Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died
I never had a hatred for disco the way so many older folks seemed to. Maybe it’s just a generational thing—processed electronic beats are the defining quality of the pop music landscape and have been for a long time now—and that explains why such a visceral dislike of one kind of music never made sense to me. Still, that hatred manifested itself the night, July 12, 1979, that more than 50,000 disco haters showed up at Comiskey Park in Chicago to destroy a bunch of records between games at a doubleheader, an act of almost inexplicable weirdness. Thankfully, this book helps unpack that seemingly incomprehensible bias: Disco Demolition is an oral history of sorts, featuring interviews with nearly everyone involved in that fateful night. Best of all, it provides a glimpse into the cultural atmosphere that led to such destruction, an ideology of protectiveness about rock music that’s almost charming in its old-school faithfulness to the purity of the genre. Whether you love disco or can’t stand it, this book (with a foreword by Bob Odenkirk, no less) makes for gripping reading. Though, to be honest, the copious pictures are even better. [Alex McCown-Levy]
Few internet treats bring me as much joy as the Twitter account Dog Solution (@DogSolutions). A friend introduced me to the magic of this feed a little while ago, and I will be forever grateful to her for it. The concept is simple: silly dog photos paired with text that reads like it’s coming from a semiliterate dog. The pictures are cute, but it’s the language that gets me. There’s something brilliant about Dog Solution’s mangled syntax and how it manages to be innocent and wise. I don’t profess to know what a dog would sound like if it could talk, but I think Dog Solution has it pretty spot-on. It captures the sweet, dopey, eagerness of dogs—or “degs” as it often calls them—and through that manages to end up being profound. Dog Solution has lessons to live by:
It also features pups in funny costumes.
It is perfect. [Esther Zuckerman]
Synchronicity: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
I haven’t seen Synchronicity, the 2015 thriller about a time-traveling physicist that’s currently lurking somewhere in your streaming queue, but I have heard the soundtrack composed by Ben Lovett, and honestly, that may be enough. Lovett’s not exactly breaking new ground here; there are the requisite elements of John Carpenter and ’80s Tangerine Dream heard in the scores of plenty of other modern sci-fi sleepers similarly created as homages to Blade Runner, David Cronenberg, and half-remembered VHS covers—not to mention electronic artists like Pye Corner Audio and the soundtracks of Cliff Martinez. Still, Lovett wrings a surprising amount of emotion from his sweeping, arpeggiated analog synth lines, its video game pulses and pensive moods recalling not only those forebears but also Daft Punk’s Tron in the catalog of films that are just as fun to listen to—or possibly, even better. Maybe someday I’ll actually get around to seeing whether that’s true. [Sean O’Neal]