in this issue page 4
how (or why in the hell) i started a label and why you can too jessi frick talks about the birth of father/daughter records
page 7 for the first time cassandra baim remembers the first time she heard her favorite songs page 8
an interview with ought the miscreant asks drummer tim keen about the latest from ought
going to the media’s 50th issue party at silent barn by myself zach mandeville insists that print is not dead
an interview with vagabon mary luncsford talks to members of the brooklyn band
moments of silence steven spoerl examines the importance of silence in art
jawbreaker reunion and pwr bttm: the interview members of jawbreaker reunion and pwr bttm ask the necessary questions to fall in love
page 24 the veritable venues of london olivia cellemare lists her favorite spots for gigs in her hometown page 27
panic playlist for the subway rafael grafals gives you songs for the daily commute
children of pop: east coast tour diary january 2015 chase demasters shares his memories from a month on tour
an in-depth analysis of “one week” by barenaked ladies david krammer unpacks the hit song
a valentine’s day mix rachel corson lists the songs for a perfect valentine’s day
page 38 if you want to be my lover...14 love songs to woo your low level crush amanda dissinger creates a fool-proof plan for courtship
HOW (OR WHY IN THE HELL) I STARTED A RECORD LABEL AND WHY YOU CAN TOO by jessi frick Music pumps through my veins. It takes up every inch of space in my brain and my heart, but it definitely doesn’t come out of my fingers or mouth, at least not effortlessly or the way I intend it to. I am what you’d call “musically challenged” but I gave it my best. I took piano lessons for years when I was young. Even though my mother always complimented my long, lean fingers, I knew I was far from the next Herbie Hancock. I dabbled in guitar, percussion -- I pretty much tried anything I thought I could be remotely good at (singing was better left to the comforts of my shower). Sadly, none of it stuck. The ukulele I brought home two years ago has been collecting dust in the corner of my bedroom pretty much since day one. Despite being musically impaired, I have never had a stronger urge to be involved with something as much as I did with music. I spent most of my high school years at various Kinkos and Office Max’s stealing backpacks full of black and white copies, hauling them either back home or to a friend’s house to assemble the latest issue of my zine. I took photos at as many shows that I could get into, begged my dad to take me to my favorite record store at least once a week where I made pals with the alternative music buyer who opened my ears to all kinds of bands. When it was time to decide what in the heck I was going to do with my life, I decided to go to school for photography thinking I’d end up a photojournalist in the music industry. Long story short, that didn’t stick either. I was really lucky to have a great friend in high school who did even radder shit than I did. She booked shows at a real club and started a small record label. Said record label blew up a few years later and after relocating to Los Angeles, I somehow convinced her to let me come work for her. It was the best thing I ever did. Those years were insane,
mostly on my body. Our bands landed on covers of magazines, played for tens of thousands of fans on Warped Tour, and we were having the time of our lives. I eventually got burnt out on LA and moved back east which would be the first of many life crises. During that time I pondered what in the hell was I cut out to do? The obvious answer was to start a record label of my own. I’m a masochist with terrible financial skills and an impulsive personality. Basically I was born for this. Luckily despite all of my not so great qualities, I was birthed into this world with a loving, supportive family and married into an equally great one. Father/Daughter turns five years old this year and I think we’re just now starting to hit our stride. So you’re probably saying to yourself, “where in the heck do you even start??” Good question. Find a musician you love so much it makes your heart burst. Then tell them that. Then do everything you can to convince them to let you help them in ways that will give them time to focus on what they do best, write and perform music. Father/Daughter was created out of a mutual love and appreciation of music between my Dad and I (he’s who I inherited my lack of musicality from). Are you feeling intimidated about diving headfirst into the wonderful black hole that is record label-dom? Find a friend and bounce ideas off of them. Even better, find another wacko who wants to partner up with you! Then you won’t be the only one emailing bloggers until 2am on a Tuesday or packaging records until you can’t feel your fingers anymore. Basically, there isn’t a wrong way to go about it. As long as your gut is telling you good things and your intentions are pure, you’re doing it for the right reasons. There isn’t a better time to support musicians, both independent and otherwise. Whether it’s buying their music from them or helping them release their music, they deserve it. One more thing though -- don’t go into it thinking you’re going to make bank because the likelihood of that is pretty slim to none. The music industry is a place for crazy dreamers, people who take chances because they don’t want to know any better. If you want to be rich, invent an app and sell it off to Google. Then take the millions you just made and help a deserving band put their record out on vinyl.
This issue is brought to you by bodega sandwiches.
Single of the
This issue’s single of the week comes from Ought’s latest record, More Than Any Other Day. “The Weather Song” is a highlight from this dynamic album, demanding to know what the weather is like. It’s seething and bounces through a melody that begins to march in the chorus. Revolutionary.
FOR THE FIRST TIME by cassandra baim
Recently, I got to talking with a friend about the newest Belle & Sebastian record. I hadn’t listened to it yet, but based on his description (the words “house music” were involved), I didn’t think I wanted to. We got to talking about our favorite B&S records, with multiple iterations of “this one is definitely my favorite—wait, no—THAT one is!” Our conversation took me back to being a teenager and checking out all of their albums from my town’s public library. It was fun to reminisce, but I realized how much I missed that feeling of hearing a great song for the first time. Do you remember the first time you heard your favorite songs? Do you remember where you were, who you were with, what you were doing, why you wanted to listen to a song you’d never heard before? My very first OkCupid date was with this guy I had very little in common with, until he mentioned a little ritual he has when he sees a movie. He told me he keeps a meticulous Excel grid charting every movie he’s seen, where and when he saw it, and who he was with. I wanted to write that off as some bizarre anal-retentive tic, but I realized I did the same thing. While I didn’t formally enter my memories in a grid (I prefer to hand write them instead), I remembered quite well the context surrounding most of the movies I’d seen, and more importantly, the context of every time I first heard my favorite song. The first time I’d ever heard Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” was in my best friend’s car, when we were both 16. She was supposed to take me home from some theatre department party. She could tell that that whole group of friends had made me restless, and anxious, so she took me for a drive. We rolled down the windows and sped down the abandoned street, and listened to it six times in a row. I felt calm for the first time in months. A year and a half later, I heard Ra Ra Riot’s “Can You Tell” for the first time. I heard them play it live, when they opened for Death Cab for Cutie. I went to the show with a few friends a few days after I’d decided to go to Syracuse University for college, and I wasn’t feeling good about that. It didn’t feel right. They closed with that song, and said “Thanks for listening—we’re Ra Ra Riot and we’re from Syracuse, New York, come say hi!” All of a sudden, I felt like I’d made the right choice. I first heard Sharon Van Etten’s “For You” on an Amtrak train to Chicago to visit my parents. I was 19, probably hungover, and definitely lovesick (actually, I was likesick, but that doesn’t sound as nice). I bought her album because a boy mentioned her once. I always felt silly doing something like that, but not when that song started. I don’t know where I was when I first heard The Magnetic Field’s “Reno Dakota,” but I will never forget my coworker’s face when she first heard that song. Watching her realize she’d been in the narrator’s sad and lonely shoes far too many times is something I won’t soon forget. I haven’t had a “first” moment like these in far too long. Maybe I’m too over-saturated with new music that it all sounds like white noise to me now. Maybe I don’t pay close enough attention. But I miss that feeling. Like other parts of my life, I’m trying to take this as an opportunity to be more present. I’d like to experience firsts again. But I did wind up listening to the new Belle & Sebastian record. It’s no If You’re Feeling Sinister, but I’m glad it exists.
