After almost two full years, Mind the Gap Zine is shutting down…but not forever. You’ll still be able to read all of our archived posts, and maybe one day we’ll reopen for business, but for now, we bid you adieu!
An abandoned Tube stop. Source.
I loved having this website with Sam. I couldn’t have picked a better, more upbeat and enjoyable website partner and I couldn’t have done this without her. I may have gotten less posty by the end, but I never lost my love for this website which I view as a time capsule of our pop culture loves in a two year period. Thank you all, for even reading one word, we appreciate it.
Before I say my goodbyes, I’d like to thank my writing partner-in-crime Jane for coming up with the idea of creating a zine in the first place! For two years, it’s given me a space to shout about the people/places/things I love. Even if only a handful of people read my work, it’s nice to pour my enthusiasm out somewhere in all its CAPSLOCK-ed (and parenthetical) glory. A sense of pride in the site and the burning need to fangirl forced me to adopt a writing schedule that I hope I can still maintain (because if I don’t write on the regs, I might die). And I got a lot better at throwing words onto a page (sorry for all those times my posts were super rambly, the more excited I get, the less sense I make).
If, for some wild reason, you’re still interested in reading my words, you can always check out the pieces I contribute to idobi radio…and I won’t be able to stay away from blogging for too long.
About a month after we come back from New York City, my sister and I are heading to Scotland because YOLO (but also a music festival).
Heck yes we’re going to TRNSMT’s first ever festival. We only have tickets for Sunday, but that line-up is glorious and totally worth it (plus who knows what other small shows will happen on Saturday night!).
You know how I recently fell into a Whovian black hole with no intention of coming out? Luckily, Glasgow loves the Doctor as much (or as more) as I do, and there’s a handful of Whovian attractions to see – including several TARDIS-es!
Any time I’m in the UK, I enjoy partaking of their tea-lightful ritual of afternoon tea. I actually haven’t had afternoon tea in Scotland before, so I’m excited to try it – this image is from the lovely Willow Tea Rooms but there are so many other options out there!!
Even though we fly in/out of Glasgow, we’re spending two days in Edinburgh. So far, we have dinner reservations at The Witchery, and I want to go back to the cemetery where J.K. Rowling pulled some of her characters’ surnames.
Because I’ve already trash-talked Dean Forester and waffled over Jess Mariano, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to my favourite of Rory Gilmore’s boyfriends: Logan Huntzberger. I know that Alex and Emillie are shaking their heads at me right now, but my sisters also prefer Logan, so I know I’ll have their support at least. Plus, while looking for images, I stumbled across this article (funnily enough, I was going to use a very similar title for this post) the other day, which proves it’s not just a family trait to be on Team Logan.
I would argue that Logan just wanted Rory to be happy. Even if quitting school “wasn’t like her”, he didn’t try to dissuade her or tell her how to live her life. He also (eventually) committed to her, even though it wasn’t his style, because he understood how much their relationship meant to her, and he was willing to change to make it work. He even proposes to her and he was definitely not the marrying type when they first met.
In that heartbreaking episode when Luke and Lorelai break up, Logan offers Rory his limo to save her the bus trip back to Stars Hollow. In the revival he also (probably) pays for her to fly out to London (that’s the only explanation I can come up with, because she sure as heck couldn’t afford those flights herself). Doesn’t everyone secretly want someone rich to provide for their every whim (I know I wouldn’t say no!)?
I guess if you don’t like Logan you can’t see it, but he’s charming af (shout out to Matt Czurchy for that adorable smile). The way he calls her “Ace” is absolutely precious (did any of her other boyfriends come up with sweet/flattering nicknames for her? I don’t think so.) He has that delightful combination of intellect with a dash of bad behaviour, so you know any time spent with Logan would be an adventure. I mean, that first Life and Death Brigade event he takes her to? So much fun!
