Thursday, November 24, 2022

Fanclub vol. 5 Ryan Sheehan

 Fanclub is a semi-regular recommendation series where I talk to Normal People about the Things They Like. 

Ryan Sheeham (he/him) - New Paltz, NY
I know Ryan because he is dating my niece.

JMC: What have you been listening to lately?
RS: Definitely a lot of Peter Gabriel recently. Every couple months I’ll slip back into a Peter Gabriel phase, specifically his third self titled record. Aside from Gabriel I’ve been diving into Deradoorian’s catalog. She’s incredible and versatile. A lot of Low as of late too, sadly as a result of the heartbreaking passing of Mimi Parker. A truly heavy loss. Such a talent, with a voice that always gave me chills. Oh and some Sade for good measure! 

JMC: How’d you get into Deradoorian?
RS: I kept hearing the name a few years ago, I think first in an interview with Fleet Foxes. I checked out couple of songs, then forgot about it. But the name came popping up in my head. Something about it just stuck with me, so recently I went back to her stuff, and found out she’s released a ton since I last listened.

JMC: Are there any shows coming up you are excited about?
RS: Gonna be seeing Bitchin Bajas, a psychedelic trio, on December 3rd at Tubby’s in Kingston. Been wanting to catch them for quite awhile now. They make some of the most beautifully hypnotic music since Tangerine Dream. Apart from that I actually have a show coming up on November 22nd at Snugs in New Paltz that’ll be the debut of a new band consisting of me and one of my closest friends, Matt.

JMC: What’s the show scene in the Hudson Valley like right now? For a few years my friends from Brooklyn have been moving there, and I think they always expect it to be Brooklyn with trees because they spent a weekend at Storm King or in Hudson.
RS: It’s definitely a bit of that, but everything is so spread apart which I think causes this lack of cohesion, and I think actually is a good thing. I wouldn’t say the Hudson Valley has any kind of definable sound. There’s an incredible spectrum of bands from hardcore to folk. A lot of really great artists are based out of here. But with that spectrum also comes the complete mediocrity of the singer/songwriter craft brewery circuit that I really have no time for.

JMC: What’s something good going on there? Are there any good venues or specific bands?
RS: Tubby’s in Kingston is definitely a stand out venue. Whoever is doing their booking is killing it. Great local bands as well as classic indie bands are playing there all the time. My friend Nik’s band Overturn is a killer stoner metal band. Another friend of mine, Dennis, just started this thrash band called Sinner's Table that absolutely rips. They’re based out of Poughkeepsie. The Bobby Lees are another sick band, based out of Woodstock, who actually just recently got signed to Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records.

JMC: What is something you've been hearing a lot about but haven't fully made your mind up about yet?
RS: Whatever the thing is, I’ve made up my mind... I think. 

JMC: Do you really not have anything you’re undecided about? You are firm on everything you’ve seen and heard? I don’t believe that! Okay, well, what’s the last thing you changed your mind about?
RS: First thing that comes to mind would be Spielberg. I grew up with his movies as a kid of course, but as I became a pretentious young adult I came to despise him. I just thought he was completely overrated, sappy, predictable, and boring. But now I’ve started to go back and watch some of his stuff and I couldn’t have been more wrong. The man knows how to make a movie. He’s an absolute master of the craft, even with some of the stuff I don’t personally love.

JMC: What do you do all day for money?
RS: I work at a bar called The Wherehouse. I suppose it puts bread on the table.

Friday, November 18, 2022

HUSHPUPPY - 'I'm Trying'

Yes, my friends, I too am a sucker for nostalgia, and this song immediately brought me back to 2008. Aggressive but soft. Propulsive and focused but also lilting. It reminded me of Vivian Girls and Times New Viking. It made me feel the way I felt when I stopped seeing that one therapist who said if I could try to make friends on the Internet if I was having troubles with loneliness. A lot of 2022 has been spent trying to avoid discussion of the late-aughts lest I get sucked into vibe-shift discourse, but ‘I’m Trying’ had me missing the music scene that proliferated right before chillwave. 

Nostalgia in and of itself is almost never interesting, but the why behind it cane sometimes have merit. HUSHPUPPY really nails the crux of what made lo-fi and shitgaze so compelling. We wanted music that sounded like equal parts having-a-crush and about-to-fight. I still don’t know why.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Fanclub vol. 4 Yasmina Tawil

Fanclub is a semi-regular recommendation series where I talk to Normal People about the Things They Like. 

Yasmina Tawil (she/her) - Brooklyn, NY
I know Yasmina because we shared an apartment at Silent Barn together.

JMC: What have you been listening to lately?
YT: I’ve been in the mood for things that are dark, loud and heavy lately. The exact genre changes day to day, but Bob Vylan, Knocked Loose, Turnstile, PUP, Idles and, for some reason, Sick Puppies have been in heavy rotation. On the odd days I haven't been in the mood for that sound, it's been twen's album "One Stop Shop" or Rubblebucket's album "Earth Worship" basically on repeat.

