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the sidebar http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com Just another WordPress weblog Sat, 09 Jun 2012 04:51:44 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 K is for Kranky http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4406 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4406#comments Sat, 05 Jun 2010 17:23:01 +0000 Michael Kaufmann http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4406
I used to spend time in the music library at KAOS Radio at Evergreen University in Olympia Washington. My roommate had a show entitled Sad Songs and Waltzes, yes named after the song by Cake, and yes, Cake is completely awesome. I would spend all my time during his 3 hour show pulling CDs from the experimental section at KAOS. I would sit at their CD player in the library with a pair of headphones and just close my eyes and diligently listen. It was through this process that I discovered all sorts of lovely and difficult music. But there was something always very palette cleansing about the Kranky releases. Not that their releases weren’t equally challenging at times, but challenging me to breathe slower and listen deeply. There is a continuity in the catalog of Kranky that is expertly illustrated in the playlist they provided us for this feature. The music is diverse, yet it fits and flows together like a delicately curated mixtape.

I decided to look Kranky up on Wikipedia. Instead of me giving you some sort of mixed-metaphor hyperbole about the label, I felt that the directness and sincerity of the Wikipedia description was very appropriate for the music on the label. Wikipedia has this to say:

“Kranky is an independent record label, located in Chicago, Illinois. It was started in 1993 by Bruce Adams and Joel Leoschke. The bands it houses are noted for combining experimental and often electronic influences with elementsof more traditional rock structures, and many of the artists on Kranky are inspired by or revolve around ambient music.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks crowdsourcing. So stop, breathe more slowly and listen more deeply.


1. Disappears “Gone Completely” from LUX

2. Stars Of The Lid “Requiem for Dying Mothers, Part 2” from The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

3. Ken Camden “Raagini Robot” from Lethargy & Repurcussion

4. Tim Hecker “Sea of Pulses” from An Imaginary Country

5. Deerhunter “Like New” from Fluorescent Grey EP

6. Jonas Reinhardt “Near A Mirrored Pit Viper” from Powers Of Audition

7. Loscil “Lake Orchard” from Endless Falls

8. Benoit Pioulard “Idyll” from Temper

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J is for Joyful Noise Recordings http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4342 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4342#comments Tue, 04 May 2010 01:07:55 +0000 Michael Kaufmann http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4342
Joyful Noise is a sister label to Sounds Are Active, who is a sister label to Asthmatic Kitty. So that makes us sisters once-removed I think. I think that might be a sorority term. We are also neighbors, Joyful Noise is an Indianapolis based label and has made strides to not only keep the scene active, but pressing boundaries. We have to confess there is a tinge of guilt when speaking about Joyful Noise. We stole an artist from them. If it weren’t for Joyful Noise we would not have Jookabox. But then we also take pride in the fact we have sent one or two artists there way. So the score is even. We asked the artist in question to chime in on the matter, Moose?
“Karl. Karl Hofstetter. What a babe. Dreamy eyes. I think I first became aware of Karl Hofstetter in his long hair days. I probably saw his band Melk the g6-49 at Smedley’s Festivilla venue and had no idea what was going on. I probably plugged my ears. Karl’s Joyful Noise label started as an imprint to release loud, violent, heavy, chaotic, and atmospheric instrumental albums by Melk. The next thing I remember about Karl is seeing his other band Abner Trio play. Here was a band my young rock brain understood. There were words! Karl is a skilled and very tasteful drummer. I sent Karl a cd of some music and asked if he would put it out. He said no, my music didn’t really fit with his vision for the label, but he had listened to it more than once, which was rare. What a dick. In recent years, his label has expanded to include a wide range of musical styles, but continues to put out quality instrumental and heavy albums. I think quality is Karl’s main concern and main criteria. His standards have built his label into something that Indianapolis is proud of. I don’t really want to know what it takes to keep an independent label with such high standards going. Oh wait, I do know, love!”
- Moose Adamson of Jookabox


