Family Matters, Mediums & Psychics

By Miles Erickson

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Family Matters, Mediums & Psychics
This week I was talking to my cousin who made me aware of two facts regarding my family to which I had been previously ignorant. Fact number one: we have a family burial ground. Fact number two: the plot in said burial ground that had been previously reserved for my cousin, Tori, was given to a dog named Tango, who, from what I understand, was dearly beloved by some of my extended family. I’m going to broach this topic very lightly because in my quest to substantiate this information, I learned that the topic is somewhat contentious amongst my family. So, long story short, either we draw straws for who gets cremated or someone’s sharing a casket with Tango the dog. Speaking of family, recently my mother was called out of state indefinitely, leaving my sister home with no one to watch her. Then, this past Sunday, I received a Sicilian black hand in the mail, summoning me back to Topanga to act as a live-in nanny for my sister. I look forward to seeing you all at Mimosa and the general store. With my last day of freedom before assuming my nanny post, I went on a date. Well, I thought it was a date. We’d been out once prior, and when she invited me over I thought it was just going to be the two of us. I thought we were going to just hang out and maybe, if I was really lucky, catch the season finale of Love is Blind. (Side note regarding Love is Blind: How Shayne, a man with Ted Kaczynski eyes, who looks and acts like he drinks Elmer’s glue out of a sippy cup, has two separate women fighting to marry him completely eludes me. Anyway, I got to this woman’s house and upon walking in could not help but notice multiple people awkwardly standing around like they were trying to impersonate the ghost of a young Victorian girl who had been murdered on the same property 200 years ago. I didn’t have time to introduce myself to any of these people because the woman whom I had come to see was now walking out of her house, towards her car. I followed her and was informed that we were going to the liquor store. When we got to the liquor store, she pulled out a cart and proceeded to fill it to the absolute brim with beer, wine and liquor. I was astonished because I was now under the impression that this woman, who is 5'2” and 100 pounds, drinks like Andre the Giant. This may be a good time to mention that I don’t drink because I am a fascist, but before I continue this story, I must immediately state that the fascist thing was a joke, before my mother reads this and has a heart attack so massive and violent that her heart physically shifts over to the right side of her chest cavity. Back to the story: In all actuality, I don’t drink. I thought I had mentioned that, though as I watched her purchase upwards of $400 worth of alcohol, I became unsure of myself. If I hadn’t mentioned it before, this was definitely not the time. As you may have already deduced, in reality what was happening was that she was throwing a party, which is only made weirder by the fact that going to her house was not the original plan for the evening. Originally, we were supposed to meet at a sushi place in Hollywood but then at the last minute she mentioned not wanting to go out and asked if I just wanted to come over. The party itself was pretty routine, although later in the evening I did meet someone who claimed to be a medium. Now, because I didn’t know, I’ll explain here that the difference between a psychic and a medium is that a psychic can tell your future or read your mind, and a medium is specifically in the practice of communicating with ghosts. The medium explained to me that, in their line of work, it’s not enough to simply possess the ability to communicate with the dead. The dead are, as a matter of fact, very choosy with whom they decide to communicate through. I then said something along the lines of, “Yeah, I guess if I was a ghost and wanted to communicate with a loved one, I probably wouldn’t choose to do so through someone who’s a Republican or anti-vaxxer or something.” I then quickly proceeded to detach my foot from my ankle and ram it down my own throat as the medium explained to me that, not only were they Republicans, but spirits actually feel that we don’t need vaccines since we’ve already got our natural immune system, which is a very easy position for the spirits to take considering they are already dead. Long Distance Listening Party VOL. 4 Eyes Without a Face—Angel Olsen Drink Before the War—Sinéad O’Connor Machine gun—Slow Dive Why Don’t You Find Out for Yourself—Morrissey Summer Wine—Alex Kapranos, Clara Luciani Buckingham Green—Ween Drive-In Saturday—David Bowie Work This Time—King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard Eyes Without a Face—Marsheaux Eyes Without a Face—Angel Olsen. This week’s hot take: Billy Idol has one good song and it’s “Eyes Without a Face.” That being said, it’s a really good song and I genuinely hope you feel the same way about it that I do because there are two covers of it in this week’s addition to the playlist. Drink Before the War—Sinéad O’Connor. Choosing songs from the Euphoria Season 2 soundtrack should probably be considered cheating because that shows entire artistic integrity is based on moody faces and fire songs. Also, regarding Sinéad, you really have to respect anyone who has a section of their Wikipedia titled “controversies,” which has more articles than the section titled “musical career.” Why Don’t You Find out for Yourself—Morrissey. Generally, Morrissey and The Smiths are very hit or miss for me. It’s hard to chill out and relax when you’re listening to a song that has the same word count as “War and Peace.” But the best The Smiths songs are usually the ones that know not to overstay their welcome, and this one’s a tight three-and-a-half minutes. Also, I’m not sure entirely how to articulate why I find some of Morrissey’s (and The Smiths) music so exhausting, I think it’s because there’s not usually a lot of distinction between the verses and the chorus; it always feels like one solid block of music. I look forward to someone who actually took music theory in college explaining to me why that opinion is wrong. I can already envision my own “controversies” section on Wikipedia, with an article titled “Bad Takes About Morrissey.” Buckingham Green—Ween. This is technically the second song written by Ween to appear on this playlist, counting Tear’s cover of Tender Situation, a song that originally appeared on 1992’s Pure Guava. Ween is often characterized as a “jam band” compared to Phish or Grateful Dead, but I personally feel the members of Ween ooze a kind of unbridled creativity that neither of the other two previously mentioned bands possess. Honestly, the entire album that this song appears on (The Mollusk) is great, I’m sure “It’s Gonna Be (Alright)” will appear in a future addition of this playlist. Also, because every Ween album has a lot of weird and complicated lore attached to it, The Mollusk is widely known to be a direct influence on (and inspiration for) Sponge Bob Square Pants. The song, “Ocean Man,” off this same album, famously appeared on the soundtrack for the Sponge Bob movie (2004). Eyes Without a Face—Marsheaux. Marsheaux, if you’re reading this, I will personally use the money The Canyon Chronicle pays me to write these pieces to buy you a copy of Ableton (Ableton Music—The Ultimate Music Software) so you don’t have to use stock garage band drum machines anymore. Marsheux’s cover of the Billy Idol song is maybe the only time I’ve ever referred to a piece of music as “charmingly low budget” but its dreamy-ness value is through the roof. Miles Erickson is a recent graduate of CalArts, a published author, and currently enrolled in a prestigious, 4-year, student loan repayment program. Long Distance Listening Party’s vague intention is to discuss topics framed in the context of what I’m currently listening to. This playlist is available on Spotify, search my username, Mileserickson-354. New songs are added every two weeks.

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March 18, 2022