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30 Notes

A Personal History of Music Discovery Platforms

1980-1988: radio (WTIC; WKSS)

1982-1992: TV (MTV; HBO Video Jukebox)

1989-1992: magazines (Rolling Stone; Musician)

1992-1994: Columbia House

1994-1998: college radio station people (not the actual radio station)

1998-2004: magazines (EW)

1999-2000: Napster

2002-2006: mp3 blogs

2006-2012: nothing / ”the internet”

2012-present: Shazaming songs overheard in stores (Froyoworld; Old Navy)

33 Notes

My 5 Favorite Parts of Soldier of Love by Sade

1. There are at least 3 different guitar parts in this song, but the loudest one, with the noise gate on it. How the lines cut in and out, dancing around the drums, like glimpses of the safety of love, promises that vanish as soon as you speak them.

2. I’m at the borderland of my faith, I’m in the hinterland of my devotion. Maybe one of the best lines in any song, ever? So deep and pure and complex and true that I can’t even think about it too much. It destroys me to contemplate what those words even mean.

3. I’m doing my best b/w I’m still alive. Proclamations of determination and an absolute unwillingness to give up (on love? on life? on oneself?) despite history, despite the odds.

4. The gang vocals (WHOA) and handclaps on the bridge. You’re not in this alone. We have each other.

5. The song is basically over at 4:00 but the music continues for another 0:59. Like, look: settle in for a long ride. This is life. Still waiting for love to come.

38 Notes

Random 80s Food Reviews

I just did the first 5 I could think of, no order, no reason.

Almost Home cookies

These were a humungous deal for a very short period of time. They were marketed as fresher-tasting than other cookies, but that had more to do with advances in preservatives than actual breakthroughs in cookie science. They were the worst cookies. Just awful. No one liked them, no one laments their absence. The people who created them had to begin new lives under new names.

Gatorgum (aka Gatorade Gum)

Pretty fucked up commercial but this was the best gum. But it was never available anywhere with any regularity or reliability whatsoever, so when you found a pack at the store, you were super psyched but first you had to fight your brother for it. It did not actually quench your thirst but you would still spend so much time chewing away and being like “Yeah? I think I am less thirsty?”

Chicken McNuggets Shanghai

I mean, oof, but kinda dope that you got chopsticks and different sauces.

Frank N Stuffs

Frank N Stuffs were hot dogs with chili INSIDE them. They are literally the best food that has ever existed. They disappeared from the market very quickly (due to a minor razor blade scare) and it is INSANE to me that no one has rushed in to fill his huge, huge vacancy in the chili-intubated hot dog marketplace.

Original Doritos

OK. History lesson. Doritos didn’t use to be so insanely cheese-powder covered. At first they were just a kinda chill nacho cheese chips. But then they changed the formula and got WAY cheesier and powderier. The first time I tried the new ones I was like WHAT? NO! and I was so sad b/c Doritos had always been the go-to. I hated HATED Doritos for years and was afraid to eat them and then eventually out of desperation I tried them again and I was like OK actually yeah.

NOTE: this is NOT the flavor change Wikipedia lists has having happened in the mid-90s. There was ANOTHER flavor change, it happened in the 80s, I was there, and it has apparently been suppressed from the historical records. I was there. I remember. It marked me, changed me irrevocably.

85 Notes

Best Of Me, 2013

This was kind of a weird dumb year for my writing where I feel like I spent most of my time spinning my creative wheels BUT that’s more about my Mental Problems, the Actual Truth is I sat down to write more days than I didn’t, which is a success to be celebrated.

So: here is the stuff from the past year that I kind of like! Or at least doesn’t cause me physical pain to think about:

That’s all. Thank you so, so much to everyone who read things I wrote this year. There are already too many things competing for your time and attention in life and on the internet, and it means everything to me that people read my stuff and tell their friends about it and do tweets and reblogs and Facebook posts about it and ask me to contribute to their weird cool projects.

