Posts Tagged ‘ Meta ’

Liberal Arts Degree? ROFL

Was just talking to someone about my life. Thought I might share it with others.

Me: I was on an academic track but decided, you know what, fuck that. Didn’t quite make the grades for it to be worth it. Didn’t really want to do it. And now here I am man, do you hear me? Shitty PhD program with decent rec letters from my profs. Can you really blame a twenty-three year old kid who’s lived his entire life in a fucking bubble probably? It’s like, at some point there should be a course for all this shit you’re supposed to have figured out on your own.

Friend: Well I grew up in a small, boring midwestern town with two professional parents. Got to go out to the East Coast to a good college… oooohhh, ahhhh. I’m not blaming anyone here—I love my parents to death, but, you know… I wasn’t really prepared for an elite East Coast experience. I didn’t have any frame of reference, and I sort of fell through the cracks.

There was no arrow of time plan. Continue reading

Free Energy and the problem of uncomplicated fun in indie rock

For a young band that hasn’t publicly stepped on any toes or gotten big enough to become a target, Free Energy have an awful lot of people already apologizing for them. It seems like hyperaware critics and bloggers can’t write about their music without getting defensive. Here are a few quotes from some heavy hitters:

“[Frontman Paul Sprangers] breezes through a few volumes’ worth of conversational, inspirational poesy that’s bound to send a few of you into fits of cringe. But, the fact that it’s all delivered so un self-consciously is very refreshing. Much the same way kids shoot hoops pretending to be Michael or Kobe or LeBron, these dudes are doing the same with classic rock. And the posing and pastiche sound great.” – Pitchfork’s 8.1 review of their debut album, Stuck on Nothing (they were also added to Pitchfork’s summer festival)

“I think they get a lot of flack for being too X and not enough Y (which are different things depending on who you talk to), I’ve heard from some that they sound like someone’s little brother’s band playing REO Speedwagon covers at a basement party in high school, and I’ve heard from others that they are the best live band to hit this year. And both are true. The best thing about Free Energy is their complete lack of pretension, their simple glam rock influenced hooks and just how infectiously happy they are to get up on stage and play.” – Brooklyn Vegan (live review by Gabi Porter, who I’ll admit isn’t a very regular contributor as far as I can tell)

“French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote that “existence precedes essence,” and Free Energy seem to be musing along the same philosophical lines. These songs are, without exception, engaged in a discussion about the nature of existence. Take “Bang Pop” as an example: although the obvious Def Leppard homage makes the primary impression, the oft-repeated lyric, “Bang bang, pop pop/ When will the searching stop?” evinces a subtextual reading of pop music tropes.” – Tiny Mix Tapes review (4/5)

And, finally, a voice of reason:

“It’s a sign of the cold times that a witty, sardonic, effortlessly hooky power-pop record such as this one needs so much help to attract the least notice.” – Dusted’s positive review (worth an 80 according to Metacritic)

Overall, the album has an 80 average on Metacritic, indicating a stronger reception than less obviously divisive albums from established indie artists like Ted Leo, Love Is All, and Liars. It’s also a better aggregated score than the ones earned by the Morning Benders and Dum Dum Girls, fellow buzzy upstarts from the Class of 2010. The two lowest (but still positive) scores are from Billboard and Rolling Stone, and nobody gives a shit about what they have to say anyway. So why all the defensiveness? It’s not like any of these reviewers is breaking with consensus and going out an a limb to defend a Nickelback album or something.

Continue reading

Mudkipz

“To give you a clear idea of what we are, I will tell you first what we think of you.”

-Filippo Marinetti

This blog is a project, founded on delusions of grandeur and the impetuousness of youth.

1. Mudkipz

The other day I was trying to explain Mudkipz to a friend of mine. Let’s call her Georgia; she’s a high-society girl enrolled in a professional graduate program. As she is both smarter and classier than I, she had of course never heard of them. While I was reading /b/, she was reading Proust.

If you’re not in the know, this is a Mudkipz:

There’s also a stupid, off-color story behind the image.

Mudkipz take their place alongside Rickrolling, lolcats, Pedobear, etc. as one of many bullshit internet memes whose propagation across the tubes leads to nothing but their further propagation, and as a sort of lame secret handshake between closeted mouth-breathing basement dwellers. They serve no purpose, i.e. they’re not funny, but they spread across the internet irregardless of their own inherent idiocy.

2. Memes

Meme’s modern meaning comes from Richard Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene. It’s the cultural unit analogous to genes. Let’s discuss Dawkins’s ideas of genetics for a second. Continue reading