Radio Quarantine: Nation of Language – Introduction, Presence (2020)

I was rather a latecomer to Nation of Language but it’s probably not uncommon to be unfamiliar with happenings in one’s own backyard. Their 2021 release though, A Way Forward, was captivating. Introduction, Presence, is no less so. It’s not that there is a shortage of contemporary bands mining the 1980s new wave/cold wave sounds but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that does it better. Most of that is that the music sounds absolutely contemporary. It’s not… dated. Or hell, maybe I’m just old so nothing is going to sound dated. Judge for yourself, but the music speaks for itself. Nation of Language has their shit down pat. They don’t sound like they’re having any kind of identity crisis. That can be the case with relatively new bands who often want to fit everything in and you end up with albums that are just all over the place. Not the case here.


Bit of a cold wave settled in for today, speaking of cold waves. It’s only one day and we will be back up around 40F tomorrow but it gives people something to talk about. We can all be victims of a cruel, uncaring universe for a day. Oh, the indignity of it all! And all that. It’s sweet if a bit disingenuous in a mostly harmless way. I’m not particularly concerned with the cold, nor the weather martyrs. The heat will crank and the radiator will rattle and tomorrow or maybe even tonight I’ll be cracking the window and donating some of the extra heat to the outdoors and the pigeons and whoever else is outside. It’s not exactly environmentally sound but my building got a rating of D for heat efficiency for a reason.

January 11th and I’m still okay. Better than okay really. No complaints from me personally. Life isn’t easy but it hasn’t been unfair for me. Not in a long, long time. Everything that I am and that I am not is all on me. That’s my personal message for today. Own thyself.

The rest of the world? Well, they have to own their own shit. That’s not on me. It’s not on me.

So what’s on the agenda today? Just work and hopefully I won’t come home as tired as I did last night. I’m not used to talking to as many people as I did yesterday. My practice has fallen off. It felt halfway home on the train that my systems were shutting down to some low-battery mode. EnergySaver. Put soft music on and drift off. Recharge. Reboot. It is a discipline, this public living. It’s going to take a while to get back into the routine. There is no muscle memory so it takes a bit to build endurance again.

Okay. Just get to it.

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