Archive | June, 2010

Bucking the Hipster Trend

30 Jun

My Labrador Retriever mutt, affectionately named Macho in a lackadaisical attempt to boost the obese dog’s self-esteem, stared sternly into my eyes, wincing slightly as he pushed out a pile of shit twice the size and half the smell of New Jersey onto my living room floor.  I could do nothing.  I’ve tried to stop Macho mid-shit before to no avail, and I was slightly intrigued by the fact that he was so determined to stare directly at me as he emptied his bowels onto my hardwood floor.  He never shits inside…ever.  Was this an act of canine defiance?  Was this his way of protesting BP or Darfur or Asian sex trafficking or the fact that Purina doggy chow is the only thing on his menu?  Probably not.  I’ve got a dumb, politically apathetic dog after all.

“I’m going to put you down one day,” I said to Macho in a monotone.  Before anybody freaks out, I’m not an animal hater.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I just hate anything that can’t pick up it’s own shit—babies, old people, the homeless, homeless old people that inexplicably have self-defecating babies…I don’t discriminate.  I normally wouldn’t feel bad about threatening any of these groups with euthanasia (read: murder), but the way Macho walked away shamefully made me feel like I either hurt his feelings or his bowel movements made him insecure.  Regarding the latter, the publishers of “Everyone Poops” have yet to translate their work into a language dogs can understand, so if he was self-conscious about my living room’s aromatic new centerpiece, he was shit out of luck (no pun intended).  So, on the off chance that my dimmer-than-the-cast-of-Jersey Shore dog actually understands English, I decided to ruminate on the positive attributes of Macho and make amends with him.

Macho is a good dog.  Other than the occasional puddle of piss waiting for me outside of my bedroom door in the morning, his uncontrollable shedding, and his sporadic moments of overt racism, Macho keeps to himself.  He’s a good companion when you need one and a warm footrest in the winter, and living in an apartment with the most stereotypically dramatic Latinos in the world, it’s nice having a dog that is so happy-go-lucky.

Macho’s most redeeming quality, however, finally came to me when Dom’s “Living in America” came on my iPod.  The cover art instantly reminded me of the two things hipsters, my most hated foes, love most in this world: telling people that they aren’t hipster and cats.  Cats, as we all know by now, are the de facto hipster pets of choice. They’re cheap, low-maintenance, easy to bring into a shitty fourth floor walkup, and generally act like assholes that are too good for everyone else.  They also keep their owners company while simultaneously reminding them that they are so very alone—a paradoxical quality that somehow seems to appeal to the hipster community.  Furthermore, since cats generally just respond to food, hipsters can give their cat a long, ironic name.  Macho is most decidedly not a cat.  He is what separates me from them.

Why is this distinction so important?  Why am I so insecure that I look to my dog to separate me from the very group I am determined to destroy?  Well, for one, I’m writing for this blog.  As the small but loyal YeahDevelop fan base knows, this site is dedicated to obscure music, trendy photography, observations written in the sort of fuck it tone that is embedded in our generation’s voice, and anything pertaining to the hipster culture in general.  The very fact that I agreed to write for this site is kind of ironic, which in itself is pretty hipster.  I have a suspicious amount of plaid in my closet, and I often consider buying clothes from the Salvation Army (something only you hardcore hipsters know about).  I have once or twice been accused of being a hipster, which I must admit is frightening.  I sometimes fear that I’m teetering on the edge—sort of like Dances with Wolves, only I’m the Indian telling the U.S. Army that I totally see where they’re coming from and wouldn’t mind helping them slaughter my people at all.  Then again, I still hate low-fi music, PBR, and Brooklyn.  I eat fried, inorganic foods, not avocados and whole wheat bread.  The only time I ever stepped foot inside of an American Apparel was to watch an unspeakably beautiful woman model skirts for me, and my glasses have a very thin, metal frame.  I still don’t see why everyone likes Lady GaGa.  But most importantly, I have a big, yellow, utterly mainstream Lab named Macho.

I’m not suggesting that hipsters can’t like dogs.  I know plenty who say they would love to have one, but their apartment building doesn’t allow them or they don’t have time to walk them or they don’t have the money for the food and treats and brushes and leashes and vets and what have you.  But frankly, dogs just aren’t a good look for hipsters.  First off, dogs would likely make their hipster owners smile much more than they would care to.  Most dogs are affectionate, playful, and love human attention.  That would just evoke too many emotions from the jaded, world-weary hipster owner.

