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Conor Rooney

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Hunter Lord is tall, about six feet like his father. In his early 40s, he sports a long brown beard that he’s been growing for several years. Hunter also has a condition known myotonic dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness. Hunter has progressively worsened, which makes tasks such as speaking and walking especially difficult.

Northside is one of the biggest events that Brooklyn sees every summer. Festival organizers described it as a place where “over 100,000 creative and cultural trendsetters converge in Brooklyn to uncover the future of music, innovation and content.” This past June, for its tenth anniversary in New York City and over the course of 5 days, I decided to volunteer. The job was simple: Sign up for events and stand at the door to check attendees’ badges — a glorified doorman. The perk was that I had the opportunity to go to any show that I wanted to. For opening night, I was scheduled for the Snail Mail album release show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg — it was sold out. And I was late. When I arrived, I quickly took my position in the front hallway alongside another volunteer. Throughout the night, hundreds passed through the dimly blue-lit…

Infiltration By: soldforscrap “Infiltration n.,v. going places you’re not supposed to go in general; covers urban exploration as well as simply dropping in to conventions uninvited and the like.” By no means would I call myself an urban explorer, not by any stretch of the definition. There’s only been one instance when I dabbled in the hobby, and that was by accident. During a trip to Baltimore in May of 2016, my friend and I were introduced to the Mayfair—a once-elegant Vaudeville-era theater located in the heart of the city. If the bus from New York hadn’t let us out a block away, I’m positive we wouldn’t have seen it. We took a trip to Baltimore for a concert; a favorite band of ours was breaking up and that night’s show was one of the last. We were staying with a friend of a friend — we’ll call him Rob.…

Packed away haphazardly under the J/M/Z in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn sits a small alleyway — locally referred to as “Punk Alley.” In it resides a used book store, a used record shop, a cassette-based experimental noise record label and, of course, KPISS: the resident pirate radio station.

New York City in the late 1990s was undergoing a fair amount of changes. Mayor Rudy Giuliani was cracking down on crime and cleaning up a seedy Times Square, turning its grimy sex shops and crime-ridden streets into a gleaming, Disney-like paradise for tourists (what would New York be without the Hard Rock Cafe?). People seemed to be moving back into Gotham. The city was on an upswing of sorts, though not just economically. Culturally, a new generation of kids was reinvigorating what “New York” music could be. Whether or not they thought people would give a shit is another story. During a time where Seattle still seemed cool enough (fresh off of the frenzy that was “grunge”), and polished pop stars like Britney Spears dominated the mainstream radio airwaves, New York seemed old and tired. To be a band in New York during this time was a chore, and…

Can you remember the first song you ever purchased online? What about the last? When Damon Kurkowski — formerly of the band Galaxie 500 — received his royalty checks from BMI for the first quarter of 2012, reality struck hard. For the performance of their song “Tugboat” across streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify, the group was paid just over one dollar. Divided between the three members, their payday had amounted to cents. This is standard practice. It’s notoriously difficult for an independent artist to make ends meet using streaming services, yet those platforms are currently the most popular medium to enjoy music. Last year, Billboard happily declared that “Happy days are here again,” referring to the growth and prosperity of the music industry recently (in large part due to streaming). If companies like Spotify are the future, what kind of future are we referring to? The old model of…

LCD Soundsystem, witty dance-punk pioneers, announced plans today for their second breakup in six years, according to sources close to frontman  James Murphy. The multi-night event will take place over 31 nights this coming December and will be chronicled in an upcoming documentary The Long as Fuck Goodbye. The news comes in the form of another long Facebook post to fans, but it might have raised more questions and enraged more fans than intended. An excerpt reads: “first things first, let’s end this thing with some clarity. For just one more night until the next time, we (james (me) and others (maybe)) will be playing with friends and family for nearly 3 hours or however long I rent the venue for– playing stuff we’ve never played before or just winging it. We’re doing this. This is it. This is happening (again).” The remainder of the 28 page post (we printed it…

State of the Union On Jan. 27, 2017, I parked my car in the Student Health Services lot behind LaValle Stadium—usually an area you’d be hard-pressed to find parking in, now nearly completely vacant. I made my way over to the back doors of the Student Union – a stoic grey building that looked more akin to a prison dining hall than a student space. There was a strange presence to it, sternly imposing itself into the landscape of the Stony Brook campus. Locked,  of course it was. Though the building had been officially “closed” for over a month now, WUSB was still broadcasting from the second floor – just as it had been doing for 42 years. As the campus radio station for over five decades, it’s hard to overstate its importance as an integral factor in developing University culture. Since 1962, WUSB maintained a staff of countless…