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A Letter To #OccupyWallStreet…

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2011 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , ,

Dear #OccupyWallStreet,

I write with the purpose of explaining why despite my admiration for the rather broad, abstract cause I gather to be your rallying point, you do not represent me as a member of the “99%” nor do I think you’re accomplishing as much in your crusade as you seem to believe.  First off let me be clear in that I am politically moderate, but tend to lean towards the left in my belief system.  I am also well experienced in having to defend an unpopular ‘leftist’ point of view having attended a high school most notorious for producing Bill O’Reilly and a college whose student body more resembled a J.Crew catalog than the idealistic youth typically associated with higher education.

On the other hand, in your defense I should also acknowledge that my opinion is that of an amateur, and that I don’t have a fix all for the current shitstorm we’re in.  I can not lay forth a plan to guarantee you a job or bring justice to the Gordon Gecko worshipping Wall Street elite still bringing in bonuses worth more than the majority of us make in a three-year span, but what I can do is tell you why I think you’re misguided and what I think would be a more effective way of accomplishing what I interpret to be your end-goal.

My biggest question is, what exactly are you trying to accomplish?  I know I’m not the first person to bring this point up, but how are you going to accomplish anything without a clear stated purpose?  I get it that the catchphrases thrown around with #occupy (inequality, greed, discrimination) are all inter-related and probably come together to form your goal, but if shouting about a series of things you’re unhappy with is the plan, you will never change anything.  I have read what you pass off as a “mission statement” and I think it reads more as a list of every complaint ever uttered against a government than a clearly stated mission of intent or ideological summary.  So what does that tell us about your goals?

So far you’ve interrupted the 99%’s way of life more so than that of the 1%.  I want to know how sitting in Zuccotti Park and all the satellite “Occupy” locations is actually going to help our country.  I want to know the reason that the Zuccotti Park Greenmarket, something that seemed to be a beacon of the sort of place you would want to live in, had to be disrupted for you to “occupy” the area?  If you’re going to take down the best sort of movements that the “99%” have, you damn well better have a clear stated intention of what you’ll be doing for those people you claim to represent, and how the inconvenience will benefit them in the end.

Another flaw often pointed out in your “movement” is the lack of leadership.  I know you claim to be a “leadership-less” movement, which is cute, but to me that’s really just blind idealism.  You need leadership.  Any group of people who have successfully made a difference has had clear leaders to represent them.  What you’re talking about seems to be more like a lot of people who grew up idealizing the movements of the 1960s, currently unhappy with their lot in life, acting out a “safe” way to be able to eventually tell their own story of their days as a revolutionary.  There are people coming down to the protests like it’s a tourist attraction, and meanwhile the people who you’re trying to gain the attention of, your nemeses, are only mildly annoyed by your presence.  You’re the dirty hippy classmate that these wall streeters brush by in the hallway going to class and then laugh at once they’re sitting at the lunch table.  The people involved in the civil rights movements that you are trying to imitate were dangerous.  Not in an outwardly violent way, but in the way their opinions and their GOALS were clearly sinking into the overall mindset of the American people.  That clear goal and the way they delivered their message is what led to the success of their own tasks at hand.

That brings me to my next point.  Just as our country is desensitized to war and violence, we are equally so to mass protest.  In essence, the whole #Occupy movement is little more than a trending topic.  Sure its getting plenty of tweets and the occasional celebrity appearance, but what is it really accomplishing?  While you tweet about how many other people are tweeting about what you’re doing and how “occupy” events are spreading across the country, your movement is still an afterthought to the majority of the country.  It shares equal memory in your average American’s mind with #Glee, #ConradMurray and #ThisisWhyImSingle.

Even worse, Wall Street is continuing on with little more than a quick quip at the water cooler about you.  Here’s your proof of how much effect you’re really having at the moment.  We live in a new time where the amount of information transferred every minute has turned us into a generation with unbearable A.D.D.  If you want to make a difference, you have to figure out a way to move past trending.  There has to be the sort of element to your campaign that makes you dangerous without being violent.  I wish I knew the answer as to how to accomplish this.  I don’t.  Maybe if you guys had an organized leadership and not just an ongoing party, they could deliberate on what that next level of protesting evolution should be, and how you could use it to advance your cause.  There is a lot of highly educated individuals in this movement.  Why aren’t you taking advantage of that fact?

Being that this is the age of A.D.D., I promised myself I would keep this diatribe at, or around 1000 words.  I am already over my allotted count so in closing, I would like to apologize if this came across as an attack on #occupy or acceptance of “corporate greed”.  The intention of this letter is to let you know why I don’t consider myself well represented as a member of the 99% you claim to be fighting on behalf of.  I view your movement as unorganized, unmotivated and ineffective.  I would love to remove the “un’s” and “in” from that statement, but until you have as much of a damaging effect on Wall Street’s day-to-day operations as you do on the Zuccotti Green Market’s, I will never be able to fully understand what it is you hope to accomplish.

