in this issue page 4
songs for every street corner cassandra baim shares musical memories tied to intersections (of life and roads)
hugginâ€™ out the bugginâ€™ out kenzie weeks makes a playlist, her mom cooks things
an interview with mutual benefit the miscreant asks jordan lee about his amazing music
good girl v bad girl tori cote examines the way pop music glorifies good girls and bad girls
put an ear to the north(ampton) holly macdonald tells us what we need to know about her favorite budding music scene
some sonngs by daniel johnston connor benincasa talks about some of his favorite songs by daniel johnston
in my room ben bondy considers the catharsis found in making music in his bedroom
moving on andi wilson tells her story of moving from washington to new york, and all the beautiful music she found along the way
for the love of manchester olivia cellamare teaches us a bit about manchester music
being sure of yourself and other lessons from gossip girl kyle kuchta tells us something he likes about gossip girl (he hates everything else about it)
epiphanies had in j200 mary luncsford talks about music writing with all her heart
a song for every street corner by cassandra baim
Over beers and pizza, my roommate and I talked about how every place here has a story. Every intersection, storefront, porch, bodega, park bench, train station, and coffee shop witnessed something major in our lives. It doesn’t matter what, even something as simple as receiving a text message there gives a place significance to me. I’ve called three cities my home, and that means endless streets and sidewalks have seen me at my worst, and at my best, and everything in between. Sheridan Road and Central Street – “Lightness” by Death Cab for Cutie I just got my drivers’ license, much to the horror of my parents and every other driver on the road. My best friend and I took my mom’s car out for a spin on a warm spring night. We had our motives. I wanted to tell her that when she started dating the boy I had a crush on it really hurt my feelings, and she wanted to ask if that’s why I had stopped eating. I pulled over the car as the second song off Transatlanticism started to play and told her how scared I was.
Lake Shore Drive and Belmont Avenue – “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens Shortly after I turned eighteen, my close friend of over ten years died suddenly. No one knew how to cope, least of all my friend and I, two girls who kept our emotions so repressed we couldn’t fathom what it was like to feel anything resembling grief. We went for a drive. We sat there in silence for about a half hour before she turned to me and said, “It’s just so sad, isn’t it?” Clarendon Street and Livingston Avenue – “What’s My Age Again” by Blink-182 The very first time I went home with a boy was the winter of 2011. He was visiting from out of town. He had nice eyes and thought I was funny. He unironically quoted Blink-182 and told me I should call him if I was ever in Boston. When I left that house the next morning, I tripped down the stairs and hummed “What’s My Age Again” with a smile on my face. Euclid Avenue and Ackerman Avenue – “Portions for Foxes” by Rilo Kiley I haven’t slept in a few days. I overdrew my bank account to pay for birth control. I just lost another apartment in Brooklyn. I was pretty sure I was going to rot in Syracuse forever. I realized how much I cared about someone I might not see for a very long time. I had to walk to work. It started raining. I started crying. Jenny Lewis started singing. Beech Street and Westcott Street – “The Wind and the Dove” by Bill Callahan A series of strange events led me to have the strangest sexual encounter I’ve had yet, and spend the night with someone who made me profoundly uncomfortable. He made me feel stupid for smoking Parliaments and listening to Vampire Weekend and tried to impress me with his record collection. I couldn’t leave his house fast enough, and I walked home regretting everything but with a new love for Bill Callahan. Flatbush Avenue and Park Place – “All I Want” by LCD Soundsystem He texted me when I felt frustrated and alone, convincing myself that no one cared about me. “Is it weird if I tell you I miss you?” It’s far from weird, it’s perfect. Prospect Place and Rogers Avenue – “Clementine” by Sarah Jaffe I walk to my brand new apartment after finding out the boy I had been “seeing” had a girlfriend. By the time I reached my front door, my decision changes from “Maybe I could make this work” to “I can’t put myself through this.” And then I learn the difference between liking someone and liking their attention. Jefferson Ave and Wyckoff Ave – “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates What was supposed to be a quick lunch date turned into me spending the night at this boy’s house for the first time. I left in the wee AM hours, flushed and giddy, and just the slightest bit confused about what was going to happen next. I walked to the train and thought of that scene in 500 Days of Summer when JGL dances to that iconic song. I turned on my iPod and did the same thing.
This issue is brought to you by Skyline Chili.
Single of the
Week “Golden Wake” from Mutual Benefit’s latest full-length, Love’s Crushing Diamond, is this issue’s Single Of The Week. It’s so true, beautiful, a stand out track on such a magnificent album. It embodies the change of youth. It’s definitely my favorite, and so lovely live.
Huggin’ Out the Buggin’ Out by kenzie weeks
When you live in the Midwest, February holds claim to being the Month Most Likely to Get You Diagnosed. It’s the frostbitten ass crack of the Julian calendar, slipped unceremoniously between the hearty vigor of winter snow and the hope of a full-blooded spring--both ends of the wick of Heartland weather. In a month that doesn’t bother to make sense environmentally (temperatures last week soared up to 50 just to plummet to -14 again this week), it seems fitting that February emotionally keeps up the chaos. The whole spectrum of love--expected, forced, lost, missing, romantic, platonic, sexual, cultural, historical, commercialized, idealized, imaginary--slaps itself onto each half-cocked day, throwing us (read: me) into a self-doubting, narcissistic tailspin of feeeeeeeeeeelings that make about as much sense as using russian roulette to determine the number of days in a month. My mother, in the throes of the icy white blues, bakes. She bakes and she jellies. She saturates every piece of bread in the house with powdered sugar and butter and she keeps herself sane with overcompensating sweetness. I have a friend that paints. He slides tiny pointed brushes over canvas and splashes buckets over tarp. He re-paints every room in his house and every room in yours if you let him. Some people shop, I think. Me, with my slow metabolism and a shaky hand, I make playlists to cope with the crazies, not just, but especially in February. This year I happen to be in love. Many years, I’ve not been. Mostly I’ve just been confused. Love, much like February, is weird, no matter what form it may take for you. It’s weird as hell. February, and the billions of people who happen to live through it, spend 28 (or 29) days hurling dirty slushballs of weirdness at you wherever you go, making love--in all its weirdness--nearly impossible to ignore. In due form, I present to you, and as homage to the month of madness, a playlist inspired by love (or lack thereof). Whether it’s smitten as a kitten or lumpy and frumpy, hankerin’ for a sandwich, or just a little flirty, we’re all feeling a bit of something [good or bad] this time of year. Let’s just embrace it, hug it out (even if you’re hugging yourself), and do February one better. Now, try some of my mom’s pie. It’ll hurt her feelings if you don’t. “Honey & I” - Haim “Me & Julio Down By the School Yard” - Paul Simon “I Can’t Go For That” - Hall & Oates “When U Love Somebody” - Fruit Bats “Bad Thing” - King Tuff “Tainted Love” - Soft Cell “Red Right Hand” - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds “I Love Every Little Thing About You” - Syreeta “Foxes Mate for Life” - Born Ruffians “Cosmia” - Joanna Newsom “Woke Up New” - The Mountain Goats “A Girl Like You” - Edwyn Collins “You’re Not the One” - Sky Ferreira