1. Hi Red Center “Symmetry Chameleon” from Assemble

2. Grampall Jookabox “Rusty Wife” from Scientific Cricket

3. Berry “Out” from Blue Sky, Raging Sun

4. Child Bite “Odd Inn” from The Living Breathing Organ Summer

5. Prizzy Prizzy Please “Lost” from Chroma Cannon

6. I Love You “The Colloquialism Is Simply “Gas”" from Bell Ord Forrest

7. Marmoset “Strawberry Shortcakes” from Tea Tornado

8. Push-Pull “Wright, Right?” from Between Noise and the Indians

9. Valina “Phantom Of My Longest Day” from A Tempo! A Tempo!

10. Abner Trio “You’re Gorgeous, Believe It!” from The Giant Crushes You

11. The Delicious “Something” from It Happened Here Comp

12. Hermit Thrushes “Snowflake Heart” from Slight Fountain

13. Bizzart “Changing Stars” from Future Stars & Small Wonders

14. Stationary Odyssey “Rib Letters” from Sons of Boy

15. C.J. Boyd “We Know Time (Excerpt)” from Aerial Roots

16. Man At Arms “Telescope” from A Waste of Time and Space

17. Melk the G6-49 “The Instantaneous…” from Glossolalia

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Do as I Do http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4332 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4332#comments Fri, 23 Apr 2010 03:21:45 +0000 David Sankey http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4332 Samuel proves his worth and shows us, and the kings Saul and Agag, the great lengths to which he is willing to go in order to ensure that he is indeed a doer and not a hearer only.

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Great Depression Part II Tip: Make Your Own Clothesline http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4204 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4204#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 10:48:36 +0000 Adam Gnade http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4204 There are not many thing I find more relaxing than watching a clothesline blow in the breeze. Yesterday I set up my own. Four bucks for the line and five for 40 pins at Home Depot. I tied two lines, spaced a foot apart, between the cattle fence and some esoteric white metal clip running along my roofline, then tied the two together at one end to raise the lower line and keep it from dipping. ‘Bout 3pm a hot breeze came in from the south and I sat back in my Adirondack chair with a jug of crappy wine and mellowed out.

Last time I did laundry I went to the warzone of a laundromat up on 7th. It was $1.75 to wash a tiny load, $2 for soap, and about a buck fifty to dry each load. End result was I washed nothing for a ton of money and my stuff came out smelling like hotel sheets. Nowadays I’m washing my own in the bathtub (with shampoo, because it smells great) for whatever four inches of water costs (not a whole lot I’m guessing because my water bill is $20 for three people and a lot of animals monthly.) On good warm days like we’re having they dry in an hour plus change and come out smelling great. Especially jeans. Jeans love a clothesline. Just make sure you hang your jeans high, because heavy denim will sag just about any clothesline.

So, yeah, this was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done but as simple as it is it’s saved me tons of money, improved the view out my bedroom/solarium, and kept me away from the warzone laundromat. Those are all great things in my book. Try it out if you’ve got the space…

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Decomposers of the Art World (Part One: Clothing Repurposed) http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4290 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4290#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:51:57 +0000 Gala Bent http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4290 I have contemplated trash many times before. In fact, it’s been a major sticking point for me since youth… since learning about the mass of it… the danger of it… the bulk. The non-human side of nature treats waste and decay so elegantly compared to clumsy man-made chemicals and plastic detritus that does not break itself down. Nature outside of man’s control reduces, reuses and recycles as a matter of course. Just think of the function of decomposing flies and worms and fungus as they turn dead flesh into vibrantly fertile organic matter.

In light of these tiny, tireless, indispensable workers, I thought it would be satisfying to highlight some human artists who have reused used things in particularly poetic ways, injecting them with new meaning, giving them a fresh life in the arena of the mind. This first article is devoted to artists who have reinvigorated used clothing.

Shannon Eakins cozies up to used sweaters donated by Goodwill Industries for an exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Robert Fontenot is midway into the project “Recycle LACMA.”   In his words:

On January 14th, 2009 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced that it was deaccessioning more than 100 items from its costumes and textiles collection. Once carefully collected, catalogued, and cared for, these items have now been cast back out in to the world. What will happen to them? Like any other useless item, they will need to be recycled or disposed of.

Recycle LACMA is a project of Los Angeles-based artist Robert Fontenot. At three separate auctions he purchased over 50 items deaccessioned by LACMA and is now trying to find new uses for these otherwise unwanted items.

The result of this ambitious project is bittersweet. If the original object was especially beautiful, it seems to demand a respectful reuse. But it was all destined to be disseminated and likely trashed… so isn’t any reuse better than a thoughtless demise?

Korean Coat (2nd reuse) from Recycle LACMA

And then there’s Nick Cave. Ah! Nick Cave. Not the musician, but the sculptor, who makes costume-totem-figures that can be worn by dancers. I like what this blogger has to say:

The Soundsuits are multimedia pieces made from items Cave has scavenged from flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales over the past two decades [...] One of Cave’s philosophies is that his creations have been works in progress for centuries since all of the materials have been made by other people from other times and other places. He wants to showcase all of the craftsmanship of these unknown people together in a new, artistic, and functional garment. I love that.