Speaking of Life and Death Brigade: Logan encouraged Rory to break out of her shell. Since her happiness was a huge priority for him (see point #1), he didn’t make her uncomfortable, but he pushed her to try new things, whether it was bungee-jumping using an umbrella, or, yes, stealing a yacht (I’ll get to that in a minute).
Now, to be fair, here are some cons:
Rory admittedly made a lot of poor decisions when she was with Logan (both in the original series and the revival), like stealing the yacht, quitting school, and carrying on an affair with an engaged man. But really…how was that HIS fault? Isn’t she supposed to be an adult at this point?
The argument I often hear against Logan has something to do with the way he doesn’t defend Rory when his father upends her life by telling her she’s not cut out to be a journalist. Actually, he DOES offer to fight Mitchum, and it’s only at Rory’s request that he backs down. And if she assumed he agreed with his father because he didn’t expressly disagree…well, it’s mostly conjecture on her part. So unless Logan did something truly heinous in season six (which, I’ll admit, I’ve mostly blocked out because everything was garbage), I really don’t get this point.
(I just remembered that he cheats on her, but I swear they were broken up at that point. Not that I’m condoning his actions, but is she really the best person to judge other people’s infidelities *cough DEAN WAS MARRIED cough*?)
Master and Commander
Logan was a bit of a playboy when they met, and he wasn’t the most faithful of boyfriends when they first started dating, but, like I said at the beginning of this post, he DID change (only to revert back to his playboy status in the revival, but then again, literally everyone except Luke was garbage in those four episodes). So I can see why people were turned off when he originally made his appearance.
And there you have it. While I acknowledge that he’s not perfect (but who is?), I’ve spent thirteen years on Team Logan, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.
Though I’ll say that Jess has definitely grown on me during this most recent re-watch!
You already know that Jane and I worship at the altar of Neil Gaiman. So when I found out he was writing a book of Norse myths (aptly titled Norse Mythology), I desperately wanted to read it.
I have an odd obsession with the word “Ragnarok”, and have wanted to learn more about Norse myths for a while, so when I came across the book on promo for 50% off, I picked it up with great delight.
Happily (for me, at least, but maybe not for the deities it involves), there is a whole chapter on Ragnarok at the end of the book. There are also stories about Loki and Thor and Odin, and stories about some of the other gods who don’t have prominent roles in superhero movies.
Admittedly, I was picturing Tom Hiddleston as Loki, but even if I wasn’t, I still would have liked the Loki-centric stories the best. He’s quite the character (in more ways than one) and whether he’s trying to trick Freya into marrying a giant, or knocking up a giantess himself, his stories are fascinating.
Obviously I love Neil Gaiman’s writing in general, and his voice is at its finest here. In fact, I’m considering investing in the audio book (which Gaiman himself reads) because it has an old storytelling vibe that is perfect for being read out loud. There’s just the right amount of detail that allow the myths to flow smoothly, and the selection of myths is varied, yet connected.
Overall, it’s a collection that can appeal to both children and adults – nothing too graphic to scare away younger readers, but not so innocent that an older reader would be bored.
So you know how I’ve mentioned a dozen times that I also write for idobi radio on the side (where, incidentally, you’ll be able to find new writing from me once this site shuts down)? Well, one of the best parts of writing for idobi is the fact that I get to interact with other music fans, including two of my favourite people, Alex Bear and Emillie Marvel aka Vanilla Bear and Butterscotch Bear (respectively). You may remember them from that time they tried to convince me that Jess Mariano was Rory’s best boyfriend. but Alex-and-Emillie (sometimes I refer to them as a single entity, like Turk-and-JD) are more than just pop culture pun-dits.
A typical conversation between the two of them.
Alex-and-Emillie are ridiculously talented and already super accomplished for a couple of twenty-somethings, so I asked them to be my final interview for Mind the Gap Zine, in the hopes that one day I can grow up to be just like them. And because it’s Wednesday, you can also consider this my final Woman Crush Wednesday post (I can’t be the only weirdo with girl crushes on her friends, right? RIGHT?).
