Patrick Stickles via Instagram

Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles is an intense and outspoken individual in person, as I found out when I wrote this feature about him. But there’s a distinct possibility that he’s even more intense and outspoken when he’s sitting at his phone or his laptop. He can be a weird Twitter follow, and in the past two days, I’ve been annoyed enough at his Twitter-talk to come close to unfollowing him. Sadly, both of those moments could be considered newsworthy: The one where Stickles defended Lily Allen from recent controversies, calling her “the realest in the game,” and the one where he took a look at Kurt Cobain’s recently unearthed cryptic death-scene note and decided that it meant terrible things about Kurt Cobain. Observe.

First, here’s the bit about Lily Allen:

Time for me to set the record straight for you Tumbling hipsters – leave Lily Allen alone! She’s the realest in that game #SITDAFUCKDOWN >:( If you wanna dis someone in that field, dis that other one they’re selling now, where you clink a link to “buy her look from the video” BARF. You know who I’m talking about, right? You’d have to be nodding off pretty hard to have not noticed the foul shit she be doing #42DECKS yupp. Anyway, Lily – insecure people will see a tribute as an insult if it means they get to have a fight to further their personal agenda. Another thing – saying that a person is beyond judgement because they are another race has gotta be the most racist thing I ever heard. This vow of silence precludes dialectic between cultures and therefore progress – a more equitable world grows more remote by these deeds.

And now, on Courtney Love:

Okay, as long as we’re talking, that note that the Seattle cops revealed that Kurt wrote, re: C Love? #OMO it says everything we always knew. lso, I think it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Courtney either, A ) had Kurt killed, or B ) forged fake “suicide note,” ditched real. I also want to go on the record saying that Kurt absolutely 100% wrote the songs on ’Live Through This,’ ala BIG writing ’Hardcore’ lyrics. Please don’t forget – #OMO stands for “One Man’s Opinion” #SLINGNEWHASH

Stickles’s recent appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, which was great, affirmed something I already knew: This is both a very smart and a very troubled young artist. I can’t wait for the forthcoming Titus Andronicus rock opera. But I also don’t agree with him on any of this bullshit.

[Photo via Instagram]

Comments (12)
  1. Didn’t you agree with the first part in a stereogum post yesterday? Or are you just referring to the Courtney Love rantings, which are bullshit

  2. a) i can’t wait to see what Stickles has to say about this article
    b) i love Stickles
    c) i once wrote a review of one of his live shows, he twitter attacked me, we came out friends
    d) i can’t wait for the rock opera
    e) agreed, re: Stickles’ WTF podcast is one of the best Maron has ever done

  3. He also declared his love for “Come On Eileen” and there is nothing unreasonable about that.

  4. I have so much respect for Patrick Stickles right now. He nailed the whole nontroversy. Also for the record Sheezus deserves AOTW.

  5. His Courtney Love rant is ridiculous but I’m finding the manner in which sites like Stereogum and writers such as yourself jump on these faux-controversies to be the problematic thing here. Ultimately I think Stickles is right about Lily Allen. Her Beyoncé cover was a tribute–something she has often done for other artists at that same venue–and as far as I can tell this is the only incident that Stickles is addressing. Someone might mistake a video clip of the performance for mockery if they had absolutely no context, but you are a professional writer. Your job is to provide context and I know you have that context, so I find your stance on this particular incident bothersome. Is it just to avoid potential, misplaced public ire that could negatively affect this site or your career? To drum up page views? Sometimes it seems like the way these stories are covered suggests that cultural segregation is the only way to avoid controversy. And I’m not saying that there aren’t issues of racial insensitivity in pop music that ought to be addressed. But this is not one of them. What’s the end goal? By that, I mean what sort of a world would you rather your descendants live in? One where people continue to be separated by race, class, sexuality and so on, or one where humans see each other as humans, full stop? The many cultures and subcultures that exist in this planet are each beautiful in their own ways, but the other side of the coin is that they developed and exist because of isolation brought about by geography, language barriers, tension and violence. As these barriers are eradicated and we get along and understand each other better our separate cultures are going to smear into one. You can see that already in how we’ve begun to identify “good taste” by how omnivorous a person’s consumption of music is rather than which specific subcultures they identify with. As things smear, it’s going to be messy at times. There will really problematic things worth calling out. The best thing the press can do is save their vitriol for real issues when they arise, and stop drumming up controversy for traffic. It’s shameful. I just read an article where a professional writer called a musician troubled after that musician called out on Twitter the nonsensical outcry on Tumblr at Lily Allen’s tribute to Beyoncé, sparked by Questlove’s context-free reaction to a video of said tribute, a reaction which was publicized by sites like this. I mean, Jesus Christ. Pitchfork, Stereogum and the like have been frequently stooping to British music tabloid levels of bullshit. Have a little integrity.

    • Mouthwash, thanks for adding some value to this unimaginative piece of writing. I liked Tom’s piece about TA from last winter – it was well written, sensitive even – but this just reeks of vapid “web content”. It contains an opinion but no argument and barely any context. Weak.

      If this writer had taken just an extra hour or two to think about what he was about to post, rather than pumping out yet another unexamined blurb about some happening on Twitter, I’d like to think he’d have the capacity to come up with something as engaging as you have.

      Blogs like this one do have the opportunity to encourage people to consider the various ways in which we engage with or react to culture, arguably more than any other forum. This “article” was a wasted opportunity for stronger journalism.

  6. ugh. still looking forward to the opera though

  7. This is why Bob Dylan and Alison Mosshart don’t have twitter. Don Van Vliet was never on Tumblr. Joe Strummer didn’t have a facebook.

  8. oh no you were going to unfollow him??????????????????

  9. boozm  |   Posted on May 2nd +1

    “Another thing – saying that a person is beyond judgement because they are another race has gotta be the most racist thing I ever heard. This vow of silence precludes dialectic between cultures and therefore progress – a more equitable world grows more remote by these deeds.”

    I could not have said it better myself, all of these amateur critical theorists on tumblr are doing a lot of harm to equality. It’s both dangerous and bizarre.

  10. He’s also Shading Sky Ferreira and her “I Blame Myself” video controversy about black dancers and culture appropiation.

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