Friday, October 17, 2014

And here’s two pieces of recent work I haven’t linked here yet:

  • I wrote about Allo Darlin’s very good third album We Come From the Same Place for Pitchfork (smart, sensitive indie pop);
  • I wrote about Stars’ decent seventh album No One Is Lost for TIME’s print edition. The review linked can only be read in full by subscribers, but you can also see it in the issue dated Oct. 20 if you’re out magazine shopping.

Thanks for reading! Hope you have a great weekend. I’m running my fifth half-marathon in Toronto. I won’t run a personal best, so I’m just trying to have fun and enjoy my good health. Wish me luck. 

Donna Lewis, “I Love You Always Forever”

I went home for Thanksgiving last weekend. I told my parents that the transition from undergrad to quasi-adult has felt a lot more palpable than the transition from high school graduate to university student. I’m not sure why that’s true; maybe all the writing and reflection I’ve done in the years since has trained me to become more aware of subtle changes to my environment and attitude. Maybe I’m placing greater weight on processes and actions that feel truly “adult,” whether it’s paying utility bills or putting money in a savings account or just getting up early every morning and donning business casual attire. But the difference feels real. I walk around now and everything looks a little off, my place in the world has shifted a bit. 

I had a moment at my desk this afternoon where the climax of this song flooded into my head and knocked me senseless, a familiar rush of words and phrases I couldn’t quite place. I thought it might be Lisa Loeb. A quick search for “I love you always forever” brought me to Donna Lewis. This song was omnipresent when I was a kid, whether I was hanging out in our kitchen or driving somewhere with my mom. Timmins didn’t have anything resembling a top 40 station when I was growing up, and still doesn’t; there are classic rock and adult contemporary stations, and a few French ones, but no FM mainstream pop radio. This was an adult contemporary mainstay, and hearing it brings me right back there: driving back from school in the passenger seat, waiting on dinner and sneaking snacks from the fridge beforehand, eating Mom’s pancakes on a weekend morning and asking her to put chocolate chips in the batter. It’s home. I haven’t stopped playing it yet.

Something I do a lot now I never did before is email my parents. Because I’m at a computer all day, it’s easier and faster than texting; they’re quick responders, and very easy to reach. I talk to my dad about the Raptors and how our training is going. I ask my mom about Boy George and Debbie Gibson and seasonal decorations. I sent her a link to this song and I think it brought her right back too. I said “love you, xoxoxo” at the end of the email because that’s what she taught me. Always, forever.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Monday, October 6, 2014

I reviewed Thom Yorke’s new album for Billboard

My editor sent me this picture over the weekend; I don’t have a copy yet, and probably won’t for a few weeks. This is my first piece for Billboard, and I’m so excited to be working with a new team (featuring some old pals), especially in print. I don’t think there’s an online version yet, save maybe for subscribers, but if I find one I’ll let you know. I thought Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes was surface-level pleasurable because I’m a born and bred Yorke loyalist, but it’s an undeniably minor effort in his catalogue, and that’s fine. I know the print’s kinda tiny, and you can barely see my byline, but I’d love it if you felt like breaking out your magnifying glass to give it a read. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Culture Club, “Church of the Poison Mind”

Can’t stop playing this right now. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prince, “Breakfast Can Wait”

There’s a decent chance this is the best song Prince has released in my lifetime.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dreamtrak, “Contemporary”

This song is hot.