No Expectations 027: Life Go Low
A culture news roundup plus great albums to check out from Villagerrr’s Mark Scott and Washer.
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Week in Review:
I’m trying something different for the newsletter this week. I couldn’t decide on an essay for this edition of No Expectations so instead I’m going to run through all of my semi-fleshed-out blog ideas and call it a news roundup.
Midyear list season is already in full swing
It’s early June but pretty much every major publication has put out their Best of 2023 so far album lists. Pitchfork did a month-by-month breakdown of the year’s best new music while Stereogum just released their Top 50. You can also check out lists from Spin, Vulture, and the Guardian. It’s great to see LPs from Superviolet, Kara Jackson, and Feeble Little Horse get love along with Wednesday claiming the top spot at SG. Spin’s had the most new-to-me picks in their alphabetical list. At No Expectations, we believe that the halfway mark of the year is July so expect a roundup of great new music here then.
A ridiculous infographic from internet artist Brad Troemel, a guy known for satirical web-based stunts like a fake Joe Biden ad and other meme-ready bits, went viral last week purporting to show that Taylor Swift fans are unionizing. “Fan Work is Real Work,” says one of the graphics. This isn’t actually happening and it’s an obvious joke (no Swiftie knows what the UMAW is) but it wasn’t enough to stop people who should know better believing it’s real. Take a look at this incredulous blog from The Mary Sue that couldn’t figure out if it’s satirical or not. “I can’t find the original source of the Taylor Swift Fan Union,” they write. All you had to do was do a cursory search on Twitter or Reddit or Google! It took me five seconds. This is just one person who blogged about it but so many media and culture reporters couldn’t tell that it was a goof.
EV automakers like Tesla and BMW are planning on removing AM radio from their electric cars citing costs and claiming that it interferes with the technology in the vehicle. This is bad for a couple of reasons like threatening the future of sports and talk radio (it would suck to not be able to access WGN and 670 The Score in Chicago) but also that AM radio is the linchpin of the Emergency Broadcast system. There’s a proposed bill designed to force automakers to keep AM installed in their new cars but this won’t be the last time companies trying to cut costs potentially harms an entire industry that people rely on.