Samples from Anodyne - "Such a nice twang..."

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twaNG/

  1. 1.

    a strong ringing sound such as that made by the plucked string of a musical instrument or a released bowstring.

    •  

make or cause

Tape Extracts:

Garrett Tiedemann: As iterated previously, there's always more to say. Which is not a unique realization or particularly brilliant one, but a constant that I've finally given up trying to ignore and in doing so have returned to the most familiar conduit for contemplating minutia, filing grievances, attempting to make some sense of things while salvaging a few laughs, even if I am alone in laughing, that I've known ever. 

I figure now is the link between then and eventually. I prefer to ride into the horizon. Forget the bridge altogether, let alone the toll for safe passage; especially if I am alone in laughing. 

Recording for Anodyne. Something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. Be careful they don't see the statues in the house. 

Julie Shapiro: I've been wondering myself about was what to call it because I didn't know whether to call it Anodyne again. So I settled on redux, which is of course just like speaks to the new version of it and I decided I didn't want to make a whole book with a lot of writing and images of clip art so I didn't want to call it the same thing. But it's certainly inspired by that so I'm trying to tie the two ideas together, but that felt like a hard decision actually. 

Garrett (on phone): Well that seems to be something you've really carried with you through up till now is like the important conversation of a community of making stuff and so like the participation in making things is in part to facilitate people coming together around stuff. 

Julie: Yeah

Garrett (on phone): For lack of a better phrasing. 

Julie: Yeah. No I think you are. I think you're right on. With all the crazy connect the dots that have gotten me from making the zine to doing what I do know with like a big podcast network that is a through line for sure; that sense of togetherness and community and finding common interests, common values, common missions with other people.

Garrett: You are my old friend. A distant flashlight in the icy cold of space. Wandering inspired ramblings, picking their way through.

[Intro Break]

Garrett: Samples from Anodyne Redux.

Paul de Jong: Sometimes old rage, truths that should have been told.  

Garrett: It's a transcribed sound sample, from a self-help cassette. Deep letting go. Out of my vast sample library of sound and spoken word. When Julie sent me the Redux request in the mail I was working on editing the transcribed text into poetry.  

Angeline Gragásin: So yeah. So I picked one up and then I ended up going to. She gave a presentation. And I ended up going to it. And you know making the connection because she announced it at the end of her presentation by the way you might you know pick up a copy of my zine and yada yada. And that's that's how I found it. 

Julie: I have been advertising Anodyne by mostly through Twitter, right? And it got, I've had no lack of entries but I did go to one sort of conference in New York a couple of months ago and just put a pile of them out to see if anyone would take them and do anything with it. And I only got one back so far, but it's so good. It's like one of my favorite signs ever. And the excitement of knowing like this stranger, I don't know who it is, picked it up off the table it just said for you - it was like the sign and it just said for you, exclamation point - just to see if anyone would bite. Which is a little bit how it used to be where I would leave piles of these signs and invitations for people to take. And so she might be the only person that plays along. But it was such a great sign to get back in it. You know it was it was excellent, just arrived yesterday in fact.

Miyuki Jokiranta: So stop and listen is actually a little project that I did a while ago where I would draw footprints on the pavement where I found a particular beautiful spot for listening that I you know I'd be walking down the street and I'd be arrested physically, sonically, by a space and I would carry chalk with me and I would draw footprints on the ground and then I would write stop and listen. And that would be a little indicator to someone that was walking down that same pathway to do the same. And they might have an experience similar to the one that I did.

Garrett: Starting it now, it's obviously in reflection of the last 20 years. So like, how is it different thinking about it now and how also is it different when you're bringing in something like tumbler and like the sort of digital interface and recognizing a desire to have it there while not losing the physical. 

Julie: Yeah, I know. I really struggled with does it need any digital presence. And then I thought, well that will help me because I'm not trading zines, I'm not listed in other zines so people can find out about mine, like how am I going to keep...Besides my initial Facebook post and tweet that's now pinned to my Twitter whatever feed you know how else can I get the word out so, I don't mind having them all in one place digitally. But, the prize is that everyone who contributes will actually get a paper version.

Simone Roche: I wonder if there is a little bit of this that works because it's non-digital because otherwise it's like it's Twitter right? It's just a list of things people write, you know, you may as we'll just have a 140 character limit on a on a long tumbler scroll. So I think putting a little brick in like this is like a tapestry idea you know and it's those blankets or whatever. So I think being part of a digital unit is in many ways it's not worth a curse. It's just like, if she asked me to write this digitally it wouldn't have meant the same, I wouldn't have thought about it the same way. 

