Makeup For The Silence

The digital home of music writer Jesse Richman

Makeup For The Silence

Tag: makeup for the silence (Page 1 of 18)

*tap* *tap* Is This Thing On?

Looks a little different, doesn’t it?

Having finally gotten fed up with Tumblr and its infinite bugginess, I bit the bullet this month and moved the site over to WordPress. Over the next few months, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on what I hope will be a new long-term home for the blog. Expect things here to be in motion for a while as I learn WordPress, slap some metaphorical paint on the metaphorical walls, fix and update my clips, and generally move this place into the present.

I’ll have (some form of) my usual year-end content coming up soon. My hope is that, following that, M4TS will once again become a place to fire off hot takes, work out thoughts on things that might later become published pieces, and maybe publish some things I’ve been wanting to write but don’t anticipate finding a home for. I know, I’ve made that promise before, but now I’ve got a spiffy new laptop and a spiffy new blog platform, so let’s make it happen, shall we?

In the meantime, if you see something is broken… well, that’s to be expected, I suppose, but do feel free to let me know so I can make sure it gets checked off the list when the time comes.

Here goes nothing!

Make Up for the Silence - Best of 2017!

Makeup For The Silence – Best Of 2017 Mix

Make Up for the Silence - Best of 2017!

When I ambled and rambled my way through a year’s listening habits last December, I noted that for as awful as 2016 was purported to be, it actually wasn’t all that bad as it happened. No, the issue with 2016 wasn’t 2016 at all – it was the certain doom of 2017 floating on the horizon, casting its long and ugly shadow over the year prior, distorting 12 months so fully that, looking back, all we could see in them were the mangled visages of funhouse mirror reflections except, no, these mirrors weren’t funhouse mirrors at all, we actually were all squashed and stretched and made grotesque now. The recent past was a decent past, but all we could see in it was the refracted dread of what was sure to come.

Well, shit. It sure came, didn’t it?

Look, nobody needs another recap of the dumpster-fire-inside-a-tire-fire-inside-a-world-on-fire that was 2017. Living it was plenty awful enough. So let’s just stick to the music.

The eighth* edition of my year-end mixtape has a lot in common with 2017′s, compositionally – a few core songs that were destined to make this list from the moment I heard them, and then a lot of listening to the 300-odd songs that eventually comprised my Top Tracks of 2017 playlist**. I’ve once again avoided the pop hits –- sorry, Selena Gomez and… Charlie Puth? (Charlie Puth?! Chariie Puth!) – because, well, if you want to hear what’s at the top of the charts, I’m sure Spotify will have you covered with one of a hundred auto-programmed 2017 mixes, and if you want a full-on survey mix, others do a better job than I ever would (or would want to.) While some of those pop bangers were essential listening for me this year, I gotta make the cuts somewhere, so why not cut what you’ve undoubtedly heard before? This place was always intended to be personal, not a reflection of anything bigger than myself (or, at most, whatever bigger things reflect off of me).

So what got me good in the disaster year that was 2017?

Well, for one, a lot of shoegaze. While article after article asked when the rock bands would lift up swords against the onslaught, many of the best instead raised their shields – walls of fuzzed-out noise to block out the incoming barrage; cocoons of fire in which to seethe, or roll through the hordes like an American Gladiator-gyroball-juggernaut; or, in the case of returning vets Slowdive, tiny but explosive big-bang-galaxies, a vast and alluring internal starscape check-marked with life-affirming infinities to be stumbled across within.

Mostly, looking inward seemed to be the order of the day. It’s been clear from the start that 2017 was going to be a war, not a battle – who can really blame those who took a little time to lick their wounds after the first skirmish Examinations of interior spaces; self-reflection; self-bolstering; finding forgiveness, for those around us and for ourselves. Steeling ourselves for the fight to come; rediscovering–and reaffirming–the reasons the fight is right, and needed, and vital. Celebrating others, and celebrating our selves, and celebrating the world that’s worth fighting for, a world that’s every bit as full of magic and wonder as it was the year before, even if those things are a little more obscured now.

One thing that isn’t on my list – which is wildly incongruous with what is maybe 2017′s biggest musical story – is pretty much any hip-hop. 2017 was the year rap ate “pop”’s lunch on the pop charts, in a way it hasn’t in over a decade. A great story, but really, I was kinda bummed out by pretty much every major sonic development on the mainstream hip-hop front this year: the xanned-out, tuned-out, tune-free rap of everyone named Lil’ Something; that Migos-triplet thing that was so quickly imitated, even as the members of Migos themselves drove it into the ground; the white dudes (so many white dudes!); even Cardi B, whose Horatio Alger-Cinderella-bootstraps story would make a wonderful movie (one preferably soundtracked by someone else’s music. It was a year ripe with creative innovations and new directions… and none of them felt particularly listenable to me.

