Notes on Subcultures
Subcultures are really interesting things. I’d call them “a group of people who have a primary identity around some idea or set of ideas that drives a lifestyle that is usually politically subversive.” There’s a great book that I read a few years ago called Subculture, the Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige. He outlines the life of a subculture as such (he’s a marxist, so it’s very pessimistic!)1: a group of people band together (e.g. punks come together at shows, they are anti-racism)
2: that group scares people (e.g. the sex pistols music)
3: their style gets co-opted for profit (e.g. mohawks become popular)
4: the co-optation diffuses political potential; by the time the subculture gets very popular it is no longer able to carry any political heft (e.g. regular people start making punk music because they like the sound).I think that this lifecycle is extra accelerated in the age of the internet. Think of all the cool music your parents couldn’t listen to because they were restricted to local radio. But also think of how much more difficult it must have been to gather critical mass for a local movement to start and spread!
Nowadays, a person can come up with a cool idea and put it online, and the four thousand people in the entire world who possibly could care are linked up with them very quickly — but there’s comparatively less emphasis on style for someone who picks up a subculture online. I can be involved in some far-left subculture for four hours a day online, and then I log off and go out in the world looking like an average joe. I’m not a punk with a mohawk and piercings that follow me everywhere, identifying me as such.
So here, I think we’ve gotta expand on Hebdige’s thinking. Some options:
1) split subcultures into real-world and internet subcultures, or redefine subcultures as no longer having a visual component
– i think this idea is dumb, because it somehow discounts internet behavior as qualitatively different from non-internet behavior. I bet you, the reader, spend more time online than off.
2) emphasize how style can translate online, and how online can translate offline.
– I think this idea is promising. Although they’re politically disruptive only as far as they represent the establishment, we can use “racist old people on twitter” as a good example here. If someone replies to my tweet, and their avatar is either the default egg or a 1980s high school graduation photo, they’re probably a Racist Old Person (ROP). ROPs can find each other through these heuristics, and they can discriminate themselves from younger people by handle (thought experiment: what type of person would have the username @Bread_Death, what type of person would have the username @MichaelP7783). Username and avatar are essentially hairstyle and jacket.
As a converse example, consider the music style vaporwave, kitsch 90’s muzak chopped and screwed. The style had a strong visual component, and if you see a guy looking like this walking down the street, you just KNOW he’s politically disruptive. Or at least, he was in 2012. Now he probably just bought the display mannequin’s outfit at H&M. Actually i think he probably wasn’t politically disruptivve, but he sure as hell wanted to be. (what was his platform: disney is for adults?)
So anyways, I’m not sure if I said much of anything, but Im basically trying to argue that online and offline behavior are inextricably linked when you’re talking about subcultures.
Maybe I’ll be back with my ideas of non-political subcultures, maybe I won’t write about it.
17 Things You Know From Growing Up IN Prospect Heights
Ah, scenic Prospect Heights. “The city that looks to the future.” The city so full of creativity that its name is the first word of its name from the town to the south and the second word of its name from the town to the west. The city of many things. 17 things, actually, exactly. Inspired by an insipid article on 17 memories you have from growing up in Arlington Heights (more like some intern clicked around on google maps and tossed in some GIFs), which I will not link to because you’re better than that, here are 17 memories that you have from growing up in Prospect Heights. I included some irrelevant pictures because otherwise nobody will make it through this entire article.
1) We all remember our town hall burning down!
A firecracker  launched by a notorious local  landed on the roof  of city hall and, despite the hall’s “downtown” Prospect Heights location and the fire department located ~200 yards away, burned down the entire city hall. Which theoretically is horrible but in practice I doubt anyone actually spent any time in the city hall, including employees. Anyways it took forever to rebuild the city hall because too few people cared to rebuild it. I think it’s back up today, but I don’t live there anymore.
2) We all remember the immunizations conferred upon us from drinking well water
Where I do live now is California, and if there’s anything that Californians like, it’s becoming incredibly invested in every single public health crisis. A posting on my fridge tells me that California has hexachromium levels above federal standards, which in Illinois would probably be interpreted as a call to drink it all up before it’s gone. But here, it means everyone complains a lot about brita filters. ANYWAYS, because I grew up in the good ol P. H. of IL, I’m basically superhuman at drinking water because of all the well water I drank as a kid. If you’re from Prospect Heights you can probably drink lava straight out of Haleakala, or, at the very least, runoff from the federal mint.
3) We all don’t remember the sidewalks!
I was thinking about how to best explain this one to a non Prospectonian, and I can’t, really. It’s not like it’s an inconvenience. There’s no problem with no sidewalks. Sidewalks are kinda lame, actually. Just, everyone else has sidewalks, and we don’t. It’d be nice to have em.
4) We all remember the sloo (sp?) flooding!
How do you spell this word? Sloo. Slew. Sleu. Slough. It floods when it rains, remember? Ah yes, you do.
5) We maybe all remember Summerfest
When I was a kid, my friend spent $50 of stolen-from-his-parents-coin-jar money on a carnival game where you put coins in and maybe coins get pushed out and failed to win any prizes because he put all his winnings back into the game. The town always shells out for a middle aged dadrock cover band, which isn’t too bad. When we’re old, our summerfest entertainment will be middle aged DJs spinning Rihanna.
6) Remember how the land is huge as fuck?
It’s basically the wild west out here. More like Prospector Heights, am I right. This Prospect aint Heights enough for the two of us.
7) We Rmmbr Deli 4 U
Deli 4 U is the deli that old people think millennials talk like. I think 100% of Prospect Heights tax revenue comes from here.
8) We all remember the dope Fourth of July parade
When we were kids, this was fun because of candy. When we are adults, this is fun because it’s a great excuse to get smashed at 9am off of Bloody Marys and yell at strangers to honk at you with your face painted. I bet we could have sidewalks if we skipped the parade one year, but whatever. Make those cub scouts and church groups slog it out for the good of the founding fathers, right? That picture up there is hilary and bill
10) We all remember having an opinion about Home Rule
NO HOME RULE.
