GLADWELL THAT ENDS WELL
Need the sugary mental jolt of some easily digestible brain candy? In June, best selling pop sociologist author and The New Yorker scribe Malcolm Gladwell launched a podcast called Revisionist History, which looks at times when we as a society have taken away the incorrect lesson from events in the past (or as he describes it, a "podcast about things forgotten or misunderstood"). Last week's episode, Hallelujah, focused on two different paths from which creativity emerges: conceptual innovation (people with early, instant, almost easy bursts of genius) and experimental innovation (genius through sometimes unclear, perfectionist, revisions that take long periods of time). To illustrate the idea, Gladwell turned to music—specifically Elvis Costello's "The Deportees Club" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." If you're at all interested in artistic creativity (and one would hope you would be seeing as you're reading Culture Fiend), its worth your time.
(P.S. Revisionist History's first episode, The Lady Vanishes, centers on the idea of moral licensing—through another artistic subject—and should be required listening. It's essential.)
YOU ARE PUNK AND I'M TELLING EVERYONE
With its raw, heady sound and principled moral code, there's little doubt that the Washington D.C. hardcore punk scene of the 1980s was one of the most important American music scenes of the past 50 years. Dischord Records was the scene's home. The independent DIY label founded by Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson featured a roster of insanely influential bands like Minor Threat, Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and numerous others. Last week, Dischord Records put its entire catalog on Bandcamp for free streaming and/or cheap purchase. It's worth a deep dive. Here are a few starter points for the uninitiated...
AND THEY WOULD FLY A THOUSAND MILES
The Rio Olympics should probably be canceled for a number of serious reasons, but also because there won't be a moment of triumph that's going to be able to top DeMar DeRozan's Instagram of the US Men's National Basketball Team singing along with Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." There's just no chance. Carmelo Anthony's reaction at the end is a 10 out of 10.
GOOD TWEETS OF THE WEEK
These are good tweets, y’all... (Oh, and here's the context for #3.)
Whenever I need a laugh, I pull up this Spiderman panel. Cracks me up everytime. pic.twitter.com/dD58tXQKFk— Andrien Gbinigie (@EscoBlades) July 28, 2016
Hillary is controlled by Banks pic.twitter.com/PMGeaoN1TH— joe mande (@JoeMande) July 27, 2016
OK guys. Since you asked. Here is audio of Herzog saying the word "Pokemon." Good night. pic.twitter.com/mUCz1Sj2Jy— Emily Yoshida (@emilyyoshida) July 29, 2016
GIF SPELLED BACKWARDS ISN'T GIF
While Tacocat may have songs railing against certain aspects of the internet, that didn't stop Seattle's funnest pop punk band from heading to LA office of leading GIF search site Giphy to create some special Tacocat GIFs. The whole lot can be found at the bottom of the group's official Giphy page, but here are a few favorites...
On the Nose
Consider the Lobster
Glee in Reverse
The Cat Caller Special