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Distance, Friends, and Late Nights
a stillness
02/05/16 at 05:18 AM by jkim4007
fevered last words hint at further grief to follow suit
I left the room in shell shocked rhythm
shifting to stay within the walls

an electric bus a shut down park ride
the ghosts of kids in straightened suits
still working to stand up straight
and not stare at the wrong things

our conversations in street lamp light
reflect into subdued early morning walks
words morph into what i wish they'd been
a distant laugh fades into ambience

your voice in new york carries traces of fictional existences
projector patterns on floors of warehouses
rush hour traffic like i imagine it
the rivers become the teenagers that died in the night
so we could feel alive on our morning drives
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stuff, more stuff, and lists
01/07/16 at 02:23 AM by jkim4007
i turn 18 in <two weeks. three weeks ago i graduated college (i'm now one step closer to dropping the 'aspiring' from 'aspiring physicist'~)

hands down my deepest regrets over the past six years involve not opening myself up to people (esp. people my own age) and thinking that my academic/life situation was something to hide from people.

2015 was a really bad year for me, and i spent most of it being sad about being seventeen, and now soon i won't even get to be sad about being seventeen anymore. i feel like i put a lot more weight into age than most people, but it's because it's been a characteristic that other people defined me by for the first eleven years of my life (that _-year old that can do [college math thing]), and a characteristic i felt was my primary barrier to connecting with people for the past six. i was wrong, but now it's all done. whatever.

the best moments of 2015 were conversations, songs, and shows. i made a lot of things happen for myself that i'd been fantasizing about for literally years, but never had the ability to turn real (because of various brain problems + other things). i joined what was at one point my dream lab. i designed and carried out my own cog psych research. i made good friends on campus. i wrote six songs (a step up from 2014's two, and a huge step up from 2013's zero). i played in front of people for the first time (and fucked up terribly, but it's okay). i recorded in a place not my bedroom for the first time, with v talented people. i got straight A's in my last quarter (better late than never?). i got to spend hours talking about particle physics with my crush (the physics preceded the crushing). i took the p*tnam and solved two problems having taken no upper division math at all and no lower division math in the preceding two years. i saw nana grizol at my favorite space in the world. i saw my favorite band play my favorite song (life highlight). i tried to be a good friend and i think in some ways i did well.

despite all this, i wanted to die really badly for the better part of the year. i still want to die really badly most of the time, but i'm really glad for the things that did happen.


albums, 2015
1. the sidekicks - runners in the nerved world
2. young jesus - grow/decompose
3. snow roller/sioux falls - fadeaway
4. all dogs - kicking every day
5. adult mom - momentary lapse of happily

6. jeff rosenstock - we cool?
7. waxahatchee - ivy tripp
8. all get out - movement ep
9. the mountain goats - beat the champ
10. benno, va - antwerp

11. xanax tomboys - xt3
12. modest mouse - strangers to ourselves
13. all time low - future hearts
14. sufjan stevens - carrie & lowell
15. someone still loves you boris yeltsin - the high country

lone honorable mention
unlikely friends - solid gold cowboys

albums i didn't spend enough time with, 2015
laura stevenson - cocksure
antarctigo vespucci - leavin’ la vida loca
elway - better whenever
high dive - new teeth
desaparecidos - payola

albums i heard for the first time this year that did not come out in 2015
1. modest mouse - this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about (1996)
2. built to spill - there’s nothing wrong with love (1994)
3. sioux falls - lights off for danger (2014)
4. attic abasement - split with nod (2014)
5. the mountain goats - the life of the world to come (2009)
6. fireworks - oh, common life (2014)
7. carissa’s wierd - ugly but honest (2000)
8. okkervil river - black sheep boy (2005)
9. settling - for now (2014)
10. papayer - boo (2014)

best shows, 2015
nana grizol @ vlhs (12/12)
the swellers final show @ chain reaction (4/4)
fireworks final show @ chain reaction (8/15)
the hotelier @ troubadour (9/8)
the mountain goats @ mayan (6/3)
the menzingers @ echoplex (11/8)

MOST STOKED FOR 2K16: the hotelier, cymbals eat guitars, infinity crush, attic abasement, sioux falls, dead to me (for the third year in a row btw), game of thrones s6
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12/16/15 at 04:21 AM by jkim4007

Summer wind's a Saturday
All our years spent wide awake
Seventeen just takes away
But I'll be fine

Summer wind in our garden state
Coming up in cold worlds I try dying
You said it takes a while
It takes a while to get right

I felt you all at once
I feel like everything all at once --
Your hands are somewhere near and far
Time starting to come down
I swear I'm not myself when you're around