The Miscreant: You all met at McGill University when you were in college. How did you guys come together and start playing music with one another? Tim Keen: Tim Darcy and I met at a freshman orientation event, where we were the two people not having any fun. We all eventually came together through mutual friends. The Miscreant: Were you all in bands before college? When did you each start making music? Tim: Matt’s high school recordings are pretty incredible, actually. Mine are super cheesy—I was a classical violinist for a long time, and learnt to record and play drums as kind of an escape from that, but you can see it bleeding through in my recordings. Tim D. played in another band in high school, too, which is also actually really good. The Miscreant: Where did you all play your first shows as a band? Also, talk a little bit about the practice space where you first recorded as a band. Tim: We played our first ever show in our apartment, where we also recorded our first EP, and where we practiced. I fell off my bike on the way to the show and hurt my wrist, and played all the drum parts backwards. It was a very rundown, mouldy apartment in a pretty gentrified area. That was a really good time for us. The Miscreant: Describe the music community that you came up in as a band at McGill. Were you playing with other bands from the college or more local bands? Tim: I guess both. In Montreal there is a large crossover between the Anglo (English-speaking) university community and the music scene. but there were people who weren’t in school involved—me, for instance. The music community that I most strongly identify with is mostly composed of people who at one point went to one of the two English speaking schools here. I guess that’s your next question so I’ll talk about it more there! The Miscreant: What is the scene like in Montreal? I feel like there is so much art and music coming out of the city, but I’ve never really grasped how artists or musicians are connected to one another. 9
Tim: It’s basically just a lot of micro-communities of friends doing their own thing for each other. Everyone knows each other in the different groups, and there’s definitely some nice crossover, but in the end it’s people making what they feel is weird or interesting or strange art, for their friends. I collectively work on a little tape label called Misery Loves Company (mlctapes.bandcamp.com) with a lot of those people. I love all those tapes. You should also check out this band: lungbuttermtl.bandcamp.com The Miscreant: What tours do you have coming up? Where would you like to travel to next? Tim: We just announced a little Europe run at the end of may, and ATP Iceland, and there’s more to come (ooooOOoOOoOO). Iceland will be really nice, I think, I’m excited to go there! I went to the airport once but am looking to see just a little bit more. The Miscreant: What are some of the major themes you explore in your latest record, More Than Any Other Day? Tim: Oh, I don’t know, I don’t think we really attack music in that way (starting from a theme and working down). We were all dealing with some pretty real postgrad/almost-grad malaise at the time, though, figuring out how the things we were thinking about could fit into the Real World, working pretty mundane jobs, etc, etc. The Miscreant: A lot of your lyrics and the sound of your music in general is really humorous in a certain way (e.g. “I am prepared to make the decision between two percent and whole milk”). Do you think that sort of sense of humor is a result of your personalities or how you approach music or both? Tim: Bit of both. I think maybe we all like to use humour to approach things that we take seriously in order to make them a little more approachable, or something. The Miscreant: With that, though, your lyrics are still really sincere. While they might be tongue-in-cheek, they’re never abrasively sarcastic and always really sincere. Can you talk a little bit about sincerity in your own music and music you all listen to? Tim: I always get a little nervous when asked this question—I get concerned that 10
people talking about our sincerity is in contrast to other people’s “insincerity.” I mean, I think that honesty is a fairly central component of art that I’m likely to be interested in, but that honesty can take a whole lot of different forms. You can be sincerely sarcastic, for example. I think, then, another worry that I’m preemptively countering here is to equate “sincerity” with genre, or with voice, or with directness of communication, which frequently (I think) can dangerously equate sincerity with typically masculine rock values. Instrumental music can be sincere, top 40 pop songs can be sincere (even if they’re not written by or about the singer). Sincerity is just someone doing something that they believe in, and I think you can spot insincerity a mile away. The Miscreant: How did you all connect with Constellation Records? Tim: Tim Darcy had met Don, who runs the label, previously, and Don reached out to us after we put an EP online (which included old recordings of much of the MTAOD material). he and Ian (the other founder) came to a show, and the rest, as they say… The Miscreant: Do you all have any other projects your work on outside of Ought? Tim: Yep! I play drums in this band Mands (https://mands.bandcamp.com/), record a bunch of bands, and very slowly eke out small solo cries for help for Silk Statue (https://silkstatue.bandcamp.com/). Matt puts out near-constant streams of excellent solo noise and folk stuff for Countrywide (https://countrywide.bandcamp.com/), and plays in this dynamic duo Misery Loves Company (https://miserylovesco.bandcamp.com/album/ white-cube-welter-associates). Tim Darcy has a goddamn crushing solo project (https://isleofpine.bandcamp. com/), and is sitting on a LP colab with noise artist AJ Cornell. Ben makes dance music, but I don’t think he’s put anything out…yet. The Miscreant: What do you guys have on your plate in the new year? What’s next? Tim: We’re practicing all the time, working on new stuff, hopefully recording sometime in the next few months. Then a thousand tours! 11
GOING TO THE MEDIA’S 50TH ISSUE PARTY AT SIELNT BARN BY MYSELF by zach mandeville I’m at my new favorite punk club in my new favorite city, about to hear a favorite writer read her newest words, and all I want to do is leave. I am happy I live in Brooklyn where life is just a layering of favorite things. I’m happy to be here for The Media’s 50th Issue Party, at a night lined with zinesters reading their work, discussing The Media, talking about the modern state of zines. But mostly I’m just anxious. So I handle my anxiousness in the classic, punk way: retreat to a wall, find a poster, and read every word on it until I disappear. Finding a community you want to join is exciting, but the actual mechanics of joining are frightening. Walking into a club feels like walking into a spider web, but instead of silk you are sticky with self-consciousness. I’m standing in the corner of the Silent Barn, where no one knows me, but I’m sure they are judging me: my clothes, my expression, the beer I’m drinking, what I’m doing or not doing with my hands. I’m burdened by the thoughts no one is actually having, and it’s making me fidget. I want to walk around, but I worry that if I let myself move then the flight impulse will take over and I’ll walk myself right back home. So I let my eyes do the fidgeting, let them pace back and forth across the show posters and health notices. Let them walk up and down the flyers advertising auditions for student films. I’ve read the sign above the bar that says, “We Now Accept Credit Cards” about ten times. The act of reading is such a calming motion. My eyes move left to right, word to word, and slowly rock my nerves to sleep. The show is fantastic. Because the night is about zines and The Media, inevitably, the second reader asks, “Is print dead?” and the third reader repeats it as a known cliche: “They say print is dead.” But that seems like such an absurd thought! All night I’ve been hungrily reading print! I’m not alone. There was a crowd by the zine rack shyly thumbing through zines. A kid next to me
