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
Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based indie band (aren’t they all?) that makes critically acclaimed music, gets namechecked by Jay-Z, sells thousands of albums — and doesn’t really make all that much money.
So here’s an interesting piece about the mechanics of being an indie band, popular, but on the fringes of mainstream, successful, but only in the perceptions of a small niche. This, I think, is where the story lacks a little bit. I wish Abebe would have spent a little more time on what the Internet (and fragmentation of pop culture) has done to how we experience art, and more specifically, music and sports and other stuff.
This is an incomplete thought, of course. But… OK, indie rock isn’t that lucrative. It’s a grind. Cool.
But to me, it’s just as interesting that a band like Grizzly Bear could enjoy the internet-driven success that they have — widespread plaudits, thousands of blog posts, fans dissecting every new sound — without needing to wade through the old commercial pathways to success. -rd
Good stuff. From the Washington Post: A piece on selling success when the “American Dream is downsized.”
“In a country built on optimism,” Saslow writes, “Frank Firetti was the most optimistic character of all: the American salesman — if not the architect of the American dream then at least its most time-honored promoter. He believed that you could envision something and then own it, that what you had now was never as good as what you would have next. Since the country was founded, it had climbed ever upward on the spirit of people like him, on their vision, on their willpower, on their capitalism. But now, when he traveled from house to house to sell his monuments to American success, he sensed that spirit waning…”
The hip-hop mashup world is well-traveled territory, from the schizophrenic creations of Girl Talk to the gimmicky “Neutral Bling Hotel” — a beats-infused take on Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”.
The White Panda falls closer to the gimmick category. But you know what? That’s OK. It’s hardly inventive or revolutionary, but sometimes it’s nice to have a couple of boyhood friends putting together Notorious B.I.G. and Tom Petty for the sake of some YouTube hits. -rd
I travel a bit for my job, usually to college towns with rich histories and a fair share of local restaurants. Too often, especially because I’m by myself, I drive to the nearest Chipotle or Pita Pit rather than branching out. Fine establishments, no doubt, but inside their so-good-they-must-be-laced-with-cocaine tortillas/pitas they lack the quality and spirit of food prepared locally. I suspect many travelers fall into this rut.
The solution to this problem is TVFoodMaps. The app uses GPS to display all the restaurants within your vicinity that have been featured on any foodie TV show. For free, you can eat at the same places where the insufferable Adam Richman and Guy Fieri have made America loathe them.
It’s just as handy at home. When I lived in Dallas, this thing reintroduced me to a world of cuisine that I had hungrily watched at 2 a.m. on the Travel Channel and then promptly forgot about. -Mark Dent