Music Post # Whatever

La Dispute kill it on their new split with Touche Amore. :)

I haven’t posted anything concerning what I’ve been listening to since like June-ish.  So consider this a music post.

I was inspired to write this post by a band named RVIVR.  They’ve got this sound I just want to put in my pocket and carry around with me to show people.  I want to say, “Here. This is so fucking good.”  They are comprised of the remnants of Latterman and Shorebirds.  I never listened to either one very much, but I am going to make sure I do very soon. Anyway, here it is:

I’ve also been listening to Evan Weiss’s (formerly The Progress and Up Up Down Down) solo project Into It. Over It.  He just did a split with one of my favorite new bands Castevet.  52 Weeks, supposedly written in 52 weeks, is a wonderful collection that mixes tender love songs and rockin’ broken-heart anthems.  Here’s some stuff from the Castevet/Into It. Over It. 7″ split.

In anticipation of FunFunFun Fest, which will feature a reunited Cap’n Jazz, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the far reaches of the Cap’n Jazz tree.  I’ve decided Make Believe is probably my favorite descendant of the CJ tree outside of Promise Ring and Joan of Arc. Anyway, personally, I think this is Tim Kinsella at his best. :)

Been listening to a lot of Bill Evans, as well.  I finally got my own copy of Waltz for Debby. I was convinced stores were pricing it way too high for an unpopular album from the 70s.

Some notable releases, Tallest Man on Earth released a pretty good LP this summer.  A brutal note, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza’s new album is fucking phenomenal.  Darby and I got our hands on the new Pack of Wolves album, and we’re going to go see them this month.  I’m so stoked.

It seems like I will only go to a show if it’s metal/brutal/legitasfuck.  I ended up going with my friend Allison to see the Toadies.  The bands that opened up were great, especially Girl In a Coma and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, but Toadies completely sucked it up. I have decided that I will never see another 90s band live again–with the exception of Cap’n Jazz in Nov.  90s bands are currently in this transitional phase where they’ve convinced themselves that their music is still relevant and want to push their “new” music agenda at their concerts.  Eventually, they’ll find that people go to their shows to hear them perform the songs and tracks that made them amazing.  It’s not that their new music may be bad, but that’s not why people showed up to Dia de Los Toadies.  They wanted to hear stuff from Rubberneck and Hell Below, Stars Above.  Popular bands from the 90s, like groups from the 70s and 80s have found out, will have to choose their craft and artistic integrity for dollar figures.  I don’t know which one I would pick.

-dago

Sounds

peacock_1
"I don't like the new Brand New album as much as 'The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me'." Bullshit, peacock!

Outside of the hearing impaired, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy music or even disregards its impact on their life.  There is no way that you can trot through life or consume in our society without considering music as an integral facet in your life.  As I write this, I’m listening to Bill Evans and Stan Getz get it on… musically.

I can’t get away from music in my own life.  This is self-imposed.

Even if you didn’t listen to a death-core album a day, which is proven to keep doctors away, your ears are pummeled by sound daily.  The television/radio jingles that you hear on your way to work, the lobby playlist at your dentist’s office, the crazy man on S. Congress that frantically strums and croons at passersby, etc. are all sonic reminders of how we are connected and, at times, disconnected through music.

Forms of consumption are often used as tools for peacocking.  In my life, I have found that no one is excluded from this practice.  Many of us use the universal concept of music  to connect to the people we care to be with, to separate ourselves from the ones we feel are different and/or to grandstand as connoisseurs, civilized or fun types.

I think I’m just writing this because I read Adorno this week and feel especially cynical about certain things.

——————————–

At 11, my mother decided that it was best that I not go to Sharpstown Middle School.  The gang initiations and violence had alarmed my mother enough to request my enrollment in Paul Revere Middle School’s Magnet Program.

Before my adventures in suburban schools, I was a Latino kid who lived in the “ghetto” and loved rap music.  97.9 The Box was the only station I listened to.  My cousin Tony from Chicago introduced me to the greats.  I loved Tupac, Biggie, Bone Thugs, Easy E, Ice Cube, Cypress Hill.  If they were gangsta’ and from the 90s, I listened to them a lot.  I even remember discussing the latest Lil’ Keke album with a chum during lunch in 6th grade.  Just like Texas, Dago was from “da souf”.