YES HOME RULE.
11) We don’t remember the airport
For a town of 16,000, we’ve got an airport. That’s pretty sick, right? Wrong. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has ever interacted with the airport.
12) We all remember the deep end being shallow
Can’t even dive at the pool. This was supposed to be a list of 17, but there are only 12 things in Prospect Heights. What else are you gonna add? Heffy’s? District 23 (the Michael Jordan Number District)? Nah. We don’t remember those things. We remember these 12 things.
The Big Lebowski
people have been yelling at me to watch this movie for quite some time. I watched it last night, and I think i understand why people think I’d like it, because I liked it. The big thing that stuck with me about this movie is the creativity. I love the dramatic irony in the movie (the nihilist’s entire plot doesn’t matter, the vietnam guy yelling about getting fucked over by a stranger while he ruins a random guy’s car). RIP philip seymor hofman. The worst part of the movie is that they didn’t let steve buscemi have more fun. If you asked me to watch this movie again, I’d do it. The only movies I have watched multiple times are Cars, Napoleon Dynamite, Reservoir Dogs, kill bill, The Lord Of The Rings, The Room, and Transformers 1 and 2.reviewed by ted
Lays America Do Us A Flavor Round 2
Lay potato chips flavorsBiscuits and Gravy
Resemblance to description- 6/10
And enjoyable chip but I would not go out of my way to purchase themGreek town Gyro
Resemblance to description- 5/10
I could not eat the last 3 of the 5 chips I grabbed. Was not a fan.West coast truffle fries
Resemblance to description- N/A
I enjoyed these although they seemed more garlicky than anything else. The ruffles were a nice touch.New York Reuben
Resemblance to description- 7/10
The weren’t very crispy and were very thin. The taste mediocre. I would like to try them inside a Reuben.Reviewed by Nick
Pitchfork Track Reviews Reviewed Beginning of July
M we ain’t giving up, even though the industry did.
DISCLAIMER: the big guys in charge, they’re like “hey, we need to put all music releases on the same day… friday… to reduce piracy. So albums won’t be available on different days across the world and also people splurge on the weekends. by pirating.”
T SO spotify is OUT, pitchfork’s track reviews are IN. And out of tradition, we’re going to review em on TUESDAYS
US Girls – Woman’s Work
M There’s music videos now.
T I think i don’t liek the 70’s kitschy
[we look up the definition of the word kitsch]
T what a cool definition. 2.8
M 3.3 just cuz it’s different. Maybe i’m so excited for not spotify stuff. Pitchfork new music review review tuesdays
Radiocativity – Silent
M very pitchfork voice
T I love strummy punk, chord changes are predictable but nice
M This is SO not spotify. I was surprised by the first chord change. It was like a key change maybe
T this is like, the music I”m looking for right now. 4.7
Jack J – Thirstin
T oh i’m so ready! i wish pitchfork had a little more european dance coverage, but i still like em. This one’s chill.
M futureclaves. I love hearing sounds I haven’t heard
T sorta like when dubstep first happened in america
T it’s a little repetitive, but would function p well in a club
M I’d be getting a drink when this song comes on
T is that because the song’s called thirstin?
M no, but that’s awesome.
M …a little long.
Media Jeweler – Autopilot
T the bass sets up and starts in TOO MATH ROCKY 2.2
M I’m surprised there’s no lyrics by it 3.2
Nick (new guest) 2.9
MULA – playa (borchi remix)
T pitchfork discovered bachata and its variants like last month and now they’ve got some guy down there covering it all. Mosta my experience with reggaeton beats comes from daddy yankee, so i’m a bit fresh about this 3.00
M seems like itd be accompanied by a series of long shots from a movie
N i don’t hear a lot of this stuff, so it’s hard to rate 2.8
M OH thats a timpani 2.87
WAVVES x Cloud Nothings –
T I love both of these bands, I’m so excited for this. This song’s a little disappointing. 2
M kind of has a MBV sound to it 3.43
N somthing I can vibe to 3.65
Blood Orange – Do You See My Skin THrough the Flames
T I really like where this is going but it took forever to get there 1.3
N 1.9 I think in context the rating would be higher
SONG GOT SKIPPED
T this guy’s sponsored by jackthreads
M yo i like jackthreads. 2.5
T I’m just sayin… I like posse vids that are just guys. no girls. too generic. 2.7
Beach House – Sparks
T too slow for me. I like their cousin beach fossils a lot better 2.8
M the lyric video fits really well. except there aren’t any lyrics. That’s not how lyric videos work. 3.75
N I was feeling it. 3.9
DonMonique – The Low (feat slayter n danny brown)
T minor key production’s got a sorta RZA vibe. i like it. 3.9
M I like it more than the last song. 3.2
Kendrick Lamar – Alright
T oohhh what a good song. gotta love the video because its got symbolism thats way over my head STRAIGHT 5
Ty Dolla Sign – Blase feat Future n Rae Sremmurd
M the background sounds like a gameboy pocket. 1.6
T I don’t like yung thug, and this is a yung thug type song. 2.1
Helado Negro – Young Latin and Proud
M this is not the direction I’d predict from what it’s called at all. I was thinking more “young, wild and free” 2.7
T It’s like dinner music, and I’m not feeling dinner. 2.4
Blank Realm – River of Longing
M something seems off to me. 3
T I like the pace of this song. 3.2
N I barely noticed it, so it’s average, so 2.8
Young THug – Hey I
T I don’t like young thug 2.4
ROses – XOXO
T it’s got that early house chord change behind it 3.9
The Sediment Club – Psychsymplistic, Psychosymplastic Here!
