Kevin Warwick, Reader staff writer
My second-generation iPod Shuffle I have a decent amount of faddish electronics (that's right, I subscribe to Wired), but some pieces of technology don't need upgrading—my mid-80s GE alarm clock, the indestructible Maglite I swiped from an abandoned house, and my second-generation iPod Shuffle, which has outlasted bike wrecks, thunderstorms, and gallons of sweat. The construction is solid—unlike gen three's crappy earbud-cable controls—and since it's always playing something fast and loud, I love it even more.
Born Against, Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children I've recently been rummaging for 80s and early-90s hardcore-punk records and happened across a dumped collection of some 1,200 LPs and seven-inches at Ear Wax Record Shop in Madison. Though I spotted Conflict's The Final Conflict first, I reluctantly passed it on to a friend so I could snag Born Against's Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children. Before Men's Recovery Project and Wrangler Brutes, Sam McPheeters fronted this leftist posse. The recording is garbage, but like Battle Hymns of the Race War it still spits fucking nails.
Our Band Could Be Your Life I've been feeling nostalgic lately (see above), so why not revisit Greg Ginn discussing his undying love for the Grateful Dead? Or Mike Watt reminiscing about the formation of Minutemen? Our Band Could Be Your Life is the obligatory bookend to any hardcore/punk enthusiast's literature collection—other bands featured include Minor Threat, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, Dinosaur Jr., and Fugazi—and it remains a damn good page-turner a decade after it dropped.