Tag: music

What music should you be ashamed of liking?

Should you be ashamed of the sounds your ears like hearing? At what age do you stop apologizing and start listening to whatever you want, balls to the wall?

At work, we put on a Spotify “guilty pleasures playlist.” It started out really strong:

Photograph of Vertical HorizonVertical Horizon! I’m not ashamed of that!

The playlist went on to feature Marilyn Manson, Ace of Base, and Phil Collins. I’m not ashamed of those, either!

Screen Grab Photo of Wild Wild West Starring Will SmithThen “Wild Wild West” came on. The song written for and inspired by Wild Wild West.

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An alternate history in which Lefteye inserts herself into all music ever made.

If I could, I would charge academia’s Ivory Tower and ring its bell with this thesis.


The backbone of the thesis would be an alternate-history novel in which Lefteye lived. The plot would chronicle her rise to power.

When, in 2250, she ultimately dies, she uploads her consciousness and hella-tight rapping skills into a super-computer.

Her digitized self inserts her raps into all music, starting from Gregorian chants. No “classics” will be safe. She will drop the a sick hook onto Mozart. She will put Beethoven on blast. She’ll improve upon Elvis, the Beatles, Louis Armstrong, and all country music. Whole genres will finally become listen-able.

Her digitized self would do some world-peace stuff, too.

Anyway, along with this full-length doorstop of a novel, my thesis would also include the actual songs mentioned therein. I would learn how music works, then extract Lefteye raps and lay them over every genre.

If anyone is interested in this thesis, you should pay my way through grad school.

RIP, Lefteye. You’re missed.

Another Damn Thing I’ll Have To Boycott

A couple days ago, shit hit the fan in New Zealand. You know — that place you never think of. Well, there are a lot of places you never think of, but anyway, some X-Factor judges down there tore up a contestant for… wearing a suit.

The whole thing is so fucked up you have to see it to believe it.

As I watched the video, I thought “this chick looks super-familiar.”


Turns out, she’s the same person I’d been listening to nonstop on Spotify.


I am so tired of finding out that I’m going to feel guilty about liking the things I like. (Or indulging in the basics that everyone else does.)

My list of things to ban just keeps getting longer. New things don’t seem to be cropping up to replace them. It’s like this “why it’s socially unacceptable to do anything” video.

I worry I’m going to wind up living in a stone convent, wrapped in a used sheet, trying to sustain myself on grass from the yard.

Below this cut is a list of things I’m trying to avoid patronizing. It’s incomplete, I’m sure.

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The Week In Media: Themes of Identity

Hey guys, it’s time for that totally-not-regular update on what media I’m soaking up!

As I was compiling this list, I realized they all had a common theme:


IdentityMaking identity up, taking identity on; escaping who you are, becoming who you are.

Yes, I even mean this for the Oreos I ate.

Read on.


Red Velvet Oreos

Imagine a man in a taste laboratory. He hasn’t left in years.

He has a Pinterest board full of pictures of red-velvet-flavored confections. He yearns for red velvet, but he has no idea how to create it.

No matter. He’ll make it up.

The resulting flavor is not red velvet. It is a Platonic ideal of the notion of red-velvet-ish things.

I will not say that Red Velvet Oreos are icky. They are actually a bit tasty. However, their flavor not, really, red velvet, when it comes right down to it.


Sia: 1,000 Forms of Fear

Sia wears a giant wig and a variety of masks to “conceal her identity.” A quick Google of “Sia no mask” shows her face, so it’s not technically a mystery. It’s more of a schtick. At worst, it’s a cry for attention. At best, it’s a comment on the meat-grinder of celebrity.

Her weird antics sometimes distract a bit from her music. You might think of her “as the chick with the wig.” But she’s so much more than that.

I can’t stop listening to this album. Her voice is distinctive, and pain-filled, and elegant. This is a beautiful collection. Give it a whirl.


Kingsman: The Secret Service

An English spy ring (not run by England itself) recruits new members every time one of its “knights of the round table” dies. Through a series of “ugh”-level plot mechanics, a former recruit’s son gets recruited when he comes of age. This youngster is part of the subculture I have heard referred to as “chavs.”

The English spy ring has to battle against environmentalist-lunatic Samuel L Motherfucking Johnson. He performs the role with lispy zest. He plots to save the Earth by…

You know what?

Let’s not focus on the plot, okay?

It’s not the point. Whatsoever.

This movie is about shit blowing up, crazy technology, sexual innuendo, outlandishness, and Pugs.

It’s like Get Smart had a baby with Kill Bill and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A three-way baby. That’s scientifically possible now.

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Snoop Dogg is dope and so are you!: a lesson about goals

I heard on the radio that Snoop Dogg has 16 Grammy nominations, but no wins.

“That’s heinous!” I yelled alone in my car.


How on earth had someone so obviously awesome and successful failed to receive recognition in this way? What kind of awful sky-wizard would have allowed this oversight to occur?

Wait. Who gives a shit about Grammys? Why was I so focused on this one particular award, when this guy is obviously getting all the actual success he deserves?

Snoop’s ridiculous Grammy oversight isn’t holding him back from being the motherfucking bomb in all aspects of his life. The guy’s a zillionaire; he’s wicked famous; his music is excellent; he’s multi-platinum; he’s a movie delight; he’s hilarious.

We can learn a lot from Snoop’s lack of Grammy. Namely: we don’t always get our goals, but we can still be successful.


We set specific goals for ourselves like:

  • “I want to be a size 8.”
  • “I want to earn six figures.”
  • “I want 1,000 blog followers.”
  • “I want a Grammy.”

If we only had these things, our lives would be complete.

Except they wouldn’t be.

Because once you broke the $100k/year barrier, you’d think “I need $150k.” Once you dropped the weight or gained the followers or won the Grammy, you’d move on to the next thing. It’s never enough.


It’s important to have goals. Otherwise you’d be a lump. You’d never grow or change. You would become very boring.

It’s also important to occasionally say, “Close enough.”


Didn’t quite lose that baby weight? Okay. Well, you have a baby, so, close enough.

Making $99k/year? Uh, why are you complaining about that? Close enough.

Is your pet an out-of-control nightmare half the time? The other half the time, he’s very snuggly and soft. Close enough.


Don’t kill yourself for specific belt notches… But keep working hard. Because it feels good. Because it’s interesting. Because it’s rewarding — intrinsically, not extrinsically. Because it keeps you humble, and interesting. Because progression matters.

Be like Snoop Dogg, guys. Learn from Snoop-A-Loop. He has much wisdom to share.

And now, in closing, My Top 5 Favorite Snoop Dog Moments:

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