spent five minutes reading the same credit card sign. A woman across from us brought a comic from home, and she read it while leaning against the wall, nervously playing with the zipper of her jacket. Print will die when awkwardness dies. When coffee shops die. When meeting for dates at coffee shops die. And when before you meet, you read every flyer on the coffee shop bulletin board, so you can pretend you’re not nervous your date won’t show, you’re just super into four-week intensive Spanish courses and Ways to Make Money from Home…when that dies. When idly reading the spines on the bookshelf at a party dies. When reading each city, state, and Pantera West Coast Tour date on the back of the shirt of the kid in front of you, as you stand in the bathroom line, even though you don’t have to use the bathroom, you just want to be part of something larger, dies. Print will live for as long as we’re anxious and waiting. And print will live for as long as it inspires us to show up for nights like this. Of course, I didn’t come tonight because of how eloquent the “please wash your hands” sign was. I came because one of the readers was Cynthia Schemer, guitarist for Radiator Hospital and author of the Secret Bully zine. Secret Bully #1 was about Cynthia moving away from Brooklyn, and how Brooklyn was tied into the memories of her late mother, and how hard it is to leave the nostalgic weave of your hometown. I connected with Secret Bully. See, you don’t just read while waiting for a show to start. You read whenever anxiousness finds you. You read in private, in quiet, at home. Because sometimes you don’t need a crowded club to feel alone and awful, it happens all by itself. Your thoughts will race, unprompted, and your mind feels like a party to which you haven’t been invited and where the music is far too loud. And then you seek out writing, and the words that calm. I found Secret Bully #1 a few weeks before moving to Brooklyn, during a chaotic time in my life. I was pre-emptively missing my home, grieving a lost relationship and soon a lost town, and aware of how the memories of the lost relationship and town were so woven together. As Cynthia shared her vulnerability, I felt more comfortable with mine, and so in reading her zine there was a transfer of strength. In Secret Bully, she articulates her emotions so honestly, with metaphors so natural and sturdy, that you feel an immediate connection, a nostalgic discovery. When you connect to writing, it’s as if the sentences are your own, the words already a part of your body, the newsprint showing through on your papier-mache bones. Print won’t die as long as people make zines that make you feel so strong, so understood, that you will stand alone at a show, no matter how awkward it feels, just to hear some of those words said out loud. That’s all. You’ve read through to the last paragraph, which means you understand me. So hello! How are you! You will have to stop reading soon. Your train ride is almost over, the show is about to start, the party is wondering where you’ve gone. And it’s okay. There’s a whole bunch of people all around you, but we’re not judging you. At most, we’re jealous we didn’t bring the Miscreant to read. We’re all as awkward and uncomfortable as you. The day will be good. The night will be better. This is the last sentence, but it’s okay, because print is alive and so are you.
AN INTERVIEW WITH VAGABON by mary luncsford On their first EP, Persian Garden, NYC-based band Vagabon delivers fuzzy folk rock full of raw emotion. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beautiful, powerful and guaranteed to make you feel a lot of feelings (primarily sadâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but like the good kind of sad). Here Laetitia, Eamon, Zeb and Eva talk musical inspiration, future plans and the process of bringing Persian Garden to life.
Mary: How did Vagabon come to be? Also, is there any particular reason you dropped the ‘d’? Laetitia: Vagabon started as just Eamon and I. We were friends before deciding to play music together and I trust him as a musician. I knew I did not want to do a solo project just yet and being in a band had the appeal of creating relationships with people who support you and your creative decisions. Also, what? Drop ‘d’ in Vagabon? I’m in standard tuning. Mary: What does the songwriting process look like for you guys? Zeb: It’s collaborative. Eamon, Eva and I often take what Laetitia writes and add our own perspectives to it. Laetitia clearly has a vision in her head about the music but she gives the band a lot of freedom to play whatever we hear. It’s pretty organic. Eamon: I listen to the songs and kind of just diddle around on guitar until I find something cool. Eva: My first time playing with Vagabon was also the first show we played together. Zeb sent me demos the night before and I threw some bass lines together. I try to keep that same feeling for all our shows so whatever I contribute to the songs mostly comes from a place of improvisation and spontaneity. Laetitia: Yeah, for Persian Garden, I spent a few months writing these songs before there was ever a band. Vagabon has only been alive for almost a year. All their inputs definitely shaped it to be what it is now. Moving forward, we will just feel things out and see if we want to keep this process or try something different Mary: Who are your musical heroes? Eva: There are many and constantly changing. I’m captivated by anyone who gives 100% of themselves to the music they play and play in their own style. Laetitia: Same.
Mary: All of your songs have a deeply personal element to them, but “Sharks” and “Heroine” stuck out to me as especially emotional narratives; what is it like to perform these songs for an audience? Eamon: “Heroine” is probably the most fun and frightening song for me to play. Since I’m basically attacking my guitar for half the song, it’s enjoyable. It does take a toll though and I almost always end up being out of tune or breaking some strings. Laetitia: “Sharks” was the last song I wrote out of all the others on the EP and the most personal to me specifically. The more shows we play, the more comfortable I feel about playing some of the really personal ones. Despite the tendency to believe that all of these songs are about me personally, some of them tell a story from a perspective that is not my own. Sometimes I feel guilty about how transparent I was in telling their stories. Eva: I can relate to the pain and anger in this narrative because I don’t eat fish and I get the frustration of seeing someone eat a small fish. Mary: What/who inspires your music? Eva: Uhh, Laetitia? Laetitia: Zeb? Zeb: I find inspiration in Miles Davis, Grizzly Bear and J-Dilla. Mary: Where would you like to play that you haven’t yet? Eamon: Anywhere out of New York. Eva: Minneapolis cause that’s where Prince is from or maybe the moon, if there was some way for the sound to carry. Laetitia: It’d be cool to play outside of the country. Mary: Persian Garden is your first EP. What was the recording process like? Eamon: We went into a studio at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY with a friend who was gracious enough to record drums and Laetitia’s guitar. I’m more introverted and wanted to experiment as much as I could with all my guitar parts so I spent a few days recording them in my basement in Brooklyn. I spent time imagining soundscapes and song transitions and whatever else I could think up. I also asked my girlfriend and my brother to come and play
with some other instruments they are good at. After I felt confident in what I put together, I showed it to the band and they didn’t hate it, so it stuck. Then Laetitia recorded vocals and Eva killed it on bass last minute, then my computer crashed a week before the EP. The tracks survived but my computer was toast. Eva: I joined Vagabon after the EP was basically recorded. I went over to Eamon’s one day and laid down the bass tracks in about an hour. Laetitia: Recording was pretty weird especially since this was my first experience with it. Being able to record such good drum tracks in a real studio for our first EP was just a lucky miracle. I also did vocal takes about a thousand times and scrapped so many of them. We were recording as these songs were still developing so I kept finding new melodies I wanted to do and in turn hating everything I recorded the week before. The vocals that stuck only stuck because we ran out of time and Eamon was mixing and just said, ‘Okay that’s it, you cannot keep redoing vocals.’ If it were up to me, I would have done 100 more takes but it’s best I stopped when I did. Mary: What do you guys listen to when you aren’t making your own tunes? Eva: As of late, Brainiac and Thundercat is what I’m listening to. Also anything that Deantoni Parks is playing on. Eamon: I listen to a lot of emo and indie pop punk, Marietta, Olde Pine and Pretend, along with a smaller base of whatever comes my way. Laetitia: Mostly traditional West African music from my childhood and then a lot of Nina Simone and also my friends make good music too. Zeb: Jazz. Mary: Any new year’s resolutions? What’s Vagabon getting up to in 2015? Laetitia: Maybe a full length record. Eva: I’m on tour with my other band, Sister Helen for a few more weeks and once I’m done here I will be back to Vagabon until 2015 morphs into 2016...time is an illusion and I’m pretty sure you know that, so this is a trick question. Zeb: Vagabon is going on tour in the summer. You can listen to Vagabon here: http://vagabon.bandcamp.com/
MOMENTS OF SILENCE by steven spoerl
