Heart of stone, rind so tough it’s crazy / that’s why they call me the avocado, baby. Shouted alternately by a cheerleading squad and lead singer, this hook appropriately announces the return of Los Campesionos! in the single “Avocado, Baby” from their new album No Blues. It’s a little bit ridiculous, catchy and self-deprecating, and classic Campesinos.
Because of my tendency to mumble vague feminist claims, or perhaps because of my decade-long ugly duckling phase, I have always been pinned with the word “jaded.” I suspect this is because my first crush called me “chipmunk face” too many times, so I eventually beat him up in second grade and then gave up on romance before I knew what it was.
This July I was standing in a dusty schoolyard in Nansana, Uganda listening to Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care” at a party for the NGO where I worked for two months. My stomach was full of a mysterious barbecued meat and the Ugandan equivalent of PBR my boss had purchased for the occasion. I asked my friends who had been cooking what I had just eaten.
Bombay bicycle club is one of scores of bands with a slightly ridiculous name that falls loosely into the category of “alternative,” and can be counted on to release albums frequently with subdued critical approval. This group, like its Pitchfork-friendly peers, has a healthy fan-base, instrumental competency, and a distinctive lead vocalist, but falls through the cracks all too easily.
To telescope is to slide concentric components within themselves, to shrink sequentially, to densen. It is also a means of interstellar discovery, of flooding, of applying pressure. In the succeeding entries, we telescope the weather by precipitating and saturating our memories. Each succeeding memory of a series is composed in exactly half the number of words of the previous. Condense with us.
I am walking home from the U-Store around 10pm on the first night I can remember not feeling cold after sunset. My Arrested Development poster of Tobias’ jean shorts keeps falling down and I need tape, but they only have the University-approved wall adhesive that mothers buy on your first day of college that you never use.
Mary is cooking breakfast in an ordinary kitchen in a subdivision with a pool in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She pauses for a moment when she catches her reflection in the brushed metal surface of the new refrigerator.
For most people of faith, the idea of heaven or Paradise or the afterlife is a pleasant one. Beliefs differ, but having a personal or cultural view of what happens (or what doesn’t) after the heart stops beating is pervasive in humankind, if not universal. Regarding my personal belief, consideration of the afterlife has little to do with its existence or even my chances of getting there.
Some of us seem to have our futures mapped out to a T, from the high-profile internship we’ll take after graduation to the suburban condo where we’ll raise our first yellow lab. But this summer, I didn’t have time to rehearse.