I remember towards the end of the nineties, that I was so frustrated and disappointed with our Social Democratic government that it almost seemed irrelevant to me (from my socialist perspective) whether they would win or lose the 1998 elections. I figured, if they were going to pursue a right wing line of policy-making, what difference would it really make if we had an actual right wing government? Turns out it made a difference. Turns out there is a difference between having a government that does not do well enough, and having a government that has no intention to do well at all (or rather, a very unfortunate idea of what doing well means). Ten years down the line, our right wing government has managed to involve us in several wars of aggression, all but erase the Danish culture of humanism in government, lose our place at the forefront of developing environmental technologies and leave us behind in our recovery from the financial crisis, compared to our neighbouring countries.

Turns out, sometimes I am wrong in my analysis.

I am so ready for change.

And we have a new government and a fortified left wing in parliament, so please, pretty please don't be assholes, this time, okay?

Portable Library of Blues II: Wild Runes

In this second installment of my series of blues-worship, I am upping the ante, broadening the scope, turning on the giving-faucet, turning the awesome-dial to 11 and carelessly burning through tired phrases in order to introduce the following: A downloadable playlist formed around early African-American blues and gospel, with (hopefully) perspective-broadening inclusions from across the world, to emphasize the psychedelic and just wonderfully WEIRD (to a modern ear) undercurrents in the music. To glorify and edify:

WILD RUNES, SEPT XI (part I) and (part II)

Note that the tracks may need to be reordered once you have imported them into your player, in order to get the correct sequence. I know I am a nerd, but sequencing is important, people!
1. Li Xiangting: Changmen Yuan
2. Jean Ritchie: O Love Is Teasin'
3. Eddie Head & His Family: Down On Me
4. William & Versey Smith: When That Great Ship Went Down
5. Ashik Feyzullah Tchinar: Si l'On Coupait Mon Corps en Morceaux
6. Turgun Alimatov: Farganacha Tanovar
7. Rev. Edward Clayborn: This Time Another Year You May Be Gone           
8. Robert 'Nighthawk' Johnson: Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down           
9. Jack Rose: Sunflower River Blues
10. Tinariwen: Ahimana
11. George Landers: The Scotland Man
12. Karen Dalton: Prettiest Train
13. Ralph Stanley: Little Mathie Grove
14. Algie Mae Hinton: Buckdance           
15. Rev. I.B. Ware: You Better Quit Drinking Shine
16. Brother Claude Ely: There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down           
17. Pekko Käppi: Oi Lumi Liitele           
18. Algie Mae Hinton: Chicken, Lord, Lord
19. Le Galant Noyé: La Jolie Vigne                       
20. Sidna Myers: Alabama Gals           
21. Blind Mamie Forehand: Honey In the Rock
22. Cecilia Costello: The Grey Ghost

The individual source albums are listed in the files, but I should also mention that I have relied heavily on other people's compilation and collection efforts, especially: and

Portable Library of Blues I

So, I really can't stand blues. Blues is one of the few broad kinds of music that can really make me roll my eyes and want to get out of whatever room I am in. At the same time, of course, I absolutely *adore* blues. It is Ur-American art. Cradle of the best and the worst, etc.
Of course I love blues, just not all blues, and I am going to start posting bluesy things that I think are unmissable. Right here. On my blog.

First up: Mississippi Fred McDowell and Felix Dukes - Motherless Children.

Science at work in the service of rock

I just watched a bit of Gimme Shelter (the Rolling Stones documentary) and a particular section got me thinking, namely the moment when a stage announcer boomed...


I think I thought "pffff, whatever, maaan... it's not figure skating." I didn't think the figure skating bit, but what I really mean is, I always have a very hard time understanding the obsession with competition and statistics in rock. I can understand it from the perspective of someone who is just interested in moving units and doesn't care what is cut into the particular records, but from an artistic perspective, I don't see the value of such a claim. Maybe I would understand it, if I understood the Rolling Stones better in the first place, but that is neither here nor there. I made a graph, trying to figure out what could have endeared the Rolling Stones more to me than the actual introduction:

rock science

I think this could be useful information to other rockers, out there. Certainly, I will keep it in mind, the next time Moongazing Hare plays live. I will not claim to be the greatest psychedelic antifolk band in the world.

