Listening to the new Animal Collective album

I downloaded Animal Collective’s new album Centipede Hz, and decided I would chart what I noticed as I listened to it and surfed the internet doing research on the Harlem Renaissance. (FYI, it looks like a grad student at Columbia recently unearthed a previously unknown-to-exist Claude McKay manuscript. Pretty significant news, via NYTimes.)


Music / 2 Comments
September 17th, 2012 / 2:47 pm

DIED: An Ontario, California Rapper who called himself Inkyy or Jew’elz

A young, Southern California rapper who maybe went by the names Inkyy or Jew’Elz died in a car accident. According to the obituary in the UK’s Daily Mail (Online edition), Ervin McKinness (Inkyy/Jew’elz’s government name) had, moments before the car he was a passenger in ran into a wall after running a red light, tweeted the following:

Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO

It is not believed that Inkyy was driving the car 120 miles an hour or drifting corners, but that he and his friends were—as he self-reports—”drunk as fuck” when they hit the wall. Five people died. It was 1:20am. Another report said they were at Creekside Drive and Haven Avenue: here. This article has video from the scene. There is an iron fence south of the LDS church on the southwest corner. I’m fairly certain that’s the one shown in the video.


A question one can ask about Existentialism—whether it is life affirming or life denying—can, I think, also be asked about #YOLO (You Only Live Once). It depends, it seems, on who is hashtagging. There are certainly those who have embraced #YOLO as life affirming. As of Friday, September 14, 1885 people have RTed Inkyy’s unintentionally final words. Those folks seem to have embraced #YOLO as life denying.

Where will you stand? #FuckIt. I stand with life affirming.

Have a good weekend, everyone. If you’re drunk af, stay off the streets. Inkyy’s video “Dreams” after the cut. READ MORE >

Music / 4 Comments
September 14th, 2012 / 4:52 pm

DIED: Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire Sisters

A McGuire sister passed away last Friday. As the New York Times obit points out, the McGuire Sisters sang simple, traditional pop songs in contrast to the low, burbling, grinding roil of early rock and roll music. When the McGuire Sisters made a hit out of the song “Sugartime,” history’s greatest rock and roll performer, Jerry Lee Lewis, was marrying his cousin and putting out “High School Confidential.” But they have their charms.

I’m going to just go ahead and admit that I find something particularly distressing about the death of the member of a ’50s close-harmony singing group made up of sisters. Those acts took such pains to eradicate all but the subtlest differences between them in their presentation, worked so hard to let the collective subsume the individuals. (All with nearly the same hairstyle, in nearly the same dress, bantering with Perry Como with nearly the same wit and tone, singing a song with nearly the same notes.) And, sure, they don’t perform anymore. They are in their 80s. But one imagines they sing at home sometimes. And one imagines they hear the other two when they sing at home sometimes. And one imagines they might hear a change in one of their phantom sister voices.

Music / 5 Comments
September 11th, 2012 / 3:17 pm

Did I call it or did I call it? Pitchfork’s People’s List

The People Hath Spokeneth:

I predicted:

5. Dismemberment Plan: Emergency & I
4. Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Under the Sea
3. Radiohead: OK Computer
2. Arcade Fire: Funeral
1. Radiohead: Kid A

Turns out I was way off regarding Emergency & I, which ranked only 103rd. But otherwise—not too bad, eh? (Shoulda just gone with more Radiohead!)

Joan of Arc, unsurprisingly, did not crack the Top 200. Also unsurprising, Kanye West is the only black musician in the Top 20! (Outkast adds yet more “diversity” to the list at #35.) And wouldn’t you just love to see a breakdown by color/sex? (Someone get on that!)

In total, 27,981 people voted. Why, that’s almost the number of hipsters who live in Logan Square, Chicago!



Music / 50 Comments
August 22nd, 2012 / 10:13 pm

Pitchfork’s Les Misérables List

Kid Cosette

Have you seen that Pitchfork Media finally wants input from their readers, asking folks to vote for their favorite albums 1996–2012? (That’s years 1–16 Anno Pitchfork.) Between this and The Dark Knight Rises, 2012 sure has been good for the proletariat: rise up, ye 99%, and go watch a movie, and vote online! When you’re finished, you can share your list with friends via Facebook and Twitter. If you like, you can even write a little something about your #1 pick for possible inclusion in the final feature!