Me too.

Nick Cave Soundsuit

Christian Boltanski made used clothes into spirit-holders, while Michelangelo Pistoletto piled them up for a bewildered nude. Shannon Eakins (pictured above) and Marc Dombrosky warmed up a courtyard in Tacoma, Washington.

My final example is from the brutally beautiful painter Anselm Kiefer. “Die Welle (Wave)” hangs at the Seattle Art Museum– a massive painting– earthy, encrusted, with cotton dresses of various sizes hovering over the surface. There are no good images of it online that I can find, and it’s just as well; most art is compromised by reproduction somewhat, but a pixel-made version of a piece with such tactile urgency and indefinable presence is useless. For reasons I may never understand, the painting moved me to tears when I first saw it in person. It makes me wonder at Kiefer’s own description of his goals:

“I don’t consider myself a Platonist but I think that the spirit is contained in the material and it is the artist’s mission to extract it.”


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Alterations http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4264 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4264#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 02:13:20 +0000 David Sankey http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4264 It should be mentioned that much credit is due the dedicated, passionate folks at the IMPOSSIBLE project (further info at http://theimpossibleproject.com) for their recent introduction of the highly modifiable PX100 Silver Shade instant film.

Now, please enjoy one humble enthusiast’s oh-so-slight and ever-so-subtle coaxing along of a pair of photographs which hardly needed an ounce of help to find their truest hues.

A bit of blending. Some smoothing here, a stitch or two there, a cold compress applied… nothing, really.

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Interview: Flowerdrum Bags http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4218 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4218#comments Fri, 16 Apr 2010 10:03:53 +0000 Leanda Quinquet http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4218

Rina  Matsui-Houghton is a Malaysian-born, Berlin-based handbag designer who focuses on creating beautiful handcrafted bags of unique distinction.

I met Rina a few years ago and was immediately blown away by her drive and passion for creating awesome bags and mini carry-alls, made from vintage fabrics.

Back in 1999 Rina felt that “Malaysia was ready for a unique label with underground roots and the design-ability to be sold internationally.” She started creating hand-embroidered affordable bags, and clutches for the fashion savvy consumer.

The company named Flowerdrum bags (www.flowerdrum-kl.com) was born, and now produces lines in batches of 12. Bags are created using quality fabric from all over the world; they aren’t mass produced, they’re fresh, different and  sport stand apart, clean-cut designs, a must have for any fashionista!

More recently Rina has been focusing on commissioned work, branching out to create custom-made items for her clients. Last year in Malaysia she took part in her first exhibit of embroideries and fabric collages, entitled 6 Words: Embroidered Stories. I caught up with Rina for an interview to find out more about her interesting grass roots company.

LQ: Where did the name for your bag company come from?

RMH: Unglamorously cribbed the name from a Flowerdrum Song poster at a local theatre!

LQ: Where do you find your vintage prints for the bags?

RMH: As a natural hoarder and digger, I started out with a fair collection of vintage fabrics from my childhood (curtains, mum’s dresses) which I supplement with pieces I find on my travels at markets, etc. There are also a couple of fabric shops in Malaysia that I have been going to for years, the sort of shops where stock hasn’t been updated since the ’60s!

LQ: When did you first start making embroidery projects?

RMH: Started a couple of years ago, to explore but also as thank you gifts for friends who have supported me on my bag endeavours for the last decade.

LQ: Suhana Dewi Selamat’s 6-word memoirs influenced your work for the embroidered stories project. What was it about the memoirs that struck you?

RMH: As a lover of words and the English language, I was struck first and foremost by the brutal honesty of her 6-word essays. How they were food for thought in their simplicity. I like my words on point and how much more “on point” could you be than 6-word essays!

LQ: What do you like most about your job?

RMH: Being the boss of my own time, the flexibility to travel/take time off, the independence of only being able to blame myself for cock ups!

LQ: What do you have in store at Flowerdrum Bags for this year?

RMH: Flowerdrum Bags works in mysterious organic ways! Along with the usual desire to push the label to boutiques in foreign shores, I am hoping to work on a new embroidery project. New bags will be up soon for spring/summer and I plan to drive more traffic to the web-shop. I’ll also continue my crusade to get more people to understand and appreciate VINTAGE fabrics!

