The world is constantly doing a podcast all around us all the time
This week from Sam and Josiah.
They were all smiles until the camera came out and they had to act too cool for school. Seriously down-to-earth group of guys.
It’s official — Sam and I are only talking in fits and bursts through brief Gchat interactions and more-so through pithy debates about songs that one of us has only listened to 10 seconds of. Personally, I think 6 years of roaming around in one another’s subconsciousness has set the groundwork that we’ll survive this period of, erm, fumbling around in the dark. But I definitely miss the guy. I miss asking him what he had for dinner, then immediately zoning out and disassociating because I don’t actually want to know, because I don’t respect his meals. But it’s the babble, you know?
Here’s some stuff we’re thinking about this week.
Clearbody “Peering Through”
Sam: Kids love Hum! When did this happen? Is that why Hum made that new record? I guess that record isn’t so new anymore, but is Hum going to be like American Football soon? Where it’s cool but then I’m annoyed and then I realize I’m being a dick and it goes back to being cool again? Are Clearbody 40 years old? Do they like Failure, too? This sort of sounds like Nothing, too, but I thought THAT band was really just for 40 year olds who couldn’t keep listening to Hum and Failure everyday. Googling “clearbody band age” isn’t giving me the answers I need.
Jos: Dude this is so funny because Sam is so deep in his own world that he doesn’t realize he’s looped all the way around back to the 155 pod nation. Clearbody is definitely a band whose members have popped up in my menchies many times over the years, and Eric is a very chill dude who is a great follow. In fact, we even roasted Clearbody’s bassist on the pod one time. In fact, these kids seem so nice that I’ve intentionally never listened to their band because I don’t want to not like it and then have things become awkward, and Sam just forced me to listen. And guess what? I really loved it. It didn’t sound like all that dork Gen. X shit Sam was just talking about. It sounded like mid-period Starflyer 59 but without any of the gross blues parts a.k.a. a way better mid-period Starflyer 59. I’m definitely not going to listen to more of my mutuals’ bands because it feels like R*ssian roulette, but this time it paid off because this song was awesome.
Alexisonfire “Fully Completely” (Tragically Hip cover)
Sam: I recently sent Josiah a message that if we kept doing this pod this month I would have died and I think that’s true. Over thousands of years, the pod has tracked the ups and downs of our mental health, and folks, I’m not up. AND YET. I am blessed by moments when I’m like “oh damn fuck yeah hahaha what is wrong with me I’m alive right now” and while enjoying the Big Southern Ontario Nostalgic Rock Show last week (back on my old friends, the lawns at the amphitheatre), Alexisonfire busted out a surprise cover the Tragically Hip’s “Fully Completely” and I had that moment. I already have Josiah’s response in my head and I can appreciate that there’s a lot of “you had to be there” to the experience of watching a band like Alexis play a big dumb sold out show two decades into a career as a LOCAL SCREAMO BAND and then cover CANADA’S OFFICIAL BAND, but that’s the point. You have the good fortune to be born in a certain place and get a chance to experience all these little moments and you were a background actor in some stuff that felt significant to you as a young person but instead of just fading away you’re high as hell surrounded by thousands of people and this happens.
Jos: Alexisonfire is straight up the exact same as Clearbody to me — they’re people I know online through the pod, so I try to avoid listening because I don’t want to find out I don’t like it and make it uncomfortable. I mean obviously I’ve heard Alexisonfire before. I remember that ambulance video being on MuchMusic and feeling resentment as a 17-year-old who liked all of that stuff and thought it didn’t belong on TV, because TV was for sellouts. Now I would basically kill someone to make TV, and I love getting semi-annual DMs from George Pettit. I’ve written about AOF and their adjacent projects on Exclaim! many times, but truthfully I didn’t hit play on a lot of stuff I wrote about, just using context clues to figure out whether it was “angular” or not. I’ve added “Tragically Hip cover” to the title here because most of our readers (myself included) are not on a song name basis with the Traj. In fact I really have very little context to understand this cover, but I think it’s really neat to see how all of the AOF guys have evolved to have their own distinct styles, so they look really weird and charming when they come together and one of them is wearing a suit and the other is wearing a Chubby and the Gang shirt and George is wearing plainclothes but looking kinda swaggy with it.
