Very Good Haiku: A 2021 Music Writing Experiment

Very Good Song Review Haiku: “Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth” by the Minutemen

Certainly the best

song about the function of

language in culture.

(Note: I also once used it to frame my argument for declaring war on the Chicago Reader, and it was a perfect frame indeed.)


Very Cool Review Haiku of Some Songs From Salty Tang by Betwixt:


Women telling me

to rock and roll with them, is

basically the best.

Mosquito Bites


“Who knows who’s dead, the

future holds its weary head”


Note: 2020 reissue made my list of Very Good Things from 2020, which is dropping exactly and precisely when it is ready.


A Very New and Good Music Nerd Daydream: Mariana Timony and EMD ARE CRAMPING MUSIC JOURNALISM!!! (NOT A HAIKU!!!!)

Mariana, of California and much love of guitars, is Poison Ivy Rorschach, obviously. I, a Cleveland Girl and a person who loves yelling, am Lux Interior.

She S H R E D S and rips;

I am quite unhinged and entertaining on the mic;

Music Journalism Gets Better…

with us taking out the trash!!!!


Thee Mad Mad Daddy of Music Journalism


Very Weird Day With Only One Mail Highlight, in Haiku Form:

Me, in Hideout Chicago sweatshirt.

If you refuse to

support live music venues,

they will not exist.


Very Good Crowd-Sourced List On How Birds Inspire Us Through Music, in Haiku Form:

The best thing about

the Cramps: they point constantly

to the history.

Nothing is more clear

about being chill as fuck

than seasonal birds.

(Long note: Édith Piaf’s working surname means ‘sparrow.’ She is noted for saying that “there are people who cry when they have a crisis,” but that she sings. This is a mostly English translation, to support your understanding:

This tune which haunts me day and night

This tune wasn’t written today

It comes from as far away as I come

Trawled around by a hundred thousand musicians

One day this tune will drive me mad

A hundred times I’ve wanted to say why

But it’s interrupted me

It always speaks before I do

And its voice drowns out my voice 


It comes running up behind me


It plays me the trick of: do you remember

C’est un air qui me montre du doigt

Et je traîne après moi comme un drole d’erreur

Cet air qui sait tout par cœur 

It says: “Remember your loves

Remember cos it’s your turn

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t cry

Encumbered with your memories”

And me, I see again those who remain

My 20 years make the drum beat

I see the succession of gestures flash by

All the comedy of love

To this tune which just keeps playing 

Des “je t’aime” de quatorze-juillet


The ‘always’s which we buy on the cheap

Des “veux-tu” en voilà par paquets

Et tout ca pour tomber juste au coin d’la rue

Sur l’air qui m’a reconnue…

Listen to the commotion which it causes me

Comme si tout mon passé défilait…

You need to keep some sorrow for later

I’ve got scores full in this tune which beats

Which beats like a wooden heart.)


“there are people who

cry when they have a crisis”:

she S I N G S survival.

Birds: inspiring tunes!!!!

Throughout the ages: they sing!!!!

And sometimes, they rock.



We are in “Birdland.”

A whole flight of birds–

I heard getting free right now–

just as we listen!!!!

Birds recur often

symbolizing the oppressed

in the songs we love.

This one is for the

“BIRD-MAD GIRL” they sing about:

birds are also G I R L S.


You have no race or gender:

you are just a D A N C E.


l i s t e n i n g…like Bobby Byrd

when we get on up!!!!

Birds have special ways

of staying warm when it’s cold

and sticking around.

Birds are confusing–

their sounds indeterminate,

yet so inspiring.




The idea of

the birds as people we’ve loved,

returning to us.

A Hungarian

song about a bird in jail:

cello rock is born!

Excellent birds and

excellent snow, warming up

our wintry window.

It seems everyone

agrees that birds are the real

heroes of struggle.

Birds are good, pure friends,

but they always fly away!

…sometimes, they come back…

Once engaged to a

jazz trumpet player; much this

and murmurations.

People have often

desired for birds to come save

America, huh?!?

(Note: This track appears on the album titled Megatop Phoenix.)

This bass is F I L T H Y

and very much “for the birds”–

but in a GOOD WAY.

The bird is hardly

lazy; its cymbal pulse of

swift, sustained action.

Such a tiny thing

always inspiring us to

be resilient.


inspired by the surfin’ bird.


I conclude, my friends:

dance to the sparrow’s song, and

keep your eyes open!!!

Now, class, I hope I have made it very clear that it is totally possible that birds are the single greatest influence on the development of human musical culture. Everyone go spend a good, long time listening to actual birds outside or in Norman W. Long’s Electro-Acoustic Dubcology I-IV. You can attend this conference of birds for extra credit. Class dismissed!!!

Note: These contributions are crowd-sourced from The Flock. We believe in democracy out here. A few of these songs I would never have chosen, but for my seemingly unending interest in how other humans have heard bird songs and interpreted them and added value to their life and the lives of others. Please replicate it every day. Birds are about FREEDOM, principally.

1/6/2021, a noted Intense Day in America

A Pretty Good Mail Day: Expect Haikus On the Optic Sink – S/T and LOVE INJECTION FANZINE 059 feat. Lauren Flax, a Very Good DJ

My nation needs a love injection. Very glad it is here for us if we seek it.
Forgotten yesterday, but not for long. I am pretty sure all music fandom begins with feeling very special when you receive mail! 📬📬📬


Me, in My Kitchen Tonight, Mopping Up Mud in Shoes Covered in Mud (ABSOLUTELY NOT A HAIKU!):


Thee Mad Mad Daddy of Music Journalism


A Very Good and Important Note About the Health of One of the People We Need the Very Most Right Now (NOT A HAIKU):

Angel in her very perceivable zone of joy, music, and liberation.

Angel Bat Dawid has been laid up in the hospital with Covid-19 for a number of days. Please send all of the energy you can muster towards her speedy recovery!!! We absolutely need her. In case you are unaware, being under constant care in a hospital in America is sinfully expensive, and hospitals and other institutional spaces are also often wildly retraumatizing and oppressive to any form of marginalized person. So, I am also asking you right now to either purchase LIVE or Transition East on Bandcamp, for you or someone you love, so that this veritable Woman King can survive this bullshit without a mountain of medical debt and keep teaching us with her profound, beautiful, and revelatory music. You need the music, anyway, and she is going to need to be paid to keep bringing it. “Tha wicked shall not prevail!!!!”


Very Good Album Review Haiku: S/T by Optic Sink

Music that makes me

feel unstoppable when I

feel I “can’t survive.”

(Note: This album is in my 2020 faves list, which will, again, be Very Ready for you whenever it is. I never stop listening. Actually, every album from 2020 I have bothered to review is accounted for there!)


A Very Good Deep, Contemporary Tape Review Haiku: Sister Mirror by Janel Leppin, Susan Alcorn, and Meghan Habibzai

A very good tape from one of my very favorite conveyors of good things. They haven’t let me down E V E R, which I appreciate very much as a person with a big love for music and a small wallet to shop with.

Strangely, listening

to Édith Piaf a lot

today: great intro.


Very Good Digital Release Review Haiku: Air Drop by Darryl Blood

All of the proceeds from this release go to support Black Lives Matter activities.

Someone is tuning

a piano, but my heart

is the instrument.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Common Wealth by Diane Cluck

I began my journey of listening with Diane when I was still a high school student. I am presently double that age. Every cell in my body has regenerated itself twice since we began, and every cell has been heavily nourished by her healing frequencies.

Growing up with her

through this music has been F U L L

with: grief, healing, joy.


Another Very Good Deep, Contemporary Tape Review: Eraserhood by Jeff Zeigler & Dash Lewis

The idea of erasing is very audible; no smudges in the middle distance in which we are now deep in the sea and high in the sky simultaneously.

The sea and the sky,

now continuous BEYOND.

Boundaries erased.


Very Good Girl Presenting Yet Another Very Good Mail Day:


Editor’s Note: While the song “Mystery Achievement” is Very Good, it is the Absolute Best when you understand it as Chrissie Hynde riding the complete and entire ass of all the unpaid labor she has done.


Another Very Good Deep, Contemporary Tape Review Haiku: Isolated Bliss by Amy Reid

The World’s Greatest Bathing Music.


Having rarely been

to the sea, I am surprised

to be fine flotsam.


Floating the surface,

light and air bubbles, I learn

underwater breath.


The sirens appear!

Breathing in water; go deep.

Into the darkest.


The world needs me back.

The songs of the world above,

calling to surface.


Through the darkness, I

bound back towards the air, light.

Every shade: green.


The return is long.

Barely fitting this small sea,

I am left floating.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Just Look At That Sky by Ganser

My insane Chicago rent is definitely supposed to include proximity to seeing our many amazing local bands live, and let me just tell you, rents are the same as ever WITHOUT LIVE MUSIC and it is total bullshit.

The best band to play

the scene of a crime, or an

intense accident!