And while I do, you know I had to send an email to a friend who's putting a book together for a friend's 40th birthday and I thought about it and I wrote the email and she's going to print that in the book and that's nice and I thought about it, but I thought about this, this was a different thing you know like you commit something to pen and paper and you send it off in the post. It's a little bit less immediate and it's more purposeful and I think you...I don't know. I love these collections. I mean it's still just a collection of individual's thoughts. I don't know if it's necessarily more than the sum of its parts, they're all...not that they're tied together, but maybe it is when you see the thread that's going through people. I don't know it's hard to tell, but I certainly think the analog idea of it. Brings a different approach out of people and maybe that helps the thing have more resonance. 

Julie: Incorporating all of them back. And anyone who reads the tumblr will never have, will never hold those in their hands. So I still feel like I'm rewarding the people who participate and care enough to. You know I haven't decided if I'll make extra copies for people who aren't contributing, but I kind of like the idea of the tumblr just being the signs too. And I've also decided I don't think I'm not going to fill up the rest of the zine with other ramblings. I don't actually have the time to do that. So I'm going to try to do more of a broadsheet that has like all of, more of a poster sized thing that has all the signs that get contributed back with a little bit of text to kind of explain what it is. But this one's is way more about what people send me. It's not as much about like what you know my internal musings, angst ridden rants and things. 

Garrett (on phone): Yeah, so you're a little more of a curator of other people's musings. 

Julie: Yeah. Which I guess is very consistent with what I've been doing for the last 15 years. 

Garrett (on phone): Yeah well and it's interesting because when you do, there was something about when you write it down on paper that forces you to at least in my mind you think about the words you're writing down more as if it's more permanent than what you put digitally whereas digitally it's like oh I'll go back and edit my grammar errors if I want to... 

Julie: ...or I'll just update. You know you can't. This is a one. Like, what's the one status update for this project. You can't you can't update your update.

Garrett (on phone): Right. So are you thinking you'll keep sending requests to all the same people or is the idea to try and keep going to people who haven't responded as you build it?

Julie: Yeah it's totally, I wouldn't repeat anyone. So it's just like, I think I'm going to wait and see what kind of a lay out I start working with when I get more back but I think I'll go for something symmetrical like 30 or 40 of them  per issue and always have different ones. And then hopefully you know once the first ones out and people see it there is more interest in participating. I just get it's just like it can just like live on its own, it's out there now. I have mostly sent to people who have seen my invitation and responded. But there are a handful of people I've just decided I'd love to reignite a correspondence with so I've sent them signs. Theirs will be surprises in the mail. But they know I did the old one so it won't be completely out of context and what's interesting is when I posted the Facebook thing, kind of impulsively I didn't give it a whole lot of forethought. I mean I had a vague plan in my head, but the people from that time in my life who responded you know is really...some people have pictures of old issues. My sister put up a picture of a T-shirt. You know I was like so cheap that for Hanukkah every year I'd be like here's my zine! Or, here's a T-shirt I thrifted and then went to my friends screen printing studio and made T-shirts for all my cousins you know who were like What is this. But you know some people still have that stuff. People keep stuff, so it's kind of great. 

Allyson McCabe: We sort of collectively decide what has value or what should be kept. You know, that sort of thing. I'm sure there are many many zines out there that we don't know about that will become known to us at some point, but just because somebody decided that they were important. And one of the cool things about a zine is that the gatekeeper is us you know it's not some person from on high you know hundreds of years into the future making a decision that they were significant because of X Y or Z specifically. 

You know we collectively are the judge of what's of value. So I think I think that's you know and they all represent different little micro communities and sometimes these zinees have lasted longer than the things they were attached to. You know so for example several bands had zines that were a huge part of what they were doing. Sometimes the bands aren't together anymore, but the zines still are. 

Simon:  The more stoic, mostly repressed place you know going back 50 years maybe not even that far or maybe 40 years and a lot of people you know, burying emotions and all that kind of stuff. And while in one way of course that can be really even more traumatic and really bad. But there's some kind of stoicism and just kind of parking stuff, going on with it, and you know if it rears its head again then so be it. I mean you can fix a set of shelves that fall down, but you can't necessarily fix all these things and I think the idea that you would get over things and people saying get over it. I mean I know they flippantly say that usually about something you know spilled milk but I kind of thought learning to park, learning to parallel park these issues may be a bit more benefit than the idea of getting over things.

Julie: You know, I mean it's hard to say like what impact Anodyne had in that zine world, but because I kept it up for quite a while. I mean 13 or 14 issues is a lot for that time because a lot of people started zines and moved on, just like podcasts, just like blogs, right? So you know I think like it did it kind of was like out there because it's very active. So for a little while it was one of the ones you'd hear about, was you know, I think it was listed in lists of zines you know it was in a few, it was highlighted in a few higher profile places for zines which doesn't mean much. I mean they did work, they were co-opted they became very mainstream after a while, but when they were truly more underground you know it was like a small pond. I was like a medium sized fish in a small pond so people remembered it pretty well and associated, still associate me with like doing all that. So it was fun just to kind of. I mean I think a lot of the pull back is a real, not like a midlife it's not a crisis it's like a midlife revisiting of my earlier self a little bit, which makes me feel very old to say, but I've noticed in a few ways this is happening and that is like reconnecting with people from that time.

