5 Things that Made 2016 a Little Less Shitty

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Bettman/CORBIS

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked.  A bunch of really cool people died.  A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth.  Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe.  And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.

People are scared.  I’m scared.  And we should be.

It’s Come to This: An Op-Ed Political Essay

getty images

getty images

I’m just one more voice screaming into the abyss.

Some days, I’ll be scanning through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, and as the constant and seemingly endless stream of status updates and selfies and shared articles and political rhetoric, the likes and dislikes and misinformation and click bait stack up like garbage piles infinitum on my eyes and brain, I’ll come to the gradual realization that I hate everybody I know. Or, more to the point, I abhor their online presence. I tire of all the “Look at me!” posts and the “Can you believe?” links, the mundane and asinine as glorified by characters and pixels. But I particularly loathe all of the political screeds and the trash spam articles masquerading as news. And I hate all of the condescension and contempt that harbors within me towards these people I normally have love and respect for in the non-digital world…the real world? And goddamnit, it always gets so much worse during an election year.

The Joup Friday Album: Ween ‘Quebec’

61OwGj1G-SLIt’s gonna be a long Friday night. Well, not so long as eventful and..what’s the word? ‘divergent” will suffice, I think. Ween are a difficult band to preach to the unbeliever, they’re that guy you’ve known since High School who is not only no-holds-barred hilarious, but his filterless and inappropriate comedic instincts (while seemingly oblivious to societal norms and the due diligence and restraint the rest of us instinctively employ) are derived from a place of rich cultural, intellectual and emotional intelligence. While he’s an anomalous, aberrant champion in this ridiculous existence 99% of the time, this is regularly lost on the general populace. There’ll inevitably be an occasion when you invite him to a house party and he’s already dispensed with the sixpack he threaded through his belt on the walk there, and he hot-knifes all the resin of one of the guests who couldn’t skin it up on his own, before being suddenly inspired to display his acumen for Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, but No Can Do; he attempts to execute the 7 foot, lightbulb-obliterating scissor-kick but misses spectacularly, the momentum of his upswung leg sending him collapsing onto the sofa behind him full of previously giggling girls , whereupon he’s instinctively repelled into a nearby Yucca plant before receiving a bony toed barefoot kick to the cheekbone by the middle class guy who looks – with his blond surfer curtains – like an understudy for that LBJ Ex President out of ‘Point Break’ (’91). You’re permitted to stay, but he of course has to go, so you naturally pledge inebriated allegiance to the exile and wander off together urinating into the cooling evening breeze onto the nocturnal golf course to climb trees and scream at the stars and divulge your innermost torments.

The Joup Friday Album: The Fall ‘Imperial Wax Solvent’

The Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent

The Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent

Apologies for being late, I spent three hours attempting to write a review last night but got no further than this:

Its getting very late on a Friday night in Blighty and I’ve been sat cross legged up in my attic randomising a digital list of music for 90 minutes or so, trying to think of a fitting description of that brown firework that goes off in your nose when you collapse on your coccyx and hoping desperately for inspiration to visit until an inflated bladder necessitates a descent. My autistic daughter is politely asking to go swimming in her sleep as some repetitive House-music-piano oscillates interminably through the wall from next door, forced into an arranged marriage with the vague leakage of some clarinet and crooning from the front room downstairs.

Remember that time when…we were 7th row for David Bowie?

David Bowie and NIN on the Outside Tour 1995-96

David Bowie and NIN on the Outside Tour 1995-96

Simply, welcome to a new rotating author column entitled “Remember that time when…”.
How it works:

1. I’ll start with a story from my past which happens to be the one and only time I saw David Bowie in concert
2. I’ll leave it open to the next author (whomever would like to continue on) to recall “That time when…” Perhaps then we can nominate? I leave it to the authors and my co-publisher Shawn Baker to decide.
3. The only catch: it has to relate somehow to the previous story. It could in a number of ways. For instance the setting for this story takes place at The World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois in October of 1995. So a number of thing could spin off…the location, the year, Trent Reznor whom shared the stage with Bowie, or even Bowie himself. But there should be no repeats in your relations from story- to-story.
4. Continue our stream of consciousness.

The Joup Friday Album: The Flaming Lips ‘ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’

220px-TheFlamingLips-YoshimiBattlesThePinkRobotsI’m afraid that if you thought you were potentially entering an article detached from a world that’s gone bananas over Star Wars you’re mistaken, I went to see it today. At the risk of coming across like a thrift-store Sith Lord, today’s been a razor blade ticker tape parade. Over the past few months, when our schedules would allow, a few friends and I have been working our way through the previous six films in anticipation of the new release. Before the screening commenced on ‘Jedi night’ last Saturday, one of my friends casually announced that as fate would have it, he had a hospital appointment scheduled after the screening of ‘The Force Awakens’ to discuss a long running chronic complaint he’s been suffering since his early twenties. The upshot of this conversation was that a recent setback and hospitalisation had not been countered as well as medical professionals had hoped, and that beyond that unsuccessful course of action was a disconcerting lack of a plan. My friend said he was just looking forward to seeing Star Wars.

The Joup Friday Album: Bjork ‘Vespertine’

Vespertine by Bjork

Cover of Bjork’s 2001 album Vespertine

I’m no synaesthete, but this album sort of sounds like intermittent sunshine over a beautiful deserted landscape.” I’m unable to attribute that quote to its originator having seen it as a tag on Last.fm, simply seconding the motion for lack of anything to rival it. I can come within touching distance of a million different mental images to describe this album every time I listen, but they’re mostly better left unsculpted. We do a lot of dancing about architecture on this site, but its always in furtherance of appealing for people to visit the places we’ve mentally vacationed courtesy of the Artist in question, and I don’t use that descriptive noun lightly when it comes to God and man’s daughter Bjork Gudmundsdottir.

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