jaygabler
There’s still very much this stereotype that teenage girls are not serious consumers of music, even though they are the number one purchasers of music. Teenage girls are the number one consumers of music, they are the number one drivers of taste, and yet they are still not considered serious music fans.
Jessica Hopper, music editor at Rookie. Read her full interview with Jay Gabler. (via 893thecurrent)

More Details About The (Still Mysterious) Minneapolis Taco Delivery Service Taco Cat

This week in Minneapolis-is-kinda-Portlandia-ish news, word started spreading about a new bike delivery taco company called Taco Cat (get it? It’s a palindrome.). Because they are basically shrouded in mystery, I reached out to one of their leaders, who prefers to go by “Church,” for more details. (Note: he preferred his name not be shared. Other note: I don’t think I know who he is IRL so hey it’s a bigger city than we thought.)

Who is behind Taco Cat? Are you guys connected to any other local stuff?

There are a lot of people behind Taco Cat. The entire thing would have fallen apart without the hard work and help from the amazing bike community in this city. Especially The Alt bike shop. Show those guys some love.

Taco Cat has three rules. Safety first. Then teamwork. Then some fucking discretion. Up until now this was a side project for all of us. And it wasn’t always exactly legal. We just give everyone a nickname and we usually go by that. I’m Church and my business partner is Sandlot. I suppose we’re in charge.

What are your guys’ taco-making chops? Connections to any restaurants?

I’ve spent a lot of time working at Sea Salt Eatery, which, in my opinion, is the best place to get tacos (at least of the sea food variety) in the cities. At least up until they close at 8 p.m. Then you’re all stuck with us.

We’ve both worked in delivery for years. Jimmy John’s mainly. As much as I don’t personally agree with that company’s business practices, it offered us steady jobs with a decent income. That’s nothing to scoff at.

Where are the Taco Cat tacos made?

Deep in the heart of a volcano. Actually, we rent commercial kitchen space at Midtown Global Market. It fits our needs and budget well.

What are the top 3 misconceptions about Taco Cat?

I don’t really know. Up until a few days ago we weren’t really known at all. We kept the entire thing small for a reason. I just hope we can live up to expectations.

If someone were to order from one block outside your radius, should they walk one block and stand on the line to receive their tacos?

That’s up to Sandlot and the other bikers. I just cook.

Are you guys going to have bike delivery costumes like the Galactic Pizza costumes down the line? Cat masks?

Have you ever worked a job with a required amount of “flair”? Perhaps a movie theater where you’re forced to wear a bow tie? We have, and we sure as hell aren’t going to force anyone to wear anything they don’t want to.

Happy taco-eating MPLS.

-Becky Lang

The Narration to Every Nature Special Ever

A remote place! Not just a remote place, the most remote of places! Few humans ever dare to venture here, because probably they would die—unless they were in a helicopter like us! Let’s descend to take a look.

It would seem that no life could possibly thrive in this very extremely remote place, and yet…what’s this? Why, it’s a familiar zoo animal! What are you doing here, friend? Ah, I see, you’re scavenging for a very disgusting but highly nutritious insect.

This familiar zoo animal’s intentness on finding the gross and also scarce insects makes it vulnerable to predation by this variety of animal that’s significantly less cute but is frequently seen screenprinted on t-shirts in rural gas stations. This mundane, Republican predator stealthily approaches, its eye on an awkward tween version of the zoo animal. It patiently waits for its chance and then…it strikes!

There’s a brief, exciting chase, accompanied by thrilling music! Ultimately, though, the horn section is disappointed, as the predator trips or something and the pimply zoo animal escapes. There’s a life lesson you won’t have to explain to the kid you’re watching with just quite yet.

Did I mention it’s springtime? You can tell, because these flowers are blooming in high speed thanks to our cameraman who sat there for six weeks playing Flappy Bird. Ah, the glory of nature! Let’s have some quick close-ups of whatever those bugs are flying around the flowers. If there are pitcher plants present, one of these greedy bugs will foolishly drown.

