a reboot of my 2010s~ blog, now about dead links, hypertext, the blogosphere as decaying archive, and recovering the buzz!!!
pussy cats starring harry nilsson
i think we all wonder about the filtering conditions of our memory, like i wonder how an article i read in 2010 went from the working memory to the long term memory, only remembered now. processed or rehearsed or a combination of both within the visuo-spatial scratch pad that is online, remembered as a place because if you asked me to draw a map of the internet i was local to i could probably draw something. i couldn’t illustrate the place like a building or a room but i could draw out the purple trodden hyperlinks as lines which is essentially a map. between my blog, to my email, to the daytrotter e-newsletter, to a download button, to my itunes (offline), or a tangential path to a buzzblog, to an album review, to a poem, to a library booking system, to a book (offline).
i remember an article i read in 2010 that i couldn’t really grasp because it was written in prose poetry, about how lcd soundsystem’s resonance with the death of the author renders tastemaker blogs dead too and whether or not that make us, listeners, philosophical zombies of some kind. and i remember it because it occupies a place where i am a teenager and i am obsessed with knowingness and i want to know cool things and i collect them like bookmarks.
my ipod was stolen in LA two summers ago off my airbnb porch. i saw their shadow outside the bedroom window at night and i was going to confront them but didn’t because guns are fairly accessible in america and i don’t think that was an unfair thought to have. on it were ripped demos, rare sessions and films, and i was sad because they were all from defunct blogs that now redirect to godaddy. i thought i would one day reupload them to the internet. like i have always planned with a copy of the elusive documentary hands on a hard body currently on my googledrive.
dead links and broken images pull a layer of meaning from under old blogs like a rug you thought would alway be there. and now some of what was really being said isn’t, can’t be remembered, and resources go missing and what use is the internet and the great cloud if archives can decay. what use is restoring archives if not accessed so tangibly anymore.
i remember an article i read in 2010 and go back to pitchfork like visiting and old house, awkwardly looking into the windows while someone’s inside, which just isn’t the same. i find a 2006 review of ‘pussycats starring the walkmen’, a chord-for-chord cover of the half-cover album ‘pussycats starring harry nilsson’ (5.1 out of 10; .4 lower than the lana del rey review that called her ‘blatant artifice’ and you ‘basic’ for liking it). it’s not hate, it’s practicality - the review starts, and i already can’t really grasp what that means.
and suddenly it feels like visiting an old house via google maps satellite view, which feels better this way, looking at the 3 flattened dimensions and stretched corners like it’s been reproduced in cardboard. it makes me feel comfortable in the knowingness that i can’t look at the place i used to live in the same way ever again. i see the writer reference ‘the rat’ like every future pitchfork review to be written about the walkmen and i know where i’m looking from. a future is not a reproduced memory, but its own even if similar, even if grasping for the same thing, pinging alongside one another from the scratch pad to the long term and back again in rehearsal, retrieval, rehearsal.
the walkmen record a reproduction of the nilsson and lennon record, which is bad, is difficult to listen to, but is accurate, which makes their record good, very good in what it set out to do. you can hear the drills as their studio at columbia university is being reclaimed by the institution, as they play a poor - making it a good - cover-of-a-cover-of ‘rock around the clock’. a space decays around an effort in retrieval, and it incites a feeling that i sometimes worry is colonial, of wanting to preserve something of the memorial link that brought me from this review to a locality ten years ago. the cd came with an accompanying dvd, a lost documentary of the recording in marcata studios which feels synechdotal for the loss of marcata studios itself, maybe, i say to myself about something that was googled only 159 times the year it was released and 60~ times in the last 5 years (of which maybe 10 are me), i say to myself: this isn’t that deep, and still look for it in a search among e-rubble and link rot, disused URL and captures via the wayback machine that are dead. lessons of good permalink practice are skived in the excitement of the blogosphere. shall you uncover buzz / where dead links are? I hunt among stones until a web archive of a capture yields a URL not for a page but an attachment.
something is recovered from a reproduction, a reloading of source code, a ressurection of a place on a redrawn map, for the 10 people a year that might be (but most likely are not) looking for it. pussycats_whole.mov regained. I trace back to a teenage self who began a personal archive via the internet and back again to myself surprised with the evanescence of something as intangible as the internet. like an olfactory memory; intense, cannot really be grasped.