Well put! When Impossible Soul winds down with Sufjan whispering “we made such a mess together” it just kills me. I love how the album is bookended by two acoustic passages–the musicianship and writing in Age of Adz just blows me away (don’t get me started on Now That I’m Older). It’s a stunning/beautiful/heartbreaking album, and as an amateur musician and writer it just makes me throw my hands up because I’ll never be able to create something that could even come close.
And as another comment below mentioned, the tour in support of that album was incredible. I’m gushing a bit but I think Sufjan is one of the most talented people alive.
That picture is nuts
I love this
Country Fest…rarely can I so emphatically denounce, well, anything.
For a few years, before they cracked down on it, people wouldn’t even buy tickets for the show, they’d just go park in the lot and drink for the entire two days. I’m not against festivals or having fun but this was extreme. And not surprisingly there were some really tragic car accidents involving young people, which as a local guy I’m sure you remember too, michael_.
Not to mention the arrests: 100k attendees with 268 arrests this year and 617 in 2012. Bonnaroo attendance is like 150k and it had 42 arrests this year.
Not to throw the entire pop country machine under the bus–certainly no genre or festival is without its problems, stereotypes, bad behaviors–but it lends itself to a gross festival. Pop country is music for people who don’t like music but enjoy a catchy tune romanticizing beer and hats. And as such things are pretty ugly when they congregate en masse for days.
That came out sounding pretty judgmental, and let it be known I happen to really like a lot of older country music as well as southern rock and other sister genres. But when it comes to modern country I’m constantly reminded of a Don Draper quote that basically goes: “advertising tells you that whatever you are doing is ok.” Pop country is pure advertising and it attracts a certain person really well.
I’ve listened to this like 10 times already today, so pretty.
Been keeping up those occlumency classes though. RIP Sirius.
I’m really bummed about the Phoenix.
Love the Strokes but I think the video is better than the song.
Cale, you must be 16 years old, tops. People with similar musical tastes tend to get along and have other things in common, and vice versa. I hope you’re not just figuring this out now. It’s really not surprising you would be more likely to deem someone “awesome” if they like the same bands as you.
So that girl earns your contempt because she starts conversations with you about Frank Ocean and Bon Iver and listens to what you recommend? Yikes. She could be a Dave Matthews groupie and it sounds like she’d be a better person to spend time with than you. Maybe there’s more to your relationship you haven’t explained but she sounds pretty nice and you sound straight up mean.
As for the cocktail comment I’m a bit speechless–as if the ability and decision to consume alcohol is in any way indicative of a person’s character as a gentleman. Next time the commercials come on hit fast forward on the DVR, especially if it’s Ketel One.
One of the funnest shows I’ve ever seen was Dom opening for the Go! Team at the Paradise. It was just after their first album came out and I