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I bet you guys thought I was skipping Shut Up, Dude this week. I would never! Just because much of the music world has reconvened in Austin does not mean Stereogum’s commenters shouldn’t be celebrated and chastised in list format like normal. (Although, yes we skipped this week’s 5 Best Songs/Videos countdowns. Weak week.) Of course this is not your father’s SXSW. Between Coldplay (presented by iTunes), Kanye & Jay Z (presented by Samsung), and Lady Gaga (presented by Doritos), pop stars took over the festival in a big way. While corporate sponsorship is nothing new here, and it’s not always distasteful, these types of shows are increasingly impossible to get into. And that’s obnoxious. Fortunately, there are always dozens of other great options. Stereogum’s party would’ve been amazing too, but it was rightly canceled in the wake of the deadly car crash that has cast a pall over this entire festival. It’s been a sad, weird week. I did get to see this in the flesh, though:

Meredith from Perfect Pussy told me she wants to marry him.

Bonus SXSW video, from the archives:

And now, your best and worst comments…

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10

Robert Wohner | Mar 13th Score:16

The best thing about the conventional Coldplay narratives is that it made Coldplay really appreciate their fans and reward them for sticking around. Which, in turned, helped their longevity. Pop bands survive when the fans feel like a priority. They give out songs and whole albums for free. They have concerts for free. They create additional ways for the band to engage in their music even when they aren’t touring or recording, whether through creating silly comic books or playing festivals. They handed out souvenirs to their concertgoers. They don’t sell the first rows of their concerts to have attendants find crazeball fans in the rafters and give them a great seat. They’ve always wanted to be the biggest band in the world but weren’t afraid to collaborate and have others join the process, like a Hopkins or Eno. They’ve written great songs for 15 years but they’re getting better at fulfilling their mission: bringing passionate music to the mainstream. There’s just a lot to like about Coldplay and dozens of reasons it’s great being a fan.

Posted in: The Week In Pop: It’s Time We All Agreed That Coldplay Is Great
#9 marsupial_child | Mar 10th Score:16

Yeah…this album is great

Posted in: Premature Evaluation: The War On Drugs Lost In The Dream
#8

Nicholas Brandt | Mar 11th Score:16

If you had Pono you could totes hear it better.

Posted in: Watch Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Video With Arcade Fire, Beck, Jack White, & Many More
#7 homesickalien | Mar 10th Score:16

Every year, there are three things that allow me the joy of realizing the lifeless gray of winter is over. One is when I notice my local DQ has reopened for the season. Two, is when The Masters comes around on TV. And, three is when the first true (and usually most memorable of the year) Spring release, the one that allows me to roll down my car window and sing along to its words as loud as I can while the sun beats through my windshield, and infinitely play on repeat. This album is unmistakably it.
Spring has arrived my friends…

Posted in: Premature Evaluation: The War On Drugs Lost In The Dream
#6

Tim Curtin | Mar 13th Score:16

you can agree that coldplay is great, i ain’t agreeing with shit.

Posted in: The Week In Pop: It’s Time We All Agreed That Coldplay Is Great
#5 donnytilla | Mar 7th Score:18

I think this is a fair point. A perfect example of this is jezebel’s use of Chris Brown’s admission that he “lost his virginity” at the age of 8 as evidence that he is an asshole, when instead, this is obviously childhood sexual assault.

I think jezebel likes to rip people apart but has a hard time maintaining the standard it sets for others – which is fine, everyone slips. But glass houses and whatnot maybe a more measured approach would be helpful. Then again, gawker etc. thrives on the vitriol of the general public, so, it should be expected.

Posted in: Thurston Moore: “Jezebel Is Gender Fascism”
#4 Chris DeVille | Mar 13th Score:23

I think you are confusing me for Miles. He’s the one who likes Saint Pepsi and wrote for Tiny Mix Tapes.

Posted in: The Week In Pop: It’s Time We All Agreed That Coldplay Is Great
#3 Scott Lapatine | Mar 7th Score:23

I’m suddenly hungry.

