Butthole Sun by Fartgarden. Is that anything? 🎵

First time really listening to the lyrics to Jack & Diane.

Suckin’ on a chili dog outside the Tastee Freez.
Diane’s sittin’ on Jackie’s lap, he’s got his hands between her knees.
Jackie say, “Hey Diane, lets run off behind a shady tree.
Dribble off those Bobby Brooks slacks and do what I please”

I don’t know what’s more gross about this sex proposition, the one sided …do what I please or getting handsy while sucking a chili dog. 🎵 🌭

Ranking the Filthy 15

Back in the 80s, Tipper Gore and other cultural conservatives went on a crusade against sex and violence in popular music. They put together a list of fifteen representative songs to use as a political football, known as the filthy 15.

Apropos of nothing, I’ll rank each song. Each will score between 1 and 4 filths, gaining one point for each of the following objective scientific criteria.

  1. 😳 Flushed: Would I be embarrassed if my grandmother heard me listening to this song?
  2. 🧠 Memorable: Does this filth get stuck in my head?
  3. 🪶 Poetic: Does it paint a vivid picture?
  4. 🍑 Fuckable: Would I have sex while listening to it?

Note: because of the content, you’ll have to click through to YouTube to listen to the songs.

“Darling Nikki” by Prince

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/masturbation

The song that set off the anti-music craze, it’s an undeniable classic off Purple Rain, an album with an embarrassment of classics. A strong contender for the best song on this list. It’s pretty dirty, too.

Speaking of embarrassment, how would I feel if my grandma heard me listening to this? The words “sex” and “masturbating” really pop out of the mix, and I think we’d both throw ourselves out the window at that point.

This absolutely gets stuck in my head, it paints a very frank, vivid picture, and this thing is so sexy, I’d bang a sand dune to this shit.

😳 🧠 🪶 🍑

“Sugar Walls” by Sheena Easton

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Barely a metaphor, I hadn’t really listened to Sheena’s personal vagina explainer before. Pretty standard 80s pop. While it’s frankly insulting to metaphors to call the lyrics one, it’s just enough for my grandmother to not understand. The “blood races to your private spots” line is risky, but her hearing isn’t great. The lyrics are high level and vague, just thin innuendos, so no picture. But sure, it wouldn’t kill the mood.

🧠 🍑

“Eat Me Alive” by Judas Priest

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/violence

Not my favorite Priest song, off maybe my least favorite Priest album, this song is fine. Nothing concrete in the lyrics here, just vague innuendo. Tipper said this song advocated for oral sex at gun point, which is pretty intense, but in context the lyrics feel more “metal metaphors for a beej” instead of anything more sinister. Or interesting.

I’d be embarrassed if my grandmother heard me listening to it, not because of the lyrics, but because of the genre. She’d be so disappointed.

“Out of all the Judas Priest albums, you’re listening to Defenders of the Faith?” She’d say, pulling my ear.

😳

“Strap On ‘Robbie Baby’” by Vanity

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Pretty sure this was the first time I’ve heard this song when researching this piece. Pretty nasty riff, the guitars and synth combined sound like an 808 fucked a car. I might have to get into Vanity. Anyway, I couldn’t understand the lyrics at all, so there’s no chance my grandma could. As killer as the music is, I’ve already forgotten it now that YouTube is auto playing another Vanity tune called “Sex Shooter”. I do remember that I would absolute fuck to it, though.

Bonus points for the whip sound effect.

🍑 💥

“Bastard” by Mötley Crüe

Why Tipper hated it: Violence/language

The quintessential of-its-time hair metal band, they do have some catchy songs. While this might be the first time I’m hearing it, I think this is one of them. I couldn’t really understand the mumble-ass lyrics, but man would my grandma be upset if she heard me listening to this.

“Chris, you’re listening to Mötley Crüe? What year is it? Madone.”

😳 🧠

“Let Me Put My Love Into You” by AC/DC

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

This song was five years old by the time Tipper said it was rotting kid’s brains, so I guess it was pretty potent to still be doing the devil’s work out in the streets.

Off AC/DC’s commercial peak Back in Black, that album was the start of the clumsy-if-not-appalling Brian Johnson sex innuendo era, instead of the clever-if-not-appalling Bon Scott sex innuendo era. Despite all that, it’s a great song, it gets stuck in my head unprovoked, my grandma wouldn’t know what was happening but wouldn’t like it, so I wouldn’t like it, and honestly this has too much of a virgin dorm vibe for me to have sex to.

😳 🧠

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister

Why Tipper hated it: Violence

I don’t know why this song ended up on this list. Violence? The closest the lyrics get is Dee Snyder saying he’ll fight the powers that be. Sure, the whole song is anti-authority, and he says the word “fight” a few times. I don’t know, saying this is violent is a real stretch. Catchy tune though. My grandma would ignore this. We’re not gonna take it anymore is hardly a sex sentiment. We all prefer I Wanna Rock.

🧠

“Dress You Up” by Madonna

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Pretty tame silk sheet boudoir lyrics. The most explicit they get is during the chorus, when Madonna lets you know that she’ll dress you up in her love, all over your body. So, sex. Pretty fun song, but nothing special, especially given Madonna’s catalog. The lyrics paint the vaguest picture, to the point where I feel like I’m in a blank room more than anything. My grandmother would find this unobjectionable. I guess I’d fuck to this in a pinch, and I use that term advisedly.

🍑🥱

“Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” by W.A.S.P.

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/language/violence

Whoa, kick it up, it’s W.A.S.P.! Straight out of the gate, Blackie Lawless is bragging about his nudie pictures next to his bed, then starts talking about smells. Holy shit, that’s a picture! I never listened to W.A.S.P. before this, and while the lyrics descend into standard hair metal sex talk, verging into pretty gross misogyny, Blackie’s voice has a real compelling power amidst the slick buzz-saw guitars on this tune. I would rather die than let my grandma catch me listening to it. This song also has the power to evaporate genitals.

😳 🧠 🪶

“High ’n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” by Def Leppard

Why Tipper hated it: Drug and alcohol use

Another one I don’t think I’ve ever heard before researching this piece. Pretty forgettable stadium rock. I don’t understand why this song in particular gets on the filthy list for alcohol use; there’s so many popular booze tunes, and this one isn’t any more explicit on the topic than any other. Also, why the hell is everyone wearing Def Leppard shirts now? Fucking Def Leppard? My grandmother would fall asleep to this song. I don’t have sex at frat parties, so this song is out on that count as well.

🚫

“Into the Coven” by Mercyful Fate

Why Tipper hated it: Occult

Finally, mixing up the theme! Forget sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, “Into the Coven” gets on the naughty list for the occult! This is definitely the first time I heard this song. Starting off with a medieval mandolin-ish intro, then going into bog standard head bang riff with a Rob Halford-ish high note vocal, it’s totally ish. I couldn’t understand the vocal, so I had to look up the lyrics to get that sweet, sweet devil text.

Howl like a wolf
And a witch will open the door
Follow me
And meet our high priestess
Come, come into my coven
And become Lucifer’s child

Yep, that’s occult, and it’s painting a pretty vivid picture. Fun stuff! It repels sex. I thought my grandmother would be offended, but when I performed the ritual to contact her from beyond the grave, she was fine with it.

🪶

“Trashed” by Black Sabbath

Why Tipper hated it: Drug and alcohol use

Certainly not the first Sabbath song anyone thinks of—or the thirty-first, really—it’s more of a cautionary drunk driving tale from the one-off Ian Gillan era than anything scandalous. The story is specific and clear, and the riff is solid if unmemorable. I don’t think any of Black Sabbath’s music get within the same post code as an aphrodisiac. My grandma would appreciate how the nice boys are educating people about the dangers of alcohol.

