October's edition of Chainlinks is here, for your pleasure! Dig into enlightening new recommendations from our friends Caroline Harrison (creator of art as seen on the album covers and merch of Pig Destroyer, Pyrrhon, Yautja and more), Sean McVay (King Buffalo) and Teddy Panopoulos (Dead Waves).
1) Made Out of Babies - Trophy
I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of this record, especially the track "El Morgan." This album feels a lot to me like how I hope my work feels to strangers.
2) Ornamentation in and on buildings
People took the time to put totally useless pieces of decoration onto buildings because it made them feel good. The flowers and leaves or geometric patterns framing windows and doors don’t usually serve any structural purpose—they’re there because someone thought they looked beautiful. I find that comforting.
3) The work of artist Firelei Báez
Man, the more you look at this work the more you find. Báez combines really technically beautiful drawing and painting with disorienting, surreal imagery to make these lush, fertile, colorful, and sometimes unsettling pieces. Her work can be really overwhelming to look at.
1) Roger Waters - "Is This The Life We Really Want"
Such a simple question asked over a simple progression. It seems increasingly rare nowadays for musicians to take aggressive political stances and to unapologetically stand by them. I am always inspired by people who fight hard for what they believe in. Also, he’s probably the only person ever to be able to successfully write the word “nincompoop” into a song.
2) All Them Witches - "Diamond"
These guys continue to raise the bar with everything they do. The direction of the music video by drummer Robby Staebler is next level stuff. Michael Parks’ writing, and guitarist Ben McLeod’s production of the album, are absolutely exceptional. Every time they release something it makes me want to lock myself away and write until my fingers bleed.
3) Holy Mountain
I first stumbled across this film years ago while at a friend's house. It blew my mind then, and it continues to blow my mind now. Lots and lots of stuff in there. Stylistically unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. I recommend everyone take a couple hours to laugh, cry, and freak your mind.
1) Meredith Monk - Key
Years ago a few friends of mine recommend some songs by Meredith Monk to me and I was drawn in, but this month was the first time I ever actually listened to an entire record that I picked up and I was hooked. It was her first album called Key. This is my current special find and I have been playing it constantly. I love everything about the minimalist instrumentation accompanied by her free and versatile, experimental vocals cutting through, from beautiful, drone-like, angelic soundscapes of mythical nymphs or sirens to cacophonous primordial nature calling.
2) Plutocracy IV - Gangsters for Capitalism
This was a documentary about the early struggles of the labor movement in the United Sates. They were fighting for fairness against an unbalanced, unjust and inherited cycle of a privileged wealth system. It showed the manipulative extremities that were used by our oligarchs, such as divisive methods against the working class through race propaganda and other insidious divide and conquer tactics. These were used to try and stop any actions or grievances being brought up by the workers who were fighting for basic rights, health conditions, and fair wages in the work place to end their slave-like conditions. This documentary really shed light on the specific dates of these pro-labor movements and how they were constantly being attacked and berated by the corrupt billionaires through their placed politicians to prevent any changes in law that would protect workers' rights. It also showed the narrative of pro-corporate personhood by the Supreme Court rulings in favor of the plutocracy’s industries and their constant demonization attempts towards the labor movements. It was pretty much saying what we need to do in our current climate as well... People need to stop being apathetic and complacent... Get out of your comfort zone, protest, organize and make some noise and vote. Tear down or damage their corrupt system, their existence, if they are damaging yours, because most corrupt billionaires don’t care about any quality of life, they will choose their profit over your well being.
3) The Plant Paradox, by Steven R. Gundry
I’m always interested in health and nutrition and so once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down. It was a quick fun read with all studies cited and sourced. It briefly discusses the basics of botany and how some plants evolved to protect themselves from pests and predators, meaning when insects and animals (including us) arrived on the scene they protected themselves from pests eating them and their seeds. It’s enlightening to dive into paradoxes, working through a challenge and discovering something new. It’s like a form of growth, and this book brought out some epiphany moments of our human evolution, how our cells adapted with our circadian rhythms and diet in its true organic seasonal environment, and how from hunter-gatherer tribes to settling down in agriculture-based civilizations we brought about the introduction of wheat and overall grain cultivation to our diets, making it a staple food to help for storage in fat content for winter preparation and famine or just a cheaper source of food to feed a society. Then on to industrial agriculture and eventually the modern man-made laboratory chemical interference into our food supply, and eventually to industrial complex factory farming which incorporates all negative impacts into one, making the animals' life a hellish existence, plumping them up with grains/soy they didn’t evolve to ever eat, causing the degradation of the environment by deforestation, all to grow more grains/soy feed and then introduce more man-made chemicals into them to keep them alive from their hellish conditions. In the greater timeline of this planet, as a species our existence is much shorter, and all the new chemicals is merely a blink of a micro-second... Our cells haven’t had time to adapt to whatever we’re doing. Most things are interconnected, including the industrial food system and unfortunately how it almost trickles down to anything we consume and ingest. Now is the time to ever be more in balance, awake and aware of our every action...
Photo of Caroline Harrison, by Caroline Harrison
Photo of Sean McVay, by Patrick Record
Photo of Teddy Panopoulos, by Alexey Novikov