an interview by the miscreant
Jordan Lee has recently moved to Brooklyn. His band is called Mutual Benefit, and he makes beautiful music with various folks. He’s been a long-time member of various DIY scenes, and has traveled the country to play lots of house shows and the like. Most recently, he was in Boston. After the growing success of his most recent record, though, it made sense to come to New York. He’s currently on tour, preparing to head to Europe shortly. Keep a close eye out for dates. Here Jordan talks about booking an official tour, one of my favotie tunes “Advanced Falconry,” being a part of DIY scenes, and all the questions that lie ahead for his music. Listen at: mutualbenefit.bandcamp.com! 8
The Miscreant: Mutual Benefit is a project you’ve been working on for quite some time in many different places. When and where did you start to become more serious about pursuing this specifically? Jordan Lee: The whole band-as-a-career thing was never really something I took too seriously because it seemed so far fetched and the bands I saw pursuing that kind of life seemed to be so different from what I was doing which was basically just messing around with my friends and trying to have adventures. I suppose it has just been in the last couple months with Other Music re-releasing this record that things have gotten way more professional and we have to pay taxes and be on time for soundcheck and stuff. I don’t think there was ever a point where we decided to “get serious” more of just slowing growing and figuring things out as they happen. The Miscreant: How did “Advanced Falconry” come together? What different places were you while recording? Jordan: The instrumental base for “Advanced Falconry” actually came about when I was staying with a friend in New York and he got arrested and taken to central booking for jumping the subway turnstile and I went back to his apartment and nervously played guitar all night. Lyrically it started as a love song and slowly I kept revising it until it was more about chasing this fleeting feeling of contentment. I kept going back to it on and off for about a year and it finally came together when Jake Falby visited me in St. Louis and collaborated on the string arrangements. It was the first time I’d heard a song fully realized the way I wanted it to sound in my head so I was excited for weeks. The song was finished up in Jamaica Plain, MA near Boston when two singers I love, Virginia de la Pozas and Julie Byrne, visited and added this really airy quality to the vocals that my big dumb voice wasn’t able to do. The Miscreant: You’re about to get on the road and tour. In what ways will this tour be different than the ones before? Jordan: This tour is different in that it is the first one where a booking agent set up most of the dates so everything is a lot more official. In some ways it is nice because we don’t have to worry about food or gas money as much and there is less pressure to do our own promo but in other ways it there is more monotony and less chances to have these beautiful moments of reciprocity with strangers than a tour of just house shows. We did make a big effort to pick our own opening bands and stay with friends and do as much cooking as possible so the feeling of being a lil musical family on the road has stayed strong even though the shows themselves are different. The Miscreant: What parts of the world are you going to that you’ve never been to before?
Jordan: Our tour route is a big circle around the perimeter of the US so I’m going to the Pacific Northwest for the first time as well as the West Texas desert. We also went to Montreal which was absolutely incredible. I tried to play it cool when meeting the founders of Constellation Records. One of them told us we shouldn’t feel morally opposed to encores. In a couple months the band is going to Europe for the first time which is crazy. According to the internet the UK is way more excited about this band than people here. The Miscreant: Before you were in New York, you were in Boston for a number of years. What took you there? Jordan: I went to Boston to collaborate with one of my childhood best friends and because it seemed really fun to live on the East Coast after being in Texas and Ohio for my whole life. We recorded a lot of music and lived on the floor of a practice space for a jam band so it was amazing and soul crushing at the same time? Yesterday I was explaining the idea of a “jam band” to a European dude at one of our shows. It was hilarious to me. The Miscreant: Talk about your relationship with Lizard Kisses and how they’ve helped you in your recent move to Brooklyn. Jordan: Marc and Cory are the best! We liked each others’ music on tumblr years ago and mailed each other merch and eventually I visited them which was actually my first time in Brooklyn. Its pretty much just grown from there. Marc has played guitar on a ton of my songs and Cory did the art for LCD and sang; I love playing and working on Lizard Kisses songs with them too. Marc is on tour with me right now and keeping us all organized. It is so nice to have partners to collaborate with on the music, visual, performing, and business side of things. There’s no way this band would be around without them. The Miscreant: You’ve been involved in so many DIY scenes, like the first time I met you was at FMLY Fest in Brooklyn. Talk a little about coming up in these scenes. What did you learn along the way?
Jordan: The main thing I learned is how rewarding it is to build something together instead of relying on existing power structures. I learned the innate generosity that human beings have towards each other when they aren’t competing. There is a real vitality I feel in a lot of wellrun community spaces that usually is totally lacking from a corporate venue that just has random shows every night. I’ve noticed that food is a big part of many DIY scenes. Cooking, sharing, urban agriculture, it is just such a positive experience usually. Having been on both sides I do have a much more nuanced view where focusing on dollars with no regard for art or focusing on art and avoiding any semblance of business stuff are both unsustainable if you are trying to pay the bills. The Miscreant: What about the different DIY scenes in where you are now in Brooklyn is most important to you? Jordan: I don’t feel qualified to talk about DIY in Brooklyn because I’ve spent so little time here so far. Mostly I hang with the Silent Barn kids who are doing rad stuff. It is difficult to do much of anything here without compromising your ideals for some shoe company money or hustle at two jobs to afford rent. I think there are brilliant people everywhere but logistically I think this town is unideal for creating art spaces or building a lasting community. I don’t know maybe I’m totally wrong and just haven’t met the right people. The Miscreant: Who are some of your friends and peers whose new music you’re most excited to hear in the coming year? Jordan: F R A N K I E
The Miscreant: What else is on the horizon for Mutual Benefit? Jordan: Who fucking knows?? Total soul breakdown? Another record? Playing a festival with Conor Oberst and The National? Playing a basement with my friends? Buying a fog machine? Becoming a corporation? Being on the road all the time until the taste of trail mix makes me cry? Hugging a lawyer? Feeling stressed and grateful at the same time? Not feeling? Learning Spanish?
