Hello, Brooklyn.

I'm in Brooklyn now, have been since the first of the month, enjoying being back a lot more than I'd expected to--I forgot how much of an improvement being around Angela all the time is. Well, not all the time--she's in Soho and I'm in Kensington, and while the F trip is only a half-hour, weekend subway construction doubles the commute Fri-Sun, not to mention that she'll likely move nearer to Columbia around the end of the year. But the accessibility makes a big difference, and differently than two months' cohabitation at her folks' place. There's no ticking clock overhanging anything. I'm happier overall than I have been in a while.

I haven't been listening to much music of late--I'm dreadfully behind. Moving is a lot of it. The last few days in Seattle disallowed much new-stuff playing time, and when I got here I was too preoccupied and/or restless to sit still for long. Not to mention that it wasn't till two days ago that I got online full-time at my apartment--Jason, who owns the place (or close enough), had to put my laptop specs into the web system, and he's gone a lot. Now that I'm in I've been playing catchup. There's a ton of it to do. I'll spare you the full list, which is just more data, to concentrate on what's in the Unheard playlist right this second: six mixes totaling four hours by Cinnaman, Jay Scarlett, Joy Orbison, Trillbass, DJ I.D., and Annie Mac.

All of these are at least a month old. Until a few minutes ago, they were joined by Untold's XLR8R mix, which is fabulous. The Annie Mac sounds nice, too, so far--and is, as it turns out, from way back in March. I forget how I acquired it--probably not through Nuum, which I'm pretty sure is the source of everything else here; definitely not via that Fader link, which I'd never seen until now. Too late to write about it, then--sort of the goal of all this listening through acquisitions, in some way, especially now that I've fallen behind on any number of other things.

This bothers me even though I should know better than to let it. What's left of the pop press--by which I mean music sections of papers and mags and websites as well as dedicated music pubs/sites--clutches onto "timeliness" more tightly than ever now that everyone figures it has to thanks to the Web's instantaneous qualities. This has had an insidious effect on music writing, I think, in that it's made what gets covered even more conservative than it's always been. The idea that rock that's rooted in '60s Beatles or '70s punk is somehow "timeless" is ridiculous on its face; so is the idea that something that no one was making even three years ago is untested and therefore negligible. But that's the way these things shake out--don't I know it.

Right now there are 67 items in the Unheard folder (as opposed to the Unheard playlist in iTunes), as well as a number of CDs I need to investigate sitting somewhere in my room--moving has meant I have fewer things in my immediate possession (95 percent of my stuff is in my friend Jen's basement in Seattle), but what's here isn't particularly well organized yet. (I need to get some shelving.) In the last few days, friends have asked what I think of Total 10 and the new Built to Spill, given that I'm a fan of both Kompakt and BTS. I haven't acquired either yet, and I won't for a while, because there's all that other stuff I need to get through. I haven't made matters any easier by downloading a bunch of things today--FACT mixes, a couple of albums I need to review, a few others I might or might not. Moreover, there's no professional impetus to hear either BTS or Total 10, because it's too late to write about either. As well, there are fewer places to write about them--for money, anyway, which merciless as it may sound is how I have to prioritize things. The people who asked are big fans of both discs, and I probably will be too once I get to them. But there's too much else to barrel through first.

That sounds counterintuitive to me, too. But I don't know--principle means a lot to me. I don't like living beyond my means on any level. Yet that's what I've been doing for the last two weeks: I'm owed a giant amount of money by one of my primary outlets, and they have yet to pay up. The money goes into my account, and from there I can forward whatever mail is left in Seattle--meaning in order to get paid for my other writing (all via check), I have to get paid by these guys, because moving here cleaned me out. For the first time in my life, I've been living off a credit card, the first I've ever had. (It's not even mine: it's a subsidiary card my mom put under my name last year. I took it this summer, after she'd offered it again.) It's a nightmare: I've literally had to do everything with it, meaning that instead of taking out cash from my bank account and exploring any number of places in my new neighborhood, I've had to stick to buying and eating in places that take Visa--meaning nearly every time that I've had to pay a $10 minimum in order to buy or eat something. It's more difficult, and more expensive, in every way, especially when you're living paycheck to paycheck. And it makes playing through what I've already acquired before getting to something I haven't seem even saner than usual.