Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Which I Proceed To Make A Parody Of Something That Perhaps Should Not Be Parodied, Or, Look How Awesome I Am!, Or, Lists

DISCLAIMER: The following material is not subject to your god damn criticism. However, this company does apologize for what will surely be offensive to certain individuals. We ask that you take it like a champ, and not bitch out on us like other certain individuals have in the past. This will prevent us from having to remove the following post in order to appease tender hearted people who may get their feelings hurt. This is just what we do. Thank you.

-Classic Co.

Being pretentious is a delicate art that must be refined over a lifetime. It's like a lump of coal in that it appears hideous at first and people don't really think it's all that great, but over time, if it survives under pressure for long enough, it can become a beautiful diamond to be adored. By one's self. And after all that time has passed, it turns out people still hate it, but now they're just annoyed at how self-absorbed it is, despite it being pretty.

Here I shall make a list of certain attributes and facets that can accurately guide one to pretension:
1. After completing any paper or article on the computer, go back through and haphazardly use thesaurus to replace those "lesser" words with great big ones that considerably less people will be sure to understand. (randomly--->haphazardly) FYI: According to approximately 9.6 million pretentious people wrote some sort of article on the computer today.
2. Know how empyreal you are at all times.
3. Make sure everyone else also knows this by incessantly smothering them with stories of your countless triumphs in life and how you reign supreme over all.
4. Never relent your point in an argument. Remember, you cannot be wrong.
5. Do not deviate conversation from stuff about you. Nothing is more important than you. That's all you ever need to talk about. Don't ever forget that.
6. Make sure to keep your guard up and be as defensive as possible with every quip. Those lower beings are always trying to drag you down to their level somehow...
7. Swiftly reject opinions that conflict with your own as utterly wrong, especially if involving musical taste.
8. Never let people mistake you for a decent human being. This is a sign of weakness.
9. Always wear clothes that give the impression of saying, "Oh, judging by what YOU'RE wearing, I'd say I overdressed for the occasion." Then flaunt how good you look for the entire night and make everyone else feel shitty for being dressed more casually than you.
10. Always assume everyone will always agree with you, then act terribly shocked when they don't.

These 10 points cover the basics of the douchey spectrum. The Golden Commandment is essentially #2. If you can follow that rule, then all others shall fall into place without much trouble. Now, if this post were 100% true to the pretentious code, it would be about 5 times this length. However, I'm not an asshole and I know none of you are THAT interested in what I'm writing, so I'll cut it off here.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Conor - 2:41-3:15 AM

It's 2:41 right now, and I'm trying to capture a moment. It's technically Tuesday, December 14th, but it still feels like Monday because I haven't gone to sleep yet. I don't know where my roommate, Trent, is. I was just lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. I have a government final at 8:00 tomorrow/this morning. I'm waking up less than 4 hours from now, but right now I don't feel quite ready for sleep. I want to write this all down.

I was lying in bed, like I said, before I decided to right this. My alarm clock, currently displaying the time as 2:42, bathes the room in this bright blue light. Under normal circumstances this particular shade of blue would seem happy, but because it's the only light in the room it looks pretty sad. I like what it does to the room, how it makes the room feel. It's a pretty weak light. I turned on the reading lamp next to my bed to see if those two lights would do anything interesting when allowed to play together, but the harsh yellow light of the reading lamp completely drowns out the blue light. It's impossible to notice even a hint of blue, so I turned off my reading lamp. Normally I press the front display of my alarm clock up against my printer so it's light doesn't keep Trent awake or anything, but he's not here right now, so I'll let it make the room a little more melancholy. I like the blue more than I like the dark.

My alarm clock also doubles as an iPod dock, which I'm currently use to provide white noise. I wasn't really aware of how dependent I am on white noise to fall asleep to. I usually get back to the room after Trent, and he sleeps with a fan on, like I do back home. When his fan's on I can fall to sleep no problem, but when I was trying to fall asleep just a few minutes ago I just couldn't. It feels unnatural. I could go over there and turn his fan on, but that'd be pretty weird of me. I mean, he'd understand, and there obviously wouldn't be any problem with doing that I guess, but still. That's something I'm not going to do, for whatever reason.

Right now, at 2:50 according to my clock, 2:52 according to my laptop (It troubles me now that my alarm clock, which wakes me up in the morning and ensures that I get to places on time, is slow. I could turn around right now and fix that, but I totally won't), my iPod is shuffling my collection of Magnetic Fields songs. The Magnetic Fields make irresistible music to me. It's simultaneously simple and full of depth. The music is short and sweet. It's predictable. I know where it's going, and the familiarity is comforting, almost warm. The instrumentation of their songs are lush and pretty. There are like, 3 regular members of the Magnetic Fields, and 1 of those 3 peeps is a cello player. A solid investment. The lyrics are clever, witty, free of sentiment, dripping with irony and sarcasm. He delivers heartbreaking, endearing and honest lines with no emotion. Needless to say this music isn't helping me space out and fall to sleep, but this is what I want to be doing right now. The song Asleep & Dreaming played a few minutes ago. I love that song so much. It reminds me of last year.

I've got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. I have 2 finals, a piano jury, and an interview with the editor of the school newspaper, The OU Daily. I'm trying to write on the newspaper next semester. Watch out, friends with journalism majors. I've come to trivialize your college careers by casually doing what you're devoting the rest of your life to. I hope you're angry, just like I'm angry whenever you amateurs try to play music. It's interesting that whenever I post this, I will have done all of those things already. I will know their results, I'll know how that all played out. I'll be back home! Would you look at that. On a related subject, I don't feel like not at home right now, and it feels weird acknowledging that. Springfield is definitely still "home" in my mind though. It's not like that can really change in 4 or 5 months, or however long it's been.

It's 3:11 (my favorite band) right now, and this is where I am, and this is what I'm thinking about. This song is playing, and I'm going to try to go to sleep now. It's time.

I've gotten a lot of emails from our loyal fans, asking me to tell you all about my thought process at around 3 in morning. Here you are, you vultures. This is post is for you. I hope you're happy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spread My Arms and Soak Up "Congratulations"

by Brendan Cavanagh

Instead of repetitively listing off my favorite albums of the year, which happen to be many of the same albums that my friends have chosen, I'll just dedicate this blog post to my favorite album of 2010: MGMT's Congratulations. Two days after the album's April 13th release I wrote an article covering my impression of it, which was to be submitted to Sacred Heart-Griffin's Campus Crier (proofread by Classic Brian's very own Robert Langellier), but that never worked out. Funnily enough, what I wrote eight months ago is pretty much exactly how I feel today about Congratulations. I'll give you a look at how this brief article appeared when I wrote it- no changes made. I admit, there are a couple corny lines, but I think I get my point across anyway:

"Dear Mssrs. VanWynGarden and Goldwasser (MGMT),

If your plan was to bemuse fans and leave critics scratching their heads, It’s Working. Everyone thought your sophomore LP Congratulations would follow the same heavily-synthesized formula as your debut, Oracular Spectacular, but in a matter of two years, you’ve gone from creating insanely catchy, neo-psychedelic pop pieces like the widely appreciated single, “Kids”, to composing esoteric, lyrical homages to musically experimental English veterans, as found in your Song For Dan Treacy.

A lot of critics think Someone’s Missing, that some experienced hands are required to aid you guys in meeting up to everyone’s demands for more satirical, danceable tunes about spending money and doing drugs with attractive women, similar to the ones found on your debut. But I disagree; I have mad respect for you for refusing to fold under the music world’s expectations. I like that Congratulations is distinctly different from Oracular Spectacular in that it delves further into the macabre, trippy sounds of the oft-overlooked tracks of the former, yet still leaves the listener’s mind reeling with bursts of Flash Delirium. I like how the album resonates even when I’m not listening to it- for instance, the other day, I Found A Whistle and recalled the emotional rawness in your echoing vocals on the album’s slower tracks. Like that whistle, several of the more memorable leit-motifs of the album’s first half still pierce my humdrum day, causing me to unconsciously begin humming the catchy tunes.

But what is especially impressive is Congratulations’ twelve-minute opus halfway through the album. The song’s subtle transitions between alternating fast and slow ditties effectively replicate the swelling and subsiding of the Siberian Breaks which match the track’s title. The song’s wonderful imitation of a frigid ocean’s surf and tide, as well as the album’s ridiculously oblique cover art, triggers something deep inside of me that makes me want to hang ten with some friends on the melodic waves of the so-called “Pop Surf Opera.”