(Note: I was, in fact, almost hit head on by a CPD van on my bike while listening to this record on my clip speaker. Now, listening more to these lyrics, I have realized it is actually the perfect music for catastrophic events or anything that feels dangerous.)


Another Very Good Tape Review Haiku: Andrew Weathers/David Menestres

Very Good Deep End Zone.

rumbling caverns and

endless skies lead us to a

violent peak and B I R D S


Another!!!! Very Good!!!! Deep, Contemporary Tape, That Will Realign All of Your Chakras Any Time For a Very Small Price Review Haiku: Unity by Landon Caldwell

I have often returned to this for the principally psychedelic experience of breaking apart my reality and inner subjective universe and
putting it back together in a way where it is more grounded, manageable, and deepened in its awareness–without drugs!!!!

Truly feels as if

reality dissipates

but also deepens.


Very Good Mail Day: Folk as Fuck Edition


Sunday Morning Shout Out to David Mancuso of the Loft:

From the LIFE & AFTERLIFE interview with Kalim Shabazz in Love Injection Fanzine 059.


Less haiku reviews in the past 24 hours because I have been reading a lot and digitizing tapes for release w my 2020 Sonic Extravaganza! I did have to buy a new set of my favorite pens, though, due to how much ink I have been going through, and it felt Very Good.


Very Good Soundtrack to Having A Very Good 2021 in Winter Quarantine:

Last night I digitized my new year/winter quarantine mixtape. I made it for my friend, Glenna, but decided it was something that could serve as an important soundtrack for us all in these times. Please download it and listen to it whenever you want, and of course, buy the tunes you love from the artists and labels because they are all Very Good. (Both Mary Timony songs are from Mountains, an absolutely perfect album for these exact times both politically and seasonally, which is being reissued for its 20th anniversary THIS WEEK!!!)


I make Very Good on my promise of irreverent art centered around William Basinski.


A Brief Overview of Some of the Very Good Inserts From My Abner Jay Record (NOT A HAIKU!!!):


W I L D L Y Good Day & Very Good Mail Day, Even If I Only Received One Very Important Thing:

Hello!! It is my complete pleasure to announce that I was just offered a considerable sum of money for all of the work I do for free anyway!!!! Watch out for Erin Margaret Day in those bylines of the Most Important Musical Purveyor of the Nowtimes.

I also received a Very Important Hat, from 1st Ave/7th St Entry in Minneapolis, as a part of my ongoing effort to support live music venues I love in America. I have only been there once, but I saw Scout Niblett with Todd Trainer on drums, and it changed my life!!! I was also only five feet away from thee Emma Louise Niblett smoking outside the venue, but I could never impose. I cut a hole in the hat in my scissor excitement in the ecstatic opening process.

This hole is actually Very Good, because I am a Very Hot Person.


Very Important Realization About My New Role in the World as the “Queen of Birds,” feat. One Very Good, Light  Bird-like Piece of Mail, and a Subsequent E-mail (NOT A H A I K U):

100% never building this 3D cab. It has become too much a part of my emergence as a Queen of Birds. I do hope to afford to go to NYC to visit my best friend and take them somewhere nice  in a cab without worrying about the cost, though!
J. Niimi is my friend and an R.E.M. Scholar! Somehow I became “Queen of Birds” despite only loving one single R.E.M. song very, very extremely much.

(Note: My primary English teacher from high school, who made me want to be an English teacher, has quit teaching after decades of work, and now struggles to write! I have made it my duty to be his Writing Cheerleader, as teaching English also destroyed my love and deep enthusiasm for reading and writing for many years. His last email reminded me that my present successes are the result of all of the work I have been doing since high school…and thanking me for the inspiration I have been sending his way.)

My Very Good Response:

“Speaking of that work: I recently, on one of these many Entirely Unsane days in America, became obsessed with birds and how they are probably the principal reason for the development of human musical culture!! (The whole haiku essay prompted by audio/visual clips is on page 2 of Very Good Haiku. EMD’s Sonic Lesson Plan for America!!!)

Today, while walking the pups–one of whom bit me (not breaking the skin) and one of whom I was afraid of being bitten by, because she is a Very Anxious Doberman I have been working hard towards the trust of, but she she was a Very Good Girl!!!–I realized something very important connecting my new obsession with the role of birds in music-making and the song “King of Birds” by R.E.M. The connection is Henry David Thoreau!!!

Do you remember when I decided to skip college and spent a lot of my time reading every book the library had on Henry David Thoreau?? Your email to me began with, something like: “I see no work and no school is not making Erin a dull girl.” 😀

Anyway, I am no huge fan of R.E.M., but my friend who is an R.E.M. scholar began to call me the “Queen of Birds” after this anxious night of Revolutionary Sonic Reminders to the Nation, and today I realized R.E.M. are re-voicing Thoreau when they say: “I am the King of all I see; my kingdom for a voice.” That is from Walden: “I am the monarch of all I survey.” It is also very funny, because I have been on a tirade recently about how much I hate Boston, due to all the colonial heart of America bullshit and the prestigious university people thinking I am only worth where I went to school, but the best place I am aware of in Massachusetts is the Concord Free Library, where anyone can view the Most Accurate Maps of the Time, which were created by Henry David Thoreau, on his daily walks, and I am sure soundtracked by BIRDS. So, this is all to say, the Journey of Listening continues to be Very Good. I am happy to finally have one R.E.M. song I actually love very much, finally, in my 30s; happy to be the Queen of Birds; deliriously happy to be the world’s first Punk Anarcho-Naturalist Music Writer….and I am here, in a city inhabited many, many moons by my mother’s family, after they had to leave Ireland…

Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Carl Sandburg

Also, happy always to find new ways to fulfill my true heart work of being a teacher…but through W R I T I N G. (“Old man, don’t lay so still, you’re not yet young, there’s time to teach! Point-to-point–point observation: children carry reservations.” -R.E.M.)

Perhaps one only becomes the Queen of Birds through the conduction of a vast tour of many industries! Birds are wildly industrious…and resilient.
Thank you for really seeing and hearing me when I was struggling to believe anyone would ever do either.
Also…OLD MAN….DON’T LAY SO STILL…you have important lessons to conduct yet…in any moment you are still here doing anything at all…. 

Much love,
The Queen of Birds!!!!!


Extremely Good Mail Day and Some Evidence I Now Have So Much Merch I Look Like a Security Guard Entrusted With the Security of Many Venues (NOT A HAIKU!!!!!):

Record box from Andy Bernick finally arrived!  Today I was really only asking the Big U to at least bring me this Dear Nora box, which I found out was put out on a record label (Orindal) that is run by Owen Ashworth from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, who I also love. Very glad to have Transcendent Wave, because it is going to support the guide to the always excellent Atlantic Rhythms label I have been commissioned to write!
Top to bottom: 1st Ave/7th St. Entry (MPLS) hat w/ Save the Tangent Gallery (Detroit), Hideout Chicago sweatshirt, and Ono band t-shirt.
Lastly, I am once again reminding everyone that I write perfect fucking sentences and have even cut my teeth pretty sharp boiling music criticism down to 17 VERY GOOD SYLLABLES, and I would be happy to write Very Good Blurbs for records and books, so that I can stop having to read this TOTAL BULLSHIT on the records and books about music that I love!!!! $10 per perfect fucking sentence; hit me up!!!!

Today, I am very tired from plotting my revenge against Brent Decrescendo, Known Hater of Music and Also Probably Women, in my Very Good  Review of the 20th Anniversary Reissue of Mary Timony’s Mountains. The only MOMA I wanna go to is the MOMARYTIMONY, which is also what my room is presently called, while I  reconsider and revisit every wonderful thing she has ever made. So, expect a lot of Mary Timony haikus this weekend leading up to my review deadline!!! I get up to 300 words, which will be so very easy now that I have gotten Very Good at boiling music criticism down to seventeen syllables which still often include a lot of profanity!!! I can’t figure out if this is good or bad? Fuck words might be what the haiku form was missing all along; one to two syllables in exchange for Very Significant Enthusiasm.


Some Very Good Notes and Images from the MOMAryTimony (NOT A HAIKU, HAIKUS TOMORROW!):

Found that 0.0 Brent Decrescendo review of Sonic Youth in which he insults both Kim Gordon and Kathy Acker, so now this exists!!!! He later apologized for it, but the person he really needs to apologize to is Mary Timony.

Anyone who has experienced severe depression is acutely aware of how difficult it is to make an attempt at anything, which is exactly and precisely why Brent Decrescendo giving Mountains by Mary Timony such a low rating and a review that essentially mocks her for having mental health issues is really fucking inhumane, actually, even if the album wasn’t an incredible and deeply prophetic masterpiece. But the thing is: her attempt at something was and remains fucking incredible and also timeless, because it comes from inside of her and continues to show us how to live through abysmal despair. Brent Decrescendo is never going to get to Virginia Woolf’s Lighthouse, where Mary Timony performs her magnificent attempt at something, her “two star symphony,” every night, instead of filling her pockets with heavy rocks and walking into the fucking sea!!!!

