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.
8/10


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.”
8/10


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.
8/10

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!”
http://www.scribd.com/doc/64836568/Jersey-Shore-Conference-Program
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/arts/television/jersey-shore-has-its-day-at-university-of-chicago.html?_r=0