… I’m Still Breathing

So I realize it’s been a while since High Voltage has heard from me. I’ve been doing most of my ranting and raving on Philthy (http://blog.philthy.us/blog/) however, now that High Voltage is re-launching I am diving back into the loop. Yes, you’ll notice the site is looking prettier than ever, my column has a fresh title, and I have an updated photo (although only slightly… it was taken roughly 18 hours after my previous photo… six years ago).

(This is the standard “We’ve come a long way” portion of the “Welcome Back” column.) The last time High Voltage re-vamped I was a grad. student at Temple University. All my best friends had moved to Brooklyn or New Jersey, so I was spending my days with… well, not the coolest people in the world (casually homophobic and racist pseudo punks, to be specific). Currently I am teaching at Temple University (God, isn’t that scary?) in the departments of English and Intellectual Heritage and, instead of hanging out with douche bags… well, I really don’t leave the apt. too much. I’m actually quite proud of my Mozzian reclusiveness… plus, it gives me more time to drink PBR and watch the Criterion Collection… which are far more satisfying than pretty much every person I’ve ever met.

Okay, so my solitude isn’t exactly Proustian. I’m still a regular at all of Philadelphia’s venues that matter and I’m a long way from losing touch with what’s going on in music. In fact, if you pick up a copy of the new print issue of High Voltage, you’ll see my list for the year’s ten best albums… However, if you don’t here’s a quick run-down of my thoughts on 2011’s music: Earlier this week I saw The Sounds put on the show of the year (despite their new album being quite lame), Deer Tick’s new one is still blowing my mind (despite the fact that I’d never liked them before), Atari Teenage Riot’s reunion album and tour rocked my socks as hard as they’ve been rocked all year (despite the fact that Alec is the band’s only original member), and I still have an ineffable and indescribable “thing” for petite and quirky (and usually Jewish and Brooklyn-residing) singer/songstresses (despite the fact that I haven’t found “the one for me” quite yet).

And the column’s new name? To the first person to properly assess the allusion, I will buy a drink… Wait, nevermind. That never works and no one ever even bothers guessing. A few months ago I was discussing with my dear friend, Liz, possibilities for a new column name and asked what she thought of “36 Degrees.” She asked of its significance, to which I replied, “It’s a Placebo song about an unloving and unlovable androgynous alien who is beginning to decay.” Her reply? “OMG. That’s perfect for you!”