Regards and Best of Luck,

.001% of the 99%

– RJN

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Update

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 by Two Barbers

Dear Reader,

After about 6 months of cutting our teeth here and learning what blogging is all about we’ve decided that its time for a change in the Two Barbers world.  We’ll still be posting here a couple times of week to satisfy our jonsin’ to write, but we’ve established a grander, ‘easier to find what you want’ vision of Two Barbers and over the next few months we will be focusing mostly on bringing this idea into fruition.  Expect more contributors, a broader topic range and more multimedia aspects once the site is ready.  Please be patient as we promise it will be worth the wait!

In the meantime, please subscribe to the blog so you can still get the posts we do put up sent right to you!

best,

Rich & Matt

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Monday’s Suggestion (01-03-11)

In Monday's Suggestion,Music,New York City,Rich,Uncategorized on January 3, 2011 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , ,

Asobi Seksu Release New Single “Trails”

Asobi Seksu

 

“Trails”, the first single off of Asobi Seksu’s upcoming fourth release starts off in a wall of dissonant, bagpipe-esque noise.  If this were to continue another ten seconds it would be annoying, but in its current incarnation it creates a ‘come hither’ allure that begs you to keep listening.

From there the song opens up into the sort of dream pop that has come to characterize the band’s sound.  Lead singer Yuki Chikudate sings and coos over carefully layered synth and a rolling drum beat heavy on tom work and accented with single shakes of a tambourine.

Overall, there is a sort of hope and wonder to the song that recalls Metricthe XX and Chairlift.  If the new record Fluorescence is full of this breed of expansive shoe-gaze, look for this album to finally push Asobi Seksu from darlings of the underground to mainstream contenders in 2011, similarly to how “Crystalised” did for the XX last year.

Asobi Seksu’s full length LP Fluorescence will be out February 15th on Polyvinyl Records, and the band will be supporting the release with a North American tour.  You can download Trails for free here and check out their tour dates on the band’s myspace.

Recommended If You Like: The XX, Metric, Chairlift

– Rich

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Special Vital Information (12-23-10)

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 Albums of 2010 (Part 4: Albums 1-5)

(5) Glasser – The Ring – My single greatest regret as a music fan this year was sleeping on this album up until about three weeks ago.  If I got this in time for the summer, it would probably have been even higher on this list.  This is one of the most talented groups I’ve listened to in a while and if you aren’t stoked to go see them after watching the video at the bottom of this post we probably can’t be friends…

Standout Track: Plane Temp, Tremel, Apply

Recommended If You Like: Bat For Lashes, The XX, Bjork, Felili

Purchase ‘Ring’ by Glasser on iTunes – Download

(4) Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown – I said it before and I’ll say it again, anyone who downplays Kings of Leon’s songwriting ability saying they are just a pop rock machine with a country twang needs to listen to “The End” and reevaluate.  There is so much soul and depth to this song it’s amazing, right down to the old-time back porch piano outro…

Standout Track: The End, Radioactive, Back Down South, Pickup Truck

Recommended If You Like: My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Mumford & Sons

Purchase ‘Come Around Sundown’ by Kings of Leon on iTunes – Download

(3) The Black Keys – Brothers – Unless you’ve been on an extended heroin binge or spiritual expedition for this entire year you’ve heard this record and know exactly why it’s up here.  It’s good to see these guys finally get the credit they deserve, they’ve been killing it on a smaller scale for almost a decade now.

Standout Track: Next Girl, Tighten Up, Ten Cent Pistol

Recommended If You Like: Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs

Purchase ‘Brothers’ by The Black Keys on iTunes – Download

(2) Minus The  Bear – OMNI – I’ve seen these guys live more than any other band not from New York in the past five years.  This album is their best.  It’s dance-y, it’s technically savvy, and Dave Knudson is my all time favorite guitar man crush.

Standout Track: Broken China, My Time, Animal Backwards

Recommended If You Like: I really don’t know who to compare these guys to, just get the friggin’ album and all their others for that matter.

Purchase ‘Omni’ by Minus the Bear on iTunes – Download

(1) Arcade Fire – Suburbs – Surprise, surprise right? These guys have been top 2 in pretty much every ‘best of’ list I’ve seen this year.  Guess what, there’s a reason for it.  The Arcade Fire is the best band out there not called Radiohead.  They’re music is earthy and natural, yet still progressive and unconventional.  These guys manage to take vagabond gypsy rock and make it sound U2-esque.  Win Butler and crew could be the best band to come out of the 00’s….true story.

