by olivia cellamare I’ve always had an obsession with music. I love it more than I can put into words, but there is always one style of music that will have a part of my heart that no other style of music ever will. Sure my heart belongs to Punk, but there is something else slightly ahead of it; girl groups from the 1960s. My love for them also plays a part in the bands that I listen to now. Anyone who knows me knows of my big, big love for Dum Dum Girls. They merge garage rock with a Wall of Sound feel; for me, this makes them the most perfect band for me. Although he is mental (and did a terrible thing), Phil Spector is my favourite record producer of all time, closely followed by Joe Meek. Phil Spector created a sound that I doubt no other producer or band can ever top. There’s something so magical about the big drums, the painful lyrics and vulnerable voices that cause you to just be sucked in immediately, then it just takes over. There is no way I could ever write down my favourite girl bands of all time and not change my mind right after compiling my list. So instead, I am going to write about my ten favourite 60s girl group songs of all time. An obscure rant may occur, I cannot help that. 10. The Shirelles - “Dedicated To The One I Love” A lot of girl group songs oozed heartache and longing, this one by The Shirelles is such a beautiful ode to the one they love. Love songs at best are innocent and pure, and at worst they just make you wish you never fell in love. Dedicated To The One I Love simply makes you think of the one you love in the gentlest way possible, and if you’ve never been in love; they still manage to make you think you are in love. 9. The Cookies - “Chains” With love comes the occasional bout of pain, and who knows pain better than a girl group from the 60s. Chains is turmoil and devotion, I think most can relate to this. However, this is just another prime example of the voices overriding the lyrics. You pay close attention to the voices (the original members became back-up singers for Ray Charles) and you only catch onto how sad the lyrics are when you truly listen to the song, when you can detach yourself from the beautiful harmonise. 8. The Donays - “Bad Boy” Yvonne Vernee possessed one of the most heartbreaking voices during the 60s. You could truly connect with every ounce of heartbreak in her voice. Waiting for someone bad to change their ways, this plea of a song would make the toughest of hearts fall apart. Personally, I think it is one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written. 7. The Velvettes - “Needle In A Haystack” This song, unlike most from this era, was like a message to young lovers out there. To be careful and wary of those that seek their affections. True the good ones are hard to find, I suppose this song could still hold relevance but maybe back then people were more prone to listen. Now? Who knows. The preachy vocals and the infectious drums just make you want to dance; its up to you if you want to take their advice or not.
6. The Chiffons - “Why Am I So Shy” For me, I think the vocals in this song (I’ve got a dodgy copy of it, but you can still hear how powerful they are) are just so ethereal. There is something so calming about this song. We’ve all been there, being too shy to speak or even look at the one that holds all our affections, songs like this make you feel less rubbish about the matter don’t they. Girl groups in the 60s sang about love, lust and painful crushes like no other; especially The Chiffons. 5. The Shangri-Las - “Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand)” This song is enough to make the happiest person in the world a bawling mess. There is so much innocence in the pain that the girls convey in this song. To know a person can ache as much as this makes you be extremely careful and cautious with those you hold dear to you. To make someone feel this utterly sad is just too much. I must say, Hollie Cook’s cover of this song is equally as beautiful. The painful thing about this song, is that you don’t believe that these girls are going to recover from this pain. Usually songs offer comfort, that it is all going to be okay. This song is just leaves you feeling so frail and powerless. 4. The Crystals - “Da Doo Ron Ron” Ever since I first heard this song many, many years ago when I was a baby, I have ALWAYS sang the words wrong. I know the right words, but I’m still convinced that how I sang it when I was 5 is perfectly fine. The same can be applied to Runaway by Del Shannon; except my words aren’t wrong, I just sound like a banshee. Da Doo Ron Ron makes you feel good; if it doesn’t then maybe you don’t have a heart. It makes you want to dance. It simply makes you happy. I could have picked Then He Kissed Me, but for nostalgic purposes, I went with this choice. 3. The Girlfriends - “My One And Only Jimmy Boy” Firstly, if anyone ever sees this on 7” can you please, please buy me a copy? Obviously I will pay you back, I really need this record in my collection. Desperately so…I cannot begin to tell you how much. Secondly, The Girlfriends should have been as big as The Ronettes and The Crystals. This song is just perfect. The amount of times I have sat and just played it over and over again is ridiculous. Quite simply, it is song that everyone MUST hear. 2. The Ronettes - “Baby, I Love You” I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t regard The Ronettes as being one of the best bands ever, and this song being the best love song of all time. Everything about this song from the production (of course) to the background vocals is just perfect. I sometimes think about which version I love the most, the original or the Ramones version. As a massive fan of both bands, it is a hard decision but I always seem to side with the original yet hearing Joey Ramone sing such a gorgeous song is one of the best moments in music ever. Baby I Love You just gives you that warm glow and makes you think of the one you love more than anything. Or maybe that’s just me being massively sentimental again. Either way, one of the best songs ever written. 1. The Ronettes - “Be My Baby” Everything I said about “Baby, I Love You” (minus the Ramones reference) is how I feel about Be My Baby. I know I’ve banged on about innocence in the songs I’ve mentioned, but this song just has so much of it. There are no hidden meanings or anything in this song; it’s just wanting to devote yourself to someone, and adoring them. Everything you need to know about love and how it should be is found in these two songs. I cannot express how much I love the drums in this song, especially the intro. It is one of the very few songs that cover you in goose bumps from the very start. Nowadays we seem to wait for an intense build-up in a song so we can feel some connection. But if you go way way back, you will see that simplicity is sometimes the best way.
