an interview with
seven valentineâ€™s day mixes
pitchfork music festival preview + more!
Seven Valentine’s Day Mixes by christopher rife
2007 – Age 15 1. “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do”) by Frank Wilson 2. “These Things Take Time by” The Brunettes 3. “The Earthquake of ’73” by Fruit Bats 4. “Bus Stop” by The Hollies 5. “When We Get Famous” by Math and Physics Club 6. “4th Time Around” by Bob Dylan 7. “Because” by The Beatles 8.” Because It’s Not Love (But It’s Still a Feeling)” by The Pipettes 9. “Maple Leaves (7” Version)” by Jens Lekman 10. “Oh Sister” by Andrew Bird 11. “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” by The Lovin’ Spoonful 12. “My Favorite Chords” by The Weakerthans 13. “I Found A Reason” by The Velvet Underground 14. “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys I first got into the habit of making seasonal mix CDs through my best friend in junior high and high school, Lainie. She and I bonded over The Beatles and her Mister Rogers t-shirts, and she was the first person to make me a mix. My tastes in junior high and the ones that developed in high school are mostly thanks to her, and through listening to these CDs over and over again I gradually picked up “the art of the mix”, as she called it. This track list was my first attempt at making a mix centered around love, which is obviously great fodder for songs. As you can see, in my freshman year of high school I was going through a rather intense 60s phase. I still feel like that era perfected the pop song, with innovations in recording techniques and equipment and songwriting pushing the more predictable and simple love songs from the 1950s to new heights. Additionally, most of the contemporary songs on this mix are either covers (“Oh Sister”, originally by Bob Dylan), imitations of girl groups from that era (“Because It’s Not Love…”), or are well-crafted twee tunes (The Brunettes, Fruit Bats, Math and Physics Club, etc.), twee being the direct musical descendant of 60s radio candy. Still, not a bad effort for a beginner. 2008 – Age 16 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
“The Way I Feel Inside” by The Zombies “A.M. 180” by Grandaddy “After All” by Sondre Lerche “Wild One” by Those Darlins “16, Maybe Less” by Iron & Wine and Calexico “Wrapped In Piano Strings” by Radical Face “Million Miles” by Mirah “Dance Music” by The Mountain Goats “Untitled” by Death Cab for Cutie “Something to Do With My Hands” by Her Space Holiday “Boston” by Vampire Weekend “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke “The Children’s Progress” by Pomegranates “To Sing For You” by Donovan
Three important things that helped shape me as person happened in late 2007-early 2008: I started
carrying around a notebook and writing down my thoughts, it was the first time a girl I liked liked me back, and I started listening to The Mountain Goats. This mix was made in the early stages of that turbulent relationship, so the songs are all sweet, sexy, upbeat. The Zombies and Sondre Lerche start it off with a confession of budding romantic feelings, then my raging teenage hormones kick in with picks like Mirah and Her Space Holiday. Even “Dance Music”, with its serious theme of growing up in an abusive household, has a certain dark romantic feel that really appealed to the 17-year-old me. I specifically remember dramatically texting lyrics from “Dance Music” to this ex-girlfriend when we were having one of our many break-ups: “Okay so look, I’m seventeen years old, and you’re the last best thing I’ve got going.” Yeah, I was kind of a shit head. But I’ll stand by this mix. “Boston” is one of my favorite Vampire Weekend tracks, and the Sam Cooke and Donovan tracks are both examples of really sweet, well-crafted 60s pop songs. 2009 – Age 17 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
“Electric Feel” by MGMT “Black” by Okkervil River “Hand On Your Heart” by Jose Gonzalez “I’m Into Something Good” by Langley Schools Music Project “Baby” by Gal Costa “By Balloon Or Sinking Ship” by Jordan O’Jordan “Undeclared” by The Dodos “Eyes” by Apollo Sunshine “Love Is All Around” by The Troggs “Daylight” by Matt & Kim “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver “Forever Now” and Then by Clem Snide “I Never” by Rilo Kiley “True Love Will Find You In the End” by Daniel Johnston
Here comes the heartache: Okkervil River, Jose Gonzalez, Bon Iver, Rilo Kiley. This mix was clearly made during one of the bust cycles of a relationship. “Eyes” and “Undeclared” feel like pleas for clarification, and the end of the mix, while hopeful, is not rooted in certainty. It’s “True Love Will Find You In The End”, not “True Love Is With The Girl On Your Speech Team Who Likes Poetry You’re Dating.” But besides that undertone, this mix has some really good sections. “By Balloon Or Sinking Ship” is one of my favorite love songs of all time, while “Baby”, a free-floating Tropicalia tune, and the Herman’s Hermits classic “I’m Into Something Good”, covered here by a choir of children, are just plain fun to listen to. And of course, any mix from 2009 would sound incomplete without songs from Matt & Kim and MGMT. I also really like the jarring effect the last two songs can have if you’ve never heard them before. The pause at the end of “I Never” fools people every time, and the rawness and openness of Daniel Johnston voice can be startling when you first encounter it. I still play this mix on long road-trips. It’s a good emotional release for both sadness and anger, equal parts “how can I go on” and “fuck you, I can do better.” 2010 – Age 18 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
“40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes “Rush Apart” by The Rural Alberta Advantage “Kickin’ Jams” by Theo Zumm “I Saw Lightning” by Telekinesis! “Never My Love” by The Association “Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts” by Maritime “Tonight You Belong to Me” by Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin “Shape of My Heart” by Noah and the Whale “Woozy With Cider” by James Yorkton
10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
“Two Doves” by Dirty Projectors “O Please Bring Her Back” by Panda Bear “The Ballad of Lady Godiva” by King Khan and the Shrines “Love Lust” by King Charles “I’ll Be On the Water” by Akron/Family
