Many different kinds of stomach ache at once
This week in 155, blink-155 and beyond
Gather round ye punks of high intellect and social responsibility. ‘Tis no time like the present to turn our ear centrally, to the political poet bard of Winnipeg. Sam’s Month, week 4. Or should I say Weak 4 as we are weak for the Weakerthans. This week we learn about some kind of leftist cat.
Here’s some other stuff we’re thinking about right now:
Sam: Feels like being in a basement I drove to in my parents’ minivan. I can smell this. I love when a guitar does that really funny high-pitched thing. The pig growls? That bass tone? They weren’t doing that at the Masonic Lodge in Streetsville, but time warps our memories. I can’t wait to be the oldest, least punk guy at New Friends Fest again this summer.
Jos: Okay this is good. It definitely sounds like a lot of the stuff I was into when I was listening to 7-inches in my room and reading through issues of HeartattaCk in desperate search of anything that resembled a joke. I love the little squealy guitars and the gross guttural echo at the end. The song sounds like so many different kinds of stomach ache at once. I also love that it’s “out there” while seemingly using the normal kinds of instruments instead of having a banjo guy or a DJ or something. Cool song. I will never listen to it again.
Sam: One of the grossest things that’s ever happened to me was going to the bar where Pod from Deforesters works and seeing him and shaking his hand but he had just burned it moments earlier and was in shock and as I pulled away all the skin from this hand sloughed off and stayed stuck to my hand. He quickly got medical attention and Ashley almost barfed. Even the memory makes her feel sick. Anyway I’ve always felt like Pod was one of the best songwriters from our lil moment in Toronto in whatever band he was in, and Deforesters is the best vehicle for his mid-tempo melancholy yet. Unlike other “Fest punk” types, it’s always felt like they were coming from a place of earnest influences from artists outside of that scene (Pod was in a country band way before everyone else was) and just happened to find a home here. Even calling this song what I have to imagine was the working title in practice and not walking it back to seem cool is great. And that xylophone? Guy.
Jos: Sam, you’re telling me you know a guy named POD and he’s never been on the Pod? There’s just a guy named Pod out there that you’ve never thought to bring on here? Are you kidding me??? That would be like if I knew a guy named Armand Armwith and he had a sister named Inda Pitt. And I had never invited them on to chop it up with you about their family dog, Harms.
Jos: Haven’t really been digging into the tunes much this week. I’ve been more into the tube — the boob tube that is! (Old timey phrase for television.) I really didn’t like Childish Gambino when I first heard it and Community is, in retrospect, a very traumatic thing I made myself sit through, but Donald Glover really is some kind of genius. Atlanta is an undeniably fascinating work of art, as funny and surprising as it is incredibly frustrating (it feels like half the episodes are just a character discovering a weird room). I love a lot of FX in general — Baskets, Dave, the indefensibly corny show about Rob and Ryan buying a soccer team — but it feels like no one can be bothered to pay for the network or torrent it. Donald’s latest outing is on Prime and has a ton of Gen. Z clout, so it seems like everyone’s watching it. It’s really, really good, it looks beautiful in film, and much like Atlanta it completely falls apart narratively by the end. Highly recommend.
Sam: Because I don’t understand the internet anymore, I have paid money to rent episodes of Atlanta when my mom’s cable login stops working. That’s how much I like Atlanta. I have become fond of saying that, despite all the praise heaped on it when it first aired, it’s underrated and underappreciated in later seasons. That’s my idea of an interesting cultural opinion. So I can’t wait to watch this in a service I already pay for.
Jos: I’ve been reading a lot more than usual lately, too (approximately one book a month, terrible), and last year, when we were in the Catskills, we were at a bookstore in Saugerties that had a memorable bookstore smell, where it kind of reeks of piss, plumbing, old water and general dampness all at once. It was a nostalgic feeling, and I got a book that looked funny in a ‘90s way. The book was Straight Man by Richard Russo, and it made me laugh so hard. It’s about a professor who’s fed up with his work life, and the various hijinks that ensue. It’s sarcastic and wisecracking and sardonic without leaning into boring satire tropes, and it manages to mock pretentious professors and know-it-all students without getting into boring “cancel culture” debates. That book is now a show called Lucky Hank which stars Bob Odenkirk, and one episode in it’s a little dense with dialogue but also a fun, familiar kind of stuffy academic comedy (and some slapstick). It was produced by one of the Farelly brothers and written by Toby from the American Office (which sucks), but at least Bob isn’t working with Vince Gilligan anymore (who sucks even more).
Sam: Probably won’t watch this one tho.
100 gecs 10,000 gecs
Jos: I did finally listen to the new 100 gecs album. I was putting it off until some of the people with “takes” calmed down a little bit and I could think about it on my own. I listened to it while lugging three bags of stuff to be dropped off at a thrift store that is too close to justify driving to but still slightly too far away for a comfortable walk. So I was lugging three garbage bags that were slowly ripping, stopping every 100 feet or so on Avenue du Parc to give my arms a breather and adjust the bags to avoid stretched-out band t-shirts from spilling on the street. I think it was a good way to experience the album, but unfortunately I don’t love the album. It’s almost always objectively correct to prefer a band’s earlier stuff, but I do feel invested in the gecs as the new generation of things I love (irony; being annoying). 1000 gecs made me feel like I was being let in on an inside joke from a deep corner of the internet that I’d never discovered before. On 10,000 gecs, it feels like the jokes, ideas and musical rules have been codified, so that even the surprising moments aren’t really all that surprising. Maybe I’m also just unable to participate in any kind of ska now, even if theirs is admirably going a more traditional route. The album’s still good, and I’m glad they made something that is being received so well. Plus, I’m not really sure what they could have done to scratch the itch left from the first. I guess this is why I spent the week watching TV instead.
Sam: I haven’t paid much attention to the reception of this album, but based on what Josiah just wrote I figured there was a Pitchfork review and wow that thing reads like it was written by Chat-GPT. “Like being hit in the face with pies for approximately 26 minutes.” “Throwing all the dankest shit from their musical file cabinet at you while you accept your ridiculous fate.” “The internet is an earwig that has broken millennials’ brains.” This is all in one paragraph that also uses the phrase “declassé and dunderheaded rock.” It should be illegal to write about this band.
Image via 155podmemes
There are no new blink-182 songs. But we did get some new song titles. And listened to some possible leaks of the new blink-182 songs. Ultimately, blink-155 is now just an exercise in seeing how much further we can dig until we get to the bottom of the barrel. And we’re asking you to pay for it.
Free every Friday.