Outback Witch House S01E08: Don’t be sad; it’s what you wanted

Hi everybody. This week was better, continuing the upswing of the one before. I didn’t have a ton of time to work on the playlist but I’m pretty OK with how it turned out. There are some songs new to me on there that really caught my attention, like the Jenny Hval collaboration with… someone?? Anyway, this week’s mix was a nice combo of returning to some things I haven’t heard in a long time and discovering stuff that seems great.

I would not say it is beginning to feel like spring here, but it is starting to feel different – we’ve gotten to the point where there’s enough sun and warm(ish) days to start melting the grubby snow all over the place. In the glow of the blue light I have on, a few green stickers in here are looking fluorescent yellow. It’s wild. And the moon is enormous today.

As I work on this post, I have Donato Dozzy’s Plays Bee Mask going on in the background and this is a great one for late night tales. When we were eating unripe pears…

(Photo by me at Quincy Quarries)

Playlist (also available on Spotify here):
Donato Dozzy – Vaporware 03
Perfume Genius – Grid
topographies – This Evening Also
Tijuana Taxi – Sagittarius A*
Yoo Doo Right, Jasmine Trails – Marche
Police Des Moeurs – Premiere neige
Benedek – Doodat
Brian Eno – Distant Hill (BED)
Boy Harsher – Electric (Kris Baha Remix)
Skinny Puppy – One Time One Place
Molchat Doma – Ne Smeshno
Ghost Culture – Mouth
A Sagittariun – Minor Malfunction (BED)
Easter – Muscle
S U R V I V E – Floating Cube
Pixx – Peanuts Grow Underground
UNKLE – Do Yourself Some Good
Martin Gore – Howler (BED)
Laszlo Dancehall – Fatty Que
Osunlade – Dionne
Donato Dozzy – Vaporware 06 (BED)
VCMG – Spock
Acid Arab, Cem Yildiz – Ejma
Lost Girls, Jenny Hval, Havard Volden – Menneskekollektivet
Martin Gore – Capuchin (BED)
HTRK – Real Headfuck


Outback Witch House S01E07: I used to sit in silence, but now I make some noise

Hi. This got thrown together when I had a moment in the last few days, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much it worked in the order it wound up in. I was messing with that right up until we started things off tonight. And I would be remiss if today’s photo wasn’t of what our good buddy Perseverance is up to.

I’m going to scurry off, eat some cereal, and read Simulacra and Simulation. Excited for more crater action soon.

Playlist (also available on Spotify here):
Porcupine Tree – Stars Die
Dark Horses – Rose
Jessy Lanza – Baby Love (Kate NV Remix)
Little Dragon – Please Turn
Caribou & Jessy Lanza – Second Chance
Fred P – On This Vibe (BED)
Double Negative – Second Still
Magic Wands – Blue Cherry
MJ Guider – FM Secure
Atoms for Peace – Default
Barra Brown & Tree Palmedo – Whoa! Hey! (BED)
Body of Light – Time to Kill
Cold Cave – Love Comes Close
Depeche Mode – Two Minute Warning
Severed Heads – Seven Deadly Diseases
ACTORS – Strangers
Four Tet – Parallel 4 (BED)
Flash Callahan – Do You Know the Truth
The Avalanches – Close To You
God Lives Underwater – From Your Mouth
Beck – High 5 (Rock the Catskills)
Daniel Avery – Spring 27 (Silent Servant Remix)
Matthew Dear – You Put a Smell on Me
The Vacant Lots – Into the Depths (Cold Cave Remix)
Neon Indian – Slumlord
Panther Modern – The Ups the Downs
Four Tet – Parallel 2
Cut Copy – Future


Woburned Part 2:

(yes, this is the subtitle of the post)

(NOTE: This post does not in any way represent the views of my employer or any professional organization I am a part of. The information here was based on conversations I had with multiple current and former staff members, members of the Support Woburn Librarians Facebook group, and articles in the Woburn Patch. It is presented here with my best faith attempt to describe things accurately and with appropriate context. There is a small amount of editorializing because this is a personal blog.)

Back in July, I wrote a post on here called “Woburned” with the following tl;dr disclaimer: “A library director with a questionable past is trying to union-bust and furlough 17 of her employees not for budgetary reasons but because, in her words, ‘many skills of library staff do not translate to the digital world of the pandemic’ and an increasing number of people both in the city and in the wider library community are begging to differ.”