I know “the writing” is supposed to be its own reward, but it’s not, it’s the response and reaction from friends that is the reward, so thank you for a rewarding year.

14 Notes

Favorite songs of 2013

No partic:

  • Ariana Grande - Honeymoon Avenue, The Way, RIght There
  • Austin Mahone - Banga! Banga!
  • Cassie - Numb
  • CHVRCHES - Lungs
  • Ciara - Body Party, I’m Out
  • Demi Lovato - Heart Attack
  • Ellie Goulding - Tesselate
  • Goldfrapp - Stranger
  • Haim - The Wire
  • Jojo - We Get By
  • The Joy Formidable - Bats
  • Kacey Musgraves - My House
  • Kelly Rowland - Freak
  • Kilo Kish - Goldmine
  • KT Tunstall - Carried
  • Miley Cyrus - We Can’t Stop
  • Paramore - Still Into You
  • Shlohmo - Bo Peep (Do U Right)
  • Zendaya - Heaven Lost An Angel, Putcha Body Down

Songs I Listened To A Bunch But They Didn’t Come Out Between 12/2012 - 11/2013

  • Ananda Project - Heaven Is Right Here
  • Lianne Le Havas - Au Cinema
  • Lorde - Love Club
  • Omarion - The Truth
  • Shiina Ringo w/ Soil & “Pimp” Sessions: The Assassin’s Assassin
  • Taylor Swift - Begin Again

Special Category: Favorite Nicki Verses (because songs should be 3 minutes and Nicki Minaj raps in the middle)

20 Notes

Guest Recommendations: Kevin Fanning – The Bygone Bureau

I wrote some recommendations for Bygone Bureau. They include Aaliyah and creative drinking and Teen Wolf. 

The short list of things I wanted to recommend but didn’t have space to write about included:

  • Internet Misandry
  • Writing in text files
  • the Rule 34 tag on tumblr
  • Ariana Grande’s twitter
  • Fruit Adventure Tic-Tacs

but anyway the stuff I did recommend is pretty solid.

43 Notes

Places I Used to Live, no particular order

29 Notes

Specific Things I Like

Off the top of my head, no particular order

  • the coconut slices? strips? whatever they are at Trader Joe’s
  • the screechy horn synth stabs in “Owner of a Lonely Heart”
  • the spoken word bridge on Van Halen’s “Unchained” (“Hey man that suit is YOU!”)
  • Driving on Memorial Drive at night, the stretch between the BU and Longfellow bridges
  • the Lion’s Tale (bourbon & St Germain) at Park in Harvard Square
  • the scene at the Halloween party with Brendon and Laura in Brick 
  • Janet Jackson’s laugh
  • Dickie Bennett saying “I ain’t afraida Frankfort!” on Justified
  • Jess, in the Parking Spot episode of New Girl: “Yes, I know nothing about men. That’s why I’m wearing a short skirt and wool tights.”
  • The celebration of the emotional component of sex (rather than (or beyond?) the mere physical) in Ciara’s “Body Party”
  • Thundercat into Kilo Kish on this mixtape by sosupersam
  • Bed

(previously)

14 Notes

Things I’m Into

This thing Zan wrote about canvassing in Ohio. 

This thing about Moneyworth and having the courage to just DO YOUR THING even when you feel like probably no one else in the world is going to be into it.

Jigga getting paid to put words into Stephen Fry’s mouth? What planet do we even live on.

tothesound updating again. Do you remember blogs, do you remember posting words into the void of the internet.

Doing the Pool Palace in my kitchen. Not one music critic has written about the fact that Beez in the Trap represents a possible resurgence in snap music this is important to me you guys the best musical styles are forever.

Basically everything Nora and Lily post on twitter, every day.

This bottle of Pappy Van Winkle that is in my house.

This happened last week while we were under water and out of electricity but Matthew lifeserial went ahead and launched this weird & beautiful new thing. 

