MY LITTLE VHS TAPE by kyle “breakin’ da law” kuchta
At Best Buy, DVD/VCR combos are $80. By now, I would expect them to, you know, NOT be that expensive. But my mother said that maybe it was because the technology of VCRs is becoming so obsolete that they hike up the prices in order to sell them to people who actually want them. I guess that’s true because I bought one. I needed to; my VCR broke when I got to school. And I need a VCR. I really needed a VCR at school. I like to think of VHS tapes as the vinyl records of film. Except the quality isn’t as good, and things don’t normally get re-released on VHS. THAT ASIDE, collecting and watching VHS tapes is fucking GREAT. I’m sure it has something to do with being a horror movie fan, though. Or the cheap availability of older movies on VHS. But for me, it’s more about the horror films. The idea that these films were once released either in-theaters or direct-to-video, but got lost in the midst of far better films, and didn’t get a DVD release. Or maybe they did get a DVD release. But fuck that, I want that raw, classic cover art, brick of video type shit. There are a few things involved when I buy a tape: 1) Never worry about the price. Because more than likely, it’s $3 and under. If its any more than that, do consider that you are buying a VHS tape. A VHS TAPE. Like, step one should be something we all already know. 2) Is it on DVD? If so, is it interesting enough to me that I WOULD want a better quality/smaller form of media? Or do I not care enough about the film/care enough about it to own it on that older form? 3) Is this a one and done type film? Will I ever watch it again? Or is it more of a showpiece? 2
I brought a box of VHS tapes up to school. Not all of them mind you, because that would be fucking silly. But I brought enough. Enough to successfully cover each reason as to why I still buy (some would say collect) VHS tapes. I have the ones from when I was a kid, like Dumbo and Fantasia and An Extremely Goofy Movie. I also have the ones that I couldn’t pass up when I saw them, like American Cyborg Steel Warrior and FART: The Movie. Those are the gems right there. There are the horror movies that were so cheap, and that I don’t necessarily care about, that I bought (Return to Horror High, Dr. Giggles) and then there are the horror films I wanted to see, but didn’t feel like spending the extra $10-$15 on a DVD for (From Beyond, The Fog). And lastly, there are the VHS tapes that are free, and I’m NEVER one to pass up free shit. It’s a collection that most people would rather not collect. Not in the age of online streaming and high definition. But I that these tapes aren’t really made anymore. I like the idea of finding them as is, and then adding them to some collection that, when people see them, are greeted by a sense of nostalgia. Either that, or they think you’re dumb. I’ve been able to handle either reaction pretty well, and proud to be collecting some wonderful relics from the past. Ha, relics, what a word. 3
this issue is brought to you by my Christmas wish list.
Single of the
Look, my miscreants. Dumb Talk has released a super badass EP that is available for FREE on their bandcamp. And it’s a steal. The most miscreanty track is decidely “Dream Team.” Enjoy!!! 4
d u m b
t a l k
an interview by tom carles
Having just released Love Sea, their debut EP, Dumb Talk has already created quite a buzz in their short time together. Yet despite all the attention, Will, Harry, and Ian are still as mellow as ever. Here they tell the story of their origin, whose music plays influence on their own, and what they do while in bed together in the late hours of the night. Tom the Miscreant: What inspired you guys to make a shoegaze band? Was it something you consciously set out to do? Will Smith: No, we were never like ‘guys, let’s make shoegaze music together.’ That’s kind of just how it came out. We just jammed and sort of fell into that sound. TM: You guys have played with each other in a number of bands in the past. Tell me a little about that. WS: The three of us were in a band called Nicolas Rage first. Then Ian and I started Community when that was over with this kid Jon. We sort of ditched him and ended Community to start Dumb Talk, though. I would feel bad but he’s kind of a cock now, so I don’t really. Feel free to include that. Ian Dwy: Yea, include it. [“That’ll show him for removing us on Facebook!” he added sarcastically.] TM: How did your time in those bands affect your chemistry as band mates and the overall sound of Dumb Talk? Harry Manning: We really wanted to make the music we wanted to make this time. In the past there was always a leader or a frontman. That’s something we all wanted to avoid this time around. So in a sense those bands showed us how we didn’t want to be. WS: Everything is a lot more of a group collaboration now; it’s a lot more democratic. One of us will come up with a riff, theme, or idea we want to capture and then we’ll all work it out together. We expand on each other’s ideas. TM: Dumb Talk is an intriguing name. What’s the backstory? ID: It’s kind of really weird. Harry and I were sleeping in the same bed at his house one night and we were just spitting out stupid names. Somewhere along the line we decided on Blanket Talk because we were pretty much spooning 6
