❝pretentious mixtapes i made in high school.

Friday Night in Out-Patients: Pop Culture Round-Up

So I’m going to try a new thing on this blog subtitled Pop Culture Round Up. (This week, it’s titled after The Smiths; next week, perhaps Katy Perry, who knows?) Essentially, it’ll be all the things I loved during the week that don’t fit the regular Pretentious Mixtapes format, but are worth reading/downloading/streaming/watching. Admittedly, I will have found most of it via Music Journalism Goddess Katie Chow… not this week though! Muahahaha, take that!


Reviews By Other People: In Which I Attend The SXSW Premiere of 21 Jump Street by Hunter S. Thompson.” Liz Miller. A Bright Wall In A Dark Room.

I arrived in Austin already pretty far gone, and staggered off the plane into a smell cloud of barbecue, the need to vomit sneaking up on me like a friend I owed money. By the time I got to the cab stand, the line stretched on forever with exiles from normal society and sunlight. Your standard SXSW attendee mix.

America Is Dying Slowly: Talking About Hip-Hop After Trayvon Martin.” Jack Hamilton. GOOD.

If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But … all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

I Re-Watched Titanic So You Don’t Have To." Lindy West. Jezebel.

Titanic is three hours and 14 minutes long, which—fun fact—is longer than the actual journey of the Titanic. It is sooooo ballsy to just assume people will watch your movie for three hours and 14 minutes! Especially when everyone already knows exactly what happens in the end (spoiler: the boat is Keyser Söze). Sorry, Epcot Center, I’mma let you finish, but James Cameron’s balls are like the giantest balls of all time. It would take three hours and 14 minutes just to walk around the circumference of James Cameron’s balls.

Jack Outside The Box.” Josh Eells. New York Times (Magazine).

“This generation is so dead,” he said at one point. “You ask a kid, ‘What are you doing this Saturday?’ and they’ll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, ‘Man, I’m really into remote-controlled steamboats.’ They never say that.”      

Belmont University Students Talk SXSW Experience.Jon FreemanMusic Row Magazine.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION. I was interviewed for this article.


March Chart: Top 50 SongsA Volta.

New Screaming Females LP: Ugly. SPIN Magazine.

Mercy" and "Theraflu”. Kayne West. Happy G.O.O.D. FRIDAY!


A Very X-Men Hangover." Barry Presh. DeviantArt.

Apr 06th (+1)

Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo: Pop Culture Round-Up


Is R&B Having an Identity Crisis?" Michael Arceneaux. The Atlantic.

"What’s crazy is that blacks can’t do soul records any more," [The-Dream] said. "We love Adele singing it, but Beyoncé singing it? No, the tempo’s too slow, gimme the club hit. Now the blacks in America are responsible for the pop records, and everybody else is singing soulful records. It’s weird to me. We’re pigeonholed over there."

What’s striking, though, is that only a few days later, Stephin Merritt—singer for the decidedly un-club-friendly, un-R&B indie-pop act The Magnetic Fields—voiced similar concerns to LA Weekly. “I like Adele, though I have some reservations about why people like her,” Merritt said. “She really has a lovely voice, but I only get suspicious when people get excited about British people who sound like American black people.”

Why the Old School Music Snob is the Least Cool Kid on Twitter.” Alexandrea Molotkow. New York Times Magazine.

Worse, file-sharing had rendered us, the knowledge guardians, irrelevant. Within a few years, knowledge had ceased to confer any distinction, and hoarding it had become about as socially advantageous as stamp collecting. Thanks to the Internet, cultural knowledge was now a collective resource. Which meant that being cool was no longer about what you knew and what other people didn’t. It was about what you had to say about the things that everyone already knew about.

Hipster Moron Brags About Being a Hipster Moron in ‘New York Times Magazine’: What we talk about we talk about snobbery.” Brandon Soderberg. SPIN Magazine.