These are the very last and very best pages of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.


Very Good Mail and Library Day and a Very Good Haiku About the Ascendance of My Spirit Mama, Eris Drew:

Very Good Libraries: the greatest purveyors of democracy and education we have! Better than SCHOOLS!!! Despite having been in advanced English courses from grades 8-the completion of my degree in English Education in the state of Wisconsin, it was a random Twitter friend from Australia who brought the wonderful work of Wisconsin’s Lorine Niedecker to my attention–expect more double meanings in the haikus!! S.F. Tape Music Center book to aid in my label guide on the deep listening of Atlantic Rhythms.
When Mom and her partner get pressed on fabric presents and your clients were very generous with their holiday cash tips, you absolutely must fuck around and pay the damn UK shipping! Also: Mountains 20th Anniversary
resissue just in time for me to correct the record on this excellent and wildly prophetic masterpiece!!!

Very Good Haiku Upon Receiving fabric presents: Octo Octa & Eris Drew:


Perhaps I was the

first person to acknowledge

Eris Drew’s gender.


Pre-transition, while

assigning familial

roles in Hugo Ball.


I said, “Sev is Dad,

and this person is our Mom.”

It rang very true!


Upon coming out,

our lives became very dark,

even as light rose!


Many times we left

our own events to flee harm,

and she was homeless.


Living with parents

who could not understand yet;

crashing in my bed.


The joy of dancing

got mired in the murk of it,

but she never stopped!!!!


A joy to return

to the music that healed me;

Mom ruling the world!!!!!!!!


Very Good Process Shot of My Review of Mary Timony’s Mountains:

First draft! We like to make labor visible around here, so here is a process shot! I also received very enthusiastic permission this morning from Mary Timony, Her Very Royal Self, to correct the record on this timeless masterpiece. Time to get ready for drum practice before attempting to type this up tonight. It seems a very good initiatory honor in my new reign as Thee Queen of Birds that all of these songs I am discussing in my first review for Bandcamp are credited by ASCAP to MARY TIMONY AND LOUD PINK BIRD SONGS.


A Very Official Decree Regarding the Future Description of Bass Lines (NOT A DAMN HAIKU!!!):

Let it be known today–the 18th day of the Very Good Month of January in the Very Good Year of 2021–that going forward, all bass lines which sound equally industrial and sophisticated, shall be referred to as “Chicago bass lines.”

-Thee Mad Mad Daddy of Music Journalism


Very Good Explanation of Why I Am Only Accepting Honorary PhDs at This Time and Also Forever (courtesy of Wikipedia):

According to legend, Thoreau refused to pay the five-dollar fee (approximately equivalent to $128 in 2019) for a Harvard diploma. In fact, the master’s degree he declined to purchase had no academic merit: Harvard College offered it to graduates “who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, and their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college”.[26] He commented, “Let every sheep keep its own skin”,[27] a reference to the tradition of using sheepskin vellum for diplomas.


Very Good Handwritten Review Haiku, in Four Parts: Magic Strop: Tonight by Swirlies


Beginning to feel

Swirlies exist to confuse

me to attention


Etching in the wax

is so very miniscule!!!

Must be held to light!!


No idea who plays what;

none of this side or that side,

only: see and hear.


Sneaky Flute Empire:

plotting confusing sound wars

for deep attention.


Did I mention that I FUCKING LOVE SWIRLIES?? Might have gotten lost in my deep affection for Mary Timony’s Mountains, which were of course, drummed and engineered by a Swirlie, so really I NEVER LEFT THE SNEAKY FLUTE EMPIRE!!!!


Some Very Good Notes on a Hard Day (NOT A HAIKU):

Yesterday, someone stole my bike helmet while I was in the midst of working on my bike. Fortunately, the next client had a helmet and no bike, so I can borrow it until I have one! (The world needs my brain to survive.) Even more fortunately, Nutcase Feathered Friends helmets are currently on half-price recession sale, so it is beyond possible the Queen of Birds just needed to receive her crown.

I also had a tough day with canine and feline animals, both my own and the ones I care for in my business, and I decided an especially great thing about birds is that they never fuck up my life. I got paid, too, so I bought myself this:

The local library did not have this one when I read every Thoreau book they had in 2005.

Lastly, and most importantly, I convinced my editor (who I now love very much) to double the amount of words I can use to communicate with the world about the importance of Mary Timony’s Mountains!!!! The victory sounds like this:

1/19/2021 🐦🐤🐥🐣🦉🦆🦅👑👑👑👑

Very Good and Important Decree About the Future Description of Days Featuring a Combination of Thick, Freshly Fallen Snow and Full Sunshine, Looking Very Luminous and Full of Love (NOT A HAIKU!!!):

These are called “Björk Days.”

When you have had enough of Björk–if that is possible–another good musical option for this very good meteorological zone is “Mother Sky” by Can.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Possible Dust Clouds by Kristin Hersh

Time passes so quickly when I listen to Kristin Hersh albums. I am just deep inside her musical stories and they always end a long time before I am ready for them to be over.

Everything she makes

surpasses the previous!!!

How does she do it?

1/21/2021, the day my first album review was finalized and my editor told me I “crushed it”🎾🎾🎾

Very Good Bernie-Mitten Meme Tributes to Cities That Made Me, Focused on Injustices Done to Women in Music (For Someone With Photoshop Skills to Compose — NOT A HAIKU!!!):

Milwaukee, WI – Bernie Sanders, huddled in his chair with mittens, is watching me finally install a cast bronze statue of Suzi Quatro/Leather Tuscadero next to the “Bronze Fonz.”

Cleveland, OH – Bernie Sanders, huddled in his chair with mittens, while Tina Turner is freezing her gorgeous ass off in one of her iconic leg-baring outfits, holding all of her solo records that made her career as big as it was, outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Note: Tina Turner, despite being the QUEEN OF ROCK AND ROLL, has only been inducted on the basis of her work in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, work mired in a deeply abusive relationship she had to walk away from in the middle of the night with nothing and completely rebuild her life and career from. There is a precedent for inducting artists on the basis of their solo work and work with bands, as Stevie Nicks has been. STEVIE NICKS IS NOT THE QUEEN OF ROCK AND ROLL. She is white, though, which really seems to help.


Very Sad Album Review Haiku: “This Being the Ballad of Kicking Giant, Halo: NYC/Olympia 1989-1993” by Kicking Giant

The best music for

another brilliant person

choosing to leave us.

Jake Saunders, self-portrait with son, from his show “I Will Love You Forever and Other Tragedies.”
Portrait of his wife, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who a lot of my life will be devoted to supporting through this, for as long as it takes.
“Magdalen Waiting at the Tomb.”


Very Good Song Review Haiku: “Octaves Apart” by the Spells

Songs about closeness,

distance, returning, and youth

are helpful right now.


Very Good Song Review Haiku: “Love Science” by Kicking Giant

Rumbling drums and

noisy feedback on the top

is our friends, crying.

Note: Thee Queen of Birds is trying to enjoy the arrival of her official crown, which does fit perfectly and feel appropriate, but also extremely saddened to discover her next gig is teaching someone she loves who has experienced an untenable loss that it is possible the people we have loved the very most return to us, as birds.

My favorite page from That This by Susan Howe, a poetry book about the sudden death of her husband, and how language struggles to comprehend such swift and unforgiving shifts in reality.

Lyrics to a song I wrote that has yet to locate a FINAL RECORDED VERSION, about the person I wanted to spend my life with if he could just get it together dying miserable and alone, when I was almost 27:

Some failed vocal rounds composed for dead lovers while too combinative sad/tired for perfection. Always too many feelings for perfection. Perhaps the second verse comes from supporting someone else through a similar experience.

Who’s the witness to this empty room?

All I want to do with my life is perform for YOU:

If I can’t gaze in YOUR eyes for your sudden death,

I’ll gaze into IT’S eyes for some instruction.

Was it quick or slow?

And did it knock you off your feet?

Did you see my face aglow in the dark just before your heart ceased?

There’s a light–doesn’t go out–

and it’s your eyes smiling in the sun!

Are you there each morning, when it’s rising,

between my knees and up, up?

Every young widow across space and time, but also principally, EMD in 2015

Note: this song contains blatant allusions to both “There is a Light and It Never Goes Out” by the Smiths *and* “Deformative” by Black Eyes.

This one is more sonically bare, so I am sure you can hear the lyrics. It is about how the only home that is true is “Birdland” AKA being with the people we love when we are also dead, as BIRDS…but having a long road to walk until we can be with them again, because we choose to live…hopefully.


A Very Good Update: Not a Haiku, but Foretelling the Future Haikus of Tomorrow

Today, my first official album review (and also my debut writing for Bandcamp!) went live. I am presently working on a label guide to Atlantic Rhythms–dropping in the next few weeks–so I am spending more time reading Pauline Oliveros and less time haiku reviewing my listening sessions! I was also approved today to compose a Lifetime Achievement piece about an incredible songwriter and musician I love very much, Diane Cluck, in April! It comes out shortly after my 34th birthday, by which time I will have officially spent half of my life deeply inside of her songs–the distillation of seventeen years of wild attention to her teachings. It pleases me very much, as I am trying to manifest what I want to exist in the world, and acknowledge when I may be the very best person to carry it forward!

