gangs in pop culture


R&B guitar duo Mickey & Sylvia (1956-1958)

In 1955 Mickey Baker (1925-2012) formed Mickey & Sylvia with his guitar student Sylvia Vanderpool (1936-2011). Their biggest hit was Love is Strange in 1956. It topped Billboard’s R&B chart for two weeks and reached No. 11 on the Hot 100. They  followed up with “There Oughta Be a Law,” which hit the R&B top 10 but would be the duo’s last big hit. They split up in 1959 but would record together off and on into the mid-’60s. More than a decade later, Vanderpool under her married name, Sylvia Robinson would be dubbed The Mother of Hip Hop. She helped introduce the world to rap music as founder Sugar Hill Records. The act she discovered, Sugarhill Gang, recorded rap’s first national hit single, “Rapper’s Delight, in 1979. 


In the debut episode of Excessive Pop Culture Discussion, Daniel O'Brien and the gang pitch their own Game of Thrones spinoffs! They also discuss Wonder Woman and the dumb articles written about Patty Jenkins, a terrible Snow White movie, and hacking.

Game of Thrones Spinoffs! Wonder Woman! Hacking!


Two recent illustrations, “#SQUAD” and “#YTGOALS”

Both colored pencil & watercolors on illustration board

For #SQUAD, I wanted to elevate the “grrrl gang” aesthetic beyond its recently commodified portrayals in pop culture. In 2017, my “riot grrls” aren’t those of the past. They’re aware of the times and are taking the necessary steps to protect their friends. They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

For #YTGOALS, I’ve been thinking about what it would look like if antifa and leftist ideologies became en vogue among young white femmes. If pop songs about punching nazis played on KIIS FM, would white women finally have those difficult convos with their racist families? How can white girls use their privilege socially, culturally, and pop culturally to fight the power? I drew this fantasy for all my white friends & acquaintances, so that they may see my idea of the ideal ally. (Yes, that is a bottle of rosé turned molotov cocktail.)


The Grateful House

Barbie knows that gratitude is a great thing and it’s best to be grateful all year instead one day out of the year. A grateful dream house is certainly a great way to express your thanks.

The Grateful dream house of the band The Grateful Dead was located in center of the flower power universe: Haight & Ashbury. Amid of bustle of things things the Grateful Dead, famously occupied a Victorian row house located at 710 Ashbury Street from 1966 until 1968. It was there that Jerry Garcia & the gang helped to spawn a new music scene & a new pop culture era.

Would you be grateful to live in this dream house?

Barbie would!


Kisses, m.