Posted in: Chipotle Sues Frank Ocean
#2 neverabadidea | Mar 7th Score:27

I have an extreme dislike of Jezebel for many reasons. At this point they’ve turned into a bastardized version of a feminist website, almost the extreme opposite of what they were when they started.

That said, if you have a multi-year affair with someone you are, in fact, a dick.

Posted in: Thurston Moore: “Jezebel Is Gender Fascism”
#1 michael_ | Mar 7th Score:28

I think you’re going to find very few people who will sympathize with Moore and not think of him as a “dick” these days, but I also do think that in the context of Jezebel being a feminist website, he does make a point. If Kim were the person cheating, would they have shamed her as well? Would it even have been a story? And then I look at another popular indie musician like Mish Way of White Lung, a feminist herself who has also admitted in an article for Salon, “I have cheated on every single boyfriend I have ever had.” It’s a confusing double-standard when you consider that, and I think Jezebel set them up for this knocking by making it seem like cheating is exclusive to just men.

tl:dr; Everyone is a hypocritical asshole.

Posted in: Thurston Moore: “Jezebel Is Gender Fascism”

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5 pickpocket | Mar 7th Score:-13

Find the article where Thruston Moore is as self-aware of his flaws as Mish Way is in that piece and get back to us. I have no idea where you’re seeing this double standard.

Posted in: Thurston Moore: “Jezebel Is Gender Fascism”
#4 michael_ | Mar 13th Score:-14

Really crappy news, and that’s where the House of Vans holds their showcases. According to the schedule, last night’s show was:

Vans (doors open at 7pm)
Outdoor: Tyler the Creator, X, Cerebral Ballzy, Black Angels and special guest
Indoor: Cities Aviv, TEEN, Gap Dream, Jacuzzi Boys, Jonny Two Bags, Dave Hause – See more at:

There’s also something unsettling about the Austin police hashtagging #SXSW at the end of their tweets.

Posted in: 2 Dead In SXSW Hit-And-Run
#3 triangle | Mar 13th Score:-16

it’s time we all agreed that stereogum has nothing to do with “indie” culture, and is just another outlet for the rich, corporate entertainment elite to pander themselves in the back and sell garbage to clueless teenagers.

Posted in: The Week In Pop: It’s Time We All Agreed That Coldplay Is Great
#2 oh. | Mar 13th Score:-18

Solid music journalism centered around brief anecdotes with no a/v support and your uncertain memories.

Posted in: Future Islands Owned Last Night At SXSW
#1 cale | Mar 13th Score:-29

I was really excited when you came on to Stereogum, mostly because you wrote at Tiny Mix Tapes and loved Saint Pepsi, and I mosly aways agree with you. But Coldplay is awful. This isnt some “God” given talent. Song writing I mean. Chris Martin is laying up with an actress who may be th eworst human being on earth. Going to award shows. Dressing like a scumbag. Basically just being a huge asshole. Apposed to someone like lke Ariel Pink or Noah Lennox who are probably listeing to records all day, and being awesome. Between this post and the rest of your obnoxious week in pop post you have let me know you nothing about music or records, And that you’re an awful person. You’re a know nothing asshole and I’m going to fuck your mother if I ever meet her.

Posted in: The Week In Pop: It’s Time We All Agreed That Coldplay Is Great

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

John Mordecai | Mar 7th Score:11

GET THIS:
During a brotherly quarrel in the summer of ’95, my younger brother ratted out to my mom that me and my other brother (I’m a triplet) had the Downward Spiral and that there was a song called Heresy with the lyrics “God is dead and no one cares.”
We tried to explain that we were of mind enough to know what he was talking about, but my very religious mom insisted that she see the album and its lyrics. And so we sat there while MY MOM READ THE LYRICS OF THE ENTIRE ALBUM BACK TO US.
It was awkward.
She insisted we destroy it, and we were barred from buying albums cuz she thought we were only gonna be listening to sketchy, anti-God stuff. We never destroyed it, but kept it hidden in a drawer with all our other NIN stuff, and eventually the same went for Marilyn Manson. We’d have friends go to record stores and buy us the singles and imports, and typically we’d have to listen in secrecy.

