#169: Barrett Avner
Barrett Avner drops in to tell us about Stubbs BBQ Sauce, Experimental Metaphysics, The Yeezy Stem Player, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Barrett Avner to share some recommendations on Perfectly Imperfect.
For a decade Barrett Avner played in bands such as Royal Trux/Black Bananas, Sic Alps, and Sun Araw, but these days he’s the producer and host of one of my favorite podcasts, Contain. On the pod he dives into conspiracies with RKX Nephew, culture and society with the girls from Nymphet Alumni, cringe vs. beauty with Petra Cortright, the vibe shift with Honor Levy, and much much more. If any of that sounds interesting to you, Barrett is a great follow on Twitter. He’s working on a short experimental movie called The Specter of Finance Punk, so keep your eyes peeled for updates. Lucky for us, Barrett is here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
🌌 Experimental Metaphysics/Pamphlets by Joe Jonah Euclid
I got this book at the Museum of Jurassic Technology when I was 19. It was written by a homeless MIT grad who would staple pamphlets of prose philosophy around UCLA in the 90’s. It’s kind of a precursor to a lot of what you see on twitter these days, schizoposting, etc. I’ve always been inspired by guys like this, another interesting guy was Shea Zellweger. If you’re like me you sometimes get an impulse to exclude yourself from group activities, alienate yourself, etc. I like how committed he was to writing and posting this stuff.
🎵 Yeezy Stem Player
This is probably the only modern consumer electronics I've come across that has an alchemical, otherworldly quality to it (A close second would be those faux wooden record players w a built in CD player and clock. Those are funny.) It doesn’t do what other music players do. You can remix the songs, add effects, play them backwards, but what really makes it special is that DONDA 2 was released only for this particular piece of technology. It's a way of giving objects their purpose back, because the media can only exist in this one place. Everything feels so temporary because it can be played or seen anywhere.
🥩 Stubbs BBQ Sauce
My friend Alex Bienstock and I based our entire body of work and lifestyle on sucking down some Stubbs. There was no causality behind it at all, just magic. You don’t need a reason, just telepathic singularity. But now we’ve moved on to NONBBQ, because it became too much of a signifying subject. I drink this out of the bottle when I get stressed out. You can enter the Nubased by sucking down some BBQ sauce down by the river. I highly suggest people try doing this at least once to see if it’s something they might be into.
📚 Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
Legend has it this manual was found in 1986 by an employee at Boeing inside an IBM printer being sold for scrap parts. It outlines how the credit system is predicated on population reduction. It has a lot of charts and diagrams that show how consumers are misled by manufactured causes and events. I have no idea if this is made up or not. It could be like the Voynich manuscripts, which have basically been debunked as totally fake. Honestly I think made up documents are cool. It's all just interesting to me.
I love living in Texas. I get that maybe it doesn’t have the best reputation as a place for “creatives”, but I think the distance can be very beneficial. I like the open sky, lakes, bbq, and the people I’ve met here. What's that Leonardo DaVinci quote “ Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up”. I grew up near the pacific ocean and always disliked the beach. It always felt sad to me for some reason. A lot of people here who just kind of do their own thing. The pressure from places that demand explanations, discourse, “a reason for why you do things”, I think leaving that mostly behind has helped a lot personally.
🧘 Yin Yoga
This works really well if you have a bad back. I got a basketball injury 4 years ago and recently started doing this everyday. I like the “Happy Baby” pose. Anything knee to chest that decompresses the spine. For years I was doing the Cobra Stretch, which crushes the disks towards the lower back. If you have lower back problems, don’t do this one.
🧠 Short Moments Meditation
This has helped me a lot. Data (thoughts, emotions, sensations) can be very overwhelming. Practicing/reading this has helped me not get too invested in the sensations, which is kinda like stroking a snake, the head and the tail both lead to being bitten.
📺 The Rockford Files
This is my favorite TV show of all time. I read James Garner’s autobiography a decade ago because I became so obsessed with this show. The idea of being a PI who hardly works, drives a gold Pontiac, lives in a trailer on Malibu beach in the 1970’s…all his relationships w/ women blur the line of friendship and romance. Impossible and hilarious to me.
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