Welcome to Mind the Gap, Alex and Emillie! Thanks so much for doing this interview!
Me, when Alex-and-Emillie agreed to do this interview.
A: Thanks for having us!
E: Thanks for embracing our madness!
Let’s start off with a mini introduction: if you had to tweet a description of yourself in 140 characters or less, what would you say?
Seeing as we usually spend YEARS crafting the perfect bios and we’re on a deadline, we decided to “tweet” about each other (GIFs included, because…have you met us?):
Emillie on Alex: The real MVP who gives great history lessons, never sleeps, possesses pun skills beyond her years, & might actually be a vampire.
Alex on Emillie: Accidental Canadian with a bigger heart and brighter mind than her emo looks might suggest.
What musical moment changed your life?
A: Hearing Good Charlotte on the radio for the first time. (Anyone who knows me is rolling their eyes at the predictability of that answer.) I first heard “The Anthem” back when it first came out and *poof* before you know it my teenage years are a blur (quite literally, my swept fringe/bangs ruined my eyesight) of eyeliner, band tees and my mother asking me if I’d “caught the emo”. They were my intro into the pop punk/alternative world and to this day they’re still my favourite band—they shaped who I am and introduced me to a scene where I found more than just music; I found home.
E: I’m so excited you asked this, because I love to tell my music moment story. When I was fifteen, I won tickets to see a The Ready Set show. Little did I know when I arrived at the venue, I was also arriving at my future (corny, but true). I had never considered there was a crew who put on shows. Once I knew you could be in music without making music, it was life changing. Add that to the feeling of belonging the actual concert gave, and leaving that experience feeling more alive than I had in my whole life, and I was hooked. I immediately knew that this was all I wanted to do every night for the rest of my life. From there, I started interviewing bands, applying for internships and street teams, and now I’ve been happily consumed by this wild industry for five years.
How did you get started at idobi? What’s your job like now?
A: I stumbled across idobi randomly when I was about 14—I was looking through internet radio stations and idobi was playing GC and I thought, well, this is the station for me. Fast-forward six or so years and I’m in my final year of university and they’re looking for interns. I applied on a whim thinking I’d never hear back, but…I did. (Obviously.) Emillie and I were hired at the same time, and soon became fast friends, all because of All Time Low…
E: Never tell Gunz, but I came across idobi thanks to The Gunz Show. He was interviewing all of my favorite acts (hello, Cady Groves), and I downloaded the app and quickly became of fan of the network. Intern applications were only open for a couple more hours when I saw they were looking, and I rushed to throw my name into the ring. Not too long after, I got the email that I was hired, and immediately celebrated by listening to “Trenches” by Pop Evil (because I’m nothing if not an emo kid). Not too long after, I was introduced to the Alex to my Jack, thanks to well, yknow, Alex & Jack. We both volunteered to put together the Full Frontal Season 2 Recap. We bonded over the guys’ ridiculous banter + pop punk tunes, and photoshopping that takes the word “pun” to a new level, and we haven’t stopped talking since (seriously, we’re up to a couple hundred thousand Facebook messages).
JAGK x Mammoth
A: When it came to recapping season 3, we decided to take it up a notch—which meant replacing GIFs with our own…uh, homemade concoctions. We’re both big into Tumblr so we knew kids love badly photoshopped pics—which was handy, because that’s all we could produce. Long story short, there was a spectacularly bad photoshopped picture of Jack Barakat riding a pimped out wooly mammoth floating out on the internet…and I was approached by idobi’s wonderful Chief Creative Officer & CMO, Sherin Nicole, to join the creative team. My official title is now Junior Editor and Assistant to the Chief Creative Officer & CMO, but I think it’s safe to say both Emillie and I don’t really stick to our job descriptions.
