“Sleep is still most perfect, in spite of hygienists, when it is shared with a beloved. The warmth, the security and peace of soul, the utter comfort from the touch of the other, knits the sleep, so that it takes the body and soul completely in its healing.”—D. H. Lawrence (via blackestdespondency)
"We take no joy in this," said American Apparel co-chairman Allan Mayer yesterday of the company’s decision to fire its founder, CEO, and card-carrying asshole Dov Charney. Mayer’s pretty much the …
this article’s pretty sick, and also it’s called twilight of the assholes, which in another life, could have been the best album title ever. damn.
i’ve noticed the word hipster, which was kind of resisted as a meaningful designation for a while (adbusters ahoy), has come back into common parlance lately among pretty much everybody (including those who vetoed its use). i don’t know what that means, but it probably means something. maybe just the light at the end of the tunnel.
but yeah the reality that this particular strain of “hip” - the vice/aa/hro status quo - was always this kind of grotesquely conservative, decadent thing that was also invented almost purely to be leveraged to sate the sexual appetites of a different strain of bro has been a topic of convo for many years, neatly summarized by the above writing and the week’s events
describing what ‘hipness’ looks like outside of the readily discernible quantum of mainline 00’s hipness is becoming increasingly difficult but at least it mostly doesn’t look like this. so bring on the future and fuck being cool, just do everything you possibly can to love yourself
What he said! ^^
And yes I was very happy with Twilight of the Assholes :)
“For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.”—Lana Del Rey to The Fader. Well this is going to go down like a sack of shit, eh, Tumblr?
When I was a freshman, my sister was in eighth grade. There was a boy in two of her periods who would ask her out every single day. (Third and seventh period, if I remember correctly.) All day during third and seventh she would repeatedly tell him no. She didn’t beat around the bush, she didn’t lie and say she was taken—she just said no.
One day, in third period, after being rejected several times, he said; “I have a gun in my locker. If you don’t say yes, I am going to shoot you in seventh.”
Day 240: Wolfbike Yoyoyo- Jacob showed up tonight at my house tonight, so we made a Wandy song. We went into this hoping to make “Bog Pop”, but we decided that what came out is actually Horrorgaze, thus making Horrorgaze the official genre of Wandy. This song is mostly SK-1 played by Jacob (the “butts” part, the drums, and the terrible baby noises). Jacob also improvised vocals on this one, which- as best as we can tell- are about a homeless woman. I did all the productions and played fretless bass in there.
We Are The New Music. Justice McYouAreWelcome
comments i’ve heard about this so far include “this is fucking terrifying,” “uh oh,” ”i am deeply unsettled by this,” and “i will listen when this hangover abates somewhat.” i’m really proud of it.
I guess I’ll start now. My name is Philip Cosores and I am a writer and photographer in Buena Park, California. It’s bright and early and cool out right now. If you don’t know Buena Park, it is a suburban town that borders Anaheim on one side and Los Angeles County on the other. I can hear the Disneyland fireworks at night and be in Downtown L.A. in 30 minutes without traffic. From here I freelance for all kinds of wonderful publications (The LA/OC Register, Paste, Wondering Sound, AV Club, Pigeons and Planes, The 405, Radio.com, Noisey, Myspace, others) and help out at Consequence of Sound by directing Aux.Out.
Photoshop, the belief goes, takes a true record of a moment and turns it into an oppressive lie.
But fuck Photoshop. Photos are already lies.
I’m a former model and current artist. I’ve learned this every second I’ve stared into the camera’s insect eye.
Anyone who’s been at a photo shoot knows that even untouched photos bear only the scantest resemblance to a subject. A photo is frozen. A model sweats and bloats, ages, and dies. Framing is a lie. Lighting is a lie. Cropping is a lie. When you suck in your stomach, or turn your head so the light washes out your laugh lines, you’re lying as much as any liquefy tool. Untruth is baked into the process: Photographer Syreeta McFadden writes how the chemical makeup of some films is biased against dark skin tones. Even snapshots often don’t look like you, because you are not static. You are a three-dimensional being, torn by time. Photos are pixel ghosts.
When I was in the seventh grade, I read Louise Voss’ book To Be Someone. It’s about a radio DJ who destroys her face in an accident. After English tabloids humiliate her, she decides to commit suicide live on the radio. Her final playlist consists of the songs that have soundtracked her life’s…
“Privacy is a construct of our age. As a tradition in law, it is young. When Louis D. Brandeis issued his famous opinion in 1928 that privacy is ‘the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men,’ he was looking to the future, because he was dissenting; the Supreme Court’s majority was upholding the right of the police to tap telephone lines without warrants.