As a whole, the LP’s overall smooth flow, complete with solid synths, sincere vocals and deliciously other-worldly sounds would bring a tear to even the father of ambient music, English musician Brian Eno. Referenced in the album’s punkiest song, Eno would at the very least be moved to smile at the track’s rousing call-and-response verses, the likes of which are found elsewhere on Congratulations. Now, the album also throws some curveballs in the mix. For example, there are assuredly a number of Lady Gaga haters that were innately drawn to the second-to-the-last track, hoping for some devilishly biting lyrics towards Gaga. They instead discovered the instrumental psychosis of Lady Dada’s Nightmare, described simply by English musician- and Congratulations’ producer- Sonic Boom as “More DaDa than Gaga.” Sorry, but if people haven’t learned by now that MGMT frequently does the opposite of what is expected of them- exemplifying the near-anarchist principles of the Dada art movement- then they probably should not be listening to the group at all.

But perhaps this was MGMT’s goal- to cast off the parasitic and unappreciative hipsters and scene kids from their fan base, yet retaining the faithful few who actually appreciate what they aim to accomplish through their music. So Congratulations, MGMT, on your success in refusing to conform to the ill-founded expectations of many and instead demonstrating your versatility, while still adhering to your principles by creating a truly memorable psych-pop album that will play in my car’s CD player for quite a while.

Your devoted listener,


. . .

I like that MGMT decided not to release any singles prior to Congratulations' release because, as co-front man Ben Goldwasser claimed, ""We'd rather people hear the whole album as an album and see what tracks jump out rather than the ones that get played on the radio – if anything gets played on the radio! There definitely isn't a 'Time to Pretend' or a 'Kids' on the album. We've been talking about ways to make sure people hear the album as an album in order and not just figure out what are the best three tracks, download those and not listen to the rest of it." Releasing Congratulations without promoting any singles beforehand sends a strong message that I think a lot of people fail to comprehend these days. In a time of file sharing and iTunes downloads, it would be awesome if people would appreciate musicians for what they try to convey to the masses through their music, instead of using them for the few tracks that will earn them the most friends at a dance party or at school or some kind of social gathering.

I don't know what attracted me to Congratulations so strongly. I listened to this album at least twice a day every day for about six months straight, and I still listen to it several times a week today. I guess for once lyrics aren't really a primary concern of mine, though that's not to put down the lyrics on Congratulations, which are solid. This album just has a wonderful and inimitable sound that is almost palpable in a way. When I listen to it rise and swell I can feel my emotions following suit, as Congratulations, I've noticed, is intertwined with so many diverse experiences of mine from 2010.

Feel free to submit your candidate for Best Album of 2010 in the comments section below or on my Facebook link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

University student makes mix CD because I told him to

A recent report coming from Columbia, Missouri, it turns out one university student is more impressionable than previously thought.

Robert Langellier, freshman journalism major at the University of Missouri has decided to formulate and minimally produce a winter-themed mix CD.

In a recent interview, Langellier admitted that "yes, I am making this mix CD solely because you told me to." This statement confirms rumors that have been circulating around my head that Robert Langellier is in fact my bitch. When Langellier asked that I make one for him in return, I declined, citing independent thought and a life.

Langellier produced a summer-themed mix CD earlier in 2010 that was met with optimistic enjoyment by his friends and unknowing indifference by any and all reputable critics. Apparently the summer mix was entitled Younger Now, but no one really paid attention to the CD's title because it, according to one source, "had nothing to do with anything important about the mix. I mean, I just wanted to bolster my iTunes library, and (Langellier's) CD helped with that a little bit, but I mean, eh."

Langellier tried to hide information about his forthcoming CD, but I was so bored by the useless interview that I didn't really maintain an interest in whatever Langellier was talking about.

"The CD will be entitled Snow Erection, because I really like winter (Editor's Note: Or something like that)," Langellier rambled. He kept being all secretive throughout the interview despite me frequently driving home the point that nobody is going to care at all what he has to hide because mix CD's more often than not go un-listened to. A probable reason for this is that nobody really cares that much about your musical obsessions. They just like to hear good music, which you often sacrifice for the sake of thematic continuity.

"I'm going with a racial vibe for this mix. The sounds will be spacious, atmospheric and droning. Most people who like good music probably won't like this mix," I imagined Langellier saying, as I zoned off inattentively during our interview.

Some bands that one can expect to hear on Snow Erection include The National, Slammin' Ho's with Ma Bro's (featuring Kelis), Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, Gazpacho for Breakfast for My Valentine, Coldplay, and Mertin Keeth and the Googly Eyed Percussionist.

