Silent Generation

Silent Generation is a Chicago based cultural analysis podcast that covers topics in art, fashion, politics, and urbanism. Find us on Instagram: silent.generation

Listen on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn + Alexa
  • iHeartRadio
  • PlayerFM
  • Samsung
  • Podchaser
  • BoomPlay

Episodes

Monday Apr 01, 2024

Electroclash is a musical genre that was most popular from 1999 to 2005 and is described as being a 50/50 mixture of electronic and rock music with an ‘80s bent. Unlike prior electronic genres, live singing, dancing, and stage performance were deployed by electroclash musicians who wanted to channel the theatricality and sex appeal of 1980s rock stars. To help explore the genre Joseph and Nathan are joined by Maya, also known as Mayalabae, a Chicago native who is now a DJ in Montreal. They begin by playing four of the biggest hits to come out of Electroclash and then identify common characteristics across the genre. Amongst other things they discuss Nathan’s favorite song as a child, Fischerspooner’s lecture at SAIC, the normie lows of the mid-2000s, the documentary Clash of Cultures: The Rise of the New Electro Scene, Liquid Sky (1982), and Lady Gaga’s accidental actualization of the electroclash agenda. 
 
Links:
Maya’s Electroclash Playlist
Nathan’s Electroclash Playlist
Clash of Cultures: The Rise of the New Electro Scene (2002)
Liquid Sky (1982)
Party Monster (2003)
Get Happy by Happy Thought Hall
Electroclash: A Brief Cultural History
 
Artwork:
Screenshot of Miss Kittin from Clash of Cultures: The Rise of the New Electro Scene
 
All song clips used in this episode are claimed as fair use
 
Recorded on 3/30/2024

Ep. 17: Vaporwave w/ Drume

Saturday Mar 23, 2024

Saturday Mar 23, 2024

Vaporwave is a 1980’s inspired musical genre and aesthetic that thrived on Tumblr from 2012-2020. Broadly, vaporwave musicians slow down and remix samples of 1980’s songs in order to evoke nostalgic memories of the Reagan era, Yuppies, and globalization. On this week’s vaporwave episode of Silent Generation, Joseph and Nathan are joined by Peter (a trance musician known as David James Drume), who previously made vaporwave music under the name Eleven Eastern. They begin by briefly discussing the genre’s musical origins before delineating the aesthetic elements of vaporwave art: early 3D graphics, Greek New Media Sh*t, Japanese text, Japanese fine art, and cityscapes. Amongst other things they discuss Joseph’s high school 3D animation class, New Classical architecture, fears of Japanese ascendency during the 1980s, vaporwave’s appeal to suburban men, and the perennial popularity of vaporwave music on Chinese urbanist Tiktok accounts.
 
Links: 
Drume’s Soundcloud 
Resuscitation Hymn by Drume
Eleven Eastern on Tumblr
Greek New Media Sh*t
Flossing by Six Dogs
レッドYOLO
Cityviews888 
TradCath E-Girl Summit
 
Artwork:
AI
 
Recorded on 3/17/2024

Ep. 16: Yuppies

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

Yuppies get a bad rap. In his seminal work The Culture of Narcissism (1979), Christopher Lasch described how the coming generation of baby boomers would broadly exhibit symptoms of pathological narcissism such as hedonism, envy, greed, and an aversion to aging. Yuppies (young urban professionals) migrated en masse in cities during the1980s and were the apotheosis of their generation’s narcissistic pathology; they had wildly successful careers but each promotion and salary increase was never enough. On this week’s episode of Silent Generation, Joseph and Nathan begin by acknowledging these traits but then approach Yuppies from a warmer angle, examining the beauty of their clothing and expressing gratitude for the ways in which they helped revitalize cities during the 1980s. Amongst other things they discuss sweater vests, slicked back hair, shoulder pads, and if Trump was a Yuppie. They then conclude by discussing Yuppies in a modern context, addressing if they still exist and contemplating where you can find them in Chicago. 
 
