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Mar. 11th, 2011 | 07:54 pm

at highly politicized times like this i want to make grand socio-political statement but i can't say that ever gets me anywhere. just makes me feel like i'm trying to be objective about things nobody can be objective about. that is left up to other people with other minds.
i am struck over and over again recently by how much i create my reality by my thoughts/mindset/attitude. i am responsible for it. i tend to want to put off a bad mood on my situation, my job, problems but in this very isolated situation i've realized that nothing is outside me. every moment is an act of creation, how much i put into it, how much i pay attention.
any situation can have a negative tint or a positive tint. all the time the problem is created in mind.
grand statement: everyone should be dropped in the middle of nowhere for a couple of months with little to distract them. few obstacles aside from own mind. this is especially good for self-obsessed, neurotic, 20 something year olds who live in a city.
everyone will then realize they are their own enemy. all of the things that one dislikes in others will be found to actually originate from oneself.
not so fun to figure this out as now one is responsible for ones own situation.
like a walkabout in australia.

label list

Holy Mountain
3630 N Mississippi Ave Ste 1
Portland, Ore. 97227

Not Not Fun
LA, CA 90041

115 N. Dodge St.
Iowa City, IA 52245

Root Strata
PO Box 616
San Francisco, CA 94104

digitalis industries
po box 700810
tulsa, OK 74170 (tape only)

727 south 7th st
phila, pa 19147

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travel books & philip lamantia

Feb. 19th, 2011 | 11:24 am


wanderings in south america- charles waterton

in patagonia- bruce chatawin

the old patagonian express- paul theroux

wilfred thesiger

patrick leigh fermor

hashish: a smugglers tale- henry de monfreid



Philip Lamantia: Last Interview


Having emerged from a lengthy withdrawal from poetry, Lamantia had recently begun writing again when I met him on October 23, 1998, his 71st birthday. He had a physical vigor and conversational energy that belied his years, and it wasn’t long before some fellow poets and I began meeting with him on a semi-regular basis, contributing our knowledge of the contemporary scene in exchange for Philip’s voluminous discourses, ranging from Egypt to opium to his recent reconversion to Catholicism. This last proved most intriguing, especially given Breton’s expressed animosity to the Church. A profession of faith to a Christian religion, moreover, isn’t the easiest way to reestablish contact with what is now a fairly nonspiritual poetic avant-garde. But Lamantia’s never been about marketing. This is the same man who, at the Six Gallery in 1955, during possibly the most famous single reading in the history of American poetry, read none of his own work but rather the poems of his best friend, John Hoffmann, who’d died mysteriously in Mexico in 1952. Philip clearly does what he wants when he feels the time is right. In a recent conversation, he focused on his faith, particularly in relation to his life as a surrealist poet.

“There have been times,” said Philip, “when I considered my relationship with surrealism over. When I returned to SF in the late ‘40s, my poetry underwent a complete 360˚ turn, under the influence of Rexroth. I wanted to write more ‘naturalistic’ verse, very little of which I ended up keeping.”

What, then, of the mystical poems of Ekstasis?

“I wrote much of Ekstasis during my initial conversion to Catholicism, in the early fifties, though I eventually drifted away from the Church. I didn’t quite have the philosophical sophistication I have now, in terms of understanding mysticism. By ‘mystic,’ I mean the experience of having something previously unknown reveal itself to you, a direct communication with God. One in which you feel God’s love in an ecstatic, physical way.”

Is the mystic, then, equatable with the marvelous?

“In Ekstasis, I wrote ‘Christ IS the marvellous!’ so yes, I felt a continuity between surrealism and mysticism. I believe that erotic love and spiritual love are essentially the same. Take the word ‘passion’; it indicates both the saint’s experience of God and the lover’s experience of the beloved, and with good reason. The use of the same term shows people knew this at one point, but it’s been forgotten.”

But how, I asked, does surrealism, or poetry more generally, relate to this conception of the erotic?