‘In the beginning, there was no such thing as private life, no refuge from the public gaze and its ceaseless criticism,’ writes Theodore Zeldin, a social historian, in An Intimate History of Humanity. He adds, ‘Then the middle classes began cultivating secrets.’ In villages and small towns, the secret life was rare. The neighbors knew far more about one’s intimacies, from breakfast habits to clandestine affairs, than in any city of the 20th century. One’s shield, if a shield was needed, was a formal civility: rules of discourse that discouraged questions about money or sex. The pathological case of the private person was the hermit — hermits, by and large, have disappeared. The word is quaint. In a crowd, we can all be hermits now.
‘Privacy means seeing only people whom one chooses to see,’ writes Zeldin. ‘The rest do not exist, except as ghosts or gods on television, the great protector of privacy.’”—Big Brother is Us, by James Gleick. New York Times, 29 September 1996 (via dynamofire)
This week Sky Ferreira released the video for “I Blame Myself” off her debut album Night Time, My Time. You might want to head over to the SSENSE page to check it out if you haven’t already. The clip features Sky mugging around what looks to be Compton and meeting up with a bunch of…
Revolutionary concept: when it comes to thorny issues of race and gender, ask the people who might be offended for their opinion, instead of rushing in to be MORTALLY OUTRAGED on their part. (Cf. Knowles, B.)
I’m constantly surprised by the fact that other countries don’t have nicknames for absolutely everything: Arvo, Maccas, ute, brissy, chockas, barbie, avos, bikkies, bottle-o, bundy, cab sav, chockie, brekkie, compo, metho, sanger, snag, spag bol, ciggie, footy, garbo, goon, kindie, pash, polly, pokies, rego, servo, sickie, smoko, stubby, tinny, trackies, vee-dub, veggo, u-ey…
Translated (for Jacob): afternoon, McDonalds, utility (kinda like a pick-up truck), Brisbane, full (short for chock-a-block, which sort of means crammed to capacity), barbecue, avocados, biscuits (or ecstasy pills haha), bottle shop (ie. liquor store), Bundaberg rum, cabernet sauvignon, chocolate, breakfast, compensation (for an accident etc), methylated spirits, sandwich, sausage, spaghetti bolognese, cigarette, football (specifically AFL), garbage collector, cheap wine that’s sold in boxes, kindergarten, make out, politician, poker machines (ie. slot machines), registration, service station (ie. gas station), sick day, smoke break, bottle of beer, can of beer, tracksuit pants (ie. sweat pants), Volkswagen, u-turn
Does sci-fi have a race problem? If you’re The Atlantic, the answer is yes - yesterday, the magazine’s website ran this piece, wherein writer Noah Berlatsky argues that there are essentially four ways in which sci-fi handles race: metaphor, tokenism, diversity, and explicit narrative. It’s ambitious to try to construct a definitive thesis about an entire genre’s handling of race, especially a genre as diverse as sci-fi, and judging by the article’s mammoth comment section, which is basically like 500-plus comments by Roman DeBeers, Berlatsky has touched a nerve. I don’t want to tear him down here, but I do want to note one fundamental flaw in his thesis: it works from the assumption that all sci-fi starts from an essentially white male point of view and then either does or doesn’t address race. The problem with this approach is that it perpetuates the marginalization of sci-fi that doesn’t come from that point of view.