Herrefrisør Saad

 This morning, when I woke up, I felt really ugly because my hair was getting so long. Then I clipped it, and now I feel really ugly because it is too short. I am willing to entertain the possibility that it is not really all about the hair.

Or perhaps I should just angry-shave my balls.

Herrefrisør Saad
Herrefrisør Saad
Hey baby... wanna read my tealeaves? No!
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David's Raw Live Birthday Goat Recipe

I plan to make this, if I ever get to compete in the finals of Masterchef Australia.


Raw Live Birthday Goat

Ingredients: Goat

1. Make sure goat is live and uncooked.

2. Wait until it is your birthday.

3. Bon ap!


Coming up next week: "Goat Three-Ways" (NSFW).


Dressing Grown-Up To Win, pt. II

...Or "How To Play the Hand You're Dealt While Completely Queering the Deal You're Handed."
I was also going to call this entry "Performing Gender," but decided against it, simply because I don't want to tie this whole thing to the wild wild horses of queer theory and gender studies and all of that frequently necessary, frequently infuriating mess of fad anthropology and partisan science. Instead of stepping any further into that quicksand, I am going to go straight to my current favourite discomfort zone: Autobiography.




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Hard things

(just a couple of bros, hanging out, with their hairs out)

I have thought about starting a series of posts about "things I have changed my mind about" or "things I no longer believe, but used to", but today I want to write about only this: I used to listen to metal, A LOT. Black metal, especially. I genuinely used to think that it was the most raw, stirring form of expression. I just wasn't that into people singing in their normal voice (why do that when you could express yourself so much more intensely by screaming?!). I used to think that a double bass drum - no frills, just pummeling away - would improve almost any song.

When I was discovering metal, as a teenager in rural Denmark - or rather: excavating it, bit by bit, is what it felt like - I could genuinely believe that there were people out there, in Norway and Sweden especially, who genuinely believed and felt what they were projecting. That there were people who would roll out of bed (if they slept in a bed at all), smear their corpse paint a little more, and lumber through the silent streets in search of beer and misanthropy. It just seemed right, considering that I myself had the sensation (being a teenager, let's not forget) of feeling Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, All the Fucking Time. I wanted to find things to that were as dark and intense and po-faced and beautiful as at all possible, and I guess I was pretty literal about what that meant.

There was a bit of a metal "scene" in the town closest to where I grew up, so there were people who could recommend things to me, Swedish death metal and Norwegian black metal, as well as doom metal from England, and there were slightly older people who played in bands that I could be unreasonably impressed by (oh, Everticum, where are you now?! :-)). So, in that sense it was not entirely a solo mission, but I do remember spending a lot of time after school, internet-researching (when our high school got a computer room with internet - this was before Google, mind you!) what it was to be goth and what industrial was and whether there were people who actually tried to live like vampires. I also sought out everything I could find about the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, the North American Indian Movement, and anti-fascist activism in Denmark, but that is a completely different story. Feeling slightly out of place, in a fundamental way, it was pretty natural to look for people living very different lives, in very different places. I still have a tendency to see other people doing exotic things (crab fishing, teaching, shepherding, anything) and imagine that they possess some kind of completeness and stillness that is still just out of reach to me, but now I think I am better able to recognize my own hand in drawing those dream images, and be realistic about them. The thing is: All these subcultural fantasies seemed pretty plausible to me, at the time, because there were no real people to put them into context! They seemed way more relevant to me, than I think they did to any of my more earthbound metal friends.

Imagine my disappointment, when, years later, I left the village cocoon and realized that most goths (like most people) are slightly stupid, slightly overweight, work in customer service and are slightly scared of reality. Also that (like most people) they look completely ridiculous in daylight. Likewise, I was genuinely disappointed to realize that "having fun" seemed to be part of the deal for both goths and black metal musicians. It was not for me, or at least I did not feel that it should be. Gradually, I drifted away from metal and came, through a series of other attempted "extreme" forms of expression to an appreciation of metal as another one of a multitude of languages in popular music.

