spirit.
It's such a masculine book; with you being a feminine person I'm curious what you took away from it.

I'm obsessed with masculinity in art these days, so...

jon said...

masculinity? so, like, gone in 60 seconds?

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Ha!

No, that's a caricature or stereotype of masculinity. Movies like 300, or Gone in 60 Seconds represent masculinity like Clueless represents feminity; which is to say, not really at all. Or, only as much as a caricature is based pretty loosely on the real thing. Unfortunately, even though it's pretty obvious to everyone that there are marked differences between masculine and feminine (I'm being careful not to say male and female), no one seems to be able to really identify exactly what those differences are without resorting to silly (and sometimes offensive) generalizations. Hence all the "tough guys" in action movies, the airhead girls in chick-flicks, or those painful portrayals we get when Hollywood tries to be sophisticated by giving us he-women or she-males to demonstrate how politically correct they are.

I'm interested in more nuanced explorations. That Russian film The Return is definitely a great recent film exploring masculinity. Or There Will Be Blood.

Chesterton's Napoleon of Notting Hill is -for me- one of the greatest portrayals of masculine motivation that I've ever encountered. Lawrence of Arabia is another profound meditation on the masculine experience.

There's a lot of great masculine art out there. The real poverty is in feminine representations.

Dave M. said...

I would like to hear what your picks would be for great representations of femininity in cinema.

Just looking briefly at my collection, I might suggest Sophia Coppola's films.

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Juliett of the Spirits

or Mouchette

perhaps Persona or the Passion of Anna

what do you think?

jon said...

ah yes, just the tirade i was hoping to provoke! couldn't agree more.

gone in 60 seconds is on my list of movies i have vowed never to see. ironically think it may destroy my manhood if i ever see it.