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Recipe: Kale Crisps And Toasted Almond http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4225 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4225#comments Thu, 15 Apr 2010 10:54:29 +0000 Leanda Quinquet http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4225

I ‘m on a 21 day detox and was looking for an alternative to chips for me to snack on when I get savoury cravings. I saw kale chips in the store, but they cost an arm and a leg, super expensive for a really tiny bag, so I decided to make my own.

I found a kale crisp recipe online and it called for a dehydrator sheet. I don’t have one; I didn’t have a few of the other ingredients listed either, but I did have a bunch of kale and a few tasty seasonings so I decided to whip up my own version and what a success it was!

Kale is a wonder vegetable. In plants there are over 100 different glucosinolates, Kale contains 10-15 glucosinolates, these are what cause the bitter flavour in the vegetable. They work to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver and help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances, enabling us to clear them from our bodies more quickly.

Kale is also chockfull of nutrients (over 80), including substantial amounts of Vitamins C and B, calcium and iron. It’s delicious boiled, stir-fried and steamed. I put a handful of it in a golden veggie soup the other day and it brought the soup a lovely astringent earthy flavour.

These crisps are delicious!

Great as a snack between meals, as a topping on salads, on pizza or sprinkled on hearty cream based soups. They’re also very easy to make.


Half a bunch of kale washed and chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic grated

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp of flax seeds

1/3 cup of blanched almonds

2 tbsp of sunflower seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Generous amount of black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 225°

Line a large baking tray with foil and place a wire baking rack over the foil.

In a big bowl mix the kale with olive oil and garlic, stir in flax seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper; make sure all the kale is coated with the oil.

Next pour the kale mixture onto the wire rack and gently spread evenly, don’t worry if the nuts and seeds fall through to the foil they will bake just fine where they fall.

Place tray in the oven, on the top rack and bake for 45mins – 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes to monitor how crispy the Kale is becoming as oven temperatures vary.

Once the Kale has fully dehydrated remove tray from oven and let cool for at least 20 mins. Then lift the wire rack and gently scrape the mixture (which will have greatly reduced in size) onto the foil. Once the Kale crisps have fully cooled you can fold the foil in half and slide them into an airtight container… Delish!

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I is for Important Records http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4046 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4046#comments Thu, 15 Apr 2010 01:38:45 +0000 Michael Kaufmann http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4046 Merzbow bamboo box set. I am not sure there is really anything else I need to add. If this holds little significance to you, I am not a snob, I am not going to make you feel ashamed. I will say I recommend you orientate yourself, if only to understand the boundaries of sound and noise, music at its most deep and aggressive. John Cage set up the other boundary with his few minutes of silence. Merzbow provides the other pole. Now our globe, our sphere is defined. Still plenty of mapping and exploration to be done, but we will always only have two ears. I feel that all the labels we have highlighted are important, and to call yourself such puts you in a position to be analyzed and criticized and measured by that claim. But Important Records continued support of artists who are charting their own territory, championing incendiary causes (i.e. Muslimgauze and Genesis P-Orridge), and seeking to melt minds and musical boundaries allows it to rightfully carry its namesake. Just scan down its releases and you will see such musical luminaries as Acid Mothers Temple, Jad Fair, Kimya Dawson, Noam Chomsky, Diane Cluck, Wolf Eyes, KK Null, Mars, Lee Renaldo, Vanishing Voice, Pauline Oliveros, and Smegma. It is like a crash course syllabus on the underground creativity that is the life-blood of avant-garde music. Yet, somehow, simultaneously with all of these noise makers the catalog is full of a cinematic richness that could be plundered by any forward thinking documentary filmmaker. I hear the soundtracks to high school wrestling team exposes, Egyptian country music karaoke road trips, deep sea diving addiction, thimble collectors, secret societies for anti-corporate behavior, and yarn bombers. In other words, the music provides a catalyst for creative thinking, for dreaming, for envelopment. www.importantrecords.com

