Hot Cherry on Friday Night: Pop Culture Round-Up
If I Could Have Chosen. Matthew Perpetua. Fluxblog.
In retrospect, especially given that Gabel will soon take on the name Laura Jane Grace, it’s mind-blowing to think that absolutely no one in Gabel’s circles or fan base ever questioned why she was singing those words. People just assumed it was a story song, maybe because Gabel’s voice, body and music was so extremely masculine. In the article, Gabel says she thought she was outing herself with those lines, but no one really suspected anything. Contrary to that, Butch Vig, who produced New Wave, told Eells that he asked Gabel what the song was about but she dismissed it. “He just kind of laughed it off,” says Vig. “He said, ‘I was stoned and dreaming about what life can be.’”
Jonathan Lethem On The Song That Puts The Fear Into ‘Fear Of Music’. Rachel Smith. NPR.
I was fifteen, and very predisposed to fall in love with this record. In a lot of ways I can see in retrospect that I could never have articulated back then, it was somehow, in a sense, a message in a bottle to me, to tell me who I was, how I felt, was gonna be okay, and might even be a little better than OK, might be something I could start to brandish, or act like was a version of a personality that was cool and acceptable, and a way to feel that was viable.
I am Steve Albini, ask me anything. Steve Albini. Reddit.
When I first started making records I would sit in front of the console concentrating on the music every second. I found out the hard way that I tended to fiddle with things unnecessarily and records ended up sounding tweaked and weird. I developed a couple of techniques to avoid this, to keep me from messing with things while still paying attention enough to catch problems. For a long time I would read, but it had to be really dry un-interesting stuff. The magazine the Economist was perfect, as were things like technical manuals and parts catalogs. I had a stack of them by the console. It can’t be anything interesting or with a story line like fiction because then you can get engrossed and stop paying attention to the session. It has to be really dull, basically so you are looking for an excuse to put it down and do something else. This has proven to be a really good threshold, so that if anything sounds weird or someone says something you immediately give it your full attention and your concentration hasn’t been ruined by staring at the speakers and straining all day.
Lately I play Scrabble, and it serves the same purpose.
Heavy metal unites Jews, Muslims across Middle East. Roi Ben-Yehuda. The Jerusalem Post.
Last summer the band caused an international uproar when Lebanese belly dancer Johanna Fakhri joined the band in front of 30,000 fans and the two raised their respective flags together in a show of unity… The importance of the Orphaned Land community lies in the boundary-crossing ties that are established. There are very few places, virtual or real, that allow for communication and contact between Muslims, Arabs and Jews from the region. The fact that all share a love for the music provides a common identity that connects the people together.
Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents. Jason Horowitz. The Washington Post.
Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, [Romney] spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann… Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
True Confessions: A Democrat Likes George. Lanny J. Davis. The LA Times.
But despite what you may have heard or read, George [W. Bush] was not just frat-house party boy. One of my most vivid memories is this: A few of us were in the common room one night. It was 1965, I believe — my junior year, his sophomore. We were making our usual sarcastic commentaries on those who walked by us. A little nasty perhaps, but always with a touch of humor. On this occasion, however, someone we all believed to be gay walked by, although the word we used in those days was “queer.” Someone, I’m sorry to say, snidely used that word as he walked by.
George heard it and, most uncharacteristically, snapped: “Shut up.” Then he said, in words I can remember almost verbatim: “Why don’t you try walking in his shoes for a while and see how it feels before you make a comment like that?”
Barack Obama. ABC News. (Embedding disabled by request.)
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
The Only Place. Best Coast. (NPR.)
“Jumanji.” Azealia Banks.
“The Jam.” Heavy Cream, ft. Mikal Cronin & Ty Segall.
The Mixtape Volume Six. The Hood Internet.
“Cut You (Co La Version).” Cloud Nothings.