I conducted a large multi-page phone interview with EL-P last year for Ghettoblaster magazine, right before Cancer 4 Cure and RAP Music were released, and I didn’t even ask those questions then. If you have some genuine questions, he’s really open to have a conversation and giving some genuine answers. We even talked about domestic violence and he told me that he cried when MCA died.
I saw them tour together, with MIke opening, and ran into EL out front before the show. I mentioned to him that we did the interview and he asked, “How did it turn out?” At the time, it hadn’t been published yet, but I told him that I thought that it went well. I got the feeling that it came at a time when he was doing a lot of press and that he didn’t even remember it specifically. I also got the feeling that he had already started getting his buzz on. But, after shaking his hand and when I was about to walk away, he looked at me in the eye and said, “Hey. Thank you,” with a startling amount of sincerity.
If he didn’t even remember that specific interview, which I still don’t believe that he did, then that just tells me that there’s always an opportunity for him to really come through and open up and, he must present that availability regularly. That also means that it’s up to the interviewer to offer them an opportunity to engage or to completely make them feel like they’re wasting their time. These guys are light-hearted jokesters, but they’re also pretty honest and serious about their crafts and with their respect for the artform. To me, it always felt a little disrespectful to not even do your research before hand. Between the duo, they have 4 decades worth of history in the industry, there’s a lot you could ask. I think this is a pretty hilarious way to handle something that’s got to be getting tiring for them.
Warp tour just got even creepier. I’ve never heard of these guys before, but that whole scene looks like the perfect smorgasbord for sexual deviants that are just a little too old to be hanging out with your children. Every time that I see an image of the crowds at that festival, it’s full of Hot Topic tweens over-the-top excited to meet androgynous tattooed men with asymmetrical haircuts and take pictures of them in their tour buses. Blood on the Dancefloor is questionable enough. What’s with trying to look so “hardcore” and having a target audience that averages 14 years old. Why are some of these parents so down with sending their kids to these events unattended, at all? My guess is that the parents are pretty young and idiotic themselves. This isn’t the norm, but there’s definitely potential for shit like this to go down. You won’t catch me leaving my son in the care of adult men in eyeliner, saying “It’s okay. Go with them and get in their secluded vehicles. It’s alright. He knows how to play guitar.”
This isn’t punk rock kids. I’d much rather have my son at a Minor Threat show, or even a Germs show, than something like this. This is, obviously, potentially more dangerous. And, while I know that you can’t really blame the festivals, the other bands, or even the other members of the group, it’s still fucking creepy as all get out. It’s not that the scene is even overrun with this type of thing–I’m sure that it’s not–but I can see how (not why) this specific goon was able to capitalize off of it. I’m definitely shocked by the actions of this twisted wingnut and trust that he won’t fair too well in the prison system, but the parents are so clearly, equally fucked up in this scenario. The idea that this guy is somehow famous not only allowed him to exploit his young, impressionable fanbase, but the parents all buy into that shit, as well? There’s not much that can be done as far as something like this, something so unprecedently backwards and disturbing, but the idea that this guy should have any level of influence over anyone just because he sang some terrible songs and probably printed some shitty logo on some T-Shirts and banners, is definitely one of the problems.
Like the conversation above surrounding whether or not a less appealing image should have been used as a header, I do think it’s good to remind yourself that you should probably be more aware as a parent about how this shit can go down in less assuming places than back alley pool halls. To me, the dude looks unsavory in the header image, as it is. Most parents aren’t going to help strangers rape their kids, of course, but even the comments regarding people’s friends having innocent pictures with this guy on their facebook profiles, makes me think about what could have went down in those scenarios, if he was into older kids.
I don’t know. It’s just a terrible story. Now I know about a new level of repulsiveness and I had to find out about one more of these terrible bands on top of it. Today, everyone loses. At least he’s being locked up.
Saw the tour stop in Seattle last night. Pretty amazing.
I’d like to see Kelley fill in.
I’d also like to see Gallagher 2 as the warm up act.