Nathan Kotecki talking about the things he had to fight for and the things he had to let go in order to get his book The Suburban Strange published.

I’m into other stuff too, I have many interests but you get the idea

22 Notes

A list of graphic novel recommendations

I was emailing the other day with lestwesurrender about graphic novels I like. I mean I wouldn’t describe myself as a graphic novels sexpert or anything? But they are Things That Exist, so I have Opinions about them. Anyways if you ever wanted some recommendations of what to read here is what I told lestwe and what I now tell you.

1. Finder by Carla Speed McNeil

Finder is a self-published comic that’s one of those very highly-respected books that barely anyone’s heard of or bought. The art tends towards black & white line drawings, the focus is more on the story and the (Tolkien-level) world building. The author calls is “Aboriginal Sci-Fi.” Whatever it is, SO GOOD. I’d recommend Finder Library #1, Voice, or Talisman. (If you love books and writing and do not own a copy of Talisman you are in TROUBLE WITH ME. You may read my copy the next time you visit but it is not to leave the apartment.) 

2. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

If you live on this planet someone has recommended this book to you. It is a much-loved classic. A memoir about a lesbian realizing her funeral-directing/home-restoring father was gay. Go ahead and read it.

3. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The story of an immigration to a strange new land, told in images. No words! And it made me bawl my eyes out. Crazy good.

4. One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry

Not really a graphic NOVEL per se, more like graphic short stories. Autobiographical stuff, childhood memories, both fun and sad. Super good. She’s my hero, like I’m not going to put Lynda Barry on this list? I mean?

5. Kabuki by David Mack

So I really love this collection, it’s unique and stunning and gorgeous and almost impossible to describe, but it’s also kind of an investment in time & money. It’s like a 7-volume deal and it’s not until you’ve read a bunch of it that you can really get a sense of the breadth of the artistic landscape. The first volume is visually the most straightforward—black & white images crammed in and around a dense “secret government agent ninja on the run trying to solve a mystery” kind of story. Then Volume 2 is almost no words, just this swirling pastiche of color that takes place entirely inside the mind of the main character as she lies bleeding on her mother’s grave (!). And then a later volume is mostly conversations between the main character and her therapist in a secret insane asylum for former government agents? And meanwhile in each volume the art gets crazier and crazier—stories told through found objects and origami and painted photo collage more than pen and ink—and the story becomes less about a squad of female secret agent TV stars slash ninjas and more about artistic and spiritual rebirth? And the importance of creativity and art and writing? IT’S FUCKING CRAZY. It is mind-blowingly good and unlike just about anything else you’ve read. In terms of digging into the psyche and psychology of dark characters, it’s like someone took every single thing that’s been done with Batman in the past 70 years and said “Cool, that’ll be Act 1, now let’s get serious.” Maybe at least put it on hold from your local library.

6. The Sixth Gun by by Cullen Bunn

This is a fairly new one that I am excited about. It’s just realllly fun. Sort of Deadwood meets Buffy. There are these 6 magical revolvers, each with a unique power, and the main dude is trying to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. I kind of wish they would do more with the female character, but there’s only 2 volumes so far, so we’ll see what happens.

7. Lone Wolf & Cub

This is a 20-volume work from the 70s. I’ve only read the first one. I wish you could just get the whole thing in one giant book. Manga is financial hardship, man. $10 a pop for each book in a series that goes on forever and forever. This is why I gave up on Iron Wok Jan. Anyways it’s about a ronin samurai and his baby. He keeps getting into trouble, you keep worrying about the baby, and it always turns out OK, with the samurai kicking much ass and the baby perfectly happy. It’s bizarre how great it is. 

8. Anything by Hope Larson.

Her books are amazing. They’re often girls-coming-of-age type stories, super well told, with amazing, unique art. She is one of my all time favorites. Love her. Looooove.