(Also, as in the past, most of my rap/hip-hop consumption has been via the radio, so, what the hell, let’s just pretend it was all ineligible anyway.)

This year, we’re back to a mixtape that can’t be found entirely on Spotify. For reasons I can only begin to speculate on, sometime around the middle of the year, the two Hidden Ambulances tracks on this mix disappeared from the internet entirely – streaming, paid download, YouTube, everywhere. The band even vanished from Facebook. (Hoard your mp3s, kids!) So I highly recommend downloading this year’s mix.***

Makeup For The Silence – Best Of 2017

  1. Hang On Me – St. Vincent
  2. Heel Theme – Mansions
  3. Hole – Hundredth
  4. Everything Now – Arcade Fire
  5. Forgiveness – Paramore
  6. Take Me With U – Susanna Hoffs
  7. War & Wildflowers – Onlychild
  8. Don’t Let The Clowns – Hidden Ambulances
  9. Dawning – DMA’s
  10. Once In A Lifetime – The Night Game
  11. The Stack – White Reaper
  12. Nearby Catfight – Milk Teeth
  13. Shopping Is A Feeling – WHAT WHAT WHAT
  14. These Heaux – Bhad Bhabie
  15. Boys – Charli XCX
  16. A Better Sun – Sorority Noise
  17. Jaded – Winter
  18. Backyard – Sløtface
  19. How Do You Feel? – The Maine
  20. Aeronaut – Billy Corgan
  21. Star Roving – Slowdive
  22. Splendid Charm – Hidden Ambulances

click image to download

For once, I’m NOT going to promise to be back tomorrow with something-or-other and then not follow through on it. I do have my Top Ten Albums of 2017 prepared, at least in list form. I’d like to write about them, and I’m hoping that I’ll find the time over the next couple weeks to do so, though perhaps not as extensively as in past years.

One of my projects for 2017 is to move this blog from Tumblr to…somewhere else. WordPress maybe? I’m not really sure. Somewhere where I can restore my links page and better archive all the things I’ve written for publication. To be honest, between the death of the Tumblr music writing community (such as it was in, say, 2011 – there might be a whole new one now for all I know!) and the fact that Tumblr eating my HTML has rendered one of the key parts of this page useless – not to mention the uncertainty of Tumblr’s future itself – I’ve been left hesitant to invest much time over here. Especially because I know what a beast of a project relocating all of this will be.

I put myself on a couple social media diets in 2017, and while they were nice while they lasted, they were, like most diets, hard to stick to. For 2018 I want to take that break a little more seriously. I’d like to spend a little more time in the rich and unexplored (by me) past – I’ve got at least a hundred books in my office that I’ve been meaning to read and haven’t cracked – and a little less in the undifferentiated firehose of the present. I’d also like to spend more time focused on writing rather than constant consumption. (Turns out exposure isn’t the only Oregon-Trail-related death a writer needs to be concerned about in 2018!) (Let me be someone else’s consumption problem!) So, I’m going to spend the next couple weeks digesting the last bits of 2017 – reading end-of-year stuff I didn’t get around to for lack of time, hopefully writing my own end-of-year stuff – and then I’m going to flip off the lights on Twitter and Facebook for a while.

If I’m right, that means you might be seeing more of me here, or wherever “here” winds up being.

So, until then, friends. We’ve got to make 2018 better than 2017; we can’t afford not to. Time to get (back) to work.

*You can always find the complete collection of mixes which have appeared on Makeup For The Silence, as well as all the playlists I’ve contributed to elsewhere, right over here.

**I’ve archived my 2017 list and rolled my 2018 one right on top, so if you were subscribed, you should be following 2018 now. If not, follow along right here.

***That said… you can stream what’s streamable here.

Makeup For The Silence – Best Of 2016 Mix

Makeup For the Silence - Best of 2016!

So I’m a liar. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Between some job-related scrambling and a three-day-long headache that ended with a CAT scan and a few many fistfuls of Advil/Tylenol/HeavierStuff, I didn’t manage to get this thing online before the new year swung around.

The good news is, three days in, this year is basically the same as the last, so you can still listen to this. It’s cool. I promise.

I know 2016 was supposedly an annus horribilis – and we did lose many more musical icons (not to be confused with Mandy Moore, Musical Icon) in a single revolution than we ever should* – but honestly, if 2016 had ended on November 7th, I think we’d all be talking about the year just past in much different terms. And while I’m pretty dubious that 2017 will be anything but a disaster for our most vulnerable and an introduction to vulnerability for a whole bunch more of us (who hadn’t considered we’d be there, perhaps ever, in our lifetimes), the truth is 2016 itself was actually a pretty good year – personally, and I think collectively. So while next year’s mixtape might just be a track-list etched by a thousand bent fingernails on the walls of the work camp, this year’s mix pretty fairly reflects what was, by and large, a positive experience when lived from day to day.