Mystical Weapons – S/T
The Howling Hex – The Best of the Howling Hex
Bitchin Bajas – Krausened
Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold (technically, self-released last year)
Listen man, your viewpoint is a little fanboy and it’s fucking ridiculous. I’m a large supporter of the group, even though they canceled their tour and disappeared off the face of the Earth the same week that I was supposed to interview them for a print publication. I have a friend who’s spoken with Zach in the past–he told me about Death Grips before anything was released–and was even supposed to release some shit for him, but he bounced on that. They signed to EPIC and you’re on here talking about how they will never sell out or be in a major magazine? What the fuck are you talking about. From an industry standpoint, it’s my understanding that it’s technically near impossible to release a physical album before year’s end, when they didn’t finish the fucking thing until October. They canceled their tour, apparently, to finish this thing, so they are the ones that are actually fucking up the release date and were way behind on everything. Simply from a quality control perspective, you have to make sure that all of the physical copies aren’t defective and that everything’s straight before selling them. If they’re talking about vinyl, I’ve had it explained that there’s easily a 3 month wait with a lot of plants because there’s a huge Beatles reissue campaign going on, pushing pressing plants back even further. When I was sent my Money Store promo, it had a No Love sticker in it, but they hadn’t even gotten anywhere with the album yet and a week later had to cancel a tour that they just announced? They played Coachella and Moog Fest. They’ve done tons of shit for Pitchfork. The shows that they canceled were the small shows and the publications that they’ve blown off were the small ones. I’m not sure what you think constitutes underground or mainstream, but your points are weak at best and slightly blind.
Keep in mind, this is coming from someone that championed them early on with Ex Military and continue to be a fan of theirs, but it doesn’t add up. Maybe they felt shitty about feeling like they’ve sold out, or whatever, and I want to believe in fucking up the majors for good cause, but I really don’t see EPIC at fault in this scenario whatsoever. Zach Hill was in Wavves for chrissakes. Right now as I type this, Bethany Constantino is drinking Bushmills on the side of this page, probably thinking about her Urban Outfitters clothing line.
No Company Flow?
the video might look familiar too
You might be thinking about how this song sounds like a follow up to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”
My favorite part is when she says “white shirt” and the camera pans over to the guy who is wearing the black shirt
Agreed. The only difference this time seems to be that the bite is gone. It’s almost like it was geared to receive less backlash, but it does still feel empty, but weaker. And pointless. And not very good.
that’s ridiculous and fundamentally oppressive. Why can you then discuss a male artist without turning it into a article about whether they are masculine or otherwise?
I think the real point is that the author doesn’t seem to be able to discuss anything other than female artists and, when she does, she can’t manage to write an article that doesn’t focus on said issues.
I wouldn’t know, because that’s actually my exact point. There are talented musicians and untalented musicians, period. 3 chord guitarists and button pushers. Electronics wizards and guitar wizards. There seems to be a heavy focus on the materials being used here in this comment section. You in particular write about how easy it is to make dubstep music, but the emotional aspect of the art is being ignored and the technical aspects are being focused on. By that same token, just because you aren’t “button pushing” doesn’t mean that you are super talented or technical either. Frets, buttons, keys.. in the right hands and context, it shouldn’t matter what you’re pressing.
I admit that I only skimmed this thread and that I think that I may have carried my comments over from another post that I was reading, since I wrote this super late at night/early in the morning. If so, then I apologize. I just don’t find Skrillex to be that interesting, personally, but the conversation always expands ridiculously far beyond the individual. It stretches into attacking genres, large groups and seems to reject the emotional content or intention behind the music being created and I think that’s a mistake.
I almost believed that his article wasn’t going to be redirected towards gender issues and feminism, at some point, like the previous two. I was foolishly mistaken
Good for you. Sorry that I don’t know how to type that without it sounding sarcastic, because I mean it. You realized that the best show you saw was something that people love to hate and felt that you couldn’t ignore the worth that you found in it, even though everyone would inevitably attack you. That’s reasonable.
