Here is a flier for a show happening in a few weeks.
Here is a flier for a show happening in a few weeks.
“Don’t lean on your own understanding,” a lyric from Try Me’s “Nail House Music,” is a really good thing to keep in mind when looking into Self Defense Family. There are things about them that purposefully confound: their mid-career name change, their revolving door membership, their myriad releases (including the imagined, and those constantly teased as in the pipe) Then there’s stuff that confounds incidentally, like Patrick Kindlon’s objectively terrible voice and occasionally grating outspokenness. I had to put serious effort into enjoying this band at first, after I was told they were a cool “revolution summer”-style post-hardcore band. But it paid off. A band this unconventional recognizes it should reward those along for the ride. You may not like Self Defense as an entity or their music, but if you give put in a bit of work and listenership, they are not hard to understand. You don’t need to go through any professional channels to access them; just send them a tumblr ask, or shoot de facto leader Patrick Kindlon an email directly. You do not have to wait to hear about their new release via a SpinMedia property; Self Defense hates music press and it seems like the feeling is mutual. If you catch them at a rare (relative to their scene) live appearance, you will not see what the audience previous saw. There may be a Kanye-esque rant about the importance of subculture, two drummers, Caroline Corrigan in Kindlon’s place, or any one of their five or so guitar players.
If you fan-out about bands and intensely anticipate/appreciate music, Self Defense should be of interest to you. And if you’ve been watching SDF closely over the last two years, Try Me should not surprise you. It is, partly ,35 years of guitar music in 42 minutes. Twinned and tripled lead guitars are Jailbreak via “Arpeggiator”. Patrick Kindlon barks like a lucid Mark E. Smith and comes off exactly as he positions himself online: an outspoken fan of Mark Kozelek and Earth Crisis. Wearing your influences on your sleeve is can be a fast track to pastiche but SDF avoids that, possibly because, while they maintain pretty clear goals about what they want to be, they still take chances.
Try Me does not work for me 100%. For example, “Turn The Fan On,” while bravely letting Kindlon’s ugly vocal take precedence over dirgey guitar and the off-time sound of water dripping, cannot end sooner. However, the fun of SDF is that they follow that up with something like “Mistress Appears At Funeral,” which could be a Kathleen Edwards song in another universe. This is what a subculture guitar band should be in 2013. Have ideals and opinions, but find inspiration from everywhere and in everyone. Set no boundaries, whether they be geographic or in matters of taste. Self Defense put their money where their mouth is with this LP, after months of Tumblr q and a enticing followers with assuredness that they would pull certain things off: touring bassist and Family member Kai Stone would sing on this record despite being across the Atlantic in London (as she does on “Apport Birds” with a goosebump-inducing take,) or that it would reflect Kindlon’s whimsical obsession with, like, “An Evening of Sitar Music,” (as “Dingo Fence” accomplishes) etc. On Try Me, they sound only like the band they want and strive to be, a band that satisfies only the involved parties and fuck all else. How often have you witnessed a band fail to deliver? Self Defense is a winning proposition for listeners who are excited to see a band succeed artistically.
And I made it all this way without mentioning what is, to me, of the most affecting listening experiences I’ve probably ever had. Try Me features an interview in two parts, arriving in the middle and at the end of the record. I will say little about it myself, aside from it made me incredibly emotional due in part that I had no idea what was coming. I will say it concerns a woman who has lived an exceptionally challenging life and exhibits incredible resilience.
The music here is exciting to me. It probably would still manage to excite me, even if I didn’t think it was good because they leave no room for argument, they literally answer all comers, and they demonstrate a transparency and consistency most organizations lack. There’s Patrick Kindlon, on their second LP as End of A Year, imploring you in the very first song: understand art has a context and don’t dismiss things outright.
