“This question is the subject of Simon Critchley’s thin volume Bowie. Critchley, a philosopher who teaches at The New School and moderates the New York Times‘s philosophy column “The Stone,” may seem an unlikely source for an exegesis of Bowie’s art, but he stakes his claim in the book’s first line: “no person has given me greater pleasure throughout my life than David Bowie.” Critchley first saw the star in a career-defining performance on the British TV show Top of the Pops, where Bowie sang “Starman” while sporting deep orange hair and a catsuit of many colors. He was, Critchley writes, “At once cocky and vulnerable. His face full of sly understanding—a door to a world of unknown pleasures.””
“I have always liked the number eight. It rhymes with my name and was often my number in sports growing up. When someone else took it, I usually chose a number that somehow, to me, was still an eight. I went with twenty-three in high school because I saw it as two cubed.”
Sound & Vision #6: Nate Duval, illustrator of band merch galore!
“Jazz is part and parcel of going long, as well, because analogous innovations were happening among the free jazz players of the 60s, who had arrived at their own route into long-form composition (I’m thinking about Miles Davis citing Karlheinz Stockhausen when talking about Bitches Brew, or John Coltrane listening to Indian music at the time that he was working on longer works like “Om” and “Ascension”). Sun Ra, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Zorn, even Duke Ellington, all worked on album-length pieces or suites of compositions from the 60s and 70s onward. Of these, A Love Supreme occupies a special place for me, and, I assume, for many others. But it is by no means unique in making its four movements into a whole, borrowing and modernizing some of what is good about symphonic structure, while also thinking about poetic sequence and scripture. You could say that same about Ellington’s later suites (the Afro-Eurasian Eclipse, for example, the Far East Suite, his sacred music concerts, and so on), or Miles Davis’s concerts from the early 70s. If the early jazz pieces were the length of a player piano roll, jazz after the avant-garde period had no reason, any longer, to hew to that length. It could go on as it liked.”

In “Title and Registration,” a mess of emotions fall out of a glove compartment. It’s raining, and there are only supposed to be ownership papers and insurance forms inside. With the song’s hollow thump of a drum machine, I imagined a blue and white, one-hour photo store envelope falling out with the thwack of lifeless paper to a carpeted floor. The envelope is filled with pictures from a couple’s spontaneous day trip to the mountains, outside of a city where there are trees as tall as skyscrapers and clouds entirely visible. It was their last ditch effort to save each other from each other. In my mind, she left the pictures there by accident months ago, before everything evaporated with a long sigh one evening after taking the dog for a walk.


Albums Of Our Lives: Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism by Elyssa Goodman

One of the things is my process requires a lot of repetition. I can probably drive people crazy because I’m interested in playing a song twenty times in a row. Then I’ll write all the lyrics down on the page, turn the page in the notebook, write them again, and see if I stumble across a word I want to change. It’s slow improvements. Everything is getting worked on up until it gets recorded and then you’re kind of stuck with it. I keep chiseling away at things, especially lyrically.
The Rumpus Interview With Craig Finn
First is the rhythm: a tessellated electronica heartbeat (Gillian Sandman). Then the voice: a honey-colored, R&B-inflected baritone. (Samoncé Smith). Last, the performance: all ratchet ballet and Afrik vogue, twerking and pirouettes. Shirley House isn’t just a band: it’s a community, a family. With the help of choreographers, singers, engineers and visionaries—we’re creating something bigger and more complicated than just a single track or lone dance step. With your help, we’ll be able to create our first music video, and bring the Shirley House experience to a larger audience.

Help us make the 1st Shirley House music video! | Indiegogo Someone please by me the $750 reward, I want Shirley House to write me a song about pizza, Beyonce, and gifs.

“When I started Goldie and the Gingerbreads, my thought wasn’t Let’s get rich! It was, Hey! This will be different! I’d met Ginger Bianco at a gig. She was a drummer, and when I saw her play, I said to myself, “Hey! I just met another punk!” I’d never seen an all-girl band before, never heard of one, but when I met Ginger I thought, why not? But we quickly found out there were no other serious chick musicians out there. We had to go through a lot of girls, and it took years to put together the rest of the band.”
“Janet Wygal (The Individuals, Splendora, I Ride the Bus): I had a side band called I Ride the Bus with my sister Tricia and we opened for The Replacements! That was really quite memorable because they were just so wild, and so drunk! But really good! It was one of their early shows in the area and I think it was just sort of their recklessness that was so appealing. And obviously the songs were really great, of course.”
An Ode to Maxwell’s by Jesse Sposato. A now-closed Hoboken gem!
“But song-poems are also uniquely fascinating. Their particular badness is of the kind that record collectors, for example, love to attend to: the mixture of dread earnestness and camp, the mixture of mastery and inability, the collisions of historical eras, the inexplicability of certain cultural tendencies.”

In 1987, at a family arcade in New Jersey, I’d hoarded enough Skee-ball tickets for a real prize—not just some ratty stuffed animal. I claimed my bounty with fervor: a single-tape boombox small enough to keep under the covers and muffle the sounds of my parents’ endless fighting. In the dark, the volume at just one bar, I’d lie with my ear pressed against the speaker mesh, my index finger poised, waiting to hit record on any of the groups I loved—Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Exposé, Kool & The Gang. Then I’d spend hours sleuthing out each nuanced lyric, the staccato start and stops, until the vocals faded and the tapes finally gave out.

A year later, in the neighborhood of 3 a.m., I awoke to a smashing sound against the wall I shared with my parents, so I turned to my radio, moving the metal knob an imperceptible hair at a time until I stumbled on the local college station. The sounds I heard changed everything. A baritone DJ yelled, “This one’s for Saddam Hussein. Fuck you!” Then four ticks of drumsticks before the furious guitar of “Chemical Warfare” began. I was so stunned that I didn’t hit record immediately—unblinking in the dark, muscles stiff—but a few bars in, I scrambled to press that red square.

Songs Of Our Lives: Dead Kennedys’ “Chemical Warfare” by Lisa Nikolidakis.