E: I believe it was Alex’s line that I inadvertently stole once (#sorrystillsorry), that we’re “general do-ers of things”. I was brought on as the programming assistant, and given the chance to work for our fantastic programming director Eddie Barella. I was also brought on as junior editor with Alex a couple summers ago. Since then, I think I speak for us both when I saw we’ve had plenty of cool tasks under our job titles, and then some. I also think I’m speaking for us both when I say the biggest part of the job is understanding that WordPress does hate you, will always hate you, and you just have to learn to live with it.
A: Every day is different, and I wouldn’t have it any other way (except, like Emillie said, WordPress will always be hell). As assistant to the CCO I have a hand in all things creative, corporate, and help brand the company and make sure our “voice” is being heard. Most of the work I do is behind the scenes, helping out on pitches, programming, and partnerships (try saying that 3 times fast), and on the front line helping to edit and put together editorial, and running social media. In my, uh, spare time (what’s that?) you’ll most likely find me working on our latest idobi show, Geek Girl Riot *shameless plug*.
E: It’s really hard to say what I do at idobi, just because it’s ever-changing, and my day to day schedule is almost never the same. There are the weekly tasks of posting podcasts on the website, premiering new material from up and coming acts, newsletter prep, etc. Then, there are the less regular but equally fun tasks. New music newsletters, interviews + editorials, reviews, holiday content, helping with idobi Sessions, and covering social media when I get the chance to share my (very lame) sense of humor with followers. I’m also starting a new column very soon, and facing my fear of hearing my recorded voice with my own Geek Girl Riot segment *doubles shameless GGR plug*.
What has been your most exciting experience at idobi (so far)?
E: Everyday is an exciting moment, working with the team we have on music that’s close to my heart. If I had to pick one or two experiences, though, the first summer of idobi Warped Radio (back when it was called Warped idobi Radio) would definitely be up there. I was able to help out a lot, from helping Fish with day sheets and scheduling while on the road, to our social media and website posts for the features.
Aside from that, my Pierce The Veil interviews would also take the cake on excitement for me. When I was about 17, I remember thinking “I’ll never get to interview that band. They’re way out of my ‘league’, and if I ever do get to speak to them, I’ll have made it.” Last year, I interviewed bassist Jaime Preciado for the first time. Earlier this year, I spoke with him in person for the second. Those were definitely some real “dream come true” moments!
A: There’ve been a lot of highlights, but the one that’s coming to mind is getting to help coordinate a promo campaign for GC’s Youth Authority tour. I’ve been fortunate enough to interact with them on a professional level a few times now—and while yes, I’m British, so it’s in my DNA to be polite and professional down to a tee—it’s a very cool feeling to work with the band you grew up listening to. And it meant I could put all my years as a fan to good use!
When you’re interviewing bands you admire, do you have any tips or tricks to make the process go by smoothly?
E: Three. First, remember you deserve respect just as much as they do. Never go into an interview feeling beneath anyone. It’s totally okay to be a fan, and to tell them so, but remember you’re working in the same industry, and they’re your peers. Second, for me at least, do it in person. When I’m at a show, I feel more like myself. There’s something about the sound of the instruments and the environment of the concert that calms me down, and lets me speak easier. If you share that comfort zone, work your way to in person interviews, it’s worth it. Third, just make it to the interview. The worst part is the pre-interview stress, and it’s never going to go as badly as you worry it will. Once you’ve started chatting, the stress fades, and it gets much easier.
A: Just remember that they’re people too. And music is their job, and interviews are part of that—so they’ve done this a thousand times. Which means if you’re asked the same thing over and over again, it gets monotonous. So I usually have some ideas of topics I want to explore but try to stray away from having set questions. That way you just have a conversation with the band rather than a straight-up Q&A, and you get to see what their personality is like (which in my opinion, is way more interesting). Any band worth their salt has a set of answers they give out all the time, but if you just talk to them like they’re friends and make them laugh, they tend to give you an impression you won’t have seen before.
What’s your dream job/what part of the music industry do you want to explore?