If I had to choose my favorite of these mixes, this would probably be it. This was the first mix I made in college, squeezing it in between classes. I remember having my headphones plugged into my laptop in the DePaul’s Student Center so I could eat lunch while I put it together. Overall, I think this mix has the widest variety of songs. A true mix, I guess you could say. There are a few stripped down folky songs (“Rush Apart”, “Kickin’ Jams”, “I Saw Lightning”, “Two Doves”, “O Please Bring Her Back”), a spoken word piece (James Yorkton), and audio ripped from a clip from The Jerk (the ukulele and trumpet duet on the beach). This is also one of the more contemporary-heavy mixes, with only “Never My Love” and “Tonight You Belong to Me” being recorded before 1998. I was growing up and branching out of my comfort zones, music tastes included. 2011 – Age 19 1. “Another Green World” by Brian Eno 2. “Hold On” by Yellow Ostrich 3. “Romance Is Boring” by Los Campesinos! 4. “Love Vigilantes” by Iron & Wine 5. “Armchairs” by Andrew Bird 6. “German Love” by Starfucker 7. “Rise To Me” by The Decemberists 8. “The One You Really Love” by The Magnetic Fields 9. “Black Flowers” by Yo La Tengo 10. “Not Your Lover” by Blitzen Trapper 11. “The Twist” by Frightened Rabbit 12. “A Girl in Port” by Okkervil River 13. “With Strangers” by Little Joy 14. “These Days” by The Black Keys Late 2009 and early 2010 were good for me: I began to exercise and eat healthier, lost a lot of weight, and was living in my first apartment in Chicago. I was feeling confident and independent. A lot of these songs reflect that: “Romance Is Boring”, “Not Your Lover”, “The Twist.” There are a few sexy songs too, with “A Girl In Port”, “Armchairs”, and “These Days” being some of my go-to make out jams. Surprisingly, this is also the first mix to include The Magnetic Fields, who’ve recorded some of the cleverest and infectious love songs ever and are famous for their ambitious album 69 Love Songs. But in the end, as of this writing, they’ve appeared on more of my Valentine’s mixes more than any other artist. 2012 – Age 20 1. “All My Hollowness to You” by Tall Dwarves 2. “Feelings Called Love” by Wire 3. “Love’s Made a Fool of You” by Buddy Holly 4. “I Just Want to Make Love to You” by Etta James 5. “Made for Love” by Gene Austin 6. “Skeletons” by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 7. “Too Much” by Sufjan Stevens 8. “Lonesome Hunter” by Timber Timbre 9. “If I Wanted Someone” by Dawes 10. “The Book Of Love” by The Magnetic Fields
11. “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Clem Snide 12. “Jeanne, If You’re Ever In Portland” by Casiotone For the Painfully Alone 13. “Save Your Love For Me” by Suckers 14. “Lover’s Spit” by Feist Late 2011 and early 2012 was a bit hectic. I joined DePaul’s radio station with my friend Kevin and hosted a show called “Notes From the Underground,” where, a la This American Life, we created a weekly mix compiled around a theme. Kevin was a huge influence on my taste once we got the show rolling, and I was introduced to Tall Dwarves and Wire through him. During this time I also started N/A Literary Magazine, had a great internship at 826CHI where I tutored and wrote stories with kids, and met my lovely girlfriend. As I was busy, this mix was more hastily put together than the others, as can be seen by the number of songs with the word “love” or some variant in their title. This resulted in tracks that stand well on their own, but do not feel cohesive, or flow as nicely, as some of the others mixes. It has a lot of enjoyable slower tunes though, songs that seem to take their time before punching you in the gut. Also, Etta James’ death a few days before Valentine’s Day made featuring her powerful vocals a necessity. 2013 – Age 21 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
“I am Trying To Break Your Heart” by JC Brooks the Uptown Sound “Two Characters In Search of a Country Song” by The Magnetic Fields “I Can Change” by LCD Soundsystem “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground “Dirty Clean” by PORCHES. “Erica Western Teleport” by Emperor X “Broken Hear”t by Spiritualized “Substitute” by Frank Turner “Arm Around You” by Arthur Russell “Darkness Between the Fireflies” by Mason Jennings “Don’t Let Start (Demo Version)” by They Might Be Giants “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Man Man “Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song” by Jeffrey Lewis “What Becomes Of A Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin
This mix, the last that I made while in college, is full of ambiguity. There’s heart breaking (both as breaker and break-ee) and nostalgia (“Sex and Candy”, “Erica Western Teleport”), but it’s also fun. “Arm Around You” is a great dance track, and the covers (“I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” and “I’d Rather Go Blind”) are exuberant and playful while dealing with the dull ache of uncertainty about the future. I think that mix of feelings sums up the end of my undergrad experience in general. A little looking back, a lot of anxiety looking forward. Looking through all these mixes is an overtly nostalgic and self-indulgent experience. Maybe Frank Turner is right when he paraphrases the opening of Twelfth Night in his song “Substitute”: if music is the food of love, I’m a fat, romantic slob. And like a slob with dinner down their chest, these songs and paragraphs and my heart are on my sleeve for everyone to see. I am a firm believer that the kind of music we cherry pick from our libraries and rearrange in a new order says a lot about us. These track lists tell my story, whether I intended them to or not. In a way, going over these mixes, analyzing them and their origins, and sharing the track lists with other people is a bit like working on a diary for seven years and then one day ripping random pages out, photocopying them, and leaving copies all around your neighborhood. Each mix is from a different awkward section of that diary. We use music as a sort of prism through which we view and interpret our own relationships and tell our own stories. People who make, receive and save mixes know this better than anyone. I like to think I do, anyway. I know I’ll keep this tradition going as long as there are musicians writing love songs. Hopefully that won’t stop anytime soon.
This issue is brought to you by the little things.