this issue is brought to you by old friends.
Single of the
Week The single of the week comes from Veronica Falls’ forthcoming record, Waiting For Something To Happen. The first single released is a great little love song, “Teenage.” It’s a little sad and a little sweet, with lyrics that will pluck your heartstrings. Check it out! 4
A Desire to Make Out with Aaron Carter
& other things my iPod won’t let me live down by caitlin lytle I often forget why I don’t like to sit in my living room at home. It has a comfy couch, a fireplace, and at this time of year it houses our big green Christmas tree, but then quickly I am reminded why. My living room is filled with pictures of me growing up at all the different stages of my life thus far, awkward stage and all. But, what haunts me even more than these pictures of my evolving styles through the years is my iPod. As much as my current indie/ alternative taste rules the shuffle, some of my darkest times still haunt my playlists and I have to wonder, I cannot be the only one with a shameful past, can I? With the shuffle recently running through my library I couldn’t help but revisit some of my “greatest” music phases, and would like to urge everyone to do some serious winter cleaning over their Holiday break to make room for all the awesome music coming in the New Year. Shuffle Embarrassment #1: I went to Aaron’s Party. My adoration for Aaron Carter not only has me doubting my 10 year old self’s taste in music, but also my taste in boys. The fact that I wanted to make out with him was one thing, but the fact this was the first CD I ever bought makes me wonder why I kept listening to music if this was my first real exposure to the business and art I love so much. Shuffle Embarrassment #2: My pop/scene phase… Unfortunately, there was a period in my life from 7th grade to about freshman year of high school where I thought I was some sort of derivative of a scene kid. While Aaron’s Party was my first purchased CD, my first real standing room concert was a Forever the Sickest Kids, Hit the Lights, Cobra Starship showcase in 2008. I also continued the obsession with three more Cobra Starship concerts from there—and if that fact isn’t hard enough to face, I was front row for each and every one of them. Shuffle Embarrassment #3: I thought I was black. As if the evolution of my taste couldn’t get any more bizarre, I felt I had the need to dabble in rap—and by dabble in rap I mean actually thinking I could rap. The rap stage of my life is one that was short lived, but still comes out on occasion, however that is just as a party trick. The fact I know all the words to too many 50 Cent Songs, Asher Roth rhymes (and I don’t just mean “I Love College”), and the entire “If Life Gives You Lemons Paint That Shit Yellow” Atmosphere Record, is not just embarrassing but it is sad to know there are so many more productive things I could have memorized than those lyrics, like the Presidents or the digits of Pi.