Our former selves passing
Your vacant stare holding
The hallway length contracting
Let me in
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the space in between
10/02/15 at 12:43 AM by jkim4007
fall asleep under fluorescent light
"tell me how you lost your mind"
instead you'd stutter a smile
and tell me nothing good
comes from sitting around scared
so i am tearing down time
to build in its place
an open space
where years don't feel so breathless
that will last
past when there's nothing left to live for

in the early morning dull pain
we leave every ancient resolve
of distant time and closeness
and forcing wide open
you are endlessly a story
you change just when i feel
like i've found you

the space between us closes
and everything comes flooding
out through newly opened doors
mend the walls i punched
till my knuckles turned raw
and the times you let all of yourself out
formless and messy and hurting
we don't know what we are doing
but we try still

i am not what you have in mind
or the first drafts i slurred out
once too tired to form thoughts

i am the people i repel
the summers slept through
an endless desire to end
the angles we're encased in
the lights we live under
i love you with the same force
that pulls me apart every night

sep. 30 / oct. 2 / oct. 8

part two of http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=3434681
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the undone
09/18/15 at 12:04 AM by jkim4007
you let me stay up all year long
i was waiting for a chance to feel
our eyes blinked in turns tracking time
but missed it in the morning

we dream in circular truths
always on the other's other side
i gave up hoping they'd converge
after too long of a while

now i travel between disappearing
and hearing you speak to me
it takes a while to get moving
but i always end up where i'm going

i want to hear you speak
you'd tell me seams aren't meant for lasting
but if the rest of me starts unraveling
would you help me mend?
would you help me feel again?
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i dreamed i love you
09/13/15 at 02:02 AM by jkim4007
i feel raw and bitter
you feel cold as winter
we speak through see-through walls
take forever to say nothing at all

i feel hated and i don't blame you
i am years of layered paper
to seal old wounds that refuse to close

hold me close / make me small
keep me safe / say you care
let me hate and tear it all apart

forget to speak / remember to breathe
lose weeks of sleep
always waking up

i feel lost and lonely
like i left my body somewhere strange
and i'm digging deep for reasons to go outside
and not feel their stares skin me alive


written in a gym in the early hours on september 12 for my one & only (okay maybe not) crush
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2014 end of the year list, re-done
08/26/15 at 01:56 AM by jkim4007
1. the hotelier - home, like noplace is there
2. cymbals eat guitars - LOSE
3. nana grizol - nightlights i-iii + tacoma center 1600
4. sioux falls - lights off for danger
5. attic abasement - split w/ nod
6. antarctigo vespucci - soulmate stuff
7. settling - for now
8. adult mom - sometimes bad happens
9. pill friends - fade into nothing*
10. mitski - bury me at makeout creek
11. papayer - boo
12. fireworks - oh, common life

original list

honestly 2014 was an awful year for me and a lot of good records have been ruined for me bc of their association with months of chronic boredom and feeling worthless and stuff (e.g. mitski)

*they're terrible racist/transphobic/sexist people and i didn't know it when i first found their stuff, don't listen to them
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"having forgotten how to use their bodies"
08/18/15 at 02:36 AM by jkim4007
in poems we fall under creatures of myth
i'm sorry he punched you till you couldn't see straight
well every time i feel like shooting up schoolyards
i remember the ways he showed me his love

the things that i tell you refuse to add up
so i lie so you won't think i'm telling you lies
and scribble i can't i can't i can't i can't
i will feel this for the rest of my life

in movies the kids diffuse themselves freely
they climb over fences and talk about trust
and i sit alone in five am screen light
try hard to remember where i put these last months

(she says we'll forget how to use our bodies
but i don't think i was ever taught how
bodies work or how to use one)


first (and hopefully last) pop song i will ever write
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differential grey
07/09/15 at 10:05 PM by jkim4007
the new pills brought dreams
through carpal tunnel vision
trespassing empty factories
in another life, we'd both still be in high school

vector field street grids
and all those movements
i feel every moment i've ever been
blur into a wilderness
somewhere out of existence
parking lots of Midwest strip malls
preceding snowy plains
that extend forever

the miles just to reach
on muted green roadsigns
the wait just to live
i've spent years standing in lines
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winter in two harbors
03/06/15 at 03:54 PM by jkim4007
sleep in some no one's front yard again
westbound fall wind cracking skin
things we thought we left behind
crack what's left of our will to live
i'm falling through them all

the stares of passing strangers
tell us what we already know
i watch you pick pockets
let you steal my smokes
fall in love

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albums of the year, 2014
01/06/15 at 07:08 PM by jkim4007
brief blurbs for the top five here: http://stealingsailboats.tumblr.com/...-the-year-list