Did I mention it’s springtime? Ah, yes, I did. Of course, we all know what springtime means—wink, wink, nudge, nudge! We scientists-slash-nature-special-narrators call this “the rut.” What’s this? A tussle? Yes, that’s the way of nature. These two males are competing for the affections of this female—and by “affections,” I mean, “a relationship indistinguishable from rape.” Let’s watch closely while that happens.

While the victorious male enjoys an e-cig, we’ll get back to that hungry predator. Now desperately hungry, it’s not fucking around any more. It’s given up on the surprisingly nimble tween, and instead it’s going for a sure bet: the nerd of the herd, strolling around away from its brothers and sisters while it holds imaginary conversations with the warrior princess it imagines itself to be mystically tied to. All too easy a target for the predator, who tears its throat out and sets the intestines aside for these scavengers.

So, while the jock animals all have a good laugh, we pan up to the sky, where birds migrate and clouds roll. As the moon rises, our music surges and we retreat from this remote, beautiful, strange land that’s at once totally unique and also basically the same as every other remote, beautiful, strange land we’ve visited in this series.

Jay Gabler

Questions I Have for People Slightly Younger than Me About Snapchat

I really like technology. I grew up playing Ski Free and Crash Bandicoot. I even had a Pikachu pedometer in the fifth grade. I want to continue to understand and use the new developments in the tech and social media worlds so as not to become an old lady who tells my grandchildren long stories about how ‘in my day we didn’t have tiny computer chips in our irises” and whatnot. But I’m only 26 and I have no idea how Snapchat is supposed to work, which is bad. This is my attempt to better understand it. People under 26, I need you to answer some of my questions about how one is supposed to use it.

1. What are you supposed to do when you get a Snapchat?

For some reason, my instinct when someone Snapchats me is to send them a text saying, “Thanks for the Snapchat.” But I feel like that’s the equivalent of your parents signing their text messages with, “Love, mom.” But maybe I’m wrong and you are supposed to be sending people a thank you for sending a 10-second image of themselves and their boyfriends looking cute, or themselves enjoying bottomless mimosas. In that case I feel very rude not sending a thank you and sometimes anxiety over that leads me to not open Snapchats at all. My other guess is that I’m supposed to Snapchat myself doing something similar as a kind of response. Is that right? Or am I just not supposed to reply at all, or even acknowledge that you sent me a Snapchat, say of some ducks crossing the street, and we’ll never speak of it again? What is the social code here?

2. Who are you supposed to Snapchat?

When I first started Snapchat, I mostly sent weird image macros to my friend Jason, who would send them back to me. This was a lot of fun. But then people started to Snapchat me outside of my immediate communication circle. This confused me because my boyfriend (I assumed from his frown upon hearing the word ‘Snapchat’) seemed to be under the impression that Snapchat is a service teenagers use exclusively to send nudey pics. I could handle using this service to have fun exchanges with my gay best friend, but is it appropriate, to, say, open a Snapchat from a friend’s friend you met once at the bar? What were the chances that a Snapchat from someone you’ve met only once will be a nudey pic? 50%? Or 1%?

Is Snapchatting with dads ok? What about co-workers? A friend told me he sends me Snapchats as an add on to when he’s organically Snapchatting our other friend Mark. This lead me to start assuming that Snapchats were not take intentionally for me as an audience, but for the Marks of the world, and I am simply an add on, in which case it’s perfectly ok for me not to respond to a Snapchat with a text saying, “Thank you.”

3. What are you supposed to Snapchat?

I will assume that Snapchat is a much more broad, 3 billion dollar+ worth network of communication than just something teenagers use to send ephemeral nudey pics. I feel like by believing that it was just teen nudey pics, I would not be giving teenagers enough credit for the ability to communicate in various nuanced ways, and the ability to take pictures of anything other than their own privy parts. But what are the occasions in which you are supposed to stop and think, “This is a Snapchattable moment.” And what makes that different from say, an Instagrammable moment? Or is it just that young people are over Instagram and any pictures lasting more than 10 seconds, and thus every moment is more Snapchattable than Instagrammable? When do I work Snapchat into my life? When I have an ice cream treat? When I am watching a funny infomercial? And in this occasion who do I send it to? One person or everyone on Snapchat?

