I’ve been a blogger here for all four years of college. It’s given me a chance to see some cool shows, review a lot of music, and post disconnected thoughts. So thanks, blog. And thanks to all my readers out there, nobody. To sign off, here’s a song and a podcast and an upcoming event–three types of art I wrote about most over the past four years–for your pleasure. It’s been good, arts@m. thanks for listening.


Because new Kendrick is everything that ever needs to be:


Because Jake and Amir and Thomas are the funniest people I know:


Because these four ladies are rad-tad-dynamite-fist-waving-firecrackling-awesome:


Yada Yada // oochy wah wah

These words may sound like childish gibberish to you–and you’d be right if they do–but they also happen to be names of a local Ann Arbor created and based awesome, rad-tad rock band. Yada Yada, formed in 2011 by Ian Klipa, Conor Anderson and Rowan Niemisto is seen most often playing shows at Kerrytown Co-ops and house parties, and also driving around town like hooligans in a dusty pick-up truck. Their latest release encompasses everything about the band that matters: a well-calculated and designed aesthetic, a delightful and mellow vibe, soft and catchy vocals and a sense of pure joy. These guys are out there havin’ fun. That much comes across within the first few seconds of listening. These five tracks are entirely Yada Yada-written and performed, with a few moments of help from talented friends, and will accompany your spring-filled study days like a warm sweatshirt.


Tune in below and, if you feel inclined, download this awesome tape for the low low cost of 3 dollars!!

Listen Here


Scenes from the West Coast of Paradise

Over Spring Break I went to visit my Grandma in Florida. Below is the first of a three-part piece titled, “The World at a Slow Pace,” about my time in her lovely condo.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Today my grandma wears dark blue sweatpants and a thin, light blue sweater flipped inside out. Her sweatpants rest slightly above her ankles and I can see that she has decided to wear one sock, on her left foot, and to keep the other bare. Both feet shuffle around the condo in white slippers designed for comfort rather than support.

Earlier today she walked the ten minutes to the beach with me, and I could see her legs from the knees down. Veins run down her shins like rivers on a map, blue and scattered and criss-crossing everywhere. The skin underneath her chin sits like the throat of a turkey, hanging curved and fleshy off her trachea. My grandma is surprisingly agile for her age; as we walk she sometimes notices that her pace is slowing, so she takes a breath and swings her arms and moves with a new determination.

“Nice that the beach is so close.” I say. “Frank’s place is so nice!”

“It’s fine.” She says resigned.

A few years ago, when she spent her winters with her second husband Murray, she lived in a million-dollar apartment in an extravagant high-rise north of Miami. Whitney Houston and Barry Bonds owned places in the same building.

She was married to Murray for eleven years; was married to my grandfather for forty before that. Now she lives with Frank, although they are not married, on the west side of Florida, in a small two-bedroom condo in a development of two-bedroom condos and old people. Frank is a widower and an old friend of the family’s. So when the two found themselves alone, they thought why not be together?

Around every corner of the development I can see tennis courts and shuffleboard games, unused and waiting like park benches in the winter.

I don’t ask my grandma if the pain of burying two husbands is too overwhelming to consider marriage for a third time. I don’t ask if the toll of surviving two separate loves has impacted her physical or emotional health. But I can see it in her actions, small steps she takes to see the middle and end of each day.

I have to hold onto my glass of water here, or else she will clear it away to the sink within five minutes. She is constantly cleaning, even though the apartment is as spotless as can be: white walls, white window curtains, white tile floors, and not a speck of dirt to be seen. There are potted plants and flowers around the condo, several in the living room and more out on the front patio. She waters them twice a day. Talks on the phone to friends or family at least six or seven times a day. She walks to and on and from the beach, each time remembering the route she takes to the sand path out loud.

I notice she takes long in the bathroom. Perhaps a sign of getting older.

After dessert, before sleep, she asks, “Frank, do you want to use the bathroom first or should I?”

Their days are a constant organizing of small matters: runs to the grocery store, deciding dinner menus and afternoon naps. She’s invited friends over for dinner tomorrow night, made plans to see a movie on Tuesday. The sun begins in the backyard, bright and eager over the shared, heated swimming pool, and ends in the front, sliding past the still palm trees and the slow-moving golf carts.

I have done nothing today and still feel tired. I sit with Frank on the white couches, under white lighting, as he finishes every word of the New York Times. I am absorbed in my book and we both sit in the quiet as my grandma finishes cleaning, and then joins us with her own book. Eventually, we decide it is time for sleep, and I wander to the twin bed in the guestroom, wondering how I could possibly feel exhausted from a day of eating and sitting, but fall quickly asleep to a soft breeze through the open doors.

High Maintenance

Looking for a nice study break? Creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld (a married couple with considerable talents) bring you High Maintenance, a web series based on a character known only as “The Guy,” who delivers weed to customers in New York City on his bike. There is no extended plot between the episodes, and each stands alone as an individual entity. There is some repetition in characters, but for the most part all of the conflict and resolution happen within each episode. The plot is actually secondary to the web series’ magic; the key resides in the characters. Each episode focuses on the client, not The Guy, and we see an acutely accurate representation of different people in the city. The characters are believable, familiar, substantial, relatable and amusing. They are the unbearably annoying friends, the scrambling for rent so they turn to subletting their spare room, the overworked and anxious assistant. But each comes with an added surprise: the stay at home dad likes to cross-dress; the man who orders weed every week has a secret crush on The Guy; the amazing new girlfriend is actually homeless. As the new character information appears, so too does our interest and investment peak. These are really high quality videos with superb editing, wonderful character development, astonishing visuals of the city, and a hilarious, heart-warming main character. The ultimate allure to this series is that we grow to love and admire The Guy, a drug dealer with a clear conscious, true morals (that may or may not align with the law) and a big heart. Watch a few below and see the rest for yourselves!


It’s not actually too late

Drake and I have a complicated relationship.

I was impressed with his mixtape.

Annoyed by his singles.

Amused at some of his softer moments (and there are plenty)

Thrilled at the scenes from his Bar Mitzvah in his music video.

Disgusted with his first full length.

Awed by his guest verses.

And now, I’m coming around. Maybe his millions of fans have something right after all.

Drake’s newest effort, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, is a joy to listen to. The album stands out mostly because of its production; the beats and instrumentals are powerful, soothing, experimental and refreshing. And his voice, a voice I once criticized for sounding nasally and out of touch, feels correct and instinctive in these songs. The album deals mostly with his sense of place and belonging, which naturally involves not a small amount of talk regarding his home city, Toronto. This album is deeper than his previous works because he addresses a subject that has a lot of substance in it; his talk of fame and wealth and success (although present, here again) is overshadowed by his open contemplations about his life and his home. “It’s too late for my city” he claims on the opening track, “I’m the youngest n***a reppin.'”

Conscious lyrics, amazing sounds, and catchy hooks will have the Drake faithful and nay-sayers alike turning this album on repeat.