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    Although I haven’t posted here recently, my (still relatively) new job affords me the occasional writing opportunity. Here’s a collection of blurbs I’ve written about some stuff I like.

    Pterodactyl – Spills Out
    Hearing about this album was one of those times where you read a review about an album and you don’t really care how it gets rated, because the description itself sounds amazing. Really glad I found out about these guys.

    Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer
    The best music writing captures a feeling– I think I did that here.

    Actress – R.I.P.
    I came at this one as a primer for someone not immersed in the world of electronic music (myself included).

    Spoon – A Series of Sneaks
    This and Kill the Moonlight trade off as my favorite Spoon album, with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga close behind.

    Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
    Really proud of this one, though I wish I’d come up with a better first and last line.

    Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship
    I wondered if this one could be taken as a slight, though I didn’t mean it that way.

    The Men – Immaculada
    I hadn’t spent a ton of time with this one, so I lean a bit more on the telling rather than the showing.

    Audio Technica AT-LP120USB
    There’s one bit of this that was meant to be funny, but maybe just to me.

    The Books – A Dot in Time.
    I like this one, it’s tough to try to sum up your feelings for a band’s entire career but I think I did pretty well here.

    Chromatics – Night Drive
    Just skimming the surface.

    My coworkers write some pretty good stuff too! Here’s a sample:

    Big K.R.I.T. – Return of 4eva
    John is hilarious, you should read everything he writes.

    Food Pyramid – Mango Sunrise
    Rich runs pretty dense but there’s gold in there.

    Breton – Other People’s Problems
    Anna describes the experience of a band changing your perspective when you see them live. Also, this one made me laugh.

    Julia Holter – Ekstasis
    Celeste captures this one well.

    Chairlift – Something
    Ryan works a good mix of funny, random, and interesting.

    Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend
    Lots of folks in the office were loving this one, I still haven’t dug into it.

    Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream Josh has moved on, leaving the flag he carried for emotional 90s music at least partially unflown.

    THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE
    Joe saw these guys at a Shabazz Palaces show and was raving soon after– I think it’s justified.

    Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers
    A little bit of me can relate to this one, except I was listening to Cake.

    Future Islands / Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Split
    Mike makes the case for this split and the series it’s a part of.

    I hope to write (and write here) soon.


    Elliott - Speed of Film

    Final track from “False Cathedrals” (2000)

    I’ve always felt that False Cathedrals had a bit of a pacing problem: any of the last three tracks could be the final. Even amidst an album of frequent cathartic moments, “Carving Oswego”, “Lie Close” and “Speed of Film” all pack a wallop worthy of ending the LP. What sets apart “Speed of Film” as the piece that Elliott would choose as a closer?  

    False Cathedrals strikes an adversarial tone early on, the first intelligible lyrics challenging the ideals and values that we’re sold — well, more specifically, that Americans as are sold — though I’m sure we’re not the only ones. The album is rife with struggle, whether against these confining socializations, past failures, personal brokenness, or greater tragedies.

    “Speed of Film” continues that tone, while reflecting on the disparities between reality and our attempts to capture it in art. It challenges our attempts to gloss over so many uncomfortable details in our attempts to convey the human experience, not only in media, but even in our day to day lives; it targets the ways various ways we transmit those aforementioned values and ideals, spit-shined until the imperfections are no longer seen.

    Strangely, at the same time, it indicts itself.

    False Cathedrals is, at its best, highly cinematic, making epic in scope the ordinary if painful struggles of “this normal life”. “Speed of Film” is the first time in the album where that facade starts to slip, and the first time where the narrator admits that their own story faces the same the same potential pitfalls it calls out.

    It is near impossible for any one work of art to fully capture the human experience, and even if the things we want seem straightforward, actually living that out is never simple. “Speed of Film” admits that however earnest the intentions, False Cathedrals is just one take on the story — to a certain extent, you’re going to have to write your own. 

    — Jeffrey Woldan

    (Jeffrey has been extremely kind and helpful with tweaking this blog’s code and html theme time and again… thanks, Jeff!)

    I was excited to contribute to One Week // One Band last week. If you’re not following, you should be!

    I generally post longer-form writing (by internet standards, anyway) here, but if you’re looking for something more traditionally tumblr-esque from me, you can find it here.