Miyuki: How long did it take you to write yours? 

So once I'd settled on that trope, stop and listen, seconds. I've written it 100 times. But yeah there was a there was a large amount of deliberation as to whether I wanted to continue to be that person. And turns out I did. 

Garrett: Suspect a partnership between nearsighted and farsighted has obscured vision so severely though I'm not sure it has everything to do with my eyes. Somehow from this faraway planet it seems more valid than world, as distant stretches out snaps back into place. Such a nice twang. 

Julie: I don't feel the need to say the kinds of things I said back then and it's kind of a time thing. I think I'm less interested in my own ideas in that way. I'm actually just more interested in other people's ideas. I certainly have ideas and I believe in them etc. but I find other ways to express them. And. You know I guess I have all these other outlets. That's the other thing.  I feel very strategic about the way I use social media so that becomes an editorial outlet not just an update about my life or if it's an update about my life, it is disguised its editorial disguised as an update about my life and I think a lot about the kind of public. I mean I would say as most people do, but I think a lot of people don't think about what they're putting out. So I feel like I've got a kind of curated, careful approach to that and maybe that's enough and that doing this side project would just become a burden more than anything, but maybe who knows I say that and now maybe one side will be the zines and the other side will just be like you know nine point font of like crazy rantings from midnight you know writing sessions, I don't know. We'll see.

Tania Ketenjian: Everything that you post says something about you. But some things say more about you than others. And I think I was playing it very very safe. I am what might be called a stalker on social media. I don't post very much but I love looking at what other people are doing. And I'm very careful about what I post. I really want to. Today I read, I read a quote by Walter Mosley or I read an interview with the author Walter Mosley in the spring issue of The Paris Review. And I immediately thought you know I want to I want to post this on this on Facebook I think this is great. People should know this about like, you know, he's being irreverent about the choices we make as a creative person and realizing the fragility of those choices I guess. And I was like, I want to post this thing and then I kind of thought oh maybe I shouldn't and then it starts then it goes through this whole questioning and then, but then then the whole thing that you're posting then becomes far too analyzed in this way of like what does it reflect on me rather than just its inherent beauty. So that's why I try not to post too much because I don't want to be too character driven. And so in essence, the quick answer is No I did not think about what this was going to say about me or if I did I knew I was playing it so safe I knew that I wasn't taking a risk. And I like that because so much can be misinterpreted online and through text and through printed matter and so I'd rather just play it safe. 

Garrett (on phone): Alright, so we've got a few minutes left. So, with deciding to do this again, and I know we've talked about this some so I know this is kind of retreading, but I think you know speaking too about leaving this stuff out and someone did respond. I mean I think it's very much as a reception feels like a gift and that like the looking over the old ones you did like I can imagine that like getting one of them was like a gift from wherever.

Julie: Always. Totally. Exactly.

Garret (on phone): Yeah. And I think it's sort of, much the same like in the last couple years people have returned to appreciating vinyl because it feels like a physical thing. Is that partly feeding as well as your own creative need to do it, like why you want to still make a physical thing when you know it's still a lot of work even to put them up online? 

Does it make sense what I asked? 

Julie: Yeah, I felt kind of like two questions in one, but I will say that like everyone that I receive now is totally exciting. You know there's always that sort of sense before you open the envelope of what's inside. And then there's actually, I don't remember how I handled this back then. If I actually curated entries or just put everything in. I think I was pretty open to whatever came back. I'm actually a little bit more picky now and there are a few that have come back that I don't want to include. I just don't think they're very thoughtful. I think people just like dashed something off and sent it back. Now if they happen to dash something that I find appealing it might still get into the magazine, but there's sort of a line that if people...I guess the easiest way to say it is like there's been a few entries in this new batch that I'm not that excited about. And then I feel like that is where my own aesthetic taste is going to guide the actual outcome which feels as much, as much my offering as all of the people who've contributed. Maybe it's just you know 15 years of being a curator first and foremost I just can't let go of that quality control a bit. 

Garrett (on phone): At least I know, sort of in my brain, like part of your sort of artistic moment then becomes assembling them together in a certain pattern, which is very different than the metadata of an upload. 

