New stickers! (Also, some playlists) / by Kevin Alcantar


I have a complicated relationship with self promotion. Namely, I’m terrible at it, perhaps as a result of not liking when people do it. When I'm forced to do it, I find myself rolling my eyes at myself. I hate networking events and every time I have to talk about myself or my work, I feel myself dragging my ego kicking and screaming out from the void. I'm trying to be better about it. Part of that is accepting that just because I am showing off what I do or what I make doesn't make me a sell out. So, here I am, trying to self promote without judgement, primarily from myself.

All that being said, I'm quite excited to share this run of “Tough Shit” stickers with you all. Limited numbers for now as I test the waters. Ideal for when someone cuts you off in traffic, you turn your high beams on at them, continue following them with aforementioned high beams on, miss your exit because you are now consumed in your pursuit, comically speed past them, and finally cut THEM off all while giving them a flash of your nifty “Tough Shit” sticker on your bumper. For those of you that enjoy stepping on someone’s Yeezys, cutting in front of someone standing on an escalator (they are shaped like stairs for a reason), or telling people that Quentin Tarantino is overrated (his best movie is Jackie Brown. Come at me.)

Or you could slap it on your laptop.

I'm also behind on sharing some playlists with you all. Feel free to follow on Spotify if you want to keep up to date on those. Again, just for fun but I hope you will find a song or two you enjoy from lurking around:

Week 6:

This week’s playlist is entirely a celebration of David Bowie, his music, his collaborations, and the music he is inspired during his sprawling career.  Includes some covers and songs that sample his work, like that amazing track by UNKLE. 

No artist has had an impact on me as much as Bowie has. Discovering David Bowie’s music was an important moment for me. Bowie’s music changed the way I listened to music and perceived art. After devouring his oeuvre, I looked at every other musician and couldn't help but mutter, "You need to try harder." Growing up a weird, socially inept kid in South LA, I found solace listening to his music and thinking that if David Bowie can do even half the weird shit he has done in his career, I can feel perfectly comfortable being myself. When dealing with anxiety and depression, Bowie’s music was a place of comfort that could bring me back down to Earth while simultaneously taking me to the depths of space and beyond. 

Thanks Starman and happy belated. 

Week 7:

Unintentional but in retrospect the playlist has a vague sensuality to it, if not outright sexuality (Prince song of the same name not withstanding). I mean, not counting “Ocean Man” by Ween. That’s been stuck in my head and I figured it’s inclusion wouldn’t be the unwelcome. Also, I feel so excited to share that amazing 1965 gospel of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” by Brothers and Sisters of Los Angeles (also known as the Los Angeles Gospel Choir). It is an amazing track and a reimagining of the Dylan original I never knew I needed.

Mandatory inclusion of The Cranberrie’s classic “Linger.” The Cranberries were one of those bands that I loved but never took the time to sit down and explore their discography beyond the songs most people know. Shame that it takes loss for us to take the time to learn about and appreciate the things/people around us. Maybe that’s a bit too heavy but I can’t help but think about how often people’s family members die and you hear some variation of “I wish I had taken the time to learn more about them.” Something to contemplate.

Week 8:

Lots of goodies this week. "Spring Session M" by Missing Persons is a close to perfect album in my opinion that really should get more recognition in the public consciousness. "Billy" by Drama Duo had been stuck in my head for a long time and I was waiting for the opportunity to share it. "Palo Alto" is a ridiculous, aimless, dreck of a movie with unlikable, self-absorbed characters that only exists because of Coppola nepotism and material written by a Hollywood celebrity. It is a meritless movie whose relevancy will only be talked about in the future because of Autumn Durald's cinematography and the decent soundtrack. Robert Schwartzman (and Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange , although he did not include any of his tracks on this playlist) does great job crafting electronic soundscapes that capture the ephemeral qualities of life that the movie tried to convey but failed to communicate in any meaningful way.

And I can't end without mentioning Prince's sublime rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U." Sinead's version is a classic but hearing it performed by the man himself is nigh transcendent. Fingers forever crossed that The Family's version with the Prince vocals is one day released from the Paisley vault. 

Week 9:

Finally, this week's playlist includes some A1 old school shit. The first couple notes of the Prodigy's "Breathe" is enough to get me feeling like I want to thrash around some dingy 90's Berghain-esque warehouse. Or I could get rejected entry and drive home while Grace Jones' cover of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" plays of the car speakers. 

I also included some tracks from artists I've only recently stumbled upon. The Chinese hip hop scene is burgeoning with loads of talented rappers. VaVa is one of the more interesting rappers I've heard and that track is straight fire. No, I can not rap along to it and no, I don't know what it says. One step at a time. 

Tune-Yards win the award for the song I've been humming most often in the last two weeks. "Coast to Coast" encapsulates a lot of the claustrophobic, unnerving feelings I think people have been toiling over since the start of this current administration. 

Also, Kendrick and SZA. Nuff said.