Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our bi-weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands and artists. For this installment, we recruited New York songwriter Natalie Mering, who records gut-spilling country folk as Weyes Blood. Her new album, The Innocents, is out October 21st on Mexican Summer. For more, read her GEN F profile from our Fall Fashion issue.
The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia
Lamantia has recently stolen the cake, or crown of thorns, as my favorite modern poet. He has a way of cultivating "word gardens," seemingly unmatchable words constructed into a sentence to bring on the most abstract affection from some great chaotic power beyond. He has a way of expressing the plight of modernity through the absurd, connecting all things back to the guttural processes of the human body. It's so alien yet so human at the same time. Lamantia is faith building, encouraging poetry in that it abstractly hugs you by finally capturing the inexpressible. It's an experience similar to relief, reading his poems.
The Tuning of the Worlds by R. Murray Schafer
This book is a favorite that I frequently revisit. R. Murray Shcafer is a Canadian composer with a twist. Aside from writing incredibly ethereal music, he is also an acousitc ecologist, fighting for the sonic space on this planet to be beautiful—a rare and shamefully underrated cause. In The Tuning of the World, Schafer breaks down the history of what we hear--starting with church bells and street singers and ending on the flatline industrial noise pollution that clouds all of our ears today. He argues for a more holistic sound design; how we forego many opportunities as a society to make something sound exceptional in favor of using something unimaginative and probably annoying if heard too often. This book opened my eyes to the "blindness" of our ears. Sound and acoustic arts are basically taboo due to their subjective nature, but in truth sound effects us all in similar ways. I look forward to this infectious ideology spreading, hopefully my children will live in an acoustically rich world where all machines are sound designed to sooth the soul as opposed to grate against it.
Alejandro Jodorowsky's Twitter
I can't read Jodorowsky's Twitter every day, firstly because I can't go on Twitter every day, but secondly because homie is an intense excavator of the human soul. He usually posts around seven to twelve tweets at once, all fully loaded with the esoteric mind wanderings of a frantic pubescent teenager. I have no idea where he gets all his juice, but it is certainly unceasing, and the days that I feel like reaching into the deep void beyond, I read his tweets and find nuggets of both wisdom and deeply emotive confusion. He can hit something right on the nose and lift a weary soul, or he can remind you of the torment thats at arms length if you choose to try and possess anything. Somedays I skip past his tweets in favor of comedy, putting my enlightenment on hold. But I know he's not holding back. It also actually seems like it's all him. Definitely an admirable quality on such a flaky platform, and the stream is always there if you're ready to dive into it.