bad girl v good girl by tori cote
As a five-foot tall, curly headed lady with a baby face, I have always been easily identifiable as ‘cute’. Grandmas used to stop me in the grocery store from ages 8-12 and pinch my cheeks and ask my mom if she permed my hair, because ‘there’s no way I could have just been naturally that cute’. As I got older, I found myself not really fighting ‘the cute’ but working with it. In high school, I was deemed the ‘good girl’ because of my looks. There was no way I was throwing parties or smoking menthols with my gal pals, we were way too cute for that sort of thing. I remember once a cop came to my house when my parents were gone and we were throwing a semi-loud party. He asked if we were drinking. After a few giggles and apologizing for listening to the Jonas Brothers too loud or something similar, the cop was on his way. I didn’t really think of myself as manipulative at the time, I just knew how to use what I had to get what I wanted. Before our time, bad girls and good girls have always been a stereotype. According to urban dictionary a good girl is, “A virgin that is a freak on the inside and hasn’t been let loose.” While, on the other hand, a bad girl is “a girl with many characteristics of assholes or douchebags. They are independent, willful, and unlike good girls do and say as they please, as they fear no consequences. The only opinions that matter to them is their opinion of themselves. They challenge the female population and society, as they are fierce, refuse to follow trends, and make a name for them without conforming to what society sees as ‘right for women’.” So, why would you want to be a good girl? Pop music is making it as confusing as ever. There are some artists that are talking about how it’s better to be a good girl, but then there are others that are saying it’s cool to be a bad girl. Good girls and bad girls are recognized because of the sexualization of women, yet rarely is either seen in a very realistic or positive light. Apparently, good girls need to be taken advantage of or changed, while bad girls are seen as vixens. While there are many men singing about bad girls, the amount of female pop artists referring to themselves as bad has sky rocketed. For pop music, to define sex for young girls is misleading and confusing, but for men to refer to women as good and for women to refer to themselves as bad only adds to the confusion. When defining girls as good and bad in relation to sexual behavior, there is a line that is drawn and it is hard for people to make sense of. For example, a good girl doesn’t mean a good person, and a bad girl doesn’t mean a bad person. Certain songs have started pigeonholing girls into thinking that they have to be either “good” or “bad.” Of course, there are artists such as Beyoncé and others who are trying to empower women through Top 40, but the consensus as of late has really been about creating an image for each stereotype.
Some lyrics pertaining to good girls: Cause you’re a good girl and you know it You act so different around me Cause you’re a good girl and you know it I know exactly who you could be – Drake And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl I know you want it I know you want it I know you want it You’re a good girl – Robin Thicke She was so shy till I drove her wild I make them good girls go bad – Cobra Starship Some lyrics pertaining to bad girls: What a bad little girl I am Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad She a bad girl, a real shopaholic She buying everything up, man, I can’t call it And she a walking store, I’m talking ‘bout her clothes I just pause, I’m in awe ‘cause she a fashion show – Rhianna Been around the world, I still can’t find Another girl that can steal my shine. I’ve had my highs, I’ve had my lows But you can’t tell me that I am not the baddest bitch. I’m the baddest bitch The mistress I’m the baddest bitch. – Nicki Minaj Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well – M.I.A. Even though there are some set ideas about bad and good girls determined by music, it is important to remember that teenage girls and young women don’t need to be categorized anymore than they already are. There are enough day-to-day stresses for women that the dichotomy of being a bad girl or good girl should be the least of their troubles. As much as society loves to make blanket statements about a women’s personal ethics concerning her body and ideologies, maybe pop music should take a minute to stay clear of the situation for now.
PUT AN EAR TOWARDS THE NORTH(AMPTON) by holly macdonald
It was late winter, 2011. I walked into The Basement, an unmarked, back alley stomp in Northampton. Usually DJ Cashman is spinning vinyl, and the crowd is sardine-packed for Motown or old school hip hop. But on this night, Spanish For Hitchhiking was playing a set. Being a smaller spot in town, the venue can’t fit more than 50 or so people. I’d heard murmurs of a special guest tonight. “We’d like to invite a friend on stage to sing a few songs with us,” says Dennis Crommett, the lead singer of Spanish for Hitchhiking. The guy sitting on the couch next to me had gotten up and taken the microphone. I leaned towards my friend, Wes, who was working for The Pixies at the time, “I didn’t know Frank Black was performing tonight.”
WHAT’S “THE VALLEY”??
The pockets of Western Massachusetts music hold Northampton at its epicenter. Great music doesn’t only go there, it grows there. Bands like Speedy Ortiz, who made the Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs of 2013 list, call Northampton home. SXSW dedicates a night to the Western Massachusetts hub, calling it their Northampton Comes to Austin shindig. This New England scene is not your mother’s “SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC” bumper sticker. There’s folk punk and noise, indie pop protest songs and harmony driven rock bands. And they’re all... good. Will Meyer, bass player for The Trouts and Huckleberry Binge, drives a grease powered tiger striped bus around Northampton. The tiger bus is my favorite metaphor for the music that comes out of the area. Eye catching and forward thinking. And it will bring a lot of people along for the ride. In and around Northampton the crowds are solid, the musical camaraderie is infectious. Ryan Severin, a local of the scene calls it like he sees it, “some of the highest quality and caliber musicians are thriving right now in this town.” Severin plays with Young Tricksters, an Amherst based rock band whose house shows have attracted hundreds. Not cumulatively, either. Hundreds... to just one basement show. In... small town Amherst. The area holds a few college towns surrounded by farmland. You might not expect a soundscape beyond blue grass and Americana. It’s a diverse scene, where shows are abundant and bring in large crowds. Severin commented that there is a uniquely familial sense of community which seems to foster forward thinking music. “You can see that in the cities. For a smaller population, per capita you have more songwriters and original songwriters than any of the cities.” A strong claim, but give a listen to Deja Carr’s vocals with Who’da Funk It or Hannah Mohan’s dynamic song writing sensibilities with And The Kids, and we’ll all be piling into the tiger bus for a show at Dad City, the home of Severin. The Dad City house show baton has been passed down the musician lineage of its dwellers. “Northampton is the next Woodstock, nobody knows it,” Severin says with confidence. It’s not Woodstock ‘69, a moment in history that didn’t even happen in the small upstate town, but Abbie Hoffman’s Woodstock Nation. All my life I’ve known a man named Bud Sife. He owned a bar in the town of Woodstock back in it’s hay day, was around for the sound-outs. He was part of that moment in time when the legends of rock n roll and folk were going up to Woodstock to play for each other. He watched as the hippies started coming up and infiltrating the audience. That idea of witnessing the growth of a moment absolutely buzzes in Northampton. Especially underground. Mustache Mansion, Dad City, The Hadenville House, The Attic, The Treehouse, The Yellow House, The Dustbowl, and Woodworks are a few DIY spaces of recent past and present on the underground map of the area, an area that’s geographical span isn’t very far. When I lived in the area, my house was called the Highland Castle. Sure, we got the occasional hand written notes taped to our door. NO MUSIC AFTER 5PM blatantly warned us about our band practice. Despite some neighborly tension about rehearsal time with a kick drum, the folks on our block supported our monthly shows. We’d leave notes in every mailbox on the block, “House show this week, here’s our number. Noise will end at a reasonable hour. If you’re concerned about the sound, please give us a call.” A few folks in the ‘hood would even RSVP.
