in this issue page 4
an interview with andrew “hot dog” parrish connor benincasa talks with memeber of the chris gethard show’s resident hot dog
that song that knows mary luncsford talks about one of her new favorite bands, phox
an interview with chris of the chris gethard show the miscreant asks chris gethard about a show he makes
the beginner’s guide to tcgs the cast of the chris gethard show offer up their favorite moments from the show
“did you feel them honey, or did you feel nothing?” stephanie knipe reflects on a relationship through the words of radiator hospital’s latest LP
tcgs: the link wray of comedy ben hicks explains what the chris gethard show means to him
a q& a with adult mom colleen bidwill talks to steph about her band
what’s so simple in the moonlight emmery brakke reflects on her memories tied to a song
you’ve got taste cassandra baim examines what it means to have “good” taste
to be a ramone olivia cellamare pays homage to one of her favorite bands
motion picture sountrack ian stanley lists his favorite moments on the best soundtracks
sad girls club playlist part one: “cruel summer” amanda dissinger provides her essential summer songs feom priests to liz phair
grind encounters of the third kind: like a cat jeremy garber tells a story about a cat
portals living spaces: baltimore daniel dorsa shows his photos from this special show
An interview with Andrew “Hot Dog” Parrish by connor benincasa
I’ve been a fan of The Chris Gethard Show since the fall of 2012, when my roommate Danny Behar (who does video editing work for The Show) introduced me to this insane world of comedy, sadness, and honesty. One Wednesday night, we sat down and watched an episode of TCGS on which Goosebumps author R.L. Stine was the guest. The goal for the episode was to write an entire novel in the time of the one-hour episode, using suggestions from callers, panelists, and audience members as source material. It was love at first sight.* By far one of my favorite people on The Chris Gethard show is Andrew “Hot Dog” Parrish, an audience coordinator for the show who occasionally appears on-screen for bit parts. The Chris Gethard show website describes him as: “one of the audience coordinators of TCGS and also a notoriously mysterious man. He is known for eating peaches and also appearing on the show only during moments of great duress.” I’ve been to live tapings of The Show two times. The last time I was there, I asked Hot Dog if he would be interested in doing an interview with me for The Miscreant, and he agreed. I found Hot Dog to be friendly and well-spoken, with kind eyes and a big heart. Our conversation is included below.
Connor: How did you get involved in TCGS? Andrew: I got involved with TCGS because J.D. Amato and I went to college together, and he roped me in a couple months before the public access show began - back when I just assumed it was going to be something like Wayne’s World. Connor: Can you describe how your role in the show grew over time? Andrew: When we initially met up to talk about the show, no roles were assigned. Only people who lived in Manhattan were allowed to go through MNN’s equipment training, so I decided rather than do something technical (since I wasn’t allowed!), I’d try to be a sort-of liaison between the audience and the actual show. At some point I started doing bits on camera, but I’ve always felt my real job was to make newcomers feel comfortable in the show’s environment. Connor: Do you have a favorite episode? Favorite moments? Andrew: I couldn’t isolate one episode as my favorite! Too hard. Moments that stick out: meeting R.L. Stine; anything involving the Dolchnakov Brigade; the Kissing Booth Gloryhole; the pointing at the wrong cameras during the Conspiracy Theory Gary episode; the novel cruelty of the Destroy-a-Toy episode; the mythos of the Future/Past episodes; getting to judge Night of Zero Laughs III; the camera cannon - these come to mind scrolling through the Wikipedia page. Connor: You’re one of my favorite people on the show. I love the bits that include you, but you have responsibilities off-screen. Do you prefer to be in the spotlight or behind the scenes watching the insanity happen? Andrew: Hey thank you! While being up there is great, I think it’s most fun to just sit back and witness the insanity. Connor: Do you ever find it difficult to balance your “everyday life” with your life on the show? How do these two realities differ? Andrew: It’s never really been a difficult balance - it’s not like I’m getting hounded on the street all the time! I think the reputation I’ve developed as the weirdest guy on the show is pretty funny, since I have a pretty straight-laced job as a tutor; also, in real life, I don’t eat that many pears.
Connor: Recently TCGS asked past fans of the show “why they stopped watching TCGS.” Can you talk about why you’ve decided to stay involved for so long? Andrew: We’re all friends on the show, so at the very least Wednesday nights have always been a time to go put on a show with friends, then hang out afterwards - who wouldn’t want to do that? Connor: Kind of similar to the last question: Why is TCGS important to you? How does it speak to you on a personal level? Andrew: Lifting this from something I wrote last year (but don’t worry! it’s not published anywhere): “This show, without sentimentality but with more warmth and poignancy than anything else I can name, has gathered together a massive, extended family of people who have all seen the popular messages and entertainments our culture has to offer and at some point taken a step back from them and said “What the fuck does this have to do with people’s lives?” And from there have come such surreal heights and bleak depths (often juxtaposed with seeming disregard), but above all incredible humor and an unerring sense of honesty. I’ve never gotten into the show’s whole thing about its fans being losers, because I don’t think it’s accurate; the cool kids aren’t actually cool because they prize being cool over being REAL, and the losers can only BE real, to the best of their abilities. So it’s not that the people on the show are losers - it’s just that they say it like it is.” Connor: Has TCGS inspired you to follow your own comedic/artistic pursuits? When the show dies, will you stay involved in comedy/improv? In short: what’s on the horizon for Andrew “Hot Dog” Parrish? Andrew: Of course! I went to school for this stuff, and I’ve always thought of myself as a better writer than I am a performer. I just had a show go up at UCB, am (hopefully) plotting another one for October, and am also working on other things. They’re all comedy and/or horror-related, because I love how those genres can take the most oblique potshots at the way we live without feeling preachy or onthe-nose - just like TCGS is able to do. To see some of Hot Dog’s work, check out the latest episode of Hot Dog: Problem Solver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NitcW6ueQQ) *You can read more about my personal experience with TCGS in The Miscreant issue #46.
This issue is brought to you by asshole punks.