The culture was different in suburban middle school.  There weren’t as many “gangstas” around and the ones that pretended were just assholes.  I needed to fit in somehow.  I was smart, but that made you the butt of a lot of jokes.  I used music as my in.  I learned so much about these alien kids and their culture through TV and the radio.  I would listen to Top 40 Radio and the Alternative station because I wanted a clue.  There kids never heard of Los Bukis and for sure didn’t actively listen to “My Ambitions As a Ridah”.  I watched Dawson’s Creek and other shows with youth-driven plots because I wanted to get to know my peers better.

I borrowed copies of Green Day’s Nimrod and The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream.  I bought my own copy of Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in 7th grade–1998.  I know that’s a few years after the fact, but I was behind in the game, and the kids I loved to hang out with had older siblings that made them listen to their depressing/awesome alternative rock albums.  I was playing catch-up.

My mother and father were delighted about my new found love for music, or at least they pretended to be.  For years, I rode the wave of “alternative” rock and metal.  I loved Korn through high school, secretly through Junior and Senior year when I was in a punk band.  At 12 I had earnestly picked up guitar and learned three Korn albums in their entirety by 14 or 15.

In high school, I quickly learned that no one took you seriously if you listened to Korn. NO ONE.

Metal heads are never taken seriously because they are considered weird and focused on being strange.  This is a notion I still have today.

I had to change, and I did.  Then I changed again in college.

However, the latter was not purposeful in its progress.  It was more organic and without intent.  I listened to things I found interesting and challenging.  In my teens and early twenties, music had become my social crutch.  I used it to become more connected to the people around me.  There wasn’t necessarily a scene that I followed because, in all honesty, large gatherings always frighten me.  However, the fact remains that I used music as a means to an end and not as a leisurely activity.

I feel that a lot of us lose sight of ourselves in the selfish expectations that we create for others to consider when discussing us.  A lot of us create these images in order to fit in but only find ourselves empty down the line.  If we cut the bullshit how much more diverse could our society be?  How much harder could we make it for industry to capture demographics?

And it’s not that I don’t care what people are listening to.  I do.  No matter how much you fight the urge, you still want to peek your head out and see what the others are doing.  You want to remain socially functional in some sense.  This is the behavior that gets me in “trouble” and in possession of the new Dirty Projectors album.  I’m a hypocrite.

Fuck Dirty Projectors,

Dago

PS: Go Texans! 5 – 3, baby!

beginning things

This is my second/third (if you count an early-2000s era LiveJournal) attempt at a blog. I used blogs in the past to deal with personal issues. I would leave them open to the public, knowing what the consequences were. This blog won’t go down that road. To avoid most interpersonal conflicts, the intended purpose of this blog is to criticize the anonymous.  I hope the more I get the hang of this, the better the writing and topics get.

I want to discuss the everyday things I see, and hear. As any good American, I consume. Also, like any good student of the liberal arts (blegh!), I have a lot of opinions about things I interact with on a daily basis. You will probably not agree with what I have to say, have an opinion on whatever sport I’m yelling about or even like the way I write about it. I just want this blog to be fun. In fact, I’m pretty sure this blog will be fun at the expense of others. I hope you’re okay with that. OK.

Now, onto the most important thing—myself. I’m an out-of-shape, twenty-three year old male from Austin, TX. A graduate of St. Edward’s University, I have a degree in History (know-it-all), and one day hope to get my hands on a Ph. D.

I currently have two employers, but will probably disclose their names in another post.  I’m not a fucking bum!

I have opinions, and I, being a dirty fucking liberal fascist, feel like all voices are important. I suppose this will be mine, for now. I’m originally from Houston, TX—Sharpstown to be exact. I’m obsessed with sports, music, politics, lively debate and people’s day-to-day interactions. So, let’s just get started, eh?

Continue reading beginning things