Friday, December 17, 2021

Hipster Shit vol.1 : Top 10 Things of 2021

10. Nature’s Generator Elite (tech)
This is a great electric battery generator that comes with solar panels to charge it off the grid. It has built in wheels and a retractable handle, which makes it perfect for carting around. Buying this unlocked a whole world of potential activities for me. Kind of expensive and heavy, but absolutely worth it.

9. Eddie Kingston (wrestler)
He’s the best promo on TV, and his match with Bryan Danielson on the October 29th episode of Rampage was a classic. I’ve been sold on Kingston since I heckled him at a Chikara show in 2012 and he yelled at I way that struck fear in me like I haven’t felt since childhood. Glad to see this man finally get his due.

8. oversized white dress shirts (clothes)
If you want to feel like you’re on top of the world then go to a thrift store, buy a white dress shirt that is two sizes too big, get it cleaned, pressed, starched, roll up the sleeves, and keep it unbuttoned so it flies behind you as you ride a bike downhill. Dress like you can’t be touched and act like you can’t get hurt. The best.

7. The Morning Show (tv)
I have never seen a single thing in my life where the chasm between terrible and masterful is this wide. The writing and direction of this show are often college undergrad levels of depth, but the cast of all bring A+ levels of performance even if it sometimes feels as if they are acting in different shows.

6. A decade and a half of instability (article)
This Ars Technica article covers the entirety of Google's forays into messaging. Good insight on how one of the biggest tech companies in the world cannot get something simple like messaging right simply because of its size. Also, I am old enough that I remember vividly when each of these messaging platforms came out, so reading this felt to me like how watching the movie Boyhood felt. This is an incredibly read if you have several hours to kill.

5. contemporary X-Men series (comics)
X-Men comics have frequently been Marvel’s weirdest franchise, and since 2019 it feels as if Marvel is giving them one last hurrah before they get folded into the MCU machine and have all their rough edges sanded off. Basically, in this story all the mutants, hero and villain, team up and move to an island together and figure out how to remove the soul from the body. Also the island is alive and can teleport them places. It's a new sci-fi classic.

4. “Cool” by Gwen Stefani (music)
I don’t remember this song being a massive hit, but I’ve been noticing it get covered, played at parties and performed on karaoke a lot this year. It is about coming out the other side of a bad break-up being friends with your ex. In the chorus the narrator reminds us, maybe a little too much, that they’re cool now. This over-eagerness to reconcile the past and move forward makes it truly the perfect song for the Joe Biden era. Shoutout to Mallory Hawk for being the first person I saw cover it, and for doing a great job with it.

3. white ribbed cotton (clothes)
I saw a lot of this over the summer and into the fall, and honestly I think there is a lot of juice left in this trend going into 2022. We’re going to see a lot of different color ribbed cottons, but is there anything sexier than a clean ribbed cotton tank top so white and thin you can practically see through it? I think not.

2. Pupusas Ridgewood (restaurant)
These are the best pupusas, and they are $3 a pop and half a block from my apartment. I made a habit of going here for dinner every Monday, and it was the perfect way to start each week. This trend will also go hard into 2022.

1. Sailor Moon (tv show / Internet half-life)
I had never watched Sailor Moon before this year, but my sister is a huge fan of the show, so when I saw it was up on Hulu I made it my New Year's Resolution to watch every episode in 2021. I finished by the end of August, and watched all of Sailor Moon Crystal in September. The algo picked up on my newfound Sailor Moon preoccupation and it flooded my IG Discover page with the best find being the admittedly basic and obvious account @nocontextsailormoon.

My favorite thing about Sailor Moon is that basically nothing happens in an episode, and the structure of the show is so formulaic that the 90 seconds of actual plot you get in any given episode is pretty much the same thing that happened in all the other episodes. All this leaves is these 5 girls that make up the Sailor Guardians and they're relationship with each other. Usagi cries. Rei fights. Ami mediates. Mako longs. Minako envies.

I'd watch exactly one episode before bed. I'd take a melatonin, go outside and watch a Sailor Moon on my phone as I smoked a cigarette, then go inside and take another melatonin before falling asleep. They all felt like my friends, and it seems unavoidable that 2021 is the year of Sailor Moon.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Ray Bull - "2am"

The first time I heard this song it felt like walking in the apartment of someone I never met before, throwing away my coffee cup without having to ask where they hid the trash in the kitchen, using their bathroom after intuitively guess which door it was behind, and plugging in my phone to the charger I know they keep plugged in by the TV. The music flowed so naturally. Every new section kicked in exactly when needed. I felt like I heard heard it a million times, but it didn’t sound like anything I had heard before. It was perfect in exactly the way I want things to be, but it was somehow entirely new. The song has this great climax that dips at the exactly right time. It is, inarguably, my favorite song of 2021.

"2am" is a crystalline example of what I want: hyper specificity in a way that resonates as universally as possible. In this case, it is about being drunk, missing your ex, texting them too much at a time that is too late, and then jerking off to an old picture you have of them. Maybe you have literally done this. Definitely you have figuratively done this.

Historically, I think we lack good faith depictions of male sexuality in a way that reflects an underlying sexist mentality. By and large, men are sexual subjects and women are sexual objects. Sexualizing a heterosexual man implies otherwise. More recently, I feel that the lack of earnest portrayals of straight male sexuality stems from a fear on behalf of men that being publicly sexual will provoke a public reconciling of their past sexual activity.

