ACAB // Turning along the ellipsis...

Best of 2021

Recent Ratings

Belly - Star
Apr 17
A.R. Kane - 69
A.R. Kane
Apr 9

Pinned Review

pressrg -
It's 1993, and Painful shatters all expectations. There's something startlingly different, this time, for the trio: for one, of course, they've *become* a trio, which is to say, they've become, for the first time, themselves. James, dear James, stuck around, the first bassist to do so, and his attachment, his attunement, to these compositions can't be underemphasized: from the slow-burning swansong "Big Day Coming" with its characteristic, plodding organ, to the dreamy "Nowhere ... read more

Recent Reviews

pressrg -
"Pearl's Dream" might just be my favorite Mary Hansen vocal performance, ever. It's eerily stunning.
pressrg -
Drag City Project — #4 (Bill MacKay & Nathan Bowles)

Classical banjoist Nathan Bowles—one of my personal favorite contemporary avant-folk musicians (of particular note is 2016's Whole & Cloven)—meets experimental guitarist-composer-improviser Bill MacKay on this stirring, grounded, and spiritual LP for my favorite label, Drag City. Meditative, harmonic wanderings ("Idumea", "Dowsing") meet traditional folk balladry ("Late for Your Funeral ... read more
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I have such a conflicted relationship with this record—I think it features some of Tanya's best songwriting, period, but its radio-ready, hit singles—Gepetto, Slow Dog, Feed the Tree, the latter of which would reach #1 on the alternative charts—really stick out like a sore thumb, undermine the eerie atmosphere so masterfully cultivated on standouts like the title track, "Some to Die For", "Witch", "Untogether", "Stay", etc. Those more ... read more
pressrg -
Gil Norton's production is muddy and dissonant, simultaneously compelling in how it emphasizes the Muses' early post-punk leanings but also this LP's most frustrating element, too often emphasizing the bass at the expense of the guitars and 'wet cardboard' percussion—because otherwise, the songwriting is absolutely fantastic, off-the-walls, multifaceted, thrilling, exhilarating, jumping from tempo to tempo, replete with provocative lyricism, complex, affective vocal harmonies, I could go ... read more
pressrg -
This is the kind of album you've always been waiting for, that sweeps you up off your feet, that leaves your utterly beguiled. Where the maximum volume on my headphones just isn't nearly loud enough. Sure, am I just in love with Kim Deal? Perhaps. But it also features Steve Albini's best work—he let the gritty, propulsive, slow core of Kim's songwriting really unfold on its own terms, without excess embellishment, particularly with that achingly bracing, up-front drum work. Kim's vocal ... read more


Apr 16, 2021
I think I understand, and that is a tough one. let me know if you figure it out because I have the same thing with Rachel Goswell, Angel Olsen, Natalie Mering, Bilinda Butcher, Marissa Nadler, Aldous Harding, Rose Berlin, and a couple dozen more. how do you celebrate the beauty without turning into objectifying commodification. that's a doozy.
Apr 16, 2021
great question and I could go on for hours about it. don't forget that the original Breeders lineup also had Britt Walford from Slint on drums, so basically it was a Pixies-Slint-Throwing Muses supergroup. I lose sleep imagining how incredible that could have been had it not been for Kim Deal's need to control and micromanage everything. I love Belly and Tanya's solo work, but Kristin stole my heart early on, so she is the one I followed. I think Tanya wanted the chance to be more in the lead, which is not possible when you have strong personalities like Kristin and Kim in your bands. Belly gave her that chance, but yes it was at the height of MTV's power and influence, so image and appearance reigned supreme and Tanya became "the pretty one". That clearly always bothered her. weird analogy, but it's kind of like when Joe Walsh left the James Gang (obscure reference, sorry), but that path led him to The Eagles (regrettably). moral of the story: be careful what you ask for.
Apr 9, 2021
Apr 8, 2021
Some of the material can be a little bit more difficult to track down, but Soulseek should have you covered for the most part if you want to get into it. I think the most surefire way to get into non-Western music, is by looking what some other people are listening to and checking out things that really catch your eye. The biggest tip I can give is opening a RYM account. You don't even need to add your ratings there if you don't want to, but the website is much better than AOTY for discovering music outside of the Western canon. Finding the genres you enjoy isn't difficult, but finding the best material of those genres is, and that's where RYM can prove very helpful.
Finally, I wanna share this list of another user that could prove helpful:
Apr 8, 2021
That's a bit of a difficult question, as I think everyone rolls into it a bit differently. The starting point for everyone - I think - is the slight dissonance you're experiencing at the moment: "everyone else seems to like this and finds it easy to get into, so why can't I?" The reality is that everyone starts off as equally as much of a bumbling buffoon as the next person, discovering the novelties as they go along. Expanding beyond the Western musical landscape is difficult simply because of postcolonial societal structures making the other's music exactly that: "other". I think it's also very important to recognise that your education will be very helpful in keeping an open mind towards much of the material, so once you know where to get started, things should come fairly naturally.
Apr 1, 2021
Yes! Finishing up my bachelor's this semester with a thesis about the link between political Islam in the Arab region and the UAE's recent focus on soft power policy. Then a master's degree and whatever else.
Concerning that imposter syndrome, just remember that there is really no such thing as an "intellectual society", merely the social construction of one. If anyone were to claim that you don't "meet the criteria", they're only gatekeeping and almost certainly compensating for something. Enjoy what you enjoy enjoying, and if those goalposts ever were to shift, that's perfectly fine. Of course, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be a very worthwile endeavour, but it's not something you should force and it also isn't something you should feel forced to force. You're lovely and your interests are lovely - never let yourself believe otherwise. Jason Molina and Bill Callahan are great for you for as long or as short as you feel they are ;)
Mar 30, 2021
I hope you've been having a wonderful 2021 so far, Rohan! Much love.
Mar 22, 2021
Awesome! Hope you like it.


Good music is an aesthetic redistribution of the sensible that is always already revolutionary. It's about cultivating a political practice, about channeling our anger against capitalism into a focused and thoughtful outlet: an insurgency on the streets as that praxis which constructs solidarity and comradeship, that replaces the logic of the colonized subject with that of the irreplaceable and non-isolable singularity.
I'm a scholar of poststructuralist philosophy, based in the Pacific NW.

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A modest and ever-expanding list of records I find to be overlooked, hidden, bereft of the affecting discussion they warrant. This is not a list of underrated records, in general, but a more ...
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April 2021 Playlist