🪶

“In My House” by Mary Jane Girls

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

What a fun bop. Great hook. Lyrics are pretty tame, and vague, even by 1980s standards! But yeah, they’re about sex. It does make me dance, so maybe that adds extra scandal to it. It’s so catchy, and in an uncomfortable couplet, I would both have sex to this song and dance with my grandmother to it.

🧠 🍑

“Possessed” by Venom

Why Tipper hated it: Occult

One more occult tune! It starts with the lyric, “Look at me, Satan’s child” amidst foreboding guitars, so already more thematically occult feeling than Into The Coven. Darker, more alienated, and far less commercial than anything else on this list. This feels actually worthy of a moral panic, which makes it feel a lot more fun than it actually is. Pretty neat double bass drum breakdown section, though. This one is way too antisocial for sex. It’s so antisocial, that it would be a humiliating social experience for my grandma to catch me listening to it.

😳 🪶

“She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/masturbation

Ah, the perennial classic. Great song, so catchy, with specific lyrics that really do paint a picture despite their heavy euphemisms. Of course I’d have sex to this tune, and, thank God, my grandmother would absolutely not understand the lyrics.

🧠 🪶 🍑

Final thoughts

To no one’s surprise, the best song on this list, according to science, is Prince’s Darling Nikki, with She Bop a close second. The hidden gem is Vanity’s Strap On ‘Robbie Baby’. The worst is whatever that Def Leppard song was.

Thanks Tipper!

My friend Lindsey shared this piece on the inspired and terrible Ginger Baker. It focuses on his time after Cream in Nigeria, and his lasting impact there. The album he did with Fela Kuti is incredible.

My roommate Ivy’s band just put out an album, and it sounds really good.

A vinyl record standing against a wall, with a batman and gameboy next to it. The album is called Weird Chills by the band Faith/Void. The cover is a old school horror movie stylized sewer grate, with pink feminine hands with red painted nails coming out of the grate.

Media Diet: February–April 2024

It’s been a while since my last media diet post—three months, I was horrified to learn. There’s a lot to get through, so I’m taking a whirlwind tour on this one. There’s no time! Including for any more of this introduction.

Music

David Comes to Life—Fucked Up

01 david comes to life.

I saw Toronto’s own Fucked Up open for The Damned last Halloween, and they were great. Post hardcore blending melodic pop sensibilities with driving guitars and almost cookie monster vocals that honestly took me a bit to get used to. I picked up the album the punks at work recommended I start with, David Comes to Life from 2010. It’s loud, romantic, and, I’m told, a concept album, but I didn’t follow that. It’s so good. Makes you want to jump.

Choice Cut

Scumdogs of the Universe—GWAR

02 scumdogs.

I always knew of GWAR—the space barbarian outfits, the over the top staged violence at shows, randomly being in Empire Records—but I never actually listened to them. When they were a mainstream concern, I was too young and scared to seek them out, but last year I saw them on NPR’s Tiny’s Desk Concert and thought they were fun. I heard Sarah Squirm say she unironically wanted to be in GWAR in an interview, so I asked Uncle Internets which was the best GWAR album, and discovered that the band said they never were better than their second offering, Scumdogs of the Universe. It’s fun! Trashy gross out metal, violent, sex-dumb and cartoonishly nihilistic. There’s a decent amount of language that is not cool, but less than you’d expect from a band with their reputation, for whatever that’s worth.

Choice Cut

Celeste—The Soundcarriers

Chill out music with an upbeat groove. Feels like driving through the Italian riviera in a convertible. I’ve never done that, so I can’t possibly know, and yet I have never been more certain of something in my life. The early 60s vocal harmonies meets the late 60s psychedelic vamps meets solid riffs.

Choice Cut

Peter Gabriel (Melt)—Peter Gabriel

I visited my friends Jon and Brynn in Massachusetts with my new friend Jon Christian. While we packed records, Jon-the-first put on Peter Gabriel’s third self-titled solo album. Peter Gabriel’s first four albums are self titled, so eye-twitch fans give them nick names from the artwork; in this case, Melt. It’s a fantastic record. Eclectic, weird, surprisingly danceable prog, and the whole thing is catchy. Dig it.

