29 September 2008

Your Bike Is Farts

In case you haven't noticed, I'm sick of music. This is a post about bikes.

New York has always had a history of bikes, because it's "healthier" and "more convenient" and there are fewer "mole people" than riding the subway. But keep this in mind: you are a gaggle of cocks if your bike looks like this:

Yes, I get it. Orange is as ironic as Jay Reatard sober. Thin tires are retro like The Strokes used to be before you all happened to spontaneously realize they were shitty, without listening to anyone else's opinion. But you know what I find not cool? I find it not cool when there are 27 of these fucking things parked on every block on Bedford until you hit the Hassidic neighborhood.

Ok, they don't all look like that. Because some of them look like this:



Curved handles? Check. One speed, suitable only for downhill travel? Uh huh. Obnoxious coloring? Yep. If any of your friends have heard of the brand, then try to sell it to someone from the East Village. That failing, leave it locked in front of the Charleston until somebody (probably one of your other friends) steals it while they're drunk/high.

If only to piss of the kind of people who are personally offended by a steak, I am planning on getting a real bike. And not just any motherfucking bike. A bad-ass, mountain-climbing, ass-fucking bike. The kind of bike that is made out of other weaker bikes. And unborn babies. I will call it "Cat Cancer 4000." Get this image in your head:


That's just a starter. You can start masturbating now. It all begins with an obnoxiously huge logo on the side of the chassy (which I will call the "mega chassy")--a brand name that everybody automatically associates with bikes. Schwinn, for instance. The bike will be pitch black from the dried blood of endangered species, with gigantic fucking yellow Schwinn logos all over it, even on the mountain-bike tires (tires feature treads that are at least seven inches deep and lined with razor blades).

And no fucking retro hard-to-ride bullshit. This baby'll have dual shocks. No, fuck that. Quad shocks. I'll have shocks in the places on my bike that don't need shocks. I'll even put shocks on parts of the bike that will hinder its performance. I'll put shocks on the kickstand and in the seat. There'll be shocks for the shocks.

And no fucking hipster one-speed. "Cat Cancer 4000" features 180 gears, one for each degree, so it can go up vertical inclines as well as ride upside down from ceilings and the bottoms of other bikes. It'll also have four wheels. And I'll build the whole thing out of sticks of dynamite. Not because I want it to explode, but so that I have that option available to me if I ever end up in a situation that requires a dynamite bike.

And did I mention I'll never ride it? That's right, Jerry. Instead of riding "Cat Cancer 4000," I'll buy a solid steel H2 and leave it running in front of an organic grocery store (or contemporary art museum (that means you, P.S.1)) non-stop until I am dead or totally broke, making it impossible to purchase more high-lead-content gasoline from the Taliban.

So how will I get around the city? I'll just shoot myself. Now that's a motherfucking bike.

14 September 2008

My Socks Make Better Music Than Joy Division

I think I first heard of Joy Division from my buddy Craig, in sixth grade. Craig ended up becoming addicted to angel dust. But he also lives in Florida, so his life turned out alright. Just one of many cases in point which I will present to you in the coming paragraphs.

Joy Division has the kind of brand name rivalled only by the Disneys or Wal-Marts of the world. If Disney or Wal-Mart killed themselves following the masturbatory critical reception of an album that makes me want to claw my balls off. Joy Division's consistently listed as one of the most influential groups of the 20th Century, particularly because of their popularization of that whole post-punk business. And I'll give them credit for that. After all, where would we all be without Bloc Party? Or Interpol?

I'll tell you where. We'd be in exactly the same place, doing exactly what we're doing. Which, much like snorting angel dust in Florida, isn't such a horrible thing (hurricane season aside).

What is such a horrible thing is that, to this day, people continue to listen to this band simply because, one day, Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen. (First of all, how the fuck do you hang yourself in the kitchen? Give that a spin in that little brain of yours.)

Ok, so the mythos is pretty sweet. Dude apparently had a failing marriage and epileptic seizures. Before he did the whole hanging thing, he watched Warner Herzog's Stroszek and listened to that Iggy Pop album The Idiot. (Ed. Note: Iggy Pop somehow managed to suck worse than Joy Division, so this makes a little sense.) Anyway, this all makes for an interesting biopic, and you'd probably make a buttload of cash from it. Gus Van Sant should fucking get on this thing already, so he can make some more fucking bones from enormous public tragedies. (Ed. note: Fuck you, Gus Van Sant.)

One problem: Joy Division sounds like pooping, if you made dance music out of pooping. Ian Curtis cannot carry a tune, and every musician in that band owes their fucking career (New Order and otherwise) to a rope. Just look at what they went on to do: New Wave.

