Find Me On:
Turn on the Bright Lights is one of the top 50 albums of this young century. None of the rest of Interpol’s albums even come close. TOTBL doesn’t do anything except get better and better at the end. That being said, I can forgive anyone who passes Interpol off as a one-album band. Unless you are one of those/these folks who just love the band, they really haven’t lived up to the promise.
But that is no reason to add snarky criticism where it doesn’t belong.
Not sure that I am willing to criticize him all that much. Don’t want to play armchair psychoanalyst for Andre, but sounds like he’s experiencing some depression, maybe a bit of mid-life crisis. Did Andre, as a young man, envision becoming a character? A person, wealthy or not, is entitled to feel disenchantment.
My tendency is to criticize the people who rush to be the first one to hear an album, or see a reunion show, or even watch a new movie (midnight matinee!). Maybe temper the haste a bit and reflect on the actual merit of an experience rather than instantly becoming an expert and critic. Taking for instance the premature evaluation, I have already been told what an album is and whether it is “good”. I would rather wait two weeks after release and see what metadata is available. Rather than rushing to see an old, old act (by industry standards) on reunion at Coachella, I might think about why I valued their music in the first place. Whether they put on a great show or not, most of the crowd was there to be able to say that they had been there (which will be the enduring quality of the event, rather than Andre’s disengagement). I for one have no interest in attending a show with the expectation that artists are going to run through songs that were popular twenty years ago for the sake of nostalgia. When you have arrived there, my friends, you have stopped moving forward. Have to agree with Andre on this one; if the experience does not drive you, it may not be worth all that much.
Hip hop is better in the car for so many reasons, but here are a just a few. . .
1.) the sound kind of surrounds and envelops you and allows for a visceral experience that the home/headphone experience doesn’t allow
2.) the need to actually focus on driving distracts from the god awful lyrics (in many cases)
3.) you can mean-mug small children and old ladies, even if you’re white (especially if you’re white). . .
I just want to introduce the notion, rj, after having watched the video, which clearly borrows heavily from Kung Fu Hustle, that the thesis of this one line manifesto is to engage thy neighbor (who might otherwise encourage you to “turn it down”, or even convince the police to encourage you to “turn it down”), thereby tearing down the societal walls that separate us and uniting the masses under the flag of twerk, or whatever the kids are calling it now. Especially if you happen to be wearing sweatpants.
I would like to say that it was not my idea to include Sylvan Esso in the ‘Gum reader’s comment thread, but I would make a strong argument for Hey Mami as a second to Seasons Change.
Also, I would like to believe that the reason for choosing 9/10 of the songs in the survey was to ensure that Seasons Change was the winner (as was mentioned above).
However, that might be giving Stereogum a bit too much credit.
It may be that you haven’t heard a lot of these songs because the only people who have listened to all of these songs have been subjected to them rather than choosing to listen to them (i.e., they’re shit).
I’ll take a shot, but you are asking two different questions:
1.) Songs that encapsulate what the band is about
-Misunderstood (live version, if possible)
-Art of Almost or Spiders/Kidsmoke
2.) Surefire winners (while simultaneously having no idea what you are into)
-A Shot in the Arm
-Theologians or Hate it Here (can’t go wrong with Impossible Germany, either
That should also give you a good range of albums.
I agree about Sky Blue Sky, carson. Very good album. I think that it only suffers from following Summerteeth, YHF, and A Ghost is Born. For me, as much as Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting centers on melody and poetry, he also embraces a certain level “I don’t care what you think”. That cognitive dissonance created, for me, an uncomfortable moment (or moments) on each of the albums that I would consider “great”. I came to love those moments, but Sky Blue Sky doesn’t really have that feature. There are a couple of great moments that rival anything that they ever did (sonically). Perhaps the entire album is a statement in contrarianism, and I think that your description is apt. Sky Blue Sky is very nice to listen to, and I am a huge fan of “dad rock” (apparently). Just isn’t at the same level for me.
I disconnected with Wilco after Sky Blue Sky because it feels like Tweedy has gone too far down his own path of contrarian doodling. With few exceptions, the songwriting has constrained one of the best drummers and one of the best lead guitarists working right now. The lineup is great if you have the opportunity to see the band live, but that doesn’t really translate to LP.
Great writeup, and thanks for it. This was the last great Wilco album, and I’ll part ways with you at your last paragraph. I won’t argue that A Ghost is Born is better than YHF, but the songwriting is sharper, the fog is foggier, and the sunshine is brighter. The album slumps a bit in places, but I would argue that all of Wilco’s albums do, YHF included. I think Wilco have written more great songs than any band going right now (Radiohead might be a contender, speaking of), but this is the album that I go back to most frequently as an entire piece.