E: It’s all about the live shows, baby. (😸) For me, that’s where my interest has always been. I can’t get enough of the bass in my heart and the beat in my bones. I want to help give crowds that infinite feeling you get when you’re screaming along to your favorite song with four hundred of your best friends that you don’t even know. From side stage to load in, I’m completely obsessed with the process of being the crew on a show, and have researched it like it’s my college major. I also, of course, intend on staying involved with idobi for as long as they’ll have me. The station has become a home to me.
A: I really like where I am right now, and I want to continue down the path I’m on. I’m not the kind of person who likes doing the same thing, day in, day out, so having lots of different things to do suits me perfectly…but it also means I don’t want to have my future completely mapped out, because you never know what’s around the corner, or what you might enjoy before you’ve tried it. Currently, I’d really love to dive into producing and more of the programming side—and thanks to Geek Girl Riot, I get to dabble! I’m very much a behind-the-scenes person, and radio has turned out to be a good fit for me.
What’s the best part of working in music? The worst? Do you have any advice for people who want to break into the industry?
A: The best part, for me, is getting to share the music I love with other fans. The worst part is that it can be very draining. You never really switch off. So be prepared to put in the hours! Coffee helps too. Other than that, just work hard and don’t ever think you’re too good for something. Arrogance and egos might get you a headstart in this industry, but you’ll burn more bridges than you build, and it’s a very small circle. If you want longevity in this industry, it’s all about how you treat people, your audience (if you have one), and your work. Each should always be approached with respect and courtesy, even if you don’t feel it’s deserved (and there will be plenty of those egos floating around to test your patience). The people who need to notice, will take notice.
E: Once you jump into this industry, if you’re really meant for it, you can’t leave. Even if you try, you’ll always be pulled back. One time, someone said to me how we’re all a part of this really special thing that no one else gets. That special thing can drive you absolutely nuts, it can have you working yourself to death (ask Geoff), and it can definitely become a sort of love/hate relationship, but you’ve gotta appreciate it for what it is. It’s an incredible group of people, all come together for one reason—the music made them feel something. It’s a network of careers built off of emotion, passion, and feeling; and it’s the best place you’ll ever be.
I’m not sure I have a specific worst part. Everything about the industry, I love in one way or another. I suppose at times, it can just burn you out, but that’s when you learn how you, personally, rebuild, and take the time to do it so you can attack even harder next time. The best aspect is being a part of this. It’s special, it’s important, and it means something, and if you’re drawn to it, you’re damn lucky. And finally, my advice would be what it always is: Just keep doing it. Don’t be afraid. If you want something, ask. If you’re told no, ask again when you’re more prepared. Find your place in the industry and stand firm—many will try to knock you down. If you don’t let them, you’ll find yourself in an even better place than before.
You know I love your writing (both of you!) and I want to spread that love – pick 2-3 pieces you’re super proud of and link to them here:
What is your number one song recommendation right now?
A: Can you just…not. There are too many. Do you realise just HOW MANY bands have dropped music in the past month? I’m switching between the new ATL and Paramore and The Maine and I’m overwhelmed. But seeing as everyone’s probably already spinning them just like I am, I’m going to go with “Young For The Summer” by DALES. Aka Brian Logan Dales from The Summer Set’s solo stuff. He just dropped this new track and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:1wwzaQvhbVkzqk61aQVRa2 E: I am currently on a major sappy binge for reasons that would totally make me seem like Taylor Swift, so I’m going to go on the total opposite end of that spectrum and go with “SFDD” by Stacked Like Pancakes. The band played the Warped Tour announce show, and from the moment their set kicked off, I’ve been obsessed. Ska got even better when they started making sounds, and these guys alone are worth heading to the show for (plus the dozens of killer other bands on this year’s line up). https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:5iIcox52aapzmQSDEQDuMf
Now we’ve reached the fun ones! If you could live in any fictional/fandom world, which would it be?
A: Middle Earth. Hands down, I’d be hanging out at Rivendell with Elrond and eating second breakfast with Sam (most important meal of the day, didn’t you know).