the Honor roll TOP 20 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR PT. 2 by matt boswell
#10: Giant’s Despair by Gypsy When I first heard that Gypsy featured members of Cold World, Mother of Mercy, and Stick Together, I was very uncertain how to feel about what I was about to hear. However, as soon as I first listened to Giant’s Despair I could have sworn I was in a time machine. This band channels a lot of influence from 90’s emo/post-hardcore bands like Jawbreaker and Rites of Spring. They didn’t reinvent the wheel with this release, but rather took a solid formula and released a fantastic record that has a place amongst some of the greats of that time period. RIYL: Jawbreaker, Rites of Spring, Lungfish #9: You & Me & The Violence by Birds In Row I loved this album on my first listen. I love it even more with each additional listen. Birds In Row from France have crafted an album that is the perfect mixture of mid 2000’s melodic hardcore with more modern “wave” screamo. However, the sheer intensity of this album puts it very far apart from the rest of its peers. They have concocted their own sound that is incredibly heavy without “being heavy” if that makes sense. This album is best viewed not as an “extreme music” record, but moreso just the incredible display of emotion that it really is. RIYL: I Rise, Loma Prieta, Ampere #8: We’re All Better Than This by Joie de Vivre Joie de Vivre broke up in 2011. Everyone that enjoyed “Kinsella-influenced” emo was heartbroken. Joie de Vivre reunited in 2012 and released We’re All Better Than This. Thank God for that. The Rockford, Illinois quintet released, in my opinion, the most raw and personal record of 2012. Each song is a reflection on growing up and the personal crisis of “what am I doing with my life?” Not only are the lyrics powerful, but just the delivery alone of vocals and how they blend with the music is incredible. While their first LP, The North End, showed this band is one of the best bands of their genre, this album shows that they are one of the best at it ever. RIYL: American Football, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), My Heart To Joy #7: Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired by Joyce Manor This album seemed to be the most polarizing release of 2012. It seemed like when most people heard it, they instantly dismissed it and went back to listening to the flawless self-titled album released last year by this band. However, there were still many listeners that were instantly intrigued by this newly developed sound. Joyce Manor retained their fast and loose punk sound of their previous work, but have blended it well with much more pop influences (especially on “Bride of Usher”, “Violent Inside”, and “See How Tame I Can Be”) and these tracks really end up being the standouts of the album. While their S/T release may be one of the best records of the past 5 years, Of All Things…, certainly is not a record to be scoffed at and ignored. RIYL: Spraynard, The Weakerthans, Grown Ups #6: All We Love We Leave Behind by Converge What more can be said about Converge that hasn’t been said before? They are the absolute kings of extreme music, and they’ve held that crown for decades. All We Love is another milestone in the incredible career of this band. This record however, proves that Converge is not happy just sitting back on their haunches and releasing “just another record”. This is one of the most intense and mind numbing records I’ve ever heard, and the fact that it all runs at breakneck speed makes it that much more insane. However, the real strength in this record
shows when the band pulls back on the reigns in tracks like “Empty On The Inside”, “A Glacial Pace”, and “Coral Blue”. The weight and force of these moments send chills up and down my spine as Converge prove that they understand exactly what they’re doing and that they’ve perfected how to do it. RIYL: The Locust, Gaza, Botch #5: Bloom by Beach House Teen Dream was a near perfect record. It’s still in heavy rotation for me to this day. Bloom took Teen Dream and perfected it. This album is more balanced and tightly wound. It’s easy to build tension and leave listeners gasping for air during a really intense, fast, in-your-face song. What’s much more difficult is to reach this same effect through relaxing dream-pop. However, there are so many moments of incredible tension throughout that always seemed to be resolved at the perfect moment by the vocals of Victoria Legrand. Bloom is the perfect incarnation of pure beauty. RIYL: St. Vincent, Grimes, Wild Nothing #4: Love Is Love//Return To Dust by Code Orange Kids While listening to this album, it’s hard to not take a step back, realize the members of this band are only 19-20 years old and just laugh. The things that Code Orange Kids are doing musically are not things that teenagers do. They’re supposed to write sloppy punk songs that rely too heavily on something or another, or supposed to be writing lame and cheesy love songs by acoustic guitar. Instead, Code Orange Kids have delivered an incredibly powerful and fine-tuned record. This band seems to have a hundred different influences that they all work into their sound. Normally, this would be a recipe for a disjointed nightmare. However, they are able to create an album that flows from incredibly fast punk, into heavy hardcore, to a more metallic sound, into shoegaze, and then into dark sludge. Their sound should be “all over the place” on the record, but somehow they make it all work cohesively. RIYL: Cursed, Full of Hell, Loma Prieta #3: Celebration Rock by Japandroids Celebration Rock is the best rock n’ roll album to be