Five For Friday: Further Tunes

I wrote a little bit about music I’ve been listening to recently on Wednesday. Here are five more music-related things that have caught my ear (and, in some cases, eye) this week.

1. This “Disney Nightmare Mix” – actually called “Neverland Transmission” – from L. Pierre (aka Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffatt).

via Dazed Magazine


2. This Cuushe LP is on Soundcloud and has my favorite artwork of any album this year.



via Gorilla vs. Bear


3. The Chvrches cover of Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” is not as good as the original but it gets the job done.

via Stereogum


4. I’m super into the HAIM album, Days Are Gone, which is streaming on NPR and out on 9/30. If you haven’t listened to it…you should? (Unfortunately, you have to listen to it on NPR’s shitty media player.) But I don’t know what you like, so it’s up to you to decide.


5. And I know I mentioned this the other day, but I’m still rocking Kurt Vile’s KV Mixtape. Here are a few of the songs on the mixtape I’ve been playing over and over again:





Geeking Out

On Sunday, I met my friend Alli in my old neighborhood to do some writing. I’d intended on working on a short story that I’ve been revising – well, mostly deleting and rewriting – for a few months. Of course, I didn’t end up deleting or writing another word of it. Instead, I started writing a sort of sad sack essay on being lonely in Paris when I was studying abroad there in the fall of 2007. I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently because, well, it’s fall and I was in Paris in the fall and I just happen to be thinking about that time rather than the falls of my childhood or high school or college. Anyway, I mention this because someone else published an essay on Paris and loneliness this week. You can read the beginning on The Hairpin but to read the rest you have to buy the story – it comes with all of the other ones in the same series about travel – on Amazon. (After I’m done writing this post up, I will go back to trying to turn my own essay into a not-super-depressing piece of garbage.)

Also on Sunday, I went to The Strand, as I like to do when I’m in that neck of the woods, to buy my book club’s next read. We’re reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, which I read, I think, after my freshman year of college. It’s one of my favorite books, but somehow I’ve never acquired my own copy. Now I do have one of my own, which I got by asking one of the booksellers at The Strand to climb a ladder and take it from one of the higher shelves. I usually don’t even get books from the high shelves because I mostly  go to the Strand to browse and end up with too many books anyway, so I always tell myself that I don’t need the ones I can’t reach. (Also, I am afraid of ladders.)

Anyway, I started rereading Geek Love yesterday and was flooded with memories. First of all, I am still in awe of the prose. I think I got the same giddy feeling I had while reading the first chapter when I was 18 or 19. And secondly, I have been thinking about Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea pretty much constantly since I opened the book. I happened to be super into that album while I was reading Geek Love the first time and it was perfect. Like, I have never been simultaneously obsessed with two pieces of art that, I thought, so complemented one another. But I’m staying away from that album for now. Making the same magic happen again seems pretty unlikely and I don’t want to be disappointed.

While I’m on the subject of music…I don’t write enough about it. I usually write about what I read here every week, but what I’m listening to takes up just as much space in my brain. My fall soundtrack has been inspired by a few things:

1. Music for Maniacs: I’d totally forgotten about this blog. But then I noticed that WFMU was linking to it on Twitter and…I fell down a Music for Maniacs black hole. This dude mostly covers eccentric/outsider music and puts together some pretty great mixtapes. He also made me see Annette Funicello in a whole new light.

2. Kurt Vile’s KV Mixtape: I saw this on Stereogum yesterday and haven’t stopped listening to it. Well, haven’t stopped listening to most of it. The songs on here inspired his recent album, Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze, one of my favorite albums this year. (Back in April, I wrote something about going to a Kurt Vile show.) I highly recommend! (The mixtape and tracklist are at the link, on Soundcloud).

3. Wikipedia: Sometimes I just re-go-through this list of Jangle Pop Bands. Like you do.

4. Modern Vampires of the City: I have listened to and seen a lot of Vampire Weekend in the last few years. (Most recently, I saw them perform at the Barclays Center this past Friday.) I didn’t really listen to Modern Vampires of the City until the middle of this summer, but I’ve found that it’s one of very few albums released this year that I keep going back to, so.

5. Stuff that sounds like Broadcast: So, mainly Broadcast. And also The Postmarks. (Who, incidentally, I was very into when I was in Paris six years ago.)

That’s that. Except I have a few other quick links to share today!

I read a two week-old New York Magazine on the elliptical last night…I got through an article on the GOP’s plot to kill Obamacare and this other one on Rebel Wilson (which was not as good or as enlightening as I had hoped, though I found out that she also likes Hello Kitty, so that’s a thing).

And today I’ve been reading this Paris Review interview with Woody Allen, which was conducted between 1985 (mostly at his table at Elaine’s) and 1995.

