#291: Strange Ranger
Strange Ranger on I Am A Genius Podcast, Girly Girl Exercise, Fireball Party Bucket, Frozen Scallion Pancakes, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Strange Ranger to share a taste of their taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Strange Ranger is a New York City + Philly based band made up of Isaac Eiger, Fiona Woodman, Fred Nixon, and Nathan Tucker. In the the last decade Strange Ranger has released some great indie rock records and a crazy mixtape, and yesterday they dropped a beautiful new single on Fire Talk Records titled “Rain So Hard”. The band is also a staple of the NYC music scene; they’ve made remixes with Frost Children, The Dare, and Blaketheman1000, Fiona recently DJ’d our NYFW party, and Joe Kerwin akais presenting their live show on Saturday (3/11) at Pageant. Lucky for us, they’re here to tell us what they’ve been into.
Without further ado
Isaac Eiger (instagram)
🛣 The Climax of Lost Highway
I saw this recently at The Roxy with my friend Ben and it hit so hard. I really liked this one in high school but seeing it for the first time in maybe 10 years, I was kind of shocked by how great it was. To enjoy Lost Highway, you have to shut your brain off and just submit to the movie. At the end, two characters drive out to the desert in the middle of the night looking for a burning cabin they’ve seen in visions and then have sex on the sand, illuminated by the headlights of their parked car. This Mortal Coil’s version of ‘Song To The Siren’ plays. We were in the front row it was crazy.
💻 Life Beyond the Neutral Zone
Lias Saoudi is a musician and writer from Northern Ireland/Scotland. I was obsessed with his blog “Life Beyond the Neutral Zone” during early lockdown. Before Covid, he toured with this pretty unhinged band called Fat White Family and the blog describes his difficulties adapting to life without catharsis. It’s really funny and really sad. Made me feel good when everything sucked.
Ari Solus makes music in Oakland, CA. All of it is warm and cold at the same time. He had an amazing youtube channel which he’s deleted and restored several times but his songs are now on spotify. The internet is so flattened now but Ari’s music reminds me of stumbling across some random vlog with like 200 views and feeling totally sucked into someone else’s life.
Emma is actually a genius and I enjoy recording her conversations with friends and sometimes foes.
Fiona Woodman (instagram)
📖 Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
For weeks after I finished this book for the first time I would think about it every five minutes. I’d be walking around the city and everything/everyone would be glaringly vibrant, beauty and ugliness coexisting and screaming. Everything pulsated with life in an almost uncomfortable way. She’s a freaky genius. This book honestly changed the way I see the world.
🌉 Walking around the city at night while listening to Pavilion Of Dreams by Harold budd
If it’s a rainy foggy night, deluxe. I also read most of Veronica while listening to this album and that combination was true transcendence. Literally gave me chills.
🏋️♀️ Girly Girl Exercise
I made a bunch of wild changes in my life recently. Went sober for a couple months, quit smoking and started exercising like crazy…highly recommend all three of these but specifically I found love for basic bitch fitness. For the first time I fully understand the fanaticism: the light filled mirrored room, Taylor swift remixes thumping in your sports bra bound chest, a tiny nasal bubblegum voice thick with vocal fry assuring you that you are so strong and powerful, ok ladies! Instills this nearly manic feeling of total control and capability and I walk out feeling psychotically euphoric.
Fred Nixon (instagram)
🔥 Fireball Party Bucket
If you don’t know, a Fireball party bucket is a plastic bucket containing 20 bottles of miniature Fireball. You and a friend, or perhaps crush, can go to the liquor store and buy 1 each. Then go out and give the mini fireballs away. Share them with strangers. People love to be given a miniature fireball, even if they don’t like Fireball. They may have had a long day. Stop and drink one with a homeless person. Give some to the teenagers working at the ice rink and they might let you skate for free. Please drink responsibly and don’t drink too many mini Fireballs before ice skating.
🌭 The New Jersey Turnpike
I travel the New Jersey Turnpike frequently, as it is the most direct way to get to New York City from Philadelphia, where I live. I enjoy being in transit. It’s simple. I get to concentrate solely on getting to where I’m going and quiet the rest of the noise. I like to stop and smell the roses, roses in this case being a Nathan’s hot dog or Starbucks coffee. There are so many people out there and they are all going somewhere. I feel small. I appreciate the people who do the less-than-glamorous jobs at the turnpike gas station or wherever it may be so that I can get to my gig. I might give some of them a mini Fireball.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
Carver’s prose is almost more akin to a painting than most stories. Reading this collection felt like peeking through a series of windows I wasn't meant to peek through, an act of eavesdropping on an intimate moment between strangers. He captures snippets of humanity in a way that makes his characters so familiar, despite often knowing nothing about them outside what is happening in that moment. Each story is an illustration of a relationship between people, the way a great painting can be. It’s how I imagine being on the New Jersey Turnpike would be if I could hear the conversations inside the other cars.
💯 Stylo au Plafond
Stylo au Plafond is a cutting edge apparel brand at the vanguard of fashion and high society. Headed by visionaries Matt Michaud and Kieran Sutton, the artists bring vintage button-downs of the finest quality to life with surrealist pop art applied by waterproof fabric markers. Find them on instagram or at styloauplafond.com to get your drip now and your swagometer will read 100 or higher.
Nathan Tucker (instagram)
Michael Mann’s 2015 foray into the cyberthriller subgenre is kind of a complete mess, but I couldn’t look away. It’s maybe his most maligned movie (he hasn’t made one since) and to be fair the acting isn’t great, but it’s visually stunning even by Mann’s standards and is incredibly emotional and gripping for a movie about computers and cops and the stock market. A totally enthralling meditation on alienation and placelessness where all the settings and places feel alarmingly immediate and tactile.
🥢 Frozen scallion pancakes from H-Mart or wherever
I recently discovered you can just buy these at the store and make them yourself and my life has completely changed. This brand is the best I’ve tried so far.
🎹 Bill Evans
Whenever I have an annoying administrative task to attend to, I put on Bill Evans. Often it’s You Must Believe In Spring or Conversations With Myself but it could be any of his records really or just something he played on. His piano playing is deeply comforting to me and at this point has a Pavlovian effect on my concentration that’s more powerful than Adderall.
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