On Dim The House Lights, Michelle Arf discusses what it’s like to experience A Crow Looked At Me and Now Only as a longtime fan of Phil Elverum and Mount Eerie. “Everything Phil had made before,” she writes, “I had felt connected to on some core level. The way he described the world, the way he described his thoughts and his feelings, his imagery, his use of sound and style–they were me. They described the way I felt about the world and helped me articulate those feelings. I knew Phil. I got him.” However, these new releases have made her feel like “ghoulish spectator” in Elverum’s story. This isn’t a criticism, however, but a comment on how wholly singular and significant these tragic twin releases are, and how they’ve caused her to ponder art and commodity. “These albums,” she writes, “reveal the fiction of the commodity in a way that is distressingly clear. I didn’t just buy an album: I entered, in a tiny way, into Phil’s life, and he into mine, and we opened our doors for each other. The difference I feel between these records and the rest of the art I experience is not ontological or real. It is a difference of honesty regarding art in a capitalist society and the selfishness that has bred in me, making me think that the things I enjoy are mine and that my responsibility ends when I plunk down twenty bucks.”
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