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Wherein I inadvertently solicit a terrific response from @CameronCrowe...

...who should know I love "Singles" more than most things in life. For context, here's a photo of the cast of "Singles":

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The best albums of 2015 by some guy on the Internet (*finally*)

[Horribly delayed, I realize…]

I avoided this exercise last year in favor of...well, nothing in particular. I don’t know: I was focused on my new job, intent on maximizing my free time in a new city, and keen on ingesting the last bit of counterculture cool my then-neighborhood, the rapidly gentrifying Capitol Hill, had to offer, all of which left me unenthused with the prospect of enumerating the musical highlights of the preceding 12 months. Oh, sure, I started a list, which I’m fairly certain topped off at Swans’ To Be Kind, the lethal power cords, dislocating polyrhythms, and foreboding prophet-of-doom lyrics of which distilled the apocalyptic trajectory of 2014’s global political realities better than the news media itself.

But that was 2014. This is was 2015. Now I’m settled in a north Seattle, “we’re not suburbia, we just look like suburbia,” neighborhood, saddled with and luxuriating in all the trappings of the landed bourgeoisie (mortgage, runs to the hardware store and IKEA, a…

Tycho: ambient music for those who are succeeding in our contemporary economy?

There's a moment roughly 30 seconds into "Montana," the second track on Tycho's breakout 2014 album Awake, when you realize that the people who created this music can't possibly have experienced any adversity in their lives. For nearly 6 minutes, its mannerist, echo-ey guitar noodling melds with hazy synths and just noticeable bass over competent live drumming. It sounds great, the type of warm, organic electronic music that makes you feel as though the world is a place of unsullied wonder filled with promise and opportunity and absolutely lacking in the structural hurtles that have come to define our political moment. The euphoria it inspires is the pleasant, genteel kind bi-coastal types get from legal marijuana, a euphoria from which you can quickly sober up before heading back to your six-figure tech job, not the Rimbaudian sensorium-fucking kind which, though you might survive it, you will not come out of it whole.

It's the perfect sonic backdrop for an o…

Seattle: the last, best refuge from #ThirdWaveCoffee?

A quick preface: I’ve had a lot of great coffee at Third Wave shops over the past few years, often served by really lovely and knowledgeable baristas who clearly enjoy what they do (and whose enjoyment enhances the customer experience). I also feel strongly that the Third Wave is a deservedly important strand of the broader historical development of coffee from which coffee lovers have benefited greatly. Here, I’m really taking issue with the Third Wave orthodoxy, its ridiculous tropes of artisanality, “honesty” in roasting, and rigidity in preparation methods, as well as its clear solipsism and sense of superiority with regard to pre-existing coffee methodologies. 
The ideology and practices writ large, in other words, not the people.
The Third Wave Experience It used to be so simple to get a good cup of coffee. Or so we thought. The doyens of the Third Wave Coffee movement, today’s dominant coffee purveyors, would have you believe that, prior to its onset ~15 years ago, coffee was …