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Audioccult Vol. 62: Tumblr’s <i>The Divine Comedy</i>

Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low. Illustration: SHALTMIRA

 

[SCENE: THE DEPTHS OF THE INFERNO. THE STINKING AIR IS FILLED WITH WAILS, ECHOING THROUGHOUT THE ETERNAL PLAINS OF TORMENT. A WRITHING MASS OF DISTORTED CGI FACES FORM BOTH SKY AND GROUND IN A VERY TWISTED YET BAD-ASS WAY. STARWIPE TO WOOD OF THE SUICIDES]

This is Eternity. All times converge here, from the dawn of suffering to the final breath of the Word. No sunrise marks the days, for there are no days here, nor nights. Nobody to hear your cries. Nobody to retweet you. An impenetrable wall of blackened, gnarled trees is the only sign of life (if such a word can be applied to these tangled wretches) in this sector, the souls of those who committed suicide transformed in a delightfully cheeky way symbolizing, I don’t know, laurel leaves or whatever the fuck Dante was into. Near the outskirts of this corpse copse, the tree that was once called Ian Curtis shivers as a wave of newly remastered copies of Closer are released with several hours worth of material dredged from the void by industry necromancers. Each moment he suffers, unable to escape or find relief as yet another tween reblogs the cover of Unknown Pleasures photoshopped onto Brooke Candy’s face. In the rough animapathy that passes for language amongst the Damned, a near-identical tree formed from the ashes of Tupac Shakur whispers, “You get used to it.”

 

 

We think about the word “forever” in the lightest sense, for it is a concept that cannot truly be encompassed by the mind. Behind the living face of the world, the pandæmonic nethescape is awash with the souls of hateful creatures. The Divine Unity so often espoused is not one of peaceful bliss, but of joined obscenity. Each soul shares the torment of their brethren, an empathetic entity formed from each living being, forevermore in pain. Forevermore, the contracting monolithic anus that was Paula Deen (dressed in an equally monolithic white tuxedo) devours and expels the unrighteous in a torrent of butter and shit. Forevermore, Chris Brown instagrams vultures, their meat-slick beaks tearing the flesh from the wicked for all of time, with the words, “up in ya girls Pussy.” Bloggers who dreamed of Pitchfork internships type words of immense beauty, yet the #1 result on Hype Machine is always, “SEX NUDE BOOBS MILEY CYRUS TURNTUP 2TURNT 2CHAINZ HONEYMOON CHANEL VHS LSD TROPICAL BONER,” and every package in the mail is a copy of Bloc Party’s single “Ratchet”. There is a shattered field where men, women and children are forever forced to twerk and hear the word twerk, and it is impossible to tell them apart. “Ayo, this ya boy Soulja Boy,” booms the voice of The Overseer. “I got a new dance for ya’ll,” and the cries that follow make Heaven weep.

 

 

In the center of this reality, there exists a frozen place removed from the rest. Here, icy winds gnaw at the memory of skin ceaselessly, as if blown by vast pinions straining for release. In this desperate place, you are shown an endless stream of unreachable beauty: music, women, men, food that will never pass your lips and clothes that will never touch your skin. Each image evokes a wealth of sin—envy, lust, greed. Each thought is bent toward a single purpose: to have, to possess, to show—for you know that even a single item in that endless sea means salvation. Yet each plea, each promise and threat is met with the same response from the simple and faceless entity that inhabits this Center. “I don’t know,” is the eternal reply. “I found it on tumblr.”~

 

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Perfect Ten: MS MR answer ten questions

MS MR are a boy-girl indie pop act straight out of New York and London, except that makes them sound a lot less interesting than they actually are. Their catchy four minute songs may have the grandiose, Elysian appeal of Florence & the Machine or Bat For Lashes—think songs called “Bones or “Fantasy”, kettle drums and supernatural synths ascending to the firmament—but the band were born in the distinctly earthly environs of Brooklyn basements and Tumblr. This tension between the sacred and the profane, the emotional and the pop-transcendent is what gives their debut Secondhand Rapture its enigmatic charge. Allow us to make introductions.

 

1. If you were still in high school, which clique would you belong to?
Max Hershenow: Theater nerds/sarcastic academics
Lizzy Plapinger: Art kids

2. Your most memorable show?
One of our favorites was our show at Laneway Festival in Sydney this year. It was one of the biggest and most raucous crowds we’ve ever played to and the first time most of the crowd knew the lyrics.

3. An album or artist that changed the way you thought? And how did that happen?
M: I lived in Latin America in high school and was really influenced by Latin pop. The Spanish singer Bebe’s first album Pafuera Telarañas made me think about different ways to combine influences, which I think has profoundly affected the way I write now.
L: Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada. Before listening to that record I had never heard anything like it and it totally blew my mind. It really opened me up to a whole new genre and experimental style of music and felt like the gateway to other acts like Avalanches, Prefuse 73, The Go! Team… It continues to be a strong touchstone for me in thinking about music and how you can meld and transform sounds to create new atmospheres.

 4. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
For us it’s about toeing the line between these two worlds. We’re very much rooted in a DIY and “underground” scene and sound and want to continue to explore unique and alternative ways of making and sharing music. However, we also have big ambitions for the band and genuinely want as many people to listen to our music as possible, so we’re absolutely not afraid of being accepted by the mainstream, as long as we stay true to our core identities and “underground” work ethic and style.

5. Should music be free?
There needs to be a back and forth—If music is free in one form than you would hope that a fan would pay it forward to the band in another way. We have always made our music available for someone to listen to for free in the hopes that if they enjoy it and believe in the band they will follow through and purchase the album and/or come see us play a show.

6. Latest find on Soundcloud or Bandcamp and what you like about it?
M: “Out of Yourself” by Truls. It’s such a good pump-up party anthem, and his voice is amazing.
L: This new band WET. They only have two songs up right now but I love her voice and how smooth the music is.