I don’t know if I will ever really start using Snapchat the way it is supposed to be used. But I would like to know a) what do I do when I get a Snapchat b) Whose Snapchats, if any, should I avoid opening? Thank you 22-year-olds.

-Becky Lang

That Time I Didn’t Buy SJPs

image

I just put a new comic book to bed this month. It’s called Self-Obsessed. It takes all the autobiographical strips I’ve produced here and there over the past ten years, and is presented to the reader as the journey yours truly takes to become a comic artist. It’s like reading a less-funny, much younger David Sedaris talk about boys and comic books. In combing through dozens of sketchbooks, art boards, and binders, I had to laugh at the frantic entries revolving around my dating life when I could have taken the time to meditate on career choices, dreams, or doing anything more than just complaining. While I’m proud of this little confection of a book, I am also happy that I can look at the person these pages represent and happily say there’s a much calmer, smarter version of himself now.

Here’s something else you need to know about me: I really dug Sex and the City. The clothes, the low-hanging fruit we call puns, the drama, and most importantly: Carrie Bradshaw. Sarah Jessica Parker made the world of a flawed and narcissistic New Yorker look charming, and believable to boot. I love Sarah Jessica Parker so much, she even gets her own page of doodles in Self-Obsessed. For a time, I was one of millions of women and queer men who thought that if I concentrated hard enough on writing about love, and stared hard enough out a window, I would be the Optimus Prime of love: a fierce warrior whose abrasive compassion saves the day. There’s a value to that notion, I’m sure, but there’s just as much value in seeking professional help for when you’re creating the same problems over and over and over again. The quixotic ramblings of Carrie Bradshaw still amuse and touch me, but I recognize that in real life, accountability is not as easy as writing my version of the truth and putting it online for everyone to read, judge, and disseminate.

Now, here’s something else you need to know about Sex and the City: I may be getting the exact details of this wrong, but Carrie mentions buying a pair of shoes after finishing every article (never mind the myriad essays written about how implausible it is for a Manhattanite to buy Manolo Blahniks weekly off cruddy freelance paychecks). It’s her reward for a job well done. I like that. I do stuff like that, too. There’s a Missoni cardigan I bought myself after landing a gig providing illustrations for a kids’ book. When I finished my action comic, Burn the Orphanage, I went and got myself a pretty bad-ass leather jacket, man. My charitable side is exercised regularly with monetary and “prize” donations (i.e. original art), so when I have the opportunity to be unabashedly selfish, I take it. Carrie and I had this in common: no matter how ridiculous the ritual, we had them and honored them. Selfishly.

Back to the events of this week. I was uploading all the files to my publisher, I had been up all night working, and I still hadn’t figured out my selfish, selfish reward. At one point, I was so exhausted and emotionally empty that I almost convinced myself to buy a pair of the Nordstrom collaboration pair of Sarah Jessica Parker shoes (the SJP, if you will). My thinking was, “What better way to honor this part of my past than to do exactly what Carrie would do, buy a pair of shoes?” The SJPs represented the perfect way to close the book on the self-obsessed chapter of my life where wondering why so-and-so was an asshole and why He didn’t love me were more important topics than, say, World News? Politics? History? I truly did think to myself, “Buying these SJPs is gonna be so ****ing poignant.”

There’s two problems with that line of thinking—and I’m not even going to get into the fact that I am a MAN wanting to buy a pair of women’s shoes to display on my bookshelf as some kind of objet d’art. The first problem would be that these shoes are expensive. For several hundred dollars, I can participate in the Sarah Jessica Parker brand, which is a far more classy (read: subdued) and understated look than the oft-times outlandish Carrie Bradshaw styles. These are not the Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes, my friends. I’m upfront about how I will gladly throw down a month’s rent on a statement coat, but that’s only if it is truly remarkable and/or made of gold. The range of prices on the SJPs go from $195 to $495, and you can imagine where the more noteworthy pieces lie on that scale. You can also imagine that I wouldn’t settle for an espadrille with some grosgrain sewn on it, either.