in the same bed. Will added on it by suggesting we change it to Dumb Talk. WS: There’s really no deeper meaning than that. TM: You guys are still a very young band. How many shows have you played together so far? Tell us about them. HM (after all three members stopped laughing): Oh man, we’ve only played two shows so far. Our first show was a joke. You don’t want to hear about that. ID: Our first show was in the basement of The Charleston Center, a bar in Brooklyn. This band called High Pop ended up headlining the show after another band dropped out. We were the first act to perform, though, and I’m pretty sure we played for the wall. HM: No, we didn’t play for the wall. The other bands and the sound check were there, too… WS: Our next show was a lot better. It was at The Tuscan Café [in Warwick, NY], so it was a lot closer to home than our debut. We were able to get a lot of our friends to come out and we were just feeling all around more confident. I mean, Dumb Talk was only ten days old when we put on our first show. We had eleven days in between the two shows and we jammed every night in that time. It might not sound like much, but those eleven days were all we needed to feel like we found our groove. We worked a lot of things out and were much more comfortable. TM: It’s impressive that you’ve already got an EP on the way, seeing as you’ve only been around since late October. When did you start recording and how long did it take to finish? HM: We just finished recording today. As of today, the EP is done. ID: I actually just finished recording my drum parts. Over the past two nights we were able to get the drums for five songs out of the way. Now we pretty much just need to mix it all. HM: We started recording the second week in November. First we recorded “Tasteless Lunch,” then “Minor Detail,” “Airplane,” and “Love Sea.” TM: That’s interesting that the title track wasn’t the first thing you recorded. How’d that happen? How’d you know “Love Sea” was worthy of being the EP’s title without even hearing the finished product? HM: The thing is that “Love Sea” was never meant 7
to be something we’d release as a single, and it won’t be. It’s just a great way to start the EP and sets the tone for the rest of the record. A lot of our songs relate to the sea and we got good vibes from the title so we just went with it. TM: I’m guessing you guys are constantly playing together if you’re already confident enough to put out a record. How often do you guys practice? HM: Ha, that probably depends what you call “practice.” During the day we all lead pretty separate lives, but we all meet up in Ian’s basement to jam just about every night. It’s at the point where people know they can call Ian to get in touch with any one of us three. WS: We play so much that we could probably record a whole new album by now, honestly. I know that sounds weird for me to say considering Love Sea isn’t even out yet, but it’s true. TM: That’s something I hear a lot from young musicians. They’re constantly writing new material, and they usually end up saying each new song they write is their new favorite. With your debut release around the corner, how do you feel about this? WS: I definitely agree in a lot of ways. We’re all very proud of Love Sea, but we’ve only been together for a month. As a first effort it’s good, but it’s not even released yet and I already know we can do better. ID: Put it this way, in our infantile state I think we’ve done a real great job. It’s just that we’re already trying to better ourselves. Just earlier we were talking about what we could add to the band, like a trumpet or a microKORG. There are definitely bigger plans for the future to mature our lyrics and our sound. HM: Yea, “mature” is a good word for it. Our music won’t necessarily be superior in a couple of weeks, but it will definitely be more mature. We can hear ourselves mature every time we play. TM: Being so prolific, I’m curious if there’s any method to your madness. How does each song develop from start to finish? What kinds of things inspire you? ID: It’s not really like a structured method or anything. It usually starts with Will writing a guitar part and sending me a real rough, shitty demo. And I’m constantly writing lyrics so I’ll even just find stuff I already have and throw it on top. Whenever I have a significant experience in my life that brings out a lot of emotion I like to sit down and write about it. It gives me closure on it. I usually like to write about it as soon after it happens as I can. I come up with the most raw, honest lyrics if I do it that way. WS: Yea I’m much the same in that I’m always writing. There’s no specific 8
set of things that inspire me, just important events. Writing about them afterwards really helps me work things out and come to terms with them. TM: Well you must be doing something right, given all the album reviews that have been cropping up on French blogs lately. How does it feel to know your music is already being listened to overseas? WS: It makes me feel like we could actually do something with music, as in do it well enough to make a decent living. It’s really, really weird, but it’s the coolest feeling. ID: To be honest, it’s both shocking and hilarious. It shows how fast the internet moves and how accessible our music can be, even though it’s our first attempt. I hope that we can keep the hype up in France as well as in the states. HM: …I smoke bogies like the French… TM: Is it safe to say I hear some Wavves when I listen to Dumb Talk? WS: Ugh, we get that a lot. Sure Wavves is an influence on us, but it’s not exactly a conscious one. It’s the kind of thing where we’ve been listening to them since middle school, so their sound is sort of engrained in our head. We don’t act on it, though. Wavves seems like a half-assed effort, and we don’t want to be like that. HM: Nathan William’s [the singer/songwriter of Wavves] only real influence on us is the lo-fi, but believe me that’s because we’re broke. It’s strictly monetary. We’d love to record in a studio if we could. ID: We dig the whole low-fi, poppy nature of beach music lately, but it seems sort of like a cop out at times. We never want to limit ourselves because we can do so much better than that. TM: So what sorts of bands do influence you guys, then? WS: We listen to a lot of Yuck and Deerhunter. HM: Yea and The Black Lips. We love The Black Lips. [“Black Lips forever,” adds Will.] We have some of their vinyls and we love to put them on while we get drunk and play ping pong. TM: What seems to be in the cards for Dumb Talk’s future? ID: I’m pretty surprised with how fast things have been moving. It’s been a month and we already have an EP and some fans that really enjoy our stuff. It’d be really cool if people catch on to our music, but we’re not really thinking about it. That’s not our goal for now. We just want to keep doing our thing and see what happens. WS: We’re looking to do a little touring early next year. If you have a college, book us!
Last week all the miscreants were at Rayâ€™s hose for Punk Cakes. There were baked goods made by the SU/ESF Co-op and stellar jams. Rape Whistle, Good Intentions, SSWAMPZZ and Sei Hei all performed. Here are some great photos by MissMegan Gregg. Enjoy! 10
Saving Money Abroad by ben eisenstein, criminal mastermind The first time I stole food from Jusco an overwhelming sense of guilt I felt wiggling around in my belly nearly turned my ass around and put the steaks, breads, cheeses and veggies right back on the shelf where they belonged. Except, it was too easy to just walk home with my friends and enjoy our meal of champions. Shoplifting was something I had long feared. I’m not stingy with money, but sometimes I get a little Ocean’s Eleven feeling and think wow, I could just walk out of here and no one will ever find out. My little rebellious inner man would always tell me: hmmm yep, you could steal that. Every now and then I’d agree, but I never followed through. Then I went abroad and found myself hoping to save money for wild excursions to the Philippines or Indonesia! And then one of my roommates began accidentally shoplifting from that most esteemed of Asian hypermarkets, the Japanese owned Jusco (think Costco, but more Asian and even cheaper). You see, my roommate (one of two) was a good guy – I enjoyed his company and was intrigued by his different mindset on a range of issues. One time when this nebbish girl on our program was inquiring into our personal views on the women of Hong Kong, the club scene and Chinese drinking games, I was perplexed by how pedantic his personal presumptions perused around his prefrontal cortex (we differed on nearly every topic! Wow, a wise guy and yet so seemingly ‘off’ at the same time!). Yet, the first time he stole from our beloved Jusco I do believe it was accidental. The store, with its many floors, is truly the easiest place to steal from. That little Ocean’s Eleven man in me didn’t even need a hefty bank-breaking plan. He could just walk either left or right of the many cashiers hop an escalator and he’s home free. This Jusco in Whampoa Gardens was so poorly planned in anti-theft it was simply incredible. The management most definitely put that time into designing the Yacht-like façade/”I’m on water?” experience then in insuring inventory is actually purchased. Dummies. But my roommate’s actions slowly converted my gang of friends into a gang of thieves as we began placing our stickiest of fingers (index and middle) on the most scrumptious steaks and slinkiest of cheeses. It was so fucking easy and you saved money while feeling rebellious in a foreign country. Personally I started out with little things like cheap TV-dinners but all my friends were cooking gourmet meals and drinking wine so then I added to my repertoire a resume of recipes including (but not excluding!) cereal, peanut butter, crack12
