The Exuberant Joys of Anthemic Rock Exuberance in the Pit
This week in 155, blink-155 and beyond
Sam’s month. Week 3. The joyful, jubilant, exuberant, life-affirming, celebratory power of pure punk rockin’ rock ‘n’ roll. That’s right. We’re getting sweaty. We’re going to heaven arm in arm with a PBR in one hand and a fistful of lanyards/festival wristbands in the other. We’re giggling and push-moshing til we can’t feel our forearms anymore. We’re getting zoomies and splooging cummies with Sammy. (It’s a Japandroids song.)
Listen to the new ‘sode of 155 here.
Here’s some other stuff we’re thinking about right now:
Sam: This is reductive, but MSPAINT is what the Armed would sound like if they weren’t so annoying about everything. Post-American is front-to-back sick but “Acid” exemplifies what I think works so well across the album, weaving those dreamy synths with what I might try to call “boisterous, rhythmic hardcore” in a way that feels completely natural (as opposed to the very contemporary vibe of “look at me mixing up these genres aren’t I so baaaad” which, to be fair, I also love sometimes). Once the lil keyboard hook starts floating around in the background of the second verse??? That’s the stuff.
Jos: It really feels like people are playing “got your nose” with the concept of being too on the nose. Does that make sense? I’m trying to say there’s no such thing as too obvious, which is how this internetty rap-rock band is allowed to be called MSPAINT and no one cares. I’ve never allowed my brain to know what the Armed is because my body keeps the score and knows to protect itself, so I’m not sure about that reference. To me it sounds like someone forced Joy Electric to make a P.O.D. remix. And I don’t like it, but I like thinking about that.
Bejalvin “Born Money Die Swag”
Sam: After Josiah made me listen to those absolute snoozers of new Skrillex albums, I wanted to find something dumb to satiate my simpleminded compulsion to just hear “Banagrang” again. Bejalvin might be a little more rooted in metal than the lord of the Purple Lamborghini, but this scratched my big loud itch. It helps that I think the phrase “Born Money Die Swag” is really fun and the aesthetics here are cool as hell. Now that 100 gecs make normal pop music and everyone knows their fans are actually all my age, this is how I’m going to keep myself pretending that I have young taste.
Jos: Sam I don’t say this enough. I love you, man. This sounds like the music that would play on a deepfried TikTok where a 19-year-old that looks like Ella Emhoff and has never paid a bill or made themself a meal does some sort of screaming stomp dance and the captions reveal that they are pissed off because they didn’t get into the right college. Skrillex has finesse and swag.
John Ondolo Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo
Jos: Knowing that we were getting into another week of the Exuberant Joys of Anthemic Rock Exuberance in the Pit, I felt panicked that I was going to lose myself. So I dug deep into my inner sanctum and revisited my inner wanker. I thought about the kind of people that have turned me onto cool stuff over the years. The archetype I’m embellishing is that of my older friend’s friends, an artsy guy named like “Javide” whose job is to sit in a gallery and sniff Taschen books all day; he wears tiny metal-frame glasses, a straw hat, canvas white pants (the subconscious colonizer outfit — probably best not to think about it too much). He’s probably a massive piece of shit, but it hasn’t come out yet. And he’s also got impeccable taste and turns me on to the perfect reissues of Mississippi Records. I dug deep into some recent releases from the label, and they continue to drop the most beautiful delights for my lil ears (which are actually quite large). It’s so funny to feel like you’re being pretentious and then arrive at the actual life-affirming music — The Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo.
Sam: Wow I’m so glad Josiah’s the wanker in my life and he doesn’t dress too bad or have a single dark secret. This is so wonderful. We just inherited an espresso machine from some friends who were moving out of the country and this is exactly what I’m listening to this weekend as I enjoy my first homemade espresso which I think makes me the wanker actually.
Jos: I also learned that this week, Mississippi is dropping a reissue of something called Tokyo by Bodikhuu — a hip-hop producer from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (“the world’s coldest capital city”) who has never left his country but makes impeccable instrumental hip-hop albums inspired by different locales (see: Rio / Bodianova) like a swaggy Sufjan (let us never mention Sufjan’s hip-hop dalliances again). The album Tokyo is a perfectly imaginative dream of life in Japan, replete with city pop textures and ‘70s and ‘80s tones. But it also captures the feeling of a classic instrumental hip-hop album, reminding me of my years as a hip-hoppin’ white boy obsessed with Prefuse 73, Endtroducing, pre-Mad Men RJD2 and classic Stones Throw. Damn I think I’m becoming a music writer again.
Sam: Once I’ve made the espresso and I’m settling in to finish my book (Ian Urbina’s The Outlaw Ocean) this is the next thing I’m listening to. I can’t believe Josiah has to talk about “Edging” every week when this is what he’s listening to the rest of time. We had New Year’s at my place this year and I put “Ghostwriter” and “Frontier Psychiatrist” on the playlist and everyone got very wistful for the era described above and… we’re back. I’m never listening to “internetty rap rock” again (I’m actually going to listen to it on my way home today).
Zachary Lipez “Oi! Gevalt!”
Jos: Speaking of music writing, I really must admit that it’s been harder than ever to respect what Steve Martin, Frank Zappa, Elvis Costello and many, many others have supposedly called “dancing about architecture.” And it’s not really because the music industry is changing or that it doesn’t have value. It’s because everyone sucks at it. Or, at least, almost everyone. One of the true goats of music writing is Zachary Lipez (who previously suffered as a guest on our “On Some Emo Shit” episode, among others), and he’s written 5,500 words about the current oi revival in hipster hardcore circles. The estimated reading time says this puppy will take you 21 minutes, but there are so many genuine LOLs and profound insights, and an incredible playlist to put it all into ~context~ that this one gets the 155 seal of approval.
Sam: Okay so this weekend I’m going to read this first, make another espresso, then start my book.
We’re still spending the last of our dwindling glory years talking about blink-182. I really did think there would be another blink-182 song by now. Honest. I did. And instead, I thought we could talk about some funny posts on the blink-182 Reddit this week, but Reddit crashed minutes before we were set to record. I’m gonna be honest — if you’re a true, deep pod head, you’ll like this one, but it’s definitely a tough sell. You could also just sign up for the Patreon because you love the newsletter. You could just give us money and not listen…
Listen to (or watch) the latest epi’ of blink-155 here.
Free every Friday.