The second problem with wanting to reward myself with a pair of shoes is that—if you really think about it—an exorbitant purchase actually goes against everything that should be good about finishing Self-Obsessed. Looking at the stories I wanted to tell, and the person I was from my late teens through my early 20s, I feel a sense of pride knowing that the comic book representation of “Sina” was the best version of himself he could be, but I also saw some aspects of myself I was happy to put to bed. It’s cool to have wanderlust, it’s cool to make fun of your parents in a comic book… for a time. I have been able to move past a lot of the issues that plagued me for years, and I find I’ve been happier and more productive without them. I’m not the kind of person who could make a frivolous purchase anymore. Credit debt is not chic. After ten years, I should be able to feel rewarded by the work I’ve done, and the growth shown in the pages. Wasting money on a collector’s item would be a pretty disappointing way to end Self-Obsessed.

While coming to this conclusion totally happened on my own (big props!), I have to credit my friend Sydney for the words I’m typing now. As I was joking with her about the big if of buying a pair of “Bobbie” sandals in mint (my favorite color), I mused that I would just draw the shoe and call it a day. This whole time, I knew my defenses were weak and I just wanted to buy something for the sake of buying something. When Sydney encouraged me doing the drawing, the real reward presented itself: More. Work!

That’s all life is, right? We work, we sleep, we work some more, all in the hopes that we’ll get better at it, so it can be easier the next day. The glib conversation with Sydney was more potent than the rush of frivolously spending $300 on a pair of shoes, and I was able to re-focus my energies, and treat myself to a coffee while I doodled shoes. Yes, I sat in a cafe and drew women’s shoes, which turned out to be more like a pleasant diversion than something you’d imagine a creeper doing. After the stress of a deadline, I was able to enjoy my work again, and felt more energized for the next chapter than I would have been after an expensive walk to Nordstrom. I’m utterly aware that these sentiments may not put an end to consumerism, or motivate thousands of individuals to take charge and be more creative…but they did save me $294.50 (coffee is expensive in Los Angeles, and I like to tip).

- Sina Grace

Conversation With an Imaginary White Man That Doesn’t Exist

Hi.

Hella.

How are you?

Obviously pretty great, considering. How are you?

Same.

Right.

I wanted to ask you, how does it feel being assumed competent in any situation you enter?

We’ll, first of all, thanks for even considering my opinion relevant. I really feel like I have no business voicing anything on many topics, unless asked, of course, which you are for some reason doing.

Really for my own benefit and sanity.

I’m on board.

Great.

Anyways, it’s very, very convenient for me. With that in mind, I do try to make that awareness of it a constant. I can’t do anything to change the fact that I’m a white man, but I can confront and combat the belief systems behind this social construct slash hierarchy so that this assumption is no longer afforded to just a select group of people.

Oh damn, still busting out the ‘slash’ full out.

Ha, yes. 2014.

Cool. Do you consider yourself a feminist?

I do.

Thanks for not saying something like, “I consider myself a person-ist” as if to neg and one up me in my own goddamn interview.

No problem.

What’s your stance on asking adult women if they know what a word means?

I’m sorry?

As it pertains to the tidbit or story you’re about to launch into.

Are we talking really profession-specific terms?

No, like the word ‘synergy’.

Oh god. No. What?

Great. What are you plans for later?

Drink some wine prolly. Watch a show, hug a dog.

Veddy good. So, this interview is essentially troll bait for the exact people that I created you to counter. What do you think their one response will be?

You can’t see me but I’m knowingly smiling right now.

Do you want to say it together?

It’d be an honor.

Not all of us are like that.

Not all of us are like that.

Ahahaha. 

“Actually…”

What would be even better is if a white dude actually wrote a parodied version of this but with a white woman and really SLAMMED her.

The ultimate revenge.

What is that?

I mean, that immediate tug of “Hey!” can dissolve just as easily as it presents itself if you give some context to a situation or if literally any aspect of your life is put into perspective.

Also who cares.

Why you cry?

GO PROVE ME SO WRONG, right? Or put it in your gratitude journal, honestly up to you.

Pin it.