Choice Cut

Electrified Brain—Municipal Waste

05 electrified brain.

Discovered this Virginia metal band from my roommate’s T-shirt: a two headed zombie crawling out of a Superfund swamp. Whip-crack, crunch-ass thrash. No song over three minutes. Blow it up.

Choice Cut

Big Time—Angel Olsen

06 big time.

I heard the title track on Aquarium Drunkard last year, and finally checked out the full album, from 2022. Wow, I’ve been sleeping on a major work here. Big Time is big emotions—cratered heartbreak, joyful infatuation, complex yearning, nuanced tenderness—wrapped in rock solid, mature songcraft. Angel’s voice has such range; the delicate quiet of a verse exploding into a belted gut rending chorus. Classic structure, timeless execution, modern sensibilities. Country music at it’s finest.

And! She has an EP from last year which I need to listen to. Maybe next month!

Choice Cut

Blind Melon—Blind Melon

07 blind melon.

Again while visited Jon and Brynn, Jon threw on Blind Melon, the band’s break out self titled debut from 1992. Everyone knows them as essentially a one hit wonder behind No Rain, but when Jon says a band is worth digging into, he’s usually right. And he is! The album is wall to wall solid jams, and the gone-too-soon Shannon Hoon’s vocals are seriously underrated.

Choice Cut

Tonnes of Home

What Now—Brittany Howard

08 what now.

This is one of those albums I feel I’ll be coming back to over and over, pulling something new each time. It’s so complex, yet accessible, rich and powerful. The exuberance Brittany Howard brings to every naked emotion on this album is stunning. I am having trouble defining the genres this work spans—Funk? Rock? Soul?—and that is a high compliment. Sonically diverse, yet a whole piece that hangs together. I can’t stop listening to it. I liked her first solo effort, Jaime, but I love this one. I ordered the vinyl. Check it out or miss out.

Choice Cut

What Now

Books

Jesus, I barely read anything in three months. I read The Last Colony by John Scalzi, the last in the Old Man’s War trilogy. Fun, but the weakest in the series for me. I don’t think that was the only reason it took me so long to finish—lots of change and settling in to do—but it didn’t help. Still, I did enjoy it. Glad to be on to other books!

TV

Neon Genesis Evangelion

09 neon genesis.

What a wild show. It’s just a ride you need to strap in for, not make sense of. Or, maybe there is a way to? There’s a lot of dense information flying at you a mile a minute, philosophical interrogations on the nature of self, unfortunate early 90s anime horniness, sad broken characters wading through a maelstrom of manufactured symbolism. Oh, and giant robots. I’ve been told it’s a big touch point in the trans community, and that certainly tracks with the themes of self discovery and mutability. Ultimately, I don’t know what I watched, but I enjoyed the experience.

30 Rock

I watched the show during its original run, and not since. It’s been really fun to revisit. The comedy mostly holds up, which is insane, and the characters are so great to revisit. Lots of, “Oh yeah, I kind of remember this!” moments. But of course, it’s all about who you watch it with.

Video Games

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

11 minish cap.

I’ve been slowly working my way through this one on my Miyoo Mini. I’ve played most of the Zelda games when they released, starting with A Link to the Past, but this one slipped by me at the time. It’s Capcom, not Nintendo, developed, and you can tell. The quality is still good, but doesn’t have quite the charm and design polish of a Nintendo release. Still, good for when I want to play a game but not have to think too hard or react too fast.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

The opposite of the Minish Cap experience, you do need to react fast. This game is so fun, so well designed, so great to look at, and so hard. But fair! When you die, you’re like, “Yep, that’s on me.” Well, that’s what a person who doesn’t spit expletives at the screen would say. Been playing off and on with my roommates. A+.

Movies

The Novice

13 the novice.