So where does that leave David, age 30? At this point, I still find myself looking for the elusive metal kick, once in a while - all the loudness and earnestness and grandiose intensity is sometimes just what you need - but I find it much harder to buy into the sincerity of the work, or to take it seriously without dismissing it as either stupid (sometimes forgivable) or pretentious (very nearly unforgivable). Metal can be so rigidly stylized that it seems as if record production comes to resemble musical sudoku, more than expression, and it can be very hard to find the feeling of artistic necessity under a mountain of genre tropes. Instead, I resign myself to digging out old favourites and playing them in small mouthfuls, until I become too embarrassed to let it go on. I have a love-hate relationship with "extremeness" in general, and I find hollow shouting to be one of the most aggravating things in the world.

Dear people: Stop the hollow shouting! It is annoying. Love, David

As a complete aside: The reason I came to think of all this, just now, is that (a friend of Moongazing Hare) has recently released a free ep by another rural Dane, SOL, which I was delighted to find that I really liked, and was not at all embarrassed by: Black Cloud of Becoming

A couple of metal favourites:

Satyricon: Nemesis Divina (stupid and pretentious, but fucking amazing).
Ulver: Bergtatt (a little silly, but not too stupid or pretentious, and very beautiful and engaging)
Neurosis: Times of Grace (the only thing I don't like about Neurosis is that they made more records than this one, and that all of their songs and records are way too long)

Screaming wednesday flowers

 Wednesday afternoons I play with the kids of the village. I am a little surprised at how fond of them I have become in only a few months, individually and as a group. They are like little, yelling and screaming bursts of inexplicableness and colour, ready to commit to and have fun with even the silliest ideas. This week we played "the ground is lava" and "how crazily can you dress yourself up in 60 seconds."

Colourful wednesdaysColourful wednesdaysColourful wednesdaysColourful wednesdaysColourful wednesdays
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Is This the Cumming of Sumer?


"There was an old man whose despair
Induced him to purchase a hare:
Whereon one fine day,
He rode wholly away,
Which partly assuaged his despair.
Edward Lear (and thank you, Uffe!)

Once again, I have managed to finish a small collection of songs. It should surprise no one that some of the major themes are apocalypse and romantic despair. I do tend to keep my projects rather short, partly in order to help sharpen my own focus and partly because I rarely seem to have the stamina to listen to albums of more than 30 minutes. myself, unless I really dig the artist. All songs (except 1 and 7) were originally written and released into the wild by Douglas Pearce as Death In June, over the course of his long and peculiar career. My versions are published without his permission or knowledge (although I do plan to let him know), but I expect that he wouldn't mind or care about my inhabiting his work for a while. If he did, I don't think it would change anything, as it is too late for him to fully own the songs, in any case. The title and cover art are based on a vivid dream that startled me a few years back, which I have previously described briefly in this space.

I have had a somewhat ambivalent (but totally one-sided) love affair with Death In June for a long time. His work has been hugely influential to me, but I have very rarely felt any direct impact on Moongazing Hare, despite our somewhat related playing fields. Throughout the recording and preparation of this album, I have been vacillating between great satisfaction and the fear that making a cover album (and especially covering someone so ostensibly similar to my own work) is just an expression of a general lack of substance. I feel, however, that I have been conquering new mental and emotional territory by gobbling up these songs, and I feel that I have achieved, fairly well, my goal of making these songs in their present incarnation both honest and my own. At this point, I think the album as a whole represents some of my finest work.
Track list: 
1. Gather Stones or Turn to Dust
2. Hail! The White Grain
3. Fall Again
4. Despair
5. Rose Clouds of Holocaust
6. She Said Destroy
7. Worm Turn the Knife

Q: Is that your penis on the cover?

A: What? No! Why would you even say that? A hernia is a serious medical condition.

Q: Did you lie about anything, during this interview?

A: Just my hernia.

In other news, maybe it is the fact that the sky is grey, or maybe the fact that our landlord is mowing the lawn outside and we owe him money for electricity, but I seem to be momentarily out of self-esteem.