A devastating loss; a glance of piqued interest; a moment of silence for the deceased. All instances that directly contradict Western culture’s tendency towards the immediacy that exists in excess. Yet, these are the moments in media (and, frequently, in real life) that tend to hit hardest. It’s easy to lose sight of subtext and intangible elements in a world that’s increasingly over-saturated with shamelessly loud content, but with the landscape continuing to shift over to the easiest play, the moments that resonate most tend to be the ones laced with subtext and cloaked in an understanding silence. Noted composer John Cage understood this approach more than most, even going so far as to call his first novel Silence, a definitive meditation on what can get lost in an overabundance of volume. His famed 4:33 composition remains one of his most direct statements on life, art, and (arguably) death. In every measure and every rest, that statement only grows stronger; its repetition unrelenting before ceding into real time, blurring the distinction between art and life. It’s a thought that’s stayed with me throughout the course of my entertainment exploration, one that started reaching a peak with the US adaptation of the BBC series The Office. While working on a project recently, I had the show running in the background and would catch these glimpses of locked-in static shots that were held in focus for unusual lengths of time. Even going past the quasi-documentary format the show was presented in, the move always underlined the shows humanism. Conversely, that technique was used unsparingly to demonstrate the worst of humankind in Steve McQueen’s landmark film, 12 Years A Slave (those who have seen it will both immediately recognize the scene in question and likely never be able to evade that moments haunted nature). Alternately, the Coen brothers effectively demonstrated that silence can be used to build suspense in their unforgettable film adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Wisely eschewing anything but the most minimal ambient soundtrack, each action took on an exaggerated focus because there was nothing to distract from the situation at hand. When Anton Chigurh’s canister hits the ground in the middle of the night and echoes throughout a town’s dead quiet, it’s enough to evoke chills. Yet, it’s an instant that would have been stripped of its power had relative silence (as the anechoic chamber has proven, there can be no true silence) not been its precedent. Hitchcock would also employ the use of silence in his films to drive up the suspense in a similar fashion. More recently, silence has been used in music to achieve a slowbuilding intrigue (Ought’s “More Than Any Other Day”), defiantly wounded vulnerability (Waxahatchee’s American Weekend), raw passion (Perfect Pussy’s “Interference Fits”), transformation (Band Practice’s “Bartending At Silent Barn”), unfiltered aggression (Swans’ To Be Kind),
and- as always- genuine sorrow (everyone from Elliott Smith to Mark Linkous to Vic Chesnutt). Granted, those examples aren’t the sole proprietors of those instances but stand as fairly definitive occurrences nonetheless. As an emphasis on silence continues a fluctuating pattern in popular media, it continues to fascinate me on inexplicable levels. If a director or band can successfully utilize silence, they’ll have my respect. If they can master the implicit reasoning into that decision, they’ll have my gratitude. Life can imitate art and art can imitate life, it’s the boundary between the two in those situation’s that’s always held my interest. More often than not, that transaction point occurs within a moment of silence. Whether it’s someone stopping to actually smell the roses, mourn a loved one, share in a fleeting moment of escapist bliss, or simply pay their respects, those fragments of willing nakedness always seem to burrow into something transcendent, encapsulating all of life’s joys and confusion. And then, when everything comes buzzing back to life, it’s easy to re-assess what’s truly important. Without that trip into general nothingness, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that matter. I could ramble on and talk for three dozen more paragraphs about why silence is necessary, why it creates such a forceful impact when used correctly, how restraint can be a desirable virtue, and a million other things. I’d enjoy it, too. But it would get boring, the length of this piece would grow tiresome, and the content would be irreparably dulled. For now, the only appropriate course of action is to simply skip a beat… and fall silent.
JAWBREAKER REUNION & PWR BTTM: THE INTERVIEW by the members of jawbreaker reunion & pwr bttm
PWR BTTM and Jawbreaker Reunion are not only musical soulmates, but real-life friends and comrades whose self-released split, Republican National Convention, is forthcoming this Valentine’s Day. We took to Facebook Messenger for a late-night hangout / very “intimate” interview, taking questions from Daniel Jones’ New York Times article “No. 37: Big Wedding or Small?” to learn about each other’s desires, future plans, and cause of death predictions. Will we fall in love? READ ON AND FIND OUT! PWR BTTM is Ben and Oliver. Jawbreaker Reunion is Bella, Dre, Tom, and Lily
Ben (PWR BTTM) : Hi guys Dre (Jawbreaker Reunion): Hey hi Lily (Jawbreaker Reunion): Hey team So how do we wanna do this? Bella (Jawbreaker Reunion): Yep what now Ben: Oliver is here with me Dre: I don’t think Tom is gonna be very vocal so we should just go Ben: Who’s got a fun funky question Dre: Wait did everyone see that bullshit NYT article about “36 questions later and we fell in love” Let’s just answer those and fall in love Ben: Let’s do some of those Lily: Yes yes let’s that! That’s a really good idea Oliver (PWR BTTM): 7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? Lily: I want to imagine it’ll be death by puppy stampede But it’ll probably be a lot worse Dre: Recently had a dream I was in a hot tub with Action Bronson and I’d be pretty happy if that ends up being the way I go Ben: So much red hair Lily: What if I was attacked by birds And that’s how I went Oliver: Hummingbirds Dre: Too fast to catch Lily: What about pwr bttm? How would you go? Oliver: ~death drops into hell~ Ben: Honestly I just ate a gas station sandwich so… Dre: Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your (musical) partner. Share a total of five items. Oliver: Absolutely nothing Next question Ben: Pass Ok JBR 26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ...” Bella: I wish I had someone with whom I could share an asshole bleaching experience Ben: Have you done that Bella: No But also that’s prob how I would die Bella: 30. When did you last cry in front of another person?? Oliver: I think I was 12 tbh I only really cry when I’m alone now Ben: I was giving a motivational speech about theater And smashing diet soda cans Oliver: Do people mind if I break from that NYT article?
Lily: Not at all Bella: Nah but I will maybe continue to pull Qs from it Oliver: For JBR, can you guys talk about the patriarchal bullshit you’ve had to put up with since releasing Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club? Like, is there any instance of it in particular that stands out? Bella: Being compared to other bands because we are ‘girl bands’ is one huge pet peeve I have Lily: That’s definitely a big issue There was a dude who kept following me around at our first Silent Barn show, and was kind of heckling us Bella: Probs just gender in general also Dre: The number of people regardless of gender who compliment me on being a “girl drummer” or standing out in a field of “mostly dudes” Thats my beef Bella: so sometimes people will make what feels like a very half assed connection between us and other bands based, what feels like, solely on gender. its kind of like the equivalent of “oh you like simon and garfunkel? that dude band? awesome, so do you like godsmack?” Dre: earlier today Mitski tweeted about how only female artists are called bedroom pop which feels very real Bella: i feel like alex g is for sure bedroom pop Oliver: tru I’ve seen it applied to bellows too Ben: And told slant Bella: but yes Oliver: But it’s also thrown around a lot with female artists which is like Alex g literally records in a bedroom Whereas It would be physically impossible to make [Mitski’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek] in a bedroom Bella: it did not happen Dre: Precisely Lily: Yuk yup yup Here’s one from the list: 13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? Ben: If i ever figure out how to be less envious of people and things And when is the premiere date of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 Dre: ^^^^^^^^ Oliver: I’d want to know if/when I’m gonna lose certain people I care about Just because there might be some people I don’t have a lot of time with.. I’d also love to know the rpdr season 7 premiere date Ben: 28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met. Oliver: what I like most about JBR is how fun it is to sing along to your songs at shows, esp.
