The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey

Lost In Translation Ending

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first hit, Just Like Honey, is one of the greatest rock songs of all time. This is as close to objective fact as you can get in the music world.

If you’re not familiar, you’ll know what I mean:

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David Bowie Is Dead // This Is What He Means To Me

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“Where the fuck did Monday go?”

David Bowie is actually dead. It feels strange to say this. More than any other artist on the planet, Bowie always seemed to move beyond mere mortals. To the world, he was larger than life. His work was timeless, always a step ahead and off to the side from everyone else. Even his most popular songs felt beamed in from another place, with a unique sensibility that could come from no one else. He is universally beloved by entire generations, despite remaining as weird as a man can be.

Infinitely more important to me, however, is the space he occupied in my life. David Bowie is the one and only artist to have been there all along. I mean this in the most literal sense.

He starred in one of the first films I can remember watching, Jim Henson’s dark fantasia Labyrinth. Despite playing the villain, he was a magnetic attraction. Enigmatic, beautiful, always a touch removed from the teenage heroine and the viewer alike, he was the spectral vehicle and its destination in one. As the Goblin King, he invited my young mind on a journey with the promise of adventure, tinged with a little fear and weighted by potential loss. There were high stakes for reaching out to take his hand, but the rewards unfolded past the horizon. I was smitten before I knew it.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, past the peak of his commercial popularity, I swam in the echoes of David Bowie’s legacy. He was so far ahead of the game that I never quite caught up. My earliest radio memories were filled with older icons like Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and of course, Bowie. I would bicycle around my forested neighborhood singing Pretty Woman, I get Around, and The Man Who Sold The World. I had no grasp on time, never differentiating between oldies and current hits. The music simply was what it was, the soundtrack to my childhood, the intangible spirit in the air.

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Nostalgia For Dinner

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I was cleaning out my closet when I came upon a carefully folded envelope with a two page letter inside. It was a “goodbye” letter from my mom, given to me a year before she died. I was moving across the country and she wanted to give me some encouragement. In the wake of her death three years ago, it reads with a little more gravity.

I’ll spare you the details of her letter, the hot tears hitting the paper, and the way I crumpled on the floor as I read it. The most important thing is that her words resonate even stronger now. I’m finally at a point in life where I feel confident that I’m a positive force for other people, that I’m self sufficient, and that I’m a decent person. Maybe even a good person.

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Street Riding Man // On Engaged Listening

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Today I decided to make the best Saturday possible. I hit the farmer’s market for fresh Michigan asparagus and got a massive taco from the truck, eating in the sun. I got home and listened to my new ATLiens and Endtroducing vinyls before leaving on an extended bike ride along the lake shore. A lot happened; it’s detailed below. Spoiler: I had a much better time than last week, when I crashed my bike.

I came upon this lonely house, the first in a brand new development on the shoreline. With workers on the roof and the surrounding landscape, I was struck by the most indelible image from one of my favorite films of all time, Days of Heaven. Then I kept riding.

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I crashed my bike // Annabel (lee)

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Yesterday I crashed my bike. A kid skateboarding with headphones swerved in front of me. Hooked on a railroad track, I flipped and hit my head, destroying my glasses and shredding my hand. It was kind of terrible.

I woke today with my entire body aching, needing something gentle on the ears to go with my pain pills and coffee. I remembered a friend telling me that Annabel (lee) sounded “like a cross between trip-hop, smokey old-time jazz/Billie Holiday, and a bit of Matana Roberts.” He was right on the money. Thanks to Bandcamp, you can listen for yourself; the entire album is streaming below.

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DJ Shadow and The Avalanches / Thoughts On Hip-Hop and Musical Growth

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I’m a bad. ass. motherfuckin dee jay / this is why I walk and talk this way

There comes a point in certain young lives when music evolves from a form of social currency to something to be enjoyed on a deeper personal level. It’s a headlong dive into a world most people use as wallpaper, geeking out over the sounds, hardware, history, and meaning of it all.

I was always rather independent in my music choices, but growing up in the midwest before broadband internet meant that my horizons were limited. The advent of file sharing programs like Morpheus, Kazaa, and Soulseek was a supernova moment for teenagers like me, desperately seeking new sounds. On the rare midnight-show occasion when something on the radio piqued my interest, I’d get on the computer to look them up, downloading a song or two in 30 minutes.

Before the internet, certain genres never had a chance to touch my ears. Once I’d taken the plunge, I started devouring every fresh thing I could. One was my favorite radio discovery ever, an album I’ve called my “desert island” record. It harkened back to something I’d heard in my youngest days, The Beastie Boys sampling landmark Paul’s Boutique. It boldly recycled sounds and tropes from across the musical spectrum into something vibrant and dangerous. It was entirely new to me.

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