Just had that thing where time spent with good friends reminds you what it is to be human and how to make it count.
rock and roll is dead, this is true. it achieved perfection in 1974. there are only so many sounds a combination of guitar/bass/drum/keyboard can make and i think we already made them. what happens next? i dunno, but i do know doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to yield new results.
even though punk and new wave and grunge and even the indie boom quickly became parodies of themselves the initial movements of all were worthy, because they were re-dressing pop moves in a new outfit, and finding new ways to make the outfit and new ways to make the moves. but that’s completely died. i was in a coffee shop the other night and they were playing something on a tape so i knew it was probably a lame cassette-only label. it just sounded like soporific, jangly, knowingly-pop-indebted dreamy shit. like, dudes, jangle and REM and the replacements were the ’80s. 4AD happened and MBV were the ’90s, ariel pink and early anco were over a decade ago. find something new, don’t think just putting it on a cassette is novel. we’ve reached a point where format nostalgia exists as a means of avoiding learning how to create new music.
This whole post hit me but I cut this bit out and put the emphasis in because I found it relevant to my listening at the moment. I’ve been really hung up on “The Big Music” that happened in the early-80s, specifically a trio of albums: Big Country’s The Crossing; U2’s Unforgettable Fire; and Simple Minds’ Sparkle In The Rain. And probably the coolest to me about these oft-maligned bands is that they came from punk. Big Country formed out of the break-up of the Skids. Simple Minds have origins in Johnny And The Self-Abusers and spent their first few albums merging artistic post-punk and progressive rock. The members of U2, like probably countless other bands of this era, bonded over the Jam, the Clash and even Joy Division, and got their name from a member of the Radiators. I think another thing a lot of these bands share were backgrounds at art schools which maybe has different implications in Ireland and the UK than it does in the US. But, anyway these bands are all coming out of the punk of the late 70s and at some point they decide they want to be stadium rock stars. They see a demand and they scale up to meet it. From what I’m learning, this is pretty much parallel to, or a branch of the New Pop that was happening in the early 80s: the Human League, the Associates, ABC, etc. These bands also aimed for the top of the pop charts while still operating with punk ethics. This Pitchfork listicle is a pretty decent intro to all that.
It’s so cool to me that these bands were hugely influenced by punk —which today is basically synonymous with remaining small and underground — at some point decided, “we want to be huge.” In the case of Simple Minds and Big Country, that meant seeing the stratospheric rise of U2 after the War album, and subsequently teaming up with Steve Lillywhite as a producer in the hope of seeing the same kind of success. These three albums that I’ve been so hung up on the last few weeks are full of interesting music as well. Like, being pop stars wasn’t tantamount to making cookie-cutter rock music. The Unforgettable Fire is worth listening to for the guitar textures alone (they’re Robin Guthrie-level in their beauty and power to evoke,) but you’ll stick around for the life-affirming hooks. “A Sort Of Homecoming” is basically Celtic Springsteen. Big Country was also lauded for their use of effects pedals that made their guitars sound like bagpipes. And it’s kind of a wonder to me that Sparkle In The Rain was a hit in its day: the album’s centerpiece is a five minute cover of Lou Reed’s “Street Hassle.” These bands were taking artistic chances and making powerful political statements, while having commercial ambition. It’s just as Matt The Red Backpack says in the post above, “even though punk and new wave and grunge and even the indie boom quickly became parodies of themselves the initial movements of all were worthy, because they were re-dressing pop moves in a new outfit, and finding new ways to make the outfit and new ways to make the moves.”
Lately I’ve been wondering what it’d be like if the part of the 1990s that contemporary guitar bands were hung up on wasn’t the slack of Pavement[^1] or the reluctance of Kurt Cobain to have found himself in the spotlight, or the literal shoegazing of shoegaze bands. What that translates to a lot of times is, to me, lack of interest in making interesting music. It’s easy to forget Nirvana had commercial ambition. Like their popularity wasn’t just a right place/right time fluke. They were part of the David Geffen Company for chrissakes. What if it was the ambition that drove Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins to be popstars? Or, even cooler, what if you went to the basement show and you got an actual spectacle, a DIY Zoo TV Tour? What if bands pushed the genre forward and were rewarded with commercial success? I guess the infrastructure for doing that just doesn’t exist anymore. But Title Fight has done it, just to use the only example I really see (in subculture at least.) Not to the degree that New Pop and the Big Music did, but they’re certainly not letting their talent languish at basement shows like hundreds of contemporary guitar bands, hyped and not-hyped alike.
[^1] Edit: not to mention countless acts hiding behind Pavement/GBV’s “low fidelity” which is to recording music as using a typewriter is to writing in the age of free digital audio workstations.