M I hate this .4
T i don’t like the pretension. it sounds like new sincerity pretension 1.5
unknown song – unknown band
N i liked it 3.6
Future – News or Somthn
M I like that picture of him. It’s cool. Oh is this bugatti guy? 2.05 idunno
N I didn’t like the outro. 2.85
Shannon and the Clams – corvette
T i love this band name
Vince Staples – Get Paid
Destruction Unit – If Death Ever Slept
[editor’s note: we forgot to review these]
spotify new music tuesday june 23 2015
REVIEWED BY MIKE N TEDNew Politics – Girl Crush
T I saw these guys live and I think they’re pretty dumb… they’re like immigrants whose whole schtick is america. and they’re called new politics but i dont think they even have any sort of discernable political platform, and if they do have one it’d probably be like “Free love, no war!” or something inane. FUGGEDABOUTEM. (song is really catchy though, the whole “hey mickey” clap clap claps)
M [does the hey mickey claps incorrectly]
M 3.1Fort Minor – Welcome
T FORT MINOR. great sex lyrics. love em.
M who is this guy?
T fort min-
M whered you gooooooo, i miss you sooooo
T Reminds me of BOB
M yeah he mentioned his hators. I like this one less.
T OH. i thought you meant like, one point less.
M oh. no
T I am not grabbed
M kind of let down. 2.7
T 1.3Selena Gomez and ASAP Rocky – Good for You
T what a weird pairing
M I like the vocal mixing. If you didn’t tell me this was selena gomez, I wouldn’t know
T even though this is a selena gomez song, the beat seems very ASAP-style
M is it gonna go anywhere?
T I think thats a big weakness of asap rocky’s style.
M I don’t like this. The potential bugs me.
T 3.6Foals – What Went Down
M Foals has good album art usually 3.3
T I’m tired of typing. I’m just gonna give out a number at the end. I’m doin this for me 3.8Atlas Genius – Molecules
M 3.15Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion
Tori Kelly, Ed Sheeran – I Was Made For Lovin You
Powers – Loved By You
M [deciding to listen to the lyrics] 1.7
Jidenna, Kendrick Lamar – Classic Man
M sneaky 3.4
T mustard on the beat 2.4
DJ Khaled and friends – Hold You Down
T dj khaled never rolls less than five deep 1.3
Twin Shadow – To the top LIVE
High Dive Heart – Vintage
T which mumford son did this 2.3
Lianne La Havas – What You Don’t Do
Leo Kalyan – Fingertips
Trey Songz – Serve It Up
Flo Rida and friends – I Don’t Like It, I love it REMIX
M this has potential to be the greatest thing ever. maaan. 2.9
Afrojack and Mike Taylor – Summerthing!
Cayucas – Big Winter Jacket
Iron and Wine and Ben Bridwell – This Must Be The Place
Wolf Alice – Bros
David Ramirez – Harder to Lie
T how are you supposed to get famous with a name like david ramirez 1.5
M 1.7,,,, no. 3
Miya Folick – Strange Darling
T quickrate 1
M wuickrate 2.2
Years and Years – Foundation
Gengahr – Powder
T I would listen to this on XRT for the next 10 years at a rate of once every three weeks 3.4
Leon Bridges – Pull Away
M different. comfortable. 4
Good Old War – Don’t Forget Me
M its try to make sleep deprived michael cry tuesday 2.5
Elijah Blake – Everyday
Roby and La Bagatelle Magique – Love is Free
M the first one that moves 4.1
The LEgends – Keep Him
Hilang Child – Thule
T 1 I WILL NOW GIVE ALL MUMFORDY SONGS ONE. im going on the record and saying mumford and sons ruined music
Ratat – Abrasive
M I have high hopes. 2.6
Desaparecidos – MariKKKopa
Obie Trice – Good Girls
Little Boots – No Pressure
T club music thatll never be played in a club 3.4
Janet Jackson – no sleeep
Omarion, Kid Ink, French Montana
M damn son whered you frat this 2.3
Kaytranada, The Internet – Girl
Steven a Clark – Not You
Glitch Mob – Better Hide, Better Run
Slayer – Repentless
T boring, poorly mixed 3
Breaking Benjamin – HOllow
M uh oh. 2.3
Hunter Hayes – Young and In Love
Mike Posner – Not That Simple
Kacey Musgraves – Biscuits
T this is like a parody of a song. 1.3
Mac Demarco – Another One
Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington
GFE – CLass Actress
M i feel like i should be productive at a car wash. the msot fun car wash 3.75
Widowspeak – All Yours
Grouplove – No Drama Queen
The Heydaze – Dumb
M im going to judge them very hard because they’re the last song .97
The excitement of sixth grade and making many new friends could have not met with a more devastating fate than it found in seventh grade. Puberty struck many of us during this time and the anxiety of identity creation made the angst palpable. Who you were friends with mattered a lot and established your position in the hierarchy and it was rare to escape. Simultaneously we were learning about our sex organs and the drama only middle school relationships could bring. My principal felt me up for my bra strap, the only time I was bullied, and having to take care of an egg baby were all experiences which will make seventh grade one of the worst and most eye opening years of my life.reviewed by Diana
Spotify New Music Tuesday June 16 2015
Yo! before we get started, remind michael to finish his quiz (he has 6 questions left) – michael
Grace Potter – look what we’ve become
T I. Love. Rocknroll. im always a fan of squeaky guitar noises. boring 2
M was that you who made the song quieter? or did it just get quiet on its own (it was me). a real
feel it song, like you go from the small head bob to the big head bob and back to the small head bob. chorus feels like a bridge 3.7
Jarryd James – Give Me Something
T good taylor swift album cover. mike passed out on the couch real early last night. BORING 2
M he’s like sam smith. im getting really excited this morning, my standars for music are low. 3.47
Beck – Dreams
T beck’s gotta be darn old by now, right? this songs like the other two songs except by a guy i know this time.what happened to e-pro? what happened to… all the other good beck stuff? BORING 3
M one of my fratstar friends told me i remind him of beck. this song’s so long, jeez haha bring that 3.1 down to 2.9
Miguel – Hollywood dreams
T rnb is bad.im not doin this for other people im doin it for me 1
M its not giong anywhere 2.43
Giorgio Moroder, Charli XCX – Diamonds
T i just like the diamond guy. 3.1
M I like this sound [charli xcx comes in] i dont like this anymnore. [revising again] every time little guy says diamonds i really like it. judging by my other ratings, i have to rate this a 3.8 to make sense
The Struts – Could Have Been Me
T [15 seconds into the song] 2.1
M [1 second into the song] 2.8 [ we skip ahead to the anthemic chanting portion ] 2.3
Ryn Weaver – The Fool
T Ryn looks attractive, but in an approachable way. Like, I could date her.
