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Rules Of Life

I recently read Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney. There is a section where she talks about people always ask her what’s it like to be a successful rockstar while being a female. Do you ever feel like the industry treats you differently because you’re a woman?

Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan, The Joy Formidable: Starting off, I’m an opinionated asshole. The problem when you’re a female what’s come before you, in terms of conforming people thinking you should conforming to, anything outside comes outside of these. A couple of label people in early days told me “Ritzy should be more like this” or “Ritzy should look more like this.” How about being yourself, being truthful in your style? All that stuff is fucking boring. You’ve got to be strong, you’ve got to have to a lot of layers of skin. If you’re not loving the music the other stuff can really fuck you up. It can be tough sometimes but you’ve got to laugh, ignore the rest of it. Stand up for things. I’ve always been of the mindset to let the music do the talking, whatever your opinion is.

Do you pay much attention to critics?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are fine with me. I don’t expect everyone to love it. What I really dislike about album reviews and certain writers is really just the laziness. A lot goes into recording, it all comes from a sincere and heartfelt place, so I’d hope that the writer considering our work put that same amount of effort in. We even had one of the local newspapers say that we are from London, we’re fucking Welsh. Some of these writers don’t deserve to be journalists. Love your craft like I do my music. I take pride in the records that I make, so I don’t want to read a review that sounded like it was written on the toilet. I was reading an article on Pitchfork, and I laughed and told them to go fuck themselves. You don’t know about the fight that goes on behind the scenes. I just don’t like nastiness and personal attacks. Be responsible. And everyone is so scared of the journalists too. The power used to be with the musicians, back when they didn’t care what was wrote about them. Back then artists said things because they meant it, because they believed it. They didn’t care about sponsorship, or money or whatever. Art is meant to lead.


Ones and Sixes is the eleventh studio album by Low, released on September 11, 2015, and was co-produced by the band and engineer BJ Burton, at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In this excerpt, he discusses how to keep things fresh for a band, even after 20 years.

How difficult is it not to repeat yourself at this point?

Alan Sparhawk, Low: Well, I think it is something you have to be on top of, but I feel lucky that I don’t feel like that comes up very often. Every once in a while, you have to wonder “Is this a step backwards?” or “Is this okay? We sound like that, but where does this song need to go beyond that?” I hope we don’t repeat ourselves. I don’t think we do. I know there’s certain traits, and if someone listened to us long enough they could say, “Oh, yeah. Alan likes this certain chord” or “He likes to go from this one to this one a lot.” And that’s fine. We’ve been doing it for 22 years, and at the end of the day the music styles of the world haven’t changed very much. At least [with] The Beatles, technology was changing so fast that it was super recognizable and styles were changing so fast. Now we have computers and stuff, but is there anything new happening in the last 22 years? Is anybody really creating anything new? Hip-hop and R&B are dominating Top 40, sprinkled in every once and a while with some folky person, and then your obligatory two or three Foo Fighters-type bands that are up on top playing arenas.

That’s pretty much the trend. It hasn’t gone to ’50s to ’60s to ’70s. If you’re looking back relatively in history, there have been some new things, but it’s really not much. Point being, if you’re a band that started doing one thing and has been continuing, and you’ve done 10 or 12 records by now, you’re either repeating the same thing over and over again or you’re all over the place in a certain way. I guess I hope we’re more like that. I don’t know that we think about it too much, other than just “Hey, let’s not have the same song over and over again on the records.” Obviously, there are times when I’m writing, and I have three or four songs and think, “Wow. These all have the same vibe.” And you’ll end up using only one or two of them sometimes. That’s probably the most I’ve ever had to think about whether I’m repeating myself or we’re progressing.


From the first line, I laughed. I can relate to this on ever single level. Every thought has been through my mind at least once (except for calling Jesus a bad name.) Come on, we’re hurling in the air in metal tube at 1,000 miles an hour, and people don’t even clap anymore when we land?

Not Just Sports Podcast made this video with two female Sports reporters, Sarah Spain & Julie DiCaro. Regular guys came in and read tweets that were sent to these two women. It starts out lighthearted and escalates quickly.

Then, it turns ugly. Seriously, what’s wrong with some of you?

In October 1990, a decade after marriage to Mary Angela Barnett ended, David Bowie and Somali-born supermodel Iman were introduced by a mutual friend. Bowie recalled, “I was naming the children the night we met … it was absolutely immediate.” They married in 1992.

Just before Bowie’s death in February, Iman sat down with the The Oprah Winfrey Network to discuss how they made their 24-year marriage work.

“We both understand the difference between the person and the persona. When we are home, we are just Iman and David. We’re not anybody else. I think the secret to a lasting marriage is timing, first of all. You have to be at the right time in your life that you’re ready for an ever-lasting relationship, that it becomes first, a priority in your life.”

Bobby Wesson decided to write a post on Facebook about why his wife is a hero. She is a caring wife, a giving mother, and a registered nurse. His thoughts immediately went viral online, and shows that everyone deserves a little caring, a little attention, and a good spot on the couch after a long, long day.


I urge my students to get a usage dictionary… To recognize that you need a usage dictionary, you have to be paying a level of attention to your own writing that very few people are doing… A usage dictionary is [like] a linguistic hard drive… For me the big trio is a big dictionary, a usage dictionary, a thesaurus — only because I cannot retain and move nimbly around in enough of the language not to need these extra sources.

As a teacher, about 90% of my job is getting the students to understand why they might need one.

A usage dictionary is one of the great bathroom books of all time. Because it has the appeal of trivia, the entries are for the most part brief, and you end up within 48 hours — due to that weird psychological effect — actually drawing on exactly what you learned in some weird, coincidental way.

– David Foster Wallace in Quack This Way