Some mental diarrhea on New Found Glory’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay:
Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my desk and suddenly start tripping out on New Found Glory and how they are probably one of the most important bands of the last 20 years but will never get the respect they deserve. This was kind of spurred by a conversation I had a few months ago about the various implications of the phrase “pop punk” in which I came to the conclusion that the entire Man Overboard paradigm (i.e- hardcore kids playing “pop-punk”) can be traced back to a single point of reference, and that it’s New Found Glory. You might be able to refute that by pointing to numerous other precedents, like Fallout Boy, Saves the Day, Get Up Kids, or probably most accurately, Lifetime, considering that they’re the true innovators/ancestors for this type of band, and my only real rebuttal would be that Lifetime never garnered mass appeal and I think Saves the Day and Fallout Boy totally suck, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a real person who likes the Get Up Kids. Plus, I remember people talking about New Found Glory when I was 11 and thus they have the most historical significance to me. Ok, this is already kind of falling apart, but my original point was that the aforementioned Man Overboard school of pop-punk is the more accessible wing of a super viable youth subculture that kind of lacks visibility with people over a certain age. Trying to get into the defining characteristics of this is making me kind of exhausted already, so for brevity’s sake, I’ll say that this subculture/aesthetic revolves around bands who double as lucrative sweatshirt distributors, and I’ll hope you understand what I mean. So, if we agree that this style of music is actually a way bigger deal than most people give it credit for and that New Found Glory are the most important progenitors of it, we can agree that New Found Glory=”importance.” Anyway I was just tripping out on that today and realized that I had barely ever listened to them and so I decided to listen to “Nothing Gold Can Stay” on the drive home.
There are two things I want to say about the lyrics on this album and their relation to hardcore lyrics. First- I’ve said before that hardcore lyrics are pretty important to me because of their vital lack of complexity, yet simultaneously, this seems to be why most people find them laughable. But when the goal of the music you’re playing is urgency and intensity, I just don’t really think there’s a place for specificity. And given that 90% of hardcore’s lyrical subject matter can be boiled down to “don’t fuck with me,” lyrics are often just very general reiterations of that central message- in hardcore songs, there’s always some ill-defined conflict, which is difficult, but we will triumph over it, by unleashing our inner strength, which we derive, presumably, through the playing of hardcore. Which brings me to another point, which is that hardcore is inherently self-referential. In hardcore songs, there are always these references to “us,” or to a collective “we,” and if you think about it, you are included in those pronouns simply by virtue of listening to the song. I don’t want to say that this makes the lyrical subject matter “universal,” because it doesn’t- it’s confined to the presumed shared of experience of hardcore kids. And that is pretty magical, really. Anyway, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is obviously not a hardcore record but it is obviously informed by them. Listening to it, I was thinking a few things- despite the fact that New Found Glory is, in more than one way, a cringer of a band, I found myself not getting too distracted by the lyrics. I’ve proven to be a totally incompetent judge of lyrics in the past, so that might not actually mean anything, but what I think this band is doing is taking the punchy ill-defined language of hardcore, taking it out of realm of intense conflict, and transposing it on to feelings of post-adolescent uncertainty. The result is absolutely painful sincerity without an ounce of wisdom beyond its own years. And while it’s totally fair if you find of that grating, I think you at least have to appreciate the kind of artless competency of these lyrics. My favorite line on the album is probably in “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania:” “Even though I’m glad/That I’m finally free/All that’s for my life is now up to me.” This is the pop-punk equivalent of Minor Threat’s “Shut your fucking mouth, I don’t care what you say:” it says it all while saying nothing at all.
