don't you tell me how i feel.

flashback friday: “i do not want this”
November 15, 2013, 7:15 am
Filed under: trent

After three-plus years of opining, showgoing, flashbacking and photographing misguided graffiti, this is the end. BEAUTIFUL FRIEND.

Seriously, though. Thank you for reading.

Also, this:



steele & v


The weekend…
September 2, 2013, 2:33 am
Filed under: badass, Shit I love, Shows, trent, wow | Tags: , ,



…looked something like this.

saturday link puke
July 27, 2013, 12:27 pm
Filed under: link puke

> Beyonce, ever unflappable

> Lana del Rey vs. Lady Gaga

> Aaaand Kanye as video game character

flashback friday: “it’s good to be king”
March 22, 2013, 8:09 am
Filed under: flashback friday, guest post, Shit I love

(A guest post from Lehtola)

I had the privilege of seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform in Gainesville, Florida, back in 2006. Petty hadn’t played Gainesville in at least a decade, and since that’s where he was born and raised, it was quite an event. Tickets were hard to come by, but I managed to snag a few through the local college radio station where I was working at the time.

“Good To Be King” has long been the Tom Petty song most stuck in my mental craw (especially that pensive piano part near at the end), but I wasn’t sure if he’d play it, much less an extended, 12-minute version; I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sublime dual guitar soloing, sudden changes of pace, ambidextrous piano playing, and masterful cymbalry, all tight as a toe in rock climber’s shoe.

The best part of it was, every time I (and the entire audience) thought the song was ending, it just kept going, like a Tantric orgasm, or dinner at one of those restaurants where servers roam about with skewers of grilled meat. Raise your hand high and they’ll keep on bringing it, like the guy at the 10:10 mark in this video. However, the true ending is such that (the way Petty does it) the audience really knows it’s the ending, this time — like for sure.


I hadn’t thought about this show in years, and only recently discovered the video was on YouTube. After watching it five or six times, I then watched Petty’s New Year’s Eve show in Santa Monica, California, from 1978:

Put it on and listen while you work. It’s incredible, and it got me thinking about Petty’s place in rock and roll history. Why doesn’t he get the same respect and recognition as, say, Springsteen? They were born a year apart — Springsteen in 1949 in the north, and Petty in 1950 in the south. Springsteen’s released 17 albums and Petty’s dropped 15. Both are considered rock and roll icons, and both have had hit songs dealing with the red, white and blue. That said, I’ll take “American Girl” over “Born in the U.S.A.” any day of the week. Also, Springsteen was never a Traveling Wilbury, and Bob Dylan never called Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band “the greatest rock and roll band in America,” like he dubbed Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

I respect the hell out of the Boss, but never cared too much for his music (save “Streets of Philadelphia,” oddly enough). I saw him with the E. Street Band on the Reunion Tour in 2000 in South Florida, and although it was good, in my opinion, this Tom Petty show was better.

saturday link puke
January 5, 2013, 8:00 am
Filed under: link puke


> Jay-Z to score upcoming Great Gatsby film

> A chaperone’s-eye-view of a middle school dance. Selena figures prominently

> I love everything Jose Gonzalez does ever. Even selling outerwear


> A pop (music) quiz that I failed miserably

> Aaand Kimye offspring etc. etc.

2012: Year in Review
December 28, 2012, 8:18 am
Filed under: angsty boy alert, background noise, Shit I Hate, Shit I love

Where to start with the madness that was 2012? The return of Chris Brown. The persistence of Maroon 5. That Gotye song that overstayed its welcome by approximately 800 years. And my God, the BOY BANDS! Wow, was there a lot of bad music up in here. In fact, so much bad to mediocre stuff out there that I, Steele, am declining to offer a conclusive list of “best.” Instead, here are my favorite albums of 2012.


Frankie Rose, Interstellar. In a year awash with bombast, I kept coming back to this quietly beautiful record, full of synths, cascading vocals and a gorgeous, lush sadness. Imagine Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes if she was reincarnated as a Brooklyn hipster. Lyrically it’s simple and pure, and makes a perfect backdrop for anything from putting on makeup for a night out or reading a book in bed on a rainy afternoon.


Jack White, Blunderbuss. I’ve already made my views on this album clear: I could not enjoy it more. It’s got everything we’ve come to expect from White: sharp, clean songwriting, lovely turns of phrase, unsettling imagery and a common thread of stinging anger, bitterness and resentment born of love that has turned sour.