released in a long time. I never thought Japandroids could put together a record better than their 2009 debut Post-Nothing, but this record blows it away. The songs are catchier and better put together. It’s the perfect album to put on in your car while speeding down streets with your friends in the middle of the night. It’s fun while not being cheesy. It’s a reminder to hold onto your youth while still growing and maturing. In terms of the actual songwriting, the most noticeable improvement has been the lyricism of Brian King, as in there are more than 4 lines compiling each song. The lyrics aren’t always literally telling you what to feel, but they definitely make you sit back and feel SOMETHING. This is an album that anyone can love, and everyone should love. RIYL: Titus Andronicus, No Age, Ty Segall Band #2: Floral Green by Title Fight The boys from Kingston, PA have done it again. 2011’s Shed was an incredible maturation for this band, and they continue to refine their sound while pushing all boundaries with Floral Green. This band loves the 90’s. Their music has absolutely grown to reflect that. Hum, Small Brown Bike, Dinosaur Jr., Hot Water Music, all these bands have influenced this album, and it shows. The content of this album has become darker, more self-reflective, and focused on dealing with the lowest points in life. The song “Make You Cry” features the lines “And all the things that make you cry; remembering you’ll watch your parents die; and all the people that you love in your life find their way above the Irem Shrine” really shows how powerful the content of this record is. People keep expecting Title Fight to level off, but they just keep pushing their boundaries and creating incredible and unexpected music. RIYL: Small Brown Bike, Ivy League, Such Gold #1: Colourmeinkindness by Basement The genre of “90’s emo” has always been my absolute favorite. For years I have longed for an album to truly bring me back to Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, Texas Is The Reason, and all of the bands I have always loved. Basement not only crafted an album with that feel to it, they put out an absolutely perfect record. Colourmeinkindness should be remembered alongside Diary, Do You Know Who You Are, Slip, and the other masterpieces of emo. The lyrics of this album are so heartfelt and honest that it’s hard not to connect with it. The best part of this record though is the ending. The last half of “Wish” takes you through an incredibly emotional build that just left me completely floored. It’s a huge shame that Basement called it quits after releasing this album, but there is no question they went out on top. RIYL: Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, The Gloria Record
veronica falls an interview by the miscreant
Veronica Falls is ringing in the New Year with a highly anticipated release, as well as a coupling upcoming tour. With a more wistful and dreamlike sound, Waiting For Something To Happen adds yet another dimension to one of the most celebrated up-andcoming artists in the indie pop world. Here, drummer Patrick Doyle and bassist Marion Herbain discuss where the band is headed next with this exciting new record. The Miscreant: How long have you guys been playing together? When do you guys meet? Patrick Doyle: Roxanne, James and I started playing together in early 2009. We had a studio space that a friend wasnâ€™t using, so we started writing together and started playing shows as Veronica Falls. A few months later Marion joined us on bass and the line-up was finalised. Marion Herbain: Yeah, I knew Patrick and Roxanne from studying in Glasgow. Iâ€™d already been living in London for a while when they both moved down and asked me to join the band on bass.
The Miscreant: Talk a bit about the bands you were each involved in before Veronica Falls. How do those bands compare to what you’re working on now? Patrick: Roxanne and I were in a couple of bands when we used to live in Glasgow. They were a lot of fun, but I think we both felt more comfortable when we started writing in London with Veronica Falls. It seemed more like the kind of music we were into and therefore wanted to make. Marion: I learned the bass when I joined the band. I’d never been in one before Veronica Falls but I come from quite a musical background which helped. The Miscreant: How do you think your music is best listened to? Patrick: Hmm, loud in a club or loud at home, maybe loud on headphones. Just loud I guess. Marion: I’d say on headphones during a long train or car journey or live at one of our gigs! The Miscreant: You guys have said that you think your major influences are bands from the 1960s. What bands specifically have really had an impact on each of you? Patrick: I like a lot of bands that Joe Meek recorded like the Honeycombs and the Cryin’ Shames. Also the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Marion: I love The Zombies and some of Phil Spector’s girl groups. The Miscreant: Is this music that you’ve really connected with recently? Or is it more music that you grew up with that you’re rediscovering? Patrick: I guess just bands I’ve always listened to. It’s hard to pick out specific influences but I think in a lot of ways it’s impossible not to be inspired by music that surrounds you. Certain ones just spring to mind I guess. Marion: It’s music I grew up listening to and never stopped listening to I guess but things like YouTube have made it so easy to dig deeper into a genre you thought you knew everything about. I keep on discovering things from the past and not all of it is good but when it is and I’d never heard of it before, it’s a great feeling.
