Coming this fall

A new issue
every other Friday

NYC conference deconstructs the non-profit industrial complex / by Chris Lee

What do we talk about when we talk about the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC)? When we talk about the non-profit sector, we’re talking about a trillion-dollar industry with a GDP the size of a developed country. We’re talking about 10.7 million employees, who make up 10.1 percent of the national workforce. We’re talking about a glaring contradiction, a shaky rhetorical basis on which a massive machine presumes to work for the people, against the logic of return on investment, all while enforcing and policing the politics of economic necessity.

These are the jarring truths we face, so long as we strive to provide social services within the framework of late capitalism. The human impact, the reality of human participation and implication, is worth noting. Non-profit organizations concern enormous amounts of capital and commodity. They also concern local communities, our friends and families, our allies and partners, activists and organizers subjected to the perpetual Ponzi scheme of grant-writing, fundraising, and deferred aspirations for meaningful political . . .

Philly's First Time's The Charm, featuring 16 new bands / by Jenn Pelly

Can you feel music more if you are inside of it? As a non-musician of many years it is something I’ve wondered. You don’t have to make music to get it, obviously—in fact distancing yourself from the process, or from the scene, offers necessary and valuable perspective. Even for the most skeptical of non-musicians, the divide between “musician” and “fan” can sometimes make what an artist does seem like magic. But that line is so slim. It doesn’t take much to destroy. Setting the question of technical skill aside, why does one creative person find an instrument or voice, and not another? Are today’s best musical ideas inside the minds of people too careerist for music? What if Patti was like, “Hey Lenny, on second thought, I’ll just read the poems alone…”

Such thoughts trickled through my head in the week leading up to First Time’s the Charm, a radically inclusive music festival in Philadelphia last weekend that encouraged people to believe in themselves. The festival’s intersectional goals were well-defined from the outset: First Time’s sought to usher new, underrepresented faces into the Philadelphia D.I.Y. music community. Taking cues from similar festivals in Portland and New Orleans, registrant bands . . .

Stream debut LP by Boston's Parasol

“We take no time to make it / with none left to spare,” sings Parasol’s Lily Richeson on “Not to Spare,” the sixth track from her band’s excellent debut LP, Not There. “Misdirected / anxious / gasping for air / but you’re not there.” It’s a song about “feeling stretched totally thin and disconnected from everyone around you,” Richeson says. “How can so many of us feel so alone in a city of over 600,000 people? What is that feeling and why does it happen?” The ten-track album, out in January via four different labels (Nervous Nelly, Square of Opposition, Lauren, Lost Sound), follows two years of excellent tapes and singles from the Boston trio, whose energy has resonated strongly in certain corners of the radical, feminist punk world since 2011.

Parasol is a rare sort of pop band, balancing sweet-sung, relatable sentiments of longing and introspection and isolation with a staunchly radical, anti-oppressive ethos. “Maybe a song about working absurdly hard and constantly dealing with transience and precarity

just to get by in a city overrun by colleges, finance, and tech and pharmaceutical firms doesn’t come off as immediately political,” says drummer Jake Bison. “But at the same time, it’s a song about fighting to stay on top and to do good shit in the midst of capitalism trying to crush all of the life out of you.”

Self-defined as “anarcho pop,” their merch table often includes tapes full of songs about crushes and transient friends, alongside “Destroy Patriarchy” patches.

Today we are very excited (!!!!!) to premiere a stream of Not There. “Not There to me is just this way of explaining the absence of something,” Richeson says. “It could be a person, the sun during the winter months, energy to create, to work, to fight against...” Check it out below, as well as our conversation with Lily, Jake, and bassist Vicky Cassis about how the album came together, their experiences in Boston, how their (anti)politics inform Parasol’s songwriting, and more . . .


by Grace Ambrose and Nathan Albert
Fake ass scene.

by Antonio DePietro and Louis Ferrara
My wingman.

by Pandora Christ
Your muse this month is a suitcase, cause you're going places.

by Katie Alice Greer
The second installment of Katie’s investigation into musical fandom.

ABOUT                              CONTACT                              CONTRIBUTORS                              DONATE