You can also check a box to enter a Sweepstakes to win a Trip to the Pitchfork Paris Music Festival, but make sure you READ CAREFULLY the Official Contest Rules

Me, I can’t wait to share my commoner’s thoughts, little though they are. Off the top of my head:

1. Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves
2. They Might Be Giants: Mink Car
3. R.E.M.: Up
4. The Strokes: First Impressions of Earth
5. Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist


Music / 26 Comments
August 10th, 2012 / 10:55 am


I know that you know as well as I do how fast thoughts and associations can fly through your head. You can be in the middle of a creative meeting at your job or something, and enough material can rush through your head just in the little silences when people are looking over their notes and waiting for the next presentation that it would take exponentially longer than the whole meeting just to try to put a few seconds’ silence’s flood of thoughts into words. This is another paradox, that many of the most important impressions and thoughts in a person’s life are ones that flash through your head so fast that fast isn’t even the right word, they seem totally different from or outside of the regular sequential clock time we all live by, and they have so little relation to the sort of linear, one-word-after-another-word English we all communicate with each other with that it could easily take a whole lifetime just to spell out the contents of one split-second’s flash of thoughts and connections, etc.—and yet we all seem to go around trying to use English (or whatever language our native country happens to use, it goes without saying) to try to convey to other people what we’re thinking and to find out what they’re thinking, when in fact deep down everybody knows it’s a charade and they’re just going through the motions. What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny little part of it at any given instant.

Music & Power Quote / 5 Comments
July 26th, 2012 / 11:00 am

We Are All Coeval

Mykki Blanco – “Join My Militia (Nas Gave Me A Perm)”
Directed By: Mitch Moore

Affect arises in the midst of in-between-ness: in the capacities to act and be acted upon. Affect is an impingement or extrusion of a momentary or sometimes more sustained state of relation as well as the passage (and the duration of passage) of forces or intensities. That is, affect is found in those intensities that pass body to body (human, nonhuman, part-body, and otherwise), in those resonances that circulate about, between, and sometimes stick to bodies and worlds, and in the very passage or variations between these intensities and resonances. (Gregory Seigworth and Melissa Gregg, “Introduction” to The Affect Theory Reader)
Music / 4 Comments
July 18th, 2012 / 9:30 am

Frank Ocean Channel Orange Listening Party

Music by Frank Ocean. Commentary by David Fishkind, Adam Humphreys, Erik Stinson. Food by Trader Joes and Bob and Betty’s.

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange – Have Fun With It

Music / 10 Comments
July 12th, 2012 / 9:30 pm

Sentimental Education


Jani Lane, the lead singer of Warrant, was found dead from acute alcohol poisoning at the Comfort Inn in Woodland Hills, California on Thursday August 11, 2011. He, to those who would bother Google imaging him, would seem visibly more and more depressed in correlation with his age, perceived failure, and weight gain. Warrant’s sophomore effort Cherry Pie (1990) topped at No. 7 on the The Billboard 200, though their biggest hit was off their debut album “Heaven,” a place which Lane promised his groupies wasn’t too far away. The titular first single “Cherry Pie” featured model Bobbie Brown, who was dating one of the Nelson brothers (of Nelson, the band) at the time, with whom she broke up in order to be with Lane. One suspects Brown cheated on Nelson with Lane, and laconically dealt with relationship logistics later. Starfucking has always been cosmic-like, explosions of gas in a black universe. Subsequent facial surgeries have rendered Brown severe looking, which makes me, this petty memoirist, happy. In an interview with VH1, Lane said, in regards to “Cherry Pie” being his legacy, “I could shoot myself in the fucking head for writing that song.” You can see a tear well up in his eye.


Music / 12 Comments
June 14th, 2012 / 10:45 pm

Sticky Fingers

In 1984, a year masquerading as a didactic yet prophetic novel, the real person of my father was kicked out of his home by the real person of my mother; I make such differentiation because real life, containing such real people, has no front and back cover, only addendums and epilogues under constant revision, not to mention a disorganized index of horror. My father, whose emotional abuse was verging on physical, recently kicked out after a bad night involving a six-pack of import beer and a kitchen knife, just past 40, rented a room four blocks away in a house he proudly referred to as of “bachelors,” showing me the cool Mazda RX-7 parked in the driveway, whose owner greeted this narrator with a swift “hey” in the manner of a dude out to party who wanted nothing to do with his new 41-year-old roommate and his 8-year-old son engaged in their ongoing “Sunday visits,” whose unnatural allocation was incurred by the former’s domestic transgression.


Music / 22 Comments
May 9th, 2012 / 3:01 pm

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