December 27th, 2010 | Staff Blog

2010 kept Brian Miller busy with his label, Deathbomb Arc, ensuring the likes of Captain Ahab, tik///tik, and his own band, Foot Village, spread their messages across the land. Sort of like in Star Wars but adapted to his life, Brian Miller relied on good counsel from his Top Advisors Of 2010. Brian takes over from here on out with some Q&A he gathered to share their wisdom:

No Wave Adviser: MARC MASTERS
Brian Miller: I feel like you do, rock critics are the scum of the Earth [ed. note: exempting L.A. RECORD!]. Marc Masters is one of the rare exceptions, showing a nobility in his work that can only come from genuine love and a complete lack of ego. When Marc tells me to check something out, I always love it.

BM: Regardless of what people call it these days, what is the legacy of No Wave music these days?
MM: The legacy of No Wave is to serve as an inspiration for anyone who cares about the ideas behind art more than how “good” they are at making it. You don’t have to learn “how” to play guitar in order to make a guitar do something interesting. In fact, you might have more chance of getting your point across that way. And you can also make redeeming art from the most negative feelings imaginable.

BM: Is it cool to call a band No Wave right now?
MM: No Wave happened in a specific time and a specific place. So you can’t call a band No Wave now because they don’t live in late 1970s New York City. Tons of bands are influenced by No Wave and a few have actually managed to catch the combination of sound and ideas behind it (Sightings, Mi Ami, Talk Normal). But unless the recession becomes a depression and NYC gets totally bombed-out and abandoned (it ain’t gocnna happen), there will be no more No Wave bands.

Electronic Music Adviser: JONATHAN SNIPES, (Captain Ahab)
BM: The man that taught me a live performance is not a recital, but the show of a fucking lifetime. If it wasn’t for him, there would be no Foot Village. The only person I can completely disagree with in the studio without getting in a fight. My musical better half. Every artist needs someone like this. Treat that person right!

BM: Okay, Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score. Is this good music or not?
JS: I love how shameless it is—it really just is techno with an orchestra playing it.  No other dance music/orchestra collaboration has been this blatant, which I appreciate.  So far, it’s my favorite of the “electronic musician turned film composer” attempts, but I still think it’s the tip of the iceberg.  Unfortunately, the score really just isn’t very interesting orchestral writing.  The problem arises (I think) from techno needing to be so rigid, structured, and simple to be good, and orchestral music wanting to be lyrical, dynamic and complex.  When you play “techno” with an orchestra (heavily quantized single melodies in unison) it just sounds boring, and when you allow the orchestra to have ornaments and dynamics (both in loudness and in time) you lose the drive and groove of the electronic elements.  Typically I’ve heard the problem get solved in the latter way—conform the electronics to the orchestral writing, but Tron feels like the opposite to me.  It’s an exciting step in a direction I hope will yield some great scores in the future.

BM: I would hardly consider you a dancer. So why is dance music so interesting to you?
JS: I like structure in music.  I’m interested in composition and forethought much more than improvisation, jamming, or “feeling it.” Electronic music gives composers the ability to control every aspect of their composition without relying on an interpretation by a performer.  Much electronic and dance music is actually *impossible* to play live or really even notate.  The recording is the notation is the performance is the composition—it’s music as a single object.  I also enjoy meditative, slowly evolving music that has clear purpose. To me, music is very practical—there’s nothing metaphysical or magical about it; it exists in the same capacity as a chair, or a table—it has a use.  Dance music is the ultimate rejection of identity in music—it’s music purely for function: to make people dance.  At a certain point *who* made it doesn’t matter, originality doesn’t matter, all that matters is if it achieves its goal.  I find that totally fascinating.

Nerd Culture Advisers: PRETTY COOL LAND
Am I so lame that I have to make plans to have crazy fun these days? Yes. It used to just come to my door. I also didn’t accomplish much back then. So glad to have Margot and Angie in my life though. Every time we hang out I get to be a little girl again. Cute is all that matters, and nerdy is still a way of life even though the 1990s are gone.