Second, hipsters, like the Taliban, are an ever-evolving group whose members become increasingly difficult to identify because their lack of a homeland, their reluctance to admit their hipster identity, and how frequently their interests and trends change.  Once something hipster becomes too popular (or when a favorite musician actually gets a record deal and starts making some fucking money), the hipster community immediately shuns it as lame, cliché, etc.  (see Vampire Weekend, MGMT, and the film Garden State).  This way, the mainstream culture can never catch on.  But even with their generally amorphous nature, there are a few static characteristics about hipsters—most importantly the appearance of being perpetually broke and always searching for free shit.  Even the filthy rich hipsters I know never talk about their vast wealth—it just doesn’t come with the territory. Owning a dog like Macho would ruin the crucial hipster image.  He would be a constant reminder of the dog you had growing up in your beautiful, two-story suburban home with your upper-middle class family—a family that couldn’t imagine the appeal of eating Easy Mac for breakfast and downing Natty Lites before that free show in Williamsburg.  A dog would be the symbol of stability that hipsters try to avoid until they inevitably evolve into sell-out yuppies.  A cat, on the other hand, is the nomad that just doesn’t care and never gets tied down—the picturesque hipster counterpart.

I grabbed a doggie treat and went to thank Macho for being another clear determinant that separates me from those hipster assholes who cutely ignore their golden financial safety nets as they drive poor minorities from their rent controlled Harlem apartments in alarming numbers while simultaneously shutting down small businesses in favor of Starbucks and Whole Foods and re-branding unique neighborhoods with chic monikers so they can feel like they live in SoHo.

I found him pissing on my door.  I should have left the fucker in the shelter.

Unforgettable Bonnaroo 2010

29 Jun

It’s hard to even find a place to start when reviewing and remembering Bonnaroo 2010. This was the first outdoors, large-scale music festival I have ever been to, combined with my first time being in the dirty South, and my first time road tripping. It’s an intimidating combination of circumstances, and when examining the full velocity of Bonnaroo, it’s a set up for an unbelievable time. I drove down from NYC with two girls I met on craigslist rideshare (who turned out to be awesome) and my good friend and fellow music-lover Allie. All of us were volunteers at the festival, which meant that in exchange for 18 hours of work over the 4-day festival, we received a free (would have been $275) concert pass, free showers, free camping, and food coupons.

This turned out to be a very good decision, not only because all of us were too broke to afford the ticket, but also because working really did give us a sense of involvement with the festival and I knew that I was making a difference for the organization and aftermath of Bonnaroo. While working was not demanding and actually a lot of fun, it did take away valuable rest and concert hours- for some volunteers, shifts were at the worst possible times, during their favorite concert or even a 12-hr overnight shift.

I, however, really lucked out with my shifts because I made my decision to go to Roo in April. applied early, and once accepted, got my deposit in right away. I had all morning shifts, for which I sacrificed precious sleep time for concert time later. Because of this, I got to see almost all of the concerts I wanted to see, (save those that conflicted) which was incredible.

Most things you have heard about Bonnaroo are probably true. It’s HUGE- yes, located on 700 acres of farmland in the middle of Manchester, Tennessee. It’s CROWDED- there were about 80,000 people attending this year. There is a shitload of MUSIC- hundreds of bands, live music playing 18-20 hours out of the day.  It’s really HOT- temperatures reached 105 degrees this year and everyone got sunburnt and heat-stroked. It’s GROSS- the port-o-potties were the grossest I have ever used, and showers were $7, so most people refrained, EW. People were FUCKED UP- of course, assumed, but still surprising to see so many people tripping balls at the same time while breathing the same energy.

Last stereotype Bonnaroo fills is that It’s AMAZING- people who complain about Bonnaroo simply do not love the music enough to let the performances dominate the more uncomfortable bits of the festival. The band things include: like the stench of portapotties, the long wait for water, the overpriced alcohol, the batch of bad drugs, and the danger that exists when there are this many interested and excited people in the same place. However, in recollection, I can proudly say that this was one of the best experiences of my entire life.

NOW, for the music.  There are 2 main stages and 3 tents, as well as many small performance stages throughout Centeroo.

Here are the performances I saw rounded into a top twenty. Yes, TWENTY ARTIST REVIEWS.

ARTIST IMAGES BORROWED (not taken by me!) from NPR’s Roo coverage.

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Sepalcure – Love Pressure EP

23 Jun

Sepalcure’s Love Pressure EP serves as yet another reminder of how easy it’s been to love Scuba’s label over the last couple of years; as much as he’s managed to unearth some wonderfully obscure talents, it proves even more impressive that each seems to slot perfectly into the label’s wider aesthetic. I don’t think I’ve heard a Hotflush release recently that sounded like anything other than a Hotflush release; the fractured techno of Sigha’s recent Shake EP is as attuned to the whole as Mount Kimbie’s Crooks & Lovers album or Ramadanman and dBridge’s recent Autonomic-styled forays. Sepalcure are another weapon in their already sizeable arsenal.

