5 min read

mrtw #5

I review a restaurant, IDM, going to a show, the state of Pennsylvania, and cough drops

Welcome back to Miranda Reviews the World, a weekly newsletter in which I review things that are not music inside my music newsletter. Today we will be discussing a fancy dinner I had, cough drops, my first experience with live music in a long time, both the genre of IDM and the experience of posting about IDM, and Pennsylvania as a state. Not in that order.

A Prix Fixe Meal

For my boyfriend's birthday we went to a restaurant in West Chester called Andiario. It's a place that only does reservations and they open up one month at a time and it's all very fancy. They give you sparkling wine while you wait for your table to be ready and all that. It's the only place I've ever been that was prix fixe for the four courses. No choices, just whatever was presented. Now, as someone who has struggled extensively with an eating disorder I'm nervous about restaurants and especially this sort of environment where you don't have choices.

I'm fascinated by the way people can love food. My boyfriend likes the restaurant environment a lot and was excited to have a meal that's like.. designed to be harmonious and beautiful. He feels comfortable there in a way I never could. I feel nothing about food on the best of days and it always feels like a waste to spend a lot of money on it, even if it tastes nice. All the food tasted nice. It's nice to go out and do things. But I fear spending 10 years of my relatively short life obsessed with food in this negative, horrible way has stripped me of the ability to enjoy one of the basic wonderful things about being a person.

There were really nice potatoes though.

Score: 5.0 / bummer start to the newsletter?

IDM

Friend of the Pod and noted Animal Collective tattoo haver, Ted Davis, explained to me that IDM stands for "Intelligent Dance Music" and it really broke my brain for a good few hours. I just could not accept that the 'I' stood for Intelligent. Not sure what I thought it stood for. Maybe industrial? I'm not sure. But it turns out it's kind of just like a snobby way to describe electronic music that wasn't meant for dancing. More of a way to look down at (Unintelligent?) Dance Music than a real good genre descriptor. Or at least that's how I've taken the genre.

Of course, I tweeted this confusion I was having and found people have strong opinions. People also made good jokes about alternative meanings for IDM, but when I called it "electronic music for pretentious radiohead fans" or something like that... all it got me was men in my dms calling me a stupid bitch for I guess insulting Caribou or whatever.

That said.. in an interest of developing a more well rounded version of my already sparkling personality, I have decided to listen to some IDM as curated by Ted. He sent me albums by Caribou and Jan Jelinek and Aphex Twin and Farben and as I listened through I found it filling a lot of the gaps a lot of the more abrasive music I like does. I often look back to the emo iceberg and listen to a random screamo band from halfway down it so I have something not distracting to listen to while I write or apply to jobs or whatever. All the IDM stuff I listened to is enough to just wash over you, but without the anxiety and keyed up aspects of heavier music.

I don't know that I really get it, but I feel like I get the appeal and I do feel like this made me more nuanced as a person. That's what matters. Character growth.

Score (listening to the music): 6.8 / imagine being the guy from dntel?
Score (being called a stupid bitch online because of a tweet about IDM): 1.2 / cannot recommend

Ted is a very good writer that writes very good things like this review of a new Sweet Trip album and this interview with Thank You Thank You.

Cough Drops

This was suggested to me. Do I have thoughts on cough drops? I absolutely do. I really like them. Only the cherry ones, though. No other flavor is very good. I think there's just something comforting about it. I'm kind of a more is more person when it comes to this. I don't have to be sick to have them around. Woke up after the air conditioning was on too high? Have a cough drop. Sm*ke w**d for the first time in a long time and remember why you don't do that? Have a cough drop. Someone else in your household is sick and the package is just there? Don't mind if I do.

Score: 8.0 / kind of a silly term

Pennsylvania

I've lived in PA for almost a year and I will say it's kind of a silly state. State run liquor stores are an affront to my Illinois sensibilities. I would like to drop by the gas station or local CVS to grab some beers, but I cannot do that here. I don't like that it costs money to come back into PA from New Jersey. The suburbs here look like Michigan. I don't like that they call it the Penna Turnpike on signs. Nobody says Penna. Just seems weird. Minimum wage is federal minimum wage? Including Philly? Not good. Summer has been miserably hot and humid and raining, too (wearher gets a 5.4).

But I do like that sales tax isn't 10.25% or whatever it is in Chicago now and I like everybody I've ever met who is from Pennsylvania or lives in Pennsylvania. I like that the winter doesn't hurt. I like the rivers in Philly and the way there isn't 1000 music festivals throughout the summer. I imagine I'll enjoy Pittsburgh when I go there in October. I don't plan to leave yet.

Score: 7.9 / I almost moved to Boston.. I shudder to think..

Live Music

I went to a live music show on Thursday! It was affectionately titled the DIY Super Bowl and it was just fun. Live music is so fun. It did feel weird to be out in a crowd like that, but it almost felt weird how much it felt normal? It was more of an "oh yeah" moment than anything completely foreign or forgotten. People were all wearing masks in the main room so that's different, but not different than everyday life so it didn't feel weird.

It's the first venue I've been to in Philly and it was neat to finally feel like I get to do some stuff I was excited about doing when I committed to moving here ages ago. Even if Underground Arts kind of has the vibe of Bottom Lounge. One band tried to call a wall of death. Another band covered Modern Baseball. It was fun.

My pal Ali was there and look this fun pic of me taking a pic of her.

Score: 9.3 / I love to do things