micro reviews

really, really micro

Dear You—

There’s not too much going on with me right now. Well, no, that’s not true. There’s a ton going on, just nothing to announce right now. (Though I do have something really rad to announce soon, so stay tuned!) So in the meantime, I thought I’d send you a list of some things I’ve been listening to and reading in recent months, with super tiny ‘reviews’/descriptions of some of them—plus links to where you can find them, of course!

I’ve been listening to:

Anna B Savage - A Common Turn

Soaring vocals, music that is somehow both sparse and expansive, achingly beautiful lyrics. Favorite track: “Corncrakes.”

Arab Strap - As Days Get Dark

Take the existential dread of some of Nick Cave’s work and mix it with a wry and decidedly Scottish sense of humor. Favorite track: “Fable of the Urban Fox.”

The Mall - Zone

Really, really good post-punk/synth-punk. Favorite track: “Behind Heat.”

Mariachi El Bronx

It’s just super fun that a punk band decided to do a mariachi side project. It’s got that mariachi feeling, with a punk/rock twist. Favorite song: “Leche.”

Mrs. Piss - Self-Surgery

Mrs. Piss is Chelsea Wolfe + Jess Gowrie. Sludgy, grungy, beautifully heavy. Favorite track: “You Took Everything Out.”

Nancy - 7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues

Psychedelic glam? Bizarro pop? T. Rex on hallucinogens? However you describe it, this LP is fucking rad. Favorite track: “7 Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues.”

Nuha Ruby Ra - How to Move

Experimental post-punk, nearly operatic at moments. Favorite track: “Run Run".”

Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz

Swedish post-punk with a distinct bent toward dirty garage rock. Favorite track: “Ain’t Nice.”

Yves Tumor - Heaven to a Tortured Mind

Cinematic, funky, postmodern rock. Favorite track: “Dream Palette.”

I’ve also been listening to a lot of World/Inferno Friendship Society and Justin Townes Earle, because I miss Jack Terricloth and Justin Townes and fuck death.

Zines I’ve read:

Clumsy #16, by Agatha Thrash

Toxic relationships, shitty landlords, pandemic summer.

Drawing Room Tarot: Death and Drawing Room Tarot: Knight of Cups, by Wesley Sueker

Deep-dives into two different tarot cards, featuring personal anecdotes and gorgeous illustrations. Whether you’re a tarot newbie or a seasoned tarot reader, these are highly recommended.

lovercase, by Allie Rae

Sooo much nostalgia for late ‘90s/early ‘00s teenage friendship, alterna-girl culture, making friends via LiveJournal. I almost could’ve written this myself.

Most Unwanted Zine, by Liz Mason

Liz surveyed people to see what their least favorite aspects of zines are, and included as many as possible all under one (risographed) cover to make the most unwanted zine: bad poetry! photos of fire escapes! whiny rants! vegan recipes! cheesy clip art! and more! The whole thing is hilarious, but I think I laughed the hardest at the show review. Long live DIY yardcore.

Zerstören, by Julia Eff

Life with long-haul CoViD symptoms, capitalism, metal fandom as coping mechanism, trauma, lots more. This one hits hard.

Books I’ve read:

100 Boyfriends, by Brontez Purnell. Annulments, by Zach Savich. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel. Radiant Action, by Matt Hart. Summer Solstice: An Essay, by Nina MacLaughlin.

I also recently read Selftitled, by Nicole Morning. In fact, I wrote a blurb for it. I loved it so much that I wrote a blurb that was way too long, and they had to shorten it in order to use it on the back cover. But here’s the full text of my blurb:

Nicole Morning’s Selftitled takes the reader on a tour of her life and loves, in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there with her. The poems and stories in this book deal with loss, online dating, non-monogamy, motherhood, sex, protests and pandemics, and they’ll have you laughing at the absurdity of life one moment and reeling from its brutality the next. If you’ve ever loved your children so fiercely you’d do anything for them, but also know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by how much they need you, if you’ve ever told a lover you’re going to put them in a story, if you’ve ever had that problem where you’re attracted to danger, if you’ve ever done drugs, if you’ve never been sure whether you crave sweetness or violence more, if you’ve ever thought: “I wonder will they fire me for saying / fuck the police / Like I was dismissed for saying / I’m already in love”—you need to read this book.

That’s all, for now. Stay safe, stay cool. Stay free.

—Jessie