The Miscreant: So, you’ve recently released a new track “Teenage” from an upcoming release. How does the sunnier sound speak for the rest of the new album? Patrick: I think there’s a lot less dark imagery than there was on the first record. Not sure if this is a conscious thing or not, but I feel like there’s definitely a more positive angle to the songs. Marion: The darker imagery of the first album was never to be taken too seriously though. It was all pretty tongue in cheek but even then, there was never a conscious decision to make the first album appear dark. It was a collection of songs we’d written and had been playing for a while. I think the second album is a bit more thematically varied so that’s why it might come across as sunnier. The Miscreant: What were your major inspirations when writing this record? Patrick: Personally: Heart break/heart ache/love and hate – the usual Marion: Everyday life, in and outside of the band. The Miscreant: How did recording this record differ from the last? What was it like to work with Rory Attwell? Patrick: We recorded our first ever demos with Rory, so it was nice to spend so much time with him. He’s known us as a band longer than anyone else I think, so that was nice. He’s really great to work with. Marion: I think we learnt from our mistakes and recording the first album twice made us realise what worked best for us. When we started recording with Rory this time around, we knew exactly how we wanted to proceed and it worked well that way. It helped that we’d already worked with him quite a bit in the past. It was fun going to his shared studio which happens to be an old restored Lightship docked in a quiet part of London. The Miscreant: When I saw you guys at the Converse Gig at the 100 Club, you dedicated one of your songs to all the teenagers in the audience. And many of your songs feel very youthful both
musically and lyrically. What is it about young love that inspires you most? Patrick: For me, it’s the only thing that really inspires me to write music. Whether it’s unrequited or mutual, I find it easy to write about relationships, not necessarily my own. Marion: Young love tends to stay with you forever. Whether it is reminiscing or regretting, there are just so many feelings associated with young love that there is always something that can be said or a story attached to it. The Miscreant: What are some of your favorite experiences playing live shows? Patrick: It’s hard to remember specific shows, but I love playing in New York as we have lots of friends there so it’s nice to catch up. Marion: There’s been a lot of good experiences, luckily. American tours are always fun as we have friends everywhere along the way. I think the Spanish audience is great too, I always have a good time there. I also really enjoyed playing Club Silencio, David Lynch’s private club in Paris as the whole thing felt pretty surreal. So did that last minute gig we played in Moscow... It’s hard to pick just one... The Miscreant: How do you think playing gigs in the UK differs from in the US? Marion: The US audience doesn’t get to see us as often so people tend to show their appreciation a bit more which is nice. I think people are also more talkative there and we get to speak with the audience a lot more after the shows in America when we are doing merch! The Miscreant: What else next for Veronica Falls? Any major tour plans? Patrick: We’ll be touring the new album in Spring, stay tuned for further details! Marion: There’s going to be a lot of touring upon the album release. Mostly UK, America & Europe but hopefully Japan too in 2013!
on music and men by katie young
I react to music the way that others may react to any other sensory stimuli- sure, there are a few smells or sights that bring forth memories, and sometimes a certain touch will pull me backwards in time. But nothing compares to the way a song completely triggers me. And as a woman who has been “boy crazy” from preschool forward, you can only imagine how songs have been applied and attached to every kind of boy, dude, guy and man I’ve fallen for (and usually recovered from.) These vignettes are my sometimes (ok, most times) teary-eyed, visceral and sincere attempts to translate those truly heart wrenching/ doofus grin inducing moments into words. I can’t say why I am this way- be it an already emotional mind, or too many viewings of Almost Famous, but i am who i am, and here they are: my most current thoughts On Music and Men.
PART 1 OF 4 I’m definitely one of those people who quickly associates certain songs or bands with whoever I’m crushing on/dating. Today when I came back from break at work, someone had changed the XM station and Boston was on. I cannot listen to like, any classic rock (ESPECIALLY BOSTON) without thinking about a guy who was more or less my hook-up buddy through most of college. If anyone ever gave him control of an iPod it was Styx, Boston and all that crap all night. Hearing “More Than A Feeling” will forever remind me of sleepily pressing my forehead against the car window and my bare feet on his dashboard while he drove me home in the morning. My Halloween costume shoved haphazardly into a grocery bag and a silence between us that was completely comfortable- the silence between two people who understand completely what the other expects from them and a sort of acceptance and comfort I guess I overlooked at the time. 70s rock is a funny thing, guys. 12
Best (Without a) Coast by wes wren
The Indy Indie scene has been (for a long time) been Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, and a plethora of terrible nu-metal bands. Though, the times they have been a’changin’, and the music scene in the center of Indiana has been hopping, and these are some of my favorite cuts of the year. Goliathon—Pretend It’s Not Happening http://goliathon.bandcamp.com/ (Buy it.) Through the past few years, I’ve been a firsthand witness to the evolution of this band. They’ve grown from being a band that I got to see in my garage practicing, to hearing about their first east coast tour, to self-releasing two full lengths. The genre-busting monster that is Goliathon could be called a progmetal band, or a prog-blue-rock band, but they just simply kick ass. The whole work is as dynamic as the band is, blending in long and short cuts, all with the same level of excruciatingly good musicianship. They’re a band to watch out for, regardless of area code. Learner Dancer/Crys Split Cassette (Magnetic South 2012) Two of the premier Indianapolis bands Learner Dancer and Crys teamed up to throw down one hell of a split. The first side is all Learner Dancer and completely full of their powerful psych-rock grooves. They’re just an astounding band. There isn’t much that can be said about Learner Dancer besides that. If you dig psych-rock at all, you’ll fall in love with the first side of this release. On the flip side, you could call Crys a psych rock band, but a psych rock band from a different dimension would suit them better. They’re insane. Their use of haunting noises and astral sounds make for an amazing live show and for an even more amazing record. Apache Dropout Bubblegum Graveyard (Trouble in Mind 2012) Hailing technically not from Indianapolis, but from an hour south in Bloomington, Indiana, I bent the rules and threw this psych rocker super group into the mix. In case you didn’t notice, three of the four bands mentioned in this article are psych/garage bands. The garage scene in the circle city is at full bore, and Apache Dropout are leading the pack. Their latest release was dropped at a house show in Fountain square, and despite the punishing mid-summer heat, the band played an amazing set. The band keeps growing and honing their sound. Despite what other Indie publications may think, this is a killer album, from a neat group of people.