But what really, really tears at me, is the fucking stupidity that surrounds the cult of Joy Division fans about their musical talent. These are dudes who first touched a guitar five minutes before recording. And you can really, really tell. If you got a thousand monkeys in a room with a bunch of guitars and some drums, they would sound like Joy Division in about five minutes. Before that, they'd probably sound like Wire.

When you people listen to Joy Division, the music doesn't fucking matter. All that matters is that the dude is dark, and he killed himself. And that's retarded. He didn't kill himself because he was making interesting music. He killed himself because he was depressed and no longer enjoyed life. Which blows, yes, but it doesn't make you an artist. It makes you chemically imbalanced. Listening to Joy Division is like watching Eraserhead because Jack Nance died in a knife fight outside of a donut shop. It just doesn't make any fucking sense.

Mythos made marketing. Read the comments on this video for a parade of idiocy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCVHAjTBb1U

04 September 2008

Hipness


I hate to have to do this so early in the course of this blog, but I think if I wait to approach the issue, it's going to give a lot of freedom to anonymous commentators to say stupid shit about me.

Shit like this:
you need to get out more, or else just take that job in banking and stop kidding yourself that you follow music and participate in a community.nMcLuxuryCondos await your future self, go to them! You'll bea lot happier once you give up on trying to be the cool kid that you clearly ain't.
Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'd been presupposing some knowledge of my cultural target ("hipness") that this guy (or girl) apparently did not get the memo on. The following is long, but I think it states my point pretty straightforwardly.

You grew up not fitting in with the popular kids. You couldn't catch a baseball. You liked (and could) read. Maybe you were gay. Maybe you played in the marching band. You got picked on and were too weak-willed or self-effacing to stand up for yourself. Whatever it was, it made the world just a little bit horrifying.

Why did you turn to music? You turned to music as an escape. As a means of forming some sort of self-identity that didn't rely on the socially imposed structures and codes you couldn't (or refused to) live up to. Music didn't judge you for the clothes you wore. Music didn't shoot down everything you had to say. Music didn't spit on you while you were walking through the hallway. It was immersive and accepting, and that was all it was. It couldn't possibly be anything more. Occasionally, it was beautiful. Occasionally, it expressed something about what you were feeling that you thought no one could ever know.

Fast forward five or ten years. You're in high school, college, Williamsburg, wherever the fuck you are. Guess what? Ten years is a long time. All of a sudden, you're not some little prepubescent social fucktard anymore. You've got friends. You've fucked someone. Maybe they fucked you back. Guess what it's time to do? It's time to take out your built up social anxieties on the rest of the world, now that you have the means of doing it. It's time to form a little vaguely-bordered cult of obnoxious beards, big white sunglasses, skinny jeans, V-neck T's, flannel shirts, and square frames. Cut your hair like an asshole. Trade integrity for irony. Wear white after labor day.

But you know what? That's not enough. Because now it's time to use your music as a social weapon, both to extract some sort of impersonal revenge from years of perceived abuse and to further distance yourself from the ranks of "normal" society who are below you. You know, the people who work in banking and live in "McLuxuryCondos." So go ahead. Play music they couldn't possibly enjoy. Extract revenge without meeting anyone face-to-face. After all, your enemy is now gone. The enemy that you felt was so unbearably real when you were a dweeb has aged, changed, and moved on. But you can't. You have to make yourself superior in some way. And so you do it with music. Instead of loving music, you use it as a weapon. And you'll want to like the music you're listening to so badly that, no matter what it is, it will become what defines you. You'll use music as a tool of social judgment, and you will trap yourselves.

Music never had the capacity to judge you. But you've found a way for it to judge everyone else. Congrats.

I understand all I'm doing is making judgments myself, but I'm not using music as a weapon. It could never be that effective. What I am doing is trying to make transparent whatever shitty fucking weapon you assholes think you have. I follow music because it's what I love. It moves me. It makes me happy. Genuinely happy. To respond to the anonymous user above: I don't belong to a community. I don't give a shit about community. But I'm not going to stand by and let a "community" wreak havoc on music (in the name of music) so that they can feel a little better about themselves. Your community is the kind of support network that's ruining art. It's the kind of network that will supply huge crowds and endless pats on the back to people who are creating sounds that don't mean anything, that don't truly move anyone. Sounds that are inarticulate and passionless.

There's some stuff out there that's just plain horrible. And this entire blog has been, and will continue to be, a little tongue-in-cheek. I like some of these bands, even if I'm attacking them. But get one thing straight: I don't like you.