Julie: Yeah definitely, definitely. And I should say like even though I said that earlier about feeling a little weird about most of the signs coming in pre-election, there's also an upside to that which is I actually wouldn't want the issue to be burdened by one common response to you know a new reality. And while it could be a document of a time which would also be very important, and I regret missing that opportunity a little bit, Anodyne has never been a political thing. Maybe in the broadest cultural political sense you could say it was because it was DIY and managed to make it for free and sort of stayed out of the major publishing industry. But for the most part it is meant to just be something a little bit less circumscribed by a particular tone. So at the end of the day it's probably fine that we'll have signs from before the election and after the election.

Allyson: Say for any kind of thing that you make. You know, I make the zine. There, you know you might say any zine you look at it and somebody who knows nothing about zines and is completely outside of it might be like why would anybody waste their time, these photographs they're all like photo copy that looks terrible and there's a typo here and haven't they proofread it. And oh my god who cares about this obscure band that nobody heard of you know that person is not going to get it and it can't be explained to, but for the people who it is intended, like if it finds its audience, it's done its job it served its purpose. The zine, all the zine does or the podcast or whatever the thing you're making does is all it does is it's a vehicle for delivering that idea. 

Tania: If there is an opportunity to connect, to be part of something, to say that...say someone I meet that contributed to this zine, I don't know them in any other way except for that we both contributed, then we, we're connected. We're connected in that way and I don't think there's anything more important in life than feeling connected.

Julie: You know it's hard to sort of recede for me in terms of the new issue has, it's taking longer than I thought I would just because I cannot find the time and energy to work on it when I want to. And, I think part of it is just being a parent now, having a child being a parent, as opposed to the other form of apparent, as one word. And you know that extra energy that I have really goes into raising my kid with my husband. So yeah I guess there's a little bit of guilt that's come in. I don't think people are waiting for it. They've probably forgotten if they even have sent in zines. But, I'm keeping track of how long it's taking. And so I've set aside some time, in my mind, over the holidays to actually mock up the first issue and figure out what I'm going to do on the other side of it. You know how much writing there will or will not be. And so, I'm looking forward to that. I mean that feels like a really compelling project ahead that I think I'll find some time for in the downtime of the holidays. But, yeah, it's much harder to fit around my current lifestyle both personally and professionally. I mean if I think of the hours that most of those Anodynes were made during, both written and assembled, it was like between midnight and 3:00 a.m. and you know I just I don't have that, I can't burn the candle like that anymore. 

I'm getting a lot out of this, I hope that when I send the signs back to people they get something out of it. I hope that participating, they get something out of.  l hope they like getting a piece of mail that isn't a bill. You know, this is a small, little enhancement to a day kind of thing. 

Tania: I don't know how you're going to put this all together, but I will just say that you know Julie I've said this to you many times before when I've seen you in a conference with hundreds of people around, but you really have this extraordinary ability to make someone feel very special and make someone feel like their contribution is special. And you do that in so many different ways whether it be bringing people together in a conference or inviting people into a radio project or creating a zine. And it's such a wonderful gift and you know your warmth is something that I really value in my life even if I may see it every couple of years. 

End credits:

I'm Allyson McCabe. I'm an independent reporter for NPR's arts and culture desk. I'm also the creator slash producer slash host of Vanishing Ink.

My name is Angeline Gragásin. I'm a writer and filmmaker. 

I'm Simon Roche. I'm a graphic designer. I have a side project called The Radio Post. 

My name is Whitney Henry-Lester. I'm a podcast editor and producer.

Hi, my name is Tania Ketenjian. I'm a journalist.

I'm Miyuki Jokiranta and I make radio documentaries. And occasionally head off on strange sonic excursions. 

Simon: I contributed. 

Angeline: And I contributed.

Tania: I contributed

Allyson: I contributed

Whitney: I contributed to Anodyne Redux. Is that how you say it? 

Miyuki: I contributed to Anodyne Redux.

Julie: All right. Talk to you soon. All right. Take care.

Garrett (on phone): You too.

Julie: Bye.

Garrett (on phone): Bye. 

Garrett: It's so important to support the people who insist on living their lives by their own terms, creating their own work by their own rules. Check out independent record and bookstores and comic book stores. Find things you like and let their creators know. Share them with the people you love or at least the people who would appreciate them, even if they don't know it yet. All of this, meant as vague as it sounds, depends on communication and support. Enjoy the centerfold, enjoy the tape, enjoy the fact that you have great taste in music. 

So, if you'd like to play the kids with sign game. Or already have and would like to play again. Or know someone who you think might like to play. Or need some advice. Or want a Connie Francis tape. Or just feel like ranting about the general chaos that seems imminent. Or perhaps you'd like to rave about it. Please send your comments along with a brief statement to Anodyne.

Atomic shake well publications.

William S. Burroughs (archive tape): Silence to say goodbye. 

Garrett: Thanks to all who contributed to Anodyne and this production. It could not have been done without you. Additional music and sound elements were provided by John Barner and Leon van Bokhorst

This has been The White Whale. Samples from Anodyne. 

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