Hello! I’ve been kind of in a hole lately, what’s been going on? What I will say is that I’ve tried to make up for my extended absence with a whole lot of new shows. There are two today that are sure to be fun. I am also feeling a lot more enthused about writing and going to shows in general, and I want to say that if you’ve been feeling a little gray recently, take a moment and do something that you love. Sometimes when we get in ruts, it’s hard to do the things that make us happy — but take that leap and maybe you’ll feel better. For me, really enjoying a live show without expectations helps realign me (if that makes sense).
upcoming shows 🎟️
You can find out what shows are happening this week in here!
2/29 | Space Camp, Poppies, Goo @ Chili's ~ DM for address
2/29 | Petite League, Beeef, Halehan (BXL) @ The Broadway ~ 21+
3/1 | Practice Space @ Purgatory ~ a monthly support meeting for people interested in supporting/being a part of the arts and music scenes in Brooklyn and Queens.
3/2 | Turtlenecked, Orchin, Cole Haden @ Trans-Pecos ~ all ages
3/4 | Bipolar (EP Release), Nick Cage, Flasyd, Retail @ Trans-Pecos ~ all ages
3/5 | Colatura (Release Show) w/ Ashjesus, Sharkswimmer, Jelly Kelly @ Rubulad ~ DM for address
3/7 | Sipper, Brewster, Joyce, Cory Sterling @ Tar Heel Lounge No. 2 ~ DM for address, 21+
3/13 | Tall Juan w/ Mary Vision @ The Broadway ~ 18+
3/14 | VOTEchella For BERNaroo Fest: Downtown Boys w/ The Glow, Personal Space, Groupie, gobbinjr @ Market Hotel ~ all ages
Benefit for Bernie Sanders and NYC–DSA local candidates.
3/26 | GIFT (Single Release Show), Carinae, Mary Vision @ The Broadway ~ 21+
4/10 | Palberta, Shawty, HBIC, Channel 63 @ Trans-Pecos ~ all ages
4/15 | Bodega, Glove (FL), GIFT @ The Sultan Room ~ 21+
5/13 | Sports Team @ Mercury Lounge ~ 16+, late show
5/23 | Deeper @ The Sultan Room ~ 21+
in my queue 🎶
Something new! I got my hands on a live recording of the Muck Spreader set at The Shacklewell Arms from this past Saturday (2/22). You can DM the band for the recording, which I highly recommend because they only have two songs out right now and this is their full set. But for those of us who are shy, dig into their latest release above.
Been trying to get into this (highly controversial) band. It is hard. This is not my first time, but I’m trying to stick through it because of how formative this band has been for other bands I listen to. This is by far one of their easiest entry points, I think.
what i’ve read 📖
I’m going to try and keep this brief, but before we do a deep dive I wanted to bring some shorter articles to your attention. I’ve been trying to keep up with the myriad of ways Brexit will impact both the UK and EU. One of the greatest things about the EU for the music scene abroad was that it allowed this easy migration between the UK and the rest of Europe, so you could have bands making short trips to play in other countries. It will now be prohibitively expensive for bands from outside the UK (not just EU) to play there, and you can read more about that here.
If you were online a few weeks ago and happen to be even peripheral to “film twitter” then you may know about the controversy that surrounded the Editor-In-Chief of Much Ado About Cinema — I don’t want to direct anyone to her Twitter or otherwise because there were some very triggering videos posted there, but essentially it was revealed that she had used the n-word, a number of writers for Much Ado stepped down from their posts in response, and she ended up posting a series of videos that intimated that she was trying to commit suicide. Emergency personnel saved her, but what happened in the aftermath of all this was a lot of finger-pointing and policing of how her use of the n-word was handled. The brunt of this pile-on was experienced by Black writers, with the biggest voice accusing writers of attempted murder being the director of Guns Akimbo (the man behind the bizarre shot of Daniel Radcliffe in a robe with guns…akimbo), Jason Lei Howden. I don’t want to talk much more about this because that’s for the article to do, but Robert Daniels summarizes and reflects on how white critics minimize the use of racial slurs, and why this does a disservice to everyone involved.
Also, today’s the last day of Black History Month (in the US). This article by Jason Okundaye uses Dave’s Brits Award performance as a jumping-off point to discuss the history of Black political art (especially by musicians). Racism manifests itself differently across the pond, and I think there’s this narrative (especially in the US) that the Black experience abroad is easier than it is here. Which isn’t true, and while talking about the ways in which racism is different there than here is productive, the idea that Black Brits don’t experience racism only feed into the UK’s own narrative of itself as post-racial and does literally nothing but divide a community that should be united in ending structural racism, not playing Oppression Olympics.
In other news, Todd L. Burns, who runs the Music Journalism Insider newsletter, has curated a Twitter List focused on punk/hardcore; basically, follow it if you’ve ever wanted to know what punk twitter is like. Now into the other articles!