-Rory Gibb

Link: http://www.myspace.com/sepalcure

1. Love Pressure Original Mix

02. Down (Original Mix) 04:15
03. Every Day Of My Life (Original Mix) 05:17
04. The Warning (Original Mix) 04:23

beatport.com

Get Ready, Brooklyn, Northside Festival begins Tomorrow!

23 Jun

I have been excited about Northside festival since it first became publicized about a month ago. Northside is an awesome and ambitious fest bringing together more than 300 bands, artists and filmmakers for a 4-day festival spanning many different venues in Brooklyn from The Music Hall of Wburg to Greenpoint Waterfront and Pete’s Candy Shop to Glasslands. This is the fest’s second year, and though the lineup is not as impressive as last year’s (The Dodos, Hold Steady, John Vanderslice), the multitude of the bands is enough to impress any music lover.

Showcasing indie music, particularly NY-based, Northside is doing a great job of putting below-the-radar bands on the map. Some of the more well known musicians showcased in the fest are: Twin Sister, Fang Island, Memory Tapes, Woods, Mirah, ?uestlove, Titus Andronicus, Wavves, Cloud Nothings, Les Savy Fav, Fucked Up, Islands, Slow Club, Liars, The Babies, Fiery Furnaces and Darlings (which I previously reviewed at Bushwick Music Fest). For these being just a few of the headliners, this festival should not be missed!

Tickets for all shows and showcases can be bought seperately online or at the door and range from $5-20 each. The best thing about Northside, though, is that if you buy a badge (50 dollars, but only 40 if you enter the promo code LMAG) you get into all concerts, films, and galleries free, AND you get drink discounts practically everywhere.

I am handing my life over to Northside.. for the next 4 days at least.  Join me!

More Info:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/blogs/NorthsideFestivalNews/

Never Late Is Better

21 Jun

those studio acapellas are still locked up tight, but that ain’t stopping Cookin’ Soul and Don Cannon from rolling out the first full-album mix of Drake’s Thank Me Later. the mixes here stick close to the originals (understandably), adding frills to some of the instrumentals and laying over an extra cameo verse here and there. in the end, most of these songs are worse than the original tracks, but its still a fun listen. two standouts are the remix of Find Your Love featuring Rick Ross and the mix of Fancy with an extra verse from I Know by Jay-Z. if you want, scoop the whole mixtape over at October’s Very Own.

Find Your Love (Cookin’ Soul Remix feat. Rick Ross) – Drake

Fancy feat. Swizz Beatz (Cookin’ Soul Remix feat. Jay-Z) – Drake

Reality Check

17 Jun

I have taken a break from probably 40+ hours of Red Dead Redemption gameplay since Saturday to bring you, and myself, this much needed reality check. Shut the 360 off, get out into the sun and enjoy the new freebies being passed around the net. Really be one of those assholes with those ‘Life is Good‘ spare tire covers n shirts n key chains. Nah. Back to shootin’ bitches in the alternate universe that is Red Dead. Highly recommended if you aren’t getting any or if you are stealth enough to have stolen the xbox right out from under your gf (heh). Not sure if owning one yourself is deserving of more or less points in this case.

Anyhow. I’m not a nerd, listen…

Beirut – The Concubine (MY!GAY!HUSBAND! CLUB EDIT) mp3

Golden AgesAfrica (Toto) mp3

Cocknbuillkid – Cocknbuillkid mp3

^^Kind of obnoxiously irresistible? Give it a few weeks and it will be in an ipad commercial

…See?

Thanks for being more creative than me.

Beautiful Music

15 Jun

Don’t you just love it when you stumble across a gem – a tiny treasure reclaimed from the land of the lost – something you re-discovered on shuffle  or  some dusty jacket LP left for neglect wayy in the back of your fav record store.  Of course the track was one of the last songs on the last CD of a four disk set and of course, I would be more than happy to share my treasure with you.

4-07 The Last Supper

When Someone’s On Your Mind

13 Jun

Just woke up a bit ago to a cold, gray afternoon in Buenos Aires. Bleary-eyed and hungover, I resolved to turn on some Arvo Pärt and, as Bo Wibz used to say, “take a knee down on this one.” That’s when I got on the internet and happened across this great new video for Breakbot‘s Baby I’m Yours (^^^). Directed by Irina Dakeva of Wizz, Paris, it is composed of “approx 2000 images watercolor painted one after another.” About a minute and a half in, I was doing a moon-walk across my room in nothing but socks. Sunday was saved.

Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane) – Breakbot
Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane) (Aeroplane Remix) – Breakbot

Catch Pool

11 Jun

Teams’ Catch Pool EP reminds me of Aphex Twin’s early release Selected Ambient Works 85-92. Ambient synthesizers, solid beats… Check it out, the 5-track EP is for free download here. 20 years can do a lot for production value

Flying Lotus

10 Jun

Stylistically borrows heavily from those thick Dilla productions, and then takes it one step further. Swim in it.