“In Mad Love, Breton said he had no interest in any art that didn’t produce the same ‘shiver’ in him the erotic did. This is what I’m talking about. Except that I equate poetry and eros with the mystical experience. I imagine this isn’t a popular attitude today, but I think it adequately describes the type of thing I’d call ‘poetry.’ Much of what passes as poetry today I have no interest in, whether it’s automatic writing or collaged from a newspaper. Both activities were important parts of surrealism, but they’re outmoded, at least at the moment. If the poem is not written in a state of passion—what we used to call THE ZONE—then forget it.”

So then, what is the major difference for you between surrealism and Catholicism?

“As you know,” Philip replied, “Breton despised the Catholic Church. He was an atheist-materialist. Yet he often was ‘accused’ of being a mystic, and he did evoke ‘the spirit’ in his political and poetic discussions, so much so that several Catholic intellectuals found surrealism’s aspirations identical to their own. They equated God with the marvelous, as I did in Ekstasis. Also, in the ‘50s, when it came out that Michel Carrouges, who Breton claimed wrote the best book on surrealism, was actually a Catholic, it led to one of the biggest rifts in the movement. Several younger members left, because Breton was reluctant to throw Carrouges out. But the fact is that orthodox surrealism does reject Catholicism as such.

While I officially reembraced surrealism in 1970, and almost exclusively appeared in surrealist controlled publications, already by 1982, I no longer considered myself an ‘orthodox’ surrealist in any way. When I wrote the poems collected as Meadowlark West in 1986, poetic surrealism served as only one element.”

Is there now no contradiction between surrealism and Catholicism?

“I find no contradiction,” Lamantia stated matter-of-factly. “But you have to understand that there are still plenty of orthodox surrealists out there who’d disagree. Perhaps you could call me a ‘mystic surrealist,’ if anyone would understand that, since both words have been corrupted. One thing people miss about surrealism is that it evolves, even as it stays the same; Breton said as much, considering it something that predated his discovery and yet adapted to the times. It’s the same with the church. It changes but remains unchanged in essence. My sympathies are with the innovative yet traditional side of the Church, the mystical tradition that’s often been overlooked or forgotten.”

In concluding, I asked Philip his thoughts on the role of poetry in contemporary culture.

“Like mysticism, poetry aims to reveal what is unknown to us, but also to make us conscious of what is already inside us. This is what Plato meant by ‘unconscious knowledge’; the ‘unconscious’ wasn’t a psychological concept for him but a matter of knowledge that had yet to be revealed. Surrealism, having thrown open the relation between the unconscious and the conscious now for me germinates the seed of the ‘surconscious.’ This is a third term in a triadic structure of thought, as articulated by Wolfgang Paalen, where unconscious and conscious cease to be contradictions. We live now in a state of idol worship of a science enslaved by technology, despite the insistence of scientists from Paracelsus to Einstein on the central role of inspiration in their work.

As with Poe and Milton, passion is qualified as the central sun of poetry—indeed, analogously, the human and suprahuman erotic, the active and creative principle, attains infinite degrees of transformational power. Poetry has yet to recover its function as a conductor/vehicle of essential knowledge (gnosis). Passionate love is the lever for the poet and saint; androgynous union: source and culmination in renewal of vital energy.

Designated ‘The Magnificent’ by André Breton, the symbolist poet, Saint-Pol-Roux, reminds us: ‘Poetry is nothing less than the renewal of God’s original activity.’ It is a traditional saying (hermetic): ‘The root of heaven is on earth.’ Saint Catherine of Siena: ‘Desire is infinite.’ By analogy to the above triad, I suggest ‘The past is in the future.’ Furthermore, mystery illuminates the marvellous in all things and surreality inhabits the marvellous mystery at the core of all and any reality.”