“It’s so important what you’re doing in your life. It’s tremendously important to the work, and no aesthetic theories take that into account. I mean— it’s all about the work, the work, but I just went into a house for three years in the middle of nowhere, and talked to no one, and did nothing but the work, and it was a disaster for the work. I kind of think today that you’ve gotta mix it up with people, that—yeah, I’m sorry to say, but maybe the artist is the work of art, at least on some level, you know what i mean? I know I’m confusing some things here, by just putting it so crudely, but it was a disaster, to go with this romantic idea, that I’m going to go and get a house in the middle of nowhere and work on the work, and nothing else and just dedicate myself to that…you know, you need to be mixed up with people, maybe, who are doing inspirational things around you.”—
FLAVORPILL: EDITOR IN CHIEF, STAFF WRITERS Among other things, I’m the editorial director at Flavorpill and there’s a lot happening there right now. We’ve expanded the edit team for Flavorwire (our culture website) and are redesigning and restructuring Flavorpill (our events platform.) I’m in…
“St. Vincent and EMA both share a futuristic aesthetic and a penchant for sci-fi references, but their visions are far from hyperbole. We are living in a world where government-run machines auto-surveille the populous to look for evidence of crimes that haven’t happened yet, where people commit suicide over cyberbullying from anonymous sources. It isn’t a fantastical future dystopia EMA and St. Vincent are singing about. It’s the one we already live in.”—
i had pretty much forgotten about 311 as a concept until my friend posted a song of theirs on facebook yesterday. it was perfect timing, too—the day before 3/11. i remembered kind of liking them, but never really looking into them. I think I’m a few years too young to personally remember how they were largely viewed, whether it was grouped alongside the limp bizkits as the worst and most mockable of the mainstream, or next to sublime as not-too-awful stuff that frat boys incorrectly referred to as “reggae” and thought was way better than it actually was. i do remember hearing them on the local alt-rock station, which complicated that view of them as well. i was at work and didn’t feel like listening to a full album so instead of investigating them further, i decided to go back and assess the five songs i could remember by them off the top of my head.* what i found was a band that was somehow unique and ultra-generic at the same time, unexpectedly crazy, and never less than enjoyable.
*i later remembered “beautiful disaster” and “don’t tread on me” but i’d already written nearly 1,000 words about 311 and figured we could all do without more.
5. love song
the original has never been one of my favorite cure songs to begin with, and the only thing that this cover adds is a slightly slower tempo and some upstrums. since 311’s reggae affectations were only ever just that, the cover doesn’t come off as stylistically different than the original, just vaguely more unpleasant.
4. all mixed up
the interesting thing about 311 is how their lyrics manage to make what are probably really simple, platitudinous ideas almost impossible to parse. not due to any degree of complexity, but because there’s seemingly no logical or philosophical connections between the various cliches that they string together. “all mixed up” is the most confusing in this regard. it starts out as pretty straightforwardly motivational - trust your instinct, let go of regret, bet on yourself, etc. but it turns pretty quickly into equally generic boasting - “we come with the funky style that gets us known for the show/and we’ll mix the hip-hop reggae if we say it’s so” (describing their own style [incorrectly] is a recurring theme with 311 - more on that later). the chorus has the aggressively meaningless line “thought a freak might be the thing, but the first could be the last.” there are some nods toward sex but it’s not a theme that seems properly situated anywhere in the song - lines like “now it’s morning but last night’s on my mind” and the amazing “many moons since we first did the do” come out of nowhere with no follow-up. the song bounces so hyperactively between second-person motivational platitudes and first-person stunting that it’s impossible to take either part seriously, or even to register them in the first place. the barrage of signifiers that add up to precisely nothing is almost poststructuralist.
nick hexum might be an awful lyricist but he’s a passable white pseudo-reggae-rapper. he stays in the pocket throughout the song and the “watch me now” ad-lib that he uses to segue from the chorus into the verse is pretty perfectly placed. his voice is too unintelligible to get the full effect of the lyrics’ wackiness without reading along, which is more effort than anyone should ever put into listening to 311.
3. come original
this song is unique among my personal experience with 311 in that it actually seems to be about something, or at least it purports to be about something. thankfully, 311 can be just as loopy in terms of focus as in nonsense. basically, the idea behind the song is that all musicians have an obligation to bring something new to the table – in other words, “all entertainers come original.” what makes it great is the lengths that the song goes to present the band as an icon of originality that other artists should all aspire to. 311 wasn’t the most derivative band, but certainly weren’t the only reggae-affected rap-rock band from california in the 90s. but they’re intent on describing just what it is that apparently makes them unique. in one of the only times i’ve heard them string together four lines into a coherent thought, they describe their style – “funk slap bass mixed with the dancehall and/hip-hop beats and punk guitar and/deadly on the mic is the one SA/the name is 311 and you know it ain’t easy.” It’s gloriously inaccurate; their percussion is pretty funk-indebted, not at all hip-hop, and there’s not much that’s “dancehall” about them. But that’s at least vaguely related to the supposed idea of the song—it eventually devolves into standard awesome-weird 311 shit; the best part is when nick hexum claims that “green plants, they’ve got mad life, they’re sentient.” and then there’s a prog guitar break out of nowhere and everything fucking awesome about 311 is made apparent.
