The Truth About Working at a Thrift Store

The Truth About Working at a Thrift Store

People think a lot of different things about thrift store employees. Some believe they wash the clothes, some believe they steal clothes, and others think they get first dibs and take the best stuff before customers even get a shot. Find out the truth about thrifting - straight from the employees themselves.

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Wicca Phase Springs Eternal is the Humble Heart of Emo-Trap

It is no coincidence that emo has found its way back into hip hop. This is not just because trends recycle every decade or two, nor is it due to an up-spike in heartbreaks or late-night sneak-outs. It’s because goth-rap has a former emo icon, behind the scenes, quietly pioneering the way.

I’m talking about Adam McIlwee, otherwise known as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. Back in 2005, McIlwee co-founded the legendary pop-punk group Tigers Jaw. Until his resignation in 2013, he was the infectiously dissonant voice of longing for millions of teens and pre-teens alike. After he left, the band moved on, but McIlwee seemingly fell off the map.

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WERS Artist Discovery: Peter Campanelli

Peter sat quietly, holding his guitar, waiting for people to settle in. When the shuffling ceased, he scooted forward and strummed a single chord. It rang out. He pulled his mic closer, and said, “That’s a chord I love.” The set began.

When it comes to Boston multi-instrumentalist Peter Campanelli, personality and craft are one in the same. His music is raw but meticulous, and deliberate but emotional. His face contorts while he sings, and his inflection oscillates between mousy and monstrous. I got a chance to interview Peter, and he walked me through his process, his roots, and his peculiar mind.

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Watercolorsunshine Releases Banjo Cover of Autotuned Bladee Song.

Watercolorsunshine is a Folk musician with a knack for radical reinvention. Recently, he released a heart-wrenching banjo cover of Swedish Promcore artist Bladee’s tumultuous autotune banger, “Destroy Me.” 

The original song is cloaked in rumbling 808s and lined with snappy trap percussion. Bladee’s vocals are doused in autotune and reverb. His music is entirely one of a kind, but if there is a trace to any influences, my guess would be glitzy Dance music from the early 2000’s.

Watercolorsunshine’s cover of “Destroy Me” is fundamentally dissimilar to the original, but both songs radiate deep longing and are beautiful in their own ways. Instead of high-pitched autotuned wailing, you find a rich and delicate delivery, and instead of sub-bass, you find melancholic harmonica. The leading banjo performance is pendulous and gentle. Overall, Watercolorsunshine made a heartfelt, rustic, and momentous ballad out of, well, a Bladee song.

Creating Community Love From Self-hate: Bones and Bones Fans

In the art world, ‘fake’ is one of the worst things you can call someone. This is especially true among musicians, and in Hip Hop in particular. If there is legitimate proof that a rapper does not live the lifestyle that they claim to live, their career will come crashing down and their fans will disown them. It’s as simple as that. But somehow, Michigan rapper and underground titan, Bones, is a rare exception. He frequently switches between vehement threats and miserable self-deprecation, sometimes in the same verse. Each Bones album is packed with as much hate for others as hate for himself. Since his self-declared flaws and shortcomings blatantly contradict the thick-skinned persona that he often boasts, Bones overtly exposes himself as a fraud, a fake. Remarkably, his fans don’t seem to care. In fact, Bones’ transparency is the very reason they love him. 

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Album Review: Makeup Girl - Something New (EP)

If the indie genre was a supermarket, Makeup Girl would be the off-brand cereal that expired two years ago. Yes, Frosted Fakes may be cheaper than the real deal, but people trust their Frosted Flakes and are happy to pay twenty cents more for quality that they can count on. Plus, those Frosted Fakes have been sitting on that shelf for way too long to still be edible - they don’t have a chance. And if mom or dad comes home with a big box of Frosted Fakes, little Jimmy is going to be pissed. He wants his name brand Frosted Flakes and will accept nothing less. He’s not going to waste his one sugary breakfast for the week on an inferior product. 

What can make knockoff items appealing, though, is when they are offer something different than the original. Just making a watered-down version of something successful is never a marvel or a feat; and that’s exactly what Makeup Girl does. 

On their recent Something New EP, the Washington D.C. natives reel out predictable song structures, basic chord loops, and cliched lyrics. Makeup Girl is the Frosted Fakes and Mac Demarco and Homeshake are the Frosted Flakes. The wailing, nasal vocals on tracks 3 though 5 blatantly mimic Demarco’s signature inflection. But Makeup Girl’s vocalist lacks the personality that Mac Demarco radiates. Similarly, tracks 1 and 2 copy Homeshake’s simple and clean production method with smooth chords and drums that sound like they were syncopated automatically from a GarageBand stock setting. Very few musicians can pull this off. One thing that makes a successful attempt at incorporating ironically crappy drums is when the other instruments shine effervescently, making it clear that the percussion is intentional. With Makeup Girl, I can’t tell if the drums are ironic or not because the other instruments’ performances are just as dull. For their next project, I hope the band develops more of an identity, takes more risks, and creates a sound of their own.

Track Review: Big Greg - You Can Have It All

While 2017 has hosted a fruitful comeback for early 2000’s Emo music, we may not be ready to revisit 2009. Big Greg’s new single, ‘You Can Have It All’ is an uncomfortable reminder of how corny, formulaic, and predictable mainstream Hip Hop was eight years ago. With unmistakably Drake-esque “yeah”s, Lil Wayne’s love-song rasp, and an instrumental that sounds like it didn't make the cut on T.I.’s Paper Trail, Big Greg comes with a track so middle-of-the-road that it’s cringy. 

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Frequently mislabeled and painfully slept on, Chicago rapper Lucki is doing something really unique. Between lean sips and eye flickers, he is crafting incredibly witty bars that can take dozens of listens to catch. This is for a reason, too - no other rapper has challenged their listeners to train themselves to uncover dexterous lyrics across polyrhythmic flows, while sounding like their on the verge of a Percocet overdose.

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