Single of the
The single of the week comes from Chris Gethard’s album of stand up he recently released on Don Giovanni Records. It’s called “Crying At The Wa Wa Again,” and Mal Blum sing this really lovely tune. Please listen whenever you’re sad, or whenever you need to laugh, or when you need a reminder that we’re all in this together. 8
THAT SONG THAT KNOWs by mary luncsford
The trees were budding when I first listened to Phox’s “Slow Motion.” Which, in retrospect, makes a lot of sense. The Wisconsin band’s first album is spring put into twelve songs. After that initial listen, I was hooked. The instrumentation was so interesting and the vocals lifted me out of classes and carried me off to some other world entirely. A Youtube search was all it took for me to be completely smitten with Phox. “Espeon” and “Slow Motion” became my theme songs as I made my way through the last month of school. There is something incredibly profound tucked into those tunes. It’s almost as if the melody tricks you into thinking that they’re happy songs. The tinny banjo mixed with a warm clarinet—which is a completely underrated instrument—make songs like “Slow Motion” feel cozy; and leading lady Monica Martin ties it all together with her stunning vocals. The lyrics often give the ethereal music away. The overarching theme of Phox seems to be the complicated feelings surrounding love. Their songs aren’t simply love songs; they are songs about longing. They are songs about doubting one’s self in the face of love. About not knowing the next step. “Satyr and The Faun” is a clever take on being wrong about a person. “You are the satyr, you’re not the faun. Said you’d see me later, but you never called.” Any band that can write a beautifully melancholy song while incorporating mythical creatures has my love. The album is chock full of intriguing phrases like that. “Shrinking Violets” starts off with a tentative proposition and ends with a confident array of horns, drum beats, and a tinkling guitar. The music mirrors the lyrics and literally blooms. While each song on Phox’s album offers something to the listener, personal favorites have to be “Noble Heart” and the simple “In Due Time.” These songs grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. The first time I heard “Noble Heart,” I was sitting in Starbucks, working on some homework, and then I was crying. The simple piano riff that builds into a sort of dizzying spiral of keys, the guitar solo, and the heartbreaking lyrics left me completely overwhelmed. In a matter of minutes, the song had gotten under my skin. “In Due Time” snuck up on me. With only vocals and an acoustic guitar, it’s more pared down than the rest of the album. It packs so much emotion into two minutes and nineteen seconds. These two songs explain why I connect with Phox so much (aside from the fact that they have a banjo). Phox’s music reminds me of the most tender and vulnerable side of myself—the me that hides behind logic and sarcasm. The kid who is at once mesmerized and terrified by the idea of love. It is never easy for me to express these feelings and yet, here is an album that says what I have felt for years. Leave it to music to strike a raw nerve. Only, Phox doesn’t leave me hanging. These songs let me know that I am not alone. Phox held my hand, made me laugh and begged me to sing along. The songs off of their EP were welcome companions during late-night think sessions and bus rides across campus. They kept me company when loneliness struck. Their debut album has been my soundtrack throughout summer, and has made it onto every road trip mix. While Phox is undoubtedly busy making every “Artist to Watch” list this year, I’m already a loyal fan. I can’t wait to hear more.
The Miscreat: Talk about the origin of The Chris Gethard Show, even before you all were on Manhattan News Network? Chris Gethard: Well, I’ve been performing comedy in New York City for 14 years now, and did all the traditional stuff. A lot of improv, stand up, sketch, all of it. But along the way I also gained a reputation for doing some stranger event based stuff - one show took place on a moving bus and visited sites from my childhood, for example. Another involved comedians being shot with a paintball gun if an audience didn’t find them funny enough. So I’d been doing a storytelling show at UCB and it was going really well but I was getting bored with it. And I went to the artistic director of the theater and said I’d maybe like to try a talk show. And he was like, “Cool, but it can’t just mimic a regular late night show. It’s got to become the place you house all your dumb events.” And so the show was birthed. The Miscreat: What led you to find a home on cable access? Chris: Well, we’d done a ton of stuff at UCB and the crowds there really supported us, but we kind of blew it out. We used Twitter to convince Sean “Diddy” Combs to appear on the show and after he did that it was like, “We’re not gonna top that.” Right then this guy I knew from the comedy scene told me about how he worked at public access and everything it had to offer. I was definitely intrigued because I grew up on stuff like that, but when he told me they stream all their content online I really saw it as a game changer and decided to go for it. The Miscreant: How did you meet the panelists and other members of the show crew? Are a lot of you originally Upright Citizens Brigade members? Chris: Most of the people involved on screen have their roots at the UCB Theater. Our director J.D. Amato does a ton of stuff at UCB and is also an NYU film grad, so he brought a whole bunch of his friends from that world to help put together and execute the show. So in the early days of public access it was very much a split of UCB veterans and the fringier weirdos from the NYU world. Since then it’s attracted more people than that, most of whom are kind of stray dogs looking for a community that we proudly take in, but I’d still say those are the base. The Miscreant: The TCGS fandom is very loyal and loving – what is it that you see gets people hooked in on the show?
Chris: I think we’re just honest. I’d like to think that even though we’re not the best or glitziest or even funniest show out there, we are probably the most honest. We don’t fear opening up or putting ourselves out there and I think the kids who find our show really see that and respect it and trust it more than other shows. Plus the fact that it’s on public access makes it very clear to them that we have no ulterior motives in doing this - it’s just something that I think should exist. The Miscreant: How did you observe your audience growing? In what ways do you think it spread? Chris: Well, I still remember individual names of people I got emails from in the early days. These lone weirdos out there in the world reaching out to say they found the show and liked it. Tommy Guns, Joe Petro, Kristen from Massachusetts... so many more. I can’t stress enough, we completely lost the following we’d built at UCB due to some bad early episodes and had to rebuild, so each individual that got on board was exciting. I still think of it that way, though it’s harder to track the names individually. I promoted the show on Fallon and Conan, those really helped. And the AV Club has really supported us in a big way and that was another key piece of press that really spread around. The Miscreant: Describe one of the most meaningful fan interactions you’ve had on the show. Chris: Well there’s this kid Andres and he started calling the show when he was around 14. And he called all the time and just harassed me. Just messed with me. So I messed with him back. And it was this little odd relationship I had with a teenager via the phone line. And a couple years after he started calling, I heard him on a podcast some friends of the show run and he said he started out prank calling the show, but at some point realized I was actually willing to listen to him and play ball with him. And that it hit him that I was the first adult in his life who ever did that. Like I was the first grown up who wasn’t just sweeping what he had to say under the rug. And that really hit me in the gut. That one made me cry, when I realized our dumb bit meant that much to him. The Miscreant: Talk a bit about the musical guests you’ve had on the show. What kind of bands do you look for to perform? Who are some of your favorite bands who have come through? Chris: The bands on the show is one of the aspects I’m most proud of. We have three bookers and they all bring the heat. We have a few areas we cover - Zane really does a
great job of putting bands on that are really on the fringe. For example, he just booked Bryan and the Haggards, who do these psycho jazz covers of Merle Haggard songs. It was so rad. Heidi and Kiri cover the more punk/diy local east coast world. Some of my favorite bands we’ve had on - and there are far too many to name, but I’ll try - are Shellshag, Screaming Females, Bad Credit No Credit, Chumped, The Front Bottoms, The So So Glos, Laura Stevenson, Mal Blum, Night Birds, Mikey Erg, Lemuria, Jeff Rosenstock... so many good ones. I just also forgot like fifty of them. Heidi in particular also likes to go big and ask for guests who are probably a little beyond our scope. Ted Leo did the show, which was so awesome. And we were actually the first time that Fucked Up appeared on American television. I’m very proud of that feather in the cap. The Miscreant: What do you think originally inspired you to go out and create a show totally on your own terms? Chris: Professional failure in all areas of the traditional comedy world. The Miscreant: This show, though there are many wonderful people involved, is very much a reflection of your philosophy about inclusivity and comedy. How has this philosophy developed over the past three years the show has been on MNN? Chris: Well, the MNN show is so much kinder than the UCB version was. That one was a lot more friends tormenting each other for an audience’s amusement. But in this one we have the phones, and that’s why the show has the philosophy it does. Because I really feel like maybe one of my strengths is that when someone calls I can suss out pretty quickly if they have something genuine to say, be it a funny bit, a personal thing to get off their chest, whatever. And I’m always down to give air time to interesting people. So like there’s this guy Sudo who sometimes calls and just mumbles, which sounds and IS insane, but I also think he’s kind of a brilliant genius so I’m happy to let him talk on the phone. We had one episode that ended with a man dressed as a horse getting killed (long story) and we had like five extra minutes left. And this kid called in and I was like “I don’t know what to do with this extra time” and he goes “I guess you could beat that dead horse” and to me, that’s just a totally perfect moment we never could have planned. That kid absolutely nailed it and brought things to an exciting new level and it all unfolded live. So if I have callers who are that sharp, that odd, and callers who are willing to call up and talk to me about their frustrations, joys, secrets they don’t tell anyone in real life... I’d have to be an idiot to NOT be inclusive and respectful of all these different voices.