I’m gonna miss it like candy.

The seventh** edition of my year-end mixtape arrives in much the same way last year’s did: with maybe six songs that were locks to make this list from the jump, and then a lot of rooting through the 300-odd tracks on my Top Tracks of 2016 playlist***. I’ve, as always, avoided any big pop hits – otherwise this years list might just be O.T. Genasis feat. Young Dolph on loop – but I’ve backed away from the tradition of keeping tracks from my Top Ten albums off of the list. Truth is, even when I wasn’t listening to those albums, it was certain tracks from those albums I kept coming back to, and this year’s mix would feel incomplete without them. They’re the anchor pieces.

If last year’s mix trended darker, this year’s feels a little brighter, a little more hopeful. It’s not all wide-eyed; if anything, this year’s selections are a little more introspective than the last. But even its denser moments generally offer something to dream on.

It’s also the first mix I’ve made where every track is available on Spotify****. That’s probably largely reflective of my listening habits – Spotify’s ease of use, and of playlist compilation, led me to spending less time on SoundCloud and the like, because even once you find something good, it’s frankly a pain to grab music from elsewhere and then sync it to Spotify, especially when I often go weeks without touching my MacBook. I do 90% of my personal computing on my mobile now. The medium is the message, or something. (The message, however, is rarely on Medium.)

Enough of the rambles; on with the show.

Makeup For The Silence – Best Of 2016

  1. Empty – Garbage
  2. Purge – Frameworks
  3. Fall On Me – Kitten
  4. Bury It – CHVRCHES (feat. Hayley Williams)
  5. Tiger Hologram – Swet Shop Boys
  6. Zadok – Myrone
  7. Bottle It Up – Sherwood
  8. Me & Magdalena (Version 2) – The Monkees
  9. Sell My Head – Tancred
  10. Humblest Pleasures – Turnover
  11. Blood In The Cut – K. Flay
  12. Goodness, Pt. 2 – The Hotelier
  13. Broken Drum – Cash Cash (feat. Fitz of Fitz & the Tantrums)
  14. I Am Chemistry – Yeasayer
  15. No Time Valentine – Roy English
  16. All Night – King Neptune
  17. Rebecca – Against Me!
  18. U-turn – Tegan & Sara
  19. The Sound – The 1975
  20. May I Have This Dance – Francis & the Lights
  21. Deep Six Textbook – Let’s Eat Grandma
  22. 17th Street Treatment Centre – John K. Samson

click image to download

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more thoughts on the Year In Music and my personal listening habits, and then we’ll get into the business of counting down. I’m not sure I’ll go in quite as deep as I typically do this time around (that aforementioned work stuff, again), but I’m not ruling it out either.

*one of whom will be showing up on my Top Ten in the coming weeks

**You can always find the complete collection of mixes which have appeared on Makeup For The Silence, as well as all the playlists I’ve contributed to elsewhere, right over here.

***I’ve archived my 2016 list and rolled my 2017 one right on top, so if you were subscribed, you should be following 2017 now. If not, follow along right here.

****…for now. Of course, tracks on Spotify come and go on the wind and the whim, so I still strongly recommending downloading. That said, you can stream it here.

I’m Still Here

… for now.

Turns out it’s been an entire year since I posted something over here. 

I hope you’ve been well.

Between moving and working and having a kid and Tumblr’s transformation from a repository of great music writing/writers to whatever you’d call a kudzu patch if kudzu was made entirely of animated GIFs of TV shows I don’t watch, it just hasn’t happened.  Indeed, if you were paying attention, you’d have noticed I never even wrote up last year’s Top Ten list. (If you want to see what albums made it, click over to my Lists page – it’s largely the same as what I voted for in last year’s Pazz & Jop.)

While I’ve slowed down a bit, I’m still doing regular music writing, albeit largely in print. Tumblr, in its infinite glitchiness, has eaten all of my links on a number of my subpages, including my clips page, so I’ve been very delinquent in updating it and linking out copies of my print pieces. That said, I’ve got some story ideas I’d like to pick up on in the new year, and while I should be more diligent on pitching new outlets, I also have a few that I don’t think will find a home if I don’t make one for them. (The nice part about having a day job – I can afford to pursue things I won’t get paid for, if I can find the time.) Plus, I’d like to start putting my small-but-not-Twitter-small ideas down again. So I’m hoping that in 2017, I’ll be doing more writing over here… kinda.