M How would you do that?
T “hey, uh, how do you say your name? ryan?” “oh ted, marry me”
M and then you lick her hand
NO RATING ASSIGNED
John Newman – Come and Get It
T NEWMAAANNN 2
M I’m a sucker for the groove 4
Where R U Now – Rustie Remix
T oooh… ohhhhh. a rustie remix. oh yeah im ready for this. oh yeah.
M does it give you immediate brownie points? Do you ever lay down with y our feet on your pillow? its so comfy. you’re the magna carta’s nameless scribe. Does his family remember him?
T I wouldnt know i was related to the president… uhh, with the last name tyler, unless my mom and dad told me
M the dark horse?
M There was once a dark horse presidential candidate. He was like 13
T Not possible
M [referring to the song] im getting vibes to it. 4.1
T it’s worse than the original! bad remix! 1
Vance Joy – Great Summer
M vance joy sounds like he’s trying to modernize himself
T the modern vance joy
M it’s like… cute driving music. The situation in this song is i’m driving in a car, and its an instagram filter. and i have a girlfriend in this scenario too. car, instagram, girlfriend [trailing off] yeah 3.0
T my problem with this music is that it’s too cleaned up. at one point, there were humans on this track, but all the sounds are so round and perfect and ready for radio. It’s not electronic, but it’s not any traditional form of rock or whatever. 2
Frank Turner – Get Better
M Irish Pub Dropkick Murphy Music. I Don’t Like This. Oh is this the guy who sings recovery?
T This is just like recovery again
M I feel bad for him!
T He’s so vulnerable. By the way, the format on these reviews has switched, if you haven’t noticed
M [ chuckling ] are there still ratings at the end
M A pity 3.2, because I feel bad for him
HEALTH – Stonefist
M I was feeling real hard, and then the vocals came in. They gave me something and they took it away.. Oooh, they’re giving it back slowly though. I wasn’t like, upset with it. But it had more to give. 3.4
T I’m still holding out hope for this one. Oh man lame 2
Miguel – Face the sun
M How’s back? Why’d he get 2? 2.0
T VOTE TO SKIP 1
ROZES, The Chainsmokers – Roses
M if i got to a club in england too early i’d expect to hear this song
T yeah, its really british 3
M I need tea. I love when sound sounds squelched through and backmasked. 3.4
Travie Scott, Sia – Golden
M [quick rating] 1.9 Off brand song. Bad rihanna with off brand rapper
T this is such a knockoff song. bragging about eating eggs over easy and shopping at target? .3
Walk Off The Earth – Sing It Away
T Walk Off The Earth and Walk Into The Moon. Walk The Moon. Same band.
M Put this one ont he party playlist [snickering]
T HUGGGEEE ANTHEM . SUMMER ANTHEMMM
M ..6 [vocalized as point point six]
T 3. complete filler and then a BIG CHORUS. This is accelerationism
Dragoneette – Let The Night Fall
SCOTT SMITH GUEST RATING – I’m waiting for it to go somewhere
M Fair enough
T you sound like a total dick mike
M [ laughing ] i didn’t mean to
T cmon scott
Scott: 3. Why are you rushing me? it’s an intense process.
Nate Ruess – Take It back
S: i’m giving him a 2, cuz his voice sucks
Harry: Take me to church
M Isn’t he in Fun.?
T yeah. you asked this last week.
M fast forward and see if anything happens
S: that’s really bad
M 2.4 for a cool guitar
Daye Jack, Tori Kelly – Expensive
M SOunds like it’d be in a movie I wouldnt’ be enjoying
T I’d show this to small kids so they can dance aroudn to the clean lyrics. every summer needs its “dynamite” 3.1
S It’s got a groove. I’m not minding it. 3.5
M Minions the movie. Oh, those minions just do their thigns 3.4
David Guetta, Afrojack, Nicki Minja, Bebe Rexha, Boaz van de beatz remix – hey mama
S I don’t ‘understand how both david guetta and afrojack can collab on a song
M I love the beat
T is this a slow version? oh no.. its faster
S no its actually trappy
T I like the violent tempo change 4.5
S in trap every drop is different, pretty solid, 3.8
Hilary Duff – My Kind
T HILARRRYYYY 1. i hate this.
S she did an AMA on reddit the other day. and she had a kid with a hockey player and got divorced
M she’s pretty. 2.9. it’s almost average, and i’d head bob along to it, but it’s also “eh”
S this is pretty good. Nothing extraneous, well-mixed. You could also play this for the little ones. It’s got remix potential. That’s the thing. 3.4 for the possiblility of a 4.5 remix
The Maccabees – Something LIke Happiness
T if you go to a concert for this band your mouth would get stuck in the O position
M what’s going on in this middle part?
T they’re getting you ready for the chant again
S [ walking out ] this is horrible. [walking back in] I give it a 1
Raury – Devil’s Whisper
T clearly, mumford and sons were the most influential band of the past decade
M I thought YOU were saying “young boy” [it was the song[
T uh yeah 2
M I need a banger
T we just got a banger!
M that anthem?
