Chatting with the creative mind behind Bummer Dreams

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Jett Little is a prolific artist known for his abstract album cover artwork he frequently posts on his Instagram. Jett is also the drummer of a budding alternative rock band known simply as Bummer Dreams. I’ve wanted to interview Jett for quite some time now and only recently has he had time in between shows to grace me with some of his inspiring words. First, allow me to set the scene.

It was a warm Sunday night when I decided to call Jett Little. Already I could tell he was in a chipper mood as he was gearing up for a gig he was supposed to play on March 22, 2019. I allowed him to collect himself before I asked any questions. Little did I know his responses would hold more substance that I could have ever hoped for. Jett possesses a character with so much charisma and sanguinity it was hard to keep myself from slipping into informality. However, I was able to keep my cool just long enough to get a few words out of this incredibly talented human being.

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How would you describe your art?

In a very broad term I would describe it as, okay like, have you ever been to a record store and you see all those weird harsh noise seven inches and they’re like really f***ing weird to look at but they’re so entrancing? I don’t know how to describe it. Basically, it’s just a lot of things that influence me and I just combine all of that s**t into like something completely new.

So what are your influences?

My main influences, since I’ve always grown up around music like my entire life, especially punk music, I’ve been mostly influenced by the posters and the advertisements that a lot of punk bands use. I’m always just grabbing stuff from like different art pieces and grabbing inspiration, but mostly it’s like screen printing, and definitely album covers.

Are you the kind of worker that likes making a lot of pieces at once? I notice you post very often.

I just have a constant drive. I wake up in the morning and I’m just like, “I gotta create something.” I just really gotta put my creative energy out there. Whether being music or art or anything like that. Even though I do work on a couple pieces simultaneously I mostly just do one or two pieces every single day just to get my constant addition to creating art fulfilled.

In other words, art is like your lifeblood?

It’s literally the thing that’s has taken over my entire life. It’s the only thing I really care about. I definitely prioritize art and music over everything so it just dictates my entire life. Its how I survive through my day without freaking out. I just think its really important to have an outlet to express your emotions. I consider myself a pretty emotional person. My therapy, the best sort of therapy, is just like just constantly playing music and doing art.

Do you have a creative endeavor that you’re most proud of?

I don’t know. I love all my pieces. There’s definitely a few I would much rather show a large audience but I don’t think I have one piece that’s just like, “that is the one.” I feel like I’m always evolving as an artist. It’s just very good to evolve as a person. So I can’t say one piece is like my magnum opus cuz I think I’m just gonna keep on making more pieces that I’m satisfied with in the future, hopefully.  An aesthetic I was really into a year ago is going to be completely different now. My vision always changes.

It keeps your artwork fresh.

Oh yeah, it does, it does a hundred percent. Nobody wants to fall into the hole where like they just constantly follow what’s trending and they never leave mediocrity. They don’t follow their own path they only follow everyone else’s. What really drives me is following my own path and doing my own stuff.

Who inspires you?

I’ve grown up around artists my entire life. There’s a lot of artists I’ve found on Instagram and stuff that just like every time I look at one of their pieces I just have to create something, I get so many ideas.

Is anyone in your family an artist?

Yeah! My entire family is artists. Both of my parents were both in bands in the 90s and my dad used to screen print. On both sides, everyone is an artist or a musician. 

Do you have a motto that epitomizes you as an artist?

Not a specific motto, but a couple ideologies. Keep on evolving. Never change what you do for something that isn’t worth it. Don’t be a sheep basically. Stand out from the others.

What has been a defining moment for you as an artist?

My first time displaying art at an actual art show. I met this chick named Victoria at another art show and she was a really good photographer and painter. We later discussed on Instagram, because she has shows I think once or twice a year called Color Theory Club. I was just really getting into art, like making pieces every day. I was just like, “Hey maybe I can get one or two pieces at your show?” And she actually said yes, I was freaking out. So getting my art displayed and getting compliments from real people I don’t know. That’s definitely been a super proud moment of mine.

Moving away from defining moments, what’s a big struggle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?

I never want to feel like a disappointment. Like people say, “you’re not being a f****in doctor? You’re just gonna sit on your ass all day and twiddle on Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator? You’re gonna try and get a job from this?” I constantly hear that. In order to be a mature person, you gotta not be bothered by naysayers. They just think art is like painting or some s**t.

Given your mindset, what do you want to continue improving on specifically?

I definitely want all my pieces to be more pleasing to the eye. Your job as a graphic designer is to make stuff that’s nice to look at. My constant drive is to make stuff that’s good to me. I want to learn how to express my ideas more and make more things where people can get the message. I feel like I make a lot of vague messages in my art. People always ask me, “what does that mean, are you suicidal or something like that?” Like they always get the wrong idea from my pieces.

It’s been great talking to you, where can people who are interested in your art find you online? 

They can find me on my main Instagram @himomletsgo and my bands Instagram because we’ve been playing a lot more shows lately, @bummer.dreams on Instagram.

And they can also find your band on Apple Music correct?

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Apple Music, Spotify, literally everything. 

Perfect, thank you very much. Your artwork is really amazing. Being able to watch an artist grow is almost a privilege in itself. I can’t wait to see what you put out next because I know it’s always going to be something different. 

Exactly, thank you for setting this up!

150-word track review: Patience – Tame Impala

After almost four years of radio silence from Tame Impala, Kevin Parker has finally decided to grace our ears with a brand new single. I honestly have no idea if this song is actually good or not It’s just incredibly exciting to hear something made exclusively by Tame Impala.

The song of course is by and large about Parkers supposed disappearance.

Has it been even that long, did I count the days wrong?

However, he also takes the time to explain himself. Maintaining the fact that he’s working on refining his art and time is not of the essence.

I’m just growing up in stages, living life in phases. Another season changes.

The track is standard fare for Tame Impala. It’s poignant and introspective with a contradictory instrumental to clash with Parkers melancholic voice.

We have been patient enough as an audience. It’s time to give this track a listen.

150-word track review: Numb Numb Juice – Schoolboy Q

Following the death of his friend, Mac Miller, ScHoolboy Q has remained ostensibly silent. However, it would seem that a new release from the LA rapper is on the way with the release of his newest single “Numb Numb Juice.”

In this track Q gives his take on what he considers “bitch shit” even going as far as to sneak diss fellow emcee 6ix9ine.

Telling on your mans so you can scram, yeah, that’s bitch shit

The rapper blends several different flows on this track on top a beat masterfully curated by the likes of Nez & Rio, DJ Fu & Baby Keem.

The music video that premiered the same day as the single features several pop culture allusions like the now infamous Elon Musk, Joe Regan interview and the 1998 film Belly.

You could be numb and not to listen to this track, but if I were you I would give it a listen.

How Solange uses repetition in When I Get Home

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Repetition in prose and poetry is typically used to emphasize a feeling or an idea. A distinct rhythm is created by repeating various phrases or words that are meant to have an impact on the audience. If such is true for music, which it definitely is, then everything in Solange’s fourth studio album When I Get Home can be considered impactful.

Taking inspiration from some of the great soul artists of recent past like Stevie Wonder and Coltrane; Solange’s new record consists of long repeated verses, anecdotal references towards her life in Houston TX, and incredibly precise production. Solange being the de facto core producer of her own album meant she had a lot of creative control over all sonic elements. In an interview with Pitchfork, she called producing her “heart and soul” and revealed that:

it is rather difficult as a producer to be reduced to just the songwriter or just the artist when you spend 18 hours editing one drum sound….We’ve come a long way from that for women, but it’s still got a little ways to go—the way we’re able to have that conversation about Rick Rubin but we’re not extending that conversation to others

With that being said, it’s clear that her use of repetition was instrumental in communicating her feelings towards her hometown and by extent her life in general. She corroborates this once again in her interview with Pitchfork:

With this album I had so much to feel. Words would have been reductive to what I needed to feel and express. It’s in the sonics for me.

It certainly shows in the production of this record that Solange certainly had a lot to say about how she felt. Every track plays like a vignette focusing on one specific aspect of her life in Houston or black culture as a whole. This is achieved by her masterful use of repetition, which is by far the most captivating facet about this LP. Something repetition can emulate, especially in terms of musicality, is prayer or meditation. The repeating of a particular phrase or sound is typically used to facilitate a zen-like state in the individual participating, and the same can be said for When I Get Home.

The repetition of words can cause the listener to feel like they’re slipping into an out of body experience. The words become ambiance, their latent meaning cemented deep in the minds of the audience whether they’re fully conscious of it or not. Several tracks can pass without the listener even noticing. For some artists this may be the adverse reaction they’re hoping to achieve but for Solange this is a calculated choice.

Perhaps this effect is also thanks to Solange’s sonorous vocal performance throughout the whole record. She commands a soprano style of singing whilst blending a plethora of other tones and musical genres together. It’s more than just a soul record; it takes a variety of styles and mishmashes them into a genre-bending experience. This is yet another deliberate choice made by Solange. She takes the time to pay homage to the chopped and screwed style of remixing which was pioneered in Houston in the late 1980s and early ’90s. This tribute is best heard in tracks like “Almeda” and “The Sound of Rain.” However, the aforementioned dream-like effect created by Solange is best demonstrated by the opener of her album.

