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Listen Up, Nerds 32: The Week Of 5/19/23

Gonna keep it a buck, it’s been hard for me to get into the music listening space as of late and I’ve been quite reliant on podcasts and audiobooks to keep my ears occupied while I do other things, but music’s been a bit of a hard sell. Here’s some music-related stuff worth talking about.

Scarab - Demo

It’s not exactly “new” but the Scarab demo is the most hyped release I’ve seen in hardcore this year. It’s not without reason, the band is comprised of members from other big bands like Gridiron and Year Of The Knife, and the music recalls a different scene than most of today’s hardcore. It’s somewhere in the realm of other northeast hardcore like American Nightmare or Fucking Invincible, with a hint of crust in the vein of Left For Dead. When it comes to scene hype, the formula is somewhat simple: be in another band/do another project first, and then do something a little different from your last project. Boom. Now you’re going to sell out of your demo. It strikes the perfect distance between “old band we’re tired of” and “new band we’re skeptical of.” Scarab’s demo is cool, I think that the music is worth a listen for fans of the aforementioned bands, but the talk around it is interesting to dissect. This is sort of a What We Talk About When We Talk About Hardcore-ass post, but hey, language is fun to dive into.

Selling Records

Do you know how many records I own? The answer is 463 after I sold roughly 55 of them to a record store last week. A lot of people have more records than me but I very well might have more records than you. I listen to them sparingly. I like owning records for the art and for the ritual of sitting down with a record and a beverage on a quiet night or early morning, and being able to focus on what I’m hearing instead of looking at my phone. At least, I get to do that for 20 minutes before I have to get up again to flip it over. When selling records, I have one question for myself: am I going to listen to this record in full every time I listen to it. If the answer is no, I sell it. I’m still pruning the collection and might come to add more criteria to the list, but this has done a good job of getting 10% of the collection out of my hair. Even as I write this, I start to say things like, “do you need those copies of the new Whirr record? They sound like garbage.” That’s true. There’s popping all over each pressing and it’s not surface noise. I’d only listen to the digital version. And the answer is, well, maybe? Who knows. I’m convincing myself in real time that I’d rather throw more money into the “Get a sick couch and a Noguchi Table” fund than own a mid-ass pressing of a pretty good record. Same with my ShopRadioCast version of You’d Prefer An Astronaut, but then again, that’s been my only way to listen to that album on vinyl for years. At the moment, I’m just not deleting stuff from my Discogs in an attempt to catalog what I’ve owned even if I don’t own it any longer, and that’s kind of a fun way to do this as well.

Cold Gawd at Music Hall Of Williamsburg

I’m incredibly proud of my friend Matt for his project, Cold Gawd. What started as a one-man band has become a full touring entity. I caught them opening up for Mareaux, a coldwave act, earlier this week. Their last album, God Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here, brought me back to the times I remember listening to Guilty of Everything by Nothing while sitting in my car outside of my minimum wage job, eating 20 McNuggets and drinking a Diet Coke because that’s what $5 could get me. That sounds bad, yes, but it wasn’t the worst. I wanted better for myself at that time and when you hit rock bottom, like really hit it? That’s when you know what’s best for you. That’s when you find who loves you. The CG set was live as hell and it was beautiful to watch people catch the vibe in real time, take some steps in, and bob their heads along to the music. It’s beautiful to see what people supporting their friends’ endeavors can end up being.

Music I’m listening to:

Sans Merit - Early Grave

Big Man Crew - Just For You

The True Faith - Go To Ground

Be well, I’ll see you next week