E: Hook me up with a letter from Hogwarts, because honestly, there’s nowhere else in this world I’d rather be. (Just um, keep me far away from the quidditch field. I’m not very coordinated even without the ability to fly.)
QUICK TAKES: No need for long answers here, just hit us with the first thing that pops into your head.
Note: We decided to answer for each other, seeing as we spent so much time asking “hey, what am I currently ______?” because we know each other better than we know ourselves.
Alex for Emillie: Getting tattoos. Like gurl, you’re only tiny you’re gonna run out of space before you’re 25.
Emillie for Alex: Gracing her light box with the best puns. (PS Once I’ve run out of ink-space I’ll just start making suggestions for you.)
Current thing that makes you RAGE?
Emillie for Alex: The American political system, which is why she’s preparing a room at her place for me.
Alex for Emillie: Her hometown. (Because it’s so washed up, and all her friends…you know the rest.)
Pop culture-y item that’s coming out soon that you’re too excited about?
Alex for Emillie: I’m not sure on this one, because—not to make her sound uncool or anything because she is quite the opposite, BUT—she lives under a rather sizeable rock. We even started an editorial series about pop culture items she doesn’t know.
A rock house.
Emillie for Alex: Because Alex’s comment is totally true, I’m also not sure, but just because I have no idea what’s going on in pop culture. (Unless Rian Dawson’s jean jacket counts, in which case, sign Alex up for ten.)
Girl crush of the moment?
Emillie for Alex: Cassadee Pope
Alex’s OTP: Rian Dawson and Cassadee Pope
Alex for Emillie: “Is anyone more of a bae than Lynn Gunn tho” – actual thing she said to me today. So, yeah.
[Sam’s edit: Same, Emillie. Lynn Gunn is a goddess.]
What’s one thing that you love that you wish got more attention?
Emillie for Alex: UK’s Netflix, because honestly it’s a crime how long it took for Gilmore Girls to stream across the pond.
Alex for Emillie: The feminist agenda. You watch her run for President. Yknow, once she’s done being a rockstar and stuff.
Guilty pleasure (though we believe no geeky love should ever cause you shame):
Emillie for Alex: I don’t think it’d be classified as a guilty pleasure, but something you might not expect is that Alex knows more history than your college professor, and gives great lessons on it.
Alex for Emillie: Hinder. To this day I question our friendship over the fact she…*whispers* likes them.
One recommendation that a fangirl just HAS to read/watch/play/ingest:
Emillie for Alex: The two most recent movies Alex has insisted I watch are Fangirl and Love Actually. Do with that what you will.
Alex for Emillie: Those two recommendations Em listed are both hilarious…but for very different reasons. Emillie recommended Naomi And Ely’s No Kiss List and Arrested Development…and honestly that just proves how well she knows me.
Time for plugs! Where can people find your content and chat with you?
A: idobi.com is usually where we can both be found. Other than that, tweet me at @AlexToEarth and I can guarantee the use of GIFs will be involved.
E: Seconded, if you’re not catching me on idobi.com, I’m not even really existing. On Twitter, you can find me at the very (un)confusing username of @EmillieMarvel (on the rare occasion I remember I have an account, that is).
It’s been a great year for music so far, so I’ve rounded up some of my favourite personal musical moments from the past five months (and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year will bring!).
January: 8123 Fest
Basically, I flew to Phoenix to celebrate 10 years of a band called The Maine and it remains one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and I’m probably never going to stop talking about it. In fact, you can read my (lengthy) recap here.
At the end of February, I won tickets to see Waterparks (literally four hours before doors opened), and, in doing so, I ended up finding one of my new favourite bands. Seriously, I can’t stop listening to Double Dare because it’s so dang good (also, my sister discovered Creeper and LOVES them now, so it was a win for both of us).
I was absolutely honoured to interview Biffy Clyro for idobi in April. I had talked to their lead singer Simon Neil in March over the phone, but it was so cool to meet the other two members (twins Ben and James Johnston) in real life. They were an absolute delight, and you can read my interview with them here.