The mix CD put-together-er denied rumors that the introduction to the mix CD will include a minute long recording of him administering a forceful yet pleasurable fellatio session to Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst, but failed to deny that such a recording existed.

When asked why the hell he wasn't putting Christmas music on the mix CD, Langellier offered that "Christmas is so, like, mainstream, and I really want to introduce some new music to people. I've discovered some new holidays that people haven't really heard of and the music that goes along with those holidays is totally a new sound and is just sick."

Langellier discussed that he filtered through several editions of the mix before coming up with a self-proclaimed "perfect" final version. Former mix CD titles included The Wrestle, Wrestling With Black Gays, Langellier's Fancy Parade, Condoms Made of Hope, Pretty Winter Melodies that Bring Holiday Joy to your Catholic Family of Six, Music my Dad Says, and If Cats Could Sing. He said he threw all of these titles out while molding the mix into the forum of perfection that it is now.

"This is basically the greatest and best combination of songs that anyone could ever put together. I put like, so much effort into this mix, I'm really proud of what I've put together," he said, as if he had done as much work as any one of the bands he whimsically put into the playlist. "It's really a ponderous and melancholily illuminated tome about a frenzied feeling of euphoric discomfort and freeing yourself from the imprisonment embodied in the lugubrious winter months."

When I asked Langellier what the fuck he was talking about, he replied with a meek, "I don't really know. I just read those words in a Pitchfork review of one of Sufjan Stevens' albums."

Langellier cited winter as an inspiration for the mix CD. Oh my God. No shit.

After he went on for a bunch about some band I don't know, I told Langellier that I really needed something worthwhile in order to make a story, and asked what the hell was gonna be on this stupid thing.

"I've given you the sneak preview," he wryly replied. What a douche.

After much begging and a fifteen dollar bribe, Langellier unveiled the following. "It's going to be a lot of music that I like. And I like the way it flows. And it's a mix CD. And it's got a beginning. Then it goes from there." So I punched him in the face, then did some research.

It appears as though his cryptic language points to some viral sites that reveal a little bit about the mix. Such sites include this one, that one, and this one.

You tell me what that means. I mean, I'm not looking forward to this either.

Snow Erection is set for release on December 17th.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In 48 hours I will be home. I will be completely done with my first semester of college and I will get to relax for an entire month. Also, presents! I'm like 96 percent super exited about this. That last 4 percent? That last 4 percent represents the heart break I'm going to feel when I never see my class boyfriends ever again.

At the beginning of the year I played this game where I would try to pick the person in the class I would date if I was forced to find a boyfriend out of that particular group. I would look for the person (preferably male) who seemed like he had the most tolerable personality and a style that suggested that out lifestyles would mesh. (scarves indicated that they probably weren't into me...) Some of my class boyfriends were better than others, but they all had a special place in my heart.

Every time I went to a class where I had a picked a boyfriend I would try to sit within two or three desk of them (never next to them), and if we were asked to pick partners I would do my best to snag him. I would also assume that that person was constantly looking at the back of my head and thinking about me. In a way this made going to my classes a lot more fun. It gave me a goal, a reason to shower, a reason to not say stupid chit to the teacher, something to distract me when the lecture was hella boring. These are all very beneficial to my life.

Side note: Once I sat directly next to one of my class boyfriend for a test. We were working on those desks in lecture halls that have a flip up writing surface. Anyway, when I finished my test (before him because I'm great), I flipped down my desk and smashed it into his knee really really hard. This is why you never sit right next to your class boyfriend. That was a rough patch in our relationship.

Anyway. These class boyfriends became very close to my heart. I'm not sure I could tell you all of their names but I'm sure I could totes point them out to you if you were ever on the Illini campus. Last Wednesday was out last day of classes and as I was leaving my linguistics lecture for the last time I realized I would never see shaggy-hair-with-blue-shoes-kid again. This was the end of our road. I almost thought of saying something to him and then I remembered the desk-to-knee incident and silently left. A sad day. A day I'll probably remember for a couple weeks.

But, alas, life goes on and this will continue to happen for the next eight semester. I'll have to learn to cope. In the meantime, I'm going to mourn this loss with a little more calculus studying.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nick - Who's to Blame?

Bad things happen. All the time. As in, large scale bad things. Things like the BP oil spill happen, and then other bad things happen, like BP wriggling out of responsibility. People get hurt helping clean the spill and then their claims get shot down in court. And then BP gets fantastic profits and everybody forgets about everything. Then these profits get funneled to politicians in exchange for more favorable policies for the oil industry.

