In which I recap the week, for those of you who are less pun-inclined. Here, I will dump a week’s worth of #content on you, but by no means is this comprehensive of everything that happened during the week in question. I am but one man with two eyes and mercurial tastes that are three real 4 most people [insert a use of “five” here to keep this numerical shtick going].
I’d normally post this on a Sunday, but life hits you hard. I’d love to do this every week, but life hits you hard, and I’m headed to Copenhagen on Thursday for a six week study abroad stint. I have not packed yet. I’m pretty much winging the entire trip. Wish me luck.
Album of the Week: Told Slant – Going By
Felix Walworth first appeared on my radar when I saw them and their backing band perform as Told Slant in a small Dekalb coffee shop, opening for The Hotelier – an emotive rock band that released their own record, Goodness, this year (it’s so great). Felix was quite soft-spoken in his introductions and between-song banter, and I hadn’t looked into who would be performing opening sets, so I didn’t know what the band name was until after the show. From poor glances at the merch table, my buddy and I incorrectly gathered they went by “Taco Slant,” which was a fun assumption while it lasted.
Felix (who I’m not fully convinced isn’t Fred Armisen in a wig) stood behind a large drum, a refreshing instrument for a frontman to operate, and alternated between low croaks and voice-cracking crescendos for his choppy vocal melodies. If that seems to indicate poor quality, it’s certainly not; it’s rather endearing and strangely catchy for something so morbid-sounding. And Going By is quite morbid – the word “dirge” appears prominently, while Felix often pleas for support and reassurance. “I want someone to grab my face / tuck my hair behind my ears and say / ‘isn’t this silly and aren’t you beautiful?'” he sings on “Tsunami.”
On “Sweater,” Felix thumbs through pictures of an acquaintance, questioning their wardrobe and life decisions, but pauses to indulge their own insecurities: “But I stopped wearing my bomber jacket when I realized that I was little / And I stopped wearing my navy peacoat when I realized my thoughts were ugly.” This brutal, guilty sort of self-awareness permeates the record, but there is solace to be found in perseverance. Going By‘s mantra, repeated on multiple songs but most prominently highlighted on the striking early single “Low Hymnal,” gives life to that: “you can battering ram this life.”
Moar projects: Waxahatchee – Early Recordings EP (“Whiskey + Math” might as well be my Tinder bio), Mitski – Puberty 2 (frank and emotional, “Your Best American Girl” is a standout), Jake Bugg – On My One (actually p disappointing on first listen).
Awk…(projects that I didn’t listen to yet but want to): YG – Still Brazy, case/lang/veirs – S/T, Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math (the titular single is fantastic. Lots of math in this week’s tunes, I guess), Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway (I’m curious, ok?).
The critics have (poorly) spoken: If you’re a factory worker looking for a listen to match the grueling mundanity of your 9-5, or just have two hours of your life to spare for glorified prog-metal, Swans is for some reason a #BigThing and just released The Glowing Man.
What a Time to Be Alive: #SocialMedia #Branding
I’m tempted to leave this here without comment, but I don’t want to give you the wrong impression; I fucking love this tweet.
The low hanging fruit is that this is a Bad Tweet, and the abyss of Twitter replies seems to agree, with its “delete-your-account”‘s, sexual innuendo, and gif barrage. The tweet was even deleted. Everyone is wrong. This is contemporary literature at its finest.
#BrandTwitter is trash emoji, but this goes beyond the kind of cultural icon appropriation and other all-around fuckups that @BrandsSayingBae mocks so well. Denny’s has been one of the worst abusers, but you’re gonna get dirty when mining for gold. This was gold.
This little slice of absurdism finds itself somewhere between the automated fables of @MagicRealismBot and the observational irony of Jon Bois. Like all good surreal humor, it has groundings in reality (“do you ever have a dream” is v #relatable) but twists that reality in odd shapes (“basketball boys,” “good treats”). It is funny.
If you didn’t find it funny, I’m sure that my in-depth breakdown helped. Nothing is funnier than breaking down a joke, point by point. And in the end, I’ve still never been to a Denny’s nor plan on ever going. swish swish swish.
Obligatory Mention of the NBA Finals Being Cool Even Though I Have Nothing Beneficial To Add to the Conversation
The NBA finals were cool.
RIP in Peace: AirBnB
Airbnb has been having a rough week (it’s been longer than a week, of course, but this is my Weekap and I can truncate events if I want). The home rental service has been facing regulation in big markets like Chicago and New York, and then pissed off Aaron Paul by telling the world about his listing. Don’t do that, bitch.
But the death blow came from Chief Keef.
With the nonchalant swagger of “Low Life” Future – “I just [insert cool/crazy thing here], what else” is the best way to #humblebrag ever I love it so much. And the “is that your wifey, wifey, wifey, wifey? / I think I like her, like her, like her, like her” outro??? Dawg… Wow this is a long aside, apologies. Future can do that to you. Good luck gathering your bearings on this sentence. – Keef’s “Oh yeah I dont do Air Bnb’s” Instagram video closes Airbnb’s casket, drives its hearse cross-country, lowers it into the ground, and buries that sucker ten feet deep without a ceremony. Pour one out for the home-ies.