M i need MORE bangers
M low 2s. gimme a 2.2
Verite – Sentiment
T really cool album artwork, looks like mirror’s edge
M They’re using solid triangulation
S I’m a sucker for smooth female voices. I love in the chorus that shes not saying anything. she’s just saying “ooooo oo oo” what is going on
T EVERY SONG A SINGALONG
[big drums come in and come out]
S: I bump it up to a 2.8 because of that little drum riff right htere
M you need to actually review the music ted
Jasmine Thompson – Adore
M this song sounds like most of the other songs. what do you think people that went to high school with her think? 2
T this glitchy stuff is BAD . its infantile! I hate infantile things. 0.4
S I think it’s missing an instrument or some layer.
T too simple
S yeah. And then the weird little glitchy thing is sorta unnecessary. 1.5
Vince Staples – Get Paid
S is he saying “get bae” over and over again? 2.0
T I like vince staples
M I feel like this song would make more sense on the album 2
T vince not bringing it with the subject matter on this one. He usually raps about interesting stuff, but this one’s just like money.
S What happened to the cool drums?
T I think they had to get rid of them so that with vince’s percussive voice elements it didn’t get too much 2
Hudson Mohawke – Warriors
M Bauuer, Flosstradamus, TNGHT were the first good trap. This is an anthem in disguise. It’s not fooling me
T No anthems for old mike
S [irritably] turn it up! I haven’t had my breakfast sandwich yet 3.2
M Can we take a break and get breakfast sandwiches and tea? 2.2
Tsuch an anthem 1.2 I’m very disappointed. Wanted more from hudmo
Kid Astray – Diver
M I’d lisen to this in 2010. it’s like cooler than me by mike posner. 2.95
S it’s got a swing [thoughtfully[ its in 6/8 time. 2
T same back bass as Teenage Dream. 3
Day Wave – We Try But We Dont Fit In
S Why is there so much music like this in the world? This is like young the giant and walk the moon had a child.
M does this even have words?
T it’s wavvvved out.
S all echoey
T the aesthetic gets me frustrated. It’s whiny. 4
S I’m sorry… WHAT? you never said anything good about it–
S okay so im giving it a 2.5
M [laughing] didn’t i say something already? 2.5 or something?
The Internet – Special Affair
all: ooooooohhh. the internet
T SLINKY. The Internet is like number one gettin intimate music
M I’ll give em a 4. It’s saucy. I haven’t heard saucy in a while. I’m thinking if i’m in grand theft auto san andreas my sex appeal bar would be like “boop”
S 3.8 for some well placed percussive elements. it’s got the “afuche”
T yeah, the fish?
Refused – Dawkins Christ
T Is this a play on richard dawkins and jesus christ? this is pretty damn hard for a spotify song
M It was really veiled at the start, I did not expect this
T sounds sort of like early slayer. The big problem I always have with metal is they’re really good at their instruments and YOU HAVE TO KNOW THEY ARE. these guys are just thrashing w no pretense 4.8
M praise the lord; god is dead. I find it interesting you and me get really into metal 4.3
Wolf Alice – You’re a Germ
T [you’re a jerk voice] you’re a germ, you’re a germ
M [after the surprisingly quiet intro] what’s going on! this is heavy 3.7
T it’s really “rock n roll” 3.5
M yeah, it’s different. good for them
Motion City Soundtrack – TKO
T i remember hating this band? 2.3
M a Piqniq Summer Festival Filler Band 2.8
M Something feels off
T it’s by the numbers
Boh Doran – White Knuckles
M this is a high pass filter? DJ ZEKE SIMMONS
T whiny sounding 2
M judging by the past few, I wanna see where this onen goes though 2.95
AIR BAG ONE – 1992
M sounds like imagine dragons
T The guy on the cover’s
JEFF: 20 bands have already done this, and they did it better.
T it’s not spotify good music tuesday
Dropout – Slowly
J he doesnt sound confident in his voice
T I like the claps, teh claps are nice
M it has motion, unlike most of the songs on this playlist
T Nothing very different
M But it’s doing it well
T If this is what the radio sounded like, I’d listen to the radio
M [cryptically[ maybe it will 4.2
Rationale – Re.Up
J I hate the way she pronounces her T’s. shes a bad singer.
T the bass GOES
J [sardonically] its the 80s again
T If you took out the words, this is what flying on an airplane sounds like
J only in california
T only in california 3.7
M I like the very soft harmonic humming 4
Robert DeLong – Don’t wait up
T Why is the cover him playing drums when the drums in this song are completely unnotable 2
J 80s repetitive cour
Tobias Jesso Jr – True Love
J [immediately] I’m giving it a 5
T such a long pause
M i feel like crying
J you know he’s trying really hard to connect with you because hes using the word “aint.” in a folksy way. He’s honest. He says aint
M aw, he had me, and then he lost me with the “True love”s
M 2.9 because it had a lot of potential. his pauses was great and i was feeling it and hten that stupid ass line… cmon tobias.
Awreeoh – Don’t Get Deleted
J this guy’s confused
M the flow’s off, but they’re trying
T SO CORNY
J i am personally insulted .4
T it’s like im 13 and listened to hollywood undead and took my own take on it .3
M — in garage band. 1.4
Heartless Bastards – Gates of Dawn
M is this person’s voice serious
T I also like the most basic chord structure of all time strummed on an acoustic guitar with no effects added 1.9
J this would make a good commercial
M I agree. 1.925
J I’d buy a ford focus if this was playing. 0 APR down if you come to fred’s used car… dealership have a great time. It’s mothers day. 1.95
Catey Shaw – Rumble in the Park
M we’re all bored and on our phones 2
Vicktor Taiwo – Feathers & Wax
M I love british people
T I hope this is super heavy grime [song begins] it’s just boring 2
J [wailing pathetically] .5 it’s garbage. it’s total garbage. garbage. not even sounds
Daye Jack – Save My Soul
J I think i’ve got a scar from the bike accident
M is this like a sequel to “blvd of brokn dreams”
T it’s the same indie pop song as the last five songs but with more electronic 1.995 OH NO bad rap .8
J i’m gonna stick with 2.5
Mackintosh Braun – Never Give In
T i’m already done 1.6
M fuck. 1.1
J hey! 1.4
Keys n Krates – Save Me
J [shows me a picture of an old lady who looks like emperor palpatine]
T we got the breakbeat!
