CFCF is one of my favorite musicians alive. His albums evoke an understated brilliance and his mixtapes are literally perfect. The Montreal-based artist, real name Mike Silver, is a direct inspiration for my own mixtapes, and has weirdly and specifically similar tastes to mine. Every time he releases something new, I devour it and savor the sounds on repeat.
This weekend, a new single was released.
I discovered yesterday via his Facebook page that a new album is coming July 31 and would run a limited set of 200 clear vinyl LPs and 300 standard black discs. Being one of the few artists I implicitly trust, I pre-ordered immediately. Today, that trust is vindicated with The Ruined Map.
This is one of my favorite songs ever. It hits so hard, every single time. It’s Atmosphere by Joy Division. The song isn’t on either album from the monumental but short-lived band, so you might have missed it.
Today I decided to make the best Saturday possible. I hit the farmer’s market for fresh Michigan asparagus and got a massive taco from the truck, eating in the sun. I got home and listened to my new ATLiens and Endtroducing vinyls before leaving on an extended bike ride along the lake shore. A lot happened; it’s detailed below. Spoiler: I had a much better time than last week, when I crashed my bike.
I came upon this lonely house, the first in a brand new development on the shoreline. With workers on the roof and the surrounding landscape, I was struck by the most indelible image from one of my favorite films of all time, Days of Heaven. Then I kept riding.
I heard that Taylor Swift dropped a science fiction kung-fu extravaganza of a music video and needed to see it right away. A remix of of Bad Blood, from her gigantic album 1989, the song prominently features everyone’s current favorite rapper, Kendrick Lamar, as well as a posse of women from across the entertainment spectrum.
The cameos all burst onto the screen with code-name titles in a futuristic take on Kill Bill‘s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and each one appears to reference a different sci-fi movie. Being a giant nerd, I decided to catalog the ones I recognized. List is below; tell me what I missed!
Yesterday I crashed my bike. A kid skateboarding with headphones swerved in front of me. Hooked on a railroad track, I flipped and hit my head, destroying my glasses and shredding my hand. It was kind of terrible.
I woke today with my entire body aching, needing something gentle on the ears to go with my pain pills and coffee. I remembered a friend telling me that Annabel (lee) sounded “like a cross between trip-hop, smokey old-time jazz/Billie Holiday, and a bit of Matana Roberts.” He was right on the money. Thanks to Bandcamp, you can listen for yourself; the entire album is streaming below.
And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’ And I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
This line became my reluctant personal anthem when it first sank in, over ten years ago. I was always hesitant, cautious to a fault, and shy. So terribly shy.
I’m good at meeting people, saying the right things, being a kind and welcome presence for strangers and friends. But I was always terrible at letting my real self out, being emotionally open, and putting my hopes and fears on display. I’ve been terrible at sharing my personal art, my true expression, with anyone. Anyone. It’s so hard to let go.
I’m a bad. ass. motherfuckin dee jay / this is why I walk and talk this way
There comes a point in certain young lives when music evolves from a form of social currency to something to be enjoyed on a deeper personal level. It’s a headlong dive into a world most people use as wallpaper, geeking out over the sounds, hardware, history, and meaning of it all.
I was always rather independent in my music choices, but growing up in the midwest before broadband internet meant that my horizons were limited. The advent of file sharing programs like Morpheus, Kazaa, and Soulseek was a supernova moment for teenagers like me, desperately seeking new sounds. On the rare midnight-show occasion when something on the radio piqued my interest, I’d get on the computer to look them up, downloading a song or two in 30 minutes.
Before the internet, certain genres never had a chance to touch my ears. Once I’d taken the plunge, I started devouring every fresh thing I could. One was my favorite radio discovery ever, an album I’ve called my “desert island” record. It harkened back to something I’d heard in my youngest days, The Beastie Boys sampling landmark Paul’s Boutique. It boldly recycled sounds and tropes from across the musical spectrum into something vibrant and dangerous. It was entirely new to me.