That director, Bonnie Roalsen, announced her resignation today, claiming the library had been “reduce[d]… to a political tool.” It is true that Woburn mayor Scott Galvin has begun to seize an awful lot of power over the library in the last month, but it may have been his best option for cleaning the mess up there. The gridlock of trustees who placed their loyalty to Roalsen above concerns from citizens and refused to comply with Galvin’s attempts to discontinue her contract–not to mention racked up countless open meeting law violations and acted with bald-faced hostility to fellow board members in multiple public meetings–might have left him with few alternatives. Still, it’s a solution that I and others are hoping is temporary. To wit, Galvin wasn’t exactly an ally to library supporters over the summer; he not only criticized the Support Woburn Librarians Facebook advocacy group for being “hysterical” but also chastised sympathetic administrators of nearby libraries for getting involved in the city’s business.

So what brought us to this moment, and why now? It has been months since staff were suddenly denied access to email, replaced with volunteers in the spring, and forbidden from running library programming (or doing any work from home at all). The volley of Open Meeting Law complaints kept coming one after the other through the summer and the fall, but it seems like the final straw was the disastrous trustees’ meeting on January 19. Members of the Support Woburn Librarians group had begun asking questions about the library’s decision to hire a public relations firm in October, filing an Open Meeting Law complaint as it appeared this happened without a quorum. When two dissenting members of the board questioned this at the January 19 meeting, they were aggressively shot down. Ex-chair Jan Rabbitt told them she didn’t ask them to vote on certain decisions because she “just knew” they’d say no. This caught the mayor’s attention in a way we hadn’t yet seen. He called it “unconscionable and unacceptable” and within two weeks, he had begun working on preventing lifetime appointments for Woburn trustees and forced Rabbitt’s resignation.

Things escalated quickly; it’s been a little less than a month since that meeting went off the rails. But this saga started back in the spring, and though Roalsen and Meehan attempt to paint a very different picture in their resignation letters (available at the end of this article), we didn’t arrive at this moment because of the “political takeover…that goes against our core values as Americans,” or because of an expectation to only “serve middle-class white mothers of seven-year-olds.” We’re here because even though the library’s FY21 budget was increased, Roalsen allegedly attempted to eliminate 17 of 25 jobs in the library during a pandemic and over 7,000 people said “NO.” We’re here because Roalsen and Meehan insisted there was no work for staff members to do while the volunteer organization that was called in to help provide book pickup services figured out they were supplanting union jobs and refused to continue. We’re here because 2,000 concerned citizens have aired nine months of complaints about everything from ADA non-compliance to substandard services for children to lacking acknowledgments of cultural heritage months to the dissolution of fundraising bodies like the Friends of the Woburn Public Library.

Put another way, we’re here because Woburn residents did not want what Roalsen & Co. were selling. They wanted the qualified staff – their trusted neighbors and community members – to be able to do the jobs they were hired for. Meehan calls this “defiant ignorance of the future, coupled with naked political agendas and cronyism.” Roalsen says it’s “a modern building without modern ideas [that’s] just four walls and rooms full of shelves.” Both appear to rely on an undercurrent of technochauvinism, invoking the spectre of automation and the “challenges and opportunities of post-pandemic America” as justification for their attempts to disempower (and dismiss) their staff.

A quick web search of Roalsen leads to a number of past presentations at Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian in which she paints herself as a harbinger of the future of our profession. I suppose that’s so if the future of libraries is Sunday hours sponsored by Raytheon, storytimes put on by gig laborers, and four walls and rooms full of shelves with no staff members around to talk to you or help you with all the new shiny tech. Refusing that vision isn’t “defiant ignorance of the future” – it’s a rejection of one person’s ill-advised neoliberal doctrine, which is itself defiant ignorance of what the community wants (and what lies at the core of librarianship, no matter how hard you namedrop Ben Franklin). And can you blame the people of Woburn for wanting something else?


Outback Witch House S01E06: I accidentally split the recording in half

I liked how this one turned out. I had a really bad mental health downturn last week and I just started to snap back into shit in the last two days or so. But I love to park myself at the edge of gothier, darker stuff and club tracks, and that’s what I wanted to do tonight. I miss dancing, but I did some in the apartment thanks to the wonder of being able to switch to Bluetooth ‘phones this week. You may roll your eyes now. But it’s better than nothin’.

I’ve got a new computer now (birthday present to myself, woo) and I borrowed some different mic gear. I listened back to the recordings and things are sounding great, except now I’m quieter, so the futzing shall continue next week.

Getting back into the swing of things and being busy is so much better than waiting around for the other shoe to drop.