so we’ve established that 311’s lyrics are absolutely batshit, but the thing is, i only really figured that out after looking up the lyrics. All that I remembered, and all that I wager most people remember, are the choruses, which are kinda dumb to be sure but nowhere near the level of fucked up that these songs can reach. “amber,” though, is known for how wacked-out it is—“amber is the color of your energy” is basically the only line that anyone remembers, and approximately no one understands it. but the thing is, this is perhaps 311’s best use of that nonsense—they foreground it, rather than hiding it behind funky guitars and catchy choruses, and use it to establish a cool, laid-back, vaguely otherworldly atmosphere. it helps that the verses don’t have much weirdness themselves, but just work to set up the chorus. instead of forcing its nonsense on you, it eases you into a place where it still might not mean anything, but doesn’t feel so out of place.
man, what is it about the line “know that we have always been down” that’s so vaguely terrifying? is it the first-person plural and the use of “we have” instead of “we’ve” that makes it sound like it should be immediately preceded by some biblical threat? “my name is legion, for we are many. know that we have always been down, down.”
this is the song where the dopiness of 311’s lyrics becomes nearly transcendent. with “all mixed up” and “come original” it’s at least somewhat clear what idea they tried to start with, regardless of how quickly thereafter it went off the rails. “down” just throws you directly into the chaos with no more warning than the word “chill,” abandoning even the reggae affectations that can help ground some of their imagery in the realm of white boy rastaism, opting instead for a groovy as hell fuzzy rap-rock sound. the song opens with the line “light on my side as my ego becomes/a funky child with some words on my tongue,” flower-child imagery and braggadocio combining in a pretty amazing way. “have you ever made out in dark hallways” is another of those out-of-nowhere sexual lines, the setting of “hallways” oddly specific in its unsexiness. the best is “when i scatter my spit i dream of juice.” most of the really out-there 311 lyrics at least share something of a common new-agey theme, but this one is weirdly, grossly bodily, just almost-but-not-quite sexual enough to be really unsettling. no two sequential lines in this song connect in any obvious logical way. it’s a fractured mess, so disjointed and surrealistically hackneyed that it becomes almost thrilling, or, at least and without a doubt, unpredictable. it’s the apotheosis of 311, everything great and terrible about them at its absolute greatest and most terrible. a dreadlocked explosion of impenetrable imagery and directionless nonsense so convoluted that it should be impossible, but somehow isn’t. it’s right there, staring you down with its fuzzy bassline, too hype on its own nonsense to realize that no one knows what the fuck it’s talking about.
true detective’s theme song is given gothic, cinematic synth-pop cover treatment by my pal comaduster. i shit you not, he decided to make this last night while we were on gchat. a few hours later and here it is… i don’t understand either
"Kline grew up in an artistic Manhattan household, the child of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. She was home-schooled for most of high school, and spent nights exploring New York by way of underground rock shows.”
"In September of 2012, Kline moved into her current apartment (owned by a relative) for its proximity to New York University, where she was set to start studying poetry."
”’I’m very academic,’ Kline says. ‘I made the Dean’s List.’”
P4K: “The cosmos is infinite and limitless, and your discography can feel pretty expansive, too. Were you trying to imply a connection?”
"When I was younger, my view of New York was really wide-eyed and excited. I’ve lived here all my life, but when I was 15 my parents were like, ‘Yeah, you can go on the subway by yourself, you can do whatever.’ Everyday I would get on the train and go somewhere to just walk around. My brother and I were like, ‘New York is so big! There are so many places we can go!’"
“You meet a lot of people in New York who are different than you, and have different stories, so I see everyone as super individual. I feel like I can be infinitely inspired because New York is huge. There’s always a new street I can go to, or a billion new people who I haven’t met that I could write about. New York is very humbling.”
“I like that people sometimes ask if I’m from the suburbs. It’s a way better vibe over there; everyone is purely nice, there’s nothing fake going on. I like to take on the folkie attitude. People’s music.”
“I consider myself punk, too. Obviously my music doesn’t sound punk, but I see it as a punk action.”
