The Monday Media Diet with Yasi Salek

On music, Sheila Heti, and SiriusXM

Yasi Salek (YS) is a ravenous consumer of music. She hosts Bandsplain on Spotify, which unpacks classic bands through conversations with journalist superfans. We met her through Mr. Sam Valenti, who shouted her out in his recent MMD. Have a great week. -Colin (CJN)

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a writer, MFA dropout, and host of the show Bandsplain on Spotify. I am cringe but I am free. 

Describe your media diet. 

Most of my media diet is listening to cuts of podcast episodes for my job, mainly ones that involve my own voice, which is why I’m deeply unwell, overall. But I do listen to other podcasts on the weekends while I clean or hike, How Long Gone, 60 Songs That Explain the 90s, Red Scare, and Popcast mostly. 

I read Twitter all day to laugh, at Sarah Hagi and Carey O’ Donell and Corie Johnson, and at Hether Fortune’s reformed shit posting. Molly Lambert is my LA Times. I also use Twitter to keep tabs on the Gin Blossoms, to talk to the Eve 6 guy about 90s alt-rock, and to communicate with my reply guys, who I love and adore. (Hi boys). 

I love Instagram for memes about god and Jung and to buy vintage clothes. I get a lot out of Niki Takesh’s stories (but only the Close Friends ones, sorry babes). But I probably spend more time on my explore page than anywhere else because it’s almost all hot photos of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell from the 90s.   

What’s the last great book you read?

I read a lot of books for the podcast which lately leaves me little time for other books. Slash’s Autobiography was actually really good. It’s no Scar Tissue, but nothing is. Also, Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys about The Replacements is really fantastic, and so is Jessica Hopper’s The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic

The last great fiction book I read was probably Nobody Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. I wish I could write like that, but I only have one real skill which is summoning Gen X men from the depths of the internet to tell me that I chose the wrong Wilco songs for my show. 

What are you reading now?

My emotional support book is How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti, so whenever I have spare reading time or just need to self-soothe, I read a few pages of it.

What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?

I’m a real cover-to-cover kind of girl. I don’t want to miss anything! 

Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?

I’ll read anything by Naomi Fry, Darcie Wilder, Hanif Abdurraqib, Sarah Hagi, or Brittany Spanos. I like The Ringer music writers a lot, Rob Harvilla (my best friend) and Justin Sayles (my 2nd best friend). Layla Halbian for her gorgeous gifts for the girlies. Jeff Weiss when he writes about The Doors or Sublime. Alex Pappademas writes my favorite celeb profiles. I’m holding Producer Dylan (Dylan Rupert) hostage so she can’t currently write, but I love everything she did, most especially when she took mushrooms and reviewed the Rihanna show. And I’m obsessed with Meaghan Garvey’s substack. I really want to be her friend (don’t tell her). 

What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone? 

I use the ZIIP app the most (for microcurrenting my face).

Plane or train?

Plane (Delta only) but I’m from Southern California so really I love driving the most. Especially now that I have SiriusXM (shout out “Lithium” and the “Pop Rocks” channel).

What is one place everyone should visit? 

The Greek island Hydra is my favorite place on Earth. It’s beautiful and also filled with cats because there are no cars. Eat at Taverna Lulu’s for lunch and Paradosiakon for dinner and have drinks at Pirate Bar. If you’re like me (based) you will also buy a bag of Friskies and walk around the island like the queen of the feral kitties. 

Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into. 

I fall into a rabbit hole every week for Bandsplain but maybe the deepest one was when we did Lemonheads and I read something like 65 articles about and interviews with Evan Dando and got really Dando-pilled. I was really working through some stuff around achievement orientation and the soul’s purpose and I talked about him in therapy for like a full month. Then I happened upon his personal YouTube page and the day I was on it there were all these newish videos including one where he has sick bangs and is hysterically laughing with a friend because the dryer was filled with stuff that apparently belonged to Springa (from the Boston hardcore band SSD) and the title of the video was “Springa from SSD had a dryer drawer.” I watched every single video and then the very next day all the newest ones including Springa’s dryer drawer were deleted. There’s still some good stuff though, like Dando covering “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” and Randy Travis. Anyway, I’m fine. (YS)

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Yasi (YS)

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