Words From The Midwest X

Good evening, all completely deranged; all wonderful and placated; all presumptuous or portained. Welcome to Words From The Midwest.

I’d like to start out by saying how annoyed I am that the first two paragraphs of these things are never separated by a space even when I put in the necessary html code. It just doesn’t fit with my undying attribution of consistency.

But it’s a small matter.

What’s really important is that I’m writing because for the past two weeks I’ve had a very difficult time writing, indeed. And even now it’s a fucking chore and this bullshit probably won’t be as long as I want it to be or say all of the things I want to say or even express rightly the thoughts and feelings I’ve had since my last post. Because, in general, I’m nearly out of things to say, it seems.

Fuck that.

I’ve got loads to say.

I’ve just completed my latest addition to Mick’s Tapes and it’s a ceremoniously appropriate milestone I’ve reached in that I’ve now done thirty of the things which even out to be between three hundred and three hundred and fifty songs compiled neatly in a list which sit nicely in a link on the right side of this page (thesupposeso.tumblr.com/mickstapes for posterity’s sake). I’m proud I think, but really I’m just happy I haven’t given up on it because I took a good year off of doing them at all simply because I wasn’t acquiring new music and thus wasn’t in the frame of mind – or ultimately the right place, geographically speaking – to do them. But I’m listening to the mix now and I like it simply because it’s made up of songs I like right now, which is basically why I do it anyway. I mean, I could listen to some of what I’ve compiled and not know the song or who sings the song but know very well that I like the song. Right now it’s Superchunk and next it’ll be The Heartless Bastards.

Just go listen to some music. Stop reading this and turn something on. Or, better yet, turn something on and keep reading. If it were me, it would almost automatically be Okkervil River because they’re the best band that exists.

Currently.

And maybe I’ll take a moment and reiterate my love for them and say – for probably the second or third time here – how they changed my life.

No, I won’t.

Just go get Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names and The Stand Ins and The Silver Gymnasium and…holy shit I was just about to write out their entire discography.

It’s all brilliant.

And it’s true that they changed my life. They changed the way I write music, for one, and especially the way I write lyrics. Or maybe I’ve gotten away from how they influenced me. But they still do.

I watched Factory Girl earlier, the story of Edie Sedgwick’s quick rise and fall as the It Girl in the mid 60s and her ultimate demise via heroin, speed, etcetera and Andy Warhol’s complete and utter indifference to what she became after it was all too clear she wasn’t any use to him anymore. It made me hate Andy Warhol just a little bit more than I already did and it made me wish Hayden Christensen didn’t play an atonal version of Bob Dylan. But it also made me reflect on the concept of fame and how one’s personal charms are what make them, but the way they handle their brand of insanity is what keeps them. Edie Sedgwick wasn’t an artist, really, though I suppose she was in that anyone who is as troubled as she was is inherently an artist even if they don’t create, kind of the way anyone who thinks about life’s great mysteries and the human condition on an at least semi-regular basis is inherently somewhat of an intellectual…she was an artist in her inflection and the way she spoke, but she was, first and foremost, a unique figure in that she essentially changed the way people appreciate beauty. She was a model, yes, but it was her appearances in Warhol’s films that made her into a sensation and even though I tried to watch them and couldn’t really, I was struck by the nonchalance in which she did very little but respond to the questions asked to her. There was no pretense and yet her entire world was pretense.

Andy Warhol might as well have personified Pretense with a capital P.

And even as I write this I think, wow, that guy made a whole hell of a lot of money giving people what they already had laying around. And I’m here writing words that I’m not even thinking of first trying to convey just how fascinated I am with a person who existed simply as image and little else. Edie Sedgwick lived and suffered and ultimately died too young like so many other people of the age. And what lives on are candid caricatures of a Poor Little Rich Girl. And my god, am I enthralled. I am downright captivated.

But Factory Girl would be a terrible movie if it weren’t for Sienna Miller.

In other news, I’ve quit smoking but really want a cigarette, especially after having watched a movie with a woman who rarely doesn’t have one lit.

So I’m going to go outside and smoke a cigarillo because, hey, that’s better isn’t it?

Good night, dreamers. Stay up late.

Michael

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