OKAY, YOU’VE CONVINCED ME. WHERE’S THE SHOW TONIGHT? The cops being an ever present concern (just like anywhere), word of mouth tends to be the point of entry to the underground. More accessible are labels like Dark Work and venues like Flying Object, Feeding Tube, and the Flywheel Arts Collective. At Flywheel, it’s reasonably easy to start booking your own shows at the venue. The space is the antithesis of the Iron Hourse Entertainment Group, which holds a controversial monopoly on several of bigger venues in town. Hannah Mohan frequently gigs in the area and throughout the northeast with her band And The Kids. “Northampton is smack in the middle of everything,” The town is close in proximity to Boston, Burlington, and New York City. Along the Connecticut, the Pioneer Valley (or “The Valley”) holds a collection of towns (Northampton, Hadley, Amherst, Easthampton). Megan Miller, also of And The Kids, said she left Canada and an entire life behind for the band and the Northampton scene, “ I moved here specifically for Rebecca Lasaponaro and Hannah Mohan.” She quit her job, dropped her boyfriend, found someone to adopt her cat, and drove 10 hours to Amanda Palmer’s house in Boston to meet up with Mohan and play music. The rest is And The Kids history. This year the band played CMJ and released a new EP. They are building momentum as the Northampton “it” band and are playing more and more in New York. As Western Massachusetts bands filter down for gigs in the five boroughs, New York bands have been looking north. I’ve often heard, “you’ve spent time in the Pioneer Valley? Can you get me a house show there?” There’s something special about a crowded house show in a farming community. Frank McGinnis of Time Travels, a Hudson Valley band, played a show in my Northampton basement two years ago. He had free download cards for his music. “I’m going to put these right by the tip jar. Take one. People often don’t, I don’t know why, they’re free.” That glorious crowd took them all. So, New York, take a listen North.
A VERY INCOMPLETE VALLEY PLAYLIST WHO’S ORDER WAS CONSIDERED: “Fur Trapper” – Huckleberry Binge “Wiser” – And The Kids “Boy Who Cried Wolf” - Young Tricksters “Shelter” – Pale Cowboy “My Romance” - JAP “Red Wine” – FIG & A Little Inappropriate “Man Up” – Who’da Funk It
“Ka-Prow!” - Speedy Ortiz “Taste” – The Sun Parade “Shark (USS Indianapolis)” - The Dire Honeys “Daisy” – Mal Devisa “Hi, Hello My Name is God “– The Flies? “Finals Week” – Worms
AND IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU, check out everything drkwrld is putting out into the universe.
some songs BY daniel johnston by connor benincasa
Sometimes you hear a song for the first time, and it feel like it’s been a part of you for years. Sometimes you’ll discover an artist whose songs are all like this. You feel like this artist “gets you;” you feel like he dipped a paintbrush in the goo inside your head and painted a masterpiece with it. You spend hours alone with these songs; you wear them like badges of pride when you’re out. You repeat the lyrics like a mantra when you need them. To me, and many others, Daniel Johnston is one of these artists. He perfectly captures the feelings of love and loneliness, of heartbreak, of sorrow and of hope. Here I’ve selected a few of my favorite Daniel Johnston songs and written a bit about what each one means to me. Writing about these songs is difficult because they’re all so important and touchy, like little robin’s eggs. I’ve done what I can writing about them, and the remarkable thing is that I’m sure another Daniel Johnston fan could write about the same songs and say something totally different. There are a bunch of songs that didn’t make it into this article that deserve to be, but I’ve trimmed the list down for the sake of brevity. “Lazy” from Songs of Pain // “I don’t want to hear about responsibilities, I got less important things to do,” Daniel croons. This slacker anthem explores the laziness resulting from a bout of deep depression. This is a song about the days you’ve spent in bed, the work (or paperwork) you’ve neglected, and the countless ventures that you’ve abandoned. “I quit college and I quit my job, I think I’ll quit life.” Having both dropped out of college and quitting the one job that offered me somewhat steady income afterward, I couldn’t have made a Daniel Johnston playlist without including this track. “Blue Clouds” from The What of Whom // “Feeling your warm body next to mine. Feeling this feeling so fine. I’m a long time healing.” This is a song about the tiny moments spent with an ex-lover. The wind, the sun, the details you remember like photographs of a relationship past. Walking together, looking in each other’s eyes. We’re left with these snapshots in the aftermath of a failed romance, and learning to hold these happy memories as something good despite their potential to open old wounds is difficult. I think of a certain someone when I hear this song; I’m sure everyone must. “Why, Without You” from The What of Whom // Another song about love lost (a common theme in Johnston’s work), this song is about regret and frustration found after a romance ends, longing for the love and happiness that we’re so sure would be found if we were with the one we want. “Why don’t I kill myself?” Johnston asks in desperation, frustrated and crushed at having lost someone so special to him. “Why?” We can beat ourselves up when a romance ends, wondering “What if” and imagining what could be. Of course, the grass is always greener: “I could have settled down and lived forever with you, shared the same bed and had a dozen kids with you, with a swing in the backyard with plastic ducks, with a porch in the front yard with a mailbox with our name on it. But without you, I can’t have any of these things.” “Going Down” from Don’t Be Scared // “To think of all the times I felt so low, every time I got feeling better, I got naive, and thought that it would stay.” This song is more or less about depression as a whole and how it behaves. With its ups and downs, its false hopes and
