Unsolicited Endorsements XXVII

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness. 

Album: “In My G4 Over Da Sea” — Neutral Bling Hotel

In February 1998, Neutral Milk Hotel released “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”, a seminal concoction* of lo-fi indie rock.

*If you’ve never listened to the blown-out guitars on “Holland, 1945″, well, do so right now.

After the release of the album, Neutral Milk frontman Jeff Mangum more or less disappeared for the next decade. He stopped releasing music and only showed up to play live shows within the last few years.

These days, Mangum is more active. He performed live at the Zuccotti Park protests, and he’s (sort of) on tour for the rest of the summer. This new album, of course, has nothing to do with Mangum. But it’s still galactic genius. It’s a mashup of “Aeroplane” and some of the best rap anthems of the last two decades. A personal favorite: “Forgot about Ghost” — a pitch-perfect blend of Neutral Milk’s “Ghost” and “Forgot about Dre.”

It was created by Psycosis, who, according to The Guardian, is a video game programmer who accidentally found audio editing software and the world has been paying the price ever since.” Ok.

Another bonus: You can download it for your price of choice here.  — Rustin Dodd


Store: Saturdays Surf NYC

New York City isn’t exactly a mecca of surf culture. The Rockaway Peninsula in Queens has become a popular summertime spot for young Brooklynites looking to hit the beach, grab a taco and show off their tattoos, but there’s nothing here that compares to the waves of Australia and Hawaii or the good vibes of California. But tucked away on a narrow Manhattan side street, Saturdays Surf NYC serves up clothing, coffee and books that seem better suited for Santa Cruz than SoHo.

Upon first glance, the shop is your average upscale NYC coffee spot: Beautiful baristas whip up drinks with La Colombe Torrefaction coffee in a tiny space bereft of air conditioning. Past the coffee bar, the store opens up to two additional rooms filled with a few racks of clothing and shelves stocked with books. Although Saturdays was started with surfing in mind, most of the items are inspired by surfing rather than meant to wear while surfing. This is great news for those of us from Kansas who know nothing of surfing. Saturdays’ clothes meet the most important requirement — they fit. Shirts are slim-waisted, shorts hit above the knee, and nothing looks too California (read: sloppy). Saturdays Surf NYC is cool for the same reason New York can be: It’s different and refreshingly unexpected. – Asher Fusco


Drink: Johnson County Water

At my new house here in State College, the tap water tastes terrible. I suspect that in life there are few things people consistently complain about more than their hometown’s water supply. Tap water is like the local DJ’s on the radio or the traffic on the nearby freeway. It is THE WORST. Fortunately, we have a Brita water filter, a magical tool that turns any kind of terrible tap water into something delicious, or, better put, into something that resembles Johnson County water.

I have no idea how Johnson County (Kansas) pulls off this feat, but it serves its customers the Cristal of tap waters. After living in Johnson County, even Fiji and Voss water taste like dirt. I know this endorsement sounds so pretentious, so Johnson County, but it’s so true.

My brother visited me in Dallas about a month and a half ago. I poured him a glass of filtered water that came from our refrigerator. For nearly three years, I drank this water, considering it delicious, apparently forgetting my Johnson County roots. My brother? He practically spit it out. Nothing compares to Johnson County water. Not even Brita* can knock out the chemicals just so. Next time I go home, I’m filling up a few gallons and taking the taste of JoCo with me. – Mark Dent  

*Editor’s note from Rustin: This is so true. My roomie has a Brita and I still choose to drink tap water. And I even live in “ghetto” northern part of Johnson County. Long live JoCo water! 

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One thought on “Unsolicited Endorsements XXVII

  1. […] you might know, Mark moved to State College, Pa., a few months ago and wrote this wonderful endorsement of Johnson County tap […]

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