I am very sad that my friend’s husband took his own life the same night I submitted my final Mountains review. I think this album has probably saved a lot of lives, and it feels like he slipped through the cracks in the time-space continuum as I was running home with the medicine, as my best friend phrased it tonight. I am very tired of people I care about leaving us early, but it would seem all we can do to solve it is work to create a world worth staying alive for every fucking day.

Tomorrow, then, I will return with a Very Good Snowstorm haiku series on all of the best music for being snowed in for many days, because it is very important to me to keep listening and making life meaningful through music, writing, and observation, particularly in this time of non-stop trauma and misery. Currently, my favorite thing about the snow is that my dog loves it, and her favorite thing is when I make her a snowball, throw it, and it dissipates into the rest of the snow as it lands: a Very Good Puppy Mystery, and also a way I am teaching her about being-in-the-world and consciousness.


Yet Another Very Good Crowd-Sourced List of Songs About Snow and Consciousness, in Haiku Form:

If you have desired

to be buried with your love

then, I guess: you know.

First time listening

after his death, wondering

about his last snow.

Desperate backdrop

of NOR’EASTERS every week

for a month: JANDEK!!!!!!!!

Riding the M train,

two feet of snow drifts sideways.

Everything: copper.

Drums fall like strong snow:

tragedy and comedy,

“love you ’til the end.”

Note: This last line is what I *hear* in the chorus, not the actual lyrics. Most of the geniuses we love seem to die early of self-inflicted wounds.

Staring out windows

with my daughter, wondering

about what went wrong.

A night off, drawn out

by tavern fellowship’s glow–

egos checked in snow.

Love songs of: change, self,

the fathers who weren’t around,

those who held our truth.

A Minnesotan

locates this in Seattle,

a plow-less wasteland.

Very few Black folks

have composed songs about snow–


Grooving and dreaming,

consciousness unclarified,

making joyful noise.

Got fired on Thursday

from the CD/game exchange

where they paid in DISCS!

Sweet psilocybin

pyramid-shaped chocolates


Age 10, MTV’s

gorgeous music goddesses!!


Moving to Richmond

from NYC, I wonder

if the snow falls here?

Once a heckler yelled:

“PLAY THE SAD ONE!!!”–and he laughed,

laughed so fuckin’ hard!!!

Kate Bush is truly

snow’s greatest champion and

sonic cheerleader.

Very Important Note: I am the second greatest.

Perfectly captures

heavy snow on gigantic

pines from my window.

The best street art here

was blasted off: “MEMORIES

ARE SACRED,” it said.

Fresh blizzard, downtown

Chapel Hill, empty campus

on repeat with plants.

Walking and singing

towards work, in the coldest

and wettest weather.

(English translation)
A stick, a stone
It's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump
It's a little alone

It's a sliver of glass
It is life, it's the sun
It is night, it is death
It's a trap, it's a gun

The oak when it blooms
A fox in the brush
A knot in the wood
The song of a thrush

The wood of the wind
A cliff, a fall
A scratch, a lump
It is nothing at all

It's the wind blowing free
It's the end of the slope
It's a beam, it's a void
It's a hunch, it's a hope

And the river bank talks
Of the waters of March
It's the end of the strain
The joy in your heart

The foot, the ground
The flesh and the bone
The beat of the road
A slingshot's stone

A fish, a flash
A silvery glow
A fight, a bet
The range of a bow

The bed of the well
The end of the line
The dismay in the face
It's a loss, it's a find

A spear, a spike
A point, a nail
A drip, a drop
The end of the tale

A truckload of bricks
In the soft morning light
The shot of a gun
In the dead of the night

A mile, a must
A thrust, a bump
It's a girl, it's a rhyme
It's a cold, it's the mumps

The plan of the house
The body in bed
And the car that got stuck
It's the mud, it's the mud

Afloat, adrift
A flight, a wing
A hawk, a quail
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It's the promise of life
It's the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone
It's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump
It's a little alone

A snake, a stick
It is John, it is Joe
It's a thorn in your hand
And a cut in your toe

A point, a grain
A bee, a bite
A blink, a buzzard
A sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle
A sting, a pain
A snail, a riddle
A wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains
A horse and a mule
In the distance the shelves
Rode three shadows of blue

And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It's the promise of life
In your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone
The end of the road
The rest of a stump
A lonesome road

A sliver of glass
A life, the sun
A knife, a death
The end of the run

And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It's the end of all strain
It's the joy in your heart


Much adored by my

dead lover–February

was too long and hard.

A civil war in

the people we most need here:

everyone loses.

Always reminds me

of early winter, teenaged,

Chicago’s North Shore.

Note: All haikus composed from human memories relating to snow and sound, mostly sourced via Twitter!


Very Good Mail and a Gift From a Friend:

It’s good for mail to get lost, so that we talk to our neighbors. Grandma very happy about byline honoring her. A couple Easters ago she got drunk and cried about me not writing anymore, and it made me start again!
My Grandma’s family was forced out of their home on the west side, so the city could build its freeway system and reconstruct Chicago in intentionally segregationist ways. She grew up in Garfield Park, in an area that is now a freeway, surrounded by desperation and trauma.
My friend and colleague who works with my tiny dogwalking company bought me this–she didn’t say why, but I think as a publishing gift. It is perfect for my writing desk, as kitty with yarn is 100% how I feel about wrestling meaning out of language and experience.
My grandmother, Margaret Mary McMahon (originally Feeley), is named after her own mother. She was the head of payroll for the City of Chicago in a time when most women didn’t work, a very serious advocate for city workers, and thought by many to have been an excellent candidate for mayor in a time when a female mayor was unthinkable. Hundreds of city workers attended her funeral. She is a huge inspiration to me, so my byline is also for her. Please consider supporting Mayor Margaret in the next election, as I am sure she could run circles around all these clowns, even from the grave.


A Very Good LP Review Haiku: That Dark Electric by George Cory Todd

My favorite track is “Antic,” and I made a very sick transition from Matchess’ “Letters of Blood and Fire” into this track on a mixtape for my friend, Carrie.

abrupt shifts disrupt

industrial noise, lit up

by high, swelling synths!!!


Very Good Whole Discography Review Haiku: Garland of Hours

Garland of Hours just released three records on Bandcamp. They all feature contributions from Mary Timony and Brendan Canty, in case you worship very hard at both of their altars like me!!!

Garland of Hours by Garland of Hours

I very rarely make comparisons to other artists, but I will say here that if you like Mira Billotte’s work with Quix*o*tic and White Magic, then this will probably interest you! (And no, I am not only making this comparison because they both cover “Katie Cruel!”) Brendan Canty plays bass on this one and it sounds very good.

piano driving

the snow into swells and drifts:

our memory bank.

The Soundest Serum by Garland of Hours

This is really perfect snowstorm music, the whole discography!

cellos of winter

stomping through blizzards down the

longest, hardest roads

Lucidia by Garland of Hours






Very Good Album Review Haiku: How Am I Not Myself? by French Vanilla

In all honesty, it is very much like 78-82, but why would I waste a whole longest line of a haiku on describing an era?


Smart dance punk, wrought from 80s

UK and Athens!


Very Good Archival Album Haiku Review: Some Funkettes by Patrick Cowley

This is a collection of previously unreleased cover songs recorded between 1975-77, showcasing Cowley’s early influences, the development of his production techniques, and the birth of San Francisco motorik!!!

video games tunes

for a game in which you just

groove around the block!!!


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Don’t Stay Too Long by Jessamine

More very good music courtesy of the 1990s.

music for bad moods:

curious ability

to soften the bleak


YET A N O T H E R Very Good Deep, Contemporary Tape Review Haiku: Mercury by Dura

This might be the most arduous journey Atlantic Rhythms has taken me on!

the earth turns, marked by

heavy precipitation:

warmed by fire of sound.


Very Good Lo-Fi Punk Tape Review Haiku: maiden muva crone 3 by drea the vibe dealer

drea also has a zine available, punk fairy god muva musings zine.

There is a special

place in “Heaven” reserved for

punk-r&b love.


Very Good Live Recordings Review Haiku: West Coast Tour 2008 by Diane Cluck and Anders Griffen

I have seen her live at least four times, all in Chicago, and she never had a drummer at any of them!

Diane with live drums

is a very serious

sonic offering!!


Very Good EP Review Haiku: She’s Calling EP by Octo Octa

Hopefully, this sees immediate reissue, because it drops today and is already sold out.