(Photo cred: the usual)
First half
Second half

Playlist (also available on Spotify here):
Boy Harsher – Send Me A Vision
Doubting Thomas – Father Don’t Cry
Psychemagik – Mink & Shoes (Dub Mix)
Bob Moses – The Blame (Helsloot Remix)
Telefon Tel Aviv & Robin Guthrie – The Sky is Black
Adam Oko – Diet of Germs (BED)
Cold Showers – BC
ACTORS – P T L (Post-Traumatic Love)
Bear in Heaven – Sinful Nature
Hot Chip – Hungry Child
Holy Fuck – Deleters
Pye Corner Audio – Electric Rhythm Number Thirteen (BED – not two, Cal, but thirteen)
Ela Minus – they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.
James Holden – Each Moment Like the First
Rival Consoles – Vibrations on a String
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – CC Pad
SBTRKT & Roses Gabor – Pharaohs
Krust – Negative Returns (Four Tet Remix)
Slugabed – New Worlds
Richard Bone – Particle Thought (BED)
Young Marble Giants – Credit in the Straight World
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Panic Blooms
Peaking Lights – A Phoenix and a Fish
Air – Dirty Trip (BED)
Broadcast – Come On Let’s Go


Outback Witch House S01E05: Don’t come looking for me

The initial idea for this show was to do another mallcore extravaganza, but I talked myself out of it and decided it’d be more fun to showcase femmes doing all of the beautiful, brutal shit they do. I felt like garbage this whole week and really needed something cathartic, and this definitely helped. I love exploring the places between, say, Kittie and Lebanon Hanover.

I am in love with the Chelsea Wolfe/Emma Ruth Rundle song and I want more, please. I’m surprised this hadn’t happened before now; their voices are pure sublime magic together.

This feels a little like inappropriate double-dipping, but we had a special situation with me needing to post last week’s show back-to-back with this week’s. And of course, it’s The Tower, but reversed – “the same calamity in a lesser degree.” Fitting.

(Photo cred: Internet K-Hole)

Playlist (also on Spotify here):
Laurel Halo – Dr. Echt (BED)
Lacuna Coil – Our Truth
Kittie – Brackish
Otep – The Lord is My Weapon
Huntress – Eight of Swords
Arch Enemy – Nemesis
Blevin Blectum – Upright Locked Down
Broadcast – Bit 35 (BED)
Jack Off Jill – Fear of Dying
Perfect Pussy – Driver
Ashlee Schatze – CLOSET MONSTER
Itchy Kitty – Razorface
Alice Bag – 77
The Soviettes – Roller Girls
Amyl and the Sniffers – GFY
Blevin Blectum – Benadrilled and taking on water (BED)
Crisis – Waking the Dead
Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience
Immortal Bird – Anger Breeds Contempt
Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – The Wreck of S.S. Needle
Myrkur – Onde Born
Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle – Anhedonia
Blevin Blectum – Goth Botch (BED)
Paradox Obscur – Dark Fortress
Faith & the Muse – Scars Flown Proud (Live)
Marriages – Skin
Lebanon Hanover – Living on the Edge
Boy Harsher – Pain
True Widow – Duelist
Tamaryn – Mild Confusion
Blevin Blectum – Cygnet (BED)
Chelsea Wolfe – Flatlands


Outback Witch House s01e04: Revolutions around the sun (when the road gets too tough)

I had a birthday around the time of this show, and I’m a little late posting this because I had to borrow Chris’s computer to do it; we went away for the weekend and my new laptop hadn’t yet arrived, and the old one just needs too much life support for us to have brought it.

I’m not sure that I really set out to do anything birthday-special with this episode, but I did play a lot of songs that I just really, really like, including the Sisters’ “Under the Gun,” which is brilliant and often slips under people’s radars with that band.

The last track was inspired by S05E09 of the show Six Feet Under, which I had seen a day before this broadcast. No spoilers here, but it’s used in a cataclysmic dream sequence that haunted me for days after, even though I’d already seen the whole show over ten years ago.

I pulled the Queen of Wands reversed for this one. She’s got life blooming all over. Here in the tundra, it looks really nice.

(Photo cred: Internet K-Hole)

Playlist (also on Spotify here):
Secret Shame – Creature
Tomorrow Syndicate – Captain, I am Fading
Slow Riot – Trophy Wife
Cold Showers – Dismiss
The Foreign Resort – Obsessing
Com Truise – False Ascendancy (BED)
Man of Moon – Skin
Sara Stuttgart – Surrender
The Wake – Big Empty
Susannah Stark – Dear Beloved Friend
The Sisters of Mercy – Under the Gun
FRKSE – Farishtagi (BED)
Front Line Assembly – Bio-Mechanic
VR SEX – Surrender
Laibach – God is God
SUPERNOVA 1006 – We Can Fade Away
Working Men’s Club – Valleys
Legowelt – Revenge of the Nerds (BED)
CCFX – Venetian Screens
Icky Blossoms – Cycle
Automatic – Calling It
Skinny Puppy – Glass Houses
Four Tet – Two Thousand and Seventeen (BED)
David Bowie – Moonage Daydream
Wire – Three Girl Rhumba
CAN – Moonshake
Blancmange – Living on the Ceiling
The English Beat – Mirror in the Bathroom
Com Truise – I Dream [for you] (BED)
Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23