7 Things, Features

Matthew Wilder, Shai Hulud and the Beastie Boys: 7 Things We’re Into This Week

Named after the glorious, if negligibly inaccurate Miley Cyrus song, The Sympathizer HQ delivers to your computer and phone screens (or iPad–if you’re that guy) a spanking new column. A weekly round-up, “7 Things” presents you with 7 things we’ve been into this week–songs, records, books, podcasts, both old and new. You’ll never be left not knowing what to do with your weekend again.


Thing 1: Matthew Wilder


My fave thing this week is not a thing but a person: Matthew Wilder, the genius behind the 80’s hit “Break My Stride.” The other day, I was watching live videos of him performing “Break My Stride” and wow, looks wise, he was a poor man’s John Oates,  but sound-wise, he was somethin’ else. Apparently his real name is Matthew Weiner, which is probably someone else’s stage name, and he currently works as a record producer who has graced albums of the likes of No Doubt, Kelly Clarkson, and Christina Aguilera, among others. He also was the singing voice for this guy from Mulan, so if you don’t love him already, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. – Reina Shinohara

Thing 2: Lincoln’s S/T

Lincoln’s S/T album, a disc I wrote about a few weeks ago, for my single-album bands column, has been back in my daily rotation, these past few weeks. 19 years old, this season, I discovered this jam as a college freshman, having seen them open for They Might Be Giants at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium. The band was above-average 90s opening band fare. Nothing you’d call home about, but one of us bought the disc, anyway. That album was the soundtrack to my first fall and winter away from home, losing my virginity, trying pot, playing my first shows, etc. It’s been back in the rotation for unknown reasons, but in this time of uncertainty, I’m feeling those old feelings for the first time in years. Newness, a state of transition, I don’t know. Lincoln, that simple album of unadorned and modest pop rock, remains my perfect soundtrack for transitional years. – Brook Pridemore

Thing 3: The Penguin Podcast: Richard E. Grant With Elvis Costello

 Earlier today, I stumbled across Dramaworld, a comedy-drama series about an American college student and massive K-drama enthusiast who, with a glint of magic, gets transported to her favorite Korean TV show. I’m not a Korean drama enthusiast by any means, but the concept mirrored my one-sided, flirtatious relationship with Elvis Costello and my lifelong quest to be a problematic girl in one of his songs. As you know, I’ve had very complicated feelings about Costello’s Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, and have been thinking about our brief conversation since his BookCourt signing last fall. He whispered to me, stale aroma of whiskey afloat in the air, that I should probably “pay my compliments to the ghostwriter.” He was probably kidding but I held his insensitivity—everyone knows not to joke with a fangirl—against him. In this Penguin Podcast, which I regret to have discovered almost a year late, Costello joins Richard E. Grant in conversation to discuss his memoir. He brings with him five objects that inspired his book, including his first guitar, old photo albums from his Dad’s days as a professional performer (which include pictures of young Costello himself sitting by the family record player) and a referee’s whistle. My feelings about the book remain ambivalent at best, but listening to Elvis talk, particularly about the time his mother got into an argument with Orson Welles over a record player, brought a big fat smile to my face. – Gauraa Shekhar

Thing 4: Shai Hulud’s “Sincerely Hated” 

File Shai Hulud’s most recent release under “Things to Listen to When You Want To Punch a Wall.” Let’s be honest, aiming your fist at the drywall (as Eminem puts it) is much less enjoyable, and will cause significantly more bruising, than this. All bets are off for their live shows, though; jumping in the pit for this song or any others off the EP may be hazardous to your health. Fun fact: the band is named after the giant sandworm from Dune, which is pretty badass, although not as badass as their EP’s title: Just Can’t Hate Enough x 2 – Plus Other Hate Songs.  – Ruby Johnson

Thing 5: Fox Network’s Lie To Me 


As unrealistic and unfulfilling as most TV dramas are, I still have my collection of go-to binge series on Netflix. I’ll admit, I have a problem. I’m your usual law and crime show junkie. One thing I can’t help but argue is that Lie to Me is the most captivating show inspired by real people and events in their archive. If you like psychological mindfucks and scientific theories, you’ll love this show. You may even learn a thing or two while you’re watching. If you’re the reading type, check out the book the show is based on, Telling Lies by Dr. Paul Ekman. – Cevenly

Thing 6: The Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

I walked into a record store in Brussels today, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by The Beastie Boys blasting inside the shop. I was tired of walking and very cold, and the song revitalized me. It’s a classic, and might just be what you need right now. I bumped around the shop, excessively shaking my head, freaking out the bland-looking man behind the counter, and it was awesome.  I recommend everyone take another listen to this masterpiece this week.  – Siya Bahal

Thing 7: Avril Lavigneavril

 My thing this week is a gentle reminder that Avril Lavigne had the two greatest albums of 2002-2004 (aside from Evanescence’s Fallen). I’ve been mourning the loss of my Canadian scene queen ever since the onslaught of Chad Kroeger, and taking it back to the oldies is always quite nice. For all the people whose favorite Avril song is fucking “Sk8er Boi” I beg of you to repent and let your soul sink into deep cuts like “Take Me Away” or “Mobile” or “Forgotten.” PLEASE. – Krista Caproni

The Thing After Miley Loses Count But Still Miraculously Adds Up To 7: Young@Heart’s Cover of The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated”

 Oh god. How do I–where do I–you know what? Just watch this. You won’t be sorry. – Gauraa Shekhar

November 4, 2016

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