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Author: Sam Chapman

Punk Saturday

Punk’s vitality lies primarily in its imperfection. In the unrefined fuzziness of a bedroom recording or the brutal sloppiness of a drunken live set, you can hear growth, change, disorder–in short, the sound of being alive. Punk widens the cracks in music’s surface enough for us to see the organ of humanity churning beneath.

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Musings on Hip-Hop: Young Thug and The Get Down

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about hip-hop, which is maybe a weird thing to write. I often think about hip-hop because I am both an immense fan of rap music and also deeply fascinated by its effect as a social and political movement, but this week in particular it seems like that’s all I’ve been thinking about and listening to.

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Listen To This Music

Since I write one of these pieces a week, there’s no possible way to stay on top of all of the worthwhile music being released. So, in order to remedy all of my oversights, I decided to compile some of my favorite releases of the year. Hopefully you’ll forgive me for not mentioning some of these earlier.

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Lisa Prank: Antidote To Rational Adulthood

It’s hard to be a teen. No generational group receives quite as much bad press as teenagers. They’re derided as impulsive, dramatic, petty, pretentious, reckless, and shallow. As an experiment, I typed news about teenagers into Google. Here are a sample of the results that came up on the first page:

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A Soundtrack for Critical Thinking

As consumers we have economic, and therefore cultural and political, power. Refusing to critically examine the content that you consume, simply because it’s uncomfortable, is, at the very least, irresponsible.

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The Divine Revelation of Raven Matthews

Raven Matthews. Photo by Ivan Mršić. There’s a lot of bullshit music floating around on the internet. The fact that any kid with a synthesizer and Soundcloud can produce and disseminate their work in an instant is incredible, but for every M. I. A. or Grimes that burst out of obscurity with groundbreaking sonic experimentalism, there is a veritable mountain of musical garbage to sort through. Sifting through so much crappy DIY music means that discovering a singular artist can seem like some kind of divine revelation. Such was the case with Raven Matthews. To be fair, I first...

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How Could You Possibly Be Disinterested In Tacocat?

Whenever we talk about aesthetic judgment, we’re gonna have to talk about Immanuel Kant. Even here, in an article about a Seattle punk band, there’s no ignoring the big, 18th century, German elephant in the room. In his Third Critique, Critique of Judgment, Kant outlined an aesthetic framework which has gone on to become one of the most influential in Western aesthetic philosophy. Whether or not they realize it, pretty much anyone who publicly passes judgment on a work of art owes a debt to Kant–this reviewer included. After all, what’s a concert write-up if not an aesthetic judgment...

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