I work with a stuffed animal distributor. I hate that they don’t refer to their warehouse as “The Bearhouse.” It’s such a simple flourish that might engender some anger. But to those whom it really matters, like myself, it’d be kind. It’s a kindness.

I came back into the office from fetching the mail at about 3pm today. If you don’t know, Los Angeles is weird, where we always have this breeze going even if the temperature is in triple digits. Something to do with the beach leading into the desert stretching into a  sprawling wasteland, I’m no gustologist (which almost certainly a better term for a food scholar more than a wind scholar.)
Point is that often in mornings, it’s cold. Sometimes in the shade during the summer, there’s a chill. But I strolled into the sun and the breeze was gentle enough that it landed nicely. I did want to curl up on the asphalt; it’d be worth inconveniencing others.
I came back into the office and told my co-worker, “it is so nice in the sun this very moment.” She asked me, “nice in a good way?” I puzzled over this and can only figure she was thinking nice like a Nice Guy and now I cannot stop picturing the sun in a fedora, expecting us to thank it for always hovering, doing us the favor of sweat.

Today I wore a 10 year-old shirt. There are new identical holes on each shoulder, the result of washing over time. The sleeves are going to slough off me at some point, but like a phoenix, perhaps the Tommy Hilfiger will be reborn.

I like that folks who work in corporate contract departments get to call themselves “Risk Management.” They sound like Masters of Chance, tipping die rolls with a swish of a finger. The title is, of course, something they scored while negotiating their employment contracts.

A homeless man on a bike pulled up to me outside McDonald’s and asked for a smoke. Told him they were back at my apartment. There was a flicker of recognition before he asked “are you the guy who… Benzos?” I laughed and said “I wish!” before he biked off without another word. I resolved to give a dollar to another homeless man I’d turned down on my way to McDo. He was no longer there when I passed.

I found a K-Mart box fan on the sidewalk in front of my house. It blows perfectly, which is a rare phrase. The white noise is a bonus. Even though I have a window AC unit, I’m loathe to turn it on; for what space it cools, the electric bill heats up. I’ve propped the fan on an end table near the second window and pointed it at my bed from across the room. Ponce is now laying to my left, slumped into a fluff barricade between the air current and my body. That’s more than fine.

June 2018

I heard “Don’t Bring Me Down” at the roller rink and it instantly kindled the flame, which is a surprise considering I’ve watched this more than one hundred times.

There’s a load of pop on this one; filling space like cotton candy yet dense as a jawbreaker. Hayley Kiyoko makes several appearances, including “Curious” and a remix. Did the same thing with GIRLI’s “Not That Girl.” What can I say? When I like a song, I like a song.

I’m pretty frustrated that Janelle’s “Screwed” isn’t a music video yet after the aural/visual joy of both “Pynk” and “Make Me Feel,” but I’m holding out hope. Glades’s “Do Right” kept me afloat the entire month, the Golden Rule of the title expanding into my surroundings. And “Duck Duck Goose” by cupcakKe had something else expanding I’ll tell you what! (My appreciation for cupcakKe, of course.)

Jump in, the water’s fine. But it’s music. Can you breathe music? Let’s find out. In a controlled environment with lifeguards maybe.

June 2018

Today at the park, I was standing on the shaded baseball bleachers browsing my phone. A talkative little girl arrived, holding her mother’s hand. As they passed, I heard the girl yelp “why’s he- he’s not allowed to stand up there!” Mom replied “he’s allowed to stand up there. You aren’t.” I put on my best gracious suitor voice and said “thank you for your permission!” Me and mom laughed. The girl scrunched up her face with frustration.

Tonight, leaving Pizza Hut with my dinner, I set the box down on a chair to check its contents: I’ve been burned before by wrong toppings after the walk home. As I popped the box open, I heard the cashier–one of several who know me by name–behind me, saying “personal, rectangular…” and I turned to laugh at his reading of my inner monologue. But he continued with “garlic knots, bread sticks…” and I realized he was reciting his way through a stock check.

May 2018

May’s playlist. The Maylist. Nobody’s ever done that before, I’m sure. Off to a great start.

Celebrated the return of Blanck Mass with the driving, rasping “Odd Scene.” Shook my booty to District 78’s “Booty Shakin Music” after shazaming it out of the background music in a Parks and Recreation scene. Swooned to the timeless duo of A$AP Ferg and Elle Fanning on their Tiffany Diamond-sponsored re-interpretation of “Moon River.”

Summer is shaping up nicely. The year is too. Have I ever dropped a bad playlist? In my humble opinion, they’ve always been slaylists.