The Miscreant: What is one of the most important life lessons you’ve learned from hosting TCGS? Chris: I think one of the main things is that success comes in all different forms. By any monetary or mainstream measure, TCGS is an abject failure that set my larger career back significantly. BUT it’s something that means a ton to people and not everyone who IS successful in a traditional way can say that. And I’ve gone down swinging, but the fans of this show keep lifting me up and pushing me forward and helping me see if we can’t still kick down some doors no one’s expecting. To me, as an artist, that’s success I never dreamed of. And it happened in a sad medium with a show that has failed big and publicly a few times. I’m totally ok with that and actually very inspired by it. The Miscreant: In what ways has the show educated your stand up? Chris: Well, the show and stand up are two very different forms. But I tell ya, I try to be brutally honest with my stand up as well. I actually think they don’t inform each other content wise very much - it’s nice for me to have both so as to not get sick of one or the other. But at the end of the day, they’re all about just being honest and trying to connect with the kids watching. The Miscreant: Talk a little about the podcasts associated with TCGS – who works on those? What are they all about? Chris: Basically, we took a hiatus from doing the show for a while and the fan base got VERY bored. So they all started podcasts about the show. On all different topics. Then some of them started podcasts to review those podcasts. It was really insane and totally ridiculous. But also an eye opening look at what happens when you get a bunch of bored creative kids together. The Miscreant: The show was made into a pilot for Comedy Central, and it was not picked up. However, you had a really positive reaction to the experience, and I was wondering if you could share a bit about how you felt about that experience? Chris: It was pretty great. They gave us free food and stuff. And also legitimized us in some ways by taking a chance on us in the first place. So far no network seems to think we’re the right fit for them, but I’m totally ok with that. Because from my perspective, that means they’re not the right fit for us. The last thing anyone wants, us or any of the networks we’ve talked to, is to ruin the spirit of the show. So I’d rather do it for free
with the spirit intact then bend it to someone else’s needs and take the heart out of it. The Miscreant: What legacy do you hope the show holds, no matter what direction it goes in? Chris: I’ve always had a feeling that the show will be this blip on the radar that made a little bit of noise in its time, but someday someone really impactful is going to say they were a fan of it when they were young. There’s too many driven, manic, creative oddballs watching this thing. My gut tells me one of them is going to do things that really change the game and they might say “You know, there was this public access show back when I was a teenager...” That would mean a lot to me. Ultimately, I think it is an experiment that is a bit ahead of its time, or that couldn’t find the right benefactor, but that will have some small impact on kids the way wrestling and Marvel comics and punk shows had on me when I was growing up. That would be more than enough for me. The Miscreant: What does being a weirdo, miscreant, misfit mean to you? Chris: To me, all of those things describe kids who think a little differently and have to spend a lot of time weathering the storm of popular opinion not jiving with their gut instincts. They’re troublemakers and rabble rousers and are the people who aren’t a dime a dozen. Ultimately, I think the weirdos tend to win. But only in the marathon sense, never in the sprint.
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO
Chris aked some TCGS peeps about their favorite episode - here’s what they said! Andrew “Hot Dog” Parrish - “One of my favorite episodes had to be ‘A Book Shall Be Written;’ it was incredible to meet R.L. Stine and watch him react to the show’s lunacy so nonchalantly.”
Co-Head Writer Dru Johnston - “My favorite episode had to be ‘Juan in a Million.’ Sitting backstage with Juan, holding three different shirts ready to go depending on what ‘episode’ the caller wanted to see was so fun and felt like what I imagined live tv was like when I was 12. It was like we were backstage in an episode of Studio 60... all the tension of Sorkin, all the real life consequences of messing up an episode of public access. That show added so much to the world, and involved the audience in such a fun way that I really felt it was the best example of what television engagement can and should be. Plus we got to involve an incredibly funny and versatile performer in such an entertaining way. I also loved ‘Saddle-Bee Neight Hive.’ But I loved that one for the puns.” Johnnie Whoa Oh of the LLC - “I think the hardest I’ve laughed was when you asked
Weenie Feet about how she was so cheerful compared to all the other new characters and her response of you have to keep your head up so you don’t see your hot dog feet. It was the perfect mix of really smart and really dumb and embracing both of those so genuinely. “
Bethany Hall - “Robot Fights. That was something we eagerly did as full grown adults. “ Patrick Cotnoir - “My favorite episode of The Gethard Show was the 12-Hour election
coverage that MNN let us do for the city of New York. The fact that we were their official political coverage showed me just how far we had come. We went from digging through trash on the first episode to telling Manhattan that Barack Obama just won the election. The opportunities that our show has been given never fails to amaze me. Why us? Shouldn’t someone legitimate have been given that time slot? Apparently not. We compared various candidates to different animals for 12 straight hours. That is apparently what MNN was looking for...and thats what MNN got.”
