Brand New Released Their Leaked Demos and You Need to Listen to Them Right Now

They’re here, it’s happening, they sound great.

As I’ve previously expressed, Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006) is perhaps one of the finest albums in my rotation; each track cuts and bleeds and I adore them all, individually and as a collected work.

Without delving too deeply into Brand New history (which is long and dramatic), in the recording process for The Devil and God, nine of their demos for their album leaked out to the internet. Fans nicknamed the songs included in the leak as Fight Off Your Demons, and gave each track a name to facilitate discussion and reference. Upset at the leak, Brand New went on to scrap the demos; some were refashioned for the eventual album release (“Untitled 06,” nicknamed “Mamas,” became “Luca,” and “Untitled 08,” nicknamed “Yeah,” became “Sowing Season”), others later appeared as b-sides (“Untitled 03” became “aloC-acoC”/”Brothers”) or singles (“Untitled 07” became “(Fork and Knife)”). The remaining tracks, however, remained exclusively in their unmastered, unmixed, lossy leaked version: fantastic, but difficult to enjoy even for non-audiophiles. Continue reading “Brand New Released Their Leaked Demos and You Need to Listen to Them Right Now”

Here’s What I Was Listening to in 2015

As the year closes, naturally I must compile experiences and interests from the period into data and statistics.

Okay, maybe I’m not being quite that heartless, but sure makes it easy to indulge that desire. I scrobble (almost) all of my music to as I enjoy having a record of my listening habits for both reference and analysis. This year I finally found a solid app to do so from my phone, too, though my scrobbles lack what I listen to at work, which is a lot, as well as about half the year of listening on my phone. Therefore, as we head into 2016, I’d like to look back on what I listened to the most in 2015 (not necessarily my favorite releases from the year — my musical discovery process is best described as ‘stumbling across things years after release’). Continue reading “Here’s What I Was Listening to in 2015”

Star Wars Has a Problem with Women and We’re Going to Fix It Together

Let’s start by making something perfectly clear: I love Star Wars. I live and breathe Star Wars. They’re some of my favorite movies, games, and comics; I’ve read more than my fair share of Star Wars fanfiction and have, over the years, spent a ludicrous amount of money on merchandise and other paraphernalia.

When someone, tasked with buying me a gift, asks for ideas, I give them one instruction: if it has Star Wars on it, I’ll like it.

But even if you’re not as Star Wars obsessed as me (it’s hard, I know) — even if you’ve never seen the films — it’s inescapable, as one of the most popular and beloved film franchises of all time. Even Star Wars Luddites possess an awareness of the major characters, concepts, and plots; Star Wars is a cornerstone of our modern, media-obsessed culture. Yet despite this popularity and its trailblazing approaches to special effects and filming, the Star Wars franchise offers a mixed bag when it comes to the representation of female characters’ visibility and autonomy. Continue reading “Star Wars Has a Problem with Women and We’re Going to Fix It Together”