Links:
Yuppies Pinterest Board
The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch
The Yuppie Turns 35 by Luke Seemann
The Political Distinctiveness of Young Professionals: "Yuppies" or "New Class"?
Eric and Donald Trump jr.’s slicked back hair
How the biggest yuppie of the 1980s became the white working class’s president
Whatever Happened to the Yuppie by JPCrocks 
The Yuppie Rap
Pajama Crawl
The New Yorker’s politically polarized duplex cover
 
Artwork:
Lisa Diserio and Richard Ryan dressed for success on Fifth Avenue in New York City
 
Recorded on 3/10/2024

Monday Mar 11, 2024

Sky Cubacub is a local artist who designs custom clothing for the full spectrum of gender and ability through their clothing line Rebirth Garments. While the majority of the garments Sky now makes are made out of stretchy spandex material, much of their early work was made out of chainmail and they remain one of the World’s foremost chainmail artisans. On this week’s episode of Silent Generation, Nathan (former Rebirth Garments intern) gets to interview Sky and explore the symbolic meaning of chainmail in Sky’s work and in broader culture.Together they discuss buscars, Radical Visibility, Princess Irulan’s chainmail look in Dune pt. 2, and how listeners can get started making chainmail. 
 
Links: 
Sky’s Instagram
Rebirth Garment’s Instagram
Rebirth Garment’s Shop
Sky’s YOUmedia chainmaille videos
Chained by Rebecca Mojica
The Ring Lord
 
Artwork:
Pansarskjorta - Livrustkammaren - 19247
Creative common liscense provided by Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury)
 
Recorded on 3/3/2024

Ep. 14: The Olympics

Wednesday Mar 06, 2024

Wednesday Mar 06, 2024

In anticipation of the impending Summer 2024 Paris Olympic Games, Joseph and Nathan question why the games seem to appeal to people who are otherwise uninterested in sports outside of the Olympics on this week’s episode. They point to the opening ceremony, “hometown” athletes, and (comparative) lack of corporate advertising. They then address the highlights and lowlights of the 5 most recent Summer Olympic Games: Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012), Rio de Janeiro (2016), and Tokyo (2020). Amongst other things they discuss host city public transit expansion projects, the velodrome in the Chicago suburbs, the dark side of the Olympics, their favorite Olympians, rugby,  and how cute the 2024 game’s mascots are.
 
Links: 
London 2012: Indian Gatecrasher at Opening Ceremony Identified
The Tokyo Olympic’s Gymnasium 
Poland by Lil Yachty
The Good, the Bad, & the Snowy of Salt Lake City Transit
IOC Salaries 
 
Artwork: 
Flickr: Rome Olympics 1960 - Opening Day
 
Recorded on 3/3/2024

Ep. 13: The Fresh Coast w/ David

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Shifting to fresh water, why does America undervalue one of its greatest natural resources? The Great Lakes are in many ways culturally invisible; many Americans underestimate their size and economic importance. On this week’s episode of Silent Generation the boys are joined by their friend David (a recent transplant and Great Lakes enthusiast) to discuss how the Midwest needs to be divided into the Great Lakes and the Great Plains in order to boost the region.  The former should be rebranded as America’s third coast, the “Fresh Coast,” in order to start making the region more attractive to incoming climate refugees from the Sun Belt. They also discuss the “Dirty Coast,” the idea of the logo map, Michigan’s Pure Michigan ad campaign, their predictions for A24’s upcoming Civil War film, and the “Jell-O Belt.”
 
Links: 
The Great Lakes shipping routes graphic
The Death and Life of The Great Lakes by Dan EaganHow to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr
Immewahr’s Logo Map tweet
Pure Michigan’s Steam Locomotive Ad
Great Lakes’ ice cover doing almost the unthinkable
 
Artwork:
Great Lakes including Canals and Tributary Navigable Streams, 1948
David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries
 