Describes the filmmaker. Ya burnt!

No, but seriously, this sucked.

She Came to Me

She came to me poster.

A good cast (Peter Dinkladge and Marisa Tomei as a romantic interest) plodding through a pretty forgettable love triangle centered on a depressed Dinkladge as a frustrated opera composer. Anne Hathaway melting down later in the movie was pretty fun though.

Twin Dragons

14 twin dragons.

Jackie Chan playing his own twin in a mistaken identity farce? Sounds great! I wish it was!

The Zone of Interest

15 zone interest.

This is an incredible film that I never want to see again. Even knowing the premise, it creeps up on, lulling you in, only hinting at the horrors. You watch the denial of the characters on screen, as you become invested in their domestic lives, then being jarred back to the truth with subtle prods. And that last scene. Wow. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while.

Knight of Fortune

16 knight of fortune.

This was by far the best live action Oscar nominated short. Of course Wes Anderson’s Roald Dahl adaptation won, and all the other’s where some form of student-film-level emotionally manipulative dreck, but Knight of Fortune was seriously good. Heartwarming, funny, believable characters you cared for in emotionally relatable situations. A perfect little slice of life, in a morgue.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

17 fire walk with me.

I had seen this once before, but this was my first time seeing it in the theater. You know what? It’s different on the big screen. Still weird as hell, and I can’t quite describe it, but I got more feeling out of it in a theater.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

18 gremlins2.

This movie is a bonkers, gooey, self-satirizing romp. Money is all over the screen. All the puppeteering is amazing. What a good time.

Past Lives

19 past lives.

A beautiful slice of life, unafraid of realism, unburdened by immaturity. A tender story about distance and connecting over it, and how that changes with time.

Godzilla: Tokoyo S.O.S.

20 godzilla sos.

There’s two six inch fairy twins who tell people about Mothra, who sparkles. A triumph in rubber suit cinema.

Perfect Days

21 perfect days.

This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long while. A patient character study fascinated by nominal space and time. Kōji Yakusho’s performance is so compelling, so convincing, that you’re leaning forward in the quietest moments, pulling meaning from his every move. The movie has a lot to say about jobs. So many of us have jobs that we identify with our selfhood. The janitor character here is meticulous, and cares deeply about his job, but not for anyone other than himself. Words can’t describe. Go see it.

Drive-Away Dolls

22 drive dolls.

The Cohen Brothers are known for their dark comedies, films that move effortlessly between the most grim moment to the funniest. Before the brothers started doing their own films apart, I have rolled my eyes at anyone who suggested that the “grim” and “funny” parts were separated neatly into a single brother, as being too simplistic. That may well be too simplistic, but you wouldn’t know it from the first two movies they made. Joel Cohen’s Hamlet from 2021 was all dour seriousness, excising any levity present in the play, while this year’s lesbian road crime caper Drive-Away Dolls from Ethan Cohen is all cotton candy comedy; all movement, no substance. I enjoyed it, but all the Cohen brother’s signatures where there, minus the emotional impact, so I left feeling nothing.

Gaslight

23 gaslight.

My second watch of the film, seeing with friends this time. The origin of the term. It’s fantastic. Keeps you guessing. It isn’t Hitchcock.

Some Like It Hot

24 some like it hot.

I’ve seen this a bunch of times, and saw it again with friends. It’s a classic, and is on the AFI list. On this most recent viewing, there’s still a lot to like, mostly in the first third, but it can be hard to look past the dated/sexist attitudes on display.

Rory Scovel: Religion, Sex, and a Few Things in Between

25 rory scovel.

It’s a bit provocative, pretty dirty, and very funny. I don’t remember any bits now though.

Dune: Part Two

I thought it was very pretty to look at, but kind of cold character-wise, and I didn’t end up getting invested. I had seen Part One, and read the book as a teenager. The book I loved, Part One I felt similarly to Part Two. I saw this with my dad, and he said, “You know Chris, I enjoyed it, they did a great job, but you know it was long and with all the action I didn’t understand what was happening.” Wise words, dad.