How to Attend a Concert On a Weeknight*


Kurt Vile, 5/16/13


1. Put the time when tickets go on sale on your Outlook calendar. Make sure the event is marked as “Busy” in case someone tries to schedule a meeting with you.

2. When the day tickets go on sale arrives, remind yourself to buy them every fifteen minutes. Forget all about it ten minutes before the sale. Remember approximately two minutes before sale and breathe a sigh of relief.

3. Buy tickets. Convince yourself that the fees are worth it.

4. For the next three months, at regular intervals, talk about how excited you are for the show with whichever friend you’re going with so that neither of you forgets about it.

5. When the day of the show finally arrives, remind yourself like one thousand times not to forget the tickets (if you’re not picking them up at will call).

6. Panic as soon as you leave work because you think you forgot the tickets but then realize that they’ve been in your bag since 9 AM, you dummy.

7. Arrive at a bar near the venue approximately an hour before doors open. Do not bother eating dinner beforehand.

8. Drink two beers, minimum. (Happy hour is still in effect.) Take your time, though. You don’t want to get there too early.

9. Leave the bar and realize that you are drunk off of very little. Stop for pizza on the way to the venue.

10. Arrive at the venue, realize that the first opener is still playing and immediately order a beer.

11. Wait until the second opener has started before moving into the crowd. Choose a spot where you can see the stage.

12. Have your view of the stage almost completely blocked when a 6’6″ dude stands directly in front of you.

13. Spend the next minute or two trying to find a spot where there isn’t a 6’6″ dude isn’t standing directly in front of you. Give up.

14. Drink another beer.

15. Make your friend take a few pictures for you  – but not too many because you don’t want to be a douche, you just want to Instagram one or two – because you still can’t see anything.


Angel Olsen, 5/16/13

Angel Olsen, 5/16/13


16. Look at the time. Try not to think about the fact that you have to wake up in six hours.

17. Enjoy the show, in spite of everything.

18. Catch yourself nearly wilting due to exhaustion during the encore. Hope that the band, even though you love them, does not play more than two songs.

19. After it’s over, hop in a cab. Spend the ride doing important things like Instagramming pictures from the show and setting your alarm for exactly five hours from then in case you forget when you get home.

20. Get home and eat like eighty-six Girl Scout cookies in bed because one slice of pizza wasn’t really dinner.

21. Pass out with your computer on your lap.

22. Wake up to your alarm blaring at 6:45 AM. Snooze. Decide you don’t need to shower because sometimes a whore’s bath is enough.

23. Rejoice! You have dry shampoo! A shower is not necessary. Get ready in less than ten minutes and head to the train.

24. Catch your reflection in the windows of the subway. You look like a zombie. Also, the dry shampoo is visible in your hair.

25. Get to work. Start going through your email. Open a list of upcoming shows and start entering the ones you want to go to in your calendar.

*(When You Have A Full-Time Job)

Last night, I saw Kurt Vile and Angel Olsen at the Bowery Ballroom. This list was loosely based on that experience.

Friday Roundup: In Like A Lamb?




Happy Friday! And Happy March! (Today is rather lamb-ish for March 1st in NYC, hence today’s post’s accompanying photo.)

Some stuff I liked reading this week:

I’m a very big fan HBO’s endangered comedy Enlightened right now. Every episode in this – the second season – has been truly impressive and I think that the entire series will impact me as a writer for a long time to come. Two pieces on Enlightened I really enjoyed this week:
1) “Enlightened is TV’s best show right now – and it needs more viewers” (AV Club)
2) “Why We Need Enlightened” (The Awl)

I talked about my Carnivale fandom last week. Here’s another piece on how great that show was, this time from The Awl.

I’m finally “catching up” on my New Yorkers, which means I just read most of last week’s. I really enjoyed this profile on the playwright Annie Baker. (Article is subscription-only online.) I made myself struggle through the article on Spain’s economic collapse. This article is also subscription only, but here’s a link to a photo slideshow illustrating what a mess Spain is right now. And I haven’t finished this one yet because I got sleepy last night, but this piece on Gerard Depardieu seems very promising, if only for the awesome photo of him riding a motorbike in a tank top.

Just for fun, here is Splitsider’s “The Annotated Wisdom of Louis C.K.” (Do they write about anything else?)

There was also some good stuff on Stereogum this week, including this thing on “The Return of the Postal Service and Why 2013 Should Be the New 2003”. (I’m definitely hoping that 2013 turns out to be the next 2003.) Also, I was prompted to start listening to Rilo Kiley again because they did a 10 Best Rilo Kiley Songs countdown. (Pretty sure I’ll be purchasing RKives next month.) Finally, there was this very chill Kurt Vile interview. I’m really into his forthcoming album’s single, which I’m conveniently posting here: