You should be dancing: Khalid in Sunrise, Fla., Dec. 16, 2018.
(John Parra/Getty Images)
You should be dancing: Khalid in Sunrise, Fla., Dec. 16, 2018.
(John Parra/Getty Images)
MUSICREDEF PICKS
Metal Love Behind Bars, Indie Online Radio, Fyre Fight, Creating While Sober, Sharon Van Etten...
Matty Karas, curator January 16, 2019
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The most beautiful music story I've read in this young year is this essay about two metal fans who met in college (the first time she saw him, at a campus café, she fantasized the two of them talking about "tenets of anarcho-syndicalism and the Californian deathgrind band CATTLE DECAPITATION") and became romantic partners a few years later, while he was in prison. He's still there, and they spend much of their visitation and phone time talking about records while awkwardly holding hands across a too-low coffee table or being interrupted by automated announcements that all calls may be monitored. Metal bands like UNBROKEN and THOU are their bond and his sanity. She wrote the essay—her name is LIZ PRICE—and she talks a little about what it's like to carry out a romance through prison walls, a little about how you discover new music on a prison tablet with a streaming service that most definitely isn't SPOTIFY, and a lot about how metal makes it all suck just a little bit less. You will cry, in your own head-banging, wall-rattling way. It's easy to forget, when we complain about this kind of music or that kind of music or these kids or those old people, just how important and universal and life-affirming music is. This is as true in 2019 as it was in 1969, and it's true of every kind of metal, every kind of pop, every kind of rap, every kind of everything that has any kind of beat. "Our band," one of the greatest non-metal rock bands of all once sang, "could be your life." The life they were talking about could easily have been that of KIM HOYOS, a Colombian-American woman from New Jersey who has found, in bicultural pop singers like CAMILA CABELLO, LAUREN JAUREGUI and JESSIE REYEZ, a reflection of her own identity, her own self. Or that of New York City Councilman JUSTIN BRANNAN, who learned how to become a community organizer and politician from his years as a hardcore punk guitarist, "where one minute there’s a guy standing next to you in the crowd and the next he’s on stage playing bass in the next band." Maybe that band is Cattle Decapitation. Maybe it's Camila Cabello's band. It doesn't matter. Whatever that band is, it's someone's life, and it could be yours... TRAVIS SCOTT talked to COLIN KAEPERNICK before agreeing to join MAROON 5 at the SUPER BOWN halftime show, according to VARIETY's sources, who say that "while the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding"... PHOENIX can thank ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ for a spike in interest in its 2009 single "LISZTOMANIA"... Which is worse: HULU's FYRE FESTIVAL documentary allegedly paying the festival's imprisoned founder, BILLY MCFARLAND, six figures to sit down for an interview, or NETFLIX'S Fyre Fest doc being co-produced by the social media agency that helped sell the disastrous, fraudulent fest to the public? You don't have to choose. Strictly ethically speaking, they're both a little gross, and whichever one you watch, you're helping to line the pockets of the people responsible for the thing you're supposed to be angry about all over again. That said, VOGUE offers some advice on which one you should watch, based on your particular interest. Or maybe you want to hold out for FYRING SQUAD, the doc about the making of the docs that someone is hopefully pitching as we speak... RIP CAROL CHANNING, RAFAEL VIERA and OMAR PHILLIPS.

Matty Karas, curator

January 16, 2019