There Are No Sell Outs Anymore

Over the last 10 years or so, the new dynamic has opened up all sorts of opportunities. Artists perform at ad agencies to curry favor with decision makers. Major blockbusters, no matter how uncool, can book the coolest artists for their soundtrack. You can even make songs explicitly for branded content!

That last paragraph may sound derisive, but I want to be clear that it’s all fair game in 2019. We’ve blown up the music industry, especially in terms of what money goes directly to artists. But it seems that in our zeal to get rid of the problematic “sell out” stigma, we never replaced it with anything better.

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The Center of the World

I was born and raised in the South Bay, a region just 15 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles. Culturally, it was across the country. The South Bay is its own world, with its own concerns and identity. LA lived in our minds as the distant big city, and while it loomed large, likening ourselves to Angelenos was as alien as likening ourselves to New Yorkers.

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A Corrective to Human History

If the specter of people getting hurt in this new vision is a deterrent, I would say that the old system they’re trying to protect has been hurting people since time immemorial. Under the guise of “innocent until proven guilty,” the guilty remained out of reach of any consequences, and their victims were made to suffer in silence.

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Instruments Of Endless Wanting

Before Tinder, the main emotions around online dating were either embarrassment about the whole affair or, strangely, utopian optimism about it. In the one in a million game of soul mates, it was believed a search engine could save us all.

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Foxing - Nearer My God

Nearer My God sounds like the solution the death of guitar music since the rise of Poptimism. Not that poptimism is inherently wrong, but the reassessment of music writing changed the values of the playing field. Suddenly nothing sounded as forward-looking, or cutting edge, or the result of meticulous craftsman engineering like the big budget pop hooks on Top 40 stations.

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Dissecting the Peterson VICE News Interview

Today we are being asked to revise our cultural consensus to challenge men in particular to think harder about our social interactions; to parse out the boundaries of people we have power over; to weigh our self-interest and needs against other people's desires. That takes some perceptive skill and mistakes will be made. Why does that mean it's not worth doing?

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Rostam - Half Light

The cutting edge of music now belongs to pop and hip hop. These are genres where the top artists are thinking, "What's a sound we haven't used before?" or "What's a flow no one else has?" Modern indie merely asks, "What is pop not doing?" and maybe that's why we don't have rock stars anymore.

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Dark Access of the Mind

Like a gambler tantalized by the sight of the card table, or an alcoholic gifted a whiskey bottle, these things are triggers. They open up a dark access road into the mind, unloading direct and instant gratification to fill something empty.

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