crushing defeats, depression seems to seize all of us at some point. For those who have observed the strange landscape of life as waves of emotion, Johnston’s words ring true. We look back at times when we felt happy and like we “had it all,” and think of how foolish those thoughts are in the face of the depths of depression we find ourselves in at present. Johnston opens Don’t Be Scared with this track, setting the tone appropriately for those who are looking to reflect and/or wallow. “It’s a Cold, Hard World” from Don’t Be Scared // “Somebody’s house burned down, somebody’s hubcap fell off, somebody’s soul got lost, somebody’s heart got broke.” Another heavy tune from Don’t Be Scared, this song deals with tragedy on different levels, from death to small automotive problems. This is a negative outlook on the world, sure, but it’s somehow comforting to those of us who happen to share it. When misfortune finds you, all you can say sometimes is “It’s a cold, hard world.” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances” from Yip/Jump Music // This is an anthem of hope: “When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a brand new feeling,” sayeth Daniel, encouraging us not to give up. “Sometimes you might wanna give up, but keep that chin up,” he says, seemingly as much to himself as to his listeners. Despite all of his dark songs of desperation and hopelessness, Daniel’s optimism is perhaps the strongest element in all his songwriting. “Peek a Boo” from The What of Whom // “Please hear my cry for help, and save me from myself.” This is, in my opinion, is one of Johnston’s most honest and raw songs, and also reflects some of his best musicianship and technique. It’s a song about Daniel’s life in general: his disapproving mother, playing music, and being confused. This song has always hit me right in the heart. “You can listen to these songs, have a good time and walk away. But for me, it’s not that easy. I have to live these songs forever.” I wish I could go back in a time machine and give Daniel a hug when he wrote this one. I guess I feel that way about a lot of his songs. “Walking the Cow” from Hi, How Are You? // Included on many “Daniel Johnston’s best songs” lists, this is one of his more existential songs lyrically. “I really don’t know what I have to fear. I really don’t know what I have to care,” he sings. I always wondered what Daniel meant by “walking the cow.” As far as I can tell, it’s a meaningless exercise like so much of what we do. Maybe that’s what he was trying to say. All lyrics aside, this is another one of Daniel’s best works musically, with a melody you’ll be humming all day, wondering what the hell you’re singing about. “Silly Love” from Fun // “I’ve come this far, and I know I can make it. I got a broken heart and you can’t break a broken heart.” This is another song about unrequited love, looking back at a romance that maybe never was. It’s a song about staying strong even when your feelings have been trampled, and driving yourself insane over somebody. We’ve all fallen a little too hard for someone, and it’s difficult to get back up. When it comes to this process, Daniel is king. “True Love Will Find You in the End” from 1990 // This one might be a bit obvious to have on this list, but this song’s message should not go overlooked. To all of us who have felt lonely and hopeless, this is song is a beacon of hope. “This is a promise with a catch. Only if you’re looking can it find you. True love is searching too, but how can it recognize you unless you step out into the light?” In the depths of depression, leaving the house can be more than a chore. But sometimes it’s the most important thing for us to do, especially if we’re after true love. It’s easy to feel like there’s nobody for you, but you’ve got to look if you’re going to find out. When Daniel Johnston tells you to hang in there, you know it’s gotta be worth it.
in my room
Commentary on the catharsis of writing and recording music alone in your bedroom by ben bondy
I was about to sit down and talk about my favorite bedroom pop albums, and what they mean to me. Why Julie Ruin is so important—why Brian Wilson made me realize the importance of spending time alone in your room—why Elvis Depressedly is doing everything I wish I was talented enough to do, but I’m not. I have a very difficult time talking about myself, and this is my attempt to do just that—talk about what writing in my bedroom means to me, and for the first time neither be crass, nor talk about Crass in the Miscreant. Every three months or so, or every time I manage to finish an entire box of wine—whichever happens more frequently, I sit my friends down and force them to listen to music I’ve made. I could spend an entire scrolling through my iTunes library, and if I really felt like embarrassing myself, I could go though my old external hard drive to find incriminating evidence of my worst musical miscarriages. Somebody could press a ten CD box-set of all of my abandoned projects, under an array of embarrassing names including, but no limited to: Roseleague, Carotene, Street Justice, Iron Reign. I mean the list goes on and on, and it’s all just awful. I cannot emphasize how shameful a lot of this music is, but that’s not the point. The point of writing music alone in your bedroom is to craft something personal. There is nowhere else I feel as safe as I do as I feel in my room. I can express myself, I can expose myself, I can embarrass myself, all within the confines of a space nobody except the closest people to me can enter. Sure, it’s great if you get to show other people your music. There isn’t a single thing wrong with being proud of something you have done, especially with music. But some of the most important music in the world could be stashed away in your neighbors hard-drive that they never wanted anybody to hear because they just aren’t comfortable showing people what they have made. It could be too personal, too candid, too honest to show anybody, but those qualities are what make bedroom music that people have shared so impactful. Writing and recording music alone is like telling the most intimate secret about yourself to your best friend, except you are singing poorly cobbled together lyrics into your laptop microphone. It’s like pouring your most visceral and volatile feelings into your diary, but it’s you putting “female basic” effect on your vocals in Garage Band. It doesn’t matter if it sounds like shit. It doesn’t even matter if you record anything except you humming. If you can work through whatever it is that you need to get out of you, then you have accomplished exactly what songwriting is about.