Kinda, because I’m sort of over Tumblr, and one of those first when-I-find-time projects will be to move Makeup For The Silence elsewhere. If you happen to visit via actually typing the site name in a browser or with a bookmark or something, you’ve got nothing to worry about – wherever I go, the URL will follow. If you follow along via Tumblr dashboard…maybe? I may still keep the blog portion of the site here (with a little necessary pruning) and just port all the static pages elsewhere. Or I might move my blogging to a WordPress or to Medium or somewhere else. If I do that, I’ll be sure to let you know, repeatedly.

But before those things happen, I’m going to proceed with the end of the year as I typically do, last year excepted. So, tomorrow, the year-end mixtape will go up. On Friday (or maybe tomorrow too), some thoughts on 2016 in music and outside of it, and maybe some numbers and links and stuff to go along with them. And then once the new year rolls around, my Top Ten Albums Of 2016 – with write-ups, I promise!

Here we go again…

RIPOZ

propertyofzack:

by Zack Zarrillo

PropertyOfZack has not been the most financially successful or popular entity that I’ve worked on this year, but in many ways it has been the most rewarding. With that in mind, the site will be coming to an end within a week from now.

Why?

My life is in a period of deep change and instead of risking integrity, happiness, or feeling guilt – I would rather PropertyOfZack say goodbye the right way. Timing is everything, after all. I haven’t looked at our traffic in many months, but I appreciate the dedicated daily, weekly, or monthly readers of the site now more than ever. I’d rather bid you a proper farewell than a lackluster finale. Burnout, not fade away.

And a good farewell we have planned. Friends of the site will be filling our page in the week ahead with farewell posts of all kinds. From sappy to serious to somewhere in between. We won’t be publishing news or commentary in our final week. Just words. I hope you’ll read them and say goodbye with me.

The last seven months have felt like one slow rolling accomplishment. To regain control of the website and to be able to publish smart and pointed words from my friends and colleagues while dabbling deeper with my own writing, commentary, and podcasts has been great.

Like I alluded to above, I’m facing many changes, in both my life and my career path. Closing POZ is undoubtedly the largest one. It’s going to be something. I feel profoundly sad, but this decision feels right. Identity is an incredible thing, one that I’ll soon be lacking. For now.

I’m excited for the future, even if my greatest fallback and comfort is now being put to rest.

It’s going to be a big week. Thank you all for your eyeballs and support.

So, this is happening. I’ll post more about this in the coming days, but M4TS has been here before PropertyOfZack and it will be here after PropertyOfZack. Indeed, I’ve sorely neglected this blog for a long time, and I think I’m ready to inject a little life back in.

If you are in the future, you are about to read my Top Twelve Albums of 2014

if you are in the present, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress

(which is to say things are getting back to normal around here!)

((and don’t forget, you can find all my past Top Ten’s right here!)

MY (WHOLLY IDIOSYNCRATIC) TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2014

Starting today, I’ll be counting down my Top Albums of the last year, one each day until we hit #1. 

As I’ve done for the last few years, I’m jettisoning the traditional “album” approach and will be considering each artist’s entire output for the year. In an era ruled by digital releases, SoundCloud demos and artists who often see no reason to hold songs back just for the sake of selling them as a collection, it’s the only approach that makes sense to me. Sure, many artists still work on a traditional release schedule – it’s just that I don’t see any reason to penalize those who don’t. If I could listen to it this year, it should count, regardless of how it’s been packaged. And indeed, nearly half of this year’s list contains EP’s, 7"s, singles, demos, or other output outside of the traditional LP format.

That’s not to say that those packaging decisions aren’t important – in fact, there are a few entries on this list that rank where they do specifically because they evidence craftsmanship in their sequencing and their curation. Making a great album is a larger task than releasing a handful of great singles, and there’s a particular joy in listening to an album that holds your interest from front to back and compels you to pay attention. That joy is certainly a consideration; it’s one, among many.

Finally, as usual, I couldn’t hold myself to only 10 entries on this year’s Top Ten list. So without further ado, here comes #12!

Makeup for the Silence – Best of 2014 Mixtape

Makeup for the Silence - Best of 2014 Mixtape

It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been doing this as long as I have, and yet here we are for the fifth year in a row* with the annual Makeup For The Silence Mixtape.

The 2014 edition of my yearly mixtape feels darker, tetchier and more ruminative than last year’s compilation. Partly that’s deceptive: this year’s picks are angrier in their loudest, brightest moments, and more quiet when soft and sweet. Indeed, 2014 was my most blissful in recent memory, full of both personal joy (getting married) and professional success (my first print features in a decade), But as they say, energy flows where attention goes, and the tracks here that demand the most attention rage loudly enough to nearly eclipse the more subtle sweetness in between.

Only nearly, though. Part of the challenge of making the yearly mixtape is in the curation – there were more than 200 songs that made my running Top Tracks Of 2014 longlist**, and paring them down is some combination of making a CD-length document that actually flows as a well-sequenced album would without excluding anything absolutely essential to the year. I spend far more time than any human should working toward hitting the sweet spot each time out; hopefully, I managed it here.

