Straggly Recordings of Live Shows

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I was wondering yesterday if I’ll ever mosh again. Or, more to the point, if we’ll ever mosh again. Will the pit ever open UP? By the time the pit does OPEN UP, will my old frail bones (and fully developed mind) be comfortable colliding with the youths at some half-assed punk show? (Do I have to do the thing where I go, “Obviously this is low priority”?) Ahem: Obviously this is low priority.

But I was thinking this was because I don’t—and never did—really like moshing. I wouldn’t choose it. It often happened, and I was there, and then you’re moshing. A lot of going to live shows was basically like this—a collection of not good but very fun stuff: your favorite artist reduced to the quality of LOUD; new friend, call him stranger A, sweating on you; paying $7 for a beer that tastes like plastic.

Do you miss that too?

If so, I’ve been finding a balm in scratchy live performances of artists I like. I find in them a dose of the unexpected. And, as I live increasingly online, I find in them a respite from ill-fitting perfection in the optimized spaces I traverse digitally.

One of my favorites for this is Ryley Walker—an artist who uploads a ton to Patreon. You can pay a few bucks and join me. I’ve enjoyed “Live at Shibuya 7th Floor, Tokyo, Japan” and “Live in Paris @ Mona Bismarck American Center June 1 2017.” Walker interlaces his songs, sometimes long acoustic riffs, with chitchat that I find amusing. It’s nice to hear a human, you know?

Or you can listen to a few examples of Bob Dylan singing terribly, which I enjoy. Here’s “Pancho and Lefty,” and this concert from 1984 has horrific quality, and he just stops playing a song at 19 minutes for no reason. Great. I don’t want to be fully pleased at the moment. For me, there’s a certain cheeriness in seeking out the random and slightly broken but tolerable.

That’s the good news I got for you. Sorry, the real news is…hard to mine at the moment.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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