Weird New Pop

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Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 07, 2017
Usually, I find comfort in limitations and I'm pretty good at following instructions. But, when it comes to year-end lists, I'm just not myself. So, when Michael Lavorgna asked for a list of five favorite albums, I promptly came up with 75.
Stephen Mejias  |  Aug 14, 2017
"It was an unusually fine day for a New York September," John Atkinson began his important 2001 essay, "The Restorative Power of Music."
Stephen Mejias  |  Feb 13, 2018
Meg Remy is a great driver. She’s not a New Yorker, but she navigates these busy city streets as though they are her own. She seems born to accelerate, weave, brake, and reverse. You can hear it in her music, too. It offers surprises at almost every beat and turn, shuffles and slides before it sparks and burns. Her upcoming release, In a Poem Unlimited, available Friday, is her sixth studio album as U.S. Girls, and second for the outstanding label 4AD.
Stephen Mejias  |  Mar 13, 2018
March in the United States is Women’s History Month. Complementing International Women’s Day on March 8, the month is meant to honor and recognize the many significant accomplishments of women today and throughout history. The celebration dates back to 1981, when Congress authorized the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” Then, in 1987, upon a successful petition by the National Women’s History Project, Congress agreed that a week was not nearly enough, that, instead, women would be honored throughout the entire month of March. Between 1988 and 1994, then, Congress passed additional resolutions to maintain the status. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have issued proclamations announcing March as Women’s History Month. And, somewhat surprisingly given his own words and actions, even the current president has followed suit. You can read his proclamation here. (If you’re into it, you can compare and contrast with President Obama’s proclamation.)
Stephen Mejias  |  Jun 06, 2017
There are two things that don't have to mean anything; one is music and the other is laughter.—Immanuel Kant

We can dance until we die.—Katy Perry

Track 6

While I certainly carry around my fair share of Puerto Rican Catholic guilt, I have never in my life felt guilt over music.

Stephen Mejias  |  Oct 10, 2017

Photos: Stephen Mejias. Design and animation: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 26

It's true that our indignation has acquired a hollow, meaningless sameness. The high-end audio industry's interest in attracting a younger and more diverse audience is something like our government's interest in putting an end to horrific mass shootings, working toward racial equality, rebuilding Puerto Rico. If we really wanted to make a significant change, we would. Of course, the stakes couldn't be more different: In high-end audio, we're only losing customers.

Stephen Mejias  |  May 09, 2017
photo of Jersey City: Stephen Mejias

Track 1
What kind of music do you like?

A simple and entirely reasonable question, and one that gives me fits. I hesitate, stutter, stumble, and fall.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jul 11, 2017
Cover art: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 11

Pop songs are almost always playing in my mind. It's happening now as I write these words. It happens while I am reading, watching television, taking a shower, even in the middle of conversation. Sometimes the music is quiet, far in the background of my consciousness, while other times it is alarmingly loud, like daytime construction work on a Jersey City street.

Stephen Mejias  |  Aug 08, 2017
Photo: Stephen Mejias. Design: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 16

How we listen goes hand in hand with how we live. For that reason alone, the act of listening to music through a hi-fi represents a certain lifestyle, and the products used to pursue that particular pleasure can be described as lifestyle products.

Stephen Mejias  |  Sep 12, 2017
Photo: Stephen Mejias. Design: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 21

Mrs. Little is often amused by my complete inability to understand even the simplest lyrics to even the poppiest of pop songs—lyrics that are to her, and, I assume, so many others, as clear as a September sky.

Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 12, 2017
Photos: Stephen Mejias. Design: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 41
If you listen for similarities between superficially disparate musical forms—hard bop and doom metal, for instance, or even noise and pop—you might be surprised by how suddenly you hear them. If you listen only for differences, you'll find those, too, of course.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 09, 2018
Photos: Stephen Mejias. Design: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 48
How did we get here, surrounded by mountains?

Stephen Mejias  |  Nov 07, 2017

Photos: Stephen Mejias. Design and animation: Todd Steponick, Nice Looking Designs

Track 31
"Everyone on the web forum wakes up to find a jagged crack up the length of their bathroom mirrors." —Carmen Maria Machado, "Especially Heinous," Her Body and Other Parties

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