Even though the bad thing that happened here was the oil spill, really a million littler bad things happen. The oil was spilled because the ship was using unsafe practices. The ship was taking unsafe practices because their bosses were putting profits above safety. They were allowed to do that because regulation on the oil industry is extremely lax. Regulation is so lax because politicians get paid by the oil industry to keep them that way.

See what I've done here? Whether we go backwards or forwards in time, the worst is never over because it's a chain of events.

And even though I'm get into the politics of the event a little bit, this shouldn't be controversial at all; nobody wants the oil industry to control our politicians. Not liberals, conservatives, independents, libertarians, anarchists, you name it. Anybody could tell you what a bad idea it is. So why does it keep happening?

If you've been keeping an eye on the news at all, you've probably seen that there's a big fight about tax cuts. Republicans want to keep the tax cuts where they are, and Democrats do too; except for the the richest 2% of Americans.

Here's the interesting part of that debate: while politicians are split on the issue, most people aren't. Over 70% of the country agrees that taxes for the super rich shouldn't be lowered anymore. Warren Buffet (Third wealthiest person in the world) has famously pointed out that he pays a far smaller percentage in taxes than his secretary.

Everybody's entitled to their opinion, but when 70% of people can say that this is obviously a bad idea, it seems like that side should prevail, right? So why is it looking like the Republican politicians are winning this fight? Even a good deal of their own supporters are against it. Anybody could tell you what a bad idea it is, so why does it keep happening?

I could give you a hundred political answers as to why it keeps happening. I could talk about Obama's leadership, I could talk about the interests of the politicians themselves, I could talk about how the lobbying system is set up, and all of those would be correct answers. But the real problem is so much deeper.

If the majority of the people are on the side of the argument that ends up losing, something is probably wrong. So how does the majority lose?

And the answer is that the majority doesn't know. They know, when given a concrete issue, what side they are on. But then there's all these partisan politics. Accusations are thrown around. Other issues are brought in. And, worst of all, the people that report the news stop doing their jobs.

Whenever I watch television politics news, it's so bogged down that I can't really tell what's going on. And I do know this stuff. So for someone who isn't so dedicated to politics, it can be confusing.

And at the root of all this, we find a twofold problem: News organizations aren't giving clear, unbiased news; everything has to be shown as a Republican or Democratic issue instead of examining the policy on its own.

And the second part of the problem is that people who aren't getting the straight story from the news don't have the knowledge or the concern to look it up themselves. People just don't care that much. They get angry for a second, but they don't get really angry.

And when the people let the politicians and the media get away with this stuff, it just happens again and again. It's a cyclical problem, and the cycle isn't going to be broken for a long time, because right now we don't have any politicians trying to get the people involved.

But take a moment to think about a world where everybody pays close attention to all of the policies being considered. Where everybody tries really hard to understand what's going on and to take a firm stance. The world could be so much better if there were more people fighting for these kinds of things.

So I guess my point is, pay attention. Pay attention to this stuff, because it's important. And it can be frustrating to watch bad things happen, but it's better to be angry than to be ignorant.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Robert - The Death of Shit

What happened to the days when a good fuck actually meant something? No one cares anymore. All we do is fuck each other. Casual conversation in 2010 has become absolutely dominated by fucking, because casual life in 2010 involves fucking. At college, it's even worse than it is in the outside world. Believe it or not, I've honestly heard at least one person fucking every single night this week. I don't know if I would say it's always dangerous anymore to fuck in a room of strangers.

I admit, at least, that I am a hypocrite. Lately, I'm finding myself using bitches left and right without any kind of proper respect to a single one of them. I like telling myself that a bitch is a bitch and that a fuck is just a fuck to both of us, but I know that's not completely true. I'm trivializing (and everyone's trivializing) something that was once sacred. The problem is a complete absence of modern restraint. Half of my friends fuck everything that moves. Do I bitch about it? I am right now, but I would be lying if I said I didn't take part in plenty of ass myself.

People used to be surprised when you put a dick in front of them. Or if you just up and started pissing in a public crowd. But there's enough shitting and bitching and pissing and fucking in the media to disillusion any young kid with cable TV. Decency is a thing of the past, and where we're going sure looks pretty colorless. I mean, I can take a good dick or a well-timed fuck every once in a while, but I think I speak for everyone when I say it all means little more than a pain in the ass these days. Curse words don't mean shit anymore.