The “no big radio hits” rule wasn’t really an issue this year (sorry Taylor); while I felt like 2014 was much more of a singles year than an albums year for me personally (more on that soon), it wasn’t because of anything on pop radio, which had a seriously down year compared to 2013. I feel like we’re headed toward an interesting intersection – it’s clear to me that the pop-EDM bubble has burst, and there’s definitely renewed interest in music made with traditional instruments, but nobody seems to quite know what to do with them yet (other than sample saxophones, ubiquitously). In the past that’s led to tremendously interesting and diverse years for pop music (think 90-91), but for some reason this year’s casting-about turned up little in the way of interesting experiments – at least not in the Top 40.

And yet the 23 tracks here barely tap the surface; there was tremendous breadth, if not depth, just below. This year’s mix features a pair of refugees from collapsed bands, each digging out of the rubble and starting anew in their own way; two tracks from the best band in the world you’ve never heard of; four minutes of guts-searing #emorevival; and four more of glorious, gossamer #softshread. It’s all in there, Frankensteined together into one rather dapper monster, if I do say so myself.

Enough talk. Download***, listen, enjoy.

Makeup For The Silence – Best Of 2014

  1. Free – Brent Walsh
  2. Royals (Remix) – T-Pain ft. Young Cash
  3. Tongue Talk – The Holidays
  4. Canyon Moon – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
  5. Coming Of Age – Foster the People
  6. Unconditional Love – Against Me!
  7. Queen of Hearts – Darlia
  8. Don’t Die in Yr Hometown – Antarctigo Vespucci
  9. American Beauty / American Psycho – Fall Out Boy
  10. Exclusive Coupe – MYRONE
  11. Long Night – Guster
  12. Nervous Kids – Tigers Jaw
  13. Brutal Truth – Foxy Shazam
  14. Your Deep Rest – The Hotelier
  15. Dear Diary – Darlia
  16. Giving Up – Allison Weiss
  17. I Told You So – Dazy (The Girl) ft. Derek Sanders
  18. Tear The House Up (Edit) – Herve & Zebra Katz
  19. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  20. Eyeshadow – No Devotion
  21. Erosion – Cymbals
  22. Come Alive – Rachel Taylor
  23. XO – Roy English

click image to download

Stay tuned, The yearly Top Ten will begin in just a few days!

*you can always find the complete collection of mixes which have appeared on Makeup For The Silence, as well as all the playlists I’ve contributed to elsewhere, right over here.

**if you’d like to get a headstart on 2015, feel free to follow my running Top Tracks Of 2015 So Far playlist on Spotify. It’s barren right now but that won’t last long.

***just like the past two years, there’s a Spotify version of 2014’s mix available, but also like those years, there are a handful of tracks on the mix which aren’t currently available on the service. I love Spotify’s convenience, but I recommend downloading if you want the real deal – otherwise, you miss out on a few great songs, and also the sequencing. If you’re a Spotify user, it’s easy to import downloaded files into Spotify, I promise.

Simple Math 2014: Close Your Eyes (and Count To Fuck).

Run The Jewels – Close Your Eyes (and Count To Fuck) (feat. Zack de la Rocha)

At the end of each of the past three years, I ran a piece titled Simple Math here which collected all of my “music stats” for the year prior.This year that all went to hell. Count to fuck, indeed.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a particularly statistically-minded guy. I’ve gobbled down advanced baseball stats like they were the latest diet craze since before I could catch a fly ball. I spent years grinding at poker tables and studying charts until I could intuit the odds of almost anything happening. And, for over a decade, I’ve been tracking (im)precisely what I’ve listened to each year on both AudioScrobbler / Last.FM and via iTunes.

That all changed in 2014. This was the year I got on board (almost fully) with the cloud. I’ve gotten miles of mileage out of my Spotify subscription, supplementing that which can’t be found on their service with mp3s. The problem is that Spotify is very inconsistent with its scrobbling, or, more precisely, it consistently doesn’t scrobble when either listening via iPhone or in offline mode. Unfortunately, that’s 90% of how I consume music.

Additionally, Spotify doesn’t play well with iTunes. I’ve made a consistent effort to add to my iTunes library anything that I’ve listened to on Spotify (or YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, etc) but there are certainly unaccounted for tracks, especially singles which would have received a sub-3 star rating. And this year, I spent far more time listening to individual songs than I did to full albums.

The end result is that, for the first time in a long time, I don’t have concrete data on what I’ve listened to, or how much I’ve listened to it. Indeed, I don’t even have marginally useful data from which to extrapolate. Last.FM tells me that “Tongue Talk” by the Holidays is my most-played new track of 2014, with nineteen spins. The true number is something like five times that, if I had to guesstimate. Meanwhile, the track doesn’t have a single play in iTunes.