1. The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is There
2. Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE
3. Nana Grizol - Nightlights I-III + Tacoma Center 1600
4. Antarctigo Vespucci - Soulmate Stuff
5. Mitski - Bury Me At Makeout Creek
6. Antarctigo Vespucci - I'm So Tethered
7. Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties - We Don't Have Each Other
8. Yellowcard - Lift a Sail
9. The Menzingers - Rented World
10. arrange - Their Bodies in a Fog
11. Nouns - Still
12. pill friends - fade into nothing
13. Small Wonder - Wendy
14. McCafferty - BeachBoy
15. Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
16. Adult Mom - Sometimes Bad Happens
17. Frankie Cosmos - Zentropy
18. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Christmas Island
19. Junior Battles - Rally
20. Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra - Well Soon
21. Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds*
22. S. Carey - Range of Light
23. Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
24. Sundials - Kick
25. Turnover - Blue Dream
26. Lee Corey Oswald - Regards
27. Two Knights - Shut Up
28. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
29. Self Defense Family - Try Me
30. Say Hi - Endless Wonder

*would probably be a lot higher if i'd listened to it more than four times.

releases I enjoyed but didn't spend enough time with to rank:
Two Humans - Institute of Living
Julia Brown - An Abundance of Strawberries
The Bilinda Butchers - HEAVEN
The Holy Mess - Comfort in the Discord
Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs
Jordaan Mason - No Dictionary
Brett Adams - The Acoustic EP (this came out on December 22 and I only found out about it the other day. big bummer, would have def made my top 12)

a link to a playlist of my 50 (really 53) top songs from this year, limiting to one per band

aaaand a link to my 2013 list, which i still feel very good about. i would probably add Elvis Depressedly - holo pleasures and Sundressed/Days of Light Gravity - Banana Split to the EP list and change around some of the album rankings, but apart from that i still stand by it.
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"be real"
12/16/14 at 04:11 AM by jkim4007
I search for safety somewhere in you
to hold me, to ground me
to not let this slip away
six am light seeps slowly in
weaving its way between shutters
we wrestle with morning

in the quiver of your voice i hear
lives that fell apart in the smallest moments
and the people they belonged to
spent the night unraveling themselves
letting their fragments loose
hoping some sadness would come out too

through the blur of water
the lights stretch on for years
i stare into your soul and it stares back
for once not crushed by the things we build
to protect ourselves from everything else

wrote this a month ago. might as well post it here as well.

Tags: lyrics
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initial impressions/track-by-track
01/16/14 at 03:13 PM by jkim4007
Track 1. Absolutely brilliant and undoubtedly the best song on the record. It’s also better than any song (that I listened to, at least) released last year, except maybe Montreal. Also, the comparison only struck me on my fifth or sixth listen, but it’s reminiscent of Track 5 from their last release.

Track 2. Much more accessible in the context of the album, and now I understand why it was selected as the single of sorts. It’s like a synopsis of everything else.

Track 3. Haha I hate to do this, but this is precisely what the follow-up to Listen & Forgive should have sounded like. CH sounds similar to Joe Boynton here, and CM's backup vox remind me of Tim Landers’. The only complaint is that it feels slightly awkward sandwiched between 2 and 4.

Track 4. I thoroughly enjoyed this when it first premiered, but after listening in the context of the record, I think it would benefit from a faster pace. Still great.

Track 5. Stellar. Second best track on the record. I love the dive into hardcore territory in the second half that takes what is otherwise one of the softer songs here and propels it to new levels, breaking many unspoken formulas for ‘emo songs’ and ‘hardcore songs’ and ‘punk songs’ in the process. Very few bands can pull that off, but they executed it perfectly.

Track 6. Two minutes of post-hardcore in the vein of Touche Amore and La Dispute. Holy shit, dude can scream (which we all knew from Title-Track, but still). It somehow manages to sonically deviate from the rest of the record while still fitting in thematically. That is all.

Track 7. [Redacted].

Track 8. (I wonder if the title is a reference to a song off their debut EP). Reminds me of another record/band but I can’t place my finger on which. A great song in its own right, but not salient enough given the quality of its neighbors. The chorus is what saves it from being overshadowed.

Track 9. …..Holy hell, dude can sing. Channels a bit of in the first verse, then decides to semi-literally reach for the stars in the second one (seriously, how high was that note?). The dual vocals in the chorus add so much. Also, man, what a way to end a record. Fantastic closer.


I hope lots of people hear this album and love it and tell their friends. I hope this band blows up. The timing seems pretty perfect for that to happen, especially now that ~”#emorevival” is getting semi-mainstream coverage and they pretty much got a free pass into the genre.

I’d give it a 9/10 after six or so listens. Might morph into a 9.5 or revert to an 8.5 as I delve further in. The opener will probably end up as one of the best songs in its genre this year. The record as a whole is less immediately accessible but also objectively stronger than their past work.

