Author

James Grottola

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The old video arcades were dark and dirty. They were high-ceilinged warehouses pulsing with a pastiche of chiptunes and electronic sound. For some, they were an obsession. To others they were a space to interact. Video games are one of the few entertainment industries that defines itself by its interactability. But in the case of video arcades, it was also interacting with other people. Some games were competitive, others cooperative, but even the single player games were played in a social space. Then after enough time, like unplugging a machine, the light was gone. The image was dead. Arcades just weren’t viable anymore. Some small businesses have been trying to keep the old idea alive. There are several old warehouses that restore old machines. There are some brick-and-mortar stores which try to bring the old-feel back, and there are now Barcades, half bar, half arcade, in both Manhattan and Brooklyn…

This year, Donald Trump has made waves by spending a lot of money, getting on a stage in front of CNN cameras and essentially saying, “how hard can this president thing be, really?” What started as a funny joke to anybody who seriously kept up with politics quickly turned into a good idea for middle aged people who are confused and scared that the staff at their local Wendy’s are speaking to each other in Spanish while they prepare the consumer’s four large number 10 combos after a long day of buying their children clothes at the Abercrombie and Fitch at the other side of the mall. The same for community college freshman who heard their fathers talk about how Trump is a great businessman at dinner that one night once he became the focus of the 2016 election. At this year’s VMAs, which will go down in history for…

The Early November is a criminally underrated band. The current sound that’s a prevalent mix of pop punk and early-2000s emo that can be found being played by so many bands on the Warped Tour and in smaller clubs is just a rip-off of what The Early November perfected. Their new single, “Circulation,” from the upcoming album, Imbue, is no exception to this. The band recently announced that they would be putting out a new record this year, a follow-up to 2012’s just as underrated, In Currents, on Rise Records. Originally, The Early November received a lot of criticism for signing to Rise, the label that crafted half the mall-dweller’s metalcore soundtrack along with Fearless Records circa 2010 – 2013. However, the records knocked all of this criticism away, producing the absolute bangers that can only be experienced in the purest form live; “A Stain on the Carpet,” “Frayed in…

On January 19th, after the last Bomb the Music Industry! show ever (RIP), I received some insider information that Lil B “The BasedGod” himself would make a #rare appearance on Long Island. Naturally, as somebody who supports Lil B in all he does, I was floored. I spent months in preparation, furiously DM’ing Lil B about various aspects of my life, hoping the only person who’s ever made me happy in my life would do as much as to acknowledge my presence. The following is a diary I kept about “The BasedGod’s” impact on my life. This is the first time it has ever seen the light of day. – February 18th, 2014: The show is announced. The temperature reaches above 40 degrees for the first time in months. A bird hatches from its egg. A mother gives birth to a healthy baby girl. March 13th, 2014: Riots spew out…

Russia’s most famous punk collective, Pussy Riot, recently released new music for the first time since the imprisonment of two members in 2012 that spurred an international movement against Russian censorship. The song, “I Can’t Breathe” is the band’s first English language song. It was recorded late last year in response to the protest around the killing of Staten Island man, Eric Garner. Garner was killed due to an illegal chokehold performed by New York City Police in response to Garner selling loose cigarettes on the street. Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who executed the chokehold was found innocent by a grand jury last December, even with evidence documenting the whole incident on film. Two music videos were released alongside the song. One that shows a compilation of film from the Eric Garner protests in New York. Another shows two of the members of Pussy Riot that were arrested, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova…