So, the other night, Extreme Animals and Fortress Of Amplitude played a show I set up here in Olympia. It was pretty cool, those guys are very nice, etc. It was great. I'm not saying this up-front because I'm about to contradict it, just as my way of saying this isn't what the post is about.
Sometimes I try to look out at all the things that seem current to me, or that feel like the future, and I try to view them all as one kind of unified field. Essentially, I am looking at all of the things I like, and then I project myself onto the universe, as my way of saying, okay, I get all this.
David Wightman of Fortress of Amplitude is totally into metal and totally also playing rave music, while also apparently writing classical music for orchestras. And making CD-Rs of cheerleading music and going to grad school. He is 100% knowing what he's doing, and doing it all with total sincerity. It's kind of amazing. Jacob, the other guy in Extreme Animals, is also totally busy with a bunch of different projects but it seems easier to contextualize him and the things he's doing if that's the sort of thing you're into- you can make all the paintings and the videos and the music fit into a "Paper Rad aesthetic," rather than just being "the products of a dude with a restless, creative, mind." Maybe these Extreme Animals tours- separate from Paper Rad tours- work to recalibrate people's perceptions, to say "this is not the thing you are stealing graphic design ideas from. These are people who know exactly what they're doing. You do not know what they are doing, not really, not completely, not enough for you to try to emulate or write a paper about. The best thing you can do is get to know exactly what the hell it is you yourself are doing."
And then when they left I got a Donald Barthelme book in the mail and tried to look for clues there, you know, to try to work out what it is I'm doing, since these dudes have just connected the dots between technical metal, raves, and the internet.