A lot of music doesn’t sound that interesting to me these days, while a lot of stuff does. But it’s always been that way and I still can’t understand the choices of individuals any more than I ever could. While the internet has blurred everything into a big murky swirl like frozen pinkish-brown paste of mashed up neapolitan ice-cream with a spoon sticking out of it, there’s still a lot of trash. Things just aren’t separated as easily by genre to where people say, “I love metal. Rap sucks!” Because the same sites and festivals book all of it together. Sure, people say it, but those genres aren’t as well defined anymore as people would like to believe. Everyone is “indie” and everyone is “mainstream”, it seems. Then everyone argues about which is which. Still, everyone’s kicking it at the same party.
I haven’t been interested in Skrillex, because it just didn’t sound that interesting. Skrillex’s form of “dubstep”, just sounds like lazy drill n bass. If I want crazy shit, why wouldn’t I just listen to Aaron Funk? That stuff gives me anxiety attacks and I respect him for it. I might be uptight and getting old, but when I saw someone like Marilyn Manson get a fake contact lens and try to do a Ziggy Stardust haircut, I couldn’t shake the fact that I knew that he was ripping off David Bowie. I just couldn’t, aside from the fact that he’s terrible. That stuff is for the kids that are too young to recognize that it’s blatant plagiarism and/or simply derivative. The Skrillex “First of the Year (Equinox)” video got a lot of hype, but it just looked like a weak Chris Cunningham video ripoff. So the song was like sub-par Aphex Twin and so was the video. If you do something completely original, it can only be compared to itself. When you imitate something too closely, I have no other choice but to compare it to the original, and, unless you’re amazing, I’ll usually just wonder why I don’t see the original instead.
As for those who are blindly trashing electronic music and comparing it to the “studied” musician, it’s about time to move out of the dark ages. Why not trash everyone that uses effects and electric instruments instead of playing a fucking lute and a dulcimer? It’s too bad that you reject technology, because that means that you will never be able to travel back in time to add another voice screaming “JUDAS!” while Dylan goes electric. Amon Tobin and Squarepusher are “studied” and trained musicians, which chose to move into electronic music with amazing and innovative results. They create some brilliant stuff and I challenge anyone to put them up against a Jason Mraz and tell me how less talented they are. Most musicians are playing 3 chords and strumming along like assholes, anyway. Don’t get it twisted and attack an entire medium of expression, because you don’t have any history or knowledge of it. Is Faust lazy or innovative for playing cement mixers? That’s a tough one… you might have to get back to me on that one. Some shit just sounds archaic because it is, like panning electronic music. If you don’t like Skrillex as an individual artist, then I understand that. To attack electronic music as a whole though, just sounds ignorant. Look up Raymond Scott for one. Learn something.
I haven’t listened to Skrillex too much, so I probably can’t make an incredibly thoughtful assessment, but I haven’t been impressed. What I can say about him, in relation to this article, is that I think that I would generally respect someone that can pull the live thing off more than the studio thing. Even that, however, really relates to the nature of what they’re creating. Look at the alternatives (Lana Del Rey, etc.). Anyone can make studio magic and sound like a superstar. I actually think this article makes a good point. On the flip side of the coin, just because something is technically difficult, it doesn’t mean that it sounds good at all. I’d rather eat a pepperoni pizza than one that has figs, grapenuts, picante sauce, and pickled herring on it, just because it’s “innovative”. I went on prog and jazz fusion kicks for a while back in the day too, but I’m not limited by everything having to be the most technically advanced stuff in the world. If I was, I’d just listen to John McLaughlin non stop (which I did for a while). I’d never listen to Pink Floyd, because I wouldn’t respect emotional substance as much as wicked guitar licks. I would hate Nirvana. I’d only dig on the Beatles songs with the weird chords. I would limit myself consistently out of spite and no one else would give a shit because they’d be too busy dancing.
Will she “deconstruct” Chairlift next?
Well, my feelings are that, even if people aren’t hungry to specifically read about music “deconstruction” I feel that they would at least still like something that fosters a real conversation. When the posts are built on such non-existent foundations, it really doesn’t allow for much, if any, entry into a discussion.
