Aso – Sun Child

Beer in hand I sat watching as three kids set up a large speaker in the corner of a neighboring yard. A hot day in Venice was coming to a close – an ocean breeze ruffling the palm trees stuck on the block like street signs.

The music started and my girlfriend’s parents creased their newspapers, peering over to glare at the kids in basketball tanks and bucket hats.

Someone nudged the volume up a bit.

What the hell is this.

It was electronic – for anyone over the age of 30 – earth-shatteringly so – liquid synth and mathematical bass keeping time.

I tried to hide my delight as the beat dropped, but my foot gave me away, tapping on the stone tiles.

Look at these guys!

I lamented that the party stretched beyond the range of Shazam, but the moment was cemented – a beautiful, comical, energetic experience in Venice.


Promises Ltd. – American Eyes

It’s just your opinion.

Jodi’s boyfriend nodded his head emphasizing each syllable.

Jodi has an ear for music. She played clarinet in elementary school and was early to the punch bowl when MGMT debuted “Time to Pretend.”

She made mix tapes for her friends, piecing together a track list, connecting beads on a necklace. She grew tired of hearing bloggers rave about “pulsating bass” and “the drop of all drops” so she started writing about music.

Jodi was looking for something. A way to measure quality so that its parts were laid out in front of her, nuts and bolts. But there were so many variables that her head rung, and her boyfriend’s words stuck.

It’s just your opinion.

It was. But her opinion mattered, right? She’d given Roosevelt the time of day. That had to matter.

But she hadn’t gotten any closer to finding a universal measuring stick and was convinced a computer generated algorithm would beat her to it. Or more likely, the Buzzfeed clickin’ generation wouldn’t care, to hungry for more! more! more! to stop.

Then she heard Promises Ltd.’s song, “American Eyes”-

It purposefully created an atmosphere for its listeners to live in. Like a protective bubble, the sound drew Jodi in until she no longer felt self conscious, abandoned all thought of quality, and wiggled into the shaky bass line.

Jodi played her boyfriend “American Eyes” and tried to describe the atmosphere it created, how it yanked at her heels, pulling her into a blissful groove.

But he couldn’t hear it. He preferred Yeezy.

So Jodi panned for inspiration, finally finding it in an old paperback on motorcycle maintenance.

“Absence of Quality is the essence of squareness.”

So she stopped outlining the forms, and instead let them speak for themselves – free to call out to anyone who listened. And when she stopped measuring, something amazing happened.