In the end, I’ve decided that convenience (such as it were) outweighs my desire to number-crunch. It’s a choice that pays off 11.5 months of the year, and then bums me out for two weeks. Unfortunately, this is those two weeks.

So which parts of my musical year are still quantifiable? Well, as of December 31, 2014:

  • By my count, over the course of the year, I listened to 107 LPs, EPs, 7″s, splits or compilations released in 2014.
  • There were 1,236 songs released in 2014 added to my iTunes library this year.
  • I attended 48 individual shows this year, along with 43 sets over days at SXSW; 8 sets at 1 day of Warped Tour; 29 sets over 3 days at Riot Fest Chicago; and sets over days of CMJ.
  • In total, that makes for 189 sets at 63 shows.
  • I wrote track review (along with lighthearted holiday song reviews for the annual PropertyOfZack Xmas Review Extravaganza); published 28 interviews, including a 4-part interview with Rob Rowe (Whitewaits / Cause & Effect) and a 2-part interview with Derek Sanders (Mayday Parade) & Lauren Wilhelm (Dazy The Girl); wrote part or all of 15 feature pieces, including missives from SXSW; contributed to 7 PropertyOfZack staff playlists; and, best of all, had pieces published in print, both feature pieces for Alternative Press.

The full list of albums and EPs from 2014 that I’ve listened to this year, alphabetical by artist, is after the cut.

  1. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  2. Alburn – Mouthful of Glass
  3. Allison Weiss – Remember When
  4. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – s/t
  5. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
  6. Angels & Airwaves – The Dream Walker
  7. Animals As Leaders – The Joy Of Motion
  8. Antarctigo Vespucci – Soulmate Stuff
  9. Antarctigo Vespucci – I’m So Tethered
  10. Anthony Green – Winter Songs
  11. Ariana Grande – My Everything
  12. Basement – Further Sky
  13. Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills On a Dead End Street
  14. Beach Slang – Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken
  15. Being As An Ocean – How We Both Wondrously Perish
  16. Betty Who – Slow Dancing
  17. Betty Who – Take Me When You Go
  18. Big Data – 1.0
  19. Bleachers – Strange Desire
  20. Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin
  21. The Cab – Lock Me Up
  22. Candy Hearts – All The Ways You Let Me Down
  23. Charli XCX – Sucker
  24. The Cloudy Mountain Band – Demos
  25. Copeland – Ixora
  26. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Voodoo
  27. Dads – I’ll Be The Tornado
  28. Darlia – Candyman
  29. Darlia – Knock Knock
  30. The Downtown Fiction – Losers & Kings
  31. Dum Dum Girls – Too True
  32. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
  33. Four Year Strong – Go Down In History
  34. Foxy Shazam – Gonzo
  35. Frnkiero andthe Cellabration – Stomachaches
  36. The Front Bottoms – Rose
  37. Future Islands – Singles
  38. Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
  39. Have Mercy – A Place Of Our Own
  40. The Hotelier – Home, Like NoPlace Is There
  41. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell
  42. Information Society – _Hello World
  43. Onelinedrawing – Me & You Are Two
  44. Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again
  45. Kitten – Kitten
  46. Knuckle Puck – While I Stay Secluded
  47. La Dispute – Rooms Of The House
  48. Live – The Turn
  49. Masked Intruder – M. I.
  50. Michael Jackson – Xcape
  51. Mikey Mo – All I Have
  52. Moden Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All
  53. Mongol Horde – Mongol Horde
  54. Moose Blood – I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time
  55. MYRONE – MYRONE
  56. Mystery Skulls – Forever
  57. No Devotion – Stay / Eyeshadow
  58. No Somos Marineros – Lomas Verdes
  59. Old 97’s – Most Messed Up
  60. Owl City – Ultraviolet
  61. Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love
  62. Pianos Become The Teeth – Keep You
  63. PUP – PUP
  64. Pvris – White Noise
  65. Rachel Taylor – Come Alive
  66. Real Friends – Maybe This Place Is The Same & We’re Just Changing
  67. Restorations – LP3
  68. Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again
  69. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
  70. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
  71. Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour
  72. Seahaven – Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only
  73. Set It Off – Duality
  74. Sir Sly – You Haunt Me
  75. Sledding With Tigers – A Necessary Bummer
  76. Somos – Temple Of Plenty
  77. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  78. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
  79. take nothing, leave everything – winter
  80. Taylor Swift – 1989
  81. This Wild Life – Clouded
  82. Tiger’s Jaw – Charmer
  83. Tiny Moving Parts – Pleasant Living
  84. Toby McAllister – Christmas Bedroom Demos
  85. Transit – Joyride
  86. Twin Forks – Twin Forks
  87. Unicorn Kid – Brain Wash
  88. Vacationer – Relief
  89. Veruca Salt – MMXIV
  90. Warpaint – Warpaint
  91. We Are The In Crowd – Weird Kids
  92. White Lung – Deep Fantasy
  93. Whitewaits – Island
  94. Wild Adriatic – Big Suspicious
  95. Xerxes – Collision Blonde
  96. You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing
  97. You Blew It! – You Blue It
  98. You + Me – Rose Avenue
  99. 5 Seconds of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
  100. VA – Adventures / Pity Sex
  101. VA – Death To False Music Vol. 1
  102. VA – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th Anniversary
  103. VA – In Utero, In Tribute, In Entirety
  104. VA – Punk Goes 90’s Vol. 2
  105. VA – Spitback / Power Wrench
  106. VA – Whirr / Nothing
  107. VA – Mat Kerekes / Chris Kerekes Winter Split