The criticisms are exactly what you mentioned, there’s nothing to take away from it. I think that people genuinely would like to have a column that “makes arguments about music” that they could “respond” to, but all that’s been offered so far are two rants that seem to have no real basis or purpose other than reinforcing why or why not people should enjoy particular acts, while using every opportunity to make unwarranted claims that redirect the conversation towards topics of feminism.
There’s no accounting for tone on the internet, but my impression wasn’t so much that people were “outraged” by the subject matter as much as they are disappointed and would still like to see the column become what it had promised to be.
I wouldn’t like to make an attack on any of the comments being made in the thread or even a direct response to their content, but I would like to make a general observation. I think that it’s great, sad, and telling all at once that a legitimate discussion was formed in this comment section by the readers/commenters. It’s clear that people are genuinely thirsty for a column that engages them and allows for such discussion. The unfortunate thing is that everyone had to completely dismiss the article itself to create their own. Obviously, there were real topics worth exploring related to the group -feelings about prerecorded music in a live setting for one- and I commend everyone for finding a way to dig in and locate those actual points and exploring them, despite having to swim against the current to get there. Stereogum seemed to identify with that need to provide such a forum for their readers; it’s just unfortunate that this column hasn’t managed to deliver that with it’s own content, but merely despite it.
After reading the Grimes piece and now this one, I’m starting to question the purpose of this new segment altogether. I’m honestly not trying to attack for the sake of attacking, but, I really did have high hopes for this column. For some reason I thought that a different person might be tackling the column each week, but it’s clear that I overlooked something and that’s not really an issue anyway. My real issue is that I thought that there would at least be a new interesting topic each week, set to instigate discussion, but that only seems like a bi-product of what’s being posted. The discussion being generated is mostly just about how the column is ineffective at creating any legitimate discussions and, as that’s easily passable as controversial and risky journalism that’s evoking emotional responses in itself, on paper, in reality, that excuse is just a cop out. Sure, the column is generating plenty of feedback, but if all of the comments are about how the column is disappointing, I’m not sure that can really be labeled as a success. If we can’t have a different columnist, that’s completely understandable, but can we please get a different topic? Is every week just going to be the same writer “deconstructing” a band that she hates or “deconstructing” a band that she likes. Will she just continue to explain why or why not the readers should or should not enjoy something, break down who the artists “really” are behind the masks, delve into their “real” intentions, and tie it up into a bow so that, as a reader, you can determine if you should feel validated in your personal opinions or if you should feel like a ridiculous asshole because you’ve been ignorantly enjoying the wrong shit the whole time? This is becoming nothing more than, “you should like ___ because…” or “You shouldn’t like ___ because…” pieces. They’re just glorified album reviews without the album. They are whole band reviews, under the guise of bold, powerful, investigated pieces and editorials. They’re constructed in a manner to avoid even having to explain who the artists are and the problem with that is this: if the author took the effort to introduce the artists, their backstory, etc a little further, then it would read as if Shepard was trying to introduce the reader to an artist and explain who they were to her and how she perceived them. Instead, by writing them as if she is storming a castle and coming at a topic which everyone should already be familiar with, she is either neglected the pool of people that don’t have any frame of reference for the artists and leaving them in the dust, or abrasively coming full force at those who have already formed an opinion and letting them know why or why not they are correct for liking or disliking something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against walking up to someone, knocking a CD out of their hands and telling them what they like is completely trash, if that’s what you’re into doing, but it just seems dishonest or, a the very least a mistake, to frame this column in the manner that it’s been introduced to us. I have no problem calling these “articles” out as pretentious junk, but I’m not going to pretend that I’m changing the fucking world or the musical blogoshpere by doing so.
