Supreme Loves Coltrane, Beyoncé’s Clothes, and ‘Shadow of the Colossus’: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. We’ve got two very different looks at how music interacts with fashion: one is an examination of Supreme’s use of John Coltrane in an early skate video, and the other is just a funny, service-y evaluation of Beyoncé’s new clothing line, Ivy Park. There’s also an essay on the new wave of emo, as well as a revisitation of Shadow of the Colossus, one of the most beautiful video games of all time.

At Pitchfork’s The Pitch, Jake Woolf pairs John Coltrane with Supreme. Early on in the life of the now-iconic skatewear brand Supreme, the company commissioned a skating video from filmmaker Thomas Campbell, who directed on Super8 and scored the clip with the first two tracks of Coltrane’s masterpiece, A Love Supreme (get it?). Woolf dives in to the parallels between jazz and skating, which go beyond the improvisational nature of both.

And despite what the X Games may suggest, the actual culture of skating is built more around socialization than competition. There are no scoreboards. Even though it’s often thought of an activity for misfits and troublemakers, there’s actually something beautiful about skating’s democratic qualities. Supreme was able to make a video that displayed this beauty while creating something warmer and more inviting than anything that came before it without dulling skateboarding’s rough edges.

At Jezebel, Jia Tolentino did the Lord’s work by trying on every piece of Ivy Park clothing. It’s a silly, barely-there concept, but Tolentino sells it with her self-deprecating, very funny voice. There’s not even much to say beyond the premise, so just some highlights:

The Ivy Park name for athleisure panties is the “mid-rise dance pant,” which sounds like the exhaling move that Britney Spears did in the “I’m a Slave 4 U” video, and looks like…whatever that looks like to you.

and

I tried on the small and two-thirds of my chest immediately fell out of the top of the sports bra. Buy your size if you’re into tits and restricting your own breathing; if not, buy one, maybe two sizes up.

and

I must disclose that Beyoncé and I have an intimate relationship consisting of A) both being from Houston; B) me seeing Destiny’s Child perform at the rodeo in 2001 and purchasing one (1) “backstage pass” on a lanyard; C) me narrowly missing her and Jay Z in 2007 as they exited a standout H-Town chicken ‘n waffle institution called The Breakfast Klub; and D) my ninth-grade cheerleading tryouts being judged by a former member of Girls Tyme.

Maria Sherman writes at Fuse about emo and its renaissance, and zeroes in on the way this new crop of bands has adopted an ugly aesthetic that takes something “cool” — from vintage indie rock bands — and makes it “uncool.” The ever-present negative connotation of emo continues to hang over the scene, too, but it seems to be a thing people have either chosen to ignore or simply live with.

Sorority Noise is an emo band. Like all acts branded with the three-letter word, they don’t enjoy the classification, but they accept it—to them, language is pointed and instituted exclusively on a foundational level; if people connect to it, it’s fine. The song “Using” is their best to date and thoroughly encapsulates this idea: in the chorus, Boucher scream-sings, “I stopped wishing I was dead / Learned to love myself before anyone else / Become more than just a burden / I know I’m more than worthy of your time.” Reading it feels like he’s actively working through something, hearing it feels much more declarative, a performative self-assurance. “Fake it ’til you make it” here is a balancing act, a conversation of mental difference.

At KillScreen, writer Gareth Damian Martin revisits Shadow of the Colossus, a video game released in 2005. The game focuses on a single character who rides a horse and has a sword, and he must conquer skyscraper-sized colossi who roam the barren world for no known reason. He draws real-life parallels to the game’s barren landscape, which is both haunting and beautiful.

Shadow of the Colossus is filled with fictional proof of a long passed human presence. Though the central tower of Dormin’s shrine suggests that this land is a holy place, not a home, the map is scattered with broken halls, fallen towers, lonely arches. The scale is monumental, but there is something distinctly human about this trail of ancient evidence. Perhaps there is nothing more humanizing than death. Even the Pyramids of Giza, those vast monuments to belief in human immortality, have an aura of grief hanging over them, one of the deeply personal experience of loss and losing. A tomb is a powerfully different space to a grand shrine or cathedral, though they often occupy the same land.