Kanye Illustrated, Punk Love, and Gangsta Emoji

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Posterity Post: I wrote thousands of articles while on staff at SPIN and blogged none of them.

Here’s the most graphic installment in this series. Don’t worry, it’s all (most?) safe for work. These are posts involving the art of illustration. And, yes, that is Kanye West as Steve Jobs glaring at you above. We commissioned Penelope Gazin to bring the man’s boasts to life.

A Few of My Favorite Things, Silver Lake Edition

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EXPLORE AT UTRIP

I still don’t *really* understand what this site is or who uses it, but they gave me a (pro-bono) chance to shout out my favorite places for food, music, booze, caffeine, etc. in Los Angeles. Plus, they promised to call me an expert. To see my picks, go to Utrip, click “See Itinerary,” and then enter an arbitrary date (you’re not going to do this, I know, it’s okay). From there (ha), click on the little “Overview” tab above the map. FINALLY, you can scroll down Continue reading

EDC 2013: Fear and Glowthings in Las Vegas

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READ IT AT SPIN

It finally happened. After covering the politics of America’s biggest, brightest rave, Electric Daisy Carnival, yours truly actually attended the thing accompanied by one of my favorite photo-takers of all time, Wilson Lee. The long, hot days (spent in a hotel room with blackout blinds) and long, neon lights (spent decidedly among the neon) made for some strange experiences and even stranger writing. But despite the fact that I was not on any of the drugs, I found EDC to be very uplifting and sufficiently trippy. Click through the SPIN gallery to get a taste. And revisit my print piece, Dance Music Industry Fights for Its Rights, and web followup about the arrest of EDC promoter Pasquale Rotella. Needless to say, I’ve chosen a side in the War on Raves.

Old Stuff Starts Here…

This site was relaunched in November of 2015, but the blog’s been around since April of 2009. It’s been through many changes, so what lies beyond is almost certainly not formatted properly and often (yuck) written in third person. It’s also incomplete. I’m still filling in my two-plus years as a SPIN staffer, and moving even older posts over to this site. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

EDM, Glitter Pasties, Rapping Ogres and Skrillex: The 20 Craziest Things We Saw at HARD Summer

Happy to report that we attended the two-day EDM bacchanal known as HARD Summer, and actually lived to tell the story. Check out the excellent gallery over at SPIN, featuring the photography of our frequent partner in festivalling, Erik Voake. Artists covered include: Skrillex, Boys Noize, Bloc Party, Nero, A-Trak, AraabMuzik, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, 12th Planet, James Murphy, Dillon Francis, Bootsy Collins, and Squarepusher (with a shout-out to Poolside). Dig in!

The Best of Bonnaroo 2012: D’Angelo, fun., Flying Lotus, Das Racist, St. Vincent, Kurt Vile and more

Babe City, population:1 thrasher. St. Vincent gained another crowd fulla converts over the weekend by crawling on top of her fans for the entire length of the set-closing “Krokodil.” That was just one of the unforgettable moments documented by Team SPIN at Bonnaroo 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. Best weather of the past three years, and a whole lot of best sets captured visually by Ian Witlen and Matt Ellis, and scribed about by Davids Marchese and Bevan, Luke McCormick, and yours truly. Indexed below for your easy access.

FIRST: 60 amazing photos from the festival!  ///// AND NOW: our coverage. Click on the day itself to read about the artists listed and more.

THURSDAY
1. Yelawolf: the best part came with a dedication to the Beastie Boys…
2. MiM0SA: his heart is in hip-hop: swag rap, bass beats, fx-riddled hyphy…
3. Mariachi El Bronx: horns swell, violin soars, percussion bursts…

FRIDAY
1. St. Vincent: writhing and convulsing like she’d been inhabited by demons…
2. Flying Lotus: each track sped up and spliced with all kinds of weird…
3. Ludacris: he played a steady stream of hits from his 12-year-old catalog…
4. Little Dragon: a dangerously locked-in dance band teetering on the edge…

SATURDAY
1. D’Angelo & Questlove: giving his first U.S. concert in nearly 12 years…
2. Das Racist: Kool thanked “The Gathering of the Juggalos” for having them…
3. Khaira Arby & Her Band:  flurries of notes from dueling guitars…

SUNDAY
1. fun.: the bellowing sing-alongs started with the first song and never let up…
2. Here We Go Magic: a rhythmic latter that leads to weirder heights still…
3. Kurt Vile & the Violators: Lou Reed covering Lou Barlow in a dank cave…

The Best of Coachella 2012 Weekend Two: Thom Yorke, Wallpaper, St. Vincent, Feist, David Guetta, Girl Talk, Miike Snow, Explosions in the Sky

Another thing that made Coachella 2012 so unforgettable was the fact that we experienced it twice. Our comrade in arms Christopher R. Weingarten did a helluva job summing up the weirdness of all that (read “Why the Hell Did We Go to Coachella Weekend Two?” via SPIN) while we here at Aural Standards took the chance to see just about everything we’d missed on the first run. Below are are four favorite sets from each day. Below you’ll find a list of what we covered with excerpted bits. Click on the DAY to read full reviews at SPIN.

FRIDAY
1. Wallpaper:  when he clapped, they clapped; when he bounced, they leapt…
2. Gary Clark Jr:  Black Keys could’ve learned a thing or two about the blues…
3. Explosions in the Sky:  floating in on a pillow of harmonic resonance…
4. Ximena Sariñana:  her powerful voice and innate charm won us over…

SATURDAY
1. St. Vincent:  jagged blasts of guitar like vines of cherry bombs blowing…
2. Feist: the hulking, honking horns added a marching band-sized heft…
3. David Guetta:  even 50 feet back from the tent’s edge, it was a furnace…
4. Miike Snow:  Lykke Li coaxed the ancient viking vibes out of the music…

SUNDAY
1. Growlers: putting it down for the wastetoids, beach bums and shitheads…
2. Modeselektor & Thom Yorke: he bopped and jittered to the hyper beat…
3. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: unceasing rhythms flagrantly defying the heat…
4. Girl Talk: taking breaks only to dance, head-bang or hype his loyal crowd…

Check out our coverage of Weekend One, plus other weirdness here.

The Weirdest of Coachella 2012: Side-Boob, Clever Boozing, Hologram Humor, Fake ‘Stache and more

In addition to reporting on the best sets of Coachella 2012 Weekend Two, the inimitable Christopher R. Weingarten and I were tasked with documenting all the weirdness that was fit to print. Or Tweet, at least. We did the latter from @SPINfestivals, and freed the most salient bits of odd from our notebooks after each 12-hour day, usually between the delirious hours of 3 and 5 a.m. Via SPIN.

1. Friday Fieldnotes: Clever Boozing, Gary Busey’s Face, Fake Mustaches
2. Saturday Fieldnotes: Side Boob, David Hasselhoff’s Handshake, Melted Vinyl
3. Sunday Fieldnotes: Eminem’s Lip-Sync, Hologram Humor, Radiohead’s Fam


Check out our Weekend One and Weekend Two coverage as well.