BM: On your site Pretty Cool Land, you document adventures to some really diverse events that most underground/noise music folks would never even know about. Could you tell me what some of the best adventures were this year, and how you decide what adventures to go on?
Margot: Being an ex-party crew vata taught me the value of living! If there’s something you’re slightly interested in I say explore it. After living in the ghetto all my life I realized that the only way to get out is to just go out and explore what else is out there and keep doing it and see where it gets you, out of the ghetto I bet. If I have to go solo then I go solo but it’s much more satisfying to share experiences with others. Meeting Angie and starting Prettycoolland was the best thing that could’ve happened. Covering the events below were some of the funnest times of our life:
Orccon Stategicon 2010Tabletop gamer heaven. Larping pirates and maidens with giant knockers. Kids with fros winning every halo game! Great place for 7-yr-old girls and middle-aged men to seriously compete with one another (very competitive people).
E3 This was like Disneyland for gamers. Free roast beef sammies and Heineken’s from Nexon cured our hunger after walking endlessly through the mazes of game displays! Sony and Microsoft areas were intense. So many celebrity sightings! One word, LOOT! Hung out with Ice-T and Crazytown.
Renaissance Faire 2010 Huzzah! The family time favorite event. Enjoy tea with thy queen. Sneak a peek into the lives of ‘real men’. The sweet sounds of minstrels and minnesingers fill the air as flanks of boar and pulled pork aromas swirl all around you. Beware of thy crafty gypsies running amok. Gaze upon merchant wares in awe and wonder. Be weary of black magic be merry and enjoy a pint with thy friend or thy foe! <3 Thank thee for reading my lord!

Angie: Our die-hard passion for a wide range of goofy shit has led us on so many awesome adventures this year. Here are a few of my favorites:
Lancaster Alfalfa Festival Giant barns filled with soggy vegetables, crystal arrowheads, framed photos of carpet and dresses hemmed with bible verses. I’ve never said “whoa, this is awesome” so many times in one day.
LA Korean Festival Got wasted on dollar beers and played soju pong with Korean moms.
Snatch@Club MenagerieWatched the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race put on the best drag show I’ve ever seen. Duh, this was in Riverside.
Tokyo Theme Cafes Intense. The Maid Cafe felt like we were 5 years old and another 5 year old was pretending we were her babies. At the Cat Cafe, we drank tea and played with cats who were totally annoyed with us.

.gif Adviser: ISAAC HICKS
Emo killed the teen angst star. Of course we all hide in our room and cry sometimes, but geezusshit, how did that become the cool part of a rebel attitude? Show me the arrogant pissed off humor please! This world truly is a rainbow with an actually art punk like Isaac around. I love that dude.

BM: You gif tumblr is so popular, even though you insult your readers so much. Is there a connection between abuse and animated gifs?
IS: Putting gifs on tumblr is kind of like spray-painting “CLICK HERE TO LIKE THIS ON FACEBOOK” across a wall of hieroglyphs. I specialize in an outdated and pleasantly limited medium, a medium mostly remembered as a gauche joke sent forth by the early internet as most people remember it. Gifs mostly just serve as waystones marking where the wastelands of the internet begin. Abandoned Art Bell fansites, Myspace pages that haven’t been updated since 2004.
Tumblr is about as far from that as you can get, The web 2.0 gloss is so slick you have to dig your twitter, rss and facebook feeds in as hard as you can just to keep from skipping off the surface.
I’m Rip Van Winkle stumbling out of the forest and into a shopping mall. People are looking at my beard, my clothes, I’m getting a lot of “omg lol so random xd” and I’m pretty sure I just saw a guy on a fixed gear bike wearing the same beard and clothes.
People assume that It’s a huge joke or that I’m being ironic somehow.
So I guess I’m a stranger in a strange land and I’m a bit frustrated with the natives.
BM: What is one gif from 2010 that everyone must see?
IH: I’m not sure about a best gif of 2010 but I can suggest that, in 2010, everyone should look for a gif that reminds them of the days when the internet still felt like a mysterious wasteland populated by weirdos who liked Millenium too much.

Internet Backalley Adviser: DOGCHAIN
My own personal John Waters. Growing up a frightened suburban white boy, it is hard for me to see the class in trash. Dogchain knows where it is at. The world is a more beautiful place knowing this gem. I understand now why so many celebs hang out with Perez Hilton.

BM: You have a knack for finding things that are both the ultimate in trash and class. How does someone walk in both these world at once, and do you need to be a drag queen to do it right?
DC: Wow, thank you! the only true requirements: must love laughing and people doin thangs.

BM: Let’s brave being called racist for a moment. Are blacks the best at the internet or what?
DC: Real talk: blacks are the best at everything! score 1 to the believers, score 0 to the fat ugly jeliz h8rz.

BM: You’ve said you want to be the gay MLK. Why is a straight white girl like you the best qualified for this?
DC: I’m probably not the BEST person for the job since living in new york put my gaydar on the fritz (aka everyone looks gay now), but if i’m the only person thinking about this then hire me. can we all be the martin luther king juniors for gay people? and for women too? for anyone who isn’t a rich white dude? “justice too long delayed is justice denied. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR love, Dogchain

UK Music Adviser: STAZ
Pretty much every musician I’ve met in the UK could be trusted with this job. Somehow the UK breeds them more honest. Or at least, not ashamed to talk shit to someones face, so they aren’t playing those ass kissing games as much. So why Staz? She likes being online as much as I do. Plus she has been down from day one.

BM: What the hell IS going on in UK DIY right now???  Was 2010 any different there than the past???

Staz: Pretty sure that 2010 was different than the past and I am hoping 2010 will be different than the future too. Hope so, cuz 2010 has made everyone really sad at some point. London got hit bad, we lost some amazing venues including the Stag’s Head and Barden’s Boudoir, also nights including Spatchcock, Fucking in the Streets and Club Milk disappeared. The whole of the UK lost out because we didn’t get to see Captain Ahab either :'(

Divorce, Boredom Boys RIP Y’ALL. Oh and I miss Deep Sht, where is he? However it’s not all bad, even if you’re stuck at Heathrow airport you can still be happy about the rest of this year cuz..
Upset the Rhythm TV was born!
Divorce have been reincarnated!!
Shearing Pinx came to the UK!
Rory Bratwell started a new project called Warm Brains!
Male Bonding married Sub Pop!
(I discovered the band Cuss Words!)
Dance Magic Dance got older and totally wild, putting out an awesome compilation on cassette tape!
Sex is still Disgusting!
Paradise Vendors / Italian Beach Babes also released an awesome
compilation on vinyl!
Clan Destine gave us some great tapes from Pipes and Sealings!
Marshall Teller Records gave us a Colours / Cheatahs / Dignan Porch /
Not Cool split!!
Club Milk still exists as a label!
Girls’ Rock UK is coming back!
Tough Love turned 5! UTR turned 7! Subcity Radio turned 15!


CGI Adviser
CGI was so popular in 2010. Makes me feel so hip that at least one trend appealed to me. And my favorite expert for this field is Rand. His brand of CGI has one thing that most don’t: Romance. I love his smart ass attitude, but it is the Don Juan charm that really gets me.

Q1. why the fuck did primitive cgi get so popular in 2010?
Q2. is it rude that i called it primitive?

A1. Late 90’s rediscovery, computing power and artistic potential synced up. Plus I think a lot of image makers are Dire Straits fans.
(By CGI I assume you are reffering to 3-D, Maya, Poser, Second Life stuff)
A2. No one has manners anymore anyways.

Goth Revival Adviser
All this goth stuff started happening again. Deathrock is cool and all, but my fashion days are over. And my credit cards have very low limits. Gucci Goth helps me ‘get it’. I think?

Q. So I hated all this goth revival stuff until Gucci Goth started, cuz you guys were the only ones (as far as I know) admitting that it is as much about fashion as any type of OG nerd goth thing. So tell me: Why is fake goth the real goth? and are chillwave and witchhouse just other names for goth? Is everything goth?

A. Fake goth is the real goth because real goth is worthless on all levels, be it in the realm of music, artistic merit, social groups or fashion. This is because it is a 30+ year old subculture dominated by faux-artistic nerds who rehash everything over and over, jizzing over the dead past and substituting group consciousness over innovation or change. “Real” goths are cheesy in all the worst ways, and I know this because I used to be one. I know the subculture in and out, and I can say honestly that it is void of anything of note. The only way for goth to be remotely interesting or fresh is to divorce it completely from the ideas of the crippled mess that ‘real’ goth is. That’s what
Gucci Goth does.
Therefore, the “fake” goth, the dark side of things that is heavy/weird/blackblackblack but which is separate from the “real” goth scene (either not acknowledged or dismissed because of lack of visual connectivity or perceived ‘trendiness’) can only be the ‘new real’ goth because it is NOT part of the GroupThink; it exists outside, a black monster lurking at the fringe of things. Most people are not going to wear the unisex simplicity of Rad Hourani, or appreciate the echoey doom of oOoOO and Light Asylum. Pop, hip-hop, house and R&B are also elements of the New Goth. While the idea of pop and goth existing side by side seems strange at first, in reality it makes perfect sense. Just think of all the unsavory, strange or warped aspects of pop culture that dominate so much of the media. Now imagine this warped and mutated and incorporated into a musical aesthetic; whether it be a fascination with the self-destruction of Lindsay Lohan or the importance of blingee-influenced fashion in 2011, the merging of underground ideas with overground aesthetics has been one of the most interesting social trends in recent years. Some of the darkest music around has been made by popstars, and new artists like NIKE7UP bring that to the forefront in their music, substituting the cheery pop backing tracks for apocalyptic sounds that bring the bleakness of songs like Britney Spears’ ‘Lucky’ to the forefront.
From a New Yorker’s perspective, 2010 had the feeling of a year-long Halloween party. Gatekeeper and SALEM opened January with a blast of fog and noise, and nights like GHE20 GOTHIK and FILTH showed black-clad DIY promotion at its best. There was a feel of electricity in the air, such as might have been felt back in the early days of goth: something was building. People were listening to dark, new music but there this was hardly a lacrimose enterprise; smiles and fun were the watchwords of this New Goth. Witch House, the term created by the
occult-loving Travis Egedy and popularized by mixtapes from my previous blog Better Than Sex, eclipsed chillwave as blackouts swept the blogosphere. Hip-hop and pop music melded with echoing 808s and evil atmospherics, sometimes brooding and slow, sometimes fast enough
to make your body melt. Some of it wasn’t even about music, more art projects with attached soundtracks. Creation and destruction in one.
And as 2010 draws to a close with no sign of the veil lifting, I look forward to the next mutation of goth. Because nothing can (or should) stay the same.

THE NEW GOTH: Names 2 Know: SALEM, House of LaDosha, oOoOO, Elle Rex, Lil B, NIKE7UP, Teengirl Fantasy, Brenmar, Modern Witch, How To Dress Well, DJ Nate, Tearist, Balam Acab, Physical Therapy, CREEP, Venus X/GHE20 GOTHIK, Nguzunguzu, Gatekeeper, Light Asylum, Ayshay, Total Freedom, Pictureplane

Self Adviser /
Yes, it is important to not be a total egomaniac. You need to have some friends you trust. But what is even worse than total hermit style are people that just do what their friends tell them to do. You’ll never get anywhere like that. Maybe this is obvious. But if that is true, why do I see it all the time. Be a real freak and do it your way. Love your friends, just don’t be them.

Cosmic Adviser
There is one person that every successful person like myself knows. A person that I am no allowed to name. The person that shapes all fate. Never to be questioned. The person that takes nothing and in return gives even less. Some people still sacrifice the blood of babies to this one and true force. Some people. Just saying.