ROB ROWE – THE M4TS INTERVIEW – EPILOGUE – FLIPPING THE SCRIPT

Cause & Effect – “Inside Out” from Trip

Toward the end of our conversation, Rob Rowe managed to flip the script, and somehow we wound up with a short interview of me. Don’t expect any Whitewaits or Cause & Effect content below, but if you want to know a little more about the guy behind the keyboard over here, read on!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Alright, I think that’s really about everything that I’ve got. Is there anything you can think of that you wanted to talk about that I didn’t mention?

Ahh, not that I can think of. I’m really out of practice with all this stuff, talking about things. What kind of law do you practice?

It’s corporate stuff, I oversee a document review team. It’s discovery work, if you know anything about how the legal process works.

I know some. My brother-in-law is a corporate lawyer.

Let me give you the short version. Say two big companies sue each other, or the federal government is investigating a company or something. There’s a process called “discovery,” where both sides have to turn over all their paperwork related to whatever the matter is in question. And when you’re talking large companies, that can be literally millions upon millions of emails, spreadsheets, marketing documents. Everything you can think of. Right now, the project I’ve been on the last two years, is I’m working for an insurance company that’s suing a bank. I’ve spent two years overseeing a team of ten-ish people who are going through everything we had to turn over, to figure out what we needed to turn over and what was privileged or whatever else, and then looking through everything that’s been turned over to our side to figure out what’s important.

Oh I see. Wow.

So that’s what I do during the day.

Like needles-in-haystacks kind of stuff.

Yeah, it really is. But those needles are what cases get built out of, and what billions of dollars swing on, somehow.

Right, right. How long have you been in New York?

Seven years.

You like it?

I do, I do. I like it here a lot. You know, it’s New York, what is there to say? You know, everything’s here. It’s funny, I actually moved here originally because I wanted to be closer to my family. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and then I lived out west for a while, and then moved back this way to be close to my family. And now my brother and my sister and my parents have all moved away again, so I’m the only one left out here!

Where did they go?

My brother is out in San Francisco. My sister moved to South Carolina. My parents did the “snowbird” thing and moved down to Florida. So I’m here by myself now, with my fiancee.

Did you take that personally?

[Laughs] no. But yeah, I’ve lived a bunch of places, in the US at least, and I could see myself moving again. I feel like anywhere I’ve been I’ve found something interesting and valuable. I lived in Boston for a while, I lived in San Diego for a while, I was in Las Vegas for a couple years. America is a cool place and I like seeing it.

Yeah, but New York is pretty cool.

It is. That’s one of the nice parts about New York, is that so much is just here, and so much comes here, that you kind of get the best of all those other places. But it’s also really expensive to live here.

Exactly. We have friends who live up in Harlem, we’ll go visit once every year, once every couple of years. My wife and I will walk around, I’m like “man, I could totally live here. Look at that place, we could live there.” She’s like “mmhmm, we won’t be living there. That’s probably ten million dollars.” [Laughs].

Yeah, exactly. It’s funny, I’m getting married in a couple months, and so my fiancee and I, we want to start a family, have kids and all that, and so we’re starting to talk about, maybe we need to start thinking about moving out of the city somewhere, where it’s affordable to do that. I’m in Astoria, in Queens, I’m not even in Manhattan, and I’m still playing $1,400 for 400 square feet.

But it’s 400 square feet in probably one of the best cities in the world.

Oh exactly! Exactly. I do the music writing thing, so I get to shows three or four nights a week, and I always have three or four to pick from each night. Great food. Broadway shows. I can go see my Yankees anytime I want.

