Miranda Pharis (f.k.a. Airport) Lilliputian

[Self-Released; 2017]

Styles: pop, noise, podcast
Others: “Mountains of Serotonin,” Joanna Newsom, Airport

The self is always in fashion. If the Enlightenment is a lie, then so is the resultant individuation of everyday life; maybe fantasies and anxieties about individuality reproduce themselves, always deepened in significance by the appearance of complete novelty. As a thing obscured from view, a thing that visibly doesn’t want to be seen, the self is extremely avant-garde. “Everything that is turned into content is extruded from the self and ceases to be a part of it,” writes Rob Horning, so the “self would be only that which can’t otherwise be expressed.” Putting the self in writing means it has to be changed, broken, so that what is written is not really it. It has to dramatically change its position.

“The most fucked thing about this is that I did it to myself ‘cause I’m stupid, I guess, but at least I know I’m not fucking dumb. I’m actually a really educated person with a fucking purpose. In fact, this is a really eye-opening experience that will make for some great writing material.”

People make art for specific reasons. They need to buy food or pay rent or refill their prescriptions. They need to feel important, to be appreciated, to do something with their hands; maybe they are trying to quit smoking. Lilliputian is somewhere in between upbeat pop mantras and localized migraine throbs, narrated by a shrill and unforgiving line of thought. About 13 minutes in, there’s kind of a duet between a dainty Joanna Newsom harp and an epic Michael Bay kick, with a little bit of what sounds like washing guitar distortion. A lot of things at different parts of the album sound like scary bugs. Meaning “trivial or very small,” Lilliputian is a startling and not-exactly-trivial release of energy. It contains a loudly objectified record of something clearly already expelled firmly from the self, laid out like benign, shiny stuff. It doesn’t tell us anything about who Miranda Pharis is, anymore.

“I hate people who say they’re Deadheads and they don’t even know the good Grateful Dead albums.”

“There are no good Grateful Dead albums.”

Wear your trauma like a necklace, or in the active posture, like Lululemon Athletica yoga pants. Rage, rot, rinse, rest, and repeat. Become the next best version of yourself.

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