Single of the
“East River” is the chosen single of the week for this issue! A classic tune from Jeff, it tells the story of finding and losing loves in New York City. Eventually, you might just feel like the scum of the East River, but you’ll see that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. 6
starting small by marc sollinger
Orson Welles haunts me. Not literally...that actually might be interesting, I’d get to ask him all about what he really wanted to do with The Magnificent Ambersons. No, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Because Orson Welles is my idol. He’s pretty much everything I want to be. I’m a documentary nerd and ‘F For Fake’ is one of the most singular documentaries I’ve ever seen. I’m a film nerd, and he directed Citizen goddamn Kane. I’m a radio nerd, and he reinvented how stories could be told on the airwaves. His most famous radio production, his adaptation of War of the Worlds, is one of the most thrilling, engaging, and visceral pieces of art I’ve ever encountered. And Orson Welles made it when he was 22. 22. That, coincidentally, is the same age as me, Marc Sollinger. Now, I’ve done some things I’m proud of, (Check out the Transmission podcast on iTunes! Please! It validates me as a human being!) and I’m starting my first big-boy job at an organization I respect in about two weeks...but I didn’t direct a ground-breaking adaptation of Antony and Cleopatra on Broadway, and unless I get really goddamn busy in the next three years, I’m probably not going to direct the next Citizen Kane by the time I’m 25. That’s kind of a problem for me. I’ve always wanted to be great at what I’ve chosen to do. Radio, writing, documentary...these are things I don’t just want to be mediocre at. Or even just pretty good. I want to be better and I want to be better faster and I don’t want to wait until I’m in my late30s or early-40s to be successful. It’s an ugly side of me, this naked ambition. It has its upsides, certainly, it makes me work very hard at the things I care about. But it can also make me a bit of an asshole, arrogant and grating to be around. Which is why I’m eternally grateful for this video.* It’s Orson Welles, in his later years, shilling for a low-rent Californian Champagne. This isn’t the actual commercial, which is typical 80s fauxglamour. No, these are the outtakes, where Welles drunkenly slurred his lines and didn’t quite seem to know where exactly on Earth he was. And the video’s funny. Scratch that, it’s hilarious. It took me five repeat plays of it to stop laughing. But when you stop laughing, well, it becomes one of the saddest things you’ll ever see. Orson Welles looks like this...this mass. This great object stuffed into a suit. He’s fat as hell, awkwardly positioned at a 3/4 angle to hide his girth, but that’s not really the depressing part. The depressing part is that you know the intelligence, the depth, inside this drunken old man. You know he realizes the position he’s in. He realizes that he looks like a fool. The moment after Welles lets loose that high “oh”, (the one that sounds like a dying walrus) where he keeps on with the scene and you see his soul crack just a little bit...it’s the dozens of times watching that moment which made me realize that it might not be the best thing in the world to peak early. To scare the entire country at 22. To direct the greatest film ever made when you’re 25. There’s a sense of forward momentum that the realization of ambition robs you of. You learn and grow while you’re trying to knock off milestones, and it’s that learning and growth that’s important. Watch Orson Welles take seven seconds to start his take and consider if it might not be better to start small. * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFevH5vP32s
Jeffrey Lewis has greatly influenced the terrain of DIY, folk, and popular music. An accomplished singer-songwriter and comic book artist, Jeffreyâ€™s complex yet inviting aesthetic provide a unique point of view that has resonated with fans for over fiteen years. He is given much credit for the antifolk movement, and continues to write and produce music today. A frequent collaborator, Jeffrey has worked with the likes of Peter Stampfel, Kimya Dawson, and many others. Here, Jeffrey goes into detail on the ever-evolving New York City music scene, what heâ€™s learned about other music scenes around the country and around the world. He discusses working with so many brilliant artists, and talks about projects he is currectly developing and will be releasign in the coming months. 8
interview by the miscreant
The Miscreant: You’re currently on tour through the UK and Europe. Where are your favorite places to play while across the pond? Jeffrey: The major cities are often the biggest shows, like London, Paris, Berlin, etc., but there are some smaller areas that are quite special… Bristol in the UK for example is a city I am very fond of, they have a great local community/scene going on there.
The Miscreant: How do you find the culture of local scenes differs from the UK to the US? Jeffrey: There’s a big difference in that shows in the UK (and Europe) don’t have this crazy 21+ age restriction that is so common in the USA. In the USA, if you want to have teenagers at a show, you have to play underground shows or find the one all-ages spot that might or might not exist in each city. Fr example on my last USA tour we were trying to play only all-ages venues and it resulted in situations like not being able to find a place in Chicago, usually one of my best cities, and instead playing a small all-ages space in Evanston, which is like the outskirts of Chicago.
in some ways this fosters a tighter community among people who are in the loop with all-ages shows in the USA, it’s a kind of indie culture which does not exist overseas as much, but it is harder to book tours because those sorts of unofficial/underground spaces usually don’t have websites, or they are staffed by an unofficial rotating cast of young people who may change from year to year or month to month, so it’s very hard to main a circuit of contacts in that realm. In contrast, if I have contact with an official venue promoter in Manchester England or Toulouse France or someplace like that, it is more likely that it is an actual full-time paid job for that promoter, and they might have that job for many years, so I know exactly who to email the next time I want to play a show in that city, it’s less underground so it’s more likely to stay consistent. And of course there is no problem with younger people going to gigs in those areas. It makes a big difference in the atmosphere of the local scenes. There’s other big differences too… a major thing in England is that they have NME magazine, which is a weekly music magazine, there’s nothing like that in the US. Every single week NME has to fill their pages with info about bands and albums and concerts and festivals, it means that bands have four times the amount of chances for national magazine exposure to the UK public who goes to shows and reads music mags. I think that’s a big part of why it’s easier for bands to get famous in the UK. In the USA you only have 12 chances a year for your band to get on the cover of Rolling Stone, but in the UK you have 48 chances in a year for your band to be on the cover of NME. That’s very different odds! Creates a very different music culture.
The Miscreant: You’re heavily involved in local music yourself – how would you describe the changes in the NYC scene in recent years? Jeffrey: Things are always changing, it’s like high school, every year some people graduate and new people come in. In NYC, in addition to the people coming and going, there’s venues that come and go. Every year some venues disappear and other ones start up. You just have to stay open to new stuff, and not take for granted that anything will stay the way it is. That’s life!
The Miscreant: Who are fledgling artist you have been watching recently? How are they supporting each other, and how is the scene supporting them? Jeffrey: I don’t know if there’s anybody that I’ve seen at an open mic or small gig recently that has struck me in that way, but i tour a lot and there’s always a chance I’ll see and hear great opening acts in each area that I play. Sometimes bands that I first meet when they are opening up for me do go on to be much bigger than me, like Dr. Dog in the USA or Noah & The Whale in the UK, or other such examples. The antifolk scene around here in NYC at the Sidewalk Cafe is always a good supportive scene for newcomers, with the summer antifolk festival and the winter antifolk festival each year, they always give a bunch of new people some good festival slots and it really continually grows bonds and a support network for new people each year who show up and become part of the whole thing.
The Miscreant: I heard you also host a regular drawing night with fellow illustrators – when did you start those? Does having other comics and illustrators around you inspire your own work? Jeffrey: I started that a few years ago. These other comic book artists that I knew, like Jon Lewis (no relation) who does True Swamp comics and Julia Wertz who does Fart Party and other local NYC folks like that, they had a Tuesday night comic book gathering that i started going to and it was great. But it became very irregular, only happening every couple of months, and eventually was barely happening at all, so I started doing my own night on Wednesdays, so just in case they happen to do a Tuesday night comic night at somebody’s apartment I won’t be competing with it because it’s like we’ve got our own nights. But it’s mostly a similar crowd of creators anyway. It’s always inspiring to see these other people working so hard on things, and so many different styles of work.
The Miscreant: How would you describe the relationship between your visual art and your music? In what ways do those mediums connect to you? Jeffrey: I think for both my comic books and my songs there’s a very literal approach, in the sense that I am usually not very inclined towards being abstract. The songs and the comic stories and the art are all usually about something, and it seems to me that a lot of the art and music that I encounter is about nothing, or not about anything very specific. Also, I think there are a lot of comic book aspects to the music I make, some of the feelings of underground comic books or autobiographical comic books or strange fictional comic books have definitely inspired different songs.
The Miscreant: As a frequent collaborator, in what ways has collaboration helped facilitate growth in scenes around you? Jeffrey: It’s a tremendous way for a community to develop. There was a funny chain of circumstances that sort of kick-started this collaboration idea for a lot of the NYC songwriters that i know, at least as far as my experience of it. Originally the idea of writing songs with other people didn’t really occur to me, other than working with my brother in my own band, but then I was in a band in 2000 called Guitar Situations and the whole point of the band was that we would completely collaborate on every song, every single song had to be a full collaboration between all the members of the band. The other fun thing was that the band could involve anybody anybody could join Guitar SItuations as long as they worked together on the material, because each gig had to be all-new songs each time. So a few people would get together, and there would be a Guitar SItuations gig coming up in a couple weeks, so whoever happened to want to get involved would just get together and make up songs together for the show. Anybody could be in the band, and nobody HAD to be in the band. The band was a strict concept rather than a strict line-up, a formula, which was just that there should be full lyrical and musical collaboration. So that was really fun, and forged a lot of friendships. And destroyed a lot of friendships too!
Because collaborations can be really difficult and stressful. Then I was living in Austin Texas in 2001 and Kimya Dawson came to visit for a week or two, and she had all these ideas and songwriting games, like trading off lyrics one line after another, or just different ways that two people could make songs together. I guess this was stuff that she and Adam Green had messed with when they were writing Moldy Peaches songs together as a duo, and it was really fun. Then after she left town I was visited by the French band Herman Dune, they stayed at my Austin place for a bit in 2001 and I started playing these same sorts of songwriting games with them, and we wrote some cool stuff together. Then they left Austin and hung out in NYC for a bit, and started meeting people at the antifolk open mics and other little local scene hang-outs, and they started just inviting people to write and record songs with them. By the time I got back to NYC in late 2001, the scene had gotten much tighter because, via Herman Dune, a lot of people had collaborated on songs and recordings together who had never been part of something together before. So it sort of had a cool viral effect, and it also was the beginning of a lot of us starting to play shows in Paris and in EUrope, because the Herman Dune band became an important connection for us all in Paris. So yeah, collaboration was very important in fostering a sense of community.
The Miscreant: In May, you released Hey Hey it’s... The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band. How long have you and Peter been working on music together? When did you first meet? Jeffrey: I met Peter in 2004, but I was already a fan of his music, I love the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, great strange New York City folk-punkdrug bands that Peter was in. Making records with him is really a dream come true. The first time we did an album together was in 2010, we just went into the studio for a couple days and had a great time working all day and all night. Touring with him is great too. He is an incredibly energetic and inspirational person, he has been sober for many years and he’s 75 years old this year, with a family and everything, but he has more insane creativity in him and more love for everything than most people of any age, old or young. He loves music, he loves comic books, he loves old records, new records, toys, traveling, performing, he really puts so much enthusiasm into everything he does, it shows you a great way to live, he’s like a guru of joyfulness. Of course he’s human, and he has his problems like anybody, but he appreciates the things he has, and he throws himself into the things he loves, you really have to smile anytime you’re hanging out with him. And he collects bottle caps, he has 13,000 of them.
The Miscreant: In what ways has Peter Stampfel influenced your own music, before and while writing music with him? Jeffrey: You definitely end up with results that could never be achieved by one person working alone, from the mix of talents and the mix of perspectives. You can learn a lot from seeing how other people create stuff too. I don’t know if working with Peter has specifically influenced my own songwriting in the sense of changing the direction or style of my own writing, but certainly the kind of music that I make has been influenced by the existence of the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs. Particularly the Fugs, because of the strong sense of regionalism in those recordings, they are the quintessential Lower East Side band. It’s cool to have a “local hero” band for the neighborhood. So in some ways the Fugs sort of set the template for the bands in the neighborhood that followed them, like the Velvet Underground, and Richard Hell, and eventually me. It’s a general sense that you can make music that sounds a bit crude or unpolished but is still smarter than most of the music that sounds “better” on the surface. That comes very directly from the Fugs and the early Holy Modal Rounders, and Peter was in the original lineup of both bands, some of that spirit really comes directly from Peter.
The Miscreant: You’ve recently said you’re working on some recordings with the Junkyard, as well as a few other works that need mixing – when can we expect to see a new release? Jeffrey: I’m hoping to put out at least a single, or a 3-song single, this summer with my current ensemble “Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain.” There’s a little pile of still-not-mixed recordings with the Junkyard which have been very difficult to finish because they involve my brother (and Junkyard bass-player) Jack who has been living in Oregon for a few years. It’s almost impossible to get together with him and get these things finished, and he would not be okay with me just finishing them on my own without his input. It’s not that much stuff, maybe 6 songs, and I think maybe 2 of them are actuall put together and the other few remain in a big mess that needs to be sifted through and mixed. In any case I just put out the “Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band” album, so that’s at least one new album of mine in 2013.
The Miscreant: What else is on the horizon for you and your many projects? Jeffrey: Hopefully new comic books, new “low-budget films” (I’m currently working on one about comic book writer Alan Moore), and new albums and songs and tours! I have a west coast solo acoustic tour this week to support the release of the book “Gender & Sexuality for Beginners” which I did all the illustrations for. Then I have a tour of Ireland and Germany as Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain. Then a solo acoustic tour of the mid-west USA, with my friends’ band Schwervon, being planned for October.
Some strange music draws me in by olivia cellamare
They say you should never meet your heroes. That when you do, it will be the most disappointing thing ever. Those that claim this have never watched a 3D film. Now that is disappointing. I don’t like going on about any musicians I’ve met or interviewed; mainly because I don’t want to ever sound like a pretentious dick. However there is one woman in particular that I met this year that, if it is the only thing anyone remembers me for- then so be it. I am utterly fine with it. Alright so, in April my mum and I went to see Patti Smith in a tiny venue. The venue only seated around 150 people. As I looked around part of me was annoyed. No one here looked like they understood Patti’s music. By this, no one looked like they knew what Punk was or where CBGB was located. This brief stint of snobbery in my mind passed as I remembered that this wasn’t a typical Patti Smith concert. It was going to be her singing a couple of songs and reading poetry. To be honest, I’d have been okay with her reading the telephone directory to me. I wouldn’t care. Just to be in the same room as her was enough. I’m with my mum. My mum is a pretty pushy lady when she wants/needs to be. I think this is because she’s from Yorkshire. The only decent place in the North of England. A glorious county. The best county. At the end of the gig, she sees Tony Shanahan packing up the guitars and strides up to the stage. I feel like a teenager again, when everything around you becomes wonderfully embarrassing and nothing can save you from it. After she speaks to him, he disappears. Did she insult his shoes or something? He emerges after what seems an eternity. He was gone for about 5 minutes. He calls us over. Cue my heart feeling like it is going to fall out of my chest and a mass feeling of nausea takes over. I try to calm down thinking he will take my books off me and ask Patti to sign them. That is what will happen. That doesn’t happen at all. We’re taken into a room that is ridiculously small. In this room Patti and her sister, Linda are sat. I want to unleash a flurry of expletives because things like this do not happen. Things like this aren’t meant to happen. Have you ever embarrassed yourself in front of someone you really like? Trust
me; it has NOTHING on embarrassing yourself in front of your ultimate idol. She says hello to me, and I want to laugh as I find the whole situation ridiculous. I turn to my mum and I let out the strangest noise EVER. I cannot describe it. A mixture of a laugh and cry. Patti says to me, “It’s just emotion.” Yes, of course it is (no it isn’t. It is more than that.) After I make this questionable sound I am perfectly fine. In my head there are a billion things I wish I could say to her, but I think my brief meltdown expressed in a unique and mental way. My little cry caused her sister to cry. I shook Patti’s hand and thanked her. But when I said “Thank you” to her; I wasn’t just thanking her for signing my books. I was thanking her for her words, her music, her poetry, her general being for being a firm element of courage and strength. For being not just my voice; but others too. So when people tell you that you shouldn’t meet your heroes- ignore them. There’s this brilliant video of Faris Badwan (from The Horrors) interviewing Iggy Pop; it is incredible. Then there’s that video of Morrissey being interviewed by Russell Brand which is equally as beautiful. To be in the room for either of those interviews would have been brilliant. I’m just glad my meeting with Patti Smith wasn’t filmed. It led me to thinking how I’d be if I ever met Morrissey. I’ve only seen him live 4 times, but every time he walked on stage I just started crying. For now, I think it is for the best if I never try to meet him. Word vomit would happen; or I’d make that same noise I did when I met Patti, but probably worse. Your hero/idol can be anyone. You don’t have to tell them how much they mean to you when you meet them, just a certain look can get that point across. And when you do meet them, just know your life will never be the same again.
The Music of Chicago by quinn donnell
As a high school student in Northwest Indiana, I used to take advantage of every opportunity to hop on the South Shore Train and catch a show in Chicago. Now that I go to school 700 miles away, however, these opportunities present themselves significantly less often. Since being home for the summer, I’ve had the chance to reintroduce myself to the Chicago music scene, where certain artists are making music worthy of national recognition. While bands like Wilco and Smith Westerns represent the climb from Chicago’s underground venues to headlining spots at nationally known festivals, some particularly promising artists are just now starting to make their way up to the likes of the Windy City’s musical elite. Here are some of my favorites: Netherfriends In the past two weeks, Shawn Rosenblatt, the one-man-band better known as Netherfriends, has released two albums. The first of which, New Chi-t, is a mixtape he made with various Chicago hip-hop artists, the second being 50 Songs 50 States, a project involving playing a show, writing a song, and recording that song in all 50 states (plus Washington D.C.). After seeing him play his live set, involving the utilization of multiple loop pedals to layer an array of instruments, all while dancing around stage in a manner reminiscent of 1963 James Brown, I can’t decide what’s the most interesting aspect of the Netherfriends repertoire. Regardless, he’s definitely one of the most creative, innovative artists in Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter. Joe Pug In an age where the term “Dylan-esque” is thrown around arguably too often, Joe Pug is a musician truly worthy of such comparisons. It’s not only the cigarette-stained vocals, the acoustic guitar that sounds more like two acoustic guitars, or the harmonica that he wears around his neck like an orthodontic folk brace, but the lyricism that makes Pug so similar to Zimmy, hard hitting lyricism that’s delivered by a guy who seriously knows what he’s talking about. Twin Peaks Someone’s gotta be the heir to Smith Westerns’ reign as funnest, grooviest rock band playing Chicago’s 200-cap venues, and Twin Peaks is certainly one band in contention. Being recent high school graduates, their music represents the energy and garage-rock style associated with their youth. With the rerelease of their debut album, Sunken due out July 9, the term ‘Twin Peaks’ is slowly but surely becoming representative of contemporary fuzz rock rather than a 1990 ABC drama. The Orwells Like Twin Peaks, The Orwells are Chicagoan teenagers signed to Autum Tone Records, drawing influence from fellow Windy City rockers, Smith Westerns, and making music fit for garages and basements and anywhere else Midwestern youth congregate for raucous concerts involving spilled 40 oz. malt liquors caused by running into one another in a mess of asynchronous dancing. Unlike Twin Peaks, however, The Orwells’ sound recognizes an era of rock n’ roll well before their time, creating a sense of this is music Robert Plant would be making if he was 20-years-old today.