when like everyone in the crowd knows them and it’s anthem status Dre: PWR BTTM is pure good energy and I have never not smiled hearing the music y’all make Bella: PWR BTTM is actually a band like no other and I can say that very confidently. I know of no one else that plays with gender and performance and music in the same way. Ben: I like listening to your record while I’m doing something awful like washing dishes or adult things and it makes me feel less alone Lily: I love how powerful pwr bttm makes me feel. Y’alls are so fearless and your music is incredible and insanely fun. There’s a lot of strength imbued in your music. Tom Delaney (Jawbreaker Reunion): wow I totally forgot this was happening Ben: Tom Lily: Hi tom! Tom: “why am I getting so many notifications” “oh” Oliver: Tom you should ask us the last question Lily: Respond to anything if you want! Also yes Tom: lol as if I’m scrolling back through this Bella: thats our boy Oliver: but ask us something before Ben’s blood sugar drops and we all die Lily: Tumnus! Bella: okay do you wanna pick lily? i dont think he is here Lily: Alright, pwr bttm, and this isn’t from the list: what is your plan for world conquest? (I.e. What would you like to accomplish in the next year?) Oliver: We’re gonna record a full length soon And once that’s done we’re gonna try a bunch of new stuffa We’ve only been a band for a little over a year but I already feel like I’m getting too comfortable with what we do Ben: I agree with that. Oliver: I wanna play with new instruments New styles We’re gonna put out at least one rap track in 2015 You heard it here first Ben: It’s very possible that we’ll say what we want to say with our first full length and then reformat the project entirely. There’s a lot we want to do and I’m not sure it’s limited to strictly music. Oliver: Same question for you guys. What’s good for the future? Bella: unsure right now aside from our split but we are maybe trying to record an ep or album before lily and i graduate hopefully gonna keep playing a lil bit in dre/toms senior year Lily: Yeah. It would also be cool to tour a little bit too but it depends on timing Bella: yeah it is always very difficult to find a balance between the band and other aspects of life that take priority for us so it is fairly unclear! ~only time will tell~
THE VERITABLE VENUES OF LONDON by olivia cellamare
For every reason why London annoys me, there are probably more as to why I love the place. It’s not the best place in the world (don’t let anyone fool you that it is) but it’s home to some of the places that just make me feel at home. A big city can only be lonely if you allow it. A big city is a wonderful place to lose yourself in. Take an unknown turn and don’t ask for directions, just go. It makes me sad to see so many small venues in London being closed down at the moment. As if we need another shitty coffee chain or overprices apartments. So, I’ve decided to channel my pissed off-ness about venues closing into a list of small venues that mean a lot to me, for many reasons. Sebright Arms // A pub upstairs and a venue downstairs. Sounds ideal doesn’t it? Sebright Arms is one of the best venues in East London. As pretentious as East London can be, it’s the home to some of the best venues in London. Let’s be honest, most rip the likes of Shoreditch apart just to sound big. But this side of London has a hell of a lot going for it, and there is always a decent band playing somewhere. It’s a vital part of the city, and this venue is almost like a hidden treasure. I’ve not been to many gigs here, but the atmosphere is beautiful. It has a relaxed feel to it, and any band would sound perfect here.
Electrowerkz // Round the corner from Angel station is where you will find Electrowerkz. A place where subcultures unleash their fury during the weekend to songs that would make commercial radio crap their pants. I saw Cold Cave here a few years ago, and it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. A band like Cold Cave need venues like Electrowerz. It is dark, sweaty and makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a lucid underworld. Step foot into this sacred venue and leave covered in the sweat of strangers and their drinks. Shacklewell Arms // I finally went to a gig here about a month or so ago, and I fell in love. There’s a little cove where the drum kit is placed. An intimate venue that has seen the likes of Pop.1280, 2:54 and soon Italy’s finest, Be Forest. Dalston is host to many great music venues, and I suppose I could have taken the easy way out and just listed them all, but of all the ones I’ve been in Shacklwell Arms is probably my favourite. You feel as if you’ve entered a friendly dungeon. As clichéd as it sounds, Shacklwell Arms has character and has a real intimate feel to it. You’ll more than likely see your new favourite band here. KOKO // Like most of East London, Camden is also home to fine music venues. KOKO is a beautiful venue, you can’t help but stare at it when you walk past it at night when it is lit up. It is a magical venue. KOKO is a Grade II listed building and back in 1900 when it opened, it was a theatre. When you walk in now, you can feel its history around you. Some amazing bands have played here. I saw War paint play last year, and I was stood on the balcony and all you could see was a sea of people losing their minds and having the time of their lives. If you go here, watch from the balcony to really soak up the atmosphere and if you’re a short arse, you’ll get a good view! The Old Blue Last // I’ve never had a crap time here at The Old Blue Last. The sound is brilliant, the size is just right but the drinks are too expensive. But that’s just London. You need to take a loan out to buy a drink down here, it’s quite painful. A spacious drinking establishment downstairs and cosy venue upstairs, it’s easily my favourite venue. A venue can make or break a gig, but sometimes it is the run down and dingy venues that give you the best time. The Old Blue Last isn’t run down, not at all but the ones that look like they need painting are usually the best. The Old Blue Last is one of many venues that put on free shows, and much like Shacklewell Arms, you will probably see your new favourite band there. London has so much to offer, and I know by only condensing this to 5 venues was really hard and means I’ve missed out so many venues such as Scala, Troxy, Concrete, The Queen’s Head. London has some mighty fine music venues. Large venues don’t do it for me at all, maybe it’s because being around loads of people doesn’t sit too well with me, and sometimes it strips away what the music means to you. Just give me smaller venues any day. Small venues that start the career of so many bands. Bands I’ve fallen in love with and just love going to see them. Closing down 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street recently reinforced the sad thought that no venue may be safe. But music will always find a way to be heard and live music isn’t going anywhere. Seek and you’ll find. Stand near the front, let the speakers deafen you, scream along to the words, befriend the band. Repeat.
