Like James Gunn, I’ve attempted to be transgressive or provocative when I write jokes. I was also an edgy teen before that. There are too many posts for me to ever sanitize. “Rape” and “retarded” tossed around flippantly. The n-word spelled out to make (unnecessary) rhetorical points about censorship. Sure, sexually-tinged jokes at the expense of minors.

But I also can’t and won’t ever be the director of a globally-popular superhero movie series. I doubt I’ll be recognized at a county-wide level, unless I fall down some stairs in a particularly funny way. So, like, sorry you didn’t consider your trajectory, James, when you took some shots at social mores. Society likes to shoot back.

On the positive side of comedy, today the New York Times contains a profile of Hannah Gadsby. If you haven’t watched Nanette yet, do so. It didn’t rock my world, but I’m swamped in progressive comedy and I dwell on it often. (I think I was most tickled by her cerebral, historically-evidenced line of material on Van Gogh.) The show she’s created is important and it’s accessible. Hannah demands her humanity and succeeds.

SIMULTANE STORY RESPO

Is the opposite of a red flag just a green flag? Why don’t we have a fair opposite to “red flag?”

I don’t think we talk about green flags enough. Because reluctance is a big part of conversations about dating, right? “Yeah, she seems cool, I guess. We’ll see where things go.” I think most of the time we’re falling in love with folks who are merely Okay, like they’re hot enough for you to fear losing them but they’re just generally Acceptable, and a big part of Accepting them is the comfort that they feel similarly about you. Then the red flags are the worst bits of them, the parts that make you say “what if he’s Unacceptable though?” Thenfor fair, healthy reasonsthey’re overlooked in the hopes that they aren’t planted too deep.

But shouldn’t love be about enjoying another person and then seizing onto the qualities that push them above and beyond? When I think of the women I’ve caught feelings for, it’s because I really like them, but then they’re also blowing my mind and making me laugh with these incidental phrases and body language and thoughts. Raising green flags left and right. Sure, shit may be unrequited, but I don’t really get bothered given that I’m excited to feel anything that shoots past my amiability toward all folks.

And dashing out “simultane story respo” off-the-cuff: massive green flag. I admit there’s probably some context missing, that you don’t know her personality and, even if you do know mine, you’ve got no idea how they interplay. Too bad; this is the most erogenous DM I’ve ever received.

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.

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.

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

BEST 2017

best 2017

 

My 50 favorite songs of the year — ordered by tempo and vibe — not necessarily FROM 2017, just heard by me in 2017

Some notable absences:
  • Selena Gomez (They’re great, but “Fetish” and “Bad Liar” didn’t break through for me. Sorry Selene Queen)
  • the entire genre of hip-hop (there’s plenty throughout the monthly playlists, but less represented here)
  • Kero Kero Bonito (I’m not vibing on their latest stuff and keep coasting on the old)
  • Hitchhiker (C’mon where are you, silver spaceman)

 

My favorite discovery of the year was absolutely Terror Jr. They’re represented in two songs here, tying Coucheron and Blanck Mass (who have a sorta intro song included here that doesn’t count). (Also Tove Styrke has a song and a remix of that same song. Doesn’t count.)

 

Speaking of Blanck Mass: also a huge discovery. Love both the albums I dug into this year, and this follow-up project to Fuck Buttons answers the question of “What sorta spin could possibly improve Fuck Buttons?” with a resounding “witchgoth industrial.”

 

Started it off with BROCKHAMPTON since it’s an optimistic tune and these guys’ sun is  shining brightly right now. Excited to find out how many albums they release in 2018, considering this first three have captivated me pretty well. Kanyefriends for lyfe.

 

The category of Most Listened Songs is funny, because looking at the stats a year back from today… Only three of the top five songs are from 2017. That means in the past month, I’ve listened to two songs more than almost everything else in 2017. Youch.

 

  1. Ghosted, “Get Some” – raunchy electro pop, slinky and funky; some gets gotten.
  2. TYSM, “Wraith” – sad bedroom glitch-pleas over delicate plinks and plonks.
  3. BROCKHAMPTON, “SUNNY” – this smile says “good morning: don’t fuck with us.”
  4. Aryay, “Always Wanted You (ft. Kimbra)” – a beat of bullhorn shrieks tempered by sultry coos.
  5. Tove Styrke, “Mistakes” –  this song has eight different catchy melodies; all Tove’s wobbly lilt.

 

Since there’s no “Wraith” video, here’s another great TYSM song with a WILD video, “Honeymoon Phase.”

 

Since there are no BROCKHAMPTON videos at all, here’s an amazing clip of them performing my fave song off SATURATION III (which is technically a January 2018 song for me), “BOOGIE.”

 

Since there’s no “Always Wanted You” video, here’s another fresh Aryay song that’s apparently about uhhhhhhh how everyone you love will eventually die: “Never Gonna Leave”

 

And, finally, just feel like it should be mentioned, Otto Knows creates the most reverential big room house out there. Here’s more evidence from years past: Otto Knows, “Million Voices,” in which some skate teens create the Aurora Borealis and then start making out, it’s the most-Scandinavian vision of youth ever.

 

That’s all. Here it is. Bi now.

 

Best 2017