Murf - “‘Juan in a Million’ may be my favorite episode...but CLOSE second is ‘Dick Skirt.’
Also, all my favorite moments are from the crowd sourced character contests.”
Keith “Bananaman” Haskel - “Back in 2012, a few of us embarked on a cross country
road trip leading up to our performance at Bonnaroo. Of our 20-something adventures, my highlight was a race between Gethard and myself in Kentucky. Gethard driving a stick-shift firetruck he could hardly control, while I ran away from him on foot, donning my dopey yellow banana costume. I won, but only because it was impossible for Gethard to pass me without running me over. My reward? Forevermore, Gethard has to high five me every single time I say, ‘Let’s Do This.’ Let’s do this? Let’s do this. Let’s do THIS!”
Riley “Vacation Jason” Soloner - “Top of my head, ‘Villain’s Journey.’ It has everything I love about TCGS. Dumb idea executed honestly and fully. Excitement, unpredictability, heart, hilarity, weird shit, and Vacation Jason.”
“Did you feel them honey, or did you feel nothing?” A reflection on Radiator Hospital’s Torch Song by stephanie knipe
The morning after I rekindled something with an ex I was convincing myself that it was the right thing to do. The “meant to be” type of thing to do. The “I miss you so much, I love you so much, I can’t do it without you” type of thing to do. Our relationship was short, the time after the breakup longer than the actual relationship, and for the longest time I couldn’t shake him off. There were a lot of things that were circumstantial, right place wrong time, or really, wrong place wrong time right person. I kept thinking, “how do you meet someone like that and it not work out?” So we tried it again at the start of the weekend, and by Sunday night in his father’s Sebring, it was over.
I felt out of place, incredibly heartbroken, always repeating, “how do you meet someone like that and it not work out?” The morning after he left my bedroom for the final time I decided to listen to Torch Song on the train and I had a complete breakdown that I skillfully hid from the other train passengers. I thought, “holy fucking shit, Sam knows.” With relationships, time and place are incredibly important factors. You can meet the perfect person but they won’t be ready. You can love someone who loves you when you don’t love them back, constantly playing phone tag, “oops! I missed you - call me back?” “oops! I missed you again, shit, call me back!” and you’ll never hear your phone vibrate quick enough to answer the call. Frustrating, heartbreaking“How the hell do you meet someone like that and it not work out?” With Torch Song, time and place created my connection to the album, and it was immediate. I was in a place where I felt completely hopeless about relationships and love, I felt like I had lost a battle, I felt like it was unfair that I would connect with someone so well but I didn’t get that thing that we are programmed to think we need. Love, whatever, security? Something. All that crying for nothing? Something. The album perfectly captures the hope Breathe slow and long. A hand on my thigh. Lips on my neck (“Five & Dime”) I’m finding out that I can love you (“Honeymoon Phase”) I can’t recall ever feeling love so true. Hold onto my hand, hold me close, I’ve got nothing to lose (“Bedtime Story”) And then the crush of hope The beautiful thing still seems to let you down (“Blue Gown”) I didn’t want this to mean nothing (“Fireworks”) The things I want remain out of my sight (“181935”) And then the heartache When I call you, there’s no sound on the phone, yeah you left me all alone. I made a wish it was impossible to be in love (“Just May Be The One”) I’m tired of losing sleep inside of every room you haunted (“181935”) And then the recovery I don’t know if you got my letter. I don’t know if your cheeks got redder. I don’t know if you feel better, but I know that I’m alright (“I’m Alright”) A little spark doesn’t mean you’re the only one (“Fireworks”) And things end- not necessarily in a bad way, but eventually the record stops or the book closes and we keep moving in any way we can. And some things just don’t work. And sometimes love haunts you. But eventually the record stops or the book closes and you can breathe again. You can finally fucking play something different, you can read new words, and you can breathe again. Torch Song was my something different and helped me breathe again. A little spark doesn’t mean you’re the only one
TCGS: The Link Wray of Comedy by ben hicks
Legend states that guitarist Link Wray stabbed the speaker cone of his amplifier with a pencil one day and continued play through it. What came out was a harsh, fuzzy tone, in essence, distortion. This was the very beginning of modern guitar tone and started the evolution towards what we hear today. The Chris Gethard Show is much like a comedy version of Link Wray. Something new and cutting edge that can be harsh and not for everyone, but down the road will be seen as beginning of something new. With the increasingly colliding worlds of television and the internet TCGS does more to bring both together than any show on tv, and they do it all for free. I was first introduced to TCGS through one of their “Crowd Sourced Character Contests” where fans submitted names, and only names, of characters they made up and the show took it from there. There was a wide array of characters, from Vinegar Al, who loves Razzels and Pawn Stars Memes, to Ronk, who was basically an S&M demon. I was impressed by not only how funny the show was but at how it interacted with its audience. They did more than make the audience feel like they were in on the show, they actually made them the show. From there I went down a TCGS wormhole and worked my way through all their episodes which at this point is in the triple digits. I fell in love with the funny, awkward, and often sad world they have created. Anything is possible on an episode of TCGS, someone can call in, suggest something and the show can turn on a dime, which is a testament to improv ability of the cast. Things get real, people call in with looking for genuine advice on serious life issues and the show does its best to help them out. It’s clear that the show has had a lasting effect on not only its fans, but the cast too and there’s a special bond between the two, just trying to help each other out. Where else can you see a man dressed only in a bathing suit only speak in X vs. Y format? See a tv host be tortured by a dominatrix? A birthday party for a turtle? On top of all that where else can you be an active, contributing member in all that? No where besides TCGS, the greatest little show there ever was. This is the stuff of comedy legend, the stuff that, down the line, people will talk about in reverend tones. Books will be written about this show, and it will get mentioned in college media classes. It will be talked about as an innovator, a rule breaker, and a game changer. TCGS is the future of television, now. Much like Link Wray, TCGS is onto something new and great. The world just needs to catch up.
a q&a with adult mom by colleen bidwill
With a name that pokes fun at herself and lyrics that tell us more about herself, Adult Mom, is one of the latest Miscreant babes. Stephanie Knipe from Adult Mom talked to me about what song inspired her at 15 years old to get a guitar, what she wants people to get from her music and a touching moment with a fan. Colleen Bidwill: What got you to get into music and to start Adult Mom? Stephanie Knipe: Well, I started to play guitar when I was 15 after my father bought me one for Christmas. I had been wanting one because I was listening to a lot of Rilo Kiley and really wanted to be Jenny Lewis, and ever since then I have been playing and playing and playing. But, I didn’t start to write until my freshman year in college. I watched whatever, dad and Baby Mollusk play one of their first shows when I was a freshman and I was immediately inspired and empowered to see girls doing music. After that, I listened to this song, “Great Ghosts” by Mount Eerie on repeat and then wrote my first song. I think music writing was always this romanticized unreachable thing to me for so long - once I was introduced to lo-fi I realized that it doesn’t have to be so scary. Bidwill: Can you tell me what’s behind the name, “adult mom” Knipe: It is sort of this persona that I have. My friends have been calling me “mom” for a very long time. It is, I guess, this softer side of me. The caring side, the side that is soft and whispers behind a guitar. But, it is also the side of me that screams about getting laid and puts her exes on blast via song lyrics. “adult mom” was just a joke for a while, the two words together, I am an adult but I am not a real mother. But, am I a real adult even? So, it’s just a persona. It’s me pining for this sense of legitimacy, “Take me seriously I am an adult,” but also me making fun of myself.