JMC: Can you please explain Turnstile to me? What makes them special? I feel like I’m missing it.
YT: Oh God. I can’t wait to be called a poser.

JMC: No, I don’t think you’re a poser! I just cannot tell a good punk band from a bad punk band, so when there is a punk band people really like I can’t tell why.
YT: Something about Turnstile’s music just gets my blood boiling. It makes me want to jump and dance. I could not tell you the first thing, musically, why that is. I was, unfortunately, a late adopter to the band after years of people telling me I’d love them, but their current sound and audience has become very *ahem* bro-y. But it still hits for me so fuck it! I love it! I wish I had listened sooner.

JMC: When is the first time someone called you a poser?
YT: I don’t think anyone has ever called me a poser to my face, but it’s a constant fear I have. I have definitely been teased about my taste in music before though.

JMC: If nobody has said it to your face why is it a fear? Wouldn’t it be easy to conclude it isn’t a thing people think about you?
YT: Because I think people do think it about me even if they don’t use the word!  Ever since I got into music in a real way I was always kind of behind or too late to something. I got into Green Day in the American Idiot era and I had fellow middle schoolers telling me it was lame. I don’t know classic rock at all, or classic movies.

JMC: What do you do all day for money?
YT: Well, I just quit my full time job, so right now I'm the Director of Film Programming at the Arab Film and Media Institute, and I will be pouring beer at Banter during the World Cup. 

JMC: What does being the Director of Film Programming entail? Are you the one who has the watch all the movies that are submitted?
YT: Yeah more or less! I handle everything regarding programming at AFMI. I do have a programming committee for the film festival that helps me get through everything, but I make the final curatorial decisions and arrange the licensing and delivery of the films. Throughout the rest of the year I do it all more or less by myself.

JMC: This is going to sound like a dumb question, but how do you decide what movies are good and make it into the festival?
YT: It’s not a dumb question! It is a complex answer though.

The first level is basic production value. It doesn’t have to be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, but I tend not to program things that have notable image or sound issues or really bad acting and writing. In certain situations good stories can win out over production value, but there is still a sort of base level the films should reach.

After that I start to explore different themes I’d like to see in the festival. This year, I wanted to put together something more diverse in terms of subject & genre. I leaning more towards queer films, comedies, and genre films. Ultimately, some of this is determined by what is created, available or submitted that year, but I do take note of that. I then also consider diversity in things such as gender, countries and such, and try to create a lineup that is rich and diverse in that regard as well. 

Then to a certain degree I have to take into consideration what our audience wants to see. I don’t compromise on my vision or quality but things that have a lot of buzz, awards, or Oscar submissions may be more likely to be part of the lineup.

JMC: What percentage of the movies you watched in the last year do you think were related to this festival in some way?
YT: At least 50%.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


ZOOMDWEEBY consistently displays one of my favorite traits a musician can posses by having many audible influences and never sounding like a specific one. It feels new, but also as if it was made by someone roughly my age with roughly the same formative taste. I had the lyrics to this song sent to me, and I still have no clue what this song is about. The imagery is specific, grandiose, and vivid, but it all made the song feeling secretive. Mysterious in the way handsome men in movies are mysterious. Attractive because it is hiding nothing, but still has something inaccessible and faintly out of reach.

'ReWiNd' isn't even my favorite ZOOMDWEEBY song. It's just the one I think is most interesting.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Liza Winter - 'Steeping'

Stops go by
I sit on a train
See your eyes
When I close mine

This song is beautiful! It is pretty simple present-tense narrative of a person disassociating on a train in a state of longing. The lyrics are sung over the strumming of an acoustic guitar accompanied with sparse but charming guitar twinkles, and it ends when a memory of the missing partner is interrupted by the realization that they missed their stop on the train. Bada-bing bada-boom, now you're sad.

For a while I was not sure why this song stuck with me the way it did, but I realized recently that it is the title and what it implies. What is the difference between steeping in a feeling and wallowing in it? Nobody steeps tea for the hell of it; it is something you do because you want the tea made by steeping the leaves. Wallowing, however? That's definitely the main course.

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Cradle - 'Joke's on You'

Ostensibly ‘Joke’s on You’ is about debased humiliation, and not the good kind. 

It centers a haughty person down on their luck and calling for help, ignorant that they have been helped this entire time. It is humbling to look around at your conditions and know that all of this shit is actually the best case scenario. Could have been worse if you were poor! Or black. Or whatever. Some people are very fortunate in that they get a few extra lives, and other people go through the world knowing that everything they have done can be rendered futile with one innocuous decision. Imagine someone thinks they are tapping into their first extra life when we all know they’re on the fourth. 

