SPOTLIGHT: New Arrows
FEATURES

WHO: Personality Cult WHAT: New Arrows WHY: New Arrows is nothing new but it’s got that sound that I happen to absolutely love. It’s raw, fast, poppy, and full of guitars. I’m not quite sure how Personality Cult mastermind Ben Carr did it, but he figured out a way to distill a buzzpop album down to the essentials. Of course, a good way to do that is to let the Marked Men influence you a bit. You don’t have to...

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Monday, 03 August 2020
I Wanna Be Literated #226
BOOKS

Republic, Lostby Lawrence Lessig Republic, Lost was a book that’s been on my watchlist for years. I don’t know exactly how I became interested in it but I’m kind of disappointed I never got around to it until now. Maybe Lawrence Lessig was on the Daily Show back in the day and I thought I’d check it out? But anyway, it took just a few pages (or a few dozen) for me to realize what an essential book this is...

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Monday, 27 July 2020
Vinyl Vlog 432
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the The Pain, The Blood and The Sword LP by Lion’s Law. There’s a certain comfort which can be found in a record which, while new, sounds familiar. As albums like that play, it can be pretty easy for a listener to sigh as a turntable’s stylus finds its intended groove and each cut seems to spontaneously align and produce an accessible, pleasing sensation for its audience. Now, in the case of...

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Saturday, 25 July 2020
Vinyl Vlog 431
COLUMN

CzarfaceThe Odds Czar Against Us Sometimes, as a music fan, things happen that can only be described as magic. We’re going through a vinyl revolution (or a vinyl bubble, depending on how you want to look at it), but we’re not going through a record store revolution. People are glad they can collect just about everything on vinyl (even the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack on llama color), but they’re not very interested in visiting their local record store. I would know,...

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Thursday, 23 July 2020
Vinyl Vlog 430
COLUMN

XetasThe Cypher How does one begin to describe Xetas? “Powerful,” that’s how. But also sinister, relentless, and exciting. Xetas came to my attention by pure chance. A chance I love to take with 12XU records. More and more they are becoming my primary source for new music exposure. That goes for you as well, dear reader. Their previous album made such an impression that we were waiting for its follow-up (and maybe the last album ever from the band?) with...

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Sunday, 19 July 2020
Vinyl Vlog 429
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Songs! From The Bathroom Stall? EP by Houston and the Dirty Rats. More than the other things that Songs! From The Bathroom Stall? certainly represents for Houston and the Dirty Rats, the most important rule to keep in mind when listening to the band’s new EP is that it’s unwise to judge a book by its cover. Were one to delve no deeper than just a superficial look or cursory glance,...

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Friday, 10 July 2020
Vinyl Vlog 428
COLUMN

BeckHyperspace(photo: turntablelab.com) I owe a lot to Beck. Scratch that, I owe a ton to Beck. I owe him because he taught me what good music should sound like. Jon Spencer once said that good music should sound a little weird and he’s right. As a kid in high school, hearing Odelay for the first time, it was simply too much for my little brain to handle. I felt like I should really do the work and understand the album....

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Tuesday, 07 July 2020
I Wanna be Literated #225
BOOKS

Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psycheby Ethan Watters Don’t let the cover fool you, Crazy Like Us id a lot more focused than the cover let’s on, with arrows exporting all the different disorders from the USA. Also, let’s note how a title like this would be checked if it was proposed today. Anyway, back to the book. Crazy Like Us really needs to be read by Americans, because it tries to communicate all along what foreigners...

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Sunday, 05 July 2020
I Wanna be Literated #224
BOOKS

Mutations: The Many Strange Faces of Hardcore Punkby Sam McPheeters This, in the business, is what we call a “headscratcher.” On one hand, there is a ton to enjoy in Mutations, but I’m not sure what the goal of this book was or if it tries to accomplish anything. If you were to ask me now what it’s about, I’d say it’s several stories and observations from a minor (?) player in the 90s hardcore scene. But if you were...

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020
SPOTLIGHT: NICE GUYS
FEATURES

WHO: Nice Guys WHAT: Self-titled WHY: I’ll gladly say that Nice Guys are the best band in Boston and fight anyone who wants to challenge that. Remember, this isn’t exactly the same band from 5 years ago. They used to stick to the EP format and sounded raw and sloppy as they should being a weedcore band. Nowadays they’re a tight proggy hardcore punk band and have finally bestowed their debut LP on us. It’s punk rock blast, fast, spastic,...

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Monday, 29 June 2020