Love Lies Bleeding

27 love lies bleeding.

Two lesbian crime movies in as many months? Incredible. This one is a whole A24 80s drug gym rat murder blast. Kristen Stewart at her best. See it with someone good.

Green Porno

28 green porno.

Isabella Rossellini’s collection of campy deadpan ecological shorts, each tackling a different animal’s sex life. Rossellini dresses in costume as each animal. You can’t turn away.

Hardware

29 hardware.

An unsuccessful post apocalyptic Sci-Fi movie with some odd pacing and some truly troubling side characters, the robot design and animation is pretty great.

Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness

30 truth or dare.

Masterpiece. One of the movies I’ve seen the most. A perfect comedy. I see you Elijah Wood.

Speed Racer

Speed racer ver5 xlg.

Pure joy. This movie looks like nothing else. Still ahead of it’s time, this thing is candy that sticks to your ribs. Watchable forever. What are you doing if you haven’t seen this?

We Grown Now

31 we grown now.

Won a lottery for a free screening. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me, and that was for the best. A story about two young friends growing up Cabrini Green, and the struggles around racism they face. The script didn’t come together for me, the central game and metaphor of jumping in particular feeling like it had nowhere to live in the story (the game also makes no sense? It’s built up as the biggest recess cred-builder, and all it is is jumping onto a mattress. I buy that as a kids game, but one where someone is a legend at it? Or where the mom trots out the cliche of stopping all that jumping nonsense? I digress). As far as Cabrini Green films go, Candyman did it better.

Friday The 13th Part 2

32 friday 13 2.

I decided to watch all the Friday the 13th movies. They’re trash, they’re sexist, why even bother, I hear you say. Well, yes. I won’t argue any of that. And yet, I feel culturally compelled to understand this time in horror, this specific run of year after year sequels, this New Jersey killer. Also, my roommate Ivy has the collected Blu Ray box set. Part 2 was fun! Comfortingly trope filled, the teens were, for the most part, legitimately likeable, which is, I’m told, the only time that happens in this franchise.

Friday The 13th Part 3

33 friday 13 3.

We almost had the technology to watch this in 3D; we had the 3D Blu Ray, we had the 3D TV, but not the 3D Blu Ray player. Sad times. But, all those times the movie took a break to show shots where a Yo-Yo or a shovel handle pokes at the screen were still funny in 2D. The introduction of the hockey mask. It’s shot in California instead of New Jersey, and you can really tell. The theme song is, once again, incredible. Why does everyone go into the damn barn?

Civil War

34 civil war.

Intense movie, great performances, really effecting, predictable but whatever. A movie about journalism, and the effects it has on journalists, and if that matters and is worth the cost.

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th The Final Chapter poster.

Worth the price of admission for Crispin Glover’s dance alone. Tom Savini came back for this one, so the gore effects are good. Corey Feldman runs around. Some cool shots of bursting through glass. Hilarious ending freeze frame.

I was randomly thinking about 3 Doors Down today, specifically this line from Kryptonite.

If I go crazy will you still call me Superman.

That means the singer’s SO calls them Superman as a pet name.

There’s no way that isn’t sarcastic.

“Hey babe, do you have any Tylenol?”
“Sure thing, Superman.”

TIL that the Friday the 13th Part 3 theme is a bop.

Has there ever been a bigger drop in quality in album art than between the first two Danzig albums?

The first record? One of the most iconic images in hard rock.

The first danzig album cover art, featuring a black field with a demon skull emossed in white

The second record? Prank.

The second danzig album cover art, featuring a black and white photo of Danzig's hairy white chest, his hands gripping a crucifix with a demon skull on it.

🎵 Just discovered Atlanta punk band Upchuck. Really exciting music.

www.youtube.com/watch

Late to the party, but this article from music blog Brooklyn Vegan on modern hardcore is introducing me to a lot of cool stuff. 🎵

Listening to a lot of the Moody Blues today. Feels good.