ers, cheese, pesto basil, linguini, fettuccini, penne, alfredo, chicken, bacon (not kosher!), turkey, salami, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, sriracha, Tabasco, cumin, curry sauce, roti aloo, oyster sauce, garlic cloves, minced garlic, garlic salt, milk, juice, water, pocari sweat, Gatorade, ice cream, popsicles, taro bars, nature valley bars, fibre bars, protein bars, broccoli, bok choy, carrots, sprouts, salmon, tuna, snapper, yellowfish, ‘fishy’ fish, tofu, udon, teriyaki sauce, general tso knockoff sauce, black pepper, lemon pepper, lemons, limes, merlot, chardonnay, pinot grigio, bordeaux, cabernet, malbec and other delicious wines that all went so wonderfully well with my daily dining experiences. The list got so long and the money saved accounted so high that we did take a weekend trip to the island of Phuket, Thailad where we most likely spent the money that should’ve gone to the AEON corporation and its Jusco employees but instead went on local rum, elephant rides, fishing trips and ping-pong shows. Scum is one word I would describe myself at this time, but happy and carefree would be two others that also work just fine. Although, that would change all when my shitty little phone that never works received a call to which I answered in the middle of class on a Wednesday afternoon. “[Thief leader/my roommate] just got arrested”… ”Really?” “Really.”… “Holy shit, there is a god”. Yes, my odd-thinking Danny Ocean of a roommate was arrested! He spent some time with the police and a court date was set and his father flew all the way to Hong Kong and as I ran away two days later to Vietnam, he was dealing with lawyers, Chinese justice and reality. The idiot to which he is, had a bag full of ‘goods’ when a plainclothes security worker caught him in the act. Two and a half weeks later, the charges are dropped his sentence altered and he’s waving bye-bye from a mega plane back to Jersey. He was gone! Bastard! Our run was over, my fears returned and my money was again being spent as properly and rightfully as it should have been the last two or so months. What a motherfucker I had become! Ignorant of my guilt I became a mad-man, who the fuck steals?!?! I have worked – I have enough money – I can pay for my modest meals. But oh, what a run it was. I remember eating a steak every night of the week one time. Porterhouse, rib eye, filet mignon, and the mother of all steaks… Kobe! So I learnt my lesson, I squashed my rebellious inner man and luckily lived to tell the tale. Hong Kong is too wonderful a place. I do love it here. The fastest city in the world! Not to mention, it has an exceptional amount of excellent eateries. Spend your money and eat well. You only live once, dummy. 13
THE RENEGADES #3:
Lyrics, a commentary by Ibet Inyang by Ibet Inyang and Jasmine Holloway
***I know y’all want more Renegades, right?!? (Just play along) Well, don’t worry our blog is coming soon!!!***
I hate to be that person who complains about how hip-hop is dead and bashes rappers today for spitting lyrics that are either about how great of a rapper they are, how much money and hoes they have or other irrelevant crap, cough, cough Lil’ Wayne, cough, cough. However, as I listen to countless YMCMB singles and outputs from sucka MCs (as Run DMC would say) like Kanye and Jay-Z, I have come to realize how far we’ve strayed from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s The Message or even Public Enemy’s Fight the Power. This of course starts with the very lyrics that rappers recite. Take Dwayne Carter’s verse in Look at Me Now for instance. After we hear a wonderful verse from Busta Rhymes, Wayne comes in and talks about, well I’m not sure what the moral of his story was; he says lines like “I don’t eat sushi, no I’m the sh@#, no I’m pollution, no substitution” and other irrelevant crap, like I mentioned before. I’m not sure if this was the result of the trends in music today or the codeine in his cup, but this is a prime example of how crappy lyrics have tarnished a good thing. All of this is why I for one can’t wait until December 20th, when Common’s album The Dreamer/ The Believer drops. Common’s one of the few rappers still around that’s still pulling out rhymes that drop knowledge and a little ‘common sense,’ if you will, and his latest album doesn’t disappoint. With tracks featuring Nas and John Legend, Common gives us much needed dose of authentic hiphop; a mix of sick beats and meaningful lyrics that convey a message. I don’t know about you, but I miss the days that hip-hop doubled as social commentary, sure I love a good club banger, but really? Is that all there is? 14