Let’s Get Literary by cassandra baim
In life, I really, truly only love three things: books, bicycles, and music. Right now I’m trying to find a career that combines all three things. So far, I really can only imagine scenarios that involve two out of the three: I can ride across the country and write about it, I can become the next great music journalist, or I can revolutionize the concept bicycle-traveling folk act. I think we’re both thinking the same thing—none of those are very reliable career options. As of late, I’ve been fortunate enough to find many opportunities to combine my love of words and music—each week I host my own Internet radio show where I do about as much talking about music as I do playing it for my listeners, and every so often I write album reviews for campus publications. My combined love of literature and music has led me to some great books about music and music journalism. At the end of the day, in terms of thinking about the rest of my life, my professional experiences and desire for a steady job lead me more down the path of a literary professional as opposed to music professional. As much as I want the same life as Will Williams in Almost Famous, I know I’m much more suited for spending my time writing stories, working in the publishing industry. But I’ll never stop loving music, and I’ll always prefer songs that tell a story, which I call “literary music.” Artists like The Decemberists might find their etymological influences in your 14
standard SAT vocabulary study guide, but their narrative style has influenced my writing in more ways than I can count. I love bands that recognize how much of an influence literature has on music, and vice versa. So, without any more hesitation, I present to you my favorite songs that, in some shape or form, represent my love for all things books and stories. “Wrapped Up In Books” – Belle & Sebastian I could be entirely wrong, but to me this song is about people who don’t want to take their lives into their own hands. I’ve been known to hide myself in someone else’s fictitious world instead of facing my own life. “Sylvia” – The Antlers I’ll be honest, I never much cared for The Antlers until I heard this beautiful and haunting song about the late author and poet Sylvia Plath. Their plea for Ms. Plath to “get her head out of the oven” reminds me that literature’s most prolific works usually have a haunting origin. “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” – The Decemberists This epic song tells a more harrowing and adventurous story in its 8 minutes than most novels do in 300+ pages. I almost considered using it as a monologue for my college acting auditions, but I don’t think anyone would have appreciated that as much as I would. “Sermons V. The Gospel” – Cold War Kids I didn’t get into Cold War Kids until I heard this song, which is one giant reference to my favorite book, JD Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Salinger’s five published books are 90% the reason I’m studying English, so it goes without saying that this is one of my favorite songs. “Holland, 1945” – Neutral Milk Hotel When I was 10, I had a very strange obsession with World War II and the Holocaust, which prompted me to read every book ever published about Anne Frank, Hitler, and his horrifying final solution. I didn’t hear this song, about Anne Frank’s life, until I was 14 or 15, but I’m sure if I’d heard it when I was 10, I would’ve worshiped at the alter of Jeff Mangum at a very early age. 15
Done with college, no big deal by victoria pilar nava
Some people hate school so much that they drag it out for 6 years. I hated it so much more that I was going to work twice as hard to finish it as soon as possible. I was able to weasel my way into spending my junior year in LA and wrap up senior year in one semester. I still have an online economics class to take, but don’t tell anyone. Sure, I’m a little bummed I won’t be able to take the highly coveted Beatles class or Beer & Wine Appreciation, but they are still classes that I would have to go to even when I didn’t feel like it and still do homework. God, I hate the word “homework.” I have been in school for almost 20 years. Not just 3 and a half. I never got those cool scented pencils in elementary for perfect attendance and stopped getting all A’s in 8th grade when I realized socializing was more important to me than algebra. I can’t say that going to college was a waste of time, because it wasn’t. I wouldn’t have been able to do nearly half of the things I did if it weren’t for Syracuse U. I learned a lot of interesting facts and important tips for life, but the most valuable lessons came from the world’s worst roommates and having to rely on nobody but myself. The last 3.5 years were more emotionally and sexually charged than puberty and high school. I kissed every kind of frog you could imagine and none turned into a prince. I spent a year in LA chasing an illusion and my 21st birthday was overflowing with alcohol and nobody bought me a cake. The majority of my last semester was spent reflecting on my time in college, the kind of person I want to be, and the kind of people I want to surround myself with. After making the rounds on the Hollywood club circuit, Chuck’s and solo cups just don’t cut it. Most people don’t understand why I find more joy in getting stoned and watching Honey Boo Boo than I do in rubbing up against drunk bros with “Sweet Caroline” on blast, but I am just mysterious like that. Almost a week back at home, and I have never been happier. As I continue to unpack boxes worth 3+ years of life, I’ve realized how many useless and pointless things I have and how much of a spoiled brat I’ve been. I’m lucky enough to have landed a lifestyle consulting gig in Dallas for the next 3 months and it’s never felt better to be back in Texas. Graduating is not the end of my world or the end of any of my friendships. It’s just the end of high school 2.0 and why should I be sad or nostalgic about that? If anything, I’m stoked to show off my future career moves just like I did with my college endeavors to high school 1.0. VPN is the host of EGO CANDY Radio, a monthly music podcast. Follow her on Twitter @egocandy and listen at soundcloud.com/vpn