Oh you’re a Yankees fan. So is my wife. I wasn’t into baseball when we met. One of our early dates, I went over to her apartment. I called her that day, “what are you doing tonight?” She’s like “well we can go out later but you’ve got to come over because there’s this playoff game.” And I’m like “playoff game for what?” She’s like “it’s baseball. It’s the Yankees.” So I’m like “uh, OK.” “So why don’t you come over, and then after the game we’ll go out.” So this would have been… 2001? So this would have been the game, I can’t remember who they’re playing, but I’m sitting there on the couch with her, and she’s going nuts because they’re losing. And I’m just baffled, because I’d never dated a sports fan. Like, “you care so much!” It was so bizarre. But since then, through osmosis, I’ve totally gotten into baseball, and I’ll pretty much root for the Yankees and everyone else I don’t really care about.

That’s cool. Baseball and music are my two nerd passions, the things I really geek out over. I’m in a super serious fantasy baseball league, and watch every Yankee game I can.

Are you bummed about the Jeter thing?

Uhh, I mean, I knew it had to be coming soon. If it wasn’t this year, it was next year.

Yeah, it seemed like it was coming.

And nobody’s really sure he can play anymore anyway, so maybe it’s time. I don’t want to see terrible Derek Jeter hanging on three years longer than he should. So I’m a little bummed out about it, but I’ve gotten to see him win a bunch of World Series for them. I’ve watched his whole career. I’m happy with that. And I’m looking forward to seeing him play this year a couple more times.

So if you’re from Pennsylvania, how did you end up a Yankee fan?

Yeah its funny, because all my friends are Phillies fans. My parents are both from Connecticut, and my dad is a lifelong Yankee fan and his dad was a lifelong Yankee fan. I was raised in the tradition! Starting from when I was four or five years old, every year my dad and I and my brother was a little bit older, when he was old enough to join us, every year we’d have a “guys day out” at Yankee Stadium. And I remember watching games sitting on his knee on the couch when I was like three years old. It’s in my blood. And it’s funny, I grew up in the one era when the Yankees kind of sucked. The mid-80’s to the early 90’s was a real bad time for the Yankees. Everybody assumes “oh, you’re a Yankee fan, you hopped on the bandwagon, you love winning and that’s it.” When I was growing up, they weren’t good! I loved them anyway! And I’m not going to stop loving them just because they got good again.

If you’ve got five minutes, this is a great story. Reese is a Yankee fan because her dad is a huge Yankees fan. Her dad is in his mid-80’s. He grew up in Boston. They live in Washington, DC now. Corporate lawyers. When he was a kid, his dad took him to see Boston play the Yankees, and I don’t know how old he was – this was, like, the ‘30s, this was serious Yankee history time, right? His grandfather is obviously a Red Sox fan. They watched the game, and the Yankees won, and her dad was like “I like those guys!” His dad is clutching his heart. He said “alright, OK, but if you’re going to be a Yankee fan, I want you to learn all the players’ names, I want you to know all the stats. If you’re going to be a true fan you’ve got to know all the stuff.” And so he did! He went away and he studied. And the next game they went to, he knew all the stats, all the players names. And so the family’s been Yankee fans since the ‘30s!

That’s pretty awesome!

She gets a lot of shit for it.

I’m jealous of him, he got to see all the greats!

Yeah, isn’t that crazy?

Well that’s all I’ve got, but thank you very much for doing this!

If you have any other things, or if I think of anything, I can just email you or something.

Sounds good. And I know you were talking about touring just the west coast, but I hope you maybe make it to at least to New York at some point!

That would be cool, that would be cool. We’ve played there a few times. On the Sunrise tour we played out there, it was really fun. But again, financially it’s just so hard.

Yeah, the economics just don’t make sense for a lot of folks anymore.

It’s such a big country, especially if you’re driving, you know?

Yeah, I think gas prices have done as much to kill the touring industry as anything else.

I definitely feel it up here in Seattle. We get a lot of the tours through here, but there are some that definitely skip Seattle because it’s so far north, it’s too much of a diversion.

Too much of a drive for one or two shows up that way.

Yeah, exactly. But anyway, enjoy your Saturday!

I will, enjoy the rest of yours!

And when are you getting married?

In June! June 29th. That’s kind of taken over my life right now, wedding planning.

My wife’s in wedding planning, she runs a couple venues where weddings happen.

We’re right in the thick of things. We sent out our Save The Dates this week and we’re trying to book everything.

Are you doing it in New York?

Yeah, we’re doing it here in New York, in Brooklyn. We found this place, it’s really neat, it’s called reBar. It’s a bar and restaurant during the week, but they exclusively do weddings on the weekend. It’s kind of become a wedding destination. It’s in an old tea factory, so it’s got all this incredible stonework, old brickwork and iron gates and stuff inside, it’s a really cool looking venue, we’re kind of stoked about it.

Nice, that’s really cool.

Yeah, so hopefully it all comes together.

You might not even remember the day anyway. Our wedding was like, “did I eat? I don’t remember anything.” It was a big, big blur. Good luck with that.

I’m excited about it. Thank you! Thanks for chatting with me!

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