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(no subject)

Jan. 3rd, 2011 | 12:17 pm

bowie- diamond dawgs
daryl hall- sacred songs
glen campbell- galveston
bob dylan- another side of
bob dylan- bringing it all back home
bob dylan- blood on the tracks
bob dylan- times they are achangin
bob dylan- highway 61
bob dylan and the band- before the flood
animals- animalism
chet baker- love walked in
wet hair- dream
ronnie dyson- why can't i touch you
black lips- we did not know the forest spirit
bartok/miaskovsky- concerto 3/symphony 21
wire- play pop
small faces- ogdens nut gone flakes
bob trimble- iron curtain
bruce springsteen- nebraska
lou reed- sally can't dance
van dyke parks- song cycle
blue oyster kult- tyranny and mutation
giorgio moroder- cat people st
mondo cane st
bowie- david live
scott walker- scott 3
bob dylan- john wesley harding
gram parsons- grievous angel
nico- chelsea girl
jb's- doing it to death
sibelius- symphont no 2
hank mobley- roll call
songs ohia- didn't it rain
zombies- odessey oracle
scott walker- scott 4
rolling stones- exile on main street
bartok- sonata for two pianos
bowie- aladdin sane
incredible string band- earthspan
uriah heep- uriah heep
uriah heep- demons and wizards
chocolate watch band- inner mystique
hank mobley- dippin
girls in the garage- vol 2
flying burrito bros- flying burrito bros
roxy music- avalonjerry lee lewis- high heel shakers
jimmy cliff- wonderful world
olatunji- afro percussion
lou reed- transformer
vibrators- pure mania
moby grape- wow
cluster and eno
upsetters- super ape
this is how it all began vol 1
lou reed- street hassle
stanley brothers- earliest recs
eno- before and after science
cramps- psychadelic jungle
bob dylan- planet waves
dead c- sun stabbed/dr503
alan lomax- tradition
sun araw- the phynx
bowie- heroes
bartok- concertos 1 and 3
pentangle- sweet child
eno- another green world
bob dylan- desire (2)
todd rundgren- ballad of todd rundgren
wipers- over the edge
ccr- willie and the po boys
vibes- 7 inch
wooden shijps- 7 inch
times new viking- 7 inch
pink reason- 7 inch
ex cocaine/yellow swans split
roxy music- for yr pleasure
elvis costello- armed forces
uriah heep- fallen angel
sun araw- beach head
osibisa- osibisa
wire- chairs missing
the band- the band
television- marquee moon
t rex- electric warrior
t bone walker- t bone blues
richard hell- blank generation
ccr- cosmo's factory
brightblack morning light- motion to rejoin
lou reed- rock and roll animal
stanley turrentine- up front

pauline oliveros- root of the moment
the fall- this nations saving grace
morricone- crime and dissonance
mv and ee- bummer road
van morrison- veedon fleece
comets on fire- field recordings
this heat- 1
mars- lp
silver apples- silver apples
country teasers- empire strikes back
roy orbison- lonely and blue
vu- vu
sic alps- pleasures and treasures
talking heads sand in the vassaline
lollipop shoppe- just colour
gang gang dance- gods money
sic aps- a long way to a shortcut
keiji haino- new rap
bob dylan- john wesley harding
guided by voices- vampire on titus
john coltrane- lush life
the fall- live at the witch trials
staple singers- vee jay years
joe gibbs- african dub
can- ege bamyasi
boredoms- super roots 6
psychedelic horseshit- magic flowers droned
boris- rainbow
rolling stones- let it bleed
bowie- hunky dory
religious knives- resin
the fall- room to live
john coltrane- stellar regions
thurston moore- trees
spiritualized- ladies and gentlemen
sarolta zalatney
ash ra temple- join inn
the fall- perverted by language
faust- faust iv
sly and robbie- king tubby's dance hall dub
curtis mayfield- roots
13th floor elevators- easter everywhere
eno- music for films
dead moon- in the graveyard
lee hazlewood- its cause and cure
tower recordings- folkscene
yoko ono- approximately infinite universe
sandy bull- reinventions
this heat- deciet
indian jewelry- free gold
albert ayler- new grass
fela kuti- upside down
dr john- gumbo
milford graves- grand unification
lula cortes- 80
fern jones- glory road
neil diamond- velvet gloves and spit
lou rawls- let me be good to you
dead c- whitehouse
bobby womack- midnight mover
eat skull- sick to death
master musicians of jajouka
kluster- vulcano
godz- alien
pharoah sanders- pharoah's first