The strong desire to

become a rave animal

in the dancing woods


Very Good Box Set Review Haiku: Three States & Rarities by Dear Nora

One of the most important songwriters to me as a late teenager (and also very much still now)!!! I love this record and I am so happy Owen Ashworth (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) reissued it in this gorgeous vinyl box set it so deserves on his label, Orindal Records.

Simple, musical

philosophy at its best:

life’s great sing-a-long!!!


ANOTHER!!! Very Good Deep, Contemporary Tape Pre-Order Review Haiku: A Million Questions by Jackson Ryland

The “Sonic Meditations” continue at Atlantic Rhythms, this time in more of an ambient and experimental techno zone. Also, today I am composing my label guide on Atlantic Rhythms for Bandcamp! Keep your eyes peeled for that in the next couple weeks.

A natural field

comes to life vividly to

show us how it works.


Very Good Healing Frequencies Tape Review Haiku: Huizkol by Matchess

Matchess is my favorite new composer of the last decade. I can assure you all of the tapes will sell out, and then your friends who got one will rub it in your face forever, so you are advised to cop them while they are still available!!! Also, like everything Whitney Johnson makes, they are extremely beautiful in both sound and aesthetics and always brimming with healing energy.

That Haiku:

By the end of this

everything is pulsing

and flowing in me.

Note: Y’all *got* to visit with this one. I basically came up with a title for a future feature I have been wanting to write about her for a while now while listening, and it is: “Whitney Johnson is Ending the Cycle of Trauma on a Cellular Level and Repairing Our DNA With Sound.”

While listening to the active section, I colored this very elegant vulva in a coloring book my friend, Libby, got me at the anarchist bookstore in San Francisco, Bound Together. The composer was quite pleased!


Very Good Digital Download Revolutionary Dub Review Haiku: Sankara Future Dub Resurgence

Sunday is still a holy day in my spiritual life as a person who worships at the altar of freedom and this is very good Freedom Music.

A dub portal from

ancestral struggle to the

work for us here now.


Very Good Anarchist Dub Digital Download Review Haiku: Anarchist Africa::When Visions Fall From Sky by Sankara Future Dub Resurgence

Trance-inducing dub to bring you back to source and liberate you from the default settings of society.

Dubbed out reminder:

collective autonomy

was most of the past.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Songs of Praise by African Head Charge

Delightfully psychedelic dub infused with religious chants. Considered by many to be the greatest masterpiece from African Head Charge.

Very Groovy Church!!!

Would go anytime, healing

through sonic praises.


Very Good Mail Days Becoming Infrequent: Empty Bottle Shirt and T4T LUV NRG Slip Mat

I have spent a considerable portion of two days listening to The Rubáiyát Of Dorothy Ashby and I still have no idea what to tell you about it, so you will just have to wait while I keep listening. I did receive an advance of the new FACS record, and y’all better prepare yourselves for that….

More haikus soon! Been busy working on my label guide to Atlantic Rhythms!! I also just got approved to write a label guide to Trouble in Mind, in May! So, we can talk about the new Very Good FACS Record….


Very Good Album Review Haiku: The Rubáiyát Of Dorothy Ashby by Dorothy Ashby

I love listening to Dorothy Ashby speak and sing, in addition to playing her usual jazz harp and the Japanese koto, on this one.

Soft snow suspended,

listens; hovers in the air

around her music.


Very Good Ways to Feel Better When You’re Not Feeling Very Good: A List With Intermittent Haikus

Tired of music and music writing? Read things that aren’t music writing and do things besides listen to music. Today I ate a weed edible and have been reading in a very nonlinear way–while also beginning to listen to music again and spending a lot of time observing and unleashing my difficult emotions–Thoreau on Birds and From This Condensary: The Complete Writing of Lorine Niedecker. Despite this being a break from music writing, it is sure to support me in my goals of being the world’s First Punk Anarcho-Naturalist Music Writer and a music writer who is exceptionally literary despite being deeply working class, who insists that music writing be as songlike as the music it is about, with space and tension, double meanings, flight, weight, pleasure, struggle, long roads, big skies, bends in the river, and principally, birds! While I have been picking up bits from them here and there, this mix from Jim O’Rourke helped me start hearing music again after days of it just irritating me, because I was feeling so low it was ceasing to reach me. (Always a cause for immediate intervention, as music is how I stay alive, most certainly.)

Thank you for re-tuning my ears, mind, and heart, Jim O’ Rourke. And also the nice person who recommended this mix to me, John!

feeling so grateful

for music that holds bad moods

and enriches them

After this mix, I was ready to listen to something again. I put on the advance I received of the new Nightshift album, Zöe, dropping on the 26th, and…now I just want to keep listening to this one on repeat all day.

This whole thing is an incredible movement from an urban mindset (“Spray Paint the Bridge”) into a forest of sound and philosophy I would like to be wandering through for the rest of the day, but “Outta Space” has quickly made itself the place I am the most excited to return to with each rotation.

The tension of the

world, its course of history:

anarchic rumblings!

Next, I am going to revisit the advance of the new FACS record, Present Tense, dropping on May 21st, which I have listened to many times over the past few days, but not felt in the right mind for being fully present to. Then, I noticed I was having this issue with essentially all music, sooo…I had to do some processing and releasing before music could speak to me again.

This album is really dark, but it feels like an imperative investigation of the immediate darkness we have been living through–search lights into the wilderness of quarantine, locating remaining signs of life, taking account of the dead, posing important questions, and insisting on the quest to “make it mean something.”

Present war landscape:

quarantine’s search and rescue

mission through music.

Highly recommend spending time with Lorine Niedecker.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Measures of Joy Deluxe by Virginia Wing

Recommended if

you always wanted Broadcast

to hit us harder!

Very Good News: Lorine Niedecker Loves Musicians and Hates Capitalism!!!!

I want all of you to read Lorine Niedecker right the fuck now. Queen of Birds commands!!!! She loves musicians, birds, and haiku, and HATES CAPITALISM.

Very Good Album Review Haiku: Private Life by Virginia Wing

The Queen of Birds heard an owl hoo-ing in one of these songs and would like to express her sincere affection and approval.

Gorgeous harmonies

soaring o’er electronic

woods of pop and noise!!!

Very Good Practice Tape Review Haiku: Practice Tape by Brian Case

I had to listen to this so many times to say anything about it, including twice in the dark with a mask over my eyes. Good news, however: each listen only makes me want to listen more and notice more each time.

Archaic structures–

prisons, factories– E N G U L F E D,

recycled in sound.


Very Good Digitally Transmitted Messages Improving the Timeline

Well, the past few days were very hard to get through, and I have been wildly unmotivated, but today I received some very good messages! This morning, I was delighted to receive a VERY GOOD PROMO from the Chicago band, Lifeguard, with the following haiku review:

Hey we enjoy your

Haiku reviews they are much

Better than pitchfork

A Very Good*AND* Very True Haiku!!!! I liked this haiku so much that I listened to their promo immediately. I am going to interview them leading up to their new single release March 5th, but you can listen to them here in the meantime.

In another promo email, someone said: “I started following you cuz you were tweeting about the swirlies.” This is Very Good News, because it means my endless discussion of Swirlies online is not for naught, and that the Sneaky Flute Empire is always quietly building momentum. Someone else chimed in that THE SNEAKY FLUTE EMPIRE IS “THE ONLY EMPIRE WORTH EXPANDING.” He also said he played guitar on a Flipper cover with Swirlies at their last show in Dallas. I love the Sneaky Flute Legends. This person also told me “In Harmony New Found Freedom” changed the way he hears music, so now I have an important feature to write about how Swirlies changed how people hear music!!!!

Today was a much better day, so maybe by tomorrow I will enjoy writing more haikus.


One Singular Very Good Piece of Mail: Interdimensional Transmissions/Save the Tangent Gallery Sweatshirt

My first one was lost in the mail, but it is finally here and it is very cozy and the color is wonderful.

The past two weeks? Trash.

But I’m still here asking you

to save our stages.


Very Good Reminder to Read Lorine Niedecker, a Very Important Poet Who Loves Birds, Musicians, Artists, and Haiku and ABSOLUTELY HATES CAPITALISM:

Today, I celebrated the publication of my first longer piece for Bandcamp–on one of my favorite labels, Atlantic Rhythms–and socialized a lot online with people around that! I also went to a Zoom talk about a book about BIRDS and sent a field guide to the birds of West Virginia to my father, who lives there presently. Tomorrow, however, I am planning to be a Very Disciplined Reader of Lorine Niedecker and Composer of Wildly Good Haikus. The first will be about the album Let’s Skip the Details by My Dad is Dead, an album which has been bringing me back to life from my deep depression via constant rotation for the past two days! It is also an album I like to imagine was being composed down the road as my parents drove me and the insane rock and roll hair I was born with home from the hospital in April of 1987 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Two months later, probably listening to My Dad is Dead rip apart the garage with their extremely good music for sloughing through a world of shit every day, being forged into a True Believer, a Cultural Mechanic, Thee Mad Mad Daddy of Music Journalism, Thee Queen of Birds, and Director of All the Real Work!!!!


