The Songs We Can't Escape

Bubonic Plague
courtesy of the artists


As clandestine houseguest put-downs go, this bitchfest from these Ariel Pink homeslices is pretty much unrivaled. I'm as inclined to believe that frontwoman Geneva Jacuzzi is trashing an actual person—in first and third person, no less—as I'm inclined to believe that she's trying to impersonate an evil spirit. "Debbie wants to break into real estate," Jacuzzi sneers through an echo filter, gray synths bouncing like superballs behind herp8f. "No one's gonna buy a house from you because you're a fucking white-trash psycho." Zing!

"The Living North"

Gimmie indie rawk, indeed! In 2009, yet.

"Drowning in Betrayal"

This cassette—treated porno sound-bites on Side A, interwoven ringlets of piercing feedback wank and vocal malfeasance on Side B—is undoubtedly the sort of thing that makes life worth living for No Fun Fest attendees everywhere. And me, to be fair.

"You Can't See Me Because I'm a Stalker"

Begins as a relatively straightforward post-Kristen Hersh country amble before turning downright homicidal—a weird digression from Killola's usual punkism. One thing's for sure: This song will never be John Cena's WWE entrance music.

"2008. Wright-O!"

How tedious you'll find Wright's alto-sax silence enhancement depends on how you feel about experimental expression. One might argue that the same effect could be achieved by running the blunt end of a toothbrush along a bathroom floor paved with small tiles, then running a bath, then allowing a Swiffer vacuum cleaner to run out of power, and recording that activity—but to claim that is to assert that you'd never try it. Personally, I'm reminded of Nautical Almanac's "electricity-free" working methods and those so-minimalist-it's-excruciating Greg Davis live sets you can score free on

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