Secondly, and on a more minor note: one of my favorite hardcore lyrical tropes is the concept of the narrator once having had “a time.” The loss of this time is to be lamented, but we are also told to hope for its return. Trip out on the fact that one of Bane’s biggest songs right from the start of their career was called “Can We Start Again?” I think we can define this “time” as being before the first tastes of adult disillusionment- one that’s innocent, idealistic, etc. But whereas hardcore thinks about innocence in terms of your perception of your place in the world, New Found Glory transposes that onto relationships. And you know, songs like that are kind of heartbreaking because of the simplicity and totality of the loss- essentially, the message is just “things used to be better,” and listening to someone try and explain that in an incredibly limited arsenal of words is just really, really sad. The effect is basically the same on this record: half the lyrics are addressed to the second person, asking them if they “remember” some meaningless piece of ephemera. One of the best songs on this album is the single, “Hit or Miss,” which goes “Remember the night we wrote our names up on the wall? Remember the time we realized Thriller was our favorite song?” Man, those are such non-events! But when you consider that the dude writing these lyrics was seriously 18 years old, you can think of that kind of stuff with the same inflated sense of importance you felt in your own high school years. When I was 15, driving to the park and smoking cigarettes with my friends was revelatory, and by 16, I was lamenting the fact that it wasn’t revelatory anymore. Like I said, this album is so effective at conveying post-adolescence that your feelings on it and your feelings on post-adolescence are going to be one in the same.
And for me, right now, I’m mostly pretty bored by it. Most of this album is kind of boring. Again, it’s like a hardcore album in that sense: its themes are best represented in a few of the punchiest tracks but then just feel repetitive in others.
And I want to talk about the music really quick. Before, when I would talk about New Found Glory, I would talk about them being complete Lifetime clones, but that’s not exactly true. There are too many shades of the sloppy incompetency of west coast Fat Wreck bands and early Blink-182. Can we talk about this is as a coastal phenomenon? It seems like East Coast bands tend to lean toward a tight, technical, almost sterile approach while west coast bands are always seem to be kind of offbeat. It makes sense, then, that a Florida (see- no actual coast) band like NFG would combine the two. Because they lack identity.
Anyway, my favorite songs on this album are “Hit or Miss,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania,” and the “Blue Stare” and “The Goodbye Song” for being the most technically interesting.
Here’s some interesting notes on listening to New Found Glory and the value of hardcore punk platitudes. I’m looking back and it’s crazy that I was singing these songs with my fellow 12 year old boys in sixth grade homeroom, and on the bus rides home. And that I’ve left a lot of this music behind in favor of more alienating fare. John’s right though, New Found Glory doesn’t get enough credit. You know they’ve never had one line-up change or hiatus? So they actually function better than like 60% of bands in rock history. And a good marker of a hardcore subculture band is how much or how little they’ve forgotten their roots. In NFG’s case it’s very little. Crazy scary tatted FSU dudes still show up to their shows in Philly to mosh. They slide in deep cuts from their early records alongside the new singles and crowd pleasing covers of, like, “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Some of their recent releases have been out on smaller hardcore labels like 6131 and Bridge 9. They embody the ultimate qualifier of punk morality: “they’re such good dudes.”
I’ve been messing around with making loops in Audacity for a good part of the year. It’s one of those musical techniques that seemed impossible to my ears for most of my life, and oddly enough first peaked my interest while looking at the credits on U2’s largely unsuccessful (and
unfortunately probably deservedly overlooked) Pop. Howie B’s loops (which, despite the self-explanatory name, I had only a vague conception of) were a jawdropping accomplishment right up there with Adam Clayton’s bass tone on "Mofo," which I tried to mimic at age 12 with my beginner p-bass copy and Crate practice amp.
So much of the time I spend listening to music is spent wondering, as if at a box office spectacle, “how’d they do that?!” During boring stretches of the workday spent cutting and pasting in Audacity, I’ve found that it’s really easy. Like so many other elements of music-making, looping has moved toward ease and democratization. Like, before computers, to make a loop, you had to actually cut magnetic tape, you know? This was something your parents might have done in music class, by the way. Now, you can get an app that has all the capabilities of the Fairlight CMI, a $30,000 hulking piece of antique computer machinery, for $11.99. Before I find myself out of my depth in techno-libertarian praise of the powerful potential of technology, I just want to say I think all of this is awesome.
Even though it’s not as risky as the trial and error of cutting and pasting tape, there are still moments along the “process” that make my knuckles white and my stomach drop; particularly every time I lop off another extraneous few milliseconds in the pursuit of seamlessness, click play and watch the cursor near the end of my selection. When it snaps back to the beginning without my notice, it’s a success.
