Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MILMIDMUSMIN: He Wrote the Book

Song: He Wrote the Book
Album: Southern Grammer
Artist: Hiss Golden Messenger 

Favorite Moment: 
0:00 The pounding chord progression has me hooked immediately. It serves the ultimate purpose of preparing me to hear what comes next. A gospel fanfare.  
The wailing guitar that comes in at 0:46 to echo M.C. Taylor Durham's 
vocals (if not melodically than in grit) is a close second 

Favorite Lyric: 
"I heard they made him walk
Yeah with chains upon his legs And he walked a while until he come upon that place And his true companion I think John was his name Oh he wrote the book so we could know him"

There's a genre of music, I'm not sure if it has a name, it would be at the same family reunion with Southern Gospel and Folk, but can't stand to talk to either of them for too long without needing a break. The thing that defines it is the artists that perform it. They sing the song as though the devil himself is nipping at their heels. Many of the songs of Johnny Cash's American recordings fit here, Iron and Wine takes a dip in this river from time to time. Hiss Golden Messenger's "He Wrote the Book" belongs to that genre. In fact upon first listen I was reminded of a song performed by Johnny on the aforementioned American Recordings called "Mercy Seat" written from the perspective of a man who is about to be executed by electrocution. In it he relates "I hear stories from the chamber/ Christ was born into a manger/ And like some ragged stranger /He died upon the cross /Might I say it seems so fitting in its way /He was a carpenter by trade / Or at least that's what I'm told" I get the feeling that the narrator of that song and this could be the same man. Or at least they would be men who understood each other.  They hear stories from the bible, everyone is talking about eternal consequence and now in a moment of divine importance they reflect on the bits they remember from sunday school, and stumble slightly as they frame them in the visceral and flawed world they have lived in since. I won't ramble on any longer expect to say this song is worth a listen. You can find it on Spotify or or on Youtube here. Hiss Golden Messenger has a very deep catalog and this is barely scratching the surface. I know for myself
 I can't wait to become familiar with the rest of it.

As always the illustration was created by me
If you have a song you think I should here. Free to send me a DM on Instagram or an email at with the subject line milmidmusmin

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Little Succulent

Last night I was awoken from a fitful slumber as a voice like that of a forest brook slipping  over moss covered stones called out to me.

"Scott" it beckoned "have you forgotten who you are?"

As the sleep left my vision and my eyes came into focus I saw standing at the foot of my bed a beautiful angel. His perm was tight and well maintained his powder blue shirt pressed and spotless, his beard impeccable, his jeans creased. "Bob?" was all I could manage to utter. He only smiled, and as he did I felt my heart swell and press against my ribs.

"Paint" he said. Whether he spoke it audibly or I interpreted the message through his gaze I cannot recall.

My room was then filled with the most brilliant light so that every color I had every imagined shown all at once. And then as though someone had snuffed out a candle it all was dim. And I feel back into a deep and peaceful sleep.

When I rose this morning I had an overwhelming desire to paint. And so I did. I painted this happy little succulent. In Gouache using only Viridian, Burnt Sienna and white. I'm planning to continue to try out different two color combinations this way in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of their properties.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Milmidmusmin Blueless Bird by Joni Fatora

Song: Blueless Bird
Album: Navigator EP
Artist: Joni Fatora
Favorite Moment: 
At the end of the second verse (1:32) Joni sings the phrase "I think I like it better when I sleep late past their call/ For all I know perhaps the birds don't even sing at all" and on that last line her voice drops on a dime from a flute like singing into a melancholy speech. 
Favorite Lyric:  
Tough to choose on this one. My favorite thing about this song is the lyrics. They paint such a pastel picture of a California morning in late spring.  I may just have to go with the first line in the song "Why do the birds sing so early in the dawn/ their honeysuckle melodies before my days alarm"
I was immediately drawn to Joni music from the first Casio keyboard snare hit. She has obviously has an ear for the retro and vintage aesthetic that I'm personally a fan of but there's a difference between parodying the past and using that nostalgic energy to express something entirely fresh. Joni ,for me, fits the later.
From her site: The daughter of a Sailor, Joni’s childhood carried her on a voyage across the world, always tied to the ocean. From the Mediterranean to the Sea of Japan and both the Atlantic and Pacific, her comfort lies in the uprooting. Her new five-song EP, aptly titled "Navigator," explores that unrest.

As always the illustration was created by me, in this case I was directly inspired by the music video.
If you have a song you think I should here. Free to send me a DM on Instagram or an email at with the subject line milmidmusmin