moving on by andi wilson
As a fair disclosure, this is a reflection piece. I don’t know if writing this will solve my problems or anyone else’s, but with the encouragement of colleagues I’ve decided there’s nothing wrong with revealing some darker moments of my life, because currently most, if not all of those periods of my life have been replaced with brightness. Throughout this piece I will list a track for each month since moving from Washington State to New York and how each track shifted my horizon drastically. These are the past 9 months, my journey of absolute growth. It all began with heartbreak. Me breaking someone’s heart that is. Three months prior I thought I was moving to New York with my now-ex. We began to plan our roadtrip to drive across the country in his old mercury van, with our cat and all. We had been dating since I was 18, a total of four years, and about a month before graduation I called everything off. Everything, besides the fact that I was moving to New York. Alone. There was too much jealousy in the air and I was tired. Tired of being in the ‘comfort-zone’. That spot where we know our desires and needs are not being fulfilled but you don’t want to hurt someone, or you simply can’t imagine your life being any other way than your prison of so called ‘comfort’. Side-note: I was about to move from a small college-town, the home of the pac-10 Washington
State University Cougars in Pullman, WA. Instead of attending the football games and drinking my face off alongside my lovely (lol) frat/bro/sorority peers; I chose to book house shows, manage the college radio station, and was lucky enough to find people who also aspired to create a community in this rural, and at times hopeless place. I met and worked with some people who I will always consider my best friends *u know who u r* because we exposed each other to new outlets (especially online). There were nights where we would sit on the now nonexistent turntable.fm, tinychat, discuss organizing living-room shows (where we knew only 20 people would maybe attend), and even recorded music of our own. All in our digital haven. That being said, back to the week of graduation. I had told my parents I had saved enough money to move to the Big Apple and had planned to only be home in Puyallup (about 45-min drive south of Seattle) for a week. Nobody really believed that I had bought a one-way ticket or understood my desire be so far away. Most likely because none of them have ever lived on the east coast and have a pretty skewed view of what living here is actually like. I craved culture. I wanted to be alone. So I left, on May 14th, 2013 from my sister’s apartment in Portland, OR to NYC. With no idea of when I would be returning to my family and friends, with no real job in sight. I knew my life would never be the same. May - Always Away by Boat Club // “Can you believe I just caught the breeze? Wind in my heart, on troubled seas. Always away, I’m always away.” // I had been emailing some of my favorite record labels located in the Brooklyn area for about a month before moving. I knew I needed to get my foot in the door somewhere I knew I could be passionate about. Transitioning to living in NY was not going to be easy and all my past internships & jobs seemed to point in the direction of working for artists and companies who release music I love. I had received a few replies, but many internship positions were full for the summer or wanted to wait two weeks to interview me for an internship. Everything changed when I received an email from owner/ founder of one of my favorite pop-labels, Cascine. Jeff Bratton had this laid back demeanor and replied that he would be happy to meet and interview me for an internship position when I got to the city. In a bit of disbelief, my move already felt like more of a solid decision. I met with Jeff only a day after I had moved into an apartment with complete strangers in Bed-Stuy of Brooklyn. I had no concept of the city’s geography, how to take a train, or what a bodega was (believe it or not). I was blessed enough to be hired at Cascine after that first meeting and continue to work at the label to this day. One very fond memory of this summer was when we re-issued Gothenburg-based duo, Boat Club’s mini-album from 2007, Caught the Breeze. This track themed many of the humid-sunny days and lively summer evenings. June - Loosen - Lizard Kisses // “Let the silence pass over you. All that you love comes back to you.” // A month easily snuck up on me. It was amazing to begin meeting many faces who I only knew from twitter profiles or albums on bandcamp. The first show I attended in NY was Orchid Tapes’ first showcase held at the Living Bread in Bushwick (which ended up being the last show that ‘venue’ ever held). It was the first time meeting many artists/musicians/internet friends including Warren of Foxes in Fiction/founder of Orchid Tapes, Jordan of Mutual Benefit, Emily Reo & Noah of Cuddle Formation, Sam aka Ricky Eat Acid, Rachel (R.L. Kelly), among so many others that have been more than inspirational in my books for the past few years. Another show where I felt a lot of personal growth was my first time seeing Nicholas Nicholas, Mutual Benefit, and Lizard Kisses at The Ho_se apartment venue. I held tears back from all the beauty
soaked in through the performances, but my smiles couldn’t help but shine through my teeth that evening. Lizard Kisses’ Loosen is always a strong reminder of that whatever you give to this city is exactly what you receive in return and to constantly love the ones around you. July - Advanced Falconry - Mutual Benefit // “Oh, to stare into the void and see a friendly face, and find meaning in a word in a moment of rare grace.” // This track and month of my life were filled of the most immensely challenging, yet radiant and eye-opening moments. FMLY Fest Brooklyn occurred the last weekend of June which changed my life. It was the first time attending The Silent Barn venue which now feels like a second home and spiritual outlet in my life. The weekend after, my wonderful friend, Katie Pierce and I decided to make the 5-hour drive to Boston for their FMLY Fest. I was on this community high of support and music that I never wanted to end. After experiencing FMLY in all it’s glory, it was time to reflect, and rest our minds. Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit invited us to stay in his then Jamaica Plain, New England style house full of plants, vintage decor, bikes, and welcoming roommates. We decided to go on a midnight walk to the enormous pond nearby and upon arrival we sat in peace along the bank gazing at the sky, and I remember Jordan asking, “Does the sky ever get jealous of the moon?” A reminder to never forget that we need nature after being in such an isolating city. When we got back to Jordan’s and cozied up, he revealed the Advanced Falconry recording to us. My psyche wandered into oblivion, knowing this song would eternally be a part of me. Before saying good night, homesickness struck like a lightning bolt. It was the first time I let the solitude of living in New York hit me. Almost as if all the change I had experienced so far wanted to break me in half. I began to write that night and haven’t been able to stop since. Many conversations made throughout the evening were lingering in my head; “Do you ever feel the urge to create?”...”When in New York, you must strive to be the best. You are replaceable to the point where a community doesn’t need you, so become irreplaceable.” I am forever grateful for Jordan’s friendship and words of wisdom. August - Atlantis//Lost&Low - Steve Sobs // “So what if you’re lost, so what if you’re low?” // August, you were so good and torturous to me. One of my best friends, Marie was visiting for a month from Copenhagen and it was so exciting to show her my new world of music and friends. About a week or so into her stay, a friend of mine, Sammy of the project BIRTHDAYS was in a horrible bike accident and was almost expected not to live as he fell into a coma. I had booked him to play in my Bed-Stuy backyard for a gathering that weekend and my heart sank; unable to grasp how my surroundings at one moment seemed perfect, and the next, utterly broken. We had only spoken a few days prior. It didn’t feel right to cancel the event, so we decided to turn the show into a Sammy benefit, raising money toward his hospital bills. It was a fantastic turnout and even my neighbors were pleased with the sounds drifting from my jungle-like backyard. At this point of my transition, I was running out of savings. Having applied for dozens among dozens of jobs. Odd-end ones, and more corporate ones too. All things I didn’t want to do but I needed something. Anything. Barely anyone would interview me or reply to my emails. I was on both ends of the economic spectrum, either overqualified or inexperienced having a full-time office position. I began writing for Berlin-based music blog, No Fear of Pop to occupy some of my dead time and it really inspired me to keep pushing my network in the music community. The Steve Sobs crew really showed me around that time what true friendship was