Creating a loop comes in handy for making those portions of a song you wish would last forever actually last forever. The impetus for today’s loop is the end of Ride’s "Vapour Trail," when only the string section is left. Far and away the best part of the song, right? My loop is pretty much a rip of/in tribute to Ekkehard Ehlers "Plays John Cassavettes Pt. 2," an (I think) untreated loop of the strings in the Beatles’ "Good Night." Some loops have a heavy-handed, obviously-beautiful, “why didn’t I think of that,” quality and “Plays John Cassavettes” is definitely one of those.
Highly mannered and even baroque expressions like ‘weird Twitter’ and the endless march of memes and image macros should be seen, following Benjamin, as evidence that a certain elite’s domination has gone adrift. Such forms can trace a common lineage to the likes of Napoleon Dynamite, the ur-text of smartass crud culture appreciation with sufficient ironic distancing.
There is something deathly and robotic in such forms, not in the trite sense of a ‘death of meaning’ but actually in their strenuous efforts to meet expectations exactly. They schematise a form of communication, subvert it, and schematise the subversion. They set out on more and more fantastical paths but forever return to the same places, long after the crude stimulus has ceased to induce pleasure. What these mannered forms present as genuine are only those aspects that appear as mistakes, or somehow accidental, or simply done poorly; the result is something that at once seems both effortful and lax—in other words, not playful, just alienating.
A lot of this effort is spent to identify one another as like-minded members of the same club, of course. This is the unsubtle rule-enforcing message of people who get worked up that others aren’t using ‘Socially Awkward Penguin’ correctly. Elsewhere, the revelation of horse_ebooks as a staggeringly long-lived marketing stunt for some video game was indeed a shock, but not for robbing everyone of the illusion of being privy to some charming bit of accidental mirth, but for confirming that even light entertainment now consisted of someone spending a considerable amount of time—literally years—posting garbled nonsense on a computer. The only redeeming aspect of the horse_ebooks reveal was that it publicly embarrassed a cosseted ‘comedian journalist’, who, like anyone who moves to New York to try and find their fortune in the Spectacle would do, immediately attempted to profit from her bamboozlement by a fellow nobody by inserting herself into the story. This is where the vacant, detached discourse of the internet is itself revealed as gossip among rich kids at various levels of remove, and where the desperately unfunny scramble to enhance one’s brand by working for free rises to overwhelm and suffocate any residual humour left.
Unfairly ignored this band because of the name and some lazy writing about them. Has that jubilant momentum of an old No Age song, or the opening third of that new Vacation record. Record is loaded with ear-catching tempo changes that implore me to mosh. A lot of music should be evocative of other things, for sure, but I think my metric for good guitar music in 2013 is that command to get out of my seat and stalk the receiving room where I work and maybe step on some boxes.
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else.
When I ask a student what they’re watching, the answers are varied: Friday Night Lights, Scandal, It’s Always Sunny, The League, Breaking Bad, Luther, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Arrested Development, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Weeds, Freaks & Geeks, The L Word, Twin Peaks, Archer, Louie, Portlandia. What all these shows have in common, however, is that they’re all available, in full, on Netflix.
Things that they haven’t watched? The Wire. Deadwood. Veronica Mars, Rome, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos.Even Sex in the City.
It’s not that they don’t want to watch these shows — it’s that with so much out there, including so much so-called “quality” programs, such as Twin Peaks and Freaks & Geeks, to catch up on, why watch something that’s not on Netflix? Why work that hard when there’s something this easy — and arguably just as good or important — right in front of you?
This is arguably happening with Spotify too.
I mean to be fair most of those shows ARE really good (is this person seriously implying that Freaks & Geeks isn’t worth watching?!). I guess people who can’t figure it out might need a crash course in torrenting.
1) Simplicity of access always wins. Always. Every barrier you put between your content and the consumer, even another mouse-click, makes it less likely they will get to the work.
2) I went to college from 2003-2007, when Netflix was mostly a DVD thing and streaming wasn’t quite ready for the big time. Stuff we watched: movies on DVD and television shows that were actually on TV that season, like LOST and 24 and The O.C. Occasionally someone would have a Family Guy or Buffy DVD set, but that was a rarity. Netflix streaming has fundamentally changed the watching habits of young people, who have vastly expanded their consumption and deepened it extensively to include catalog seasons and shows, like Twin Peaks, which were generally ignored a few years back. These are good things.
