‘The Hive’ by Melt Banana
Seems weird that these guys are still as great as ever with no more rhythm section, but hey, Melt Banana works in mysterious ways. And their new album rules.
‘The Hive’ by Melt Banana
Beavis and Butthead watch the music video for Iggy Pop - Butt Town [x]
I had this video* on a 6 hour VHS tape of MTV videos that a friend of mine made for me back before I had cable. I’m pretty sure the videos for “Candy” and “Home” (the other two singles from Brick By Brick) were on it too. That’s a pretty great album, all told.
*—not the video of the Beavis And Butthead episode, the original “Butt Town” video.
I don’t want to talk about Selena Gomez cursing into the mic and cutting her set short at the Jingle Ball.
I only want to talk about Selena Gomez wearing this dress at the Jingle Ball.
Everything else is irrelevant.
(h/t Flashes of Quincy)
If you ever find yourself thinking like this, your next thought shoutd be “I’m getting old.”
New Burial EP is fucking great. The last couple haven’t really connected with me, but I LOVE this one so far. The mixture of the beneath-the-city feel of Untrue with what I’d characterize as (and I’m no expert) more overt drum n’ bass style beats is a total winner, and the overt melody on “Hiders,” which I haven’t heard from Burial in the past, is gorgeous. Yeah… I’m pretty fucking stoked on this.
Ever wonder if the person teaching you is earning a living wage? If they’re adjunct—one of the 1,205 professors at VCU—they are not. <waves hello, points to self>
What does this mean and how does it affect you?
- Your professor gets paid only for the time in the classroom. Let’s say you have class for 50 minutes, 3 times per week. Your professor only gets paid for those 150 minutes.
- Your professor does not get paid for, but is expected to do, the following: lesson planning (a couple hours per class); meeting with students; emailing with students; grading; service (involvement with departmental and University-wide interest groups); original research; writing.
- Your professor does not receive benefits (health insurance, dental insurance, etc.) if they are an adjunct faculty member.
- Adjuncts have the same training and qualifications that most tenure line (full time) faculty have: a terminal degree (MFA or PhD); publications; national & international presentations on their work; years of teaching experience. This means they most likely have much debt to pay off from years of receiving this training.
- Most adjuncts do not have office space or a place within their department to meet with students.
- Most adjuncts—myself included—work several teaching jobs in order to cobble together enough of an income on which to survive. That is, we work full time (over a full-time work week, actually) in many part-time jobs.
Why is this happening?
- It costs a university much less to employ thousands of adjuncts than it does to hire full-time, salaried faculty. To offset budget deficits (state universities are receiving less money from the government), they raise tuition, grow class sizes, and hire more adjuncts. This increases a university’s profit margin. Remember: they pay adjuncts less, do not have to pay for benefits, and have more students paying a higher tuition.
Again, why is this a problem for me—your average student?
- Your prof, most likely an adjunct, cannot devote the time that they want to devote to you. While they love teaching and helping you work through that problem before/during/after class, their time is limited.
- Many adjuncts cannot build the long-term relationships with students and colleagues that are necessary to creating a sustainable, progressive higher ed environment. That is: we’re overworked and shuttle between multiple campuses per day and can’t focus on one department/university. We’re often on the job market and applying to other salaried jobs at different universities/colleges. Good students, departments, and colleges lose hardworking staff because of these policies.
- Many adjuncts use social services (welfare). No joke. You want people to stop using the system? Advocate for a living wage. More people in need of social services = higher taxes for you.
By Karin Kapsidelis, with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"Jennifer Garvin-Sanchez’s doctoral degree earns her a subsistence-level salary of about $18,500 a year.
"Garvin-Sanchez teaches seven religious studies courses a year — three each semester and one in the summer — for her adjunct’s pay at Virginia Commonwealth University.
This article comes from my hometown, and since I have multiple friends here in Richmond who work as adjuncts, I actually have conversations about this exact problem on a regular basis. This is how bad things have gotten here: I have one friend who pretty much quit adjuncting to go back to waitressing full-time because having to waitress on the weekends while she was teaching English composition courses was making her life too stressful, and she could earn more money as a full-time waitress. This woman has an MFA. Which she paid a lot of money for.
I’ve been ranting for years now about how higher education is a bubble economy that’s ripe for bursting. At this point, I think it actually probably burst a few years ago and we just haven’t figured it out yet.
We’re pretty sure that, by now, you’ve heard about the female crowdsurfer who planted an unwanted kiss on vocalist Parker Cannon during The Story So Far’s show in Houston last week. In fact, we know that you’ve heard about it, because an astounding number of you liked, reblogged and shared our news post on the story.
