All of my problems are solved.
As news of Lou Reed’s death made the rounds today, I saw countless appreciations of Reed’s work, of the impact his music had had on people’s lives, on his regal position as an artist and innovator. It’s difficult to summarize Lou Reed and what his work meant in social media, because his work defies summarization. He was a fantastic songwriter when he felt like it, but sometimes it didn’t really sound like he felt like it. He was an exemplar of two-chord bashing, and of (seemingly) zero-chord white noise. He was one of the guiding creative forces in a scattered non-movement that articulated how rock’n’roll could be considered high art, and he was prone to confounding aesthetic decisions. As he aged, he settled into a position of being an almost lovable (if still prickly) elder statesman in rock, though, by many accounts, he spent years and years behaving in a perfectly awful fashion to almost everyone who tried to come close to him.
But for me, when I think about Lou Reed, it always comes down to “Sister Ray.” Continue reading
So last weekend, during the CMJ Music Marathon, Arcade Fire played a couple of “secret” shows down the street from my house. I wasn’t there, because I didn’t have a ticket, it wasn’t a show I could get into with my performer’s badge, and I didn’t feel like it. But by most accounts, the concerts were… let’s say “sub-ideal” for the average audience member, and right now, a lot of people are mad at Arcade Fire.
Increasingly, people are upset about Arcade Fire not because of how the shows went down, but because of what it meant to stage them at the same time as CMJ, one of the two biggest independent music festivals of any given year in the U.S. They’re upset because of preconceived ideas about CMJ that are probably overly romanticized, outdated and impractical. I’ll explain in a second. Continue reading
From time to time, usually while hamfistedly trying to finish off one home repair or another, I think, Look at me, a writer. I shoulda learned a trade. But recently, I realized… I actually did. There’s this idea that journalism is just a job, but in reality, it’s a trade, even though journalists think of it only too rarely as such, and it’s less common for The Management to share that viewpoint. Unfortunately, when The Management thinks of journalism as just a job, rather than a trade, it risks producing a weaker and more amateurish finished product, and heading up a staff that never reaches its full potential.
Who says Brooklyn hipsters are lazy? Why, they engage in feats of strength and endurance as a matter of course. Finally the hardiest, quickest and most adroit among them will be recognized for their years of training this summer, competing in the contests of their lives at the inaugural 2013 Bushwick Games.
Participants will engage in competitive events including but not limited to:
The Amp-Roll. Each contestant rolls an amp, mounted on casters or a dolly, along a four-block route. Winners will be determined by a combination of speed and their ability to avoid damaging their equipment (demerits will be issued for nicks, lost wheels, etc.). Categories include: the 1×12, the 4×10, the half stack, and the refrigerator-sized bass rig.
The Gear Climb. Contestants ascend four flights of stairs in a warehouse, laden with amps, guitars, keyboards, drums, and drum hardware. In a word, it’s basically a pack mule-style competition. Whoever makes it all the way to the top with the heaviest load, without stopping, wins. Continue reading