HOLIDAY HORRORS by kyle kuchta
If you don’t know me by now, I really love horror films. And I could care less about being in the Christmas spirit and being nice to everyone and watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Actually, that was harsh; I really like all that stuff too. Year Without a Santa Claus is great. I also will always be nice to people. But the Christmas movies I like won’t be shown at 7pm after Rudolph. Here are my Top 5 favorite holiday horror films.
5) Santa’s Slay I love this almost strictly based off the first 5 minutes of the film, which I won’t COMPLETELY spoil, but that I hope you will go watch on YouTube immediately after I tell you this: Rebecca Gayheart, James Caan, Chris Kattan and Fran Drescher ALL DIE. They’re dead. They are killed by Santa Claus, who is actually the devil’s son, played by Bill Goldberg. Crazy, right? And because of the mockery that this film is, it’s full of puns and other dumb stuff. Probably my favorite line (besides Fran doing her signature laugh before she gets set on fire) is when Santa says, “Why, I’m just trying to spread a little yuletide FEAR” Ugh, this film. Too good for words. 4) Elves “They’re not working for Santa…anymore!” God, what a tagline. Grizzly Adams fights neo-Nazi elves trying fuck wit Christmas, doeeeeeee? Um yes, please, every year. Got this gem from a wonderful company called VHSPS and, let me tell you, if I based this list solely on my excitement for Christmas horror movies, this would be number 1. Yet, I can’t just do that. So, Elves, you’ll just have to sit right here at number 4 while there are “better” movies in the next three spots, like…
3) Jack Frost Though the film with Michael Keaton is scary (I saw it in theaters with my Dad, I would know), this is not that film. This is the one where Shannon Elizabeth gets raped in the shower by a snowman. Aside from that rather fucked up portion of the film (but, c’mon, that’s a crazy scene), the movie is very, very fun. I remember always seeing it in the video store and being like “I’m gonna watch that movie one day.” And then I did, and it was all right. During the Christmas season, though, it’s SO much better. Just, don’t watch Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman. That shit’s dumb. 2) Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 I include the second installment of the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise for a couple reasons. The first being that it’s basically two movies in one; you get to see the first Silent Night, Deadly Night almost completely retold in this film ON TOP OF the “plot” of Part 2. And while there isn’t much plot to Part 2, there is the infamous GARBAGE DAY scene, which is amazing in the context of the film. It was just released in a Double Feature DVD alongside Part 1 (which, again, is a bit repetitive, but whatever). My family always gets upset when I yell, “PUNISH” at Christmas dinner. Just kidding, I don’t yell that. But they still get mad at me anyway. 1) Black Christmas (1974) Now this, this is the flick. Much more serious then the previous films and also, kind of scary. An early slasher film that utilized the POV shot very nicely and genuinely creeped me out, even though it took place in a sorority house, a place where I don’t frequent. I didn’t think obscene phone calls would put me on edge, but they did. I didn’t see the remake, but I can honestly say I have no interest in seeing what was built off of this original. The pace is a little slow, but the tension pays off, and the kills are decent and well shot. Directed by Bob Clark, who would later direct the classic A Christmas Story, Black Christmas was one of two movies that put me on the blacklist for picking movies for outdoor family movie night (the other being Tokyo Gore Police). Blasting Black Christmas outside in a small neighborhood when the obscene phone call that says “Let me lick your pretty piggy cunt!” didn’t make my family that happy. MERRY CHRISTMAS! 19
TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2012 by ben houck
(1) Reptar - Body Faucet
Music to dance around like a fool to. Thats all anybody ever wanted anyway right? Graham Ulicny’s voice is crazy, full and throaty. Surround that with three amazing musicians that create the same wall of sound as a twelve piece band and you have bliss. Reptar’s tour with Rubblebucket and Stepdad is a must see show. “Thank You Gliese 370 b,” “Sebastian,” “Houseboat Babies” and “Please Don’t Kill Me” brings out the best dance moves you don’t want anyone else to see but really don’t care if they do. Intense musicality, intricacy, intelligent lyrics and an extreme cool make this album number one for 2012.
(2) Gary Clark Jr. - Black and Blu
Gary Clark Jr. is the best new guitar player of 2012. The over produced album isn’t as good as a youtube playlist of Gary Clark live cuts but we survived. Beyond the remixed Bright Lights EP tracks, the album brings on more of Gary Clark’s R&B sensibilities. “Black and Blu,” “Please Come Home,” and opening track “Ain’t Messing Around” are gems to add to all the mojo Gary Clark already had going on.
(3) Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
An album that encourages listening start to finish in one sitting, or love making or whatever the kids are doing these days. Frank Ocean sold it on his SNL performance. His voice is legit. The album is next level smooth. The lack of super hit Novacane on the record says something about intentions. “Super Rich Kids” sent white kid problems back to the drawing board. Add “Thinkin Bout You” and “Sweet Life” and you got babes made with babes.
(4) Nada Surf - The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy
This New York trio will be on the list of notable rock trios of all time. If not already, soon. Somehow this band has surfed on nothing under the surface since the early 90‘s while steadily producing great records. Thoughtful lyrics and bop your head riffs and hooks make for classic driving music. The music is more intelligent than high school but brings back the better Freaks and Geeks type memories. “Teenage Dreams,” “Clear Eye and Clouded Mind” and “Waiting for Something” are driving to late night parties near a bonfire to drink cheap beer with people you don’t know.
(5) Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour
Maybe I have a soft spot for British Rock. Maybe I feel bad that Band of Skulls have made my top five on back to back records. Maybe I feel bad about how many other incredible albums didn’t make this list. No matter what the reason why Band of Skulls made the top 5, Sweet Sour is incredible. It’s the kind of music that can only be inspired by a lifestyle of self mutilation, grimy living conditions and all the other unhealthy things that stuffy white people look down upon in their high class magazines. Beyond the amazing title track, “You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On,” “The Devil Takes Care of His Own” and “Lay My Head Down” remind me that rock and roll is in a good place.
art by elizabeth scafuto 22
WANT MORE MISCREANT? My Beloved Miscreants, I’m writing you from London for the last time, for in only a week’s time I’ll be back in the USA. I can’t wait to see all you kids in Indiana, and then head back to Syracuse and get into some real miscreant shows, zines, and records! I will miss my dear Queen Karen more than words can say, but she’ll be back with us American Miscreants before we even know it! It’s been an incredible four months, but I’m ready to come back. The future is so bright! I’d like to thank everyone involved in this issue. It’s been such a treat to feature Veronica Falls, a band I’ve become crazy about since moving to London. I’d also like to thank everyone who came to England with me. This trip honestly wouldn’t have been the same without you guys. What adventures we’ve had! Be on the look out for new Miscreant activity in the new year! 2013 not only holds many a zine for you to contribute to and read, but also tons of fun shows and many a record to be released. I hear Only Child and Bad Cello have some stuff cooking -- wink wink! So, now, it’s time to start on issue 33, the first issue of 2013! Submissions are due on January 14. Send in your airplane playlists, your New Year record store resolutions, your essays exploring the quintessential differences between Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, anything to do with music. Email your work or any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Look to miscreantrecords.com and the Miscreant Facebook for more info on the music you read about here and more! Also, have a very safe and lovely holiday. Be warm, be well, and enjoy the company of your families! See you all in the new year! All my love, The Miscreant