Vinyl record cover of Switched-On Bach

I found Wendy Carlos’ Switched-On Bach thrifting in Providence. First time I’ve heard it, and can recommend to all the #synthnerds #music.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Neal Francis lately. Tight piano-driven pop songs with downbeat lyrics and uplift music. Feels very “live”.

Why I Started Buying Records

I started buying records a few months ago, and I’ve already compiled a large body of imagined insults to my person about why I’d do such a dumb, dusty thing.

Vinyl RecordA geometric image of a black vinyl record.

In the time honored tradition of humoring your own neuroses, I’m going to respond to these accusations.

But first, an opinion:

Why you should buy records, too

You shouldn’t. Or you should. Do what you want. Pluralistic societies for the win!

Okay, on to why I started buying records.

It’s slow

Many would see this as a drawback, but for me, as I get older and the world gets faster and my attention becomes more precious, I find it rather meditative to attend to something as fragile as a record.

It becomes it’s own kind of ritual.

Leafing through the record spines, hearing the paper swoosh as you pull it off the shelf, carefully extracting the record, delicately placing it on the spindle, cleaning and wiping for dust as necessary.

It’s like worshiping at an altar, except instead of having to confess your sins you get to dance.

You own them

Music streaming services have taken over the world, and they are great, don’t get me wrong. However, about a year ago I had this moment where I realized I hadn’t bought any music in a long time.

It made me feel strange; I care about music a lot, and only using a streaming service felt like a gear head only leasing a car.

I wanted something in my hands.

Sound quality

This one is more aspirational. I don’t know if I can tell the difference, sound wise, between a lossless digital file and a vinyl recording, but I hope to when I get good enough speakers to really make that apparent.

In the meantime, my records still sound great on my almost two decades old Sony 5 CD changer, tape, radio and speaker combo.

Big cover art

Trivial? Maybe, but some albums have amazing artwork, and I want to hold it and gaze into it like the coffee-table-book-sized masterpiece it is.

It’s analog

I like having music in the format it was indented for. For records that were recorded in analog, that’s vinyl.

If that sounds suspiciously like a lot of hand waving and magical thinking, yeah, you’re probably right. Yet I think good art always has elements of magical disbelief, so why not stretch that metaphor from the art to the medium?

I hear it’s the message.

Nostalgia

They smell nice, too. What does an mp3 smell like?

It’s trendy

This is an anti-reason.

They’re collectable

It’s like trading cards for hipsters.

You can still listen to digital music

This is the best part: even though I own a record player and several records, and listen to them frequently, I have not been outlawed from listening to music on my phone (at least not yet).

In a best of both worlds move I’m pretty proud of, I started ripping my records to high quality FLAC files so I could listen to them on the go, or just categorize them obsessively, or whatever, don’t judge.

That way, the files are legally mine, they are DRM free, and I can play them anywhere without an internet connection (I’m looking at you, The Subway) without having to pay for Spotify.

Conclusions

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you win nothing.

You can take a look at the records I’ve collected so far, if you’re into that kind of thing, you weirdo.

Drum subbing

Good news! I have unearthed a video of me playing with one of my favorite bands of all time, The Candy Apples.

Never heard of them? Now you have.

I was introduced to their music back in 2005 by my college roommate Andy McCarthy, who is part of the band (guitar and vocals). The two videos below are taken from a live broadcast of Thursday Nite Live, which is Hofstra University’s very own sketch comedy show that I was the head writer of in college.

This show was taped in October 2008, the fall after I graduated, so it was pretty awesome to go back and play.

The reason why I got to play with them was that their regular drummer, Steve Beck, had another gig with another band, The Gypsy West (another great band), and couldn’t make the show. So five days prior I was asked, immediately said yes, and spent the three days preceding the show practicing the songs after work.

There’s the story. If you like the music, let me know and I’ll send you their albums.

Keep it funky!