Recorded on 2/18/2024

Ep. 12: Seapunk

Saturday Feb 17, 2024

Saturday Feb 17, 2024

Seapunk was a subculture and musical genre that emerged in 2011 after people started sharing ‘90s aquatic imagery on Tumblr, and Nathan (Silent Generation host and ex-Seapunk) gravitated toward it while he was a diver in high school and adopted the aesthetic. While Seapunk, Nathan created an extensive 120 slide slideshow that documented the Seapunk subculture as it was actively happening that he shares with Joseph on week’s episode of Silent Generation. They walk through Seapunk’s origins, founders (Lill Internet, Ultrademon, Zombelle, Unicorn Kid), fashion, music, fame, lull period, resurgence, and permanent decline. Amongst other things they detail Grimes’s involvement with Seapunk, the week when both Rinhanna performed Diamonds on SNL & Azealia Banks dropped her Atlantis music video, Slimepunk, Icepunk, and Nathan's many close calls with meeting other Seapunks. 
 
Links: Nathan’s Seapunk Slidedeck 
 
Artwork:Kevin Heckart 
 
Recorded on 2/11/2024
 
All song clips used in this episode are claimed as fair use

Ep. 11: The '70s

Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

The ‘70s can be construed as being one of the darkest decades in American history. Crises such as stagflation, declining union membership, the 1973-1975 recession, the Energy Crisis, and the Vietnam War all occurred simultaneously. Said clothing produced during the ‘70s showed a shallow optimism which can be seen in garments like newsboy caps, satin shirts, bell bottom jeans, tube socks, and platform shoes. In addition they discuss the dominant colors of the ‘70s (brown, avocado green, and harvest gold), the consumer rights movement, yoga pants, and share intel they gathered from family members who were alive during the ‘70s. 
 
Links: 
The ‘70s Pinterest BoardHow Color Choices Echo the Economic Climate and Why It MattersThe Last Days of Discomen_satinshirts
 
Artwork:Pauline and Dairn, New York, 1970CC BY 2.0 DEED, Attribution 2.0 Generic
 
Recorded on 2/8/2024

Monday Feb 05, 2024

This week the boys are joined by Kone, a local fashion designer who co-owns the eponymous Kone Ranger clothing brand along with his brother Kevin. Kone Ranger opened up a permanent location in Avondale in 2022 to offer Chicagoans the opportunity to buy handmade Western-inspirted garments. But what do cowboys mean to Kone? To answer this question, they begin by critiquing both the function and form of the various elements that make up a cowboy’s’ outfit: cowboy hats, handkerchiefs, Western shirts, chaps, and cowboy boots. They then address broader ideas such as the connection between cowboys and knights, the appropriation of Western clothing in other regions of the country, the difference between cowboy uniforms and cowboy costumes, and gay cowboy films (Broke Back Mountain and Power of the Dog).
 
Links:
The Cultural Myth of the Cowboy, or, How the West Was Won by Jennifer MoskowitzMark Maggiori’s paintings ‘Hey Y’all!’ Tries Friend From New JerseySweetgrass by Lucien Castaing-Taylor
 
Artwork provided by Kone Ranger
 
Recorded on 1/28/2024

Ep. 9: Department Stores

Thursday Feb 01, 2024

Thursday Feb 01, 2024

Department stores are in many ways the ultimate third place. You can use them to meet up with friends, to avoid the elements, to get a bite to eat, to look at interesting displays, to get advice on your wardrobe, and to buy a wide variety of consumer products. So why are they declining and what can be done about it? This week Joseph and Nathan begin by talking about the early history of department stores (with particularly sharp focus on Chicago) before talking about their personal experiences in department stores. Amongst other things they discuss The Crystal Palace, Goth Target, Richard Nickel, the connection between department stores and the death of the flaneur, and Chicago’s North Lawndale community area. 
 
Links:
On the Birth of the Flaneuse by the Flaneuse ProjectIT’SUGARThe Robinson-Patman ActLevy’s in Nashville, TNThe Department Store is Dead by LovewhatyousellGlitching through the matrix at the State Street Macy’s by its.murt
 
Recorded on 1/27/2024

Image

Joseph & Nathan

Joseph (left) grew up in Las Vegas and works in construction management. Nathan (right) grew up in Chicago and works as a librarian.

 

Contact us with any questions or suggestions at:

silentgeneration.chi@gmail.com

Copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20240320