M [post drop] i think you’re supposed to cut the break in half, and they cut it in thirds, something’s off
T these sounds are good, they’re just… in the wrong order. if you gave me these sounds, i could put them in a better order and make a better song. 3
M 2.85. still off
Aer – One of a Kind
M I feel safe listening to this. If im blasting this in my car and a black person walks up, i’ll nod and be like “yeah!” 2.6
J “chill frat rap” 2.2
T the best rap either is lyrically creative or is serious. this is neither, its lame and soft and worthless .6
Gardens & Villa – Fixations
M If I squint, I can hear what they’re saying 3
T it’s not mixed well 2
J but it’s alright 3.3. they’re really drying
Cloves – Frail Love
T it’s rihanna again
M y ou mean adele
J fucker twigs
M i had time to listen to adele’s lyrics while working at Ragstock and i almost started crying
M it was weird
T [shrugging] 1.5
M 2.2, like, it’s not music im into but it’s whatever. you can’t even tell if its good. she has a good voice
James taylor – Today Today Today
M he’s fighting an uphill battle for me right now
T i can’t stand it
J this is garbage
J 1.6 because i feel empathy for this man
Saint Louis, MO
A REVIEW OF SAINT LOUIS: EXHAUSTIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, OBJECTIVEAs a Chicagoan, I’ve been brought up to hate Saint Louis because my baseball team loses to their baseball team every year. This is very important to me. To supplement our actual state v state nationalism (booooo ISIS) we midwesterners elevate sports, creating rivalries to spark otherwise humdrum lives. The Cardinals’ season-opening programs this year featured an anthropomorphic cardinal holding a flag featuring their recent division titles trailed by a sobbing, stumbling bear cub. It’s war.So, on my way to Saint Louis for the first time (conference), I decided to review the city. As always, I remain a platonically unbiased observer, and my experience of the city is both objective and all-encompassing.My bus for Saint Louis left at 6:30AM, and I slept until the bus reached its first rest stop. I wasn’t sure how far I had gone. Sans internet technology, a way to calculate where you are in the midwest is to walk into the nearest McDonalds and take a gander at the relative ages, dispositions, and races of the workers. Because this Mickey Dee’s was a bunch of white teenagers overeager to make conversation, I determined we were in A Deeply Rural Area. Back onto the bus, back to sleep. Except for that the guy in front of me was snoring two weight classes up in decibel level. Earth shaking snores. Weird that evolution hasn’t equipped us to find snores soothing and sleep-inducing.Which brings me to another point. I read somewhere that the reason that your hands get pruney when you take long showers is to improve grip. This happened evolutionarily? People who held things better when wet were so much more reproductively fit that now this is a species-wide trait? There’s a missing link in my understanding of evolution.The bus crossed over the Mississippi, and I was disappointed to learn that the arch doesn’t stretch over the river, as I had believed for my entire life. It’s just… parallel to the river, set arbitrarily off in what appeared to be a zone under construction. The state’s number one icon is surrounded by turned dirt and uneven slabs of broken concrete.
I disembarked with four hours to spare until check-in. Carried my luggage to Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals play. Checked ticket prices ($27 for standing room; the Cubs’ Wrigley Field goes as low as $10), Walked into the Fox Midwest fan experience and snapchatted a middle finger pointed at Cardinals memorabilia. Duty fulfilled.
Downtown review: postindustrial in every sense of the word. The mental image I’d like you to get here is that you’re walking down a sidewalk strewn with swisher wrappers and the glass of broken 40s. The entire block is occupied by one giant red brick building that used to be a factory. There are no doors indicating exits or entrances and no other people. You reach the end of the block and see a doorway with a Budweiser sign. The building’s front portion has been converted into a pub. There’s a bicycle hanging from the rafters inside and everything’s reclaimed oak. Drink specials: flat tire four dollar. Ten dollar pitchers of a nationally distributed AB InBev product. The other three corners of the block are equally uninviting: a Chase building, a derelict brownstone, and a closed barbershop with sun-faded pictures of models with impossible and gauche ‘cuts. This is downtown Saint Louis. The few people you see are riding bikes, but you walk faster them even though you’re lugging a weeksworth of clothing.
I’m intimidated by the nuances and idiosyncrasies of semimajor cities’ public transport systems. I’ll figure out New York or San Fran because I have to in order to get around. Aside: Chicago’s previously-friendly CTA system was sold to private interests two years ago. The system is now needlessly complex and punishes those who want to ride a single time. The icing on the cake is that Ventra is operated by Cubic Transport Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation, which is a defense contractor that sells military training equipment. Hell yeah! Every time I ride public transport in Chicago, I am indirectly funding war abroad. By the way, the Cubic Corporation’s Wikipedia page should serve as the dictionary definition of “corporate whitewashing.” s everywhere, obfuscatory corporatespeak e.g. “Cubic customizes its products, systems, and services to meet specific requirements for government and commercial customers in defense and transportation markets. The solutions Cubic provides require specialized knowledge and experience.” Aw yeah. Out of a combined fear of heading the wrong direction, wasting a couple bucks on the train, and butterfly-effect sponsoring ISIS, I decided to walk to my hotel. Google maps told me to head west four miles. So I headed west four miles! The remainder of my review of Saint Louis comes from my experience walking from the Mississippi river to Kingshighway Blvd, more or less parallel to Route 40/Interstate 64.
As with most postindustrial cities, there’s a complex relationship between demographics and geographics that requires some historical context to understand. This relationship informs neighborhood design, public amenities, and store locations. I don’t really have any historical context, so the following notes are the best I can do:
There’s a belt of parks with sculptures near downtown, but as you leave the downtown area, the parks have fewer and fewer sculptures. If I come back in 30 years, will the sculptures have crept west?