which and the heartwarming album Pretty meant more to me at this time than ever. I’m now opportune enough to live with Eric and Nadia, who only ever give. At the end of August I was randomly hired at a charming cafe in Williamsburg, El Beit, and higher spirits came and went. September - Together - Braids // “Dreaming sorrows, follow them all the way down. Away soon, see them arrive. They’re away soon” Marie had left. I felt very alone. Reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids to pass time gave me faith in having patience for the city. September made me nostalgic for my past relationship. This Braids track gets me. I was a mess and the album Flourish // Perish made me feel less detached. I almost gave up on New York. Home was calling, but I ignored it. October - Insomnia Plague - Sea Oleena // “I’m the shaky air encircling the flickering flame. I’m the white wall swallowing the window frame.” // CMJ occurred and one of my best friends in the world, Adam came to visit for the occasion while it also being his first time in the city. I was beginning to feel more at ease, even though I was subletting another apartment, being my second time moving within four months which was draining. Sea Oleena soundtracked this month because she ended up playing the Portals CMJ showcase. I couldn’t believe after so many years of plays racked up in my iTunes library, she was sitting in front of us at Silent Barn performing one of the most angelic and moving sets I had ever experienced, in front of hundreds of translucent balloons. This is when I decided I did in fact, belong here. My eyes wept during her set. I told Adam afterward, and he said, “Mine too.” November - Always Half Strange - Angel Olsen // “And it’s always half strange to believe in anything. Halfway insane and halfway home in your arms.” // Angel Olsen’s ballads at times haunt me to the point where they have been on repeat since Half Home was released over a year ago. I knew the holidays were coming up and past memories of loved ones were recurring in my head. My cafe job was endless and became entirely demanding. In a blink of an eye, I was offered a music publicist job at my friend’s company, Ilium Media. I didn’t quite understand at the time, since I had never worked in PR before, but everything started to make sense. I also moved into my new apartment which is my safe and restful getaway from the outside, where I finally have a room of my own. This is why, I don’t necessarily believe in anything but positivity, because everything can change in any instant. December - NYC is cold - Frankie Cosmos // “new york city is cold to me. and the trains are fast asleep.” // I saw my family for the first time in eight months. They witnessed my growth and I couldn’t be more thankful for their support throughout my journey, but over a week at home was already enough. I longed for train rides, solitude, and show-going. I missed my work and was ready for the new year. Frankie Cosmos themed my trip while I felt like an angsty teen wanting to run away from my highschool room. January - I can hear the heart breaking as one - Ricky Eat Acid // I now appreciate being alone in solitude and am eternally blessed to be surrounded by loving and supportive beings. I continue to work in music PR and am so fortunate to have been promoted to Project Manager at Cascine. Thank you to anyone who has ever given me advice or listened to my troubles. I’m at home now. Ricky Eat Acid’s achingly beautiful album, Three Love Songs has been tieing this ever-giving life together lately.
for the love of manchester by olivia cellamare
My hero once sang the words, “Oh Manchester, so much to answer for.” My hero is the soundtrack to my life; you can make of that what you will. Like most decent bands/singers my hero comes from the North of England. I live in the South of England and I will fight to the end of me to keep my Northern accent. My hero is Morrissey and he’s from Manchester. However this isn’t about Morrissey, this is about my love for a city that I miss visiting. I cannot justify spending £60 on a train ticket there. One day, just not yet. For me, Manchester is the home to the best music from England. Most of the bands I love were from New York and I’ve already written about my love for a city I’ve never visited. Manchester in all its grey glory is a beautiful place with a brilliant music scene. The Stone Roses are a band responsible for putting out one of the greatest debut records of all time. Their self-titled release consists of euphoric melodies and relatable lyrics; a band beyond their time and are now nothing short of timeless. A band that reduced grown men to tears fronted by a bloke that they all saw their reflection in. At a time where the hopeful were made to feel hopeless; Manchester stood tall with their sound. They weren’t aggressive or menacing. The Stone Roses were a band to forget all the bad stuff to and to just let go and dance. They, to me, are still that band. Their debut record is one I couldn’t live without. A world without it would be utterly dull. Of course you have the likes of The Smiths who with Morrissey’s ability to capture a dull place in a poetic and picturesque manner made you want to live there. Anyone who has read his autobiography will probably have immediately wept at the first page of it. The way he paints the streets of Manchester with his careful and sensitive words make you not just think of the streets he grew up on, but he takes you back to your childhood. I bought my mum the book for Christmas and on Christmas Day she walked up the stairs and called out, “Oh my god Olivia! This book!” The first page had reduced her to tears. Like it did to me and many others. I know she was thrown back into thoughts of her childhood when she read it. Words are powerful, and when they are words that hit you right in the gut, they are even more so. As a city, Manchester is a place I’ve felt safe walking round late at night. I’ve walked up and
down streets with my pal James at 4am discussing life matters and reaching the conclusion that everything will be alright somehow. Is it? Quite possibly. I’m not old or wise enough to disclose such information. It’s a city that felt like home as I walked around it. I’ve found hidden gems in Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records. I’ve got lost in side streets and seen the most incredible building structures. I interviewed Warpaint there the day before The Fool was released. I was also once punched in the face by an angry lesbian who then pulled my nose ring (not a weird sex act I promise, thankfully) but she was drunk and stupid. I’ve had beautiful times there, and I can safely say I’ve never had a shit time visiting there. The music scene is such a vital part of Manchester; it is almost as if it is the heartbeat to this fantastic city. Of course there are things wrong with it; no place is perfect and everything has its flaws. But I guess when you love something/someone you see past it. A band I’ve seen a few times and I highly regard them as probably the best band in the UK are Manchester heroines, PINS. If you’ve not seen them live, you are truly missing out on something spectacular and haunting. A band that capture the sound that flows through your ears when you think of Manchester. When I think of Manchester I don’t think of sunshine and flowers. I think of grey skies with a heavy fog casting over the city giving it a chilling and haunting feel; that’s the kind of feeling I want stirred inside of me when I listen to music. PINS do it perfectly. Then you have the likes of The Fall who are fronted by the charming, intelligent and hilarious Mark E Smith. Mark E Smith is on the same level as Morrissey for me. The Fall’s music aren’t for everyone, but those who love them truly see Mark E Smith as one of the finest poets right up there next to the Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke. The old dogs of Manchester still inspiring so many to pick up a pen and create everyday life poetry in time to unadventurous heartbeats. Mark E Smith, Johnny Clarke and Morrissey are three people who made me truly care about written words. As someone who has thoroughly enjoyed losing their voice this week and not having to speak- I find written words more pleasurable and more meaningful. Written words make you think and create your own world and/or get lost in one created for you. These wise men of Manchester have created weird and wired worlds for their fans to get really lost in. There are many many other reasons as to why I love this beautiful city, and there are so many other bands that have come from this gorgeous city. I could compare it to other Northern cities (none from Yorkshire as we know it is the greatest county) but what’s the point? Manchester’s music scene past and present just makes it tower above the rest.