Standout Track: The Suburbs, Ready To Start, Month of May, Wasted Hours

Recommended If You Like: U2, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket

Purchase ‘The Suburbs’ by Arcade Fire on iTunes – Download

Honorable Mention: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – okay, soI admit this one deserved to make the actual list.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it though, he’s just such a douche.  Oh well, I guess if Bon Iver can get over that and work with him on this record, I should be able to give him an honorable mention slot. He gets no purchase link though!

The Rest of My Rankings

2010 Albums of The Year Part III (albums 10-6)

2010 Albums of The Year Part II (albums 11-15)

2010 Albums of The Year Part 1 (Albums 20-16)

Glasser – The Treasury of We

– Rich

 

 

 

 

 

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What To Do This Weekend (12/2/10)

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 by Two Barbers

Minus The Bear at Terminal 5 (Saturday Dec. 4th)

If there is any justice at all, Minus the Bear will be counted among the greatest bands of this decade.  Their music is progressive, its innovative, it’s balls out rock…and to top it off, you can dance to it.  I’m not talking the typical arms folded half bobbing your head while trying your best to appear disinterested style of dance you see at most indie rock shows, and no not slam dancing either.  We’re talking John Travolta, Dirty Dancing and Grandmaster Flash all rolled into one big silky smooth movement of people having the time of their lives.

To top it off, Dave Knudson just might be the most underrated guitarist around on top of that.  He’s doing things with multiple part finger tapping and sampling that are changing the way people look at the guitar as an instrument.

There’s a little something for everything in a Minus the Bear show.  It’s an experience well worth giving a try, trust me I’ve seen them live 8 times already.

-Rich

 

 

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Monday’s Suggestion (11-29-10)

In Monday's Suggestion,Music,Rich,Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Fences

If you’re currently in your mid to late 20s and were labeled an “emo kid” at some point in your younger days, chances are Fences, the recording alias of 27-year-old songwriter Chris Mansfield, captured your current mindset on his debut album.

Don’t know if this applies to you?  Let me provide a little more background.

Music: When you were young(er) you found solace in bands like Taking Back Sunday, Saves The Day and Thursday.  You thought the “Blue Album” was awesome, but Pinkerton was Weezer’s classic.

Books: You love Kerouac and Bukowski, Plath and Hemingway and there was a period of time where you obsessed over the idea of existentialism.

Film: With regards to film you had two dynamic duos you lived by (Wes Anderson/Jason Schwartzman and Tim Burton/Johnny Depp).  You made it your goal to find the happy medium between these two personas…and then marry Zooey Deschanel.  This is why you’re now incredibly jealous of Ben Gibbard (if you’re a girl replace Zooey Deschanel with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ben Gibbard with whoever he’s dating).

If any of this sound familiar you’re probably going to relate to Fences.   If not there is still an aspect of your youth that could tie you in…you drove around aimlessly, often for entire nights.  You’d drink in parking lots and go to basement shows and house parties, but mostly you’d just drive around and listen to music, ending up at a diner in the waning hours of the night.

If you’re still reading this probably rings a bell to some degree, and the questions you strung yourself out on while staring out the passenger window of your friend’s 92 Volvo are the same ones you examined in your head as you stared out the subway window on your way to work this morning.  Questions like “where is my life going?” or “what did I do wrong to him/her?”.  These may be the same questions you had back then, but you definitely don’t approach them the same way.

Fences encapsulates this more mature approach.  You aren’t screaming anymore, you’re reflecting quietly.  Where Chris Carraba crafted Dashboard Confessional out of a refusal to move past his high school heartaches as he entered his late twenties, Chris Mansfield has constructed Fences out of a desperate need to get past that time in his life.

Fences self-titled debut album is full of the shoe-gazing self-reflection that so many of us have adapted as our comfort zone.  It’s the soundtrack to a late night drive or a long night at a dive bar.  In fact, I find something fitting about the fact that this album was conceived in Seattle.  Probably because it gives me the same feeling I used to get when watching the cult classic “Reality Bites”.

The bottom line is this album is as therapeutic to the listener as it likely was for Mansfield to write.  If you don’t have your life figured out yet, give it a listen.  You probably won’t figure out anything by doing so, but trust me you’ll still feel a little better afterwards.

Recommended if you like: Cassino, An Horse, Tegan & Sara

– Rich

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Impromptu Post

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Two Barbers

Article Rich wrote for examiner.com about Hotel of the Laughing Tree

http://www.examiner.com/local-music-in-new-york/hotel-of-the-laughing-tree-old-dominion-album-review