PANIC PLAYLIST FOR THE SUBWAY by rafael grafals
Public transit has always been pretty difficult for me. From crowded trains to just general paranoia that I won’t make it to my destination on time, I’ve dealt with a fair share of panic attacks on the train, with my worst one happening late last year concluding with me passing out on my way to work. Since then I’ve been more aware of when these things are happening and try to prevent them or work through them to the best of my ability. Besides trying to regulate my breathing, I’ve found music to be helpful in those situations and found a solid amount of tracks that help me cope with those particularly unbearable train rides. In general songs with sort of cyclical instrumentation work very well for me because they feel open and spacious so a lot of this mix has finger picked guitars. Reverb heavy music seems to help me a lot too or anything with a strong ambiance to it that can pull me into a lull that distracts me from my current situation. I put together a mix of some of my favorite songs that I listen to that help me make it through my daily commute. Maybe you can find a similar sort of comfort in these songs. Johanna Warren – “Both Worlds” R.L. Kelly – “Life’s A Bummer” Julie Byrne – “Prism Song” Nick Drake – “From The Morning” Sea Oleena – “Untitled” Small Wonder – “Clearly Again” PORCHES. – “Dirty Clean” Infinity Crush – “flowers pt. 2” wim – “hum (c)” Grouper – “Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping” Money – “Hold Me Forever” Foxes in Fiction – “Ontario Gothic” Sales – “For You” king clone – “rubber band”
CHILDREN OF POP: EAST COAST TOUR DIARY JANUARY 2015 by chase demaster
Sunday night Gabe and I boiled down our gear/clothes/merch into two backpacks. 2015 motto, “Travel. Light.” I couldn’t sleep so I take some Nyquil (Drank) and jam on my new drone machine. It is a small box with three triangle oscillators (tone generators) with 3 knobs controlling pitch/frequency. I show Gabe how it works and he takes it for a spin. We play a game of MTG. He, my nostalgic sliver deck, and I, my new knight deck. Knight deck is very quick and I take the game in 7 hands, 0-12. Fun. My wife Holly wakes us up with her morning-person banter/chants at 4:30. Gabe and I miss our layover in LaGuardia at the expense of a few slices. We kicked it for about an hour as they have a shuttle from NTC to Boston every hour or something. We catch up on emails during the “Airplane mode” period. Sitting in an exit row, we are briefed/quizzed on our abilities as quasi-emergency personnel. I pretend Gabe doesn’t speak English and translate the attendants’ monologue to him in Spanish. It’s a bit. We take bets from each other on exercising our skills in blowing open the emergency door and hoping on the wing for kicks until the G-force brings us to drooling/giggling idiots. This is Gabe’s first time to fly on an airplane. The sky between NYC and Boston is about as cold as it is on the ground. We land in Boston and we are lucky to find that conveyer belt speed walking system. We try different tricks... The stand, the moonwalk, the run. We are watching some GBA w/ Pokémon and chargers and tons of scratches on eBay. I’m ready to “Buy now” once we get logged back into the Matrix. We land in Boston having exhausted the plans we forecasted. It’s like this, I never really imagined I would actually be 28 years old. But somehow, I wound up here. Same thing with this trip. Gabe laughs capsulizing the moment/feeling with, “What have we done?!”. I quiz some employees about the cleanest restrooms and cleanest inner net. She tells me I am already in the inner net and the bathroom is to the left. I like Boston. Gabe and I get lost in the ones and zeros. City Mapper tells us we are 149 calories and 2 hours from the venue by foot.
O’Brien’s is a bar with a stage/PA/sound guy/dirty bathroom. They are nice. I think they think we are a punk band. I am wearing black. Ryan directs us to the $0.35 wing hang at “The Draft”. My imagination serves me right, and the draft is loud cheap and slow. Alex from Dear Face is going to meet up with us when he finishes his shift at the classical music record store. He is a percussionist. I reach out through my FB connect to inside job a GBA. My man Josie comes through hard. Diagnoses me as a trainer as opposed to a collector and he dresses me with a tailor made system/story waiting for me once I return. YEEEEE! Gabe and I are not feeling O’Brien’s generally speaking. We enjoy the Dear Face set with rad visuals from Alex’s friend Emma. I think they are dating. They compliment each other in a really genuine and innocent way. It is very becoming and fun to be around. After the show, Ryan hands me $11 and thanks us for playing. I thank him and wonder where the rest of the money is. Alex carpools us to his home and we share musical approaches and ideals till 3:00 a.m. In the morning we grab an amazing breakfast together before Alex drops us off at the bus station. NYC bound. The next day I realize Alex is ironically a tea lover living in Boston. He made tea 3 times. That is the most punk thing I witnessed in Boston. Gabe and I call the top bunk, back row, and we have that huge 5 seat row all to ourselves. Gabe does a bit about how much space he has and spreads out like a starfish. He teaches me about the “whale fart” emoji algorithm and I use it in a text to my girl Holly. After we depart I get way too paranoid, pace up the walk way, find a responsible looking adult and ask him “WHERE ARE WE GOING?!?!”. He looks at me like I’m an absolute crazy and barks, “NEW YORK!!!”. I have a hard time believing him, but do try and digest. I go tell Gabriel, “Gabe! We are going to New York!” with a relieving tone. He’s doesn’t get paranoid like me. We talk about how we are going to use the inner net to send a million emails but we just fall asleep instead. We need it. I wake up on the bus in a panic. “Did we sleep through the part where we are supposed to disembark?!”… I use my maps to find out where I am and where I am going. I think I am okay. Gabe and I waddle around downtown Manhattan as we try and align ourselves with the tempo/BPM of NYC. We grab some sushi and deserts from a Whole Foods and refill curbside. Scared of the subway and too poor to cab, we walk for an hour to the Other Music record store where I am consigning some CHILDREN OF POP music. I realize I have been here once
before. In 2007 I sang Mozart “Solemn Vespers” at Carnegie Hall with my college choir and I bought Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer from Other Music. I remember taking a biz card and thinking how rad it would be if my music was carried there. I give them some physical music and we trek to the venue. We play at Pianos tonight. My friend Ben Godfrey gets to the venue early. Ben and I have played music together for a few years now, he a songwriter and me his guitar player. His band is the best band I had the pleasure of playing in. Ben and I find harmony in our conversation and we are making the best of the evening. Most recent is his sarcastic twitter account where he spells things incorrectly, and gives tips on how others can spell incorrectly. It’s great. Like young people with trading cards we show each other our most recent emoji screen. I think he is impressed with my layout. It feels good. I show him Gabe’s “Whale Fart” algorithm and we laugh. After the show, I meet a producer interested in having CHILDREN OF POP music in his new TV show. We exchange emails and he later sends me this huge script. Feels like work. Nah. Thanks though, Simon from after the show. (“GET A JOB” by GET A LIFE) Our friend Jay suggests a 24 hour Korean BBQ spot he knows and we jam. He covers the bill and we are all grateful. My takeaway was the seafood pancake pizza. Yeah. Seafood. Pancake. Pizza. We sleep in, grab a bite, and pick through the Goodwill/second hand store by Jay’s place. I claim a rad baseball hat that makes me look like a fiery coach. I think Gabe finds himself in a Mets hat and jacket (he’s been borrowing mine and the pockets are ripped out). We go back to Jay’s and he shows us some music he has been inspired by as of late and stuff he has been working on. We drone for a while. Feels good to just drift. Back on the subway, my mind is constantly provoked with, “Where are all these people going?!’’ “How did we get here?!” “Are they even real?!” “Did I produce this situation via my own forecast and energies?!” Jesse from Young Yeller gets to the venue just after we do. Exchange IRL introductions. As I love his voice, I am very jazzed to be making music with him tonight ;) Gabe and I run sound check. Quiet and my voice isn’t quite warmed up means we’ll turn up later and I’ll keep that in mind when I am talking. Have a fun time catching up with Jesse, we have a lot in common. Music school and Full time musician and Musical Theatre and now we are here. We wonder off to grab a bite and share perspectives/jokes. We trade off vamping on a bit about billing acts as “Live” or “DJ” and spin it out for a while … LIVE DJ set with Vocals and sampling solo acoustic with live drums. My buds from Houston Grant and Ben get to the venue and we get to kick it ;) After we get stiffed from the door, THE ROCK SHOP in Brooklyn, we squeeze into a cab back to Ben’s side of the street. Gabe and Grant, both percussionist and computer producer types get deep into all of that and Ben and I discuss growing up. His dad a mechanic, mine works for the Parks and Recreation Department. We just ping pong how our dad’s we’re such hard assess coming up. For some reason I start on a memory when money was tight and I started to cry. Ben gives me a big hug and we try and pretend everything is fine. We deal with things completely differently. I pretend to smile. Ben pretends life isn’t happening. And our music is different too. I am grateful for the energy (clothes) he sends my way. He is kind of like a big brother but we’ll never talk about it.