Being sure of yourself and other lessons from gossip girl by kyle kuchta
My wife and I (mainly my wife [actually, totally my wife]) posted inspirational quotes around our apartment, which we’ve now lived in for five months. With her being in graduate school and me struggling to find a job, they’ve been helpful when we find ourselves staring at the walls and contemplating getting take-out again and watching Gossip Girl. Yeah, that’s actually what it boils down to more often than not. We often succumb to the ways of Serena Vanderwoodsen, Blair Waldorf, and the rest of the “Upper East Side” that stir up serious drama because they have no real problems of their own. The theater of absurdity my wife and I subject ourselves to is a way for us to cope with our struggles, just as our inspirational quotes help, too. I looked up at one of the quotes the other day while on the verge of tears wondering if I belong in Los Angeles in a sea of others trying to be part of “the film industry.” Answer: I do, it just sucks.
Anyways, the quote was “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” This quote (how we found it, anyway) comes from a person by the name of Karim Seddiki and it’s been helping me get out of my own self-loathing and depression in order to focus on achieving various goals. I looked up Karim Seddiki and I have no idea who this is. Nor does the internet really, except for this quote and another quote or two superimposed against a beautiful photo of a landscape, or an ocean, or someone’s feet or some bullshit. Who knows if Karim was even the first person to say it. Regardless, Karim has been getting me through some serious shit recently. On the job front, I’m not willing to be a webcam model, so that’s out. I’m not bilingual, whether it be English/Spanish or English/Mandarin, so that takes out a few surrounding neighborhoods. I don’t have a year desk or agency experience, and no way of gaining that experience because that seems to be the prerequisite. And every morning as I saw the things I’m not “qualified” for, I used to get super depressed and play Madden ’11 for Playstation 2 until my wife came back home from classes. This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution I’m talking about here, but I’ve decided I can’t let my lack of qualifications (in their eyes) keep putting me in the funk I’ve been in since I’ve moved to the L.A. area. Everything else in my life is incredible except this one thing. And while having a job is a big one thing, I can’t let it eat away at me. I fucking hate Gossip Girl. Everything about it. Except that these characters don’t let anything get in the way of what they want. I don’t agree with what they want, how they get to it, or how they live their fictional lives. It’s a terrible, terrible show! But they have determination that I couldn’t garner in five months. I’m being a little hard on myself, five months is still kind of short. But when you find yourself sitting on a cheap couch that isn’t even comfortable to sit on, day after day watching Gossip Girl on six months of Netflix that was given as a gift, the disgusting hopelessness and despair set in with no room for anything good. But Karim, my wife, Jesus, and horror filmmaking podcasts have filled my life with so much good that I can’t let that negativity weigh down on me anymore. Gossip Girl isn’t real, but I am, and my desire to do what I want and be who I want to be in my life is too great to be stifled. Editor’s note: Here are some other shows that I have found to be relevant whilst struggling to find a fucking job. Undeclared Parks and Recreation Farscape Dawson’s Creek Better Off Ted Roswell Don’t Trust The B**** In Apartment 23 (clearly anything starring James Van Der Beek) Also, it should be noted that Kyle has an awesome podcast with The Evan Fonseca called How To Be A Success In Spite Of Yourself that’s relevant to this. Look it up on iTunes.
Epiphanies had in J200 by mary luncsford
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing these past couple of weeks. It started when my journalism professor said that to be a journalist, you have to write in a way that is uniform—no different from anyone else at the publication. In other words, no unique voice. From a journalistic standpoint, this makes sense. Focus on the facts, not the flourishes. From a creative standpoint, I can’t help but feel that that approach is lacking in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to music journalism. In middle school and early on in high school, I was a horrific music snob. I hoarded my indie artists like a frigid miser. I clung to the differentness of them. It was bad. In those days, I read Pitchfork like it was sacred text and I couldn’t enjoy any “mainstream” music (I missed so many Taylor Swift sing-along moments). But then I came to this realization that music isn’t supposed to separate people. It’s supposed to unite them. Why do we sing the national anthem before sporting events? Why does everyone love singing along to “Thrift Shop” or Taylor Swift? Because it feels good to know all the words. It feels good to sing with other people. The main issue I have with music publications like Pitchfork, Spin and even Rolling Stone is that they write about music like it’s a privilege. They seem to come from this “holier than thou” perspective that skews the real point of the music, and it often makes the artists seem, well, snobby. They employ phrases that I imagine professors would love. And I guess when I think about it, they all sort of sound the same. But for as long as I’ve wanted to write for Rolling Stone, I’ve never wanted to sound like it. I want to write about music the way people talk about the one they love. It might not be the most dignified or the most elegant, but it’s real. I don’t care to focus on flaws or nit-pick at the use of synths. I want to connect. Because the thing that I had in common with the cheerleader in high school was The Lumineers. I want to write about music because it has the potential to make peace and to make better. Music has come to my rescue multiple times. It was been a cozy sweater and an invitation to dance it out. I want to write about that. Maybe that’s naïve, but it makes more sense to me than the status quo. I don’t think my professor would like that very much; I don’t think business professionals would like that very much either. But what I want to do it write about love.
WANT MORE MISCREANT? To My Miscreants, I make a lot of mistakes, and have weathered many embarrassing moments. Like, if I have children, I’m going to have a wealth of stories to pull from when they come home from high school after dropping their tray in the lunch room or whatever. Like I am consistenty slipping on verbal and literal and metaphysical banana peels and just generally making an ass out of myself. Like just today I forgot to finish typing an email to an IT guy asking for some help with Outlook and told him “I need some.” What the hell is that? Why? It’s probably what makes me think I could be a stand up comedian. But moreso, it’s what makes us human. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, maybe it’s because Connor and Zeno and Cass and Ben and I watched Tommy Boy the other night, and Chris Farley’s character is such a loveable doofus and I have always identified with just being really clumsy and off a bit. Anyways, as I enter into this new year, I aim to continually remind myself that it’s okay to be a fool sometimes. It’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay to be a weirdo. It’s okay to not have your life totally together. It’s okay to be a miscreant! Anyways, as we embrace our weirdness, it’s time to prepare for issue 49, featuring Frankie Cosmos! Submissions are due February 21. No previous writing experience is required. Send in your favorite moments from those Neutral Milk Hotel shows, your favorite characters in Twin Peaks, your interview with your elementary school art teacher who plays folk music at the local coffee shop, anything to do with music or art. Send your submissions by the deadline to email@example.com. Also send questions you have about getting involved with the Miscreant! Look to miscreantrecords.com (NEW RELEASES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!!!!) 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 and cheer, The Miscreant
Featuring Mutual Benefit!