Very Good Old Album Review Haiku: Let’s Skip the Details by My Dad is Dead

Given to me for my 33rd birthday in quarantine alongside a Minutemen – Post-Mersh Vol. 2 cassette and a Flin Flon – “Swift Current” 7″ by my very good friend and correspondent, J. Niimi. Certainly one of the greatest presents of all time!!!

Possibly the best

music for bad moods I’ve found

makes me sing again.


Very Good New Album Review Haiku feat. Many Rhymes: Tell Me I’m Bad by Editrix

Thank you to Peter J. Woods for sending this total ripper my way.

This one grooves A N D rips!!!!

Dips and rips between sections

and riffs so damn swift.


Very Important New Additions to Percussion Discourse (NOT A FUCKING HAIKU!!!): “The Backpocket”

When drummers play in the pocket, but kind of behind the beat, they are playing in the BACKPOCKET. The Greatest Drummer of the Backpocket is Britt Walford.

–Thee Mad Mad Daddy of Music Journalism

Happy belated birthday to Poison Ivy Rorschach, the Very Important Leader of the Cramps, One of the Greatest Rock and Roll Bands of All Time.


Very Good Bandcamp Day 7″ Review Haiku: “Receiver” b/w “Sun Ra Jane” by Lifeguard

Lifeguard make it clear

they are the best teen rock band



Very Good Album Review Haiku: Dive by Lifeguard

Cannot wait to own this one on cassette, get the new 7″, and share my interview with this Very Good Band on my blog on Bandcamp Day.

The best bands of the

times run us out of free spins

before Bandcamp Day.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Stranded in the Mystery Zone by Dead Moon

One of my favorite bands of all time, which arrived to the universe in the same 1987 gift basket with me, Fugazi, Nirvana, acid house, and many other very good things.

Perfect rock and roll

for people who don’t kiss ass,

work hard, love harder.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: High Drama by Opposite Sex

Thank you to Thee Marvelous Mariana Timony for recommending this to me! Going to need to listen more after Bandcamp Day, as I have run out of free listens and am only just beginning to appreciate it very much…

Quite an insane ride!!!

New Zealand is killing it!!!

Bluesy no wavers???????????????


Very Good Explorative Tape Review Haiku: Deep Strand by Landon Caldwell

Need to talk to Landon about how he makes his soft music hit so hard. Pretty sure it has something to do with him growing up at hardcore shows, though!!!

Best Dog Dream Music!!!

Best Music for Human Tears!!!

Deepest resonance.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Lazer Guided Melodies by Spiritualized

“Come on, people: get yourselves out of here.”

Makes me want to run

slowly, with pleasure and joy

in being alive.

Note: I completely hate running, so this is really a huge deal. They also make me want to stretch, which I have not done since the beginning of quarantine, basically.


Very Good Mail Returns, Briefly:



TRILOGY!!!!!! Also, evidence they read my haikus!!!!! Thank you so much, Trouble in Mind ❤

Very Good Tape Review Haiku Special: New Releases From Full Spectrum Records Night!!!!

New Ruins by Marsha Fisher

Shout out to Andrew Weathers for sending this my way and making so much of the music I love sound Very Good. I am trying to have a Full Spectrum new releases listening night, but I just cannot seem to leave Marsha Fisher.

A calming movement

in which beauty is mundane

and ubiquitous.

Practice by Lucy Liyou

The intimacy

of family across noise,

distance–even death.

Metal Lake Reservoir by Background Noise Ensemble

Full Spectrum remains

a unique purveyor of

true experiments!


Very Good New Record Review Haiku: Chart for the Solution by Writhing Squares

This one really freaks out my dog; she has no idea what she is looking for, but she won’t stop! The chart for “the solution” can only be experienced aurally, Lucy!!!! Perhaps she is charting her own solution, which would make sense, as this is very anarchic music. Very good month for anarchic music!!!

Noisy grooves and F L U T E S!!!!

Wildly unhinged, quite a spin:

nothing quite like this!!!


Yet Another Very Good Exploratory Tape Review Haiku: Scrawls of Social Distance by Nondimension

All my animals

foraging through space tonight

for every sound


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction) by Dax Pierson

I haven’t jacked my

body this hard in so long

but it goes deeper.



Very Good New Release Review Haiku: Phoenix: La Petite Mort Édition by Eartheater

Makes stunning records!!!

Reworks them into even

more stunning records!!!!!


Very Good Album Review Haiku: South Shore by A B

Andy Bernick of the Sneaky Flute Empire sent me this solo record he made. All of the profits go to a different charity for every month of 2021. It has been put into the collection of the Quincy Historical Society.

So much history

in these songs and images.

Quarantine Day Trip!


Very Good New CD Review Haiku (Because Some Motherfuckers Out Here Think It’s 2004): Big Tex, Here We Come by Andrew Weathers & Hayden Pedigo

The greatest indicator of my aging is possibly how much I enjoy solo or DUO guitar records nowadays.

West Texas highways:

open, endless, liminal

the world passing by.


Very Good Bandcamp Day Newly Released Track You Can Buy For $1: “Original Face” by Diane Cluck

a new sonic zone
but always quite compelling,
like all she creates

I really don’t need any new clothes for like a year or two, because of how much merch I bought in 2020 just to help musicians survive, but I had to grab one of these to celebrate my first official album review and support MARY TIMONY, A VERY IMPORTANT GENIUS AND NATIONAL TREASURE.

I am now publishing Bandcamp Recommendations on the blog, so today’s are here. A great month for music, anarchism, and woodwinds (which are absolutely murdering 2021!!!)


Very Good Song Review Haiku: “Circulating” by Jeff Zeigler

A song so pretty

Bandcamp must offer us all

a repeat function.


Very Good Album Haiku Review: Not So Deep as a Well by Myriam Gendron

Been struggling to find the right music for my days lately, but today, I did.

Early spring mornings

much complimented by these

warm and welcome songs.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: A Body Full of Tears by Shoeb Ahmad

Gorgeous tones, voices–

sort of mystical: dark, deep,

and necessary.


Very Good Remix Album Review Haiku: Realignment by Shoeb Ahmad

Can artists always

be remixed by those they

most love to hear from?


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: The Manhattan Project – Live in New York by Nuke Watch

So interesting

how sound can re-center us

to hear messages.


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: frozen iguanas, bless their hearts by J. Hamilton Isaacs

Thank you to the artist for sending me this rad tape, giving me another Very Good Mail Day!

I don’t even know

why exactly; I just need

to keep listening.


Very Good Live Sketch Tape Review Haiku: Sketches for World of Echo: June 25 1984 Live at Ei by Arthur Russell

I will always want

to hear every single

blessed iteration.


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: The Space Lady’s Greatest Hits by The Space Lady

Part of my deeper dig into the Mississippi Records catalog…pretty sure they will be the next label I write about!!!

If Whitney Johnson

and Moondog covered pop songs:



Very Good Album Review Haiku: Im Sinne der Zeit by Klaus Johann Grobe

Trouble in Mind sent me a huge box of LPs. I cannot even lay them all out flat on my queen size bed. This is the first one I loved.

Perfect soundtrack for

rocking out in my kitchen

on this cold evening.


Very Good Record Review Haiku: Do the Duvet by Naked Roommate

Had to break my rule

and listen to bass after

9pm for this!!!


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Dias Raros by Melenas

Trouble in Mind just pressed this one a second time for all of us!

Let it be stated:

rock music needs more harmonies,

keys, and wild beauty.

(Fortunately, this one has it all!)


Very Good Archival Compilation Review Haiku: Furaha Wenye Gita by George Mukabi

Mukabi invented a solo guitar technique in which he played melody, rhythm, and bass with two hands on one guitar.

The title translates to:

“Happiness with Guitar,” and

that is what you get!


ANOTHER Very Good African Guitar Archival Comp Review Haiku: Guitar Music of Western Kenya: 45s from the Archive of Shem Tupe by Shem Tupe, Justo Osala, and Enos Okala

Might just spend the spring

dancing in the garden to

African guitar.


YET ANOTHER VERY GOOD African Archival Comp Review Haiku: Edo Funk Explosion, Vol. 1

I dare you to try

to be an angry, stressed mess

while tuned into this.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Sem Nostalgia (2021 Repress) by Lucas Santtana

Music for the shifts

between sun and shade: warm, cold

blowing wind, open air.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Take One by Hallelujah Chicken Run Band

Come hear the birth of Chimurenga (‘struggle’), the sound of the Zimbabwean struggle for independence from British colonial rule.

The revolution

has rarely sounded so, so:

bright, clear, obvious.


Very Good Archival Comp Review Haiku: La Locura de Machuca: 1975-1980 by Various Artists

Psychedelic swirl:

fusing Colombian and

African rhythms.


Very Good Revolutionary Reissue Review Haiku: Fundo De Marê Palinha (Limited Dance Edition) by Voz di Sanicolau

Rarely do we get

to hear women on these old

world records: a treat.

