By: Derek Spencer
Do you do drugs? Are you transgressive? Are you blasé about your transgressiveness? Do you have daddy issues? Are you into lo-fi? Do you like samples? Do your daddy issues cause you to make lo-fi renditions of your dad’s favorite bands? Do you own a bell set? Do you use overdrive and eq plugins to make things sound more lo-fi than they actually are? Have you ever mic’d up an electric guitar not plugged into an amp? Are you so blasé that you sit in your dorm shower and look upward expectantly? Are you so blasé that you use a picture of you sitting in a dorm shower and looking upward expectantly as your album art for a very blasé collection of songs? Do you use samples? Are you infatuated with the melancholy side of mundanity? Do you think smoking weed helps you write good songs? Do you use samples in your lo-fi indie rock? Do you try to demonstrate the puttering pace of your post-adolescent life by setting the bpm of each track to “cough syrup”? Do you break the law? Is your stand-out track called “Lonely Walks in Tangier”? Is it about walking with a person who quotes Faulkner? Are you too blasé to recall said Faulkner quote? Do you live in a literal swamp? Are you indebted to existential philosophy and contemporary cinema in ways that you have yet to discover? Are you ultimately trying to be Bob Dylan by doing only things Bob Dylan wouldn’t do? Are you alone when you’re around other people, even your dear uncle Jesse? Do you believe that pain in the world is only kind of bad, and sometimes you even think that pain in the world is a good thing? Do you sometimes try to emulate pain in your art by making the listener suffer? Have you taken acid to try and make an important decision? Have you played basketball for longer than you planned to because it’s what your friends did but then you started to enjoy it and now you still sometimes play basketball casually? Do people tell you that you mutter? Do you think you’re slightly funnier than people give you credit for, which is to say you think your sorta funny and other people think you’re only kinda funny? Have you ever made a meme? Have you ever pronounced “meme” as “me-me” as a joke? Did you ever imagine that playing ukulele would lead to you having more sex than if you didn’t play ukulele? Did you get a cell phone slightly later than your peers? Did it affect you? Did the pond run out of water? Muddle into decay? Did the kitten purr? Did the mermaid slurr? Do you know the way out? Do you know the way out? Does the moon beckon? Did you write a song about it? Did you write a song about writing a song about the moon beckoning? Will you someday read this series of questions to a group of people as an act of self-indulgent performance art about mediated art and the interesting yet futile role criticism plays in the digital world? Will it be good? Have you ever listened to your own album in full? Did you like it? Did you wonder if you’d be the only person to ever listen to all of the songs in order and give each one their full attention, the way you meant them to? Did you imagine that maybe 100 people might do this? 1,000? Did it make you feel good and sick? Did it make you want to record another album? Did it make you feel okay eventually? Did it hurt? Did you forget that pain is good? Are you scared? Are you scared? Are you scared? Did you write an album before called Die Until Ur Not Alive Anymore? Did it get reviewed here, 2 weeks ago? Are you great? Are you a prime example of a Michael? Are you my favorite Michael?
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you are Michael Byrne, aka Dirty Mike, aka the genius Michael behind Latin is Latin for Latin. Congrats!