Bidwill: What has been your favorite or more rewarding accomplishment, thus far? Knipe: Music wise, I think releasing this new EP with the band has just been a dream. I can just picture 15 year old me screaming at the idea of having her own band; it’s just surreal. I’m glad I get to project my thoughts and I’m glad that people care to listen. It’s important to me. Bidwill: What’s your current guilty pleasure song and why? I don’t believe in guilty pleasures because I don’t give a crap if people want to judge what I am listening to. But, I have been shamelessly listening to Taylor Swift’s Red on repeat for the last month or two, specifically the song “Holy Ground.” It’s so good, the whole album is so honest about heartache! Bidwill: What are you working on nowadays? Knipe: Nowadays, I am writing many zines as my summer slowly rolls on, and of course writing songs and songs and songs. I have just been trying to get in touch with things that are abstract like I am writing a zine right now about forgiveness and letting go. Both of these things are easily defined in the dictionary but they mean so many different things to so many different people. I am just looking to deconstruct that. I am also doing a lot of prep work because I run the student center at Purchase College. Right now, we are attacking a safer space policy that I am trying very hard to enforce. Bidwill: What do you want people to take away from your music? Knipe: Comfort. Comfort is important, to feel less alien, you know? To feel like you have a place somewhere. Bidwill: What does the future hold and what are your future goals? Knipe: The future is wild and I am excited for it. I would like to be writing important things and working with important people like teens and kids. My dream job is to work for Sesame Street and simultaneously be a key engineer in the revolution. Bidwill: What has been the most rewarding compliment or experience with a fan that you’ve had thus far? Why did it stick with you? Knipe: Someone wrote to me recently and said that my lyrics had really helped her emotionally, that they helped her accept her queer identity. It was really personal and amazing. Exposing your private life to the world is really rewarding at times. In cases like this, it helps people. It helps people feel like they have a place and that’s the most important thing in the world. Bidwill: Anything else you’d like to share with me! Knipe: I have been working on this never-ending list of “tools for survival.” On the list includes a few things like Radiator Hospital’s LP Torch Song, Drake’s “Own It,” Jhene Aiko’s “Comfort Inn Ending,” Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Kate Larson’s zine “No Better Than Apples” and all zines and poems by Alyssa Rorke/Bunkmate.
What’s So Simple In The Moonlight by emmery brakke
The day after I slept with my best friend I got on a plane and I went to Texas, to a city about 200 miles away from the one where he lives now. Life is weird sometimes. He had always loved my hair and the day I cut it all off we got drunk and ended up having sex while watching The Matrix. I’m seeing Conor Oberst next week so I’ve been thinking about it a lot. The fact that I’ve conceded Texas to him, moved on with my life, found happiness and love and everything that I had assumed I would find with him with someone even better, but I still can’t listen to “Lua” without feeling the same emptiness in the pit of my stomach that I felt the first time I heard it.
He had left the day after too; there was no pillow talk, nothing nice to play in my head while I waited in airport security. I walked him to the station and he hopped on a train and went back to his girlfriend. She found out two years later. I was in France when they broke up and I knew he wasn’t going to wait for me to get back. I was right. But I was in Texas then, and I was there for the music. I needed it because without it my life was silent. No calls from the person who had just told me he loved me, no nice memories of our time together, something I had been wanting for as long as I had known him. Just a sense that everything had changed, and probably not for the better. He finally called me while I was waiting for Conor Oberst to start his set. “I don’t really have anything to say”, was all he said. I hung up. I took a seat in the bleachers intending to forget he had ever existed. I drifted in and out of paying attention to what was happening on stage until I heard the first lines of “Lua.” I had never heard it before. My whole heart shattered, I didn’t think I could handle it, but he kept singing. The song kept going and every line hurt more and more. They set off fireworks over the river right as he finished and I almost laughed it was so fucking painful. But somehow, it did something. I cried right then and there in the middle of the crowd, and my anger made sense to me, and I understood in some small fraction of my mind exactly how things had changed. I wasn’t ok with it, but I would grow to be. I saw my friend 6 months later. I’ve seen Conor Oberst more times than him in the 4 years since. I picture the fireworks every single time he plays that song-and he always plays that song. There were no fireworks when I slept with my friend, no soundtrack of loving words or romantic music. There was just confusion, and Keanu fucking Reaves, and then Conor. And then, a few years down the road, understanding. His music, in it’s many forms, has become the kind of therapy for me as a 20-something that I think a lot of my friends were using him as in middle school. It’s a juvenile kind of support system but it works. And honestly, I’m really and truly happy but I’m probably still going to cry if he plays “Lua” when I see him next week. I can’t help it. “The reasons all have run away, but the feeling never did”. But when it all comes down to it, I’m better off with Conor in my corner then I ever would have been with him. Some other songs to listen to if you’re heartbroken in Texas. “Brand New Sidewalk” - Nickel Creek “Bluebird” - Sara Bareilles “I’m In Love Again” - Missy Higgins “January Hymn” - The Decemberists “Kown for Years” - Rachael Yamagata “I Know” - Fiona Apple “I Can’t Love You Now” - Sarah Jarosz “Lost Forever And” - The Guggenheim Grotto “If You Want Me” - Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard “Poison and Wine” - The Civil Wars
YOU’VE GOT TASTE by cassandra baim
The song “Singer Songwriter” by Okkervil River is definitely my favorite song of theirs, if not my favorite song of all time. In not so many words, it’s about a wealthy young person (presumably female) with pretentious and elitist tastes in art and culture but no ability to absorb any of the thought or intellect behind it. The song references a lot of cultural entities often associated with “good taste,” and lists authors Jonathan Safran Foer, Edgar Allen Poe, and Antonin Artaud, the band The Kinks, the film The Last Laugh, and outsider art. However among all of that, Will Scheff scathingly sings “You’ve got taste, you’ve got taste/What a waste that that’s all that you have.” Ouch. The truth hurts. The song really resonates with me, especially after a year of living in Brooklyn. I’ve loved my time here, and I’ve made some incredible friends with passions and talents and interests, who find so much personal meaning in what they love that I can’t help but love it too. But for every one of those gems, I’ve met many others who care far less about what they like, and far more about what other people think about what they like. I know how judgmental and scathing I sound, and I know that statement reeks of hypocrisy because I’ve done the same thing myself. I can posture
