Ben Olson
Music & Domestication Hope lies with those musicians who resist

We need to affirm the value of music, especially undomesticated music, particularly during the social deprivations of the current pandemic. The past year has been a blur of social isolation, sheltering-in-place, and lockdowns.

The muted horrors of 2020 and beyond have led to increasingly isolated pleasures, fearful desires, little moments of secret forgetting (or seeking forgetting), private escapes that often only exacerbate the effects of being alone and afraid. In this situation, for many people, the experience of media, watching movies, reading, or listening to music, becomes a coveted refuge, a vain attempt at relaxation and respite from constant, only half-acknowledged anxiety, a survivors’ kit for augmenting the effects of collectively (though unevenly) distributed, and privately suffered, cultural trauma. But the isolation of music, the intertwining of the musical experience with our increasing domestication, means that our attempts to heal may fall short.

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Ben Olson
Anarchy and Obscurity

a review of

The Brickeaters by The Residents. Feral House 2018

In The Brickeaters, the recent novel by surrealist art and music collective The Residents, a freelance reporter—named Frank Blodgett leaves Los Angeles for Clinton, Missouri to investigate the mysterious death of an elderly man, Wilmer Graves, found on the side of a road with an oxygen tank. Compelled by the potential story, Frank tries to obtain information at the local police department and meets the secretary, Patty.

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