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE Breaking Up With Syracuse, NY by cassandra baim Spending the last four years at college in Syracuse, NY was the longest committed relationship I’ve ever been in. But it definitely didn’t resemble any relationship I’m familiar with— there was no “honeymoon phase,” and I always thought about straying—but much like any other relationship I learned more about myself in its deterioration than I did when things were still going strong. The beginning of the end came on April 12th. I’m dancing in my living room as LCD Soundsystem blasts in the background. I’ve had a little too much wine, I’m having a little too much fun, but as the muchanticipated drop in “Dance Yrself Clean” occurs and the room explodes, I realize that in exactly one month I’m going to graduate college. Two and a half months is a long time to spend breaking up with someone— I’m sorry—something. But my limited experience in this field dictates that the longer the relationship, the longer it takes to end. I expected time to drag, but I blinked and suddenly it was May, and pretty soon I have some choices to make. Do I savor the time left with the people I love or do I make one last attempt at turning myself into the academic I never wanted to be? Part of me always thought I’d never make it to the academic finish line anyway. I can kitchen dance one last time, and then a few more times after that, and scream-sing “You Belong With Me” with my friends who understand loneliness much better than Taylor Swift ever will, or I can write that term paper. Of course I choose to kitchen dance. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Whitney Houston “Love On Top” – Beyonce “Ignition Remix” – R. Kelly “Dance Yrself Clean” – LCD Soundsystem “High School Lover” – Cayucas
“I Love It” – Icona Pop “Last Nite” – The Strokes “Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield “Dancing In The Dark” – Bruce Springsteen “Lights Out” – Santigold “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” – The Wombats I walked across the stage, moved my tassel from one side of my cap to the other, and for many that was it. They sped out of here before that ceremony was barely over, unwilling to spend another second in their obligatory college town. I always thought that would be me too. I said farewell to few friends and many acquaintances, and I said goodbye to many people I wish I’d spent more time with. I could’ve ended it right then and there. On May 13th I could’ve packed up and moved away, back to Illinois or to Brooklyn where I would eventually wind up, but I’m not good at saying goodbyes, so I elongate the breakup even further. The small community of us that stays behind starts to dwindle, and it feels like the large group of people on my porch every night listening to Fleetwood Mac whittles down to just me. All I can think about is leaving, but I don’t. I should use the time to find a job and a new place, and start a new life but I can tell that my relationship with Central New York isn’t through. I allow myself this grace period to get my shit together, but I get too comfortable, and it has suddenly turned into my new life. Syracuse keeps clinging, but I’m not doing anything to pull myself away either. I fall in like with someone new, ignoring the obvious expiration date. I used to take days off of work to drive to the city and dream about what’s coming for me next, but now I use that time to drive to Utica, and roam around with the windows down, singing along to old songs with boys I don’t know well, and a boy I want to know better.
“You’re a God” – Vertical Horizon “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” – Paul Simon “Random Rules” – Silver Jews “A Praise Chorus” – Jimmy Eat World “Go Your Own Way” – Fleetwood Mac “All For You” – Sister Hazel I had an escape route all planned; I had a few actually. Maybe I’m cursed. Maybe I’m meant to never leave. Breakups are supposed to teach independence, and thank goodness I learned the only way I could ever leave is if I tore myself away. Depending on other people to get me out of here and having plan after plan fall through lit that fire under my ass, and the second I took charge of getting myself away, I found a way out. Now I have to say my farewells, and the “it’s not you, it’s me”s. The goodbyes are a lot more finite now. My best friends won’t live up the street from me anymore, they won’t be there to play my favorite songs on ukulele for me and to remind me that I’m not as crazy as I feel. And as I panic about my new internship, and stress about starting over in a new city, they’re the ones who tell me that I’m better off away from here. “All My Friends” – LCD Soundsystem “After Hours” – We Are Scientists “Can You Tell” – Ra Ra Riot “Wild Heart” – Stevie Nicks “This Must Be The Place” – Talking Heads “Running on Empty” – Jackson Browne “Lust for Life” – Girls “When We Are Wild” – The Red River “So Much Beauty in Dirt” – Modest Mouse “Portions for Foxes” – Rilo Kiley “Into the Mystic” – Van Morrison As I write this, I look around my room at my clothes on the floor and my books stacked in the corner and my shoes thrown under my bed and I wonder how I’m going to get all of this crap in the back of a car. But I feel really fortunate that that’s the question I get to ask now. I’m sorry,
Syracuse, but my time here is done. It was a little bit you, but mostly me. There’s no division of property; you can keep Recess Coffee, I’ll keep my sanity. I know after all this dawdling this seems really sudden, but moving away is like ripping off a band-aid—I need to do this in one fell swoop or I’ll keep wondering if I made the right decision. I don’t need to say that I don’t know what’s coming next because no one does. I’ll miss this industrial wasteland, I’ll miss my friends’ bands playing in basements a block away from my house, and I’ll miss that street corner where I stood in the rain listening to “Portions for Foxes” and realized what I wanted from my life. But I’ve done my time. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I’m really bad at saying goodbye and I’m even worse at staying away for long. I can’t keep putting this off—Farewell, Syracuse. It’s been real, it’s been good. It’s been real fun. This really was the place.
meet crocodiles by ben bondy
Crocodiles are a noise pop band that started in San Diego, California after the demise their former punk bands Some Girls and The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower. I spoke with Brandon about what it’s like to be putting out their own music and tour life. Here’s what he has to say. Ben: Tell us a little bit about yourselves, how did Crocodiles come to be? What was it like growing up and being involved with the San Diego punk and hardcore scene? Brandon: Charles and I have spent the past decade, maybe even a little longer, playing in bands together. We started Crocodiles in 2008. I thought the punk scene in San Diego was a great environment to grow up in. It tended to be a bit weirder, more confrontational, and more liberal than a lot of scenes we’ve come across on tour. At least the micro-scene we were involved in growing up. Ben: Whenever I hear your music I always want to listen to the Jesus And Mary Chain right
afterward, so I’m interested in hearing what artists influence your sound. What did you grow up listening to? What artists are you listening to on repeat right now? What’s the best music to make out to? Brandon: Ha, we get that all the time but honestly JAMC isn’t very high up on our list of influences. It’s a flattering comparison as they are a good band, but we’ve never sat down and said, “Let’s write something that sounds like JAMC.” I think that comes from both of us being into the Velvet Underground but who knows. In terms of real influences, I’d say Velvet Underground of course, Soft Boys, Motown and soul (listen to our bass lines), La Dusseldorf; all sorts of stuff really. We’re happy to throw anything into the pot so to speak. We’ve been listening to tons of 70’s salsa in the van. Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan and all the Fania people from back in the day. Best music to make out to? Don’t know haha. What ever is on I guess. Ben: This is a question for Brandon. I know you and your wife, Dee Dee, run a rad label, Zoo Music, and have put out both Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls music on it, tell us a little bit about that project. Why put music out yourself? Brandon: We started the label because no one was interested in putting out Crocodiles debut 7”, Neon Jesus. It became a bit demoralizing to take the time to mail something out to tons of labels that we had put our heart and soul into and not even get the courtesy of a reply. We had some money from a tax return and just said “fuck it, let’s do it ourselves,”. We continue to put out records because there is still so much music that is ignored. We’re not trying to get rich off of it, we’re just trying to contribute something good. Ben: Have any tips for traveling? What kinds of snacks do you bring on tour? What books should people read on long trips? Brandon: Tips for touring? Bring tons of underwear and socks, drink lots of water during the day, bring earplugs and an eye mask so you can sleep in weird spaces. I don’t bring snacks on tour, but I try to take fruit and stuff from hotel lobbies before long drives. People should read whatever they are interested in but they should definitely bring plenty of reading material. Ben: If you could have any job in the world what would it be? (ie. drug kingpin, dominatrix, professional wrestler.) Brandon: I like my job but if I had to do something else I think I’d be good at doing music supervision for television or movies. Ben: What can we expect to see happening with Crocodiles in the coming months? Brandon: We have a new album, Crimes Of Passion, coming out August 20th (August 19th rest of the world) so we’ll be doing a lot of touring in the upcoming months for that. http://killkillkillcrocodiles.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/killcrocodiles/
I AM NO BAND GROUPIE GIRLFRIEND by tori cote
First off, I want to say that I do not hate band girlfriends. They make the band happy and are probably really good girlfriends that would make their boyfriends nachos if he was having a bad day. Band dudes need a significant other to inspire them to write songs, make art, and support them. These are just my reasons for not wanting to be one. 1) I don’t want to go to all of your shows, even if I think your band rules. There are a lot of bands I want to see, considering I love music too, and sometimes I want to go to their shows more than your shows. I’ll always support you, but you can’t expect me to Instagram a pic of you at all of your shows saying how much I love you because that is not what I’m all about here. 2) It’s cute if you want to write me a song, but I don’t want a song for an audience where everyone is screaming all the words. I like something personal and introspective, don’t give me that “Hey There Delilah” bullshit. We are both better than that. 3) As a little lady trying to be taken seriously in the music industry, sometimes I want to be seen independently from the bands spotlight. It’s cool to have a boyfriend in an band, but it’s not so cool to be seen as a band groupie when trying to work in the industry. 4) Band boys are too sensitive and I am sensitive in a different way and believe me this just doesn’t work. 5) I am well dressed sometimes but other times I wear oversized sweaters with tights and kneehighs and like to pretend that it’s an outfit I can wear and people will actually like it. Depending on how involved band girlfriend is with the band, than she might have to dress the part. I do not want to dress any part ever, sorry. 6) Sometimes band boyfriends have to leave you for a while when they go on tour and it’s really sad. I don’t like being left anywhere. In fact, I’m better known for my ability to leave a situation then waiting on my butt at home for you to come back. Long distance relationships can work but they are also long, hard, and sometimes sad and anyone who has been in one can agree with me. 7) Sometimes band practice takes priority over date night or date time and you get kinda annoyed but you aren’t supposed to say anything because you knew what you got yourself into and the band is super important!! At the end of the day, it’s your decision if you want to live the life of a musician’s girlfriend. Even though I can easily list the reasons why I hate it, we all know I will realistically do it again. The best I can do is wish you luck. And that you might appreciate a cocktail more now than ever.
preparing for pitchfork by kenzie weeks
The night after I moved back in with my parents for the first time in nearly four years, I accidentally got drunk off a stolen bottle of two-buck chuck. Never having been prone to baths in the first place, I’m not a soak and sink sort of wine drinker and, with wine, I never feel the sort of morbid urge to binge eat that liquor brings. Instead, I binge buy. It was the night after I moved back to my hometown, bloated with drink, and I needed a pick me up. So, I pulled out the grubby plastic wedged into my wallet, logged on to the world wide web, and treated myself to a three-day pass to this summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival. From the minutes following the lineup release this spring I knew a ticket purchase was only an inevitability for me. The festival, which spans the weekend of July 19th through the 21st this year, has claimed Union Park in Chicago as its stomping grounds since 2006. I’ve trekked one other time from the corn cushions of Indiana to the sweat-soaked field, filled temporarily with three stages, a panoply of local food vendors, and a small fair featuring a variety of arts, vinyl, and other goodies. This time, though, will be a markedly different experience for me. Boasting its standard solid lineup of over 40 bands, Pitchfork Music Festival will be hosting me as I fly solo, alone to fully absorb the signature communion of fellow music lovers and travelers, and to take full advantage of hearing some of the best and my favorite artists perform live under the Chicago sun. This year’s lineup boasts big-name headliners like Björk and Belle and Sebastian, closing out the festival on Sunday with a performance by our modern-day Wright brother, R. Kelly. Having grown up to be the angsty young woman that I am today weaned on the music of both B&S and Björk (and having recently heard of our own Miscreant’s transcendent experience seeing the latter’s set at Bonnaroo this year), I’m a little less excited to see R. Kelly (that is unless he performs Trapped in the Closet in its 33-chapter entirety.) Girlfran here can get always get down to
“Ignition (Remix)” though. Other artists sure to draw big crowds are MIA, Solange, Yo La Tengo (whose excellent album Fade can still be found playing in my car), as well as Lil B (thank you BasedGod) and my own personal Angel of Wet Dreams, Joanna Newsom. Now, the lineup this year, as per Pitchfork’s M.O., spans the genres. From the hip-hop world, we can look forward to Killer Mike and my fellow science fiction lover, El-P, who’ve released a collaborative album this year as Run the Jewels. But I’m looking forward more to seeing Tree, a Chicago-based rapper who just released his second album, Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out, who’s performing early on Sunday, as well as TNGHT, who perform that same night as the aftershow. Further down the genre spectrum, I’m particularly psyched to see London-based newcomers, Savages, whose breakout album Silence Yourself, has been hailed by critics and friends alike as a truly sincere artistic statement in the world of post-punk. Despite all the dark insistence and ferocity of the album, Savages are known for their feverishly compelling and frenetic live shows—you don’t know Savages until you see them live, so they say. Another big group on my checklist are Swans, who seem tailor-made for a live audience, with a reputation for brutal force and passion. I just need to remember not to put my hands on the stage. Riding the post-punk wave back to some of its roots, I’m making sure to check out the classic and highly-influential group Wire, who’ve been around pushing boundaries and experimenting with music since 1976. Now, I’m a big fan of nearly the whole lineup, and I’m looking forward to the handful of bands I’ve never had the pleasure (or pain) of hearing. But to name just a few more that will be sure to rouse all our interests and perk up all of our ears, I’m hoping to catch Foxygen, Waxahatchee, Mikal Cronin, Autre Ne Veut, Toro y Moi, and Chairlift as the three day weekend progresses. I’ve got a little over two weeks to wait now, and I can assure you I’ll spend the whole time in kid-like anticipation. Drafting schedules, parsing out travel plans, calling all couches, and planning that perfectly casual, but tortuously intentional outfit. Join me in Chicago, kids! Or else, just live vicariously through me. It’s going to be bomb.