like none other. Last month I tried really hard to look as “cool” as possible because I’d met a boy I thought was cute and I wanted to impress him. I heard the words coming out of my mouth—the cool bands I liked and the cool authors I read and hours later I felt really stupid. I felt like the girl in the song. In a huge city full of people who come from every which place, sometimes the only connection two or three people can have to sustain a conversation is a shared favorite…something. But if I mention that I really like, I don’t know, The Mountain Goats, I don’t want to hear how he was “soooooo amaaaaazing” when you saw him live. I don’t really care. That’s cool, I’m happy it was great, but I care so much more about WHY. Why he was so amazing. I want to know how it felt to be there, and here those melodies, and why “No Children” always makes you think of your sister. In all fairness, maybe someone’s admiration and associated reasons are really personal, far too personal to share with some overzealous fan girl (last month, when I was trying to woo the aforementioned boy, we got on the topic of the Wilco song “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” He mentioned that he had a lot of weird stories about this song, and in my whiskey-fueled brilliance I asked him what they were. He looked me straight on and said “No.” Even weeks later I still feel foolish just thinking about it). But I like knowing the sentiment is there. I want to know it’s not just an act. I don’t actually quote this song around people because that’s about as rude and pretentious as the girl they’re singing about. I think misguided pretention is just something that will always be there. It masks insecurity, and it fosters connections, superficial as they may be. I’m afraid I sound like I’m siting atop a very high horse looking down on thoughtless Brooklyn peons all chirping about how they love whatever band is coasting through the blogosphere/playing a free Friday night concert at Prospect Park. I don’t feel like I’m better than them, whoever “them” may be. I’m just curious and always thirsty for an interesting story—I like knowing “why.” Recently I’ve used this song as a tool (for lack of a better word) in the world of online dating. I get a lot of truly terrible OkCupid messages each day, but among all of the sexually degrading requests asking if they could eat Nutella off of me (this is a real message I got, folks. I kid you not), some aren’t so bad. But I get a lot of variations of the same phrase—“You’ve got great taste.” Don’t get me wrong, I like the compliment, but I don’t have anything to say to that. If I’m feeling feisty, which happens more often than not nowadays, I send them a YouTube link to the song. Usually they don’t respond after that. One thanked me because he’d never heard of Okkervil River before and he thought they were pretty cool. One fired back and said, “Well, your taste is all I have to go on, other than physical appearance which is maybe just sort of implicitly said in the fact of a message.” Touché, sir. Well played.
To be a ramone by olivia cellamare
There are a small number of bands that have that true gang/ brotherhood mentality. At best they are the greatest band in the world, at worst they probably beat the shit out of each other. When you listen to this band, something clicks. You may never ever have the ability to pick up an instrument and play like them, but their music influences you in other ways. The most important way it influences you is your ability to stop caring what anybody thinks about you. From how you dress to the things that interest you, they helped you to realise other peoples thoughts about you really mean nothing. For me, the Ramones are that band. With Tommy Ramone being the last original member of the band to leave this world and to move onto another with his brothers, it kind of sucks that this band are completely and utterly no more. Tommy was the level-headed one in the Ramones, and his production skills were equally as mesmerising as his drumming. You wanted every band you listened to to have a drummer just like Tommy. There was something about Joey Ramone that made me feel comfortable in my awkward skin. I can’t tell you how many times I have read his brother’s (Mickey Leigh) book about life with him. At times Joey really challenged those around him, but the love he and his brother had for each other was truly beautiful, and to read about Joey’s life before the Ramones was really insightful. What the Ramones mean to me is simple yet I don’t think my words can really sum it all up. Their music and their attitude really did instil something in me as someone feeling like a constant outcast growing up in a place that was extremely dull and lifeless. There was always the urge to just pack up and leave; university was more than a blessing. I was in a constant state of dissatisfaction growing up there, and the Ramones made music that made me wait it out until it was time to leave there. Of course it couldn’t come quick enough, and I wasted years waiting for the years to pass. They dragged, and I dragged myself down further.
Their lyrics and the sincerity in Joey’s voice was a crutch to me, if it wasn’t for the Ramones I probably wouldn’t have worked hard to leave the place I grew up. Just because you grew up somewhere doesn’t mean it is the place that shapes you. Ramones made music that made me feel tough, but I am the polar opposite. Always have been, and probably always will be. Yet music, especially the Ramones makes me feel like I am tougher than I am. I play a song by them and I feel like I can take on the world and its mother. The reality of this is that I much prefer to shy away from any kind of confrontation and would rather go read a book. Any time I listen to the Ramones it makes me realise very quickly that I was born in the wrong era. I wasn’t made for these times, I was made for the Punk scene in the 70s. Some drunk guy said to me once, “What are you? You look like a 70s reject.” To some it would be deemed as offensive, but I guess he was pretty accurate on that one. If it wasn’t for the Ramones I wouldn’t have the guts to feel comfortable with who or whatever I am. I’m still trying to figure it all out, I’m nearly 28 and nothing makes any sense. Part of me is alright with that because I don’t think anyone is ever meant to figure anything out. That’s the whole point of it all, if we were always sure then what would be the point? Self-doubt is all right and being in a state of never knowing is just fine. Ramones had a sound that is alive in a lot of the bands I listen to and love. A lot of them have the unity that they had, and that’s what makes them not just believable but also approachable. If I was ever in a band, I would want them to sound as tight and as together as the Ramones did. I’d want to make songs that broke hearts like Needles And Pins. I’d want to make songs that would cause people to go mental like Beat On The Brat. Ramones weren’t just a Punk band, they were a group of outcasts who made fellow outsiders feel alright with looking in and being able to walk away with no sense of longing from what they weren’t part of.
MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK by ian stanley
Like every good movie nerd, I went and saw James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy on opening night a couple of weeks ago. Now, I could easily write about how incredible the movie is, but that’s not what I’m doing here. No, I am instead going to talk about perfect song placement in movies. Why? Well, because Gunn crafted not only the perfect soundtrack for his spaceaction flick, but he weaved the songs into the screenplay in such a meaningful way that it got me thinking about other movies that do the same. Of course it would be easy to point to really any of the films of, say, Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson, so I went ahead and picked five other that stood out in my mind. Ya dig?