3) Literally all the shows listed above except for Veronica Mars are on HBO. Lots of them are great, but c’mon. And I know Veronica Mars was on Netflix once because that’s where I watched it. If I could pay $10 a month to get HBO Go on my PS3, I would — but I can’t. That’s HBO’s problem — is The Wire that much more crucial than Breaking Bad or, say, The Twilight Zone? Probably not. The article that started this discussion ends by similarly warning HBO, but by the way, Game of Thrones is routinely the most pirated television show on the planet, so the argument that young people aren’t watching those shows…
4) Netflix has about 24 million U.S. subscribers, and that number is drastically smaller than its real users, which include family/couple usage and people who had out their password to their friends. It’s totally reasonable to assume 50-100 million Americans have and use Netflix access. Spotify does not work like this: when they say they have about a million paid users in the U.S., that’s it! 1 million! Not 24, not 50, not 100. The cultural effects of the two aren’t comparable at all, especially since average listening habits are radio-driven and not choice-based in the way Netflix (and Spotify) are. For most, television involves choice: that’s not true for music, beyond picking a station.
5) Most of the music that’s ever been commercially released is on Spotify. Anything that’s not is Led Zeppelin, an out-of-print jazz record from the ’50s you’d have to find on vinyl at a flea market or an indie band that’s so underground you can’t get their stuff on iTunes, either. Or occasionally superstar acts such as Taylor Swift, but she sold more copies in her first week than Spotify has paying subscribers, so again: influencing habits? Nah.
The real argument to be made here: Netflix is, for perhaps the first time, raising television above film in our attention and prestige hierarchies. How many recent Oscar movies are on Netflix? How many did you see in a theater last year? Did you notice? Noticing now, do you care? I don’t either, frankly. I have 5 seasons of Breaking Bad to watch.
Agreed on point 1: ease of access always trumps piracy, so if you can get a series for free, you will. And when you start getting used to one-click access, there’s a real frustration when whatever you want to see/hear isn’t there which brings us to….
Point #5: It’s hardly true that most music is on Spotify but the great thing is, there’s an illusion that there is. This is down to things: first, the universe of music is much greater than movies/TV, so the absences aren’t quite as notable in music. Secondly, there is no equivalent of HBO To Go in music, so the big labels are forced to join Spotify, Rdio, etc, so most everything shows up in one service.
Spotify also differs from Netflix in that it’s missing this:
An algorithmic-ly curated gateway that makes combing through its offerings much simpler. Spotify introduced this recently with “Discover” but it’s so bad that it has little use right now aside from being the butt of jokes.
I’m not on Facebook anymore but I do remember a few occasions where I would throw on a record that someone was listening to on Spotify, after seeing the “story” pushed to their newsfeed. Every now and then I’ll put on something I see a friend listening to over on Spotify’s activity feed. But that feed seems updated once or twice a day at best (or my Spotify friends just aren’t listening as much as I do), and I only follow… wait I can’t even see how many people I follow at the moment because Spotify’s “Follow” page only shows me a bunch of artists I should be subscribed to.
Spotify could really benefit from improving their social features. Or at least I know *I* would benefit as a listener. I would love it if it were easier to send friends songs and vice versa, like I remember using AIM file transfer as a teenager, or how it seemed AudioGalaxy worked. I give a fuck about what they’re listening to and what they think I need to hear — not Spotify’s malfunctioning Discover algorithm.
Anonymous asked: What's the key to getting pitchfork indie money/blowjobs from 17 year olds?
- Pick a provocative name that will catch the eye of an idiot music journalist.
- Play a style of music that is easy to understand, but refuse to cop to your obvious influences.
- Look like you don’t care.
- Don’t play particularly well.
- Avoid earnestness.
- Dress in a ‘white music guy’ subculture way but avoid punk or hardcore at all costs unless you’re going to latch onto Lip Cream or some bullshit that people only pretend to like. Indie audiences don’t relate to punk, but they do relate to pretending to like things.
This is absolutely the DIIV formula.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is the blog of Self Defense Family and it is one part advice column and one part The Manual but from the perspective of subculture band made up of music and marketing professionals in the 21st century.