(As a punk kid at heart, I will say that I was slightly disappointed by the lack of a Holiday-esque double timer. But that’s more than made up for by the thirty-seven minutes of pure awesomeness).
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RIP Aaron Swartz
01/13/13 at 12:41 AM by jkim4007
I'm normally an "observe at a distance" person when it comes to politicizing something. After all, what's the point in reiterating arguments that have been made countless times? But something about this is different. I've posted about it all day on my blog, and I wanted to get all of that down in a cohesive and singular entry.

Someone dies unjustly. A part of the population tries to do something about the reason why that person died unjustly.

It seems pretty fair to me, but those would like to retain the status quo while keeping their conscience clean scream out “stop politicizing!!!!” and “let his family mourn in peace!!!!!” It's a tiring rerun of what happened in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, when some claimed that the tragedy should not be used to advance gun control. But telling the world NOT to do anything is still politicizing, it’s just politicizing in favor of the status quo.

I'm sure news stations and websites will make a spectacle out of this story and start on that soap opera path of….”Oh, were drugs responsible? What about mental illness? We heard he was very introverted!!!!!”. In fact, it's already begun. And that makes my blood boil. People don't seem to grasp what has happened here. We lost a genius. We lost someone who could have turned Internet politics around, among many, many other things. We lost a rarity, and a much needed one. And we lost him to a judicial system that bullied and harassed him TO HIS DEATH for a case that the so-called victims didn't want to prosecute him for. And to all the people who are condemning him for taking the "easy way out": what would you do if you were facing 35 years in prison as a convicted felon for a crime that was the cyberspace equivalent of trespassing?

I was pretty surprised that very few people were talking about this, then I realized that very few people on the internet give a shit unless a story is packaged nicely into a neat, easy-to-read post, complete with emotional pandering and loose ties to social justice. Gun control, health care, let's go nuts! The second something becomes slightly more difficult to decode and loses its emotional appeal, everyone falls silent. But how? How can you not give a shit? Is it because none of you would ever be brave enough to do what he did, therefore this doesn't affect you? Can you possibly be that naive?

What happened today cuts me to the fucking core. We, as humans, love to bask in the glory of our species. In fact, that is one of the most common and least intelligent arguments against things like veganism, or staunch animal rights activism. “Humans are superior because, well, look.” Humans have, to our knowledge, gone further than any other species before us. We are dominating the world and have filled it to the brim with our technology. We have harnessed electricity, and are on our way to becoming a Type 1 Civilization. We transport ourselves at speeds that are a thousand times larger than those of our body parts. In short, we are, it would seem, incredible creatures.

Except we’re not. The use of the collective pronoun is wrong. The vast majority of the population, and that obviously includes me, is no more intelligent, and no further progressed, than the ancestors that came before us tens of thousands of years ago. We are basking in reflected glory. The advances of humanity --- these incredible, incredible inventions and discoveries and trains of thought verbalized into books --- are the work of a few extraordinary people scattered throughout human history. That makes it all the more incredible. Humans have progressed solely due to the genius of a tiny fraction amongst us. Isn’t that unbelievable? The rest of us? We’re exploiting that genius, and claiming credit for it.

There’s not exactly anything wrong with that. You can patent an invention, but you can’t patent being extraordinary. You can’t patent progress, or the glory and the self esteem and the feeling of superiority that comes with it. I mean, can you honestly wrap your head around the fact that the only thing that separates you and someone from 2000 BC is progress that you had no part in? Maybe you can, but I can’t. It’s terrifying to think about. And I know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t start this post just to point that out, even though it’s been on my mind for as long as I can remember.

Aaron Swartz was one of those people. He belonged, at least in my opinion, to the extreme end of the bell curve. We desperately need more of those people, and we always have. These are the people who go south on a northbound highway, and win out the majority, because it turns out, that northbound highway was actually southbound. But a bell curve remains a bell curve, and that’s the curse of statistics.

It makes me want to go out and do something. To be a better person and contribute ANYTHING to making this hellhole of a world a slightly better place. It makes me want to stop living a shallow life and start speaking up instead of biting my tongue at the best moments. It makes me want to try and crawl my way to the other end of the bell curve.

In memory of Aaron Swartz, please go sign this petition and download these files from BitTorrent. Those files are what he died for, whether or not he intended to make them public. They contain tens of thousands of scientific publications that are normally available at up to 19$ PER PUBLICATION. That’s extortion, and someone else has continued Aaron's legacy by putting them on TPB for free, and with his name attached (let's hope we don't have a repeat on our hands). Scientific knowledge should be public knowledge, and available for free to the human race, but that’s only a tiny fraction of what’s going on here. As for the petition, it speaks for itself.

tl;dr RIP Aaron Swartz. You made the world a better place, and I have no doubt that if you had lived on, you would have continued to do so.

Links that do a better job of saying what I just said:
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