I beg Ben to take us to the sandwich shop on the way home and he finally bends. He has work early in the morning. “Make it fast,” he says. I race into the spot, and pronounce, “I want the X and Y ratio between the FASTEST and BEST sandwich IYO!!!” This approach doesn’t seem to work so I reboot my plan and settle with my classic, “Surprise me!” While I am waiting a young girl buys a kindness bar and I announce, “My friend Ben designed that bar!!! Ben, my friend, right outside!” (He actually didn’t design it. He is a designer and his company does host Kindness bar as a client, but he didn’t design it lol it was tough to express that idea clearly) I meet another customer named Bill and tell him about Ben’s new sarcastic twitter account where he teaches people how to spell. We share some laughs and find out we follow each other on line. The universe is smaller than the inner net. Or maybe just the same size?! I get a turkey with avocado. I am kind of surprised, but it’s still so good though. Gabe and I stay up all night talking musical ambitions and romance. Gabe is single and gets attention from a few pretty girls. We get deep and end up crying and then mellowing out. Paper/Rock/Scissor and the couch is mine (that’s 2/3 my way this trip) I definitely miss my girl and am getting the homesick feels. Bump over to Main Drag Music … they don’t open till 11 am. I sneak on to the Bolt Bus to DC without having to show a ticket. We zone. Decode the route/money/ticket/direction puzzle that is the DC subway system (Jeeeze it is so lux though) and get to the Electric Lady Community something. Facebook has fourteen people RSVP’d, and they all seem rad. The venue has the blue fold out chairs, 15 in quantity, and the space seems very inviting and honest. Peter, Poppy Patica, was at our show in Oberlin in 2013 opens and is spectacular. He sings with this ribbon-like long tones fueled by plenty of air and reminds me of Elliot Smith. I can’t move. He looks like him too. We start unpacking our gear at our seat (the curator makes it very clear we are supposed to sit and listen while someone is performing) and end up performing from our seats in the audience. It works well. As we begin our set I read some text messages from Holly. I miss her and she is telling me her dinner plans back home. Houstonsteaknight.com . A poorly managed website for cheap steaks specials nightly in Houston. We start with “Taking Over” and my voice is working okay so I try to use it. The song is going in some way. I am reading their energy and we are working together to have an experience, I can feel it. I feel v alive. I try to sing the second verse, “We could get lost, we could share something new.” But I think about Holly and start to cry during the first refrain through the end of the song. I cover my face and peep towards Gabe. He is laughing at me. It makes me laugh at myself and I can then come back to this place. We move into “Physical Attraction”, our Madonna cover, and I take out my phone, locate an archived screen shot of some existential ideas realized by Dolly Parton, and pass it through the audience. I think everyone reads it all the way through which is pretty cool. They seem so engaged in this kind of cult/religious way. It is wild and free. Following through our progression, I bring out my drone box (3 triangle oscillator waves) and rip some wild leads. Having a ton of fun. Before we open into “Charge,” I pass my drone machine to Dan (we got to hang after the show) sitting in the first row and I hear a girl say, “This is the one I like!” to her girlfried. Dan is super musical and ends up playing the drone machine the duration of the set. Adds a ton to this moment.
AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF “ONE WEEK” BY BARENAKED LADIES by david kramer
We all know it. We all love it. But what is lead singer Ed Robertson really saying behind all the rhymes he is busting? I would like to take some time to truly analyze and dissect the masterpiece that ushered in a new era of music into the 21st century. The song begins in a catchy but fairly straightforward manner: It’s been one week since you looked at me Cocked your head to the side and said “I’m angry” Five days since you laughed at me saying “Get that together come back and see me” Three days since the living room I realized it’s all my fault, but couldn’t tell you Yesterday you’d forgiven me but it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a band called Barenaked Ladies is so interesting in singing about dates, because so many calendars feature barenaked ladies. It seems a natural subject matter. Here, the stage has been set for a troubled relationship and a stubborn but likeable male protagonist. But then, things get a little kooky. Hold it now and watch the hoodwink As I make you stop, think You’ll think you’re looking at Aquaman I summon fish to the dish, although I like the Chalet Swiss I like the sushi ‘cause it’s never touched a frying pan Hot like wasabe when I bust rhymes Big like LeAnn Rimes Because I’m all about value Bert Kaempfert’s got the mad hits You try to match wits, you try to hold me but I bust through Gonna make a break and take a fake I’d like a stinkin achin shake I like vanilla, it’s the finest of the flavours Gotta see the show, cause then you’ll know The vertigo is gonna grow Cause it’s so dangerous, you’ll have to sign a waiver We quickly make the transition from the obvious to the abstract. It’s like exploring a museum and leaving the portrait gallery to enter the Duchamp collection. It’s in the same song, but it feels like another universe. The references to food in the beginning are spot on, but nothing truly revs my engine like a good Kaempfert allusion. As they said in his 1960s heyday, he’s got the mad hits. The true irony of this stanza comes in the line “I like vanilla, it’s the finest of the flavours.” First of all, since the band is Canadian, “flavours” does indeed have a “u,” which just makes the song all that much more delicious. Secondly, Ed flips the script on us with his affinity for vanilla, which is objectively the most boring flavour, in the context of the least boring and most “flavourful” song of the late-90s. How can I help it if I think you’re funny when you’re mad Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral Can’t understand what I mean? Well, you soon will I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve I have a history of taking off my shirt The chorus is what truly ties the song together, of course. Ed reverts back to his description of his tumultuous relationship with his partner. As he explains, though, it is simply in his nature.
