April 16th, 2017 | Category: Essays, Headline
Pick Your Path

The journey of a thousand whatevers doesn’t start with a single step, it starts with a decision.

Decisions are powerful things, but we have to get them out of the way if we are to move forward. Perpetually keeping your options open leaves you with nothing but options. If you’ve ever known anyone who truly lives in the moment, nothing matters except that moment. Things only have value over time, and that value starts with choosing one thing over another.
In an excerpt from his AMA, writer and producer Dan Harmon tackles …

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March 13th, 2017 | Category: Interviews
Alexis Desolneux: Heresy for Hire

Once upon a buzz in the conquest of cool, there was a thing called brand hijacking. This was the phenomenon, sometimes frowned upon, of a brand being supposedly inadvertently associated with a certain subculture or movement. Think Pabst Blue Ribbon, Tommy Hilfiger, or Converse Chuck Taylors. It turns on the idea that the image of a brand belongs to the market, not to the company that cultivates that image.
The only antidote is an image so strong that there’s no other way to take it. Over the past several years, Alexis Desolneux and his …

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March 06th, 2017 | Category: Reviews
The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train

I often make a distinction between my favorite bands and the bands I think are the best. Unwound is one of the few bands for which that distinction means nothing: They are both one of my all-time favorite bands and one of the best to ever do it. Unwound have now been apart longer than they were together, but every time I listen to one of their records, I am reminded just how great they were. Numero Group’s extensive new boxset leaves no doubt that they still deserve more attention.
Having …

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December 29th, 2016 | Category: Essays, Reviews
Firing the Canon: Read This, Not That!

I know you have your giftcards handy, and you’re looking for something new to read. In these times, I often think about books everyone’s supposed to read. I’ve read some of them. Many are damn good and on the list for a reason, but some need to be avoided like carbs or fat or sugar. So, in the tradition of Eat This, Not That!, here are a few of my recommendations:
Instead of the whiney tedium of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (William Morrow, 1974), read …

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December 07th, 2016 | Category: Reviews
Five Fives: Top 25 Records, 2016

2016 was a year of monster releases from veterans and relative newcomers alike. Weirdly, three of the top five were neatly stacked side by side. N-bands Nails, Neurosis, and Nothing put out three of my most-listened-to and most revered records. My friends and heroes, emcess/producers Aesop Rock and dälek round out The Five Best. It’s not a huge drop off from there, but these were definitely my five favorites. Let’s run them down along with the other worthy candidates in five sets of five: The Five Best, Five More, The Five …

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