(A groundbreaking, prioneering TREAT!)


Very Good Bandcamp Discography Review Haiku Series to Encourage Supporting Matt Christensen on Bandcamp

Springtime Kisses

Wet April morning:

gorgeous, supple synth support

for a slow, soft launch.


One of Chicago’s

very best voices is quite

palpable on here.

Forest Floor Body Parts

Quiet, dark power,

increased volume: ideal for

this overcast day.


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: NOW by Damon Locks – Black Monument Ensemble

A lot of kicking

and twirling in the kitchen

all morning on loop.


Very Good Gospel Compilation Review Haiku: When the Moon Goes Down in the Valley of Time: African-American Gospel, 1939-51 by Canary Records

What you need much more

this fine Sunday morning than

more “post-punk” posers!!!


Very Good Rare Gospel Soul and Funk Compilation Review Haiku: Greg Belson’s Divine Funk: Rare American Gospel Soul and Funk by Cultures of Soul


convinced the troubles of the

world are nearly done.


Very Good Arabic Jazzy Funky Folk Compilation Review Haiku: Habibi Funk 016: Fine Anyway by Rogér Fakhr

In swift but perfect

turns: folky, funky, jazzy–

in a living heat.

(As opposed to a “dead heat”: the sounds are not in competition with one another, but work together organically.)


Very Good 60s Gospel Label Compilation Review Haiku: Saved & Sanctified: Songs of the Jade Label by Various Artists

Deep in my dreams, we

all have a crown, rejoicing

amongst each other.


Very Good Gospel-Inflected Disco Compilation Review Haiku: Greg Belson’s Divine Disco – American Gospel Disco 1974 – 1984 by Cultures of Soul

If music’s your church,

the dance floor your salvation

then this is for you!!!!!


Very Good Long-Awaited Reissue Review Haiku: Missing You by Robert Cotter

By the end, even

the slower songs have lit a

fire inside of you.

Note: Very Good Soul Flutes.

Very Good New Release Review Haiku: a softer focus by Claire Rousay

Interstitial tunes:

soft, shifting–alien and

deeply domestic.


Very Good Mixtape Review Haiku: LAC 042 Cantos Oscuros by Little Axe Records

An eclectic mix

of tunes equally soulful

yet variable.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: S/T by Sosena Gebre Eyesus

Her soothing voice and

the calm, buzzing begena

lead my mind to rest.


Very Good Somali Sounds Review Haiku: Layla by Kooshin

Bongos and kaban

support gorgeous melodies:



Very Good Album Review Haiku: Seacide by Hiiragi Fukada

An electronic

sea: noisy, mechanical

to soft, melodic.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Challenge for a Civilized Society by Unwound

Every record by

them is their best record, while

you are listening.



Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: Pure Phase by Spiritualized

Reissue pre-order! Drops June 11th.

When the springscape is

quite lush green in contrast to

the overcast sky!


Very Good Record Review Haiku: Juillet by En Attendant Ana

The wild beauty here

is vast, and I cannot stop

flipping it over.


Very Good Compilation Review Haiku: Turn My Dial: The M Squared Recordings and More, 1981-84 by Tangled Shoelaces

Perfect music for

this verdant, overcast, and

introspective day.


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: An Old Backpack by Big Liquid (no link yet)

A mystery is

uncovered, increasing in

its vast majesty.


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: Luke Stewart/Patrick Shiroishi

Two of our greatest

play with space, echo, feedback:

inspiring solos.

Very Good Tape Review Haiku: Simultaneous Systems by Landon Caldwell and Flower Head Ensemble

Lines between improv

and composition collapse:

they were always false.


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: Bright Green Field by Squid

One of last year’s most

exciting new bands drop a

ripping first full length!!!!


Very Reissue Review Haiku: Contemporary Movement by Duster

This band will always

connect me to something sad,

youthful, and infinite.


Very Good Live Record Review Haiku: ANRMAL by Juana Molina

Juana Molina,

please perform for us in the

States A.S.A.P.!!!!


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: More Energy Fields, Current by Carlos Niño & Friends

My day shall be greatly

enhanced by having begun

with two rotations.


Very Good New Release Review Haiku: FS100 by Tender Crust

Excellent label

drops its hundredth release: no

surprise here–gorgeous.

(Spoiler Alert: After my Trouble in Mind Records records label guide is done being edited, Full Spectrum is the next thing I am writing about! Dropping in June.)


Very Good Deep Listen Review Haiku: Transient Seclusion by C. Lavender

Anxious thoughts build ’til

smashed by frequencies, they fall


originally 5/7/2021, re-composed 5/13/2021 after deeper listening

Very Good New-ish Release Review Haiku: Stay Indoors and Swim by Ki Oni

Bath Bae is always

happy to locate new sounds

for indoor swimming.


Very Good Percussion Record Review Haiku: Mora I & II by Francisco Mora Catlett

Glad I had this on

when something went wrong: no rage

can override this!




Very Good Record Review Haiku: Cloud of Thought by Sallow

Shout out to Peter J. Woods for the heads up on this heaaaaat from Nashville!!!

Sweltering morning

reminder: post-hardcore bands

with women are BEST.

(This is available as a free download!!! No excuses!!!!!)


Very Good Thing-I-Want-Everyone-to-Listen-to-Without-Hearing-It-Myself-Yet Review Haiku: Live in Stuttgart 1975 by CAN

No words until I

grab my copy at Tone Deaf

and say ‘hi’ to Bill!


Very Good EP Review Haiku: Spill EP by Cusp

I would like to get

to know myself under this

great new circumstance!!!

(Began listening to this one in the process of moving to an apartment where I can be very happy after many years of endless housing crises.)

Very Good Compilation Record Review Haiku: Songs of Light by Shirley Ann Lee

This is the official album of my incredible new apartment, where I will be very happy and where “I shall not be moved!!!!”

When the gospel is

Very Good, it is the best

music in the world.


Very Good Compilation Review Haiku: Jackie Shane: Any Other Way by Jackie Shane

Not new to the world or to me, but I finally bought it on wax, because I have loved it so much for so long. Really needs to be heard this way for maximum effect!

Most victorious

soundtrack to a poor girl who’s

moving up in the world.


Very Good Digital Compilation Review Haiku: Lovesick: A Discography CD by Lovesick

Biking around to

these tunes today, I wish I

had them in the aughts.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Messes by Stef Chura

This is what I wish

Angel Olsen sounded like!

Saddle Creek exists?


Very Good Compilation Tape Review Haiku: For When the Future Rolls Around (Selected Songs, 2012​-​2017) by Two White Cranes

She tricked me into

enjoying a song by Blink

182, fam!!!

(I have nothing but respect for this.)


Very Good Nostalgic Summer Bangers Review Haiku: S/T by Idle Ray

Beautiful, heartfelt

songs for dancing in the sun

with friends, memories.


Very Good Reissue Review Haiku: S/T by XV

Very noisy punk

with sick bass freakiness, quite

rude– for total brats!

Very Good Compilation Tape Review Haiku: Another Song About Riding the Bus (Selected Songs 2002​-​2020) by Fred Thomas

A real gift to those

given the enormous task

of condensing him. 😉

Note: Fred Thomas Lifetime Achievement coming to next month, penned by yours truly.


Very Good EP Review Haiku: Mayahuel by SÁVILA

A gorgeous collab

capturing the sacred place

which is Oaxaca.

(Please read the Album of the Day by the wonderful Maria Barrios.)


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Open Up the Window and Leave Your Body by The Mind

This dream pop is both

weird and noisy enough for

my firm approval!


Very Good Album Review Haiku: New Long Leg by Drycleaning

Every aspect

is entirely sick; can’t wait

to see them rip live.

(Vocalist reminds me of Anne Clark!!! If you aren’t sure how you feel about this record, start at the beginning of the catalog.)


Very Good EP Review Haiku: Sweet Princess EP by Drycleaning

Going mad, with all

these sexy bass lines throbbing

against my shoulder!!!!

(Shout out to the JBL Clip 3, which helps a noise sensitive girl surround herself in a safety bubble of tunes each day.)


Another Very Good EP Review Haiku: Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP by Drycleaning

This is the EP

from Drycleaning for the folks

who wish she’d sing more!


Very Good Drone Disc Review Haiku: Flatland Mystic by Aura Gaze

Precise drones capture

the stillness and drifting sands

of Lubbock, Texas.


Very Promising Compilation Tape Review Haiku: Sing Wide (Selected Songs 2002-2019) by Little Wings

Funny to recall

how K briefly made me a

teenage hippie-punk.


ANOTHER!!! VERY GOOD!!! Compilation Tape Review Haiku: Your Most Secret Name (Selected Songs 2008-2011) by Twig Palace

My favorite tracks

on this one are deep, groovy,

soulful, and so bright!


Very Good Cover Album Review Haiku: When the Pawn by HXXS

Noisy punk takes on

Fiona Apple are pulled

direct from my dreams.


