Thursday, December 27, 2012

Books & Beer XI (Devil Week)

As "inspiration" for a term paper on the discourse of demonology in the Friar's Tale, I started to drink more beers with artwork depicting the demonic.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best of 2012: 33-30

I've done some calculating, and I've listened to around 150 albums this year. Here's the top 20%, and three EPs I couldn't leave out.

33. JJ Doom: Key to the Kuffs [Lex]

Forget the JJ, although he proves a worthy sidekick here, this is as much a DOOM album as any. With more monikers than most rappers have albums, Daniel Dumile only pretends to flirt with semivisibility. His real metier is the smart and tireless cultivation of a persona, a surprisingly entertaining vaudevillain so overtly uncool as to rise above the chaff of his alt-rap competition. Don't get me wrong, this is weird-- the kind of weird which rhymes "vocaled" with "Eyjafjallaj√∂kull"-- and  I am not one to equate weird with Good. But Doom can pull it off.

32. Japandroids: Celebration Rock [Polyvinyl]

 Critical palaver obsesses over the “youthful spirit” of this band, and I might join in if I weren’t younger than the duo themselves. Besides, from a riveting opener onward, Japandroids fight desperately to recapture a fading or faded youth, something us young people are too busy being young to ponder. What they do invoke and revivify is a a Dionysian set of ideas as old as rock n’ roll itself: that you can grow old without ever growing up, that your pent-up feelings really do deserve to expressed in the hyperbole of Heaven and Hell, and that salvation, even eternity, can be found in a night “downing your drinks in a funnel of friends.”

31. Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do [Epic]

In what is probably the summit of a promising but frustrating career, a Tortured Female bangs around on the piano while her producer bangs around on the drums and what results but some avant-garde easy listening with remarkable staying power. Unlike most of her coffeehouse compeers-- too easy to pick on-- Apple embraces the crazy, and unlike say, Tori Amos or Kate Bush, her talent for composition is obvious, and her obscurantism is so toned down as to be nonexistent.

Monday, December 3, 2012

7 Talks I Regret Not Hearing at Last Year's University of Chicago Jersey Shore Studies Conference

I feel like this a McSweeney's piece, except it's REAL.

  1. Julia Sirmons, Columbia University: “‘You Dirty Little Hamster!’” The Abject and the Monstrous Feminine in Jersey Shore”
  2. Brian Collins, North Carolina State University: “Situating the Situation: Psychogeography, Mimetic Desire, and Resurgent Indo-European the Trifunctional Paradigm in Seaside.”
  3. Alexandra Reznik, Duquesnue University: “‘SHOTS!’ An Analysis of Italian, American, and Italian-American Beverage Consumption in Jersey Shore”
  4. Atle Mikkola Kjosen, University of Western Ontario: “GTL (Gym, Tan, Labor): Reproducing Labor-Power on the Shore”
  5. Eric Gurevitch, University of Chicago: “The Jersey Saga: Honor Culture in Medieval Iceland and Modern Seaside”
  6. Candace Moore, University of Michigan: “Guidosexuality”
  7. Ellie Marshall, McGill University: “Foucault’s Going to Jersey Shore, Bitch!”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Coup: Sorry to Bother You (2012)

My signed copy. Review to come. Right now, I'll say it's pretty great, although hardly their best. My favorite track features Das Racist and Killer Mike.

Thursday, November 15, 2012