i roll with croll by caitlin lytle
Over the years I have discovered music both in all the right and wrong places one would discover music. My favorites have come from sources like my friends, my cousins, the radio, and now a sex shop- and no that is not a typo. In Orange County, they find it most convenient to situate their sex shops right to their record stores in a strip mall- just in case you need some new music for the next time you are getting it on. That afternoon I would first lay ears on Dan Croll. Both stores had their front doors propped open, and while walking and texting and being social on my media, I walked into the wrong door. While still engulfed in my cellular device I began shazamming the song that was playing as it had my attention the second I crossed the threshold, but only to look up and realize that I was surrounded by objects that far resembled records and CDs. After a quick pivot and volt, I found myself on my intended quest for Alt J vinyl, however still thinking about the song that was playing in Condom Revolution and how I needed to hear it again. Ever since, that car ride home with music purchases in hand and Dan Croll blasting on my Spotify, he and my ears have been inseparable. We go to the beach together, he commutes with me to LA in the morning, and most recently he flew with me to Utah. The quality of Croll’s music can be justified by the fact he has Paul McCartney’s stamp of approval, who feels he has strong songs and is “groovy.” His sound is polyrhythmic and folky yet electronic at the same time. He’s unlike like any boy to land on one of my playlists. Plus, one of his biggest influences in his music is Paul Simon, aka a miscreant girl’s biggest weakness. However, like all relationships there have been some ups and downs. Croll’s June tour of the US (oh yeah did I mention he’s British) was cancelled, a big let down. But, in a summer where I have been suffering from a big break up, Croll has been just the rebound I needed, and has kept me dancing June through July. Dan Croll’s Discography Deconstructed: The song for your summer playlist: “From Nowhere” The song for your commutes to work: “Wanna Know” The song for traveling: “Compliment Your Soul”
Who says Indy can’t party by mary luncsford
The other night, I went to Broad Ripple’s annual Party in the Park summer concert with some friends. The lineup featured Oh No Fiasco, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, and Matt and Kim. The day was cloudy, and, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about Matt and Kim for a couple of years. So, I wasn’t super stoked when the night began, but in that magical way that only concerts possess, as the night progressed, I found myself getting into it and dancing with the rest of the crowd, and it felt good to be a part of a moving mass of people. After a pretty substantial rainfall, the night began as scheduled with Oh No Fiasco from Knoxville, Tennessee. This alt-rock band was surprisingly delightful with matching teal jeans and a floraldress-clad front lady, Lindsey Stamey, who has a set of lungs like Haley Williams but a style all her own. They were a great start to the show with cheeky lyrics like, “you’re just a stand-in lover,” and “I got a feeling that you want to get to know me in a biblical way.” They got the crowd bopping along with songs like “Fire” and “All Systems Go.” Oh No Fiasco blends dreamy pop with a rock sound complete with hair flips and a hell of a lot of jumping. Their energy is contagious, and hopefully we’ll see more of them in the near future. Following Oh No was a band from Chicago called JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. They combined a sort of funk/soul sound with edgy lyrics that didn’t quite mesh together. The musicality was enough to get your foot stomping, but front man JC Brooks was a little too cocky for what he was selling. With lyrics like, “All I want to do is just fuck some more…all I want to do is get inside you some more,” he left a lot of the female audience alienated and looking around at each other. He continued on in this style when referencing the band’s new music video for their song “Rouse Yourself,” starring Jake Johnson and Aubrey Plaza. “For all you fan boys out there, get your tissues ready.” I don’t think he was meaning they were going to cry by how well put together the video was or how moving the lyrics are. A lot of the audience was ready for the main event halfway through Uptown’s set. The time had finally arrived. Matt and Kim took the stage just as the sun was setting. Matt introduced Kim by saying, “This is my partner in crime, and my partner in doing it,” and the crowd went wild. Never before have I seen two people more excited to be playing music, even in some tiny park in Broad Ripple; Kim’s smile was constant as she beat out her simple but powerful rhythms. The Brooklyn outfit got the crowd involved with confetti, balloons, and the signature Kim crowd walk. They played a variety of songs ranging back to their first self-titled album to Lightning. They challenged the audience to get weirder than Milwaukee did the previous night. We obliged. Between their own songs they played a variety of trap and hip-hop, and even wound their songs into “Jump On It” and “Jump Around.” Songs that we hadn’t thought about since sophomore year all of the sudden sounded so true. Favorites of the night were “Silver Tiles,” “Let’s Go,” and
“Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare.” They ended their regular set with “Daylight,” which has survived even through being overplayed to near extinction a couple of years ago. Matt and Kim made the audience dance and scream and sweat. There was a mutual loving energy flowing back and forth from the stage to the crowd. It was by far the most fun I’ve had at a live show, and it seems like Matt and Kim were exactly what Indianapolis needed last night. With a renewed sense of kick-assery, we went out into the night. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.
WANT MORE MISCREANT? Dearest Miscreants, By the time this issue is posted, I will be all moved out of Syracuse. This is the City where the Miscreant was born, where I asked Lizzy to be my partner in zines and other crimes, where I met so many of the wonderful people who have contributed to 41 blasted issues. It’s where I learned what I wanted to do with my life. I found Cassandra’s submission this issue ever so fitting. When change comes knocking, we find ourselves having to say goodbye to the parts of our lives that made us who we are, the people and places too. This issue is dedicated to Syracuse, and I’d like to thank everyone who was a part of this chapter of my life and the life of this publication. I’d also like to thank everyone who submitted to this issue, as well as Jeffrey Lewis for providing an insightful and thoughtful interview. When I got the answers back from Jeff, and was reading through them, I got so giddy thinking about the future of the zine in New York City. I can’t wait to get there and hit the ground running! It’s been a long time coming. There are many friends who are out there already, and many more to come. So stay tuned for And now it’s time to send in your own writing! Submissions for Issue 42 are due July 24! This issue will feature our friends Julia Brown! So, send in the mix you have made for your mom’s birthday, your photo essays on sticky floor clubs, top 10 lists inspired by Rob Gordon (always a good choice), anything to do with music. No previous writing experience is required. Email your work to email@example.com. Also send us any questions you might have! Also, look to miscreantrecords.com and the Miscreant Facebook for more info on the music you read about here and more! Check out the Miscreant video series Sad Kids Club at www.smarturl.it/SadKidsClub. And remember to read and enjoy all of the back issues of the Miscreant at issuu.com/themiscreant. Love, The Miscreant
Featuring Jeffrey Lewis!