Ha! Hit up my ‘trest page at favgrandma98. Anyway, on that topic, do you ever feel the need to speak out for yourself or others?

Like as an ally or…

No, like in a space for minority voices and re: their issues, or in an arena that based on biology alone you have no concept of, such as pregnancy and it’s pre/post activities?

I very much don’t and in fact I’m dead silent.

Thanks. Anyway, and this is not a compliment, but you’ve managed to be not an asshole when many of your people are. How did you get here?

Just unlearning a lot of things while at the same time seeking out things that, like this, may be uncomfortable at first, acknowledging the privilege that discomfort stems from, being active about sourcing different perspectives, and realizing that I know almost nothing about anything. I mean, there’s so much shit I don’t know it’s crazy.

Fair enough. What’s your dating life like?

Well, I have zero assumptions about people’s sexuality, gender, availability, or interest, and even lower expectations, so I’m pretty set up in that dept.

Guh’fuha you. And finally, Woody Allen–

FINISH HIM.

Thank you for your time.

-Erin Sullivan

11 Things You Learn at “Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process”

Nighthawks doesn’t depict an actual diner, but there was a New York diner that inspired it. The diner is gone now, which is probably just as well since walking into it would feel like walking into the actual Cheers in Boston: “This doesn’t look anything like it does on TV!”

Edward Hopper didn’t like abstract painting, but abstract painters dug him anyway.

Hopper liked open-ended narratives, tableaus that suggested a moment or encounter but left the circumstances ambiguous. In association with Hopper Drawing‘s tenure at the Walker Art Center, Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt have written a novella about Hopper’s painting Office at Nightit’s being published in serial installments.

image

Hopper painted multiple offices at night, which is even eerier than diners at night because…what are people doing there?

Every detail of Hopper’s paintings was carefully chosen. In the drawings on display, you can see Hopper experimenting with different configurations of windows, figures, and furniture.

Hopper was way ahead of Minneapolis ad agencies in turning urban water towers into art.

The inn depicted in this Hopper painting does actually exist, in Massachusetts—and you can stay there for 85 bucks.

image

Hopper’s work has been a major influence on filmmakers. Wim Wenders has said that with Hopper, “you can always tell where the camera is.”

Hopper was a late bloomer; his breakthrough as an artist happened in his 40s. Fortunately, more than half of his life was still ahead of him, and he continued to create major works until his death.

Hopper painted women gazing out windows in multiple settings, and it’s surprising how much the narrative seems to change based on whether the woman is looking out on a cityscape or a countryside.

image

Almost all the naked ladies in Hopper’s work are his wife, with different faces.

Jay Gabler

Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process is on display at the Walker Art Center through June 20.

A Not Very Definitive List of Emoji that Need to Exist

My favorite Emoji is the Edvard Munch “Scream” emoji, which is both very referential to old art and incredibly useful. It is perfect for texting my boyfriend things like, “It’s snowing,” “Pretty Little Liars is a repeat tonight” and “there are no cheese samples at Kowalski’s.”

Now I want these emoji to exist:

-Boo the dog

-A Pizza Roll

-Lana Del Rey and Lorde frowning at one another

-A chicken nugget

-Terry Richardson (as a good response to inappropriate photo texts)

-A knitting mom

-A birth control pill

-Paul Bunyan

-Pikachu

-The pope

-Bill Gates looking sad

-Some kind of pictographic symbol that means “why are you texting me before 8 a.m. you crazy person”

-Madonna’s arm

-A tampon

-Jesus holding a cell phone

-Shia LeBeouf with a bag on his head

-A Buzzfeed quiz with a huge question mark next to it

-John Cusak being incredibly relatable

-A ‘d’ in a box

-Kanye and Kim on a motorcycle

-A tramp stamp

-Lindsay Lohan in that iconic picture where she is drunk in her car

-A MiniDisc player

-A sloth

-Schrödinger’s cat

-A teenager holding a handwritten sign about bullying in front of their chest

-Oprah

-A pregnant belly

-Flo from Progressive commercials

-Beyonce getting a ring on it

There are so many more though what did I forget?

-Becky Lang