The Smile “Bending Hectic”
Jos: The other day, I was walking to get some java (cold, specifically the iced coffee from Olimpico, which is unbeatable) and I heard a guy blasting a shitty EDM version of Radiohead’s “Creep” from his car. It felt gently melancholic that we’re not listening to that kind of stuff together, but it also reminded me that the world is constantly doing a podcast all around us all the time. Plus, it’s nice to just listen to good music sometimes. I know liking The Smile is the most “faded-shrunken-size-L-when-you’re-clearly-in-your-XL-era vintage CBC shirt” opinion you could have, but maybe that’s where I’m at now. This is a nice long noodler with a nice walking bassline, some nice guitar sprinkles, some nice strings. It’s awesome. And there’s probably no awful covers of it yet.
Sam: I’ve been listening to this slow slinker waiting for something to happen that I could comment on but unfortunately they’re just vibing through it. Oh wait it’s good now. But I buy XL shirts now and I’ll never listen to it again, unfortunately. But I’m happy that there’s another Radiohead for people who don’t like how Radiohead Radiohead is now.
Jos: There’s nothing worse than that dystopian CTA “discover more.” I don’t want to “discover” something, whether it’s the wonders of your telehealth app or, God forbid, some new music. But my hesitance toward “discovery” means I’m kind of locked in with my listening, so I need to trick myself when I’m trying to find something new. This week, when I was trying to get my work done, I had some vague recollection that someone hipper than me told me the “kids” are into jungle and D&B now. That was probably like three years ago already, and I’m just admitting this to you because open transparency about how embarrassing I am is the only gear I know. Anyway, I wanted to hear some new chunes so I put on a Spotify playlist of 2023 jungle and, unfortunately, engaged in the act of “discovery.” When I was like 15 my dad had a bunch of D&B compilations he got from Columbia House, and my friends and I would soberly listen to them with black lights and lava lamps while playing Double Dragon. That’s really how I engage in underground subcultures: from the comfort of my own home, while being an incredibly lame retro gamer. Anyway, this track “Punkrocker” by FFF is a serious banger. If it weren’t for the vibey intro I probably wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from anything else on the playlist, but what a title and what a centre label. I don’t know enough D&B slang to know how to sign this one off.
Sam: A really funny part of our pod weekend together in May was Josiah getting to learn more from Ashley about how disgustingly, pathologically cheap I really am. I thought I had learned from some recent past mistakes and accepted that I’m an adult who sometimes deserves nice things, but because I run my own production company now and I’m trying to stretch a modest development budget as far as possible, I am writing this from a $30 / night motel the day before a big shoot and everything stinks like backed-up sewage and roach killer. I’m an idiot, and I know I’m going to do this again. This music actually works with the hot weird stinky vibes I’m luxuriating in right now, and I’m grateful for its enhancing powers.
blink-182 domestic terrorist update: AudioGuy182
Jos: Another example of feeling a little weird and a little a-okay with the pod being done was the mighty rise and fall of Brian Szasz, a.k.a. Audioguy182, this week. Since you’re all going to be sending me links to his story for time immemorial moving forward, let’s just lay it out here. He’s the stepson of the billionaire submarine guy, and he used his unexpected platform to boast that he was going to the blink-182 concert while he pre-grieved his sunken patriarch. Then Cardi B started dissing him for it, at which point he was banned from Twitter for calling her the N-word in between creeping on EDM girls. Turns out he’s also been imprisoned for online stalking and also threatened to shoot up at least one EDM event. He’s definitely one of the most audacious online characters to appear in a while, but he’s not even the first or second most interesting blink-182-adjacent domestic terrorist. That honour is probably a tie for first between Runescape felon turned absolute sweetheart Josh Pillault and, on the flipside, the sinister and maniacal blink parodist/libertarian filmmaker who threatened to shoot up his college and who’s name shall not be named in front of the paywall.
Travis, being the sweetheart that he is, even DMed Brian to say he’s praying for him. But this whole thing has taken the thunder out of the fact that Mrs. Barker, Kourtney Kardashian, has finally conceived a new heir to pop-punk, announcing it by referencing the “All the Small Things” video. Turns out all she had to do was stop IVF treatment and keep taking those raw Travis Barker loads. Congrats to the couple on their forthcoming child!
Sam: I am writing this on the other side of the debris discovery and acceptance that this boy’s dad definitely imploded to death, which is probably for the best since I can imagine myself saying something quite cruel in my current state without that knowledge. I think that’s part of what made this story and this boy so enchanting — it felt like a throwback online moment, but that’s not true because no one was ever going to die when the llamas escaped. Maybe it was the best version of what those moments can be today — still based on uncrossable divides in individual perception fed by social media, but also aided by the flattening of communication on those same platforms. I loved every second of it and I’m heartbroken it’s over. Cool about the loads tho!
Free every Friday.