An Open Letter To The Other Justin Keller In SF

I wanted to write a really brief response to the other Justin Keller who’s made my social media channels erupt with a lot of vitriol in defence of our city’s unsheltered and mentally ill after he wrote this blog post. I’m not one for soapboxing, I pretty much only use this blog to share music with my friends, and I have a lot of work to do today so I’m going to keep this super brief. Here goes:

(1) San Francisco’s homelessness problem predates you– by a lot.

After the 1906 earthquake 250,000, San Franciscans were made homeless. That’s nearly half of the population at that time. What do you do in a situation where a massive act of God takes away people’s homes? You get to work taking care of people who are unable to do it for themselves. This set the tone for our city’s response to homelessness for the next century– there are certainly times where it leads to uncomfortable situations like the ones you’ve had, but one of the things that’s made San Francisco great is the empathy and compassion historically shown to people without anywhere or anything.

(2) The change you say you want is happening.

You’re totally right- a free market will cause changes and it’s happening at an alarming rate. Take a walk through SoMa and consider that this was that same neighbourhood that Diane Feinstein was walking through in 1986. As a result of this, however, massive displacement is occurring. 71% of the people you think a free market should evaporate are there because of very similar market dynamics. There’s clearly an inefficiency in the housing market that complaining about won’t solve.

(3) It’s not just about you.

When I first moved here I had a difficult time with the homeless situation too. Your perspective seems to be, “I don’t deserve to deal with this.” A more compassionate and broadened perspective would be, “no one deserves to deal with this.” Especially the poor souls that sleep in the dirt and cold every night– I promise you they don’t want to be there even more than you don’t want them to be there.

Offering help to poor is a noble deed and everyone who is able to do so, must do it. Let’s together make the world a better place for poor. I with some of my friends have started a cafe geoffreyscafebar.com . The income I earn from this cafe is donated for this cause. We all must put a little extra effort to help the one’s who really need it. Let’s be a part of this change together!

I would love to help, another Justin! I occasionally volunteer at The Harrison House in SoMa and have really wanted to spend some time helping out at Larkin Street Youth. Hit me up– I’m sure you can find my Twitter handle– and let’s go do something about it, rather than just complaining about it.

Tags: Justin Keller, homelessness, San Francisco, johnny5sf

Top 50 Metal Albums Ov 2015

  1. Izah – Sistere
  2. Pyramids – A Northern Meadow
  3. The Armed – Untitled
  4. Intronaut – The Direction of Last Things
  5. Barbelith – Mirror Unveiled
  6. Der Weg einer Freiheit – Stellar
  7. Rolo Tomassi – Grievances
  8. He Whose Ox is Gored – The Camel, The Lion, The Child
  9. Leviathan – Scar Sighted
  10. Panopticon – Autumn Eternal
  11. Horrendous – Anareta
  12. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
  13. Minsk – The Crash and the Draw
  14. Tempel – The Moon Lit Our Path
  15. Slugdge – Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms
  16. Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night of Your Ascension
  17. Envy – Atheist’s Cornea
  18. Wrvth – Wrvth
  19. Rosetta – Quintessential Ephemera
  20. Abyssal – Antikatastaseis
  21. Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
  22. Vattnet Viskar – Settler
  23. VHÖL – Deeper Than Sky
  24. Lychgate – An Antidote for the Glass Pill
  25. Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
  26. Immortal Bird – Empress / Abscess
  27. An Autumn for Crippled Children – The Long Goodbye
  28. Loma Prieta – Self Portrait
  29. Akhlys – The Dreaming I
  30. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Exile
  31. Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours
  32. Rivers of Nihil – Monarchy
  33. Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic
  34. Grift – Syner
  35. Swallow The Sun – Songs from the North I, II, and III
  36. Yautja – Songs of Lament
  37. InAeona – Force Rise the Sun
  38. Vukari – En to Pan
  39. False – Untitled
  40. Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash
  41. Author & Punisher – Melk En Honing
  42. Moon – Render of the Veils
  43. Myrkur – M
  44. Murdock – Dead Lung
  45. Make Them Suffer – Old Souls
  46. An Open Letter – An Open Letter
  47. Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
  48. Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls
  49. Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth
  50. Wovoka – Saros

Best EPs Of 2015

In no particular order, these were my favourite extended plays of 2015. (Though I deeply loved King Woman, FKA Twigs, and Thundercat).

FKA twigs – M3LL155X

SEXWITCH – Sexwitch

Thundercat – The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam

Booka Shade – Wildest Thing

Pyrrhon – Growth Without End

King Woman – Doubt

MONO and The Ocean – Transcendental

Auras – Crestfallen

Top 50 Albums Of 2015

  1. Kamasi Washington – The Epic
  2. Grimes – Art Angels
  3. Jamie xx – In Colour
  4. Death Grips – The Powers That B
  5. Björk – Vulnicura
  6. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
  7. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
  8. Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete
  9. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
  10. Caspian – Dust and Disquiet
  11. Kodak To Graph – Isa
  12. Viet Cong – Viet Cong
  13. Errors – Lease of Life
  14. Young Fathers – White Men are Black Men Too
  15. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
  16. Freddie Gibbs – Shadow of a Doubt
  17. Port St. Willow – Syncope
  18. Miguel – Wildheart
  19. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
  20. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
  21. Breakage – When the Night Comes
  22. Beach House – Depression Cherry
  23. Georg Holm, Orri Páll Dýrason, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Kjartan Holm – Circe
  24. Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer
  25. Des Ark – Everything Dies
  26. Empress Of – Me
  27. Algiers – Algiers
  28. Shlohmo – Dark Red
  29. William Basinski – Cascade
  30. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
  31. HEALTH – Death Magic
  32. The Soft Moon – Deeper
  33. Roots Manuva – Bleeds
  34. Blanck Mass – Dumb Flesh
  35. Vessels – Dilate
  36. Ibeyi – Ibeyi
  37. Torres – Sprinter
  38. Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
  39. Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl
  40. Metz – II
  41. John Tejada – Signs Under Test
  42. Floating Points – Elaenia
  43. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
  44. A$AP Rocky – LONG.LAST.A$AP
  45. Built To Spill – Untethered Moon
  46. Circa Survive – Decencus
  47. Puscifer – Money Shot
  48. Echoes Of Yul – The Healing
  49. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
  50. Marriages –Salome

