• 12/7/2017
    On Kodak Black

    I don't know how to start this shit, Nasir Jones voice. I hope everyone got a chance to read Claire Dederer's What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?, which was included in last week's Good Word. It's a wonderful exploration of how to reconcile enthusiasm for a work in a vacuum with the unavoidable monstrosity of its creator, and more broadly a re-assurance of the primacy of one's personal, private feelings over canonical or correct tastes.

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  • 11/16/2017
    The Sonic Landscape of Mexico

    A word on what went into this: I have this thing that I do (as a prank) where every time I travel I completely forget my digital camera’s memory card and have to scramble to either buy another or get a couple of disposable cameras. This hasn’t been a problem before, not least because it last happened in Ireland, where they speak a language almost like English. Not so in Mexico.

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  • 11/9/2017
    A Guide to DJ Screw

    DJ Screw’s music goes well with drugs - I believe this has been well-established - but the underappreciated reason for this is that DJ Screw’s music goes well with everything. I vividly remember my first encounter with it: my first year in college, fresh off an early exit from whatever that insanely bad Intro to Business course was, I found myself in dire need of a restroom. Naturally, I was wearing headphones; while wandering the halls, I absentmindedly threw on DJ Screw’s Vol.

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  • 10/19/2017
    The Sonic Landscape of Las Vegas

    Las Vegas is an endlessly interesting place that I’m very eager to leave. For reasons not entirely clear to me, I’m here for a conference on something called Sitecore, although three days have gone by and I remain pretty in the dark on what that is. Not literally, of course - I’m not sure that there’s a square inch of this city that isn’t neon-lit around the clock.

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  • 10/5/2017
    On Danny Brown's Atrocity Exhibition, Seeking Critical Praise, and Gentrifying Rap

    There are actually two points that I want to make here, both revolving around Atrocity Exhibition. Rather than breaking them out into distinct, formalized pieces, I’ve combined them for a couple reasons: primarily that this style of writing is atrociously exposition-heavy and it would be pretty boring to re-tread the contextual stuff, and secondarily that I just don’t like the album enough to spend two weeks writing on it.

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  • 9/21/2017
    A Guide to Memphis Rap

    Memphis rap is my only truly seasonal musical interest. There are the obvious Halloween tie-ins, but it’s more than that - the music is bleak, cold, and nihilistic, balancing the difficulty of a dire situation with the certainty that it will only get worse. It’s music for when you first notice the days getting shorter, for when winter is imminent and suddenly it’s a little hard to remember summer.

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  • 9/14/2017
    On Seeing Herbie Hancock

    I haven’t been to an old folks’ show in a minute, but it turns out they’re the best ones. The rush for seating aside (this was at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where you’re apparently allowed to line up as early as you please; for the average attendee, approximate age one hundred and seven, this was apparently 2pm, right after Ellen), they’re the ideal audience; shriveled enough to minimize their footprint and passed out off half a glass of that strong chablis, twenty minutes into the show you and the grandchildren might well be the only living audience members.

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