The very first track of When I Get Home begins with Solange repeating the phrase “things I imagined” and after the time signature changes, in one big crescendo, she repeats “taking on the light” before the track finally simmers down and seamlessly transitions into the following interlude. At a glance one might notice a possible disadvantage that comes with this style of music. The lack of complexity in her lyricism makes her music incredibly simple. However, what she lacks in lyricality she makes up for in pure substance. Her voice essentially becomes the music, rather than just layering over top of it. So much is apparent in “Things I Imagined” which features a piano that plays in time with her singing and in the same key as her voice. Her overwhelming focus on the sound of her record is self-evident and continues throughout the entire release. This is ground rarely tread by artists so hearing it done now is very refreshing.

Solange isn’t trying to hide anything with When I Get Home, each track is within itself, a piece of her life manifested in the form she loves and knows best. This is why her roots played such an important role in the creation of this record. Perhaps the free-flowing style of production she chooses is supposed to mimic her thoughts in some way. The audience, while drifting themselves, navigates through the fragmented memories as they go deeper and deeper into the track list. Just as Solange moves freely throughout her mind the audience is reminded of their own past and roams about their consciousness. With that being said the album is noticeably immersive.

Solange can evoke even the most ridiculous of imagery and emotion with her constant repetition. For instance, in the previously mentioned track, “Almeda” Solange repeats the words “Brown” and “Black” then follows it with seemingly random words that reference alcohol, luxury cars, and sugar. Creating symphonic assonance within the track. While it may seem like random gibberish to some, it’s actually a solid defense of southern black culture and exhibits the pride she feels in being a part of it. If this wasn’t explicit enough “Almeda” gets its namesake from the area located in Southwest Houston. However, what’s really interesting about this song is how it keeps in line with what the rest of the album is accomplishing. Nothing about the production of the album or overall quality is being compromised in order to communicate these complex themes clearly and this is a difficult feat to pull of gracefully. However, Solange does this effortlessly.

There are a lot of layers present in When I Get Home and Solange systematically peels through each and every one of them in order to get to the core. The core being her most visceral convictions and emotions. Solange allows herself to be vulnerable on this album and attacks the most personal parts of her soul. The audience floats past her most intimate sentiments and memories amongst a sea of hundreds other that play just like it. The final track “I’m a Witness” acts as a perfect sendoff for the listeners. It’s a slow ballad that ends the same as the first track did, with Solange repeating the phrase “taking on the light” with iambic stress on the word light. It’s almost like a prayer, a gesture of hope and cheer. Whatever story it’s telling the most important thing is that it’s coming directly from Solange. No matter what track you’re on Solange makes you feel at home.

Why the #Vanschallenge is so strange

vans.jpgFor the past few weeks, heaps of individuals on Snapchat and Instagram have been flooding the platforms with videos of them precipitating their sneakers to see if they do indeed always land right-side up. There are thousands of videos about the so-called #Vanschallenge that both debunk and corroborate the validity of the claim at hand but what’s so interesting about this new trend is the sheer volume of attention its garnering. All the concentration has been on the seemingly magical properties of the shoe itself but something nobody has brought up is why this even happens in the first place.

Vans are created using a process called vulcanization. It’s a process that involves the heating raw rubber to cure it which in turn creates crosslinks inside the rubber compound bonding it together. However, the part most should be interested in is the sole of the shoe. The sole and outsole part of the shoe is made out of the heaviest material and goes through the most change during the vulcanization process.

The rubber shoe outsole parts are assembled onto the lasted upper before the rubber is completely cured. With the sole attached, the entire shoe must be heated in a vulcanizing oven. The shoe must be heated to around 110˚C  for 80 minutes. Due to the fact that the sole contains the most mass, this means two things; Gravity will pull down on it with greater force and it takes a greater force to accelerate it.

Once you throw or drop a Vans shoe we now have to deal with air resistance. The force of air resistance acts on all parts of the object equally because gravity accelerates all portions an object equally when acting alone. In the case of these challenges, it usually is. Less massive parts of the object take less force to accelerate. So we have an evenly distributed force of air resistance acting on an object with uneven mass distribution. The less massive end will be slowed more than the more massive end. So the rubber part of the shoe AKA the sole lands first, usually.