1. Cave “Made In Malaysia”from Psychic Psummer IMPREC247

2. Dan Friel “Ghost Town Pt. 1″ from Ghost Town IMPREC187

3. Grails “Take Refuge In Clean Living” from Take Refuge In Clean Living IMPREC190

4. Guano Padano “Epiphany” from Guano Padano IMPREC271

5. Julia Kent “Templehof” from Delay IMPREC149

6. Chieko Mori “Spiral Wave” from In The Garden Of Forking Paths IMPREC162

7. Alessandro Stefana “Poste E Telegrafi Blues” from Poste E Telegrafi IMPREC138

8. Risil “There Has To Be” from Non Meters Vol 1 IMPREC218

9. Larsen with David Tibet “Pt. 3″ from Abeceda IMPREC129

10. XXL (Xiu Xiu & Larsen) “King Of Koalas” from Spicchiology? IMPREC130

11.Kurt Weisman “Spiritual Sci Fi” from Spiritual Sci Fi IMPREC150

12. Christina Kubisch “Homage With Minimal Disinformation” from  Invisible/Inaudible: Five Electrical Walks IMPREC167

13. Beequeen “The Edie Three Step” from  IMPREC177

14. Rivulets “You Are My Home” from You Are My Home IMPREC109

15. Asa Irons & Swaan Miller “Abacus” from Asa Irons & Swaan Miller IMPREC143

16. Piano Magic “Saints Preserve Us” from Part Monster IMPREC151
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Part Four: The Things We Carry With Us–Tour Edition http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4129 http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/archives/4129#comments Wed, 14 Apr 2010 10:17:44 +0000 Adam Gnade http://sidebar.asthmatickitty.com/?p=4129 Varying the theme a little here, I’m always interested (and entertained) by the vast differences between the stuff you pack for a trip and the stuff you end up bringing home. Unpacking from an overseas tour this morning this is what I pulled out of my bags…

From inside small green canvas bag reading “GNADE”

–Other bands’ merch (three Daniel Johnston tour shirts, three CDs. Five Youthmovies shirts, three CDs.) Acquired on tour.

–Two cans of TamTad stuffed Turkish vine leaves (yaprak sarma). Bought at a shop below the flat I was staying at in Crouch End, London. Caused a major security blowup when I took these through customs in Amsterdam. “Why you bringin’ leaves tru cust’ms, mate?” “They’re not leaves… it’s food. Canned.” “Why you bringin’ leaves tru, mate?” Etc.

–Plastic jar of vegemite. Acquired on tour.

–Various clothes (white hoodie, wool scarf, black “Portland Road” baseball cap, three pairs of jeans, brown parka with new bloodstains, underclothes).

–Wallet ($280, 30 UK pounds, Chinese money, one euro, bank card, Oyster Card, Travelex receipt for money change, temporary driver’s license, Crouch End London post office receipt for money change, two Forever Stamps).

–US Passport.

–Oyster Card slipcase (with extra bank card, Dillion’s Plus Shopper’s Card, AAA card, SS card).

–Various boarding passes.

–Notebook with the word “Music” on it.

–Books (Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, front cover caked with dried blood). Book recommendation: the Didion one. All acquired on tour except the Joyce.

–Small digital camera. Mostly unused. Twelve tour photos.

–Bag of 1″ buttons leftover from merch box.

–Two tap lights (used as merch table lights). Tour recommendation: You know how some clubs don’t supply 1) lights for your merch table. 2) Outlets to plug your lights into? Tap lights are great because they’re battery powered and you can write your prices on their faces. These were  a lifesaver.

–Copy of Beach House’s Teen Dream. Acquired on tour.

–Copy of The Sun (Tuesday, March 30) with naked pictures of Peaches Geldoff and a lot of terrible murder stories. Acquired on tour.

–Various toiletries.

–Two blue Sharpies.  Acquired on tour.

–”Get out of Hell Free” card. Acquired on tour.

–Tiny plastic alarm clock (alarm broken.)

–Receipt in Dutch from Amsterdam airport gift shop (for tea, chocolate, water bottle).

–Box of tea. Box of chocolate. See above.

–Two orange guitar picks, one gray. The English call them “plectrums.” I like how it sounds but I could never actually say it.

–Various tour remedies (B-12, multi-vitamins, Xanex, Benadryl).

–Brochure from the Celeste Boursier Mougenot Curve Art installation at the Barbican in London. This one was incredible. A room full of mic’d and amp’d instruments and African zebra finches flying around free. The music the birds made when they pecked on the guitars and lifted up off the strings or nested on the pickups was like the best mellow noise record you’ve ever heard. Check it out right here.

–Notebook with cutaway inside for short pencil. Acquired on tour.

–Headset taken from airline.


–Two rechargeable AA batteries for camera.

–One large red marble bought at a farm in Oxfordshire.

–Small rubber goldfish with big terrified eyes.

Inside black guitar flight case

–Four-string acoustic guitar with gold paint pen scrawled all over it.

–Gray wool gloves with skull print.

–Dean Markley ProMag Plus pickup for plugging into a DI.

–Yellow guitar strap soaked in beer.

–Customs form.


–Two sets of strings.

–Kyser capo.

–Various pages of lyrics.

–One more Daniel Johnston CD.

See the first, second, and third installments of the series here, here, and here.

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