We just created this poster for a friend’s screening of the film Nineteen Eighty-Four, based on George Orwell’s seminal dystopian novel.

The event—which happens this Friday night at Echo Park’s Sweat Spot—is a fundraiser for Bernie Sanders with $27 donations going directly to Sanders’ campaign and featuring vegan street tacos by Let’s Taco ‘Bout It, a photo booth by Nicholas Iverson, and voter registration for those not yet registered.

It’s also, as one may have guessed, a bit of a comment on the world in which we may live if the wrong person wins this election in November.

Details + RSVP via Facebook and hope to see you there—feel the Bern!

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War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

We’re reminded this week of the importance of taking time to reconnect with nature, step back to appreciate friendships, and stop and smell the…thistles I guess?

Shot on our way to Inspiration Point and the old site of the Alpine Inn, a hike we’d highly recommend to anyone wanting any of the above, thistles included.

We’ll be upfront about this—we haven’t been huge fans of the past couple full-lengths from Charleston’s Band of Horses. They each had some stand-outs, but, overall, they fell a little flat compared to earlier releases.

But the two tracks that they’ve released from their coming fifth release—titled why are you ok and out next month—have left us with high hopes. Harkening back to upbeat hooks and straight-up southern pop-rock, we like the return to the band’s roots both tracks seems to hint at. Give em a listen below. You can pre-order the new album via Band of Horses’ site.

It’s awesome and so are y’all. ‪#‎YRUOK‬ Love – BoH

Some of the heaviest lifting in the making of these monthly mixtapes—besides combing through the wealth of new music—comes with the cull; the inevitable whittling down of twenty-some or even thirty-some songs to our self-prescribed set of 15 songs for each list. This month, it was more difficult than most, but the result is an eclectic mix of great new songs from great artists, old and new.

We’re starting off with a slow-build folky number from Calvin Johnson-approved LT Leif out of  Calgary before moving on to a song that hits a little too close to home—”Getting Older” from Brooklyn duo Retail Space. That’s right—the Canada-Brooklyn one-two punch.

This month’s mix also features Berlin’s Slow Steve off of longtime favorite label, Morr Music; a dancer track from Sydney’s Phebe Starr; a musical kicking of our collective asses from Mitski; a long-awaited single from the forthcoming new Local Natives full-length; a new one from another Angeleno, Tokimonsta; a very Belly-esque track from Poland’s Brodka; a nice track from New York by way of Norway’s Okay Kaya, who we caught opening up for Peter Bjorn and John last week; and much more.

Check it out.

It all started because a lot of female musicians are not very nice to other female musicians. It truly doesn’t make any sense. Why are you criticizing this girl’s legs when she is playing an instrument?
London artist Lilith Ai on her Fight Like a Girl feminist music collective

If you’ve never been to Colonial Williamsburg—pride of our mutually native Virginia, along with ham, peanuts, and cigarettes—we’d recommend it. The historical park is some beautifully strange combination of Busch Gardens amusement park minus the rides and a giant, constant colonial-era LARP event (live action role playing), complete with battle reenactments, settlement tours,  and in-chartacer crafters, glass-blowers, townspeople, and shop keeps.

Years back, on a work trip to the park, I bought this deck of beautifully illustrated playing cards from one such shop keep and have them to this day. They’re reproductions of 18th-century playing cards featuring a selection of Aesop’s Fables, based on a deck printed by I. Kirk circa 1759.

Primary take-aways—Aesop loved the “long s” (a confusingly complicated writing practice we’re happy died out long ago), had a thing for foxes, and did not care for crows.

Greek jerk.

You can order online from Colonial Williamsburg…but then you’d miss out on the in-character shop keep’s totally amusing befuddlement over your strange paper money with confusing faces on it and/or shock at this off plasticine card you wish to somehow barter with. Oh, LARPing.

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The f-like s was a tall variant used at the start or in the middle of a word, which the modern s was used at the end or after a tall s.
The Guardian

For the past 14 or so years, I’ve received email newsletters from Other Music in New York City, which I’ve long-regarded as the best record store in the country. It’s one of the few email subscriptions I’ve never even come close to considering ending, having introduced me to hundreds of now-beloved bands from Vampire Weekend to Efterklang to Monika to Little Simz to countless others. To this day, it stands as one of the best ways I know of to find good music that I’d otherwise likely never know about.

This morning, that same newsletter arrived to inform me, along with all other recipients, that the store was closing after 20 years of serving music-lovers of New York City and the world.

I could on and on about how cities and life have changed—for better and worse—because of the internet; instead, I’d like to simply share both my sadness and my fondness for what I truly regard as a seminal and important institution in the independent music scene, especially in NYC. Other kept a staff that was not only wildly knowledgable about the music world but also feverishly devoted to finding and sharing new independent music with the store’s clientele, which is what made so many of us such fans of the store itself.

The store served as a leader in scene too, holding intimate in-store performances, organizing showcases around the city and at festivals, and more recently starting their own record label, which will continue on.

It seems there are multiple reasons that add up to owners + co-founders Chris Vanderloo and Josh Madell (below) making this decision, but it basically boils down to increasing rent combined with far less record-buying. As they stated in a press release this morning:

“The shop has sold millions of records, won awards and accolades, and hopefully touched more than a few lives. Times change. This business has changed, this city has changed, but records will keep spinning, and they ask only one thing — that you keep supporting great music, wherever and however you can.”

Let’s honor their wishes, shall we?

You can view all 16 years worth of email updates from Other Music in their web archive and the New York Times has a great article on the shop that ran today.

Photo, Hilary Swift for The New York Times.

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Other Music approached culture as an ongoing conversation, constantly searching out new and innovative sounds.
Other Music press release
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