Goodfellas Derek and the Dominos – “Layla (Piano Exit)” If you ask me, Goodfellas is the ultimate mob movie. Yeah, yeah, yeah The Godfather is great and all, but personally I always come back to Martin Scorcese’s thrilling and comically violent tale of one man’s dealing with the mafia. If you’ve seen the movie you know how big a role the soundtrack plays by not only establishing a mood, but also by helping trace the passage of time from decade to decade. And while the soundtrack is packed full of amazing songs from the 50’s and 60’s, the moment that sticks out in my mind (and I’m sure many others’ minds as well) is the montage of dead bodies set to Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla (Piano Exit).” For a scene where corpses show up everywhere from dump trucks to deep freezers, the song is surprisingly upbeat in a bit of macabre irony. It’s so catchy! Look, there’s a guy hanging from a meathook!
Side note: In Community’s loving send up of mob movies way back in Season 1, they also use “Layla (Piano Exit)” to hilarious effect for a montage of their. Although this time the plot revolves around chicken finger rather than organized crime.
Wicker Park Coldplay – “The Scientist” Perfect song placement in a movie can have the interesting effect of making you now love a song that you previously hadn’t the taste for. Case in point: Wicker Park. The sort of goofy, sort of frustrating, but completely amazing wannabe indie film managed to take the band Coldplay (no thanks) and use their track “The Scientist” in a way that makes me think that I’ll probably end up using it for my wedding someday. The scene involves two characters that have spent the entire movie searching for each other and sees them finally reconnecting. As Josh Hartnett sinks to his knees behind a heartbroken Diane Krueger with the bustle of a busy airport all around, those opening piano chords begin to play, time stops, and we all sob in corny unison. It’s… beautiful. An American Werewolf In London Sam Cooke – “Blue Moon” When people ask me what the best werewolf movie I’ve ever seen is, I always unequivocally come back to An American Werewolf In London. Not only is it that the movie is incredibly funny and has amazing practical gore effects, but it proudly sports the best werewolf transformation scene ever committed to film. In fact, the scene where the main character David transforms
into a werewolf for the first time was so incredible, that it inspired the Academy Award category for best makeup. (Keep that one in mind the next time you go to Trivia Night.) Taking place in full view and in a well-lit apartment no less, the scene gets extra kudos for its darkly comic use of Sam Cooke’s version of “Blue Moon.” As the guy screams in pain, writhing around on the floor, Cooke croons gently in the background. Still hilarious. Still hard to watch.
Gummo Roy Orbison – “Crying” The first time I saw Harmony Korine’s Gummo I had no idea what I was watching. I was probably about fifteen years old and remember seeing the cover everywhere. So I grabbed it from the public library, popped it in my DVD player at home, and watched what was easily the
most batshit crazy film I’d seen in my life up to that point. Nothing made any sense and yet it all made perfect sense as well. I mean there was bacon taped to the bathroom wall! But for as surreal as everything on screen seemed, what centered the film in reality for me was the use of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” smack dab down in the middle of all the crazy. I grew up on Roy’s music and so hearing one of my favorites songs set against a massive rainstorm and abject poverty unsettled me in a way that I’ll likely never forget. Wayne’s World Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” Who hasn’t driven around with their friends singing along to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody?” I don’t know, is it like uncool to like Queen these days? Whatever, the six-minute rock opera pretty much introduced me to unconventional song structure. Anyways, I was already full-fledged obsessed with Queen when my older sisters showed me Wayne’s World for the first time. Pretty certain that Wayne and Garth were the coolest people I’d eve laid eyes on, my adolescent mind was damn near blown when they popped the tape in the cassette player and began singing along to none other than “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The guys took turns animatedly singing along to the different parts of the song before headbanging it out its rocking finale. Thanks to the said scene, the song and the movie will forever be linked in my pop-culture-addled mind, and in fact, thinking about it now has me in the mood to go back and watch Wayne’s World for probably the 50th time. Ok, I’m doing it. See ya. PS – With regards to perfect Queen placement, I could have easily gone with “We Are the Champions” as heard in the end of The Mighty Ducks 2. Just keep that in mind. Which song/movie combos did I miss? Find me on Twitter, we’ll geek out about it. @cactus_mouth.
Sad Gurl Club Playlist Part 1: “Cruel Summer” by amanda dissinger
It’s just been one of those months, one of those summers. It’s hot, man. That crush isn’t reciprocating your feelings. You don’t feel like going out. Did I mention it’s hot? I’m right there with you, my new friend, and I have a special gift for you that will turn that frown into a slight grimace or maybe a hint of a smile. Part 1 of Sad Gurl Club! Sad Gurl Club is a playlist I started for myself and my friends for those days that seem to drag on forever and those nights when the boy (or girl, what have you) you like is ignoring you at da club (I assume). The playlist consists of mostly tracks by females (sorry dudes- your day will come!) and mostly songs about liking someone that is being a jerkaramus (just made that word up) to you. Below are some tracks that have specifically gotten me through those hazy hazy days of July and August (so far). Here’s to more Sad Gurl tracks (but less sad gurl times) for the rest of the summer! This playlist is on Spotify by the way if you follow me… 1. Bananarama- “Cruel Summer” Feel like I gotta start with this song because so often this summer I’ve just basically sighed and said “Damn, it’s a cruel summer.” But truth is, I love the beats of this song and the musings of “the hot summer streets” and “trying to smile but the air is so heavy and dry.” Actually, just all of the musings in this song fit in with things I think in every day life. Damn, did I mention it’s a cruel summer? 2. Flowers- “Young” So, full disclosure, I work with this band in my day job, but believe me when I say that their debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What you Should Do will probably be one of my top favorites of 2014. A young London trio, Flowers are releasing their first album of 14 short but remarkably relatable and beautiful pop songs, and “Young” is a coming of age track that touches on the confusion of growing up. So good. 3. Makthaverskan- “Asleep” I love most things about this about this Swedish band and this album, besides the fact that I regularly screw up how I say their name when I talk about them to people. This song specifically hit me and I can’t really stop listening to it. I love the painful way lead singer Maja Milner near screams “It’s not me you’re dreaming of!” and how the song makes me do my Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club step touch shuffle dance (more on me acting like 80s movies actresses later). A track about unrequited love that I unrequitedly love (maybe it loves me back?) 4. Charly Bliss- “Love Me” Another track about unrequited-ish love that I love (are you getting the vibes of my summer?) I love this Brooklyn-based band and the entirety of their new Soft Serve EP and the unique quality of lead singer Eva Grace Hendricks’ voice. The chorus “You love me, you love me a little less” and some