Everyone in saint louis seems to be either african-american or northwest european. Half of the northwest europeans are wearing Cardinals jerseys. Most of the african-americans are sitting on benches in parks. Compared to other urban areas, many people seem to be smoking. Despite stereotypes, I did not witness anyone who seemed like an anti-meth PSA “after” photo.
Street misnomers: “market” street did not feature any discernable storefronts, and the part of “forest park” i walked on had neither.
I used to work at Goodwill, so I tried to stop into what google maps calls “MERS Goodwill.” I followed the walking directions up until the step where I was required to sprint across a four-lane highway and jump a chain link fence to reach what was ostensibly the store’s front entrance.
As I walked along the highway’s edge, I saw an overturned license plate lying on the ground. Cool Souvenir! Flipped over, it was just another Illinois plate. Lame!
Dehydraded, I shuffled through Saint Louis University’s campus in search of a water fountain. Couldn’t find one. Couldn’t find any people either. Checked my phone: 95 degrees. Hachi Machi. Beelined to the nearest gas station, chugged a copyright-evasive 54 oz MAX GULPER that i filled with lemon lime gatorade for a refreshing $1.19. Didn’t have to urinate for hours afterwards; evidence this might have been the Michael Jorda ‘s Breweries Clutch Play of the Game™
Interesting: the gas station had Full Throttle brand energy drink included among the usual cadre of coca-cola products. Imagine drinking a 54 oz MAX GULPER filled with full throttle. Would you die? (According to http://www.caffeineinformer.com/death-by-caffeine, I would not, but I shouldn’t do this on the daily)
Passed a Salvation Army as I neared my hotel. Almost bought a green t-shirt displaying “ISRAELI ARMY” across the breast. Couldn’t determine its authenticity, so I didn’t buy it.
I got to my hotel, checked in, took a shower, turned on the cubs game, and took a five hour nap.
Saint Louis seems like every other big city: if you don’t have an interest in museums or a good tour guide, I hope you’re fascinated by slight variations in brick type, street pave, and sidewalk concrete gradation.
reviewed by ted
SPOTIFY NEW MUSIC TUESDAY WEEK OF JUNE SECOND 2015
REVIEWS BY MIKE AND TED
RATINGS OUT OF FIVE
Eminem – Phenominal :
M: Burned out old guy, talking about motivation. Can’t rap about having lots of money 2.5
T: because for some reason that’s not eminem’s schtick. 2
Florence and the Machien – Third Eye:
M: I don’t even remember that one. I need to get my anchor touched up.2
T: Wailey, Moany stuff. We were really excited about third eye blind so we went back and listened to some of their new stuff instead (it was bad). 2
Air Traffic Controller – On The Wire
M: sounds like stereotypical hipster music, can’t really undestand what she’s saying. I could have a decent time at a concert to this song. Good harmonizing, shoulda stuck with it through more of the song. 3.6
T: Chorus is pretty nice, got the “viva la vida” epic drums. I like it. 3.7
Major Lazer – Powerful
M: has some soul to it. Got that sauce, wouldn’t expect that outta ellie. Not a big fan of the chorus. 3
T: Sounds like ellie goulding featuring major lazer instead of the way around. 2
Cazzette, Newtimers – Together
M: I don’t like the vocal effect. The most pleasantly surprising drop. I was expecting something way bigger and this is nice. 4.2
T: Got a diclosure sort of thing going on! haha a lil saxophone. emphasis on a little saxophone, he played like four notes total 4
Jason Derulo – Trade Hearts
M: maaan there better be some weird instrument that comes in. The singalong at a concert. Is it going to pick up…. no. This is going to be really overplayed at the pool. 2
T: derulo ballad time. My heartstrings getting rent. 1.3
Lola Marsh – You’re Mine
M: Different sound. [during weird bridge part] if this was balance beam gymnastics, that’d be her wobbling right there. 3.8
T: That’s gotta be a hammered-off bass note, which basically drives the song. 3
MKTO – Bad Girls
M: trying very hard for a hit single right here. Not offensive, it’s just there. 3
T: expected this band name to mean it was EDM. 2003 music. I hate this. 1
Aquilo – Waiting
M: sounds like a nother softie. I like when EDM people take these ballads and add a beat and some speed. I could never see myself listenign to that song. 2.8
T: I forget this whole piano ballad genre is a huge moneymaker; I stay away from all of these songs. SOmething might happen here (not getting my hopes up). BIG STRINGS. first half 0, second half 2
Jamie XX/ Romy – SeeSaw
M: They’ve got an unfair advantage right now, coming right after a 0mph song. Changing the beats without a “HERE COMES THE DROPP” . 3.4
T: “up and down with you” and the song’s called seesaw. reeeeel creative. Interesting drums. song structure is very XX of them. 3
Beirut – no no no
M: Spotify radio commercials are radio commercials for our generation [instead of regular radio commercials, which are for old people]. Makes me feel like im on a warm street in france. It’s good though. 4.1
T: I would love to walk down a gently inclined cobblestone street in france and listen to this. Too mellow for usual though. 2.3
Muse – Reapers
M: Intro sounds just like Eruption. I’m a sucker for upbeats. I like this. Would be fun to play in guitar hero. So many different noises. End guitar sounds exactly like rage against the machine – freedom. an adventure. Highlight song sofar. 4.5
T: The thing that made old muse good was when they played faster. I like how hard this is (For a muse song). A lot of this sounds cobbled together from old rock hits. 4.2
SOAK – reckless behavior
M: Hard to come up to bat right after Muse knocks it out hte park. 2.3
T: I’ve got something weirdly (sexistly?) against airy half-there female voices. Much prefer when high-pitched singers are either belting it out or keeping it quiet. 1.3
Steve Angello, Mako – Children Of The WIld
M: Steve Angello sounds like someone I should be making love to. Uhh, i mean he would be playing in the background. Really using a 2008 formula here. They’re bringing out the kids chorus! 2.8
T: “we ravers gotta stick together” mentality. really establishing an ingroup here. 3
Zella Day – High
M: Good album art, I don’t know why. No thoughts. whatever. I feel like if we had serious talent, we’d be more creative than this. 3
T: the 10000000th song ever called high. forgot it already. 2.3
Gallant – Learn to Fly
M: whaaatttt. urrrrhhhhhh. I’d accidentally listen to this on christian radio. 2.2
T: SUPER WANKY. 0.