May 2018

April 2018

I cannot, for the life of me, keep the titling format of these playlist posts consistent.

And yet the yams remain yammin’, the slams keep slammin’.

Big months for Janelle Monáe, Death Grips, and dudes named Danny. “Make You Feel” and “Pynk” both impossibly sensual and funky, I can’t believe I haven’t bumped the whole album yet. On the flip side of things, I had six hours of transit early in the month and burned through the entire Death Grips discography. Weirdly enough, I only found the special sauce on their latest full release, Bottomless Pit (but new single “Streaky” is exciting me, it’s way bleep-bloopier than previous work).

And finally the Danwich features buns made of Harle, but they don’t measure up to the purestrain pop of Sunshine. “Never Thought” reads so basic but feels so euphoric.

Little sidebar for Alex Cameron here too– “Marlon Brando” is the highlight of an album that I never expected to enjoy. I don’t even know who recommended it to me. His crustpunk Springsteen crooning almost coerces me into belting “f*ggot” right along with him. (Don’t worry, he gets reflective on his word choice even before reaching the end of the song.)

Also for like three days straight I couldn’t stop listening to Anna Kendrick’s rendition of “Cups.” I cannot be trusted to guide my own life.

First half shredded, back half aesthetic. Love it. May’s gonna be huge.

April 2018

March 2018

I cannot be stopped.

Or rather, Slime Girls’s “Warpstar (With You)” can’t. Youtube (of all places!) recommended me an album of theirs, and after a little bit of quick browsing I ended up with a tune that I’ve listened to 200+ times since. Reminds me of Anamanaguchi at their earlier, more-8bit-than-rock inspirational best.

“Baby I’m Bleeding” is an assault from a rapper self-nicknamed Peggy, barreling into any targets within reach over a beat balanced on the knife’s edge between functional and failing. That one was a friend recommending Jpegmafia and flipping around his jams at random.

Or Red Velvet’s “빨간 맛 Red Flavor,” first heard during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Or Branchez trap-country croon “Turn Up For The Weekend,” which an old friend blasted in his car between bars. Or classic jukebox-exclusive horn-em-up “Strokin,” which I first heard from a pixie girl at karaoke. She knew most of the words, but the ad-libs are tougher.

Yep, the music’s always coming. And so am I.

Coming to meet it at the threshold of pleasure. In an arrival sense. Get your mind out of the gutter and deep into the sewer, where I reside.

okay thats enough

March 2018

DK64 ABC, “K Rool: Diddy, Tiny, and Chunky Phase – 8xA”

 

Some frightening genius constructed a tool-assisted run of Donkey Kong 64 in which the A button is pressed as little as possible. This is equivalent of pole-vaulting without a pole. The A button controls functions like jumping and selecting items in menus. Jumping tends to be important in video games.

This is the final video in the series. It’s actually somewhat disappointing, given that it features 8 A button presses after keeping the total down to 38 for the entire rest of the game at 101% completion. I recommend the rest of the vids ahead of this one, but wanted to point out that its finally wrapped and you can watch the entire thing. A favored clip features a technique that would take an absurd number of hours if not sped up and completed by a computer. (Duplicated copies of items are shepherded into one room to generate huge amounts of lag so that damage knockback is prolonged and lends itself to greater distance. It’s elegant.)

There’s no point to this challenge and yet it means everything. Digital asceticism bringing us closer to deus ex machina.

February 18

I warned you! I warned you it was slamming into your life hard n’ fast! EVEN IF YOU CAN’T LOVE PEOPLE, YOU CAN LOVE SONGS

A lot of top-notch selections here. The “Come First” remix may be my favorite Terror Jr. so far. The new verse by fake-Kylie is as much gasoline in my veins as the gasoline she’s slurping down. “BOOGIE” just barely didn’t make it into last year’s Best Of, because I was still sorting through that entire BROCKHAMPTON album (which also landed two other tracks on here). “Ouagadougou” is super cute but also makes me feel racist? Why is this white band doing a whole Africa song??? Still cute. And then dimber with their album damber: a rollicking 15min EP and “Manges Tes Morts” has been a fistpumping throatshredding repeater for me. Aryay’s “Never Gonna Leave” is a Pretty Lights-esque banger that mek me cri every tiem because it’s about dying kids. “Passenger Side” is killer pop with evocative lyrics, enough so that we got the original and a remix on here.

And then I ruin it all with a serious block of Undertale remixes. Sorry. That’s more for me than you. For sure.

Feb 18