“This Isn’t Disco”

On the electronic dance music boom.

For older Americans, or those with an interest in music history, the rise of EDM might seem eerily familiar. Disco took the country by storm in the late 1970s, only to flame out spectacularly amid a fierce backlash from rock music enthusiasts. Proponents of the genre obviously don’t think history will repeat itself. “This isn’t disco,”John Boyle, the CFO of Insomniac, an EDM tour promoter, said in comments reported by The Verge. “This is hip hop with a lot more legs.”

How is it hip hop?

“What I think about when I think about running”

Richard Anderson on running:

In April, I started the Couch to 5K training program. As I write this, I’m in week 7, having missed some time due to travel, injury, and other issues. I run because I want to be in better shape. I want to lose weight, and stave off an early death from a life spent sitting. I do not run because I like it. In fact, I hate running.

I run twice a week. I use the Nike Plus app. When I rate the run I never ever ever use anything above the middle face with the flat mouth. I don’t smile. I convinced myself I do this for fresh air and so I can sleep better.

This and the “look better naked” mantra is the only reason I exercise. There is no mindfulness. There is no zen moment. There’s only a feeling that this sucks and that I’m doing this for the right reasons.

Juicing

“Generation Wuss”

I’m on a Bret Easton Ellis kick after subscribing to his podcast a few weeks ago , so I missed this February 2014 interview in Vice with the author about millennials:

When I hear millennials getting hurt by “cyber bullying,” or it being a gateway to suicide, it’s difficult for me to process…It’s very difficult for them to take criticism, and because of that a lot of the content produced is kind of shitty. And when someone is criticized for their content, they seem to collapse, or the person criticizing them is called a hater, a contrarian, a troll.

…What we have is a generation who are super-confident and super-positive about things, but when the least bit of darkness enters their lives, they’re paralyzed.

Chris Ruen – “How a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity”

What’s very damning are the sites people go to for free stuff that benefit by selling advertising space.

A report by the Digital Citizens Alliance released earlier this year found that pirate sites took in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in revenues in 2013, with the largest 30 sites averaging $4.4 million in ad revenues and even the smallest sites pulling in $100,000 annually, all on the backs of uncompensated artists. As these sites need not bother with licensing fees, their profit margins are estimated to range between 80 and 94 per cent.

It’s more lucrative to leach than it is to create.

You Got The Touch

On Stan Bush’s “The Touch” in Boogie Nights:

I had no idea that Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild (Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly) were even doing a cover; I thought that Anderson simply wrote exactly the kind of song these two dummies would if they existed in the real world.

The sound track to Transformers: The Movie is on Spotify – featuring “The Touch”

Why Are The X-Men Outcasts?

Every super hero with a super ability is welcomed into society. Mankind sees Superman’s abilities as a force for good in the world. Batman was a little scary before the people of Gotham understood him, but he is the protector of the city.

But, in the X-Men world, mutants are treated as second-class citizens, despite their super abilities.

Why?

Is it because X-Men have free will? Superman often saves Metropolis because it’s his duty. Batman protects Gotham because he wants to save it from the kinds of criminals that murdered his parents.

Do X-Men have any duty?

X-Men are often compared to minority groups as though X-Men are outcast because they’re minorities. The bigotry held against them is what unites them. But X-Men have clearly superior abilities compared to normal humans – abilities that could be used for good.

The conflict between mutants and normal humans is often compared to real-world conflicts experienced by minority groups in America such as African Americans, Jews, atheists, Communists, the LGBT community, etc. It has been remarked that attitudes towards mutants do not make sense in the context of the Marvel Universe, since non-mutants with similar powers are rarely regarded with fear.1

Are we really to believe that X-Men are not accepted by humanity simply because they’re mutants? Humanity wouldn’t put aside any bigotry once it saw the benefit of mutant powers, similar to the way they highly regard Superman and Batman’s powers?

Which world is more realistic, the world of Batman and Superman, or the world of X-Men?

4 Reasons Why Music Careers Are Getting Trounced By Tech

Bobby Owsinski:

It used to be that if our best and brightest had any affinity for music at all, they would go to great ends to enter the business, with a long-term vision in mind. Not so today, as music careers are getting trounced by the tech industry when it comes to job choice and availability, and there’s no end to this movement in sight.

Where music was once seen by many as one of the highest callings possible, that perception seemed to die with the 90’s even as the music business hit its peak. It’s been all downhill since as the brain drain and lack of incoming talent has only helped to accelerate the industry’s fall to where it is today at about half its all-time high revenue.

Reading this I feel like I was caught in the middle of a transition. I was too late on the music as a career option, but too early to get in on the App gold rush (which has already peaked).

Finally, A Razor With Balls

NYMag states that Gillette’s new ProGlide Flex Ball razor is “everything wrong with American Innovation.”