Yesterday, we published a piece from Editor-in-Chief Erik van Rheenen titled In Defense Of Boundaries, which addressed the unspoken contract between band and fan. But working on that piece got us wondering — why is it that this particular story has blown up the way it has? What does the overwhelming interest we’ve seen in this story tell us about our scene?
We don’t think there’s a single answer to that question — it’s the result of many factors. But one of those factors sticks out like a sore thumb. Today, in the next piece in our In Defense Of… series, senior Staff Writer Jesse Richman asks why we’re so outraged… or more pointedly, why are we only getting outraged now?
by Jesse Richman, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Let me preface this by making one thing clear: Erik van Rheenen is 100 percent right. (So are most of our readers, judging from the feedback to both his In Defense Of Boundaries piece and our original news post on the incident). It’s unequivocally not OK to kiss someone without their consent, whether it’s in a private room or on a stage in front of hundreds of people.
But what is it about this particular incident that has it racking up an astounding 1,600+ likes and reblogs on our site? Why did it generate 800 comments in a thread on AbsolutePunk? Or, to break out of our own bubble for a bit, why did a similar (if more salacious) on-stage assault of rapper Danny Brown earlier this year spawn a thousand thinkpieces?
Why is it that a quick peck on Parker Cannon’s lips generates twice the buzz as a story about New Years Day’s Ash Costello being repeatedly sexually assaulted by a member of Blood On The Dance Floor? Why is it that, when Mariel Loveland of Candy Hearts details her own experiences with ingrained sexism in the scene, not only does it barely register a blip on the radar, but inevitably draws the sort of commenters who insist on proving her point via their own cluelessly sexist feedback? And why is it that it never stops, even when you’re Hayley Williams, Queen of the Punk Universe? (Or Florence Welch, or Lady Gaga?)
Why is it that when the drummer for Bellwether is accused of sexual assault, so much of the Internet leaps to his defense, or calls for prudence, as though false rape accusations aren’t astoundingly rare? I’ve never been a teenage girl, but I imagine coming forward as a rape victim doesn’t win you any popularity contests in high school, and takes roughly a metric fuckton of courage.
Why is it that we have no qualms calling Cannon’s assailant a “bitch,” a “fucking slut,” and a “fangirl” (because only female fans do fucked-up things, right?), as if her actions, wrong as they were, give us some kind of free pass to say shit we know is deeply awful?
I wrote a thing regarding sexism in the pop-punk scene, and outrage, or the unfortunate lack of it. People seem to be responding well. Perhaps you’d like to read and share? I’d appreciate it.
This is extremely on point. Nicely done.
きのこ帝国 - 海と花束
the name of this band translates i guess to “mushroom empire”
the part in the video where the camera spins around to reveal each member of the band holding flowers and looking really suave is totally legendary
Oh wow, this is awesome.
It’s official—according to Football Outsiders, the Redskins special teams unit are having the worst season of any special teams unit since Football Outsiders started tracking statistics (their first year as of now is 1989—not that far back, in terms of the history of pro football, but far enough to make this really, really embarrassing).
On the surface, Long Island emo outfit Iron Chic is cut from the same cloth as style forefathers like Saves the Day, but underneath the pop-punk veneer is one of the most flat-out fun indie rock guitar records of the year.
This is a fun record! But I don’t see why it has to be a “indie rock guitar” one instead of a pop-punk one, other than that being what sells it to a Pitchfork audience. And the ‘emo’ part mystifies me too, although that’s largely because I never got the pop-punk/emo nexus of the 00s (to my mind, emo is an offshoot of hardcore, and pop-punk is something that originally predates hardcore - in the form of the Ramones, or the Undertones - but I accept those two lines did eventually cross).
The review does have some interesting things to say about pop-punk, or at least pop-punk of a certain era, but it’s also infected with an indie sneer, or at least an unconscious element of condescension. It’s hard to tell what part of “bracing, explosive hooks, unresolved sexual and spiritual tension and very meaningful “whoa”s” is, or isn’t, ironic. Especially when it’s followed by this qualifier: “But it fortunately lacks any accusatory overtone, and welcomes far more people than it initially lets on”. I get the criticism of pop-punk as accusatory, although indie often seems to be about accusing the universe as a whole; but what’s this second part?
