Best Human #1

I think we were both going to pretend to be asleep, but I made this face instead? 2010, NYC.

My Friend, John David

John David is a 27-year-old man living in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve known him for twenty-one years! As kids we had our own kingdom that spanned over an entire apartment complex! We had outdoor thrones that jutted out of an embankment over a creek and we called them The Crows’ Nests. We built forts, ate cupcakes for breakfast, and kept up with Captain Planet together. We had all of the same Academically Gifted classes with each other, then would go to Odyssey of the Mind or the after school program where we would impose the rules of our gang onto others and terrorize the adults until one of our mothers would pick us up. It seems like maybe we’d eat dinner at our own apartments before meeting up afterwards and running around outside until it got dark, or if it got dark early we’d change the words to Billy Ray Cyrus songs from “me,” to “pee,” and then sometimes even have a sleepover. Rinse, and repeat for several years… Until my mom got remarried and we moved 45 minutes away. As a child, that is SO FAR AWAY! Our parents rarely made the commute for us to see each other and we lost touch…

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Most Anticipated Album of 2013: Mala by Devendra Banhart

Photo credit: his babe of a Serbian photographer/designer wife, Ana Kras

If you don’t yet know, I’m really obsessed with Devendra Banhart. I briefly hint to him on the music show I picked out songs for (which if you haven’t listened to: what are you doing?! Episode 115.5), I email Zach anytime new news comes up concerning him, and I’ve got a tattoo dedicated to the man and his music. That’s musical love, right there. So the announcement of his much anticipated new album Mala to debut March 12th is a really big deal for me.

Can we just talk about how beautiful he is for a second?

This is Devendra’s eighth studio album and first since 2009’s underwhelming What Will We Be. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy “Rats” and “Maria Lionza”… but they had to grow on me. The fact that the album was released on Warner Brothers seems to have crushed a lot of the whimsy that comes with Devendra’s music. Even the album before that, 2007’s Smoky Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, showed a switch to a more heavily produced pop-ish sound for Devendra.

Mala is coming out on Nonesuch Records, which is still a subset of Warner Brothers, but is home to artists such as Iron and Wine, The Black Keys, David Byrne, and Bjork. Hopefully this subtle switch will allow for more creativity, although in interviews Devendra responded to claims that he was selling out by saying that WB was actually really open to all of his creative desires. I know many Devendra fans like myself are hoping for more of the raw musical energy from his early albums. While I appreciate and understand that artists have to grow and adapt over the years, I think that the sound he brings to songs like “At The Hop”, “Sight to Behold”, and “Quedate Luna” is the reason a lot of us fell in love with him.

A few of the songs are already on YouTube to listen to before the release:

Für Hildegard von Bingen

Echoey vocals and guitars reminiscent of The XX almost, infused with electronic elements – this song is a little far off from what we’re used to with Devendra, but it works for me, I think.

Never Seen Such Good Things

This song is a fun little tune, that seems to be a bit of a love song. Its got hints of that lovely vibrato, a cute danceable beat, and some off the wall lyrics that we’ve come to love.

Mi Negrita

Spanish style guitars, a song about hopeless love. Beautiful and so very true to Devendra.

The album is produced and recorded by Devendra and bandmate, Noah Georgeson. They played most of the instruments themselves and recorded it on a vintage Tascam recorder; they utilized their environment as much as possible to create the rare sounds in the album. Which, according to an interview with Pure Channel, included such things as a switchblade, a chain, and a belt.

So if you don’t know Devendra Banhart, I highly suggest you familiarize yourself with him. His music has changed my life in a way that I cannot say any other thing has. I cannot wait for this album, and no matter what I will love and support him always. A tour has yet to be announced, but he’ll hopefully be making the rounds in the Spring/Summer! Pre-order Mala on CD and vinyl here: http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/mala. Both include an autographed print, instant download of “Für Hildegard von Bingen”, and a download of the whole album on March 12th. The LP also comes with the full CD, a poster, and a 7” with two bonus tracks.

I’m Sorry

Hey guys,

This is something I hoped I would never have to write.

I know for the past 3 years we’ve always joked about ending the show, but it isn’t a joke now. Nice Man is going on an indefinite hiatus. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. All I know is that we’re done for the time being.

I really wish this wasn’t the case. I love the community we’ve built together and I’ve met some really amazing people through all of this. Please  keep in touch and email/call whenever you want to.

Who knows, maybe we’ll be back next month. Maybe we’re done forever. Maybe I’ll start up a new podcast. I really don’t know. But just in case, don’t unsubscribe from iTunes or cut ties from us just yet.

You’re all the best and I want to thank each and every one of you so much for all the support over the years.