Power Rankings: Better Call Saul
I watched the entire second season of the Breaking Bad spinoff over a two day period this week (it was actually nine episodes over two days and then the finale on the third, but it’s my Weekap and I can mildly exaggerate if I want) because I’m a lame, but also because it was so enthralling I couldn’t stop. As a lover of power rankings, I decided to rank the top five characters in the show. Disclaimer: this is clearly not a ranking of “who has the most literal power” because that would be boring af. This is a ranking of the people and how much I like them. If you haven’t seen the show, pretty obvious that you shouldn’t read this part, right? Season 1 is on Netflix, y’all.
Omar is great, but I don’t have much to say about Omar that I can’t say about my number 1 ranking here and more. Omar is [#1 ranking]-lite for all of the reasons I’ll stipulate there, with the limiting factors of a bit of naivety (thanks for helping with the bonus check, but c’mon man he clearly doesn’t like the job), and lower stakes. But the forlorn look he gives Jimmy after his firing, and then helping unload that $7,000 desk (that Omar got for him, mind you) after the fact are some unforgettable moments. As for not being higher, it’s not you, Omar. You’re top notch.
Quick note: Jimmy/Saul will not be on this list. The show is literally named after him, he doesn’t need the extra attention. Which brings us to the muse of most of James McGill’s attention: Kim Wexler. Kim is a true A-player, go-getter, and [insert corporate buzzword here]. She’s good at her job, is what I’m saying. She also won’t sell you out, has great intimidation factor with those piercing blue eyes, runs an excellent 40 yard dash even in heels, and rocked a Kansas City Royals shirt in 2002, a year they lost 100 games and let a 33 year-old Chuck Knoblach hit .210/.284/.300 over 80 games. That’s some true fandom that garners obvious bonus points for digging the best sport in the world (don’t @ me).
What is there to even say about Mike? The guy is as honorable as a crooked-cop-turned-murderer-slash-criminal-accessory can be. He’s a man of principle, wicked shot, great grandparent and in-law (when he’s not putting their lives in jeopardy, but that’s nitpicking), and a future sidekick to our titular character. I know you’re a big fan of Mike, too. I don’t need to convince you anymore.
This may seem like a bit of a hot take, because Nacho is a Bad Guy working for Tuco, but I root for Nacho big time. Something about Michael Mando’s steely gaze and overall icy demeanor fascinates me. He also has a sneaky sense of humor, declaring that Daniel’s bright yellow, flamed Hummer monstrosity “looks like a school bus for 6 year-old pimps.” That’s a fantastic chirp, which is fitting for an enforcer like him. Nacho Varga is a calculating criminal henchman, but he has a loose set of principles he stands by, and the show makes it clear that the line between Good and Bad is quite blurry. Ignacio (his actual given name) may have been mentioned in Season 2 of the original Breaking Bad series which means we’re definitely getting to see a lot of him in Saul’s future. Though we know he doesn’t off Tuco or take his place, I’m rooting for him to take over his own organization.
If Ernesto ain’t your number one, you have to rethink your entire life. Ernie is the definition of ride-or-die, and if there’s one thing I respect it’s loyalty. Ernie does whatever job is asked of him, and ferries Chuck around with all of his crazy supplies, which made him a low top-five candidate, but backing Jimmy up when Chuck is questioning him about being at the copy store, and responding with a heartfelt “I don’t know, you’re my friend” shot him up all the way to the number one slot. I wanted to hug the man through the screen at that point. You have one free hug to be redeemed at any time, Ernie. Hmu whenever.
Dad of the Week: All of the Dads
Shoutout my dad. Shoutout all dads. Shoutout Father’s Day. Red Eye Chicago did a cool thing where they retweeted dad stories. I love dad stories.
My dad has a catch phrase for his farts that he coined – “Hot coffee, coming at ya.” – and will follow up any mention of Paul George with “John and Ringo,” no matter how many times his name is said during a Bulls/Pacers game. My dad is dope.
Happy Father’s Day, everyone, and have a good week. ✌️
Thoughts about the Thoughts:
Brian: is in (a) town this weekend and able to provide thoughts. Margaret Glaspy’s Emotions And Math is a 7+ listen, def should shift that from Awk… to Moar Projects soon. Re AirBnB & regulation: a great article from one of my favorite publications, Governing, about Uber and Lyft dealing with some regulations of their own. The NBA Finals were cool, yes, and here’s some #analytics for you: Cleveland sports teams have a 100% winning percentage in sporting events soundtracked by Flo Rida’s “My House” leading into commercials.
Ben was out of town this weekend and unable to provide thoughts, but we can likely assume this would be something about the Timberwolves. – Brock