submitted by ray mcandrew
KAT’S VAGINA MONOLOGUE warning: VAGINAL content by kat smith I’m a little concerned about this whole “Love Your Vagina” movement that I guess, as a woman, I’m supposed to be a part of. I saw a version of the Vagina Monologues a few months ago and I have never felt more like man than when I was watching that play. I get the point—theoretically—I think, but I can’t relate to it in the slightest. I’ve never loved or hated my vagina. It’s just kind of there; like my arm, except that I have two of those. If I had two vaginas, I would definitely go into porn. But I digress… The girls were on stage reciting monologues about what it’s like to have a vagina and apparently, it’s really hard. Until this play, I never realized that vaginas had so much to say! Not only can vaginas talk, but they can also tell stories and like to scream dirty words. Weird. Needless to say, I didn’t really get it. My vagina has never talked... :/ I wonder if it’s defective and if I should get it replaced? But everyone keeps telling me that that’s exactly what they want me to think. I don’t really know who ‘they’ is, but if I’m quite sure the warranty on this thing has run out by now so I’m probably stuck with it. I figure if my vagina and I had a conversation it’d go something like this: Kat: Hey kitty, what’s up? Do you mind if I call you kitty? Vag: No, do you mind if I call you Kat? Kat: Go for it, dude. It’s weird that we have the same name-ish… I’d high five you but that’d probably be weird. Vag: Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it. Things would get pretty awkward. Kat: True. So are you, like, mad that you’re oppressed by the patriarchy and all that? Vag: Nah, I mean, I never really thought about it. I mainly just kind of chill out down here and get mad if you stick a tampon in me, or get ner16
vous about going to the gyno. Kat: Sorry bro, that sounds like it sucks. Not my favorite time either, but it has to be done. Let’s not talk about it though, ‘cuz it’s kinda icky. Vag: Tell me about it. Kat: How cool is it that we don’t ever have to get kicked in the balls? Vag: It’s pretty awesome, actually. And sometimes underwear is cool too. Kat: Totally. Vag: So, can we like, have some more of that sex stuff sometime? Kat: Dude, I’m trying, but I think I’m cockblocking you up here. Vag: Yeah, you pretty much are. I mean, I’m attractive enough on my own and then you have to go and open your damn mouth… Kat: I know, I know. I’ll work on that. My pesky brain just keeps telling me that it’s more attractive than you are, and that I should show off, but I’m starting to realize that you’re really running the show here. Vag: Damn straight, mama. Kat: So…. are we cool? Vag: Yeah we cool. Kat: Coo’.
I’d fist bump you but…
Vag: Yeah, just go. That wasn’t really very enlightening but I do feel like me and my vagina could totally bro out together if we wanted; maybe watch Back to the Future and drool over Marty McFly. Yeah, being a chick rules. 17
art by our own lil lizzy 18
poetry by steve lowe Iâ€™ll be brilliant tomorrow Iâ€™ll write a beautiful poem and maybe that beautiful story that will make women weep and want to be with me if only for one night and men will respect me for my talent and shake my hand as they gladly offer their wives and girlfriends up to me I will be a great man,come tomorrow but, it can wait just make sure you remind me then that I have to be a genius
poetry by karen millar He was left alone by an accident that didnâ€™t wake me. Moved from city to farm to city again and Left for dead by the things that made him What he is. I ask what people do whilst lying beside nobody in a town So far from the home that we Never really have. Replies are often as vacant as the gaze. The bags beneath our feet say it all.
WANT MORE MISCREANT? Thank you guys so much for reading issue 13! And a VERY special thanks to everyone who submitted. This week was rough with finals and the holidays just around the corner; Iâ€™m so pleased we were able to put out this issue! Dumb Talk is our featured band this week. I listened them, having virtually no background on them. But as soon as I heard their sound, I knew these boys were true miscreants. Cannot wait to see what they cook up next! Now, yâ€™all, send your album reviews, your best of 2011 lists, your stories about your favorite songs, etc to: email@example.com. Love, the miscreant