It’s infuriating. Haha. Joke’s on them.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

December 10th - JMC34 w/ Dougie Poole, Anna Fox Rochinski, and Crosslegged

December 10th - 8pm
@ Gottscheer Hall
657 Fairview Ave
Ridgewood, Queens

+Dougie Poole [NY] (10:40pm)
++Anna Fox Rochinski [NY] (9:50pm)
+++Crosslegged [NY] (9pm)

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

Donate to the event here.

The only funding for this show is from donations. There is $1850 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 $1850 all the artists and staff will still be paid at my personal expense. Budget below.

  • room fee $1000
  • artist guarantees $450 ($150 x 3 artists)
  • sound person $150
  • security $150
  • flyer $50
  • moving PA to / from my storage unit (~ $50)




Fanclub vol. 3 Dante Sudilovsky

Fanclub is a semi-regular recommendation series where I talk to Normal People about the Things They Like. 

Dante Sudilovsky (he/him) - San Francisco, CA
I know Dante because he went to college with Abbie From Mars.

JMC: What have you been listening to lately?
DS: Been really digging Market's new album. It's very gloomy white-boy-needs-therapy-core, so right up my alley. Winged Wheel's debut album "No Island" has become my running playlist, despite the fact that it's not really a great running album. Lots of interesting dissonance and just the right amount of experimentation, however. Oh, and let's not forget about Everyone Asked About You.  They're getting rereleased on Numero group, and the cleaned up/remastered 'It's days like this...' has been making me miss Her. I've also been revisiting Women's always-great second album "Public Strain". According to my Last.FM I've been listening to astrel k's "Flickering i" album. Don't know much about the dude other than he sounds British and makes some nice art rock sounds. Finally, Hood. One of my favorite bands of all time, their 1998 album "The Cycle of Days and Seasons", is the quintessential fall album for me... September brings the autumn dawn... So true...

JMC: You say live music in the Bay Area has been disappointing. What is disappointing about it?
DS: I think my disappointment stems from the scale of the music scene here. It’s simply much smaller than NYC or Philly. There’s fewer bands, fewer venues, and fewer touring bands coming through. I have to recalibrate my expectations of live music. Going to a show is not a 2-3 time a week thing here. It’s every 2 or 3 weeks. It just feels less alive here.

JMC: Do you think if you didn’t have the stress of starting new career and moving across the country you’d still feel that way?
DS: No! Not at all. I do truly believe there is great music/art being made here, especially in Oakland, but my perception of the whole place is colored by the realities of my everyday and being disconnected from the scene. Finding it just requires more effort than hopping on a subway. It requires knowing the right people and living in the right place. I’m learning to be more patient.

JMC: Do you ever feel like your apex of caring is behind you?
DS: Perhaps. Since I’ve been on hiatus from my radio show, music in general has become less a part of my life. What is filling that void now, I’m not sure. Maybe my everlasting search for decent affordable housing and groceries? I fear that I’m becoming that which those who do care all fear: an adult. I think it can be brought back into focus, but my life now just doesn’t have as many open doors through which to connect to art as in NYC.

JMC: Have you made any new friends since moving?
DS: Work in progress. I’ve made one very good friend (shoutout to Holly) since I’ve moved here. I’ve been talking to my neighbors the last couple of days and mindlessly swiping on dating apps. But this is another part of my life where I’m learning to be patient. It takes a very long time to make friends when you move to a new place by yourself. Finding the right people is worth the effort and worth the time but it’s something that does take longer than anyone wants

JMC: What is something you've been hearing a lot about but haven't fully made your mind up about yet?
DS: Hahah man I wish I was hearing a lot about anything at all. The only thing I hear about a lot here is psychedelic shamanistic ritual healing, fires, homelessness, and tech money. Music has become extremely internal for me here in the Bay. Rarely share and rarely shared.  

JMC: What do you do all day for money?
DS: Emails, spreadsheets, blah blah blah for a Berkeley-based organization working on greening schoolyards.  Looking for something that matters, maybe some day...

JMC: What do you think matters if not greening schoolyards?
DS: Meaning is complicated. Ugh. Personal fulfillment sometimes is enough, and all that we can really strive to achieve. Nine-to-five is going to be a hard gap to fill realistically for me. The jobs I would find truly meaningful are few, far between, and disappearing fast. I would love to live a life engaging with the things I’m deeply passionate about, like music/radio/watch repair, but for now I think the only thing that can realistically matter for me is filling my life with great people. What else is there really in this twilight, terminal world?... It would be perhaps my life dream to work at WFMU.

JMC: Oh damn you can repair watches?
DS: Yes! Been repairing watches since I was sixteen. I’m hoping to start apprenticing with a watchmaker in San Francisco.

JMC: Hell yeah. Okay, that’s it!
DS: Awesome. Sorry my answers were somewhat bleak. Haha.