Thursday, April 3, 2014

It’s been a week, hasn’t it? I’ve been mainlining coffee and shitty food for four days straight trying to put the finishing touches on this term. Tomorrow’s the last day of class this term, meaning it’s my last day of class ever. I have to present my senior design project in the morning and finish designing an air pollution control system in the afternoon. And when that’s over, I will spend the night with my friends drinking and doing dumb stuff, and then I’ll start studying for exams. 

Anyway, here are some things I’ve written recently over at Pitchfork:

- A review of the unexceptional new album by Australian indie pop group Architecture in Helsinki, NOW + 4EVA.

- Track blurbs for a wicked Haim remix by Cerrone and new singles from Lone and How to Dress Well. All three were named Best New Track, so you know they’re good. 

I hope your snow has long since melted. Talk soon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Popping in quickly to plug two recent reviews for my friends over at Myspace: here’s one about Future Islands’ new record Singles (emotional, masculine, complex synth-pop), and another about Cloud Nothings’ new one Here and Nowhere Else (intense, pummelling, anguished punk).

I like writing for Myspace a lot, and they’ve published a ton of worthy journalism and feature writing over the past year. If they’ve somehow managed to stay out of the “culture” section of your bookmarks bar, give them a slot and check in often — you’ll usually find something you’ll like. 

When I’ve had free listening time over the last few weeks, it’s almost exclusively gone to Mac DeMarco and Todd Terje, with some Tony Molina in the shower because the songs are extremely short and pack a lot of potency into small packages. He makes me want to shower faster, which is important because six people live here and there’s never enough hot water. (But that’ll be a problem of the past soon!)

Exams start next week, so I’ll either be writing more than usual to maintain my sanity or hiding out completely to focus on my studies. Hope you’re well — see you later. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Thursday, February 20, 2014 Monday, February 10, 2014 Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Monday, February 3, 2014 Sunday, February 2, 2014

Smog, “I’m New Here”

I love the way this song starts, with Callahan playing that core riff again and again while muttering to himself, “No… no… no… no.” And then a spark catches on the riff and it gallops higher, just for a second or so, and again, and Callahan knows he can’t hold it in any longer and that now’s as good a time to start as any other time. “I did not become someone different…” It’s the way words jump and burn inside me when I have something important to say and I’m trying to fit the right words to it, holding on until my opening statement is as perfect and clear as possible. I’ll surely slip up sooner rather than late, but I’ll always have that one true first sentence, or so I tell myself.

I like to think of the second verse (“Met a woman in a bar…”) as if it’s being spoken by the mysterious, roguish playboy figure that populates a few other Callahan songs, e.g. "I Was a Stranger": he swaggers up to these women and tells them he’s “hard to get to know / and near impossible to forget,” and then leaves town silently cursing himself after he’s scorched the earth and left them bruised, poisoned by emotional fuckery. But he can’t stop himself, so he goes somewhere else and does it again, and now he’s here looking back on it all, sitting on the porch with a cigarette. Maybe it’ll be different next time. “No matter how far wrong you’ve gone / you can always turn around.”

Friday, December 27, 2013 Thursday, December 19, 2013

here’s everything I did for Pitchfork’s year-end festivities

I wrote about Vampire Weekend’s "Ya Hey," which was #62 on our Top 100 Tracks of 2013.

I wrote about Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, which was #27 on our Top 50 Albums of 2013.

I wrote about my year in music for the Pitch, our staff blog, and in doing so granted #teenfork its first appearance on the site proper, which is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my writing career. 

I’m going to post the big lists (top 50) over the holidays but here are my top 10 singles and tracks of the year: 

Albums:

1. Disclosure: Settle
2. Drake: Nothing Was the Same
3. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (secret #3: Beyoncé: Beyoncé)
4. Kanye West: Yeezus
5. Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady
6. Neko Case: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight…
7. My Bloody Valentine: mbv
8. A$AP Ferg: Trap Lord
9. Lady Gaga: ARTPOP
10. Sky Ferreira: Night Time, My Time
Songs:
1. A$AP Ferg: “Shabba”
2. Sky Ferreira: “I Blame Myself”
3. Ciara: “Body Party”
4. Drake: “Worst Behaviour”
5. Vampire Weekend: “Hannah Hunt”
6. Haim: “The Wire”
7. Janelle Monáe: “PrimeTime”
8. Katy Perry: “Birthday”
9. Chvrches: “The Mother We Share”
10. My Bloody Valentine: “Only Tomorrow”