Beach House, Bloom. Please can everyone just start listening to Beach House? No, we are not being paid by Beach House to endorse them. But we should be. Beach House, call us!


Lana Del Rey, Born to Die: Paradise Edition. Say what you will, haters, but her best songs (“Video Games,” “Blue Jeans,” “Ride”) seem to hint at something dark about the way we live today: that we’re pleasure-seeking, disconnected from our own desires and distracted by the bright lights and shiny pictures. That we’re lonely. I am here to tell you that she is in on the joke, and her subservient, mildly anti-feminist persona is her way of telling a very modern story about the ways we destroy ourselves, both blindly and willfully. No, we are not being paid by Lana Del Rey to endorse her. But we should be. Lana, call us!

Now let’s deal with the rest of this. Big 2012 trends in pop music included:

*More dance-dance-house-mania, which extended this year to something called “dubstep.” I can’t be bothered to explain this but let’s just agree that it’s probably gone too far.

*Folksy-sounding songs with rustic guitars, handclaps and people yelling “HEY!” This is really irritating if you ask me.

*Boy bands. God. Has that cycled around already? Seems like it was just yesterday I was complaining about N*Sync and 98 Degrees. (Editor’s note: that was in 1996)

Best Club Banger: Ke$ha, “Die Young.”

Worst Song of the Year: fun, “We Are Young.”

Except for This One: fun, “Some Nights.”

Most hilarious song title: Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat.”

Target of Irrational Hatred: Mumford and Sons. Is it the facial hair? That’s part of it. It’s also the wailing, emo folk garbage that all sounds the same.

Again With the Whining: Taylor Swift, who unfortunately ain’t goin’ nowhere. Her slick pop record, Red, moved 1.2 million in its first week, making her one of the saviors of the music industry. So, I give up. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Thanks For Not Party Rocking: LMFAO, who went on a “musical hiatus” this year. One might say that’s what they were on last year when they put out “Sexy and I Know It,” but whatever.



Steele basically nailed it — I second the above. Below, my top five albums, and other assorted items of note.

Peaking Lights, Lucifer
Their immaculate 936 landed in my top albums of 2011 list, so these guys are two for two. Lucifer is a dubby, dreamy record that I could happily leave on repeat for a week, weird baby cries on that one song notwithstanding. The album stream is still up here if you somehow missed it.

Hot Chip, In Our Heads
The high-low vocals, the deft fusion of slow jams and dance tracks — these British gents can’t make a bad record.

The Raveonettes, Observator
I’d always felt neutral about the Raveonettes, but I fell in love immediately with Observator’s doom, gloom, and reverb.

Ava Luna, Ice Level
No one sounds like Ava Luna. Beautiful harmonies, complex song structures, impassioned rock shouting followed by moments of pristine restraint…not to mention an amazing show to back it all up. Do yourself a favor and see them live.

Tame Impala, Lonerism
Anyone who drives himself near-insane while making a rock record celebrating loners is okay in my book. Props to Kevin Parker and co. for following up an untouchable debut with masterpiece No. 2. Listen here.

Honorable mentions that weren’t already mentioned:
* Lower Dens, Nootropics: You could do worse than Kraftwerk as a role model.

* Cat Power, Sun: Chan Marshall got happy and we all benefited. She even seemed to develop a sense of humor.

* Grizzly Bear, Shields: Yes, they’ll have to bear Veckatimest comparisons for eternity, but Shields is nothing to sniff at.

Album Everyone Said Was Awesome But I Still Haven’t Heard: Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange

Best Show: St. Vincent at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival. I’d never seen her before (or heard much of her music, for that matter), and her electric punk-rock-robot performance blew me away.

Why All the Hype?: Solange. Even with esteemed producer Dev Hynes at the helm of her debut record, none of what I’ve heard seems to have much staying power.

Biggest Disappointment: Yeasayer’s Fragrant World. I really wanted to like this, guys. I defended you! And yet, nothing about this record or your live performance of it was really memorable.

Biggest Show Regret: Not getting tickets to Kraftwerk’s impossibly sold-out run of shows at MOMA.

saturday link puke
July 14, 2012, 7:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

> Steven Tyler ditches American Idol

> …and what better, equally batshit celebrity to replace him than Mariah Carey?

> Big Boi’s new endeavor: sock-making

> A surprisingly funny interview with Adam Levine where he acknowledges the widespread loathing of “Moves Like Jagger”

> Aaand slightly late for Independence Day: A rap about the founding fathers from a chap I know