All of music’s like that. This invisible sending, pushed out into the air. A musician strums or bangs on or blows into a device, hoping or trusting that the listener feels something, that the listening crowd all feel the same thing. And us with our lovers, too: we send out these weightless signals, desires and dreams, and long for them to be received.

The theremin falls somewhere in between. An invisible, asking sound; but without even that banging, strumming, blowing. Just raised hands.

The Rumpus Interview with Sean Michaels, author of Us Conductors
“I had a toy guitar when I was a kid. I’d break the strings from playing it so much that I’d use fishing line and the little grocery store plastic clips as picks. I got my first “real” electric guitar from my parents at Christmas when I was thirteen. At first I taught myself. I just wanted to do it so badly I somehow understood how it worked. But about a year later I was playing for my cousin and he asked if I knew any chords. I was like, “What are chords?” And he walked out of the room and told my dad, “You’ve got to get this boy guitar lessons.””
Sound & Vision #7: Monte Pittman, who is, among other things, Madonna’s guitar teacher.
“I thought I was in love, but really it was just a typical teenage obsession exacerbated by depression, speed psychosis, and confessional poetry. I started following him around the East Bay, waiting around the corner while he bought 40s with his brother’s ID; crouching between the cars in a parking lot, chopping lines on the mirror of a Revlon compact; smoking weed in public parks, our hoodies pulled over our heads to block the wind; crashing college parties and drinking all their beer.”
“I remember very clearly writing a couple songs, or the genesis of a couple songs coming on swing sets, as I am swinging for exercise. Before I became more of a cripple it was a great form of exercise and anger management for me to sneak on the swings at McCarren Park if the kids weren’t there, to sneak on the swings at Prospect Park when I lived in Brooklyn, and ride the swings and have the Walkman with me. Occasionally these melodies would come because my body was feeling freer and physical, moving up and down on a swing set like a pendulum. It liberated the music and then I’d go back later on and sit there and try to shape them into a song.”
The Rumpus Interview with Chris Stroffolino, of Silver Jews, by Rob Rubsam. Stroffolino has a new solo album, Griffith Park.
“This question is the subject of Simon Critchley’s thin volume Bowie. Critchley, a philosopher who teaches at The New School and moderates the New York Times‘s philosophy column “The Stone,” may seem an unlikely source for an exegesis of Bowie’s art, but he stakes his claim in the book’s first line: “no person has given me greater pleasure throughout my life than David Bowie.” Critchley first saw the star in a career-defining performance on the British TV show Top of the Pops, where Bowie sang “Starman” while sporting deep orange hair and a catsuit of many colors. He was, Critchley writes, “At once cocky and vulnerable. His face full of sly understanding—a door to a world of unknown pleasures.””
“I have always liked the number eight. It rhymes with my name and was often my number in sports growing up. When someone else took it, I usually chose a number that somehow, to me, was still an eight. I went with twenty-three in high school because I saw it as two cubed.”
Sound & Vision #6: Nate Duval, illustrator of band merch galore!
“Jazz is part and parcel of going long, as well, because analogous innovations were happening among the free jazz players of the 60s, who had arrived at their own route into long-form composition (I’m thinking about Miles Davis citing Karlheinz Stockhausen when talking about Bitches Brew, or John Coltrane listening to Indian music at the time that he was working on longer works like “Om” and “Ascension”). Sun Ra, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Zorn, even Duke Ellington, all worked on album-length pieces or suites of compositions from the 60s and 70s onward. Of these, A Love Supreme occupies a special place for me, and, I assume, for many others. But it is by no means unique in making its four movements into a whole, borrowing and modernizing some of what is good about symphonic structure, while also thinking about poetic sequence and scripture. You could say that same about Ellington’s later suites (the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse, for example, the Far East Suite, his sacred music concerts, and so on), or Miles Davis’s concerts from the early 70s. If the early jazz pieces were the length of a player piano roll, jazz after the avant-garde period had no reason, any longer, to hew to that length. It could go on as it liked.”

In “Title and Registration,” a mess of emotions fall out of a glove compartment. It’s raining, and there are only supposed to be ownership papers and insurance forms inside. With the song’s hollow thump of a drum machine, I imagined a blue and white, one-hour photo store envelope falling out with the thwack of lifeless paper to a carpeted floor. The envelope is filled with pictures from a couple’s spontaneous day trip to the mountains, outside of a city where there are trees as tall as skyscrapers and clouds entirely visible. It was their last ditch effort to save each other from each other. In my mind, she left the pictures there by accident months ago, before everything evaporated with a long sigh one evening after taking the dog for a walk.


Albums Of Our Lives: Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism by Elyssa Goodman

One of the things is my process requires a lot of repetition. I can probably drive people crazy because I’m interested in playing a song twenty times in a row. Then I’ll write all the lyrics down on the page, turn the page in the notebook, write them again, and see if I stumble across a word I want to change. It’s slow improvements. Everything is getting worked on up until it gets recorded and then you’re kind of stuck with it. I keep chiseling away at things, especially lyrically.
The Rumpus Interview With Craig Finn
First is the rhythm: a tessellated electronica heartbeat (Gillian Sandman). Then the voice: a honey-colored, R&B-inflected baritone. (Samoncé Smith). Last, the performance: all ratchet ballet and Afrik vogue, twerking and pirouettes. Shirley House isn’t just a band: it’s a community, a family. With the help of choreographers, singers, engineers and visionaries—we’re creating something bigger and more complicated than just a single track or lone dance step. With your help, we’ll be able to create our first music video, and bring the Shirley House experience to a larger audience.

Help us make the 1st Shirley House music video! | Indiegogo Someone please by me the $750 reward, I want Shirley House to write me a song about pizza, Beyonce, and gifs.