My Final Words on 'Jojo Rabbit' ~ by Esther Rosenfield
I read this absolutely stellar review of Jojo Rabbit on a whim, and I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve read in a while. It is ruthless in dissecting why the film doesn’t work as a satire, and the analytical framework of the schlemiel and the schlimazel is really interesting. Give it a read!
“The other concern here is the sheer toothlessness of the film’s comedy. It draws to mind the American liberal inclination to mock the right as stupid or hypocritical while letting their actual ideas and actions slip by. This has been the mission of shows like The Daily Show for ages now. It allows liberals to feel good about themselves without having to do the hard work of fighting reactionary ideology head-on.”
“But the evil of antisemitism doesn’t come from it being illogical, it comes from it being immoral. Antisemitism isn’t merely stupid, it’s wrong. Jojo Rabbit skirts around making an ethical argument, perhaps because it knows its cloying dramatic sensibility can’t sustain it.”
keywords: schlemiel, schlimazel, satire, antisemitism
This Brand is Late Capitalism ~ by Rachel Connolly
This essay was so good I screamed while reading the second quote. That’s for real. Seriously though, it drew my attention to the way I was consuming these lifestyle articles without thinking about the hidden message behind them — and all media has a message. In this case, that message was we are all pawns under capitalism, even that upper-middle-class millennial who buys Glossier. Of course, this thinking is flawed. I’ll let the essay do the rest of the talking:
“Projecting radicalism onto brands because of superficial differences in their business strategy, like harder-wearing products, or a slightly more relaxed corporate culture, steers the conversation away from what genuine change might look like. The ability that individuals have to change their own patterns of consumption is minimized, too. Instead of buying secondhand, or (god forbid) spending a stretch of time without buying anything new at all, the reevaluation of consumer habits these essays tend to suggest is buying nicer things. And usually more expensive things, at that.
“Again: Are young professionals really conned into buying luxury products in the belief that they will “neutralize their bodily functions”? Presenting the pursuit of status objects as the result of an earnest desire for a rich inner life obscures the uncomfortable truth that these objects are often a way of signaling, to ourselves as well as others, that we have made it.
“Ultimately, linking a brand or cultural trend to “late capitalism” is an undemanding way to affect profundity and a kind of superficial universality. It is easy to complain about our collective helplessness, and convenient to flatten all experiences of the capitalist demand for productivity, as if an honest parallel can be made between the self-imposed short lunch breaks of an upwardly mobile urban millennial with two degrees and the timed bathroom breaks of an Amazon factory worker.”
keywords: lifestyle writing, late-capitalism, accountability
The Age of Instagram Face ~ by Jia Tolentino
This article has actually been on my radar for a while, but after it got retweeted by Rico Nasty I knew I had to be reading it STAT. I think it’s useful to read this piece with the above article in mind. Tolentino mentions the importance of choice, while also complicating it. Also reminded me of this tweet.
“What did it mean, I wondered, that I have spent so much of my life attempting to perform well in circumstances where an unaltered female face is aberrant? How had I been changed by an era in which ordinary humans receive daily metrics that appear to quantify how our personalities and our physical selves are performing on the market? What was the logical end of this escalating back-and-forth between digital and physical improvement?”
keywords: Instagram Face, beauty ideals, FaceTune, plastic surgery
You’ll recall that last week I spoke about SXSW and the various controversies, including its relationship with ICE. I’ve since been in contact with the organizers behind Fight For the Future, who are running the No Music For Ice campaign. If you are going to show at SXSW or know someone who is going, I want you to remain informed about which events No Music For Ice will be picketing outside of. Don’t cross the line at any of the events below:
Amazon Hosted Events:
Other events of note:
Enhancing our Collective Security (featuring spokespeople from DHS)
+ many others featuring employees of Department of Defense and DHS
This is an incomplete list. I’m going to work out updating everyone as more information releases. Until then, please follow No Music For Ice on Twitter for more updates on the campaign.
The question this week is:
What song is your guilty pleasure?
Comment on the thread here. I’ll start, so find my answer there :)
Sorry, it’s so late! If you happen to go to either of the shows tonight (Saturday), let me know! I have a lot of cool things to announce soon, but for now, I hope that you are all enjoying your 2020 so far. The other day I had a talk with a fellow student that I really respect and she told me how my audio recordings on music helped show her how music is a cultural product — something that reflects and shapes how we think and can reveal more than just what sound you are drawn to. I hadn’t realized it, or perhaps had never put it in those words, but that’s why I’m drawn to music journalism. That’s why I want to do this. All those intersecting lines intrigue me, and I can’t help but listen to something and think of its place in our cultural context. So it’s actually funny that the meme above skewers this attachment to music that I and other fans have to it, because music is never really as simple as loving one artist (for me).
I actually want to take a moment to shout out this band I saw literally yesterday. For the past two weeks, I’ve been in a rut and I haven’t been going to as many shows as I usually do (I let a week go by without going to a single show!). The band I saw yesterday, NFL, reminded me why I freaking love going to live shows. It also reminded me why it’s so important for me to go to shows where I know virtually no one on the bill. Anyways check them out, and surprise yourself this week.