Top Ten Songs Of 2015

Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #1

Grimes – “Kill v Maim”

I guess I really, really love Grimes. Her single, “Go”, was my favourite track of 2014. This song is even better than that. Musician, producer, vocalist, visual artists, fashionista– Grimes has weaponized quirkiness and turned it into some of the most original and sophisticated pop music– ever.

This song asks the question, “What if Michael Corleone from The Godfather was a transgendered, interstellar vampire?” There has been nothing better this year.

Tags: Grimes, art angels, kill v. maim, go, Best of 2015

December 10, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #2

Jamie xx – “Seesaw”

What a deep, deep cut from Jamie xx. There were plenty of bangers on In Colour– singles like “Good Times” and “High Places” that followed me around all summer. None of them struck the chord in me that “Seesaw” did though. Romy’s subdued, layered vocals. Chilled out melody on top of the breakbeat drums. This song checked all of my boxes.

Tags: Jamie xx, Romy, the xx, in colour, seesaw, Best of 2015

December 9, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #3

Kamasi Washington – “Change of the Guard”

I will freely admit that I’ve not been the biggest fan of jazz. To quote the brilliant Paul F. Tompkins:

I don’t like jazz music, and I don’t like it on behalf of you, the common stupid person. Here’s why — hold on, you’re pretty dumb — here’s why: because jazz is all about making the common man feel dumb. That’s all it is. It’s a bunch of guys all playing different songs at the same time.

This album does it all for me though. All of the aspects of jazz that (I assume) are what jazz fans truly love about jazz are arranged in such a staggeringly lush and layered way- with so much thought and groove going into every measure- there’s no way I couldn’t absolutely fawn over this album. The opener, “Change of the Guard” is exactly that. This re-opened the door to jazz for me. Thank you for that, Mr Washington.

Tags: Kamasi Washington, The Epic, Brainfeeder, Paul F Tompkins, Best of 2015

December 8, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #4

FKA Twigs – “In Time”

“You’ve got a goddamn nerve”… for not respecting the hell out of FKA Twigs. She’s one of the most important artists in the world to me right now. I have an insatiable appetite for her music. Here’s hoping she continues pushing herself and the envelope.

Tags: FKA Twigs, In Time, Best of 2015

December 7, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #5

Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker the Berry”

Very Well done!

Tags: Kendrick Lamar, The Blacker The Berry, Best of 2015, To Pimp A Butterfly, Melty faced nazi guy

December 7, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #6

Björk – Stonemilker

Björk’s breakup with longtime partner and baby daddy, Matthew Barney, was pretty tragic. As two of modern art’s most visionary and talented individuals, I always idealized their relationship (on absolutely no evidence whatsoever). Leave it to Björk to masterfully synthesize heartbreak into a staggeringly beautiful and dark album. This song, especially, lifts the veil on her, “who is open chested”.

Tags: Bjork, stonemilker, vulnicura, Best of 2015

December 7, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #7

Algiers – “Irony. Utility. Pretext.”

What a great debut Algiers’ self-titled album was. A frenetic fusion of punk, gospel, and Depeche Mode, all powered by a gas tank full of social commentary. This is a huge sounding song, equally danceable and headbang-able. This is a band to watch as they head into their sophomore effort.

 

December 7, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #8

HEALTH – “New Coke”

This song is massive. HEALTH’s invariably treated vocals glide purely and smoothly over the most rafter-shaking beat Health has ever made. This is very likely my favourite music video of the year as well. (Well, it might be second after this one by The Armed.)

Tags: Health, new coke, death magic, Best of 2015, the armed

December 1, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #9

Viet Cong – “Silhouettes”

Though their name stirred up a bit of controversy towards the end of this year, Viet Cong’s eponymous debut was pretty universally adored. Angular and frenetic guitars and rigid, too-fast drums pay homage to their SoCal and DC post-punk forbearers but come off refreshing and current. This aesthetic is best showcased in the album closer, Silhouette, where the relaxed chorus transcends the brash post-punk mould.

Tags: Viet Cong, Best of 2015, singles, silhouettes, post-punk

December 1, 2015

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Top Ten Songs Of 2015 Countdown: #10

Thundercat – “Them Changes”

Every year, Matt at EnthusiastOfAll and I synchronize our countdown to our picks for 2015’s best song of the year. As I typically do, I make two lists– one focused on just metal music, and one that encapsulates every other genre of music.

This was a big year for Thundercat and the constellation of artists he surrounds himself with. Working the low end of his 6+ string bass with the likes of Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, and the occasional stint as the bass player for Suicidal Tendencies, Thundercat has firmly cemented himself in the pantheon of all-time great bass players. His prodigious skills on the bass are evenly matched to his songcraft, as seen on “Them Changes,” the standout track of his 2015 EP, The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam.