Mixtapes for Hookers

The Yoko Test

[In honor of Yoko Ono’s 80th birthday, here’s an excerpt from a previously unpublished story about the dumbest boyfriend I ever had, right after college.]

My gums bleed a lot. Mostly it’s because I don’t take very good care of my teeth, but mentally I blame it on bad genes. It makes me self-conscious, particularly on those rare occasions when I’m brushing my teeth with someone else in the room. It’s a terrible sight, foamy and bloody and red and blue and white, like a mangled American flag that’s also foamy and bloody and made out of toothpaste.

If there is one thing that terrifies me, as a single gay man who likes to put various parts of other single gay men in his mouth, it is the transmission of disease through my bloody gums. Additionally, they are unattractive.

Continue reading

My Ten Favorite Songs of 2012

10. Ke$ha, “Die Young”
The first, I don’t know, twenty times I heard this song on the radio I expected it to be Flo Rida. Which is to be expected, since the opening of this Dr. Luke/Benny Blanco song is pretty much the exactly the same thing they used for “Good Feeling” a few months earlier. But maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. We first heard Ke$ha, after all, when she and Flo crucified a Dead Or Alive song together.

This is the first song of Ke$ha’s that I’ve actually liked—well, okay, “Blow” grew on me after a few months but not like this—and I’m hesitant to buy into the promotional angling for her new album (which involves a soul-seeking journey to the Galapogos Islands, and The Atlantic calling her new tie-in memoir the new Feminine Mystique.)

The fifth co-writer of “Die Young” is that whiny singer from fun., and if his own dumb band’s songs were remotely this fun maybe I wouldn’t turn the radio off every fucking time “Some Nights” comes on.

Continue reading

The Best of 2012, Part 4


24. Paper Diamond, “Can We Go Up” [listen]
Boulder, Colorado-based producer Alex B first released “Can We Go Up” online in September of 2011, but I didn’t hear it until a new version appeared on the Wavesight EP, which came out this spring on Mad Decent. One line repeated for three minutes by an anonymous lady, it’s fairly mindless dance music—the internet tells me that it’s not dubstep but that it resembles dubstep. I don’t think about people from Colorado very often, but his website claims that his next big show is going to be in Aspen.

The Best of 2012, Part 3

32. Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
I heard this song in the car, I don’t know, maybe ten times before I realized that everyone’s favorite Canadian moppet now sounds like a grown man. The talk-rapping about fondue reminds me of nothing so much as American Life-era Madonna, and the acoustic guitars also channel latter-day Madonna. American Life is actually my favorite album of hers as a whole, so I like this direction. (I wish the follow-up singles were better, though; “As Long As You Love Me” has that overly stoned guest rap in the middle, and “Beauty and a Beat” just sounds like a silly mess.)

Continue reading

The Best of 2012, Part 1

50. Grimes, Oblivion
Lisping and noodly, I can see how this outwardly precious song might drive people nuts. Even more so since Grimes became something of a critical phenomenon this year, in that way where she was beloved by bloggers and largely ignored by anyone who doesn’t read music blogs. Nevertheless, I like how catchy it is, and I’ll always hold a candle for dance music recorded in people’s bedrooms.

Continue reading

Listening Habits: On Being An Uninformed Music Blogger, Basically
December 2, 2012, 8:01 am
Filed under: music, personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of moving into my boyfriend’s place, and the effect it’s had on my musical listening habits has been as intense as its effect on most other aspects of my life. (It’s different! Good, but different.)

For one thing, noisy music has all but disappeared from my life, barring the nights I left him at home to go see metal bands. (It happened a fair amount.) Instead we listen to a lot of records together: his Shirley Bassey and Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick albums, and my cobbled-together Emmylou Harris, Petula Clark and Blondie albums. (I got Autoamerican this year for the first time, and it’s a lot better than anybody gives it credit for.)

Continue reading

Jake Gyllenhaal Kills It In The New Shoes Video
March 12, 2012, 11:31 am
Filed under: hot, music | Tags: , , ,

The video for new Shoes track “Time To Dance” is the sort of thing that was so obviously made to go viral that you have to admire it. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as a mass murderer who uses a fencing costume (among other things) to commit his murders, the eight-and-a-half minute clip–for an already repetitive three-minute and sixteen second song that basically plays twice–will surely be watched by many, many, many homosexual men Jake Gyllenhaal enthusiasts who would have never otherwise heard a track that’s rather aggressively blah. They were even nice enough to show him in a towel for about three seconds.

It’s worth one viewing, though, although don’t feel especially obligated to turn the volume up.