*kermit voice* carlos theeeee scientist here
everything is exciting! particularly EXISTENCE YAAAAAYYY
John Scalzi gets it.
right on the fucking nail
Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another man more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.
The Sociological Cinema
There was actually research that was done that found that women who used an “I have a boyfriend/husband” excuse to reject unwanted sexual attention and harassment by their bosses were more likely to be left alone than those who used any other excuse (including “I’m not interested”)
Because men respect another man’s property (and that’s how they see us) than a woman’s autonomy.
I’ve been working on Vector Images of myself & friends for school!
I’m thinking about starting up commissions for others who are interested in icons or something!
If anyone would be interested I’d love to know & get some feedback from others!
How dare they do FIVE for Tokyo and only 3 for Kansai. KANSAI REPRESENT
Here’s some more to-dos:
Out of all these, I have to recommend the Hiroshima Peace Park the most. That was probably the most transformative location I visited; I was not the same person when I walked out of there.
avril lavignes hello kitty video was deleted from youtube and then billboard posted this
I am so glad I was able to witness the monstrosity before it left us
divisio asked: Aradia and Jake as archaeologists with conflicting methods
"Listen, I get that you’re all ‘guns blazing’, but could you PLEASE wait to fire them until AFTER we get attacked by bandits?!"
"That’s sassafras you consummate noob; every real archaeologist worth their pepper sauce knows that you shoot first and demand answers later!"
Four hundred thousand dollars worth of artifacts were destroyed by ricocheted bullets, and Aradia left Jake stranded by taking the helicopter after convincing him that his shoes were untied (they were velcro).
Back in the day, when Dunk and I were first writing music reviews together, I cared about where music was going, as if music was a thing that went. I found trends alarming, because I was worried that songs as a whole were going to pack up and go somewhere I couldn’t access, a place filled with Scandinavians, a place where there was nothing to eat but coke rap and nothing to drink but minimalist techno. I liked guitars and I didn’t like the fact that nobody seemed to be using them anymore.
I am a little bit older now, and I know that there will always be a new guitar band, and that it might not actually be the best thing for me if the music I like is in vogue. Fame and attention and money and praise aren’t actually very good for the miserable people whose work I enjoy. Desperate weirdos intentionally doing something that went out of style years ago - that’s my jam.
So with that in mind I’m going to lay both the critical buzz around Perfect Pussy and the mid-Atlantic punk revival that they seem to represent aside and concentrate on that other thing - the music. And what it sounds like is, maybe, if Sleigh Bells were better at writing songs, or if Bikini Kill and Dashboard Confessional put their resentments aside for long enough to get together and have a kid, and then released a recording of the subsequent divorce.
(That doesn’t actually communicate anything, you say? Fuck off. This is how music criticism is done: a hurricane fence of allusion between the writer and the reader. How else am I supposed to maintain my authority? If I didn’t have decades of mostly terrible songs under my listening belt, you’d be just as qualified as I am to say whether songs sound good or not. AND I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO FORGET THAT YOU AREN’T)
Anyway, this is some fast, melodic punk rock. The vocals are mostly covered in distortion and are hard to understand, but quick snatches penetrate - tee hee - and those seem mostly to be about LIFE and YOUTH and SEX and DESPERATE BRAIN SITUATIONS. That goes pretty well with the songs themselves, which burn bright and collapse quickly. I caught one of their shows, and they played for 20 minutes and acted like every second of it was actively painful, which it may have been, given how fucking loud everything was. The album is similarly brief, and only about three quarters of it is actually comprised of song, with the last couple of tracks consumed by seemingly-improvised ambient synth freakouts. It’s a band so determined to pack as much intensity as possible into every square-inch of music that they can’t keep it up for too long without exploding all over everything and passing out. ”Try thinking about baseball”, I want to tell them. They wouldn’t listen. The young never do.
And that’s in the end what’s so fun about this thing: the youth factor. It’s primal and overstuffed and ecstatic. It’s got that art-damaged punk band mainstay, the unhinged keyboard player who just makes noise all over everything, and the keening treble harmonics he smears on these songs give the whole thing a soaring prayerfulness. (I mean, that’s what I think. And as I mentioned before, whether that’s a true thing or not is completely up to me, because I know who the Silver Apples are.) The songs are carefully and tightly written - there are some complicated chord progressions under all the noise - and that gives the band a solid base to push off from, ensuring that they don’t just float away in a cloud of noise. It’s like someone attached electrodes to Built to Spill’s genitals.
We’re going to have to invent a new scale for these reviews: I suggest REALLY LIKE, LIKE, EH, DON’T LIKE, and REALLY DON’T LIKE, with super-special categories OBSESSED WITH and INFURIATED BY for extreme cases. This album gets a REALLY LIKE, because I really like it.
I’m hopping on an old horse and writing music criticism with my old college pal! Check it out at dunknblurds.tumblr.com
The last time I took the time to write about music was about 7 years ago, while I was still living in Japan, and doing it with my friend blurds. At the time I was writing about music from ten years ago — specifically, reviewing the Pitchfork Top 50 Albums of 2004. I managed to get through all of it, and into some of 2005 before blurds and I (mostly me) gave it up. Spending time reviewing those albums actually had a pretty significant impact on my music habits: I listened to those albums more than most other music.