He’s the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral! Is that appropriate? Maybe not. But you’re talking about a band named Barenaked Ladies. They’re not one to play it safe, or avoid a risk. They live life on the edge--to bring back the flavour topic, perhaps they’re more like a Rocky Road. Ed proceeds to explain that if you don’t know what he means, you soon will. I will admit, this is a troubling reference. What will we soon know? That he laughs at funerals? Why will we know? Is there a funeral soon? Is this a death threat? Ed frightens me here, and I’m going to keep an eye out for the rest of the song. He also might remove his shirt--okay Ed. I’m worried. It’s been one week since you looked at me Threw your arms in the air and said “You’re crazy” Five days since you tackled me I’ve still got the rug burns on both my knees It’s been three days since the afternoon You realized it’s not my fault not a moment too soon Yesterday you’d forgiven me And now I sit back and wait til you say you’re sorry I would like to start addressing Ed directly, because I am now concerned. In the first section, you explained how your partner was upset at you. Now you’re is saying that she knows it’s her fault. That’s interesting, Ed. What happened? Maybe a murder threat? Curious. And gosh, how needy are you. She already forgave you but you’re still looking for an apology? Take what you can get,
brother. You’re on thin ice. I have my eye on you. Chickity China the Chinese chicken You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’ Watchin’ X-Files with no lights on We’re dans la maison I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one Like Harrison Ford I’m getting frantic Like Sting I’m tantric Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy What are you talking about? Like Kurasawa I make mad films Okay, I don’t make films But if I did they’d have a Samurai Gonna get a set a’ better clubs Gonna find the kind with tiny nubs Just so my irons aren’t always flying off the back-swing Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon ‘Cause the cartoon has got the boom anime babes That make me think the wrong thing This is extraordinarily creepy and I would like to formally request that you stop talking about your fetish for anime girls. That’s fine if you’re into it, but I would prefer not to hear about it, especially when you describe it as “the wrong thing.” Ed, you’re not helping your case. It’s been one week since you looked at me Dropped your arms to your sides and said “I’m sorry” Five days since I laughed at you and said “You just did just what I thought you were gonna do” Three days since the living room We realized we’re both to blame, but what could we do? Yesterday you just smiled at me Cause it’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry Oh, I see she apologized. Good for you, Ed. Really coerced that one out of her. Also, you laughed at her two days after her apology because it was predictable? Dude, you threatened her and begged her to apologize. You’re not a nice man, Ed. Not a nice man at all. Also, wait, did she apologize or not? It’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry Because you said she apologized. It’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry You said it happened a week ago. Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie What?
A VALENTINE’S DAY MIX by rachel corson
Don’t get me wrong, I love Valentine’s Day, I love chocolate, I love Love. However, there is something to be said about dancing alone in your room, with the volume cranked up singing your heart out. I mean, if it makes you happy it can’t be that bad, right? Happy Valentines day, xoxo Rachel 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
“Foundations” – Kate Nash “No Way To Treat A Lady” – Bonnie Raitt “If It Makes You Happy” – Sheryl Crow “I Wanna Love You” – Jessica Lea Mayfield “Blah Blah Blah” – Girlpool “I Heard You Say” – Vivian Girls “Be Good” – Waxahatchee “6’1’’” – Liz Phair “Breakin’ Up” – Rilo Kiley “The Apocalypse Song” – St. Vincent “Express Yourself” – Madonna “It’s Too Late” – Carole King “Never Going Back Again” – Fleetwood Mac “No Scrubs” – TLC
IF YOU WANNA BE MY LOVER… 14 LOVE SONGS TO WOO YOUR LOW LEVEL CRUSH by amanda dissinger
Valentine’s Day is coming up in case you haven’t walked by the window of a drug store or flower shop lately. I’m mostly planning to lay low with some 80s movies and trail mix and my awesome invisible boyfriend, but I know some of you have bigger plans. Whether it’s the guy in your office that you’ve been silently watching from afar (in a totally non-creepy way) for a creepy amount of time waiting to strike up a conversation about how you both totally love quinoa, or the cute girl you see every day on the subway who loves the same author you do, or I guess really anyone you have a “low level crush” on (a crush that you’ve been holding onto for weeks, months or years that you would love to do something about), you should march to their door (because you totally know where their apartment is) with two single roses and a CD containing all of the following songs and tell them how you feel.* * I cannot be held responsible for the outcome of said love declaration, but that being said, I will be accepting gifts if somehow I create a match made in heaven through music. Since Valentine’s Day is February 14th (right?) I will be sharing with you 14 of my favorite love songs, on the days when I feel the imminent ~power of love.~ These songs would most definitely win my heart so I’m hoping they work magic for you. Most of these a lot of them are 80s and 90s songs because I will forever want to be the main character in an 80s or 90s teen movie, but if you haven’t heard these songs, they are amazing. Also, at lost of these make sure you’re ready for the emotional commitment because these are really not subtle songs that you like someone (and/or YOLO) 1. “Thirteen” by Big Star // This is one of my very favorite songs ever. So innocent and so powerful and so quiet. There’s been a lot of covers of this song, so if there’s one you prefer by an artist close to your heart, go with that. 2. “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel // If you have heard this song and don’t like it, you probably don’t have a heart. I’m kidding, but also not entirely. This song is like so beautiful, like so beautiful. LIKE SO BEAUTIFUL. And it also springs to mind the classic movie Say Anything… which would be a great movie for you to watch on your first date (I’m jumping ahead but actually) 3. “Lovefool” by The Cardigans // Okay so I love the 80s and 90s you guys, but this song is just something else. Whenever I hear this song anywhere I just want to sing it at the top of my lungs, like “LOVE ME LOVE ME SAAAAYY THAT YOU LOVE ME” and I think that’s okay. 4. “Linger” by The Cranberries // Another 90s fave. I once danced on a roof in the Brooklyn summer with this guy I really liked to this and I wish a perfect moment like that for all of you dear readers.
5. “Another Night” by Real McCoy // This is a wild card, to basically test if your almost beloved has a sense of humor, an appreciation for 90s club culture and can dance. I consider all of these to be very important qualities in a near lover, so you can thank me later. 6. “Open Your Heart” or “Crazy for You” by Madonna // Depending on the vibe you want for your mix, choose the 80s Madonna song that works. “Crazy for You” is very passionate and yearning, “Open Your Heart” is an upbeat kind of yearn, which also makes an ideal karaoke song. 7. “Passenger Seat” by Death Cab For Cutie // Every mix CD I make has to have a few songs I adored as a younger version of myself. This is my favorite Death Cab song which is saying a lot- I was obsessed with them for most of my “formative years” (aka, like 13-20 probably). This song reminds me of the times when you look at someone and can only think about how much you care for them. 8. “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money // Not the most romantic song but probably the most rockin’ of the bunch. There’s sax and 80s goodness and a viciously rad chorus. 9. “I Want You” by Mitski // I think this is the only real recent song on this mix. I talk about how great Mitski is super frequently, and the lyrics of this song are perfect, an older song of hers that always makes me tear up a bit (I’m emotional sometimes) 10. “If You leave” by OMD or Nada Surf // I prefer the OMD version as it’s in the pivotal last scene of “Pretty in Pink” but Nada Surf one is great. This is one of my favorite songs, because it will instantly lighten my mood if I hear it in a grocery store, Dunkin Donuts etc. The OMD version is preferred as well because of the funky sax-y breakdown in the middle, whereas the Nada Surf one is a bit quieter. 11. “Love Will Never Do Without You” by Janet Jackson // Someone very cool in my life brought this song to my attention again, and I realized how extremely catchy it is. Also, this mix has gotta have some divas. 12. “Missing You” by John Waite // I love virtually everything about this song and I think it’s awesome to have a song that basically says “I miss you so much even when I just talked to you five minutes ago” on a love mix. I take walks and listen to this song a lot, highly recommended. 13. “As Lovers Go” OR “Dusk and Summer” by Dashboard Confessional // This is another song from my youth and because I’m probably regressing, I love this band more than ever. You can judge me but Chris Carraba is just so totally ideal and sensitive and these songs still hold meaning to me ~10 years after I first heard them. 14. “If You Were Here” by Thompson Twins // This is the last song of Sixteen Candles. I have always wanted a Jake Ryan kind of situation in my life, where the hunk I have a thing for shows up at my sister’s wedding in a cool car and sweeps me away. This probably won’t happen, but my sister IS getting married soon… Bonus Track: “Dreaming of You” by Selena // One word: Interlude. Selena’s in this song absolutely rules.