Dawes – Things Happen
M: dawes has been described to me as a dad hipster band. Like a dad finds it on local radio and makes it his song. and I totally agree. 2.7
T: I like the simplicity of the guitar. This is such “a friend talking to his/her longtime friend” lyrical setup, which automatically qualifies it as old people music. 3.1
Whales and this Lake – Gold
M: trying to break out the 80s. i love this. 3.1. would be a 3, but the drums are good.
T: THE RICK ASTLEY DROP! otherwise super uninteresting. 2
Highly Suspect – Claudeland
M: I had a feeling this would be a girl singing, but then it wasn’t, and I think this is def a male singer song. Put together well. Nothing crazy. I could see it on an alternative shoe commercial. I’ll go 3.5
T: yeah, the first thing over 80bpm today! I don’t like when the singer sings the same notes as the guitar, really ever. Generic, but i like punk more than pop so I’ll give it a 3.6
The Maccabees – Marks to Prove It
M: starting like this is not a good idea. It’s so quiet. There’s so much ground they have to make up. These guys are in no rush. I’m gonna manscape today. 3
T: 2015 motorik drums revival, without anything really interesting about it. But i love the motorik so 4
Nate Ruess, Beck – What This World Is Coming To
M: is this Fun guy? it totally is. Smells like eggnog. 2.4
T: I don’t like fun at all. guy matching singing to guitar again, jeez. goodnight. boring. 1
Fickle Friends – Paris
M:this one’s just as bad. [imitating singing poorly] 2.45
T: I can barely see the — taking off the sunglasses helps. Boring chord chord progression. 2
Rationale – Fast Lane
M: far from fast. A reflection on what the fast lane is like, lights moving past on the night highway. oooh now i’m groovin in the fast lane. 3.8
T: LIFE IN THE FAST LANE [cool guitar lick]. this is SO pool.fm. 3.5
Woolf and the WOndershow – cages
M: I’m REALLY not enjoying this. I guess you’re right about the whole ballad thing. WOAAH hold up. If owl city kept it together, they’d be making this. props that they’re tyring somethign different. 2
T: surprise non-ballad ballad! too contrasty. owl city, waht a horror story. horrible breakup. got that asap rocky beat switch going on at the end. unfortunately, this is their magnum opus. strings, autotune, jeez. 3 for them trying
Walk off the earth – boomerang
M: does anything happen. [nonchalantly[ 2.6
T: there’s no way this is going to be interesting, based on the name. 1
Good Old War – Broken Record
T: you know how north north west is more north than northwest? this is like pop pop country. 2.3
Neon Indian – Annie
M: wooaaah. Everyone else today has been dillydallying, but these guys just gave us the beat. Could have cleaned up the chorus a little bit, but i still like it. 4
T: I like this. cover is a reference to SOPHIE – BIPP? skank guitar pickituppickitup. song makes me want to eat fruit, strawberries and grapes. 4
Above and Beyond – Peace of Mind
M: [arms akimbo] 3.05 [after drop] uhhhawwww 2.6
T: whatever. 2.
Arno cost, Norman Doray, Mike Taylor – Rising Love
M: A little let down by the drop. 3.1
T: got a bit of a disco flair. This is the same as the last one, which is the same as the other ones. 2
hell yeah. ONLY YOU CAN SET ME FREE… CUZ IM GUILTY.. GUILTY AS A GIRL CAN BEEEEE
reviewed by tedmond
Hard Boiled Eggs
, healthy, and with a burst of fluffy flavor in every center. hard boiled eggs are what is HOT this spring season. keep em in your pockets to keep you warm as you go to school in the cold in 1920, or just eat them like a regular person. with hard boiled eggs, it’s up to you!!!reviewed by tedmond
this is an okay friend. he is fun to drink beer with and is good at push ups and music. sometimes he has weird taste in books and also doesn’t refrigerate his tomatoes. 6/10 would befriend with cautionreviewed by jasmine
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Watership Down was one of my favorite books when I read it as a kid. I love how the bunnies are super realistic as bunnies and are only partially anthropomorphic. I also think the parts with the big scary one and his violence are cool and super gory for a book an (edgy) teen would read. Reminds me of that new Planet of the Apes movie except way better.reviewed by jeff
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
My favorite part about this book was the flow of consciousness sections from the main character’s point of view. Cullen goes off on these super random tangents about zombies and cute girls which are pretty great. It’s also the “two separate story lines merge into one” type of book, which I always think adds intrigue. That being said, I found the ending pretty unsatisfying. But in the words of my cousin, “Libby, I think you’re overthinking it.”reviewed by libby
it is not the worst thing I have ever had, and I do not think I wasted those 68 cents. It tastes like carbonated water going down and the aftertaste is slightly apple-y, if you know to look for itreviewed by laura
The Fixer by Joe Sacco
I usually like graphic novels because they can be appreciated as stories and art at the same time. However, I didn’t know this one had a historical basis, so I kept getting disappointed and looking for literary significance in things that were just regular ~history~ about war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Ex: two of the characters are named Celo, so I thought they were related thematically or something, but it turns out it’s just that two famous people in the war were named Celo. The art is nothing special, but there are some really well-arranged pages. Would definitely be better if read in a “historical mindset” instead of a “graphic novel” mindset.reviewed by tedmond