Iron Chic - which admittedly does sound more like the name of a post-punk band - reminded me initially the most of the Bouncing Souls. The ‘whoas’, the infectious guitar energy, the musical positivity, and the emotional lyrical heart-on-the-sleeve-ness. So far, so pop-punk; although one more removed from the notion of ‘emo’ and closer, at least by labelmates, to Californian punk. Where the album drags for me is when it reminds me of a third East Coast US band, Latterman - who expressed that same kind of positivity but never really went anywhere very interesting or engaging with it; and ironically, whose ‘closest analogue’ for me (in a more indie sense), is Japandroids - as mentioned elsewhere in the review.
Where the album stands out for me is hitting a combination between Bouncing Souls and the more post-hardcore-leaning Hot Water Music, although the two bands (from Jersey and Florida, respectively) converge somewhat anyway in their later records, I think touring together and also exchanging guitar solos (and whoahs) on each others records. The vocals have - at least at times - the gruffness of Hot Water Music; the guitars have the cleanness of the Souls, plus a kitchen sink of pop-punk and other tropes. What the review gets right is that there’s a kind of syncretism going on, although I feel its terms are too narrow:
"Quite often, “pop-punk” gets used to describe something that’s actually indie rock (see: Swearin’, Japandroids), which can trigger a lot of negative biases amongst people who are fairly certain they’re not into the former. The difference lies in tone: pop-punk evokes palm-muted power chords with clean distortion and nasal vocals, whereas indie rock is most associated with shambling, jangly and fuzzy guitars with drawling vocals. Iron Chic gives you both."
Again, while I recognise that definition of pop-punk, it’s not the kind of pop-punk I’d normally listen to (admittedly I’m not a huge pop-punk fan, perhaps for that reason), which I would not in turn consider indie rock.
Andrew made the suggestion that punk - or, more specifically, hardcore, but I’ll get to that - had a necessary tipping point where
"people started to hate all of the self-conscious nihilism and violence, and suddenly what was in favor only months before would be swept aside by a new wave of kids who were tired of feeling surrounded by meanness and aggressive apathy. Maybe it’s finally happening—or at least is trying to happen."
I think that’s pretty recognisable in this kind of pop-punk positivity, even as it incorporates - amongst the cheering riffs - some rather bleak emotional sentiments; it’s arguably there as well in Perfect Pussy; it’s even in the revival-emo of Sinaloa; it is broader than the ‘posi’ movement of hardcore itself, but the essential elements are there each time: a kind of punk generosity of spirit against all the travails of the world, capitalism included. My first introduction to it, Souls aside, was the Hot Water Music album No Division, originally released in 1999.
It covers themes present in all of Hot Water Music’s albums, but with a particularly effective emphasis on community - in a way that seems to me to be an obvious response to traditional and close-minded conceptions of hardcore. The opening track, 'Southeast First', states it pretty well:
"It never mattered who you were or where you worked. It never matter who you were, or what you earned. What was mattered was what you gave and what you loved. What mattered was what you gave and what was learned. Like one for all for one. Whatever turn of events may come we all live underground, underground where it stays warm, community with common sounds. We work together to break ground."
There are the traditional hardcore notions of solidarity, mixed with an extra appreciation of tolerance and emotional bonds (perhaps influenced by the original emo movement; the difference being the emphasis on discussing emotions as collective rather than individual aspects). Of course, it’s only rhetoric, but that’s largely what music serves as: and whenever there’s discussion of hardcore or punk’s close-mindedness or intolerance, it’s what my mind goes back to. And I guess, in the end, that’s where I want to bring Iron Chic back to as well. Is it so bad to be traditional?
Well, this is certainly an interesting and on-point post. I would like to add some thoughts and make some notes:
- First and foremost, you should know that there are members from Latterman in Iron Chic. I see that you’ve already gotten an askbox note about this, to which you responded “I should have done my research.” More to the point, Ian Cohen should have done his research. I can only imagine that he didn’t realize Iron Chic having members of Latterman was important enough to mention. Which makes me wonder what his context for this record was. One thing I’ve noticed about Cohen, not to “go in” on him too hard or anything, is that he often seems to confuse knowing part of the story for knowing all of the story. I don’t think Ian Cohen’s clueless about the history of post-hardcore and emo, but I do sometimes think he might be clueless enough that he doesn’t realize how much there is to that history that he doesn’t know. And that can lead to some really weird statements in a review like this—statements that will make his opinion seem invalid to anyone who knows more than he does.