But see, the Internet hasn’t rendered “obscure knowledge” useless. It has enabled — thanks to tangible things like YouTube view counts — hard data that proves somebody like Molotkow just isn’t as cool as she thinks she is, and probably never was. Shouldn’t hip, with-it Molotkow have discovered Banks already? The 20-year-old Harlem MC has been rapping since 2009.

No, I’m The Narrator.” Jami Attenberg. New York Times.

When I broke up with my boyfriend almost four years ago, he started a blog about me. This was a reversal of our entire relationship. I had always been the documenter, and he made guest appearances, or sometimes starred, in what I created.


Surf.” The Skins. Wreckroom.tv.

Grimes: Building Beats from the Ground Up. NPR Music Sessions.

Looper - Official Teaser Trailer. (Follow on Tumblr.)

Ice T’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap. Official Trailer.


Devin’s debut LP Romancing. Rolling Stone.


Map: Where To Find Hipsters in Nashville. The Tennessean.

Lil B’s Lecture at NYU

Apr 13th (+1)

Monday to Monday and Friday to Friday: Pop Culture Round-Up

A very belated Pop Culture Round-Up on account of, finals!


5-10-15-20 with Johnny Marr. Mark Richardson. Pitchfork.

The first 45 I ever bought with my own money was a T. Rex record, which, luckily, is very cool. It was a fluke, though— it was in a bargain shoebox in a furniture store, and I didn’t know what it was. But I bought it because it had a picture of Marc Bolan on the B-side label, and I figured I was getting more bang for my buck!


When Angie and I first got together, the first thing we did was make each other a mixtape— that’s what you do with people you love.

How Samuel L. Jackson Became His Own Genre. Pat Jordan. New York Times Magazine.

Jules was the moral center of “Pulp Fiction,” Jackson told me recently, “because he carried himself like a professional.” The same can be said of Jackson as an actor. “Before Jules,” he went on, “my characters were just ‘The Negro’ who died on Page 30. Every script I read, ‘The Negro’ died on Page 30.” He thundered in character as Jules for a moment, repeating his point in saltier language, then returned to himself and said: “After Jules, I became the coolest [expletive] on the planet. Why? I have no clue. I’m not like Jules. It’s called being an actor.”

Grimes: nine days without food, sleep, or company gave me Visions. Sam Richards. The Guardian.

Yet despite her own version of the hat and the waistcoat – the dyed fringe, the occultish homemade tattoos – Claire insists that Grimes is not a kooky persona that she slips on and off with her rings. “That would be cheesy, and I’m really bad at faking it. If I’m a bad mood I can’t go onstage and smile. Sometimes my show is really emotional and quiet and sometimes the same set is like a punk show where I turn up the distortion and scream.”

Why We Fight: Bubble Pop, On The R&B Vocalist Miguel, Screaming Females, and closed cultural loops. Nitsuh Abebe. Pitchfork.

The songs on Ugly are well-composed, well-paced, and well-structured. But there’s also a quality in some of them that it feels like it could only come from a band that thinks the basement is always realer than the internet, and spent time cruising comfortably outside the ken of many potential fans. “Red Hand”, for instance, does not seem like the kind of song one sits down and thinks up as an aesthetic missive to listeners. It seems like the kind of song that comes from people who spent a lot of time in a room together, and do it well enough that they can grab a simple idea— the song starts with an ordinary bass riff, the sort of thing any player might idly toy around with— and elaborate it into whole gorgeous workout, complete with really stunning guitar filigrees and ominous word-chewing from Paternoster.


Bagged. Benjamin McConnell.

Presidents Tellin’ Jokes. Barack Obama.

The Fellowship. BRKF$T CLUB.


Savor. Natalie Royal.

"Malfunction." Useless Eaters.

"Call Me Greyhound (Kap Slap Bootleg)." Swedish House Mafia vs. Carly Rae Jepsen.


…for the return of the Hufflepuff.

Apr 30th (+2)