A new razor is now a testament to the state of American manufacturing and business. The article leads you to believe that people are going to be willfully swindled into buying it – that we solved the shaving problem decades ago.

I’m not so sure. Between electric razors, r/wicked_edge,1 and razors with balls, there are still people out there doing everything “right” and dealing with irritation from shaving.

Sure, Gillette is cashing in on a market still looking for a solution to their problems short of laser hair removal, but I thought that’s what the point of innovation was anyway. People are asking where the flying cars are – like it’s going to be less expensive and get us where we need to go any faster.


  1. r/wicked_edge has its own feeling of commercialism – people selling books on how to shave (which I bought, read, and still had isuses), people recommending razor packs to sample, creams and lotions to put on your face…yet people still have problems, cuts, and irritated necks. This is not a solved problem and there are plenty of threads (warm water didn’t work? I guess try cold water) and product recommendations to prove it. 

Adam Carolla won’t let it drop

If you’ve listened to any podcasts recently you may have heard the appeal from Adam Carolla asking for donations to defend against patent trolls. Ars Technica reports that Personal Audio, the company with the patents, has been trying to get out of the lawsuit:

According to Personal Audio, they’ve lost interest in suing podcasters because the podcasters—even one of Adam Carolla’s size—just don’t make enough money for it to care.

“[Personal Audio] was under the impression that Carolla, the self-proclaimed largest podcaster in the world, as well as certain other podcasters, were making significant money from infringing Personal Audio’s patents,” stated the company. “After the parties completed discovery, however, it became clear this was not the case.”

Then later:

The patent company is charging ahead with its patent case against the big three television networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC. Personal Audio is trying to wring a royalty from those companies for releasing video “episodic content” over the Internet.

Don’t worry, little guys. They only want money – and you don’t have any. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Ikea’s Minimum Wage

Ikea is raising its minimum wage for workers to $10.76 an hour.

“By taking better care of our coworkers,” says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., “they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity.”

In other words: Ikea Won’t Employ Anybody Worth Less Than $10.76 an Hour.

Muscles Scare Away Middle-Upper Class

…Carl Stempel, for example, writing in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, argues that upper middle class Americans avoid “excessive displays of strength,” viewing the bodybuilder look as vulgar overcompensation for wounded manhood. The so-called dominant classes, Stempel writes—especially those like my friends and myself, richer in fancy degrees than in actual dollars—tend to express dominance through strenuous aerobic sports that display moral character, self-control, and self-development, rather than physical dominance. By chasing pure strength, in other words, packing on all that muscle, I had violated the unspoken prejudices—and dearly held self-definitions—of my social group.

I question the overcompensation angle, but then I thought of Planet Fitness’s “Lunk Alarm.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the upper class rejection of strength training is part overcompensation and part fear.

Design Help From John

A profile on the guy who showed Richard D. James how to use Photoshop to make those freaky album covers.

He retired from music:

“For me, in terms of working in design, there’s almost nothing to do in the music industry. I mean, what would you really be doing? Design is of far less importance than ever. I think video still has a certain degree of importance, but what are covers now? They’re little thumbnails that pop up in Spotify. You can have a little visual language around that that matters, but not so much now. I mean, can you imagine Richard doing his portrait thing now, how striking that would be now? Where would you see it – as a thumbnail on iTunes or something?”

Selfies from the 9/11 Memorial

After visiting Auschwitz in June, I argued that photographing and sharing pictures of places where atrocity has happened—specifically, Auschwitz and Birkenau—was essential for recognizing and acknowledging that history.

We should keep posting—and sharing—photographs of places where horror has happened until these places inevitably disintegrate, even if the photo of such a place does not fit so neatly into a social network, where the crass language of the sharing community—“likes,” “hearts,” “selfie,” “re-gram” etc., etc., can denigrate the austerity of an image. If we use social media for only the happy or banal events in life—weddings, brunches, signs with terrible grammar—well, why bother?

The 9/11 memorial makes me reconsider that thesis, if only because it feels built to be photographed. It’s glitzy, tactile, antiseptic and commercial all at once.

Hate Song – Sublime’s “What I Got”

I hate Sublime because they represent every asshole I knew in high school in Hawaii. Nothing better than Sublime could have come out for these white dudes who loved reggae that I went to school with. Every white, blond-haired, piece of shit surfer jock guy, when this came out, they were like, “Oh! Now we have a Nirvana.” And they just ate it up. Everywhere you went, there was a white guy with an acoustic guitar singing Sublime songs; I’m sure one of them was Jack Johnson. And you had to deal with these guys who thought that this band was the band. And I’m not going to judge the way people dress or look, but Sublime looks like the Guy Fieri trio. People who like Sublime are probably people who think that Guy Fieri is badass.