i want to live forever: A Review of Glitter Density’s “Make Ya Mother Proud”

i want to live forever: A Review of Glitter Density’s “Make Ya Mother Proud”

Almost a century ago a woman named Edith Wharton became the first person to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction when she published The Age of Innocence, a tragic love story set in New York City during the 1870’s about a doomed romance between a man with a bright future and a woman with a questionable past. Towards the end of the novel the protagonist, Archer Newland, is talking to himself about his son’s generation and recalling his own difficult decision to choose duty over love, and says: “The difference is that these young people take it for granted that they’re going to get whatever they want, and that we almost always took it for granted that we shouldn’t. Only, I wonder— the thing one’s so certain of in advance: can it ever make one’s heart beat as wildly.” The generation of young people right now taking their first tentative steps into the real world is the first generation in a long time that must exert a tremendous amount of effort to accomplish any kind of life that is either comfortable or fulfilling, to say nothing of both at the same time, and this burden seemingly has freed them to more seriously consider how best to apply that effort, forced them to consider what kind of life might actually be worth that effort. The kind of permanence and normalcy that one could eke out of a life as a bored housewife or a unionized factory cog isn’t all that easy to find in today’s fast food kitchens and ride-share apps. The economic security that accompanied a white picket fence...
Liz de Lise at The Basement, Sept. 21

Liz de Lise at The Basement, Sept. 21

Liz de Lise recently put out a self-titled album that is pretty damn compelling, and as much as I think you for sure should go listen to it (and in particular “Meat From Bone” and “Clouds Up Ahead”), I really think the thing to do to make sure you get your ass at this concert is watch their video for The Key, a Philadelphia musical publication. Watching them perform “Baby” as part of The Key’s Studio Sessions video series, even on my tiny little glowing screen, was a thrilling experience from start to finish. From the very first chord you are reminded of how precarious and delicate the process of performing live music can be. The recklessness with which these two musicians pursue their vision serves as a constant reminder that, at any moment, this whole thing could just fall apart. It almost seems like they’re piloting their song as close to that edge as possible just for the rush. In a lot of ways, their performance reminded me of seeing Furious 7 in theaters last summer. There’s this really great scene about 40-ish minutes in after the late great Paul Walker (RIP) has finally beat up all the bad dudes on this bus that was transporting the hacker, Ramsey, when he realizes that the bus is headed straight for the cliff. He manages to roll the bus and it stops short of falling off, but the cockpit of the bus, in which he is trapped, is dangling several feet from the edge. Miraculously he is able to exit through one of the side doors, and, as the bus...
IPR Studio One Presents Liz Moen at The Basement, Sept. 1

IPR Studio One Presents Liz Moen at The Basement, Sept. 1

In a review for Little Village Magazine, Kent Williams writes that Elizabeth Moen’s debut album “seems to have come — as the best things sometimes do — out of nowhere.” I can’t think of a better way to describe how Moen’s undeniable talent just sort of sneaks up on you and totally blows you away. I can just imagine having seen her playing in some Iowa City coffee shop a few years ago and leaving broken and obsessed, telling all of my friends how urgently they *need* to find an opportunity to see her perform, having to be told I need to stop talking about how urgently they *need* to find an opportunity to see her perform. Her debut album is perfect showcase of her deceptively powerful voice, both as a singer and a writer. Songs like “Tangled Strings” and “Easier Said Than Done” come off as endearing missives from a heartbroken romantic that is coming to grips with having to grow up in an increasingly unromantic world, but “Songbird” is the true highlight. It’s almost hard to believe, when you listen to that first track, that it wasn’t recorded in 1962. It’s a gentle, patient, unassuming love song that allows Moen to flaunt her talent and her sorrow. It is winning and true. Elizabeth Moen by Elizabeth Moen Her style is reminiscent of some of the best singer-songwriters from the old days like Joni Mitchell and Carole King, but there’s just something else about her voice that sets her apart, something a little more modern and a little more timeless. The way it cracks and whistles and shimmers...
Quick Piss “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IMPOTENCE” OR Goodbye To All That: A Eulogy For Shit That Ain’t Punk (1776-2016)

Quick Piss “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IMPOTENCE” OR Goodbye To All That: A Eulogy For Shit That Ain’t Punk (1776-2016)

Like any other cold-blooded, lizard-brained American Hero, when I first got an email about reviewing the new album from Des Moines most decorated children’s choir, Quick Piss, I said yes immediately without giving it a second thought. At the time I was chilling down by the library on a breezy afternoon on my first day off of work since 80/35 but, again because I’m a fucking patriot, I dropped what I was doing and drove home immediately and cranked that shit loud and proud for all my esteemed Waveland Park neighbors as if it was just second nature. But as soon as the speakers started blaring I found myself totally disoriented, and not in the way that I usually get disoriented when I’m jammin’ out to these kiddos. I couldn’t figure it out and I was starting to worry that it meant that the album wasn’t “good” but then, by the awful and miraculous grace of God, “666 UPSIDE DOWN CRUCIFIX” came on and it all sort of clicked. I figured it out. The reason I was so disoriented was that the album I was listening to actually sounded like music. One of the maddeningly difficult aspects about writing about music, for me at least, is that I don’t know anything about music. I don’t know shit about bass lines and key changes and time signatures and I sure as fuck can’t keep a beat. I know the difference between a drum and a guitar, but aside from that I am clueless. Trying to fake my way across that vast chasm of knowledge has been easier that I thought...
We Are The Willows at Vaudeville Mews, Aug. 19

We Are The Willows at Vaudeville Mews, Aug. 19

I recently acquired several large boxes of photos, documents, and other debris that had been stored for many years in a crowded, dusty corner of the basement in my childhood home. Much of it is from my early childhood but a lot of it is from the early lives of my parents, and particularly my mother. So far I’ve only spent a few hours going through these boxes but already I feel like I have at least the beginnings of a newfound appreciation for who these people were before they made me. My parents were considerably older than average when they first met, both in the their late 30’s already, and as a result I feel like the distance between us as individuals, the understanding gap that made it harder for us to relate to each other, was wider than it should have been. It often seemed, especially once I became a teenager, as if my family had somehow skipped a generation. My parents could tell me stories about seeing Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King speak, but they had only casually incidental and woefully incomplete knowledge about John Hughes or the Internet. When I was 12, this seemed like a handicap, but obviously as I’ve grown I’ve come to appreciate it as more of an asset, the foundation of my own unique worldview. Lately though, as I’ve slowly come to grips with the fact that I am now, inarguably, an adult, I’ve spent more and more time thinking about this gulf between them and I. When I first met my parents, they had been adults for almost 20 years,...