of the interestingly awesome lyrics “I wish I could chop you in one place cut you down to size and watch you try to run away” (or something like that) make me think this band is destined to make so many great pop songs in the upcoming years. 5. Alvvays- “Archie, Marry Me” So many people were telling me to listen to this album and this band from Toronto, and I finally listened and fell in love with this track. Just so catchy, yearning, cute, so many things that I like, all in one track. A Sad Gurl Club highlight for sure. 6. Priests- “Right Wing” Priests was one of my favorite shows of this summer so far, a small show they played at Cake Shop in the Lower East Side- and the power lead singer Katie Alice Glass showed totally blew me away and was truly unlike anything in recent memory (I had a really hard time describing their show and music to friends who asked). I love the chorus of this track “I’m not trying to be…anything” but really their latest release ‘Bodies and Control and Money and Power is super stellar. 7. Whitney Houston - “How Will I Know” This is one of my favorite songs ever, and I have literally danced on the street to this song everywhere this summer- from the backstreets of Bushwick to the highways of Ocean City, MD. There is nothing that will drag me out of my sad gurl-ness than this song, for real. 8. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories (very important to include them)- “Stay” Most of the time I like to pretend I’m a main character in an 80s or 90s movie, usually one of the Molly Ringwald trifecta or the like. And sometimes I pretend I’m Winona Ryder in Reality Bites and I have to choose between Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller and I”m wearing a Babydoll dress and Lisa Loeb cateye glasses and just “Stay! I missed you!” This song embodies so much about me, haha. 9. Liz Phair “Fuck & Run” or “Divorce Song” or really all of Exile in Guyville I think I listen to this album in full every day and have since I was about 18. But, really this whole album is a christened ‘Sad Gurl Masterpiece’ (and my favorite album eva) and while it’s hard for me to pick a few tracks, the singalong “What ever happened to a boyfriend” line of “Fuck & Run” will always win me over- but “Divorce Song” and “Mesmerizing” are my other current favorites (it changes like every day). 10. Tracy Chapman- “Fast Car” I really feel like I don’t need to explain this song to you people, but I honestly listen to this song more than most people listen to most songs in their lives. It reminds me of driving through my hometown in Hershey, Pennsylvania with my high school best friend Mike Bradley (what up dude?) and singing “and I……” really loudly as well as the part “work in the market as a checkout girl” randomly for some reason. Just allows me to sink farther into the nostalgia hole that summer opens up for me (which isn’t always bad). And there you have it- see you for the next installment! Maybe, hopefully? Alright, yeah!
GRIND ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: LIKE A CAT by jeremy garber
When you reach a certain age, looking back on the music scene you were a part of in your youth becomes inevitable. Regardless of your current feelings towards your once preferred and obsessed over genre, there is an overpowering nostalgia that finds its way creeping into your soul, yearning for the days where you couldn’t go a minute without thinking about the show coming through town later that week, or a record that you listened to so many times, you looked forward to listening to it again before it even ended. It’s a weird thought knowing that, for most of us, the devotion we had to that music is now merely something we reminisce about while listening to “post-dubstep” and eating new Oreo flavor combinations.
I always look back fondly at the heavy music scene I was involved in when I was a young lad growing up in the suburbs. On Long Island, there were bands such as Tiger Stripes, Fire For Effect, This Year’s Addiction and First Aid For Choking that played blasty, twisted, loud music that was genuinely gripping and unpredictable. Bands such as The Locust, Daughters, Ed Gein and Curl Up & Die were big influences from a musical perspective, but the movement was truly driven by a zany, outside the box attitude that still is a huge part of how I live my life today. Along with memories of the actual music that consumed most of my teenage years, I associate certain key tracks with bizarre occurrences that I like to refer to as grind encounters of the third kind (actually just made that up for the article, but we can pretend it’s always been a thing). This is the first tale: At the height of my involvement in the grind/hardcore/metal/whatevercore scene, I decided to spend a summer at a performing arts sleep away camp called French Woods Festival in upstate New York. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing there, as theatre wasn’t really my thing but I just figured I’d go, as my sister was already a camper there. I ended up loving it and have some truly grind memories of those days. One that sticks out in particular occurred when a stray cat started hanging around camp. My bunkmates and I affectionately referred to him as Señor Puss and he was just the best; kind of like the camp pet that’ll probably give you rabies, but you’re so down to chill anyway. Often times, we’d stumble upon him as he’d caught a mouse; he’d look up at us as if to say “watch this” and then go to town chomping and impaling his prey, putting on a show that by far outperformed whoever was playing Eponine in that night’s performance of Les Miserables. One day, a group of us, including my dude Corey (Moon Bounce) Regensburg, composed a mariachi infused theme song, as Señor Puss was about to tackle his ultimate foe, the fastest rat in the empire state… Sancho. We named him Sancho. We ran through camp, up hills, down hills, across flat land, singing Señor Puss and Sancho’s battle hymn. We were brought to the “gym,” basically a rehearsal space for musical theatre with some basketball hoops. There were bleachers and a wall divider between the inside of the facility and outside. After hours of being chased, Sancho had sneakily wedged himself into a little crevice under the bleachers. Señor Puss was outside and seemed stumped, pacing around with no real direction. Then all of a sudden, as if he gained magical powers, he jumped higher than Shaq over the wall barrier and landed directly on Sancho, devouring him in one gulp. It was history. The flamenco guitar was retired and we walked slowly back to our bunk, feeling as if we had just witnessed a war. It may seem absurd to say but it was truly one of the best days of my life. I don’t think we ever saw Señor Puss again but THE MEMORY REMAINS (cues Metallica’s “Load”, un-cues it instantly). The song that I named this episode of Grind Encounters Of The Third Kind after, “Like A Cat” is by a broken up band called The Number Twelve Looks Like You from New Jersey. They put out this song on an EP called An Inch Of Gold For An Inch Of Time in 2005. It’s all I listened to for the entire summer that the Señor Puss/Sancho showdown took place. I highly, highly recommend giving it a listen. If they were a new band today, bloggers would say their tunes make them feel “some type of way”, tiptoeing around the fact that they have no clue how to even begin to properly classify their musical output. But I digress. I guess the only thing left to say is, what is the point of laying in a comfortable position if you can’t fall asleep in it?
Portals Living Spaces:
BALTIMORE August 8, 2014
@ The Crown photos by daniel dorsa
originally published by portals