I couldn’t really embrace the Grimes piece because I felt that it was misdirected, but at least I appreciated the attempt at directing the topic towards something that was bigger than the artist -the idea of the blogosphere dictating .. what was it again? something… naive? or was it sinister? I can’t remember. Even if it seemed generously forced had no real foundation, at least it was an attempt to try and create some new level of framework around the subject. I was interested to see what would be next. What would the topic be about? Tastemakers in a post-John Peel world? Scouting rappers in the suburbs? It could have been anything, but what was it? … A “deconstructing” a female artist post. Both of Sheperd’s pieces have made sure to refocus the subject matter onto feminism at some point, which I would argue that most of the readers aren’t even thinking about or concerned with in these particular contexts. Click on the author’s name, which links to her bio, and then follow it to her site. Tell me how many articles or blog posts that you find that aren’t built around gender identity and feminism. If this is gonna be a column about women in the industry and if they are living up to their responsibilities as such (as defined by Julianne Escobedo Sheperd) then that’s what this column should be advertised as, so that it could save a lot of us the disappointment of expecting something less bland, played out, and uninteresting. I think that people are disappointed because they actually do want to be involved in a discussion and these articles leave no room for anyone in on the conversation. If you’re not the author, you are left out entirely. All that they can say is, “I hate that artist too” or “Hey, I love that artist” or vice versa. I’ve said it before, but if you are concerned about feminism and equality, it might be more helpful to have one less voice critiquing every move that a female artist makes and more beneficial to judge them based on pure talent and not what you feel may be a deeper rejection of their own gender identities. This approach is counterproductive for a number of reasons. If you’re only going to write about things in this fashion, then be prepared for every comment section to be filled with responses that are “deconstructing” Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. It’s the only conversation left.
It’s almost ironic that the fact that I get so many updates and emails regarding so many different artists and projects is the main reason that I can completely miss what’s happening with them or overlook the hype surrounding them. Eventually, if it grows enough, it will be inevitable but I think that I’m overwhelmed myself. It can be too much. I was genuinely surprised to find this post, because I was completely oblivious to the fact that so many other people were aware of her already. So many, to the point that this is the 2nd most commented on post currently on Stereogum.
I just went back to see when I received the contact about Grimes coming to town and it was back on January 23rd for a show on February 20th. In the email it references her “critically acclaimed full-length” that wouldn’t even be officially released until the day following the show (February 21st). Critically acclaimed a month before it’s release. The article above appeared exactly 1 week after the release date. Everything happens at an accelerated rate these days. Your albums been out a week and there are already articles about how your time should be up.
Thanks. I haven’t commented on here enough to realize that there was a “profile” that I could modify at all. Unfortunately, while it’s allowed me to add the facebook and twitter accounts of my site, it doesn’t seem to retain the actual link to my site that I keep entering into the appropriate field.
( http://monsterfresh.com )
I completely agreed with your comment above. This article definitely seems to represent more about the author as an individual than it does about the subject as an individual. I also agree that this is still a good idea for a column, overall.
I’ll apologize for telling you to go fuck yourself, but at least I prefaced it with “If your intention is to imply that I didn’t read the entire article..”
I may have misinterpreted your above comment of “No, I just read enough of it (all of it)…” so, again, I’m sorry, because I didn’t want to jump the gun.
Honestly, that implication is the only thing that I truly disagree with, myself. You’ve made repeated comments throughout the comment section to engage in the conversation and I wrote one huge posts, so I will concede to that as well. I knew that my admittedly super long post was a reaction to what I’ve read in the comment section and, by that note, felt like I was engaging in the conversation. I just felt that any potential idea that I that I didn’t read it was dismissive, insulting, and wouldn’t have evolved any conversation, but rather would have been an example of not respecting any other outside veiwpoint. I also see that you haven’t entirely agreed with everything stated by Sheperd either. I like the idea of the column because it creates discussion and I pretty much despise anything that limits or shuts that down. I also believe that it’s ignorant to attack Sheperd strictly on the basis that her article was well written. Others have definitely done that here, but perhaps it offended them because it was paired with implications about Grimes’ own lack of maturity. Whether they presented those ideas productively or not, is debatable.
I do still believe that Jake’s original comment above might hold value, where he says, “This column fails because it doesn’t address Grimes’ music but the general reaction to it as perceived by Julianne Shepherd.” While you perhaps saw the part where he claims that the article “fails” because it “…doesn’t address Grimes’ music but the general reaction to it” I think that I primarily focused in more on the part that said, “…as perceived by Julianne Shepherd.”