7. Describe your one indispensable outfit?
M: Doc Martens, black leather jacket, jeans and a t-shirt.
L: high-waisted pants, crop top, dragon lady jacket, wire framed vintage sunnies and my Vagabond shoes.

8. A film, book, or artwork that greatly influenced your music and why?

M: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez—it taught me to not shy away from my inclination to infuse the mundane day-to-day with a sense of high drama and a touch of magic.
L: Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut—one of my favorite stories and the catalyst for “Dark Doo Wop”.

9. Your current favorite song and what you like about it?

M: Daft Punk, “Doin’ It Right”. I love the way the two melodies interact.
L: Chrome Sparks, “Marijuana”. It’s sort of become my go to in the car and just immediately puts me in a good mood.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
M: A choreographer.
L: I have a studio art background so I hope something with design.

Ms Mr’s debut album Secondhand Rapture is out now on Columbia Records

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10 x 4 – Teen Witch

10 x 4 - Teen Witch The Internet is a high school, and Teen Witch helps give you the necessary advice you need to get with the cool clique. The young Chicago tastemaker has recently shifted from the digital realm into the physical with his answer to Tiger Beat, TEEN WITCH MAGAZINE. Say a spell and come inside.

1. Biggest inspiration?
Everyone on my friends list that is doing something cool and different. I get to watch them grow and it really drives me the most because I just want to build along with them.

2. Last album you loved?
In a rotation of GrimesVisions, Hunx‘s Hairdresser Blues and Nicki Minaj‘s Roman Reloaded.

3. Raging or chilling out?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I really love staying in and watching television, but I’m always thinking I’m missing out on everything that is going on. I want to be apart of everything I just don’t want to get out of bed.

4. Secret advice?
Get out there; network, create and have fun. I believe in the power of thought, if you think about what you want and think about how to get it it’s going to happen. See yourself as your heroes and stop taping up pictures of people you admire on your walls and put up pictures of yourself in their place. Invest in yourself or you’re probably going to live a pointless life.

5. Favorite place to create?
Social networking sites.

6. The internet: what mysteries does it hold?
The internet only allows you to know what it wants you to know.

7. One thing you can’t live without?
A decent WiFi connection.

8. Buffy: great show or greatest show?
Buffy represents all that is girl power!

9. Biggest break so far?
Being acknowledged by people I look up to.

10. THE FUTURE: what it holds and how we can destroy it:
For myself, I’m starting to work on getting out a clothing line. I want to put out a few pieces in conjunction with TEEN WITCH magazine that kind of represent each issue. Hopefully that will be out this summer then the next issue this fall/winter. You can destroy it all in a press of a power button.

VIRTUAL BART

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Win a custom sweatshirt from Cold Heart Collective!

Win a custom sweatshirt from Cold Heart Collective! You can never have too many cool sweatshirts. Even as temperatures begin to climb, there’s still plenty of chilly nights in the near future, and quite honestly, hon…that H&M hoodie is lookin’ a bit cheap. No worries, though, because EB.net and noted subculture killa Gucci Goth have teamed up with UK-based Cold Heart Collective to bring you something that will keep those skinny limbs warm and chic. We’re giving you a chance to win a one-of-a-kind, custom printed COLD sweatshirt, shown above.

As with everything in this URL IRL reality, all you need to win is your tumblr. Simply post ELECTRONIC BEATS & GUCCI GOTH LEAVE ME COLD BECAUSE ___________ (<—this is the part where you explain why) on your tumblr with a link to both sites, and then send a screencap to daniel.jones@electronicbeats.net. We'll pick the most amusing and creative one, and within a week we'll get back to the winner with their brand new Cold Heart Collective swag.

IT’S GONNA BE THAT E-Z.

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Women As Objects: The Tumblr Teen

Women As Objects: The Tumblr Teen Being a kid is harder work than it looks; it isn’t just about the politics of re-blogging. Los Angeles author and artist Kate Durbin has recently begun exploring the virtual world of teen girls, experienced through the medium of tumblr aesthetics. “Women as Objects started as I was observing how radical and amazing these teenage girls on tumblr are.” says Durbin. “Their entire community fascinates me. I love the way they encourage each other, share secrets, and even hate on each other so passionately…and the whole “it’s not IRL” issue just isn’t that big of a deal really, because these kids grew up on the net. It’s like a secret community that anyone can observe, and because the girls know that they are being observed, they have this awesome opportunity to utilize the medium of tumblr to become who they truly are/who they want to be. They aren’t limited by circumstances. In this sense they objectify themselves through the medium too. They use images of themselves, fixed/fucked in photoshop, turn themselves into quivering .gifs, etc, beg for attention in comments–but it’s all done totally willfully, instead of traditional notions of objectification of women where women are passive victims of the ‘male gaze.’”

Durbin reblogs the images and text that these girls post, creating an online archive for all the snippets that echo the immediate, the urgent and the brief; everything that being young is about. Sexuality, fashion and music are all here, along with more intimate pieces that reveal the true human behind the masses of pink-haired model photos. The result is a surprisingly honest portrait of what it means to be a teen: often awkward, seeking approval through visual desires, and, occasionally, refreshingly open. “The girls contact me sometimes. I never reach out to them directly, just follow them, so its up to them to read my page and figure out what I’m doing. Sometimes they are confused at first, but then they seem excited about what I am doing.”

Durbin’s fascination with these URLives is constantly expanding; next year she has plans to bring the project into the physical realm in the form of a book called Satanic Teen Blogging. “I just hope more people check out the project, and mostly that they check out these girls. They are truly inspiring, awesome, talented, and so open with sharing their lives.”

The author on Twitter:

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