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Dec. 24th, 2010 | 02:57 pm

///today is december 24th. a couple of nights ago it was the winter solstice and my friend riley who lives in marfa, tx was in town. i was walking down the street on my way to buy a sockcap when he and isaac drove by, saw me and slammed on their brakes. i jumped in the car. i was very happy to see riley as he is something of a kindred spirit, one of those people that's never bored though doesn't have to tryyy to have a good time. it's always a good time when we hang out. a similar view of things being perfect as they are but also being horrible somehow at the same time. throw spencer and isaac into the mix and you have a truly great stew of minds . as a younger man if i imagined what my friends and my life would be like at this point it would have looked something like this night and these friends.
what happened was a spilling of guts and putting everything out on the table. so much of the time i interact with people at a safe distance, through niceties, almost a fear of connection, a fear of truth and honesty that causes things to be tepid. no real fire, no real emotion. when a real emotion does arise, say genuine sadness, or joy, or dread, people are embarrassed by it. it intrudes on their world.
point being, we got down to some real talk and real good times.

yesterday i made some cassette tape loops:

i made a few. one with drums and some with organ. some hypnotic music came about.
i am pretty obsessed with the loop. the same thing can play over and over but depending on how you listen to it it will sound different. i've noticed the same thing when walking down the street. you can focus on certain sounds while blocking out other sounds. the loop reveals to me that nothing is the same twice just as each breath is different and each spin of the earth is different.

i watched ingmar bergman's hour of the wolf last night. approaching a legendary figure like him is tricky. he is regarded as so important and has been copied and parodied so much that its hard to give his movies a straight look. this one got me though. i'd never heard of it and didn't know anything about it. i find this to be very important when it comes to approaching an artist like this. it is best to sneak up on them.

the music is great. the artist going crazy in the country is a great storyline and it has a ton of weird touches.


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sun ra

Dec. 2nd, 2010 | 12:38 pm

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fife & drum blues

Nov. 30th, 2010 | 11:30 am


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james whitney

Nov. 29th, 2010 | 08:39 pm



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(no subject)

Oct. 4th, 2009 | 09:20 pm

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(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2009 | 01:21 pm

///it is 67 degrees thank god and this summer that has fried evryones brains is almost over and it has rained and things are turning green real fast and fall is starting early so they say. the talk is that its going to be a coldwet fall and winter and evryone seems happy bout it.

otherly, have been playing music all the time and had about a week where i was dreaming music and not much else. we got a loose group getting tighter playing folk w/ lots of broken and taped together stuff. finding inspiration from old funk and old mountain groups both of which play every instrument as a rhythm instrument. also inspiration from current broke young bands w/ no interest in career or success but in using music as a kind of ritual or religious practice to free ourselves and as a way to communicate without words and as a way to band together w/ likeminded people.
which has made me think that in 'the current state of things' this kind of act has become very important. most of us spend most of our time working and i think its of great import to create and to create w/ no thought of buying or selling or music as a commoditiy but music as a meditation and music as life. not life as art but art as life.

the newest addition to this is a loop pedal called the line 6...

...which came in the mail yesterday. julie and i spent a couple hours looping drum and guitar and voice and random percussion. you can then slow everything down, play it in reverse etc. the result sounded like voodoo drums and once enough layers were added it became like a tide going in and out. highly addictive. makes every rhythm ive heard since (ceiling fan, train in distance, dishwasher) sound like part of a song.

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(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2009 | 07:04 pm


les rallizes denudes


amon duul


trad gras och stener

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