“I started listening to Beat Happening and Calvin Johnson when I was 13 and freaked out. It changed my life! That was definitely a catalyst, where I thought: “I can make music!” I liked the idea that you don’t have to be super well-trained to make great art. I read their chapter in Our Band Could Be Your Life and learned about how they played on yogurt cans and I loved how they had this weird culture where they would wear pajamas and play with yo-yos.”
hold on because i want to stress this again: “I read … Our Band Could Be Your Life”
“It’s funny how that’s the thing a lot of people are latching onto: ‘She has 45 albums!’ I feel like only 12 or 15 of them are great, and it’s the most recent ones.”
P4K: “When you think about Frankie Cosmos, do you consider the focus to be more on individual songs and albums, or your discography as a whole?”
“My parents really want me to take a Transcendental Meditation class.”
P4K: “A line that stood out to me on the album was, ‘All my friends are depressed.’ Why are all of your friends depressed?”
“All of my friends went to college and were depressed because they hated it. I was also feeling a little jealous of Aaron’s friends. They go out and drink and hang out.”
“The song is just a story, but I felt like I related to it.”
"I’d be like, ‘This song is about how I don’t want to go to Brown because it’s really far away so I wrote this depressing song.’"
P4K, immediately after that: “Your music reflects so much inner sadness.”
“I mean, I’m not super-sad. That stuff is kind of tongue-in-cheek. Even if it’s not uplifting, I think that for young sad girls on the internet to hear another sad girl their own age being really productive and making songs is a positive influence. Instead of just being depressed, do something with that depression. If anything, I’m hoping that I can inspire people to do that. I hope people hear it and realize that writing music is kind of easy. Or that taking your sadness and turning it into a beautiful song is worthwhile.”
additional things: mentioning o’hara’s lunch poems without at any point recognizing that o’hara’s writing them on his lunch break meant that, even considering o’hara’s jobs included “new school professor” and “art curator,” they were still jobs and he had to work them to eat, and so his observing everyday life of course had to take place in the periods where he himself was mundane, circumstances literally unavailable to her; the bit where she played a show with calvin johnson which makes me nervous more than anything else; the whole question about the “my dad is a fireman” thing, especially the part where she’s like, “oh, that must be so sad,” as if (god damn it) kids whose parents have average jobs can’t start from pride and work forward from that; a rich person getting a p4k rising; aggggh fuck you fuck you fuck you everybody fuck you.
Before I get into this I do want to mention that I am generally put off by the whole “someone getting praise seems to me to be wack IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD” vibe that this post has, as so many similar laments have had before it—like, calm down, people you think suck are successful in the music industry literally all the time (usually far more successful than getting one wide-eyed young Pitchfork writer to write about them one time, in fact), it’s not the end of the world, it’s not even something to get all that bothered about. But like, while I didn’t even notice a lot of the points made by this post on my initial read of this article, a few things did strike me as a little odd in this Pitchfork article (and yeah, I did link it, because thinking it shouldn’t be linked deems it WAY more important than it should be deemed). So yeah, now that I’ve made clear that I not only am not that bothered by this Frankie Cosmos interview but think getting super bothered about it is probably a less-than-optimum use of one’s emotional energies, let me point out some additional bothersome aspects of the article.
Greta Kline says that Calvin Johnson is “40 or something”—at 38, it’s probably fair to call ME “40 or something” and the first Beat Happening record came out when I was 7. Calvin Johnson is 52 years old—and, by the way, noted for his continued habit of using creepy pseudo-naivete to hit on teenage/early-20-something girls/women, which feels relatively germane in this context (though maybe it’s not, that’s up to you)
Greta Kline, aka Frankie Cosmos, is literally the daughter of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. So is she therefore the Lena Dunham of indie rock? Anyone else find that idea less than thrilling?
I mean, I ain’t mad at Greta Kline for doing her thing in an unconsciously privilieged bourgeois-white-teenager sort of way—she is who she is, and she can’t change that. And I’m not even all that annoyed with Jenn Pelly for seeming to lack the appropriate context in which to situate Greta Kline’s music and relative importance to the scene. But this is one article that strikes me as an incident of the “young zinesters take over Pitchfork” movement backfiring. Not the end of the world, but not a good thing by any means either.
The DIY scene needs its own Lena Dunham (and its own Polly Filler) — rejoice, bc we now have both!
Are you a woman (or person of any gender) who has suffered anonymous online harassment? I’m starting a project about this subject and am looking for people willing to be involved. It will take very little effort on your part. If you’re interested you can email me at sophcw at gmail dot com. Please share!