Now in 2014, the thing I’m most surprised about is how little the music has changed. Maybe it’s nostalgia goggles, or the time-compressing nature of growing older, or maybe it’s that pop music isn’t in its infancy anymore, or we’ve run out of ideas, or we’re really in some kind of postmodern age where anything goes. Whatever. blurds easily talked me into taking up writing about music again, and I agreed because I want to write more, and because I want to get more into music.
The album reviews I did were also full of embarassing writing. Time to embarass myself again.
Perfect Pussy - Say Yes To Love
Perfect Pussy wants to get your attention. There aren’t many reasons a band will name themselves something so provocative; it’s usually to make a point or to get cheap attention or just piss people off. The field of indie bands is so saturated, it’s very difficult to get anyone’s attention, and step 1 might as well be a memorable name. But it’s not just the name: the entire album is structured to get your attention.
The songs are raucous, distorted, oversaturated indie rock sprints led by a defiant female vocalist using her voice more like percussion than melody. Not a single song on this album is longer than 3 minutes (depsite tracks being longer), and most clock in around the 2 minute mark. The songs are all meat, no fat, that fact almost guarantees that you’ll listen to the whole song. Many of the songs are separated by long periods of very quiet ambient noise/fucking around that performs three functions: 1) when the next barrage comes at you, the downtime ensures it’ll have more impact than just putting the songs right next to each other; 2) it allows the band to set a mood (and context) for the album as a whole (a noise like a whirring projector at the beginning suggests a location); and 3) it calibrates the dynamic range of the entire album.
This is an album that is meant to be heard loud. What I mean by “calibrate” is that in those moments of near silence, to hear these parts, you have to turn up your stereo. And that not only means the next song is going to be loud, it’s a message that it is meant to be loud. I’m sure there are plenty of reviews talking about what a “loud” album this is, but the point here is that it’s not because of the production of the songs, which are all slammed to hell; the dynamic range squashed out of it. Dynamics are what make something loud, and Perfect Pussy has it both ways: the breaks mean songs can be at 11 the whole time, and the spaces keep the listener from getting fatigued. It almost mimics the cadence of a live show: crowd murmur during pauses to tune guitars, drink water, and so on.
What’s more is that there isn’t a moment of silence in the songs themselves: when the lead singer starts, she sings through a mic that sounds like it’s plugged into an amp with the volume and gain cranked as high as it can go, meaning that whenever she stops singing, the amp feeds back immediately. Rests have been completely replaced by feedback. That’s not to say that this is some kind of noise album, either.
The vocals are matched by some really great guitar work and composition. There’s a lot of standard guitar work here, but combined together in a way that is fresh. There are a lot of slightly dissonant but pleasant chords, often building up into some really great harmonies (the song “Big Stars” does this well). The songs very rarely follow a “traditional” song structure, and the song feels as though that the rhythm section is being lead by the vocals, and not the other way around. There are a lot of changes packed into each song, considering how short they are. “Bells” is particularly good at this, packing about 4 or 5 different sections into 1:42, and the A section is repeated in the middle of the song, not the end like one might expect. It’s not just walloping on chords, either. On “Interference Fits”, the thrashing is replaced by arpeggios, and none of the intensity is really lost, and a lot of that is because of the intensity of the vocals.
The only issue I have with this album is that I don’t know what the fuck is being said. I know normally people say they can’t understand the lyrics, but I really tried. Perfect Pussy has convinced me that they’ve got something to say. I just don’t know what it is. The vocal technique is really engaging as a sound, but it’s disappointing not to get what’s being said. If they pulled back on saturating the vocals so thoroughly, I think the content of the lyrics would have come through and fit the album just as well. I want the content of what she’s saying to grab my attention every bit as much as I want the ass-kicking to. What’s more is that I can’t find the damn things online anywhere, which makes me wonder if you’re supposed to be able to understand them at all, and if you are, who the people are that do.
Maybe I’m just too damn old.
Even a name like Perfect Pussy, though, makes me think that they’ve got something to say. It’s not just a crass name; why else would “Perfect” be in it? My first instinct is based on a British documentary I saw of a similar (or the same?) name based on women undergoing plastic vaginal surgery in order to get — you guessed it. It’s a pretty damning symptom of how obsessed society is with female perfection, and how ridiculously high that pressure has gotten on women. That would be a pretty provocative way of putting an important and meaningful concept. And even if it’s not, it sure gives the listener a lot to think about once they realize the name isn’t a lark. And that is a pretty bold move to make.
That shows why this album succeeds. It’s not because it has depth. What sets this album apart is the techniques employed aren’t just gimmicks to get your attention, like one might think at first glance — it’s that the album completely commits to those techniques and has taken the pain and effort to make sure everything gels together into a tight, perfect package.
Rating system? Idk. We’ll figure that out. For now, I RECOMMEND this piece, especially if the phrases “noise”, “punk”, and “noise punk” excites you, but even if it doesn’t and you don’t mind loud music.
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