4 min read

Listen Up, Nerds 33: The Week of 5/26/23

Before I get into my cutting cultural critiques, I’d like to thank you for reading the newsletter. Seriously! Not a week goes by where someone doesn’t say something incredibly nice about what they’ve read here and it makes me feel all warm inside. If you’d like to keep reading this newsletter, the best thing you could do is tell a friend about it.

Speaking of telling a friend, I’m DJing tonight at 11 at Saint Vitus again with my friend ohaileigh. It’s music to dance to, i.e. electroclash and bloghouse. It’s gonna rock. It’s FREE with RSVP on Dice. We made it free so you can spend more money on booze or poppers or whatever. I don’t care what you do as long as you do it in my company TONIGHT!!!!! Ok let’s talk tunes:

The Dare - The Sex EP

I know you’re over hearing about this dude but you can scroll down. I have a duty to be on #TRENDWATCH that I’ve put entirely on myself. A lot of the critiques surrounding this album read like a rejection of the scene itself, but I think it’s important to realize that this record straight up sucks. It’s “Girls” and three songs you couldn’t pick out of a lineup next to the worst late-to-the-party indietronica dreck from 2009. It’s less NYC LES and more Transplant Rock. There’s something uncanny about The Dare’s ability to channel the feeling of being a 15 yr old in Indiana, hearing “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” and thinking, “This! This must be what it’s like to live in New York!” In New York, there are now a lot of bars that look like dive bars you’d find in the Midwest. They have a shitty pool table or wood paneling or maybe even an outdated tv mounted on hardware that looks like it’s hanging on for its life. If you get on a dating app, you’ll find that 3/10 people’s profile will include, “Take me to your favorite dive.” And yet, none of these bars are actually dive bars. They’re dive-y in appearance, but they don’t feel like a dive bar. There’s not a rum-soaked carpeting on the floor with eons of peanut shell dust in its fibers. There’s no place to buy pull-tabs. They don’t have bottles of Miller Genuine Draft. They have signature cocktails and $7 Miller High Life bottles. That’s what The Dare’s music sounds like. In college, I knew a ton of people who would say, “Let’s get weird,” as a prelude to partying and the weirdness extended to drinking in a basement with the same 10 people you drank with in a basement last week. This is that feeling in music form. It’s not weird, it’s just boring. 🚽

Jeff Rosenstock at Baby’s All Right

I’m a sucker for a secret show, so I went to see Jeff and Co. play at Baby’s on Wednesday night. I had a great time for someone who’s sorta been checked out on Jeff for a while. It’s not really him, it’s me. I’ve changed. It’s not a problem that his music hasn’t. It’s generally been similar since ASOB. I cannot tell you how important Jeff’s music has been to me over the years. It was music that was earnest in ways I couldn’t tap into when I was younger without fear of rejection. Jeff’s music proved, to me at least, that there will always be someone who accepts your work or your emotions if you’re brave enough to put it out there. There are a lot of people who need that. He’s been going as long as he has because, let’s face it, people turn 25 every single day. It was just a nice, beautiful night in Brooklyn. B

Woolworm - Bangs

Woolworm’s last record, Awe, was my favorite album of 2019. It soundtracked a beautiful and terrible winter marred by loss with moments of brightness sparked by new love and basketball games. I spent most of the winter listening on repeat as I walked to and from my office job, and then I’d get home and listen more. The band’s balance between pop and death rock (they call it “Blanket Rock” as a joke), is such a pleasant and rarely-explored dynamic. I don’t know a ton of bands who sound like them and it’s cool to know that the new songs sound the same way in that regard. It’s not hard like Poison Ruin’s recent foray into goth-informed punk, but rather it sounds like it was written with quill and ink. Neither are bad, I just love these new Woolworm tracks. They’re full of hooky choruses and lyrics that will stick in your head for years, I’m sure. They’re not currently on a label but they’ve got new music in the works, so if you run a label and want to sell a bunch of records, get in contact with them through the email on their bandcamp page. A-


Clarko - Welcome to Clarko: Annoying pop punk that needles the listener into loving it.

Young Jesus - The Whole Thing Is Just There: Jammy, groovy, sticky emo record I’ve loved for a while but I finally picked the record up this week

Midwife and Vyva Melinkolya - Orbweaving: Who up weaving their orb? Midwife’s music made me decide I needed to move back to Colorado. This is even more evidence

Thanks again and I’ll see you tonight!