6 min read

Listen Up, Nerds: The Week of 9/1/2023

Hey, so what are the top 20 songs that you love? What are the top 20 songs that spark joy in your heart as soon you hear the first notes?

I think the Tweet Prompt Industrial Complex is a little out of control. I’ll start with that thought, but I recognize it’s the only way to gain followers since Twitter got new ownership. What I find interesting about this is that it’s not about interacting with followers, but rather about getting your followers to talk about themselves or their opinions and attach your name to it. It could be a conversation, but a conversation rarely leaves its containment, and thus the echo chamber can persist. Prompts encourage people to share their personalities and the intangibles we miss out on through an internet relationship, which most people are dying to share anyway. I find interviewing people to be a lot of fun, but I also know that it isn’t the hardest job in the world. I don’t even need a prompt to tell you about my life. I have a blog!

But what is it about the prompt tweet that makes us tick? It can’t just be selfish, can it? I don’t think so. I think it’s just kind of fun. I tweeted my Top 20 list after spending seven minutes on it because I wanted to make a list and then see my friends’ lists. My friends might not share their lists unless I share mine. Talking about yourself is seen as gauche or maybe even verboten but that’s what social media is for. It can’t all be about everyone else. In the words of Toby Keith, who I will quote directly but not agree with in spirit, “I love talking about you, usually. But occasionally, I want to talk about me!” Keith used this as a misogynist plea in his song, but I do get where that urge comes from. If we had Twitter in the ‘90s, we may not have heard, “I Wanna Talk About Me,” and that would’ve been a shame.

Anyway when it comes to Top 20 lists, I’m sure mine changes every 20 minutes and I don’t wish to stand on what I posted forever. Luckily, Tweets are pretty disposable and I don’t have to make them my whole life. I think the interesting ripple to that tweet is a conflation between “favorite songs” and “gives you joy.” While a lot of people rightly pointed out that some of their favorite songs are sad songs, others mentioned songs that have tremendous meaning to them, even songs that are nostalgic or wistful more than joyful. I noticed another feeling when putting songs on my list. I am happy whenever I hear “Into The Wayside/Sick” by Ceremony, but I’m not filled with joy, I’m not elated. When I’m at a show and I hear a riff I know and love, I’m not happy. I’m something else. I feel wound up. I feel like every bone in my body wants to extend outward. My shoulders start bouncing and my head starts bobbing. I feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck or arm or leg. It’s a chill followed by an immediate surveillance of my surroundings, a reassurance that I’m not “going to die in that pit,” so to speak. It’s not Joy. I don’t even know what to call that feeling of “I’m about to push people around,” or “I’m going to run around in a circle,” or, “I am going to, against better judgment, throw my big ass off of a 3 ft high stage on top of a bunch of other people.” That’s not joy. Maybe it’s relief. Maybe it’s catharsis or some sort of pathos manifestation. Maybe it’s not an emotion at all, but a primal reaction in the brain that taps into generations-old reflexes to push other cavemen around at the big feast after the final hunt of the spring. It’s not joy, but I do smile thinking about that feeling.

Let’s get into the roundup of sorts:

Broken Record - Nothing Moves Me

#SPONCON #AD #DISCLOSURE - I worked on promoting this record and I am friends with the band, but I wouldn’t tie my ship to just any port. This record rocks. I’ve had it in one form or another for quite a long time, and the final mix, the same one that you hear, blew me out of the water. I knew they had a classic in them, but the finished product is something else entirely. What I find so compelling is the band’s commitment to having such a big, full sound. Lauren Beecher, who will be sitting down for a Listen Up, Nerds Newsletter mix/interview soon, spent years chasing some of the sounds on this record. You’d never know it, but these subtle tones tap into radio waves you heard when you were younger and put you in the mood to stick your head out the window on a long drive to Nowhere In Particular. I’m really proud of the work that my friends put into this record, if you can’t tell. If you’re into Jimmy Eat World or Jets To Brazil, this is for you.


“I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE, I’VE BEEN WALKING ON HOT COALS!” Yikes! That’s gotta hurt. And the thing is, the singer SOUNDS like they have. They have this guttural delivery that sounds like when you do an impression of a death metal band to your friend. It rocks. I mean this with the highest respect. If you check this out, you’re going to hear a bunch of punk noises you’ve heard before on this record, but guess what? It’s good. I feel like I say that whenever I talk about punk/hardcore on here. If bands are going to walk the same path that so many others do, that means I’m going to focus on what’s different. Here, it’s the bass, the lyrics, and vocal delivery. The bassist on this record is hot shit and they know it, which is always fun. Obviously, it’s fun to listen to someone good at their instrument, but when a classic punk band has someone on the low end who’s pushing their weight around and hot-dogging throughout the song, it’s another layer of listenability. It’s that Motorhead element. “Hot Coals” is an immediate standout but the whole band falling apart at the end of “Surface Skin” was a pleasant surprise. Infinitely catchy punk stuff that has that classic Toronto surround provided by Jonah Falco’s involvement.

No Deal Youtube Channel

I don’t think this dude means to be such a punk influencer but he’s got 35k youtube subscribers, which is pretty much everyone who listens to punk rock. I had that KLEENER writeup done before he posted the EP to his channel and I felt like a god for all of two minutes. I OUT-PUNKED THE PUNK GUY!!! I DID IT! No, I did not. He posted a bunch of other stuff I hadn’t heard about right after. I want to knock this out because I think all of this stuff is worth listening to but not worth over a sentence or two. Kinetic Orbital Strike - The True Disaster: De facto IYKYK hardcore band puts out another D-beat blast of devastation. There are survivors this time, it’s not as blackened as the first KOS release. Using the initials KOS (chaos) for your D-Beat band is extremely cool and funny. Surprised I haven’t seen it before. Maybe it’s out there and I’m posing. Nurse - S/t LP: Evidently a last gasp from an Atlanta band I’ve never heard of, but it’s grimy and evil post-whatever and it’s 12 minutes long. Highly endorsed. Cicada - We Are Going To Kill You: Headtrip hardcore from good ol’ Richmond, VA. Sounds like a Void tape getting eaten by your 1993 Ford Taurus’ tape desk, and the car is also on fire. Spend a dollar on it. You won’t regret it.

Dirtybag Twee

This isn’t a Thing. If someone tells you that this is a Thing, they are pulling your leg. Your chain is being yanked. This isn’t a genre, this isn’t a trend, this is people having a laugh.


Moving is one of the worst tasks you could foist on your friends. Nobody wants to do this. I hired movers for the first time in my life and it’s the best decision I’ve made maybe ever. No manual labor, no long-brewing resentment and dread when you realize you might need to help a friend move, just light assistance and a chunk of change. It’s worth every penny.

Convulse Mega-Gig

Gig of the year thus far. Big shouts to everyone who made it happen. Shows like that are instrumental for keeping a scene healthy and functional. I talked about this with my friend after the show, but I didn’t have real DIY spaces or all-ages venues growing up. We had party houses that I didn’t feel comfortable going to (afraid the cops and my parents would haul me off to jail for being in the proximity of underage drinking and wanting to hear Punk Rock), and we had an all-ages venue in an area of town that was kinda sketchy. I wasn’t seeing shows of this caliber with 8+ GOOD bands on the bill, predominantly touring bands. That’s so cool, to me. I’m so stoked that people get to grow up in scenes like this.

That's it for this week. RIP Sakevi.