WORSE THAN A STRANGER

I was well-known
Sometimes the best intentions have the worst results, and this certainly is no exception. Welcome to Block Island.  (at Block Island State Beach)

Sometimes the best intentions have the worst results, and this certainly is no exception. Welcome to Block Island. (at Block Island State Beach)

Ocean State Bug (at Providence Waterfront)

Ocean State Bug (at Providence Waterfront)

Bass Lake, Bolinas, CA

Bass Lake, Bolinas, CA

New Mimicking Birds is great.

(Source: Spotify)

The weather outside is weather.

(Source: Spotify)

Some favorite songs of the year…still in progress. Follow along!

(Source: Spotify)

Hope I have time to make one of these again this year.

Hope I have time to make one of these again this year.

Definitely a killer combo. Hatch does Bon Iver. Old, but it’s a nice reminder of what’s possible.

Definitely a killer combo. Hatch does Bon Iver. Old, but it’s a nice reminder of what’s possible.

Not sure why. Lighten up your day.

Not sure why. Lighten up your day.

New business card.

New business card.

Bill Callahan at Sixth and I Synagogue | Washington, DC | October 2, 2013

Bill Callahan at Sixth and I Synagogue | Washington, DC | October 2, 2013

Seth's Internet: I explain the @Horse_ebooks story to my mom

sethrosenthal:

A conversation on iChat, beginning at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2013:

——————————————————————————————————————————

a weird thing happened on the internet today and i was thinking it’d be fun to try and explain it to you and publish our conversation


yes?


would you be willing to participate?


Moms and sons and Internet inexplicables

"Control": Praising Arrogance

One could write a very lengthy book that would take way too long to read (a few probably have already) about virulent swagger’s inextricable ties to Hip-Hop, about the genre’s more obvious aggressive tendencies and battle tactics, about the deliberate tactlessness. Mainstream Hip-Hop is referred to as “Game” for a multitude of reasons.  For as long as I have known it, Hip-Hop has had its fair share of aggressors, its moments of beef tare tare (i hate myself), and its relentless championing of thee that hath SWAG.  These things have always existed, for better or for worse.  But of late, with albums like Yeezus and even Kendrick’s own masterful opus, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, the focus appears to have shifted from intra-genre boasting to raw emotional exploration, internal struggle, and non-combative cogitation.  Provocative yes, but with a more honest and less boastful confrontational swagger.  Even when Kanye proclaims to be an actual deity, it’s done through a dark, twisted lens that one can only read as tongue-in-cheek, or at least somewhat self-loathing.  Which is why, at this very juncture, Kendrick Lamar’s self-serving, me-against-the-world verse on “Control” feels like an anomaly—some sort of regressive stab through the relatively well-adjusted, place-setting rap table.  It’s an interruption, not a game-changer.

What troubles me about Kendrick Lamar’s now ubiquitous verse on Big Sean’s “Control” is not that it’s erratic, or that it displays a clear mastery of emphatic oral gesticulation coupled with excellent lyricism, or that it goes off the rails, venturing into liberated territory. I appreciate all of those things very much, and, like most who heard the verse, felt that, above all else, Kendrick at least sounded like one of the best.  It’s an important thing to note.  This was an unencumbered, ruthless, and impassioned display of talent and emotion. What it wasn’t was productive, constructive, or even provocative in any positive way. 

I don’t agree that selfishness and arrogance deserve the glut of mostly positive attention “Control” has brought Kendrick.  Since when did calling your friends and constituents out publicly grow so goddam alluring?  Since when did picking fights become something worth lauding? Why must a well-respected, talented, and accomplished rapper be so goddam obvious and antagonistic to get this much attention? Kanye has proven that ego can get you pretty far if you start examining it from the inside out. What bothers me the most is how completely explicit and straightforward Kendrick’s verse had to be to get the attention it has attracted.  In my mind, the moment he explained exactly what he was doing, was the moment he threw away some of his dignity.  But, I guess after all these years, people still just enjoy a good fight if you’ll let them watch it for free, from the comfort of their desks.