Apartment Poetry, Washed Out, Boards of Canada, Scandalbra, Syria, and Facebook Addiction / by Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Hey there. It's been a while. As I already dedicated one post on this site to excuses for my silence, I'll just try to make this good.

Three talented poets and former classmates—Jack Snyder, Bryan Koen, and Mike Walsh—and have launched a fantastically clever poetry journal, Apartment, and I highly recommend checking it out. Their first issue features the works of Ben Doller, Meg Ronan, Rob Halpern, Brian Henry, Eric Suchère (translated by Sandra Doller), and Matthew Henriksen. The authors' poems inhabit one of the six apartments on the site. The innovative concept is more than matched by its content. Seriously, even if you aren't really into poetry, I recommend giving Apartment a chance. That way you can tell inquisitive coworkers next Tuesday that you read some poetry this Memorial Day weekend. You'll come off as both artistic and deep, which people rarely do after a long holiday weekend.

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Over the last year or so I've probably asked my girlfriend Lauren a hundred times if she's heard anything about a new Washed Out album—and yesterday she passed along some of the best news I've heard this year: Washed Out are readying the release of Paracosm, due out on 13 August. At the moment there appears to be only a "trailer" for the album, but I'm hoping that there will soon be a single—and where there are singles, there are b-sides and remixes, and I imagine those should get me through all the long, humid summer days separating me from Ernest Greene and company's new record.

And as if the news of the upcoming Paracosm hadn't already made this the "best summer ever," Jagwar Ma (10 June), Sigur Rós (18 June), Weekend (23 July), Crocodiles (20 August), Holograms (3 September), and Placebo (17 September) are all releasing albums this summer, and Koreless (who my girlfriend also turned me onto), the National, and Dirty Beaches all dropped albums this week. And if that wasn't enough to make this one hell of a summer for music, Boards of Canada are breaking a seven year silence with Tomorrow's Harvest, due out 11 June. They've also finally let slip a track from the album, "Reach for the Dead," which Pitchfork has paired with the album's "trailer" in their short piece. (When did album trailers becoming a thing?) 

Sadly, not even the promise of so much quality music could do much for Barack Obama's mood of late. Poor Barry's been rather caught up in what I have trademarked as a "scandalabra." The Atlantic Wire has done a fine job of summing up what they've chosen to call "Scandalmania." (As soon as they see "scandalabra," I'm pretty sure they'll regret not having offered me a job. I'm still interested, Atlantic Wire. You know where to find me.) We'll see if Obama can have a scandal free Memorial Day weekend. Vegas says the smart money's on "no." At least Obama's drone speech seems to have gone over well.

If you find yourself with some time on your hands over the long weekend, I recommend giving the New York Review of Books' David Bromwich's article "Stay Out of Syria!" a read. The article responds to Bill Keller's lengthy Op Ed column in the New York Times, which simultaneously admits a "humbling error of judgment" in supporting the Iraq War, yet pushes for American military involvement in Syria. Bromwich's piece is well worth your time and attention, and is intriguing the entire way through.

And spending some time reading about Syria has to be better than being a 14-year-old addicted to Facebook, right? I wonder how long until all of our inner children start to look a bit like this poor girl.