Rhys Langston
“Under Mine and Over Pleasure, a Short Story by Muckraker Jones”

A certain “darling of the avant garde,” who I admit I quote far too often, once told me that the luxury of being able to separate everyday existence from politics is not necessarily a Western phenomenon, but rather “a phenomenon of security.” Which begs the question: in the current political climate, is it possible for anyone to separate politics from daily life? And if not, then what about emotion, art, music, criticism, etc.? Are being dumb and being dangerous mutually exclusive? Can one moron against all odds successfully recontextualize context itself? Would that be any different than Rachel Dolezal pulling a page from the Bill Clinton handbook, asking an interviewer to define what “is” is?

Speaking of ambiguity, Rhys Langston has a new album with a title that is I think relevant to such a discourse: Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous. To be in this state, Langston says, “is to self-fragment as an act of rebellion, to embrace the schizophrenia of trying to reconcile one’s outside perception, and finally, namely, to make any identification a misidentification.” Somewhere in the world, a fascist’s head just exploded. (I prefer to say, “fascist,” over “alt-right,” because ethnic cleansing.) And as the answer to all the questions above is indubitably a resounding “no,” when Langston concludes in track 7 “Under Mine and Over Pleasure, a Short Story by Muckraker Jones” that “The desert took me in, yeah I was swallowed by the landless,” he speaks for more than just himself.

Lyric video premieres below. Album available here.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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