Man, the teenage years.

Still one of my all-time favorites ever. It holds up quite well after all these years. Doesn’t sound dated at all, doesn’t even sound like anything else. The title track used to scare me… at the time, to my 14-year-old senses, this was disturbing music; not like the dog-and-pony show of Manson and whatnot, but this felt like there was something really dirty hiding behind the corners. Still so goddamn good.
Trent really had a know-how for putting industrial with the idea of songs… and there’s so much dynamic range here; it’s not just one pummel after the other… the songs keep changing, moving. The fucking guitar solo breakdown in Ruiner, for example! The last thing you’d see coming would come.
Masterpiece. End of story.

And anyone else feel that, despite it being electronic, all the sounds on it somehow sounded “organic” or of-the-earth… like you were listening to sounds generated by dirt and worms, not computers?

Posted in: The Downward Spiral Turns 20
 
Comments (26)
  1. Ah, Thunderbirds Are Now. I completely forgot they existed and were a thing at one point, all buzzy and playing Pitchfork Fest when it was called Intonation. I’m sure we’ll be saying the same thing about 80% of the bands playing this year in 10 years.

    Speaking of bands at SXSW, it confuses me that Meredith Graves would want to marry the dude from Future Islands because of everything she shouts in “Interference Fits” ( “Conversations of churches! / And veils! / And wives! / When did we all decide to give up? / Since when do we say yes to love?”) Apparently, at SXSW in a conversation with Scott, Meredith…

    All that being said, is La Dispute’s Rooms of the House next week’s dark horse Album of the Week? It is as far as I’m concerned…

  2. You are having one hell of a comeback here micheal_.

  3. I wanna just go on record right now and say to michael_ that I am always rooting for him, and that he should remember the upvotes whenever he starts freaking out about downvotes.

    • Thanks, Nathan! In response to that, I was actually thinking this week that in spite of all the miscommunication and un-fun moments there’s been had, I don’t think I have ever taken a moment to let everyone know I like you all and if you’ve thought otherwise, well now you know.

    • Agreed. ILY _

      • Dick, wanted to check back in with you. I’ve officially heard “Benji” now. Rest easy.

        • Ahhh great Jesus! Did you enjoy? Let it sink in…I’m not saying it’s Lost in the Dream at all, but it’s a solid album. Speaking of, those War on Drugs live clips are super awesome. Definitely going to give them another chance live

          • I DID enjoy it. It definitely will take some sinking in as it is DENSE. Mark sure knows how to weave a narrative, even if there are SO MANY LYRICS to parse on just one listen. I think the part that had the biggest impact was when he was talking about picking on a kid in school and feeling super bad about it. Then even calling him out and apologizing over the track. I forget which song it was but that part hit me in the feelies.

            I get this Michigan-era Sufjan feel listening to Benji. I know Mark has been making music a lot longer than Sufjan, probably even influenced Mr. Stevens. Either way, it was the first Sun Kil Moon record I ever heard (except maybe those Modest Mouse covers he did last decade. That was him right?)

            Hopefully I’ll find time to give it some more spins and really discover its beauty. Super hard considering the avalanche of great releases I’m still parsing through (forgot about new Liars).

            My big “Aren’t you proud of me Stereogum” moment was getting into St. Vincent’s new album and seeing her live last Saturday. Holy Fuck. I can see why you all have been fans for so long. She’s a phenomenal performer. “I Prefer Your Love” is so fucking great. Anyway…

            Benji hit me. Hell, I even liked that song about Newtown. (I do remember hearing it and being thankful I heard it AFTER my birthday. Probably would’ve been bummed out.)

  4. Hey guys. Today I woke up in a cold sweat. Has stereogum seriously never done a Prince albums worst to best??? I cant find it on google.

  5. Anyone else digging the new song Noon by Hotwork?

  6. So I missed John Mordecai’s comment on the Downward Spiral, but that’s the best summation of that album I’ve ever read. “something really dirty hiding behind the corners”… “sounds generated by dirt and worms not computers” …. spot on.

  7. Is that once and future Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn yelling at his laptop?

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