By Miles Erickson      May 13, 2022

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Facing Consequences
Apologies for the short opener this week. I used up all of my allotted words ranting about Steven Tyler. When I was a kid, I had nightmares about Dracula, The Dark, and being left at summer camp. Last night I concluded my naturalization into adult life when I had a nightmare about somebody asking me to drive carpool an extra day. I woke up in a cold sweat. My mom’s house has mice. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but I’m currently housesitting for her, so I went out and bought some mouse traps (at that point I also wrongly assumed that there was just one mouse). Now, you may expect the following story to be a lighthearted, slapstick-ey, recounting of me and a mouse attempting to get one up on each other like the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. I am sorry to inform you that, much to my own surprise, this is actually the story of my efficient and systematic murder of an entire generation of mice. In this past week I have killed more small animals than Ted Bundy did in his entire childhood. The traps are a black rectangular box, with an entrance on one end, bait on another, and an electrically charged pressure pad between the two. This is a direct inversion of the popular, humane rat traps and, honestly, an adulteration of nature. God did not intend for man to ever witness a mouse step on a pressure plate and melt into a puddle like that henchman in Robocop. Walking into your house after a nine-hour work day and smelling burnt rat fundamentally changes something inside you. Right at that moment, all of your dreams simultaneously die and you forget what it’s like to be human. Long Distance Listening Party Vol. 8 Riot Grrrl—Daddy Issues, Glory Hallelujah—Teleman Andy Warhol—Dana Gillespie Don’t Kiss Me Goodbye—Ultra Orange Sheepskin Tearaway—Peter Doherty Sober Driver—Dengue Fever Little Girl In Bloom—Thin Lizzie Extreme Ways—Moby Going Inside—John Frusciante Riot Grrrl, Daddy Issues. Bands, consisting of men in their 30s, writing lyrics about the blossoming womanhood of young girls always struck me as being a predatory groomer mentality that makes me uncomfortable. Looking at you, Elvis, John Lennon, and Gene Simmons. Side Note: did you know that in 1973, Steven Tyler adopted his 16 -year-old girlfriend so that he could take her on tour across state lines without it being legally considered sex trafficking? Bands like Daddy Issues and Bikini Kill are sort of the antithesis of this behavior and these toxic rock-and-roll tropes. Being the direct evolution of late ’70s female-lead punk bands like The Slits and The X-Ray Specs, Daddy Issues is one of those classic mainstays on the “freshman year of art school” playlist. All punk bands have this broad prerogative of fighting The Man. But I think respective bands have their own ideas about who or what The Man actually is. When Bikini Kill sings about the oppressive patriarchal world they live in, they’re aiming at specific individuals or specific types of individuals who are misogynistic, patronizing or predatory. Oftentimes they refer to these types of people as being part of an anecdotal narrative. Something the members have personally experienced. Bikini Kill’s most popular song is about predatory guys taking advantage of and manipulating their cause as a means to getting laid. When the Clash sings about The Man, on the other hand, they’re referring to an entire broken system, not necessarily any specific person who’s a part of that system. The Clash’s brand of anarchic rebellion was something I had an easier time relating to when I was younger. Now that I’m slightly older, I find that I have a hard time directing my anger at any specific target, generalized or otherwise. Who am I going to rage against? Joe Biden? I voted for him. Andy Warhol, Dana Gillespie. I may have mentioned this in a previous issue, but the best covers are often those that fundamentally change the song. Or rather, the aesthetic of the song. You can only do a song so differently while still adhering to the original structure. A great example of this is Nirvana’s cover of “The Man Who Sold the World,” which has a very similar approach towards covering the original song as Dana Gillespie does in this version of “Andy Warhol,” which originally appeared as somewhat of a deep cut on David Bowie’s 1971 album, Hunky Dory. The original is a good song, but it gets lost in the shuffle when trying to stand up next to S-tier Bowie songs like “Changes,” “Oh! You Pretty Things,” and “Life on Mars,” all of which appear on the same album. Gillespie builds upon the guitar elements in a way that takes its cues from artists like Stevie Nicks or Heart while simultaneously grounding some of the more eccentric Bowie-isms. Little Girl in Bloom, Thin Lizzie. Okay, I feel obligated to mention that I wrote my review of Riot Grrrl before I decided to put “Little Girl in Bloom” on the playlist. As much as I love the song, it does sort of fall into those previously described conventions. It’s called “Little Girl in Bloom,” though I’m going to argue that the song is more about the titular little girl becoming pregnant too young and having to face the consequences than it is about her sexuality. Miles Erickson is a recent graduate of CalArts, published author, and currently enrolled in a prestigious, four-year, student loan repayment program. This playlist is available on Spotify. Search “Long Distance Listening Party” or my username, Mileserickson-354.
      May 13, 2022

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May 13, 2022

THINKING OUT LOUD
NEWS
LETTERS
TOPANGA DAYS
TOPANGA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
TOPANGA BEFORE TODAY
LONG DISTANCE LISTENING PARTY
SCHOOLHOUSE SCOOP
RUDE INTERRUPTIONS
ALL THINGS CONNECTED
FIRST PERSON