<3
z

How to Repost Someone Else’s Work Without Being an Asshole: A Guide

We’ve all done it. It’s late, you’ve got internetsomnia, and you’re scrolling through pages and pages of limitless information. You stumble upon something that you really like: a video, a painting, an animated short. A poem. Anything, really, that someone else put time and effort into for your viewing pleasure. But there’s a problem – there’s no credit to be found.

Even as an artist, I was once pretty stupid when it came to things like this. You try to think if you’ve seen something like this before. Where? Who made it? But you’re coming up blank, and you really want to share this cool shit you found in the cobwebbed corners of the web with your friends. So you do the one thing that really pisses every artist off, like, a lot*. And you repost their hard work with a caption something like, “Credz to whomever made this shit, man! Wicked!”, or whatever you are saying these days.

The problem with this is that, when you found and reposted that piece of art/writing/work that someone else already failed to credit, you began (or continued) a chain reaction of failure to communicate information properly. This sucks for artists online because we are all very poor and very proud, a horrible combination. We want credit for our work because it was WORK, and we want people to like it so that they will pay us to make it for them. It is honorable to post someone’s work and show it off to the people you know, but with no credit it’s pretty much pointless for the person who actually created the piece.

It is very easy to avoid this situation, as most of you are probably already aware. The point of this “guide” (with mostly one tip), mainly, is to remind everyone that this is a pretty uncool thing to do seeing how easy it is to remedy. So here we go, off into the world of Googling that shit.
 
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Babies at Restaurants

So, we all know that babies are annoying. But you know what is worse? The annoying baby’s parents.

I work at a restaurant, so naturally I’m bound to have to deal with a lot of random babies and their parents.

For starters, if I have a kid, you can be sure we wouldn’t go out to eat at a restaurant until he or she can behave. That child will know that crying in public just to cry is not allowed. We’ll order take out and eat at home if I just don’t feel like cooking.  And I understand, you just had a kid and need to get out of the house sometimes. 1) Don’t have a kid if you’re not prepared to give up your social life; 2) find someone to watch the child for an hour or two while you get out.

Okay, so now my kid is well behaved enough to go out, I’m not going to chop up food into bite sized pieces and put it on the TABLE! (And then leave it for the employees to clean up.) Seriously? That’s what plates are for. Or get some of those plastic disposable placemats.  Something. Don’t make some poor server have to pick up all your babies drooly grimey food pieces off the table. And the floor. And the seats. It’s disgusting. I don’t have kids because I think they’re gross, I’d have a hard enough time cleaning up after something that shared my blood, much less some strange human baby. Stop it. And if your kid makes a mess, clean up after him? Duh.

Then there are the parents who try to teach their kid to talk in public. “Grilled cheese. Can you say grilled cheese, sweetie? Grilled. Cheese. Grillllllllllllleeed cheeeeeese.” Okay, we fucking get it, you want your kid to learn how to order for itself. But your infant who can hardly even make out the words “momma” and “dada” is not going to learn it today. Be courteous of everyone who has to hear you and don’t be an annoying asshole. Save that for the privacy of your own house so as not to piss off all the people in the place.

So now your kid is too big for a high chair, so it’s free to run. Don’t let it? Inside a tiny restaurant where it is already hard enough to move around, the last thing I need is a two foot tall creature running around beneath my line of vision. Especially because I’m usually carrying something hot, heavy, or that requires balance – one little bump from a mini-human and it all goes crashing to the floor (or on your kid). On a similar note, if we are obviously busy, your two year old doesn’t need a table to itself. Don’t act annoyed when I tell your kid to move so that I can seat someone there that is actually going to make me money. Because, to be honest, you’re the one that should be telling it not to run off and play at empty tables in the first place.

I could probably go on for a while, but I’ll wrap it up there. All these things just reassure me that I don’t want children. Life is already annoying enough.

10 Ways to Procrastinate

1. Order all the pans in your kitchen in pitch order and play it with wooden spoon, I call this “the pan-o.”

2. The old time classic, just get stoned (this can be done in conjuncture with anything else on the list)

3. Exercise, I mean if it’s healthy it can’t be bad to do even if your deadline is tomorrow.

4. Have a wank  – also known as procrastibation (fuck off spell checker I know what I mean)

5. Organise something: CD’s , DVD’s or cupboards. If already organised then try something new, I mean alphabetical is so old school, why not try it by genre or lead actor?

6. Open fridge, stare at fridge, walk away from fridge, return to fridge, repeat.

7. Spy on everyone you know on Facebook. When you’re bored of them, spy on people you don’t know.

8. Tell anyone who listens how much work you have, possibly threaten to drop out or say you just won’t do it…. You won’t drop out, you will do it.

9. Stare at the work, if you keep staring at it you will eventually unnerve it and it will go away.

10. Write a blog post for Nice Man!