- The big example I’m seeing here is the quote from this Iron Chic review that makes up your sixth paragraph. Yes, that is a type of pop-punk—Orange County style. The kind that started with Bad Religion and NOFX and made up at least 90% of Fat Wreck Chords’ roster throughout the 90s. Palm-mutes, nasal vocals, half-measure pauses… these are the stuff of a certain kind of pop-punk that a significant portion of pop-punk fandom doesn’t even like! There are other varieties of pop-punk that are far more popular and well-known, such as Northern California style, the most well-known exponent of which is early Green Day; or Florida-style (which I’m only calling Florida-style because there are a million bands from Florida that sound like this), in which gruff vocals and a kind of beer-soaked pub-shoutalong sensibility is standard. There are more styles of pop-punk than that, too, I’m just throwing out the first ones that come to mind. How does Ian Cohen not know this? How does he end up perceiving pop-punk as nothing more than Fat Wreck circa 1995? Well, my theory is that he was young when he was into the scene, and moved on to other sounds before he’d been around long enough to pick up on more of the detail and nuance that there was to discover—and now, his analysis of both pop-punk and post-y2k radio emo is frozen in his underdeveloped teenage first impressions. But I don’t know that for sure. All I know for sure is that he doesn’t know enough to accurately contextualize Iron Chic—which makes his review less than helpful, even to those who might get a positive impression of Iron Chic based on what they read (who knows how that impression will hold up once they actually hear the record?)
- The snobbery implied by the quote you singled out at the beginning of your post is definitely there, and I don’t understand why. I mean, OK, I totally understand why—it’s an indication that one genre is preferable to another, based on an assumed mutual perspective between Pitchfork writer and Pitchfork reader. But I really don’t think that’s too smart an assumption to make for a website that’s grown to be one of the most widely-read music publications online. Does it really make sense to go into a review with the attitude that one’s readers all share one’s cultural assumptions? That everyone agrees about what’s actually cool vs. what’s a guilty pleasure at best? It’s surprising to me, because in the last few years I’ve felt like Pitchfork as a publication was shedding its particular brand of cultural myopia (best described as “no matter what genre we’re writing about, we’re writing about it for the eyes of indie rockers”). Maybe I was wrong, but I think it’s probably more likely that some writers and editors at Pitchfork are doing a better job of leaving that cultural baggage behind than others are. If nothing else, Cohen being up front about the aesthetic sense he’ll be applying to this record lets everyone reading the review know exactly how seriously they should take his opinion, depending on whether they place the same respective values on pop-punk, emo, and indie rock that he places on them in his first paragraph. But I still have to figure that when a certain relatively significant portion of your readership gets to the end of your first paragraph and thinks, “Psh, whatever,” that’s not a good look
- Here in Richmond, Iron Chic are definitely part of the same scene that hosts the “emo revival” bands when they come through town, but I don’t think that scene responded the same way to the collective confusion of the post-90s/post-9/11 moment as the hardcore scene in America did. Instead, the “house show pop punk” scene (for that is how I think of it, and I’m sure that catch-all category will make instinctive sense to at least some of my readers) lost itself through most of the 00s in what looked to me from the outside like an absolute morass of problematic folk-punk. So many of those bands (Against Me, Defiance Ohio, Mischief Brew, etc) attempted to be political but in an extremely self-congratulatory way. I used to describe generic folk-punk political songs as going “Everything we’re already doing is part of the revolution, and the problematic things we’re doing are understandable and forgivable, so let’s all get drunk and go swimming in the river!” It was its own form of nihilism, if you ask me, and as it was at least ostensibly still on the left-wing side of politics, that scene as a whole seems to have been emerging from its cocoon of apathy for a couple of years longer than the hardcore scene has. But I don’t know how great a job it’s doing—RVIVR (another ex-Latterman band) have been a complete trainwreck whenever they try to talk about politics, for example. We’ll see, I suppose.
- One final note that I will try not to go on too long about—I think the reason pop-punk and post-hardcore emo met in the middle and sorta-kinda merged in the early 00s had to do with the fact that a bunch of late-90s post-hardcore bands, from Lifetime to The Promise Ring and Texas Is The Reason, eventually worked themselves around to a sound and a visibility that made them appealing to kids who already liked pop-punk and who couldn’t tell the difference between bands like Jawbreaker or Gameface and bands like the aforementioned. So the whole thing just kinda merged. If you don’t have enough context to understand how weird it is, it probably seems totally normal. And actually, there’s been a second generation of this effect in recent years with the “easycore” bands like Set Your Goals, Fireworks, Four Year Strong, etc, who are impossible to definitively categorize as pop-punk, emo, post-hardcore, or some hybrid of the three. So I think it’s a phenomenon that is kind of intrinsic to the neighboring genres of post-hardcore and pop-punk.