I'm hiring. (Again!)


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…

Come work with me!

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…can eat several bags of dicks

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"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."

So excited to have finally published this piece for Pitchfork’s The Pitch. I care a lot about both of these artists and this subject in general, and it is fantastic to have a venue through which to write about them.  (via likeapairofbottlerockets)


(via onemanbandstand)


(via onemanbandstand)

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The correct answer is &#8220;Anita Sarkeesian is awesome.&#8221;

The correct answer is “Anita Sarkeesian is awesome.”


This ♥_♥ Awwww :3

Me too


This ♥_♥
Awwww :3

Me too

(via catyawning)

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"'SoHo lives on in Bushwick,' Chatham says. 'The scene is vibrant there.'"

From a really great article on the Quietus about the heyday of no wave and New York’s ever-shifting artist communities

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the definitive ranking of the five 311 songs i know


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.

2. amber

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.

1. down

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.


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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

whoa this is good

This is ace

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selected quotes from the frankie cosmos interview that made me want to swear off music forever



  • Greta Kline's affinity for the winking amateurism of K Records comes sharply into focus as I enter the Greenwich Village apartment she shares with her boyfriend and bandmate”
  • Kline’s spiritual forebear Frank O’Hara
  • her 17-minute proper debut album”
  • "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)
  • "All my friends are depressed" seems like a striking line to Jenn Pelly? Is she so young that she missed the era when the Red Hot Chili Peppers song that starts “My friends are so depressed” was all over the radio? That was only 8 years ago…
  • 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! 

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Dilds of the internet, #235489034658263756823542 in an occasional series

Dilds of the internet, #235489034658263756823542 in an occasional series

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