There is an element of this that is innocent and natural. Our first adolescent relationship to our sexuality is often that is the source of potential humiliation, and this fear is validated over time on account that sex IS (of course) humiliating. However, there is another element to the new aversion of male sexuality that, like our historical aversion to it, feels sexist. If public sexuality will lead to public adjudication of past behavior then we can optimistically assume this stems from an acknowledgement that you can never truly understand someone else’s experience, or we can pessimistically assume that this comes from a belief that to the extent that men’s sexuality is public it is only to be used for women to gain power.

still blowing up your phone
waiting for your call
it’s 2am I’m dumb

old pictures on my phone
I’m looking at your tongue
and comin’ on my own

hey hey baby
can we see things through
do you love me?
you know you left me blue

I don’t think this song is sexist. I think it’s gross, but it is gross in the same way I am gross, and that probably you are also. In that grossness, I think it is beautiful. It is a song about being neurotic that itself lacks neurosis. What more could you want?


PS - I hate this music video. It undercuts the entire song.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Ray Bull - "Mole Life"

This is the prelude to my post later this week about the Ray Bull song that was my favorite song of 2021. "Mole Life" was my second favorite song. Listen to it.

It's good, trust me.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Bamenda - "Calculate"

After all of my shows this year I would DJ this song. Once a show ends the first 5 minutes or so are kind of a wash because everyone is telling everyone else how good it was blah blah blah then try to figure out where they are all going after this. The first two songs played are just going to get talked over. The third song will also get talked over, but people will also listen passively as it fills in the valleys of their small talk. “Calculate” was my go to song three.

After a month of playing this song for everyone once a week I realized that they were starting to learn it. It’s a longer song at over 6 minutes, and it has 3 distinct parts that all share a propulsive rhythm with this unique circular synth sound. I can’t tell if it is a keyboard of drum pad, but it has the hypnotic effect of a spiral. This is the part of the song I saw people learn first, but I don’t think they knew they were learning it. I would see them sway back and fourth and circle their hands in pattern with that sound, and their hands would intuit the big shift from one section of the song to another. I overhead someone say “Oh I love this song” the last time I put it on. It has under 1000 plays on Spotify.

Getting a song stuck in your head is an oddly intimate occurrence. Whenever there is blank space in your mind there is this song sitting on deck to stop you from thinking about how your relationship with your parents effects you to this day, or whatever. Why interrogate why you are afraid of dying but compulsively do risky activities when you can interrogate who let the dogs out? A few months ago someone was sleeping in my bed when I could not. We went to sleep together, but I woke up 2 hours later and lied there as I wondered how much longer I had to pretend to be asleep, and this song filled the valley of my morning. At breakfast she told me that she kept waking up and was waiting for me stop sleeping. I still wonder what the fuck she thought about that whole time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Slic - "Perfect Day"

I fell in love with someone I am no longer with, and that relationship is bookended by periods of when I was very bad at my job. The latter part, it almost goes without saying, was due to a break-up induced depression that transitioned into a free fall both professional and personal. At the start of the relationship I was just too in love to care about anything else. My apartment wasn’t cleaned. Emails would go days with responses. Deadlines were missed. Every day I woke up hungover and so excited about getting to spend another day in love.

had a hundred dollars now I've got none
had a love I turned it to a headache
called out of work just to waste away
days at your place can you blame me

“Perfect Day” fits equally well as either bookend. You could be crippled with heartache or awestruck by romance. The lyrics are sung in a way that is wistful and restrained, but the music has a slow but club-focused beat. It’s fun but has a sadness that lingers when the beat drops and the lyrics echos. A lot of the song’s energy comes from anticipation. It feels like something amazing is going to happen, but the song never breaks. It never drops. You never get what you’re asking for. I don’t doubt it is there, but Slic never fully gives it to you, kind of like how without anything to plug into it an outlet is just a hole in your wall.

When I feel the worst about that relationship, I feel like an outlet.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Slime Queen - "Catsitting"

Heartbreak can be backward or forward looking. Backward looking in replaying how you meet, your initial date, them seeing you cry for the first time, when you went to the museum for their birthday, how you miss going grocery shopping together. Forward looking in mourning the life you could have had together. How you imagined getting married and having kids, but neither of those things will be happening and now you have to start over. If you’re upset for long enough the forward looking heartbreak becomes this weird present-day alternate reality you live in moments when you say to yourself, “I bet we would have moved in together by now.”

“Catsitting” is about the sad present catching up to your diverted future. In it the narrator reflects on a time with their ex cat sitting for another couple and the bubble they got to inhabit together. Here they could fantasize they were older, more grounded, wealthier, and together.

nothing like having sex
by other people’s pets
on a casper mattress
we couldn’t afford

pictures on the wall
of a real couple
with a past and future
we’re twenty four

The couple falls out of love and breaks up. Time passes and the narrator no longer feels at home. They sound almost paralyzed as if making any movement or decision with their life would be admitting defeat. When someone is broken up and does not want to be the only weapon they have is the ability to be petulant and deny their conditions. Changing conditions requires accepting them.

won’t sign my name to
any one year lease
i seek you in
instability

is it too late to hold you
in the apartment we shared
the apartment we shared
that wasn’t ours

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December 17th - JMC33

December 17th - 8pm
@ Gottscheer Hall
Ridgewood, Queens
POSTPONED DUE TO COVID

FREE. M to Seneca. L to Myrtle-Wyckoff.



Donate to the event here.

The only funding for this show is from donations. There is $1500 in overhead expenses & artist guarantees, and all money after that is split evenly between the three artists and myself. If the donations end up being less than $1500 all the artists and staff will still be paid at my personal expense. Budget below.

  • room fee $800
  • artist guarantees $450 ($150 x 3 artists)
  • sound person $150
  • moving PA to / from my apartment (~ $100)


Bandcamp. Instagram. Twitter.


Bandcamp. Instagram. Twitter.


Bandcamp. Instagram. Twitter.