Very Good, Very Punk Comp of 45s Review Haiku: The Void by Sauna Youth

Real punk bands do not

release ALBUMS, but comps of

all their 45s!!!!


Very Good Music Nerd Gold Review Haiku: Pere Ubu: The Scrapbook (1975-1982) by Communex

Cleveland rock girl is

pleased to have received with a

postcard from Robert.

Note: You can still buy it on Ubutique!!!


Very Good Collaboration Review Haiku: Arrangements by Lucy Liyou and CC Sorensen

Two brief but haunting,

moving, and beautiful sides:

extended replay.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Sweet Tree by Matt Christensen

Matt’s emotive force

transcends words; he speaks so much

with just his guitar.


Very Good and Promising New Release Review Haiku: Constant Green by Matt Christensen

Matt’s compositions

never fail to make me feel

less alone in life.

6/17/2021, REVISED 6/22/2021 after all tracks released

Very Good Limited Edition Cassette Review Haiku: Haram by Armand Hammer & the Alchemist

One of this year’s best

remains available for

a limited time!!!!!


Another!!! Very Good Limited Edition Cassette Review Haiku: Brass by Moor Mother & billy woods

One of last year’s best

is reissued: limited

edition cassette.


Very Good Digital 7″ Haiku Review: Cloud Juice by Gretchen Korsmo

The early morning

ambient medicine for

my listless bullshit.


Very Good Mixtape Review Haiku: Hush Harbor Mixtape, Vol. 1: Doxology by Angel Bat Dawid

A psychedelic

and spiritual journey

through Black history.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Dothe by Rachel Langlais

Pianos rarely

drive me so far, wide, with might–



Very Good Split Cassette Review Haiku: Matthew Crowe/Marsha Fisher Split by Matthew Crowe/Marsha Fisher

Dense forests of sound:

chaotic, harrowing, wild

lead to a clearing.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: In My Dreams I’m There by Devin Shaffer

A perfect title:

lush dreams open up space for

presence and desire.


Very Good Album Preview Review Haiku: Stoner Lake in G by Nathan McLaughlin

All of life, passing

through consciousness, mirrored

in water, motion.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Urban Driftwood by Yasmin Williams

Today: drifting songs

which capture the reflection

of life in water.


Very Good Digital Release Review Haiku: Hakanai by Carlos Ferreira

Songs for transience:

the beauty of the spaces

we move through, their flight.

Note: if you like this, please check out this article on Japanese Environmental Music. This tape is also available on limited edition cassette from Histamine Tapes.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Eghass Malan by Les Filles de Illighadad

Shout out to Ana Gavrilovska, who brought this group to my attention with their excellent article on them in Maggot Brain.

Transports me! I want

to be in the desert, too:

clapping and singing.


Very Good Live Desert Recording Review Haiku: S/T by Les Filles de Illighadad

Women’s traditions

in this nomadic desert

community soar.

Note: Recorded live “in the open air studio of the desert,” where this music is traditionally performed.


Very Good and Promising Preorder Review Haiku: At Pioneer Works by Les Filles de Illighadad

Really cool to see this music making its way to a cultural center in Brooklyn! Drops July 9th!


The best thing about

village music is that life

becomes music. Here


evidenced by the

mortar and pestle employed

as a working drum.


Very Good Ambient Album Review Haiku: Fields of Yarrow by Robert Eggplant

I look forward to

conjuring the ambience

of storms whenever.


Very Good Live Set Review Haiku: Live in Stuttgart 1975 by CAN

I finally picked it up from Bill and found it was very fucking good, as expected.

CAN make it quite clear

they are the only jam band

for an EMD.


Very Good Ambient Tape Review Haiku: Lonesome Valley by Tomu

Dreamlike ambient

softening the world’s edges

and slowing us down.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Strange Fortune by Powers/Rolin Duo

Something sacred is

being revealed; motion in

stillness, entangled.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: S/T by The Haskels

Milwaukee produced

one of the greatest early

punk bands in the world.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Some Boots by Karate

Introducing: the

world’s sexiest emo jazz!!!

“Those incrediblllllle––”


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Sentimiento Mundial by Mint Field

Opening, shifting

commanding and lush, defies

limits, expectations.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Don’t Stay Too Long by Jessamine

This is the greatest

sex record, in all of my

vast, endless research.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Damballah by Dr. Pete Larson and His Cytoxic Nyatiti Band

Lyre-based psych improv

from some long-running sonic



Very Good Album Review Haiku: S/T by Quickspace

This album was recommended to me by Joe Trainor from Dummy on the basis of my love for Jessamine. Apparently, since the second wave of post-rock sucked so much ass, I never got into the first, which so far is incredible and extremely sexy.

Spacey and sometimes

crunchy Rainer Maria

for mature adults!!!!



Very Good New Album Review Haiku: Do You Like Salt? by BRNDA

Catch my 300+ WORD Album of the Day review of this one in the next week on Bandcamp dot com!!!

DC art punks serve

up whatever they want at

their new restaurant.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Isometry by Emily Jane Powers

What a pleasure to get back into contact with EJP through my Fred Thomas article. We used to share bills and organize events at houses and other alternative spaces together in the mid-aughts.

She is electric,

experimental, and at

the top of her game.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: The Long Arm of Coincidence by Jessamine

Earlier and significantly less jazzy record from one of my new favorite bands of all time.

Noisy, dissonant,

brooding!!! Full of scorching heat

and refined dischord.


Very Good Comp Review Haiku: L’ by Th’ Faith Healers

This is an instant fave and so is this band, generally.

A comp so immense

in its greatness, I ordered

music on CDs!

Note: For the first time since possibly the late aughts? Gave my huge CD collection to my brother when I moved to Chicago in 2013 and haven’t had a CD player since until I recently inherited my mom’s old car. I dropped just over $100 on Discogs and acquired the Peel Sessions, Lido, and Imaginary Friend on CD and two EPs (In Love and A Picture of Health) on vinyl. If there is no other way to listen to this music, I will 100% buy CDs. “Gorgeous Blue Flower in My Garden” is immediately one of my favorite songs of all time.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Vines by Damiana

I maintain my belief:

everything Whitney Johnson

touches is sacred.


Very Good Pre-order Review Haiku: Mirror Ensemble by Brett Naucke

This one has brought all

of the animals to quite

rapt attention here.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: A Hole in the Fence by Walt McClements

Every sound captures

the exact point where pleasure

and pain intersect.


Very Good Album Review Haiku: Social Crutch by Gold Cage

This is based on how I felt about Sentimiento Mundial by Mint Field, as well. This one is just on constant rotation in the car right now, the only place I can listen to CDs, which is a situation that totally sucks for all the other promo CDs I am trying to listen to right now. Just wanna keep listening to this.

felte specializes

in music I expect to

find boring, but love.


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: I Am Here For A Moment by Gardener

Listen first thing in the

morning if you’re trying to

have a gracious day.


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: Unjust Intonation by Derek Monypeny

What I imagine

planetary rotation

would sound like up close.

Note: Like if you could get your ear to the exact place the motion is occurring! If there was a sound and you could hear it close to the source!


Very Good Tape Review Haiku: The Human Being As A Fragile Article by Patrick Shiroishi and Camila Nebbia

Strong cinematic

vibes, like a very creepy

Fantasia of noise.



Very Good Advance Album Review Haiku: Shade by Grouper

For the last decade,

she has brought me back to the

shore of listening.

Note: More often than any other composer, Grouper helps me hear music again when I feel tired of everything, sick of it all, incapable of finding in music what I usually do that helps me find beauty and meaning in the world and survive. I am very grateful for this and for this new record performing this work again for me on this beautiful September day.

This is the reflection of my front window full of plants and bird ornaments on the adjacent wall, which I have been enjoying while listening–I thought you might, as well.


Very Good Advance Album Review Haiku: Why is my arm not a lilac tree? by Credentials (Link to follow when available)

“We are not just here to grow corn, but to grow gods.”

And Milwaukee takes

Album of the Year, as well

as the NBA.


I basically got tired of having to post haiku in so many places eventually, so I stopped! But the point of this project was to establish a regular writing and listening practice and start getting paid money to write about music, so it fulfilled its intention in spades!!! It also is a huge factor in me quitting drinking and smoking following two months of creating most of this content on my phone, following a spilled beer sending my laptop into the shop. I’m very grateful for all outcomes. I am still going to write haiku reviews, but they will appear as comments on Bandcamp you can can find through my library and be summarized each month with a list of Bandcamp Recommendations in blog posts on the main Come Away With EMD page.

This is the end of Page 2, but you can still read Page 1 if you haven’t, by clicking ‘1’ under ‘Pages’ down below. I don’t know where to put Very Good Blurbs for my blog, so just know this: Mary Timony says it is “genius,” and to Mary Timony, I say: “game recognize game, fam.” The wildly good local Chicago band, Lifeguard, say my haiku are “much better than Pitchfork” and to Lifeguard, I say: “Very Good Promo, and thanks for the Very Good Haiku Review.