To Overtake | To Overcome

Voidsphere is pure by-the-numbers atmospheric black metal, that does everything right but nothing quite interesting enough to steal my attention. Weird to say, but stuff like this has become background work music for me at this point. Just chill (by means of being extremely loud and unrelenting), meditative music to put on while focusing on tasks. Is it better than 2 dozen other black metal albums floating around Bandcamp? Probably not. But it's never annoying, it never becomes too harsh for its own good, and the cover is cool as shit.

And that's where I want to discuss the genius of Voidsphere as a pure brand exercise. This album is called To Overtake | To Overcome. Their previous 2020 release is called To Sense | To Perceive, and before that was To Exist | To Breathe, To Await | To Expect, and To Call | To Speak, all of which feature black and gray abstract images of galactic chaos spirals, each rendered with slightly different techniques, but nonetheless feeling like they were made by the same artist. Digging into the music itself, each one of these albums contain just two 20+ minute tracks. On this album, they are "The Void Overtakes," and "The Void Overcomes." The one before that, "The Void Senses," The Void Perceives." I'll leave you to guess the others.

This is the kind of shit that I will forever be a sucker for. They set up rules for themselves, and goddammit they're going to follow those rules. It's beautiful. They even re-use the same album description for every Bandcamp entry: "Voidsphere is worship of the void. It is that, and only that."

Chun YangQueens
Toffee cheese foam cocoa latte

Best toffee cheese foam cocoa latte I've ever had.

Taiwanese pork chop sandwich

This place Partea (formerly Play Date, I don't know if the rebranding is a step up or down), is right in the heart of Flushing, and is basically an arcade that only contains claw machine games. I'm sure if you're into that thing it's probably pretty fun. But up front, they also serve bubble tea, and an assortment of fried chickeny things, and fries, and maybe some simple dumplings. I never thought much of this place walking by it, until one day they were advertising this new Taiwanese pork chop sandwich. Now, I'm sucker for a fried pork loin sandwich, which basically are impossible to find here, and I did once have a Tawainese pork chop (also in Flushing), and thought it was delicious. So yes, I was immediately interested. A few weeks later I was finally in the right place at the right time, so here we go!

You might notice above that I posted a picture of the advertisement, rather than the actual sandwich. This is because the actual sandwich I was served looked perfect. Exactly like the professional photo. It was remarkable really. And it tasted nearly as ideal. Subtle, not some extreme taste explosion, but just a really nicely marinated and seasoned pork, some five-spice flavor vibes, fried just about perfectly, topped with some cole slaw and that was it. Honestly, it was good enough that a restaurant could basically use it as the cornerstone product of the entire menu. Like "Omg you have to go to this new Taiwanese pork chop sandwich place!" The fact that it was just a new menu item at this place that sells boba tea and hosts claw machine parties is pretty wild.