However, what many have failed to realize is that this process is true for most other shoes. The soles of shoes are made to withstand the force of movement and the harsh environments humans are exposed to on a regular basis. The soles of men’s and women’s dress shoes are typically made from high-quality leather, rubber or a combination of the two. Casual shoes and work shoes often feature soles made out of natural rubber or polyurethane. It’s only natural that every shoe regardless of the brand would have the quality of always landing right side up. Such has been true for the people who have tested other brands of shoes like Converse and Nike and yielded the same results.

It makes sense that such an accessible shoe brand like Vans would be the poster child for the internets newest craze. Alternatively, the tweet that effectively started the viral Internet challenge does single out Vans shoes specifically.

The one nice thing about this challenge is that since its inception no one has taken it too far, yet. If this is gonna be the the things humanity loses their heads over, then so be it. It’s better than actually losing our heads.

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How to find new music

So a lot has already happened in the new year and I’m three months late to the party. First R. Kelly gets indicted, then the Michael Jackson documentary gets released, and then for some reason, the Jonas Brothers come back? My life has been a little overwhelming recently but I’m prepared to start writing consistently again. Today I’m going to do an article I’ve wanted to for some time now, but first, here’s some context.

I’ve prided myself on the fact I listen to varied music for several years now. There’s something nice about listening to sounds that not many others have the aptitude or the time to hear themselves. In my growing catalog of music that is my Apple Music library, you can rest assured knowing that there’s a little something for everybody. However, it’s not very easy to keep that up.

For years I’ve tried various methods in order to keep my music playlist’s fresh and even so there are points where I end up listening to the same song over and over again for several days at a time. This article is going to detail a few methods that I use to find new music in order from most accessible to least.

  • Mixes and Playlists

A feature exercised by most popular streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify is their discover playlists. These are mixes created by complex algorithms tailored to your personal taste. It’s the simplest and least labor-intensive way of finding new music. Apple Music and Spotify have playlists upon playlists they’ve created that follow any number of random stipulations.

Some confine themselves specific moods and genres, others are created by fellow users. With the amount of music available on these platforms and the vast number of playlists being made, it’s incredibly easy to find new and inspiring artists to listen to. The only challenge comes in sifting through all of them. As a general rule of thumb; if a song doesn’t capture your attention by the first thirty seconds it’s unlikely it’s going to do so in the next two or so minutes. At that point, I would just move on.

  • Asking Friends

This method is a little less reliable but still works depending on who your asking. The friends you ask should be dependent on what you’re trying to focus on musically. If you’re lacking songs from a specific genre ask a friend who is a self-proclaimed expert on such. If you’re anything like me you’re likely to have a lot of friends like these and therefore are apt to have a large catalog of music to sort through. 

If you’re not picky about any genre or artist a general poll works just as well, if not, a little better. Asking publicly on social media platforms or online forums is the most common approach I use. Just be prepared to get a lot of music you’re probably not going to like. Everyone’s tastes are different and what some people hear as good may not sound as pleasant for others.

  • Going Outside

This is my most archaic method of finding new music but it’s given me some of my favorite songs. Often times in restaurants, coffee shops, or even just metropolitan areas in general, some ambient music is played in the background for one reason or another. Whether its to fill space or just the make the room feel more alive there’s always music playing somewhere.

If you ever hear something out in public you like just Shazam it or make out some of the lyrics and search them up on Google later. It’s incredibly hit or miss but it’s one of the most valuable techniques I’ve started using. It’s especially helpful if you go to places focused on music like record shops and festivals. Opening acts to concerts work too, provided you don’t know the artist already.


These are just a few methods I personally employ but I encourage everyone to find their own methods that work for them. Music is consistently released at an increasingly fast rate and the fraction most are going to be able to examine should hold something special. It’s always thrilling diving deep into the rabbit hole of an artist you feel like you’ve just discovered.

150-word track review: Nobody – Mac Demarco

Mac Demarco returns from his last musical venture almost a whole year later with one of his most stripped-down, minimalist singles to date. It’s a divergence from the sound he’s most famously known for but it seems to be a natural departure from his previous album This Old Dog.

“Nobody” is a single from Demarco’s upcoming album Here Comes the Cowboy. The music video released alongside the track features him in lizard makeup, a cowboy hat, slowly bobbing along to the soft guitar strumming, and mouthing along to the lyrics. It’s a strange concept that has meaning to nobody else but him, however, something tells me he prefers it that way.

The only sad thing about this release is that some people went and assumed Demarco was surreptitiously attempting to divert attention away from, Japanese artist, Mitski’s album of a similar name that released a year prior.

How Stupid.