Saint Cloud by Waxahatchee

Today, I had a wonderful exchange with my friend TK:

Screenshot_20200330-184006

TK and I have been friends for 12 years. Our friendship is very much marked by the aughts.  Having first been introduced on MySpace, we met for the first time in person in New Orleans when he was visiting with his wonderful friends and bought my 2008 Bonnaroo ticket. We’ve stayed in touch ever since with ebbs and flows mostly because I ebb in most of my relationships (still working on this, friends).

Suffice to say, he is wonderful friend and knows me well. Thus his recommendations are some I hold in highest regard. When he texted me about the latest Waxahatchee album, Saint Cloud, I immediately turned it on.

I love this album and captures all the feelings and cultural trappings I feel so personally to boot.

 

Guest Post: “Music or Misery” with Tommy Barbee

Tommy examines the musical chicken-egg question.

Today, we’re trying something new because what better time to experiment in the middle of a societal breakdown?

Tommy Barbee is my former professional colleague, current colleague over on South Side Hit Pen, a daily source of creative inspiration, an excellent partner in conversation (ranging from modern philosophical and moral issues to extremely low brow humor), and, most importantly, we can get into fights and recover. I would certainly refer to him as one of my besties. Is the feeling mutual? Who’s to say? 🙂

Recently, he shared some musings of his own about this strange time and how it relates to a question originally posed by High Fidelitya book turn movie in 2000 (and seminal Chicago film) now turned show on Hulu. Enjoy.


fa2eebf5b6ed135533d00fa6e20b25f1

“What came first, the music or the misery?” – High Fidelity

As I sit here observing the now commonly accepted social distancing in affect as we attempt to offset the latest wave of impending doom that 2020 has thrown society’s way, I find myself coming back to this question. It’s a simple question, but an indelible idea that has stuck with me since my formidable teenage years. Sure, like every other angsty teenage boy that is now on the older fringe of Millennials, I spent more time than I’d care to admit listening to the likes of Weezer, Radiohead, and Coldplay mixed in with the more socially accepted hip-hop music of the time.

Was I anxious and depressed because I listened to OK Computer and later Kid A one too many times? Sometimes it felt that way, and I still refuse to listen to a Radiohead album from beginning to end so as not to spark a sudden bout of existential crisis.

As an adult that has distanced himself from the awkwardness of adolescence, I find myself feeling as isolated as ever in this time of unwavering panic. Once again, I’m turning to music to make sense of things.

It’s true, too much Elliott Smith can bring you down. Even so, he conjures such depth of emotion that somehow your life, or a generational experience, can be summed up in mere minutes. Right now, finding something– anything– that can help reflect or make sense of the emotions felt today is exactly the kind of “misery” needed.

c82857446634f8cc26b3121aeb51698d


Feel free to connect with Tommy on Twitter: @kindableu.

“Queen of the Rodeo” by Orville Peck

I’m a little obsessed with the video for “Queen of the Rodeo” (with a little bit of “Falling Roses”) by Orville Peck.

The video is stunning and fun. The song itself is refreshingly very positive: “The song and video are about allowing yourself to get out of your own way, beat your demons and crown yourself queen of the rodeo.”

I will let the video stills speak for themselves:

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.42.22 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.42.46 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.43.42 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.44.00 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.44.20 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.44.40 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.44.54 PM

Nashville: A Messy Love Story

Tonight, I am taking a step away from my usual content to share some love for Nashville, which experienced the wrath of a pretty destructive tornado today.

Where do I begin? I first fell in love with Nashville about 15 years ago when my brother moved there. It was only 2.5 hours from my hometown, but when I visited for the first few times, it was, for me, a revelation. It became the first place I really fell in love with live music which opened the door to a broader world of music in general.

Screenshot_20200303-181748

Screenshot_20200303-182418

Any good love story has conflict, right? As those of you who know me are aware, I used to have really terrible commitment issues. When I finally moved to Nashville in 2013, I fell very quickly out of love with the city. It was, and is, going through a period of really rapid gentrification. I was going through some pretty life changing personal things. Like any worthwhile love I’ve had, I couldn’t take it and was gone in a year and a half (haha sorry, sorry, couldn’t help myself!).

Screenshot_20200303-182216

Screenshot_20200303-181702

Only recently have I made some peace and been back for some really wonderful times. Some of my memories have been removed by gentrification, and unfortunately, some more remain in photos but were physically taken by the tornado. I’m still in disbelief, but I’m thankful all of my family and friends are accounted for.

Screenshot_20200303-182127

Screenshot_20200303-181532

I was last in Nashville 8 days ago. I got to go to and show off some of my favorite places that were still there. I only regret not going to some that may very well not be there when I go again. 3 Crow. Drifters. Red Bicycle. And so on.

Screenshot_20200303-183148

I hope all of the local businesses return and people can recover or rebuild. I hope Tall and Skinnies don’t replace the historic architecture. And I hope a bunch of people from New York don’t move in.

Most of all, I hope all of the missing make it home, and for those who don’t, I hope their families find peace.

Today, #IBelieveinNashville.

 

 

 

I Touch Myself: An Homage to Gettin’ Off

Alone on Valentine’s Day? Think again. The Divinyls and Chrissy Amphlett want you to love yourself.

Welcome to the special, sexy edition of Bitchfork.blog ❤ ❤ ❤

In the year 1990, George H.W. Bush was President of the U.S., coming off the heels of eight years of the Reagan administration. The U.S. was nine years deep in the “Party of Family Values”, and it needed a release.

The wonderful Chrissy Amphlett minces no words in the Divinyls hit song “I Touch Myself“, a 1990 song that pulls back the curtain around the mystique of women and masturbation.

It’s a damn good song that celebrates a damn good pastime. Additionally, it inspired a very memorable movie moment, several incredible covers, and, most importantly, confidence in women throughout the world.

Continue reading “I Touch Myself: An Homage to Gettin’ Off”

A Brief, Strange, and Semi-Erotic History of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”

The original horror movie about cat people that’s not the CATS remake.

EDIT: Happy 73rd Birthday, David Bowie!

In 1942, French director Jacques Tourneur directed a film using by DeWitt Boden with the eponymous name Cat People.

Would you believe me if I told you that a movie made in 1942 called Cat People had some deleterious portrayals of women and human sexuality?: “The plot focuses on a Serbian fashion illustrator in New York City who believes herself to be descended from a race of people who shape shift into panthers when sexually aroused or angered.” Oh dear.

Nonetheless, the film is considered pioneer of the horror genre and cinematography.

40 years later, legendary American film writer and director Paul Schrader directed an early 80s update of Cat People with some huge 70s and 80s players: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, and John Heard. The 1982 version of Cat People is described as an “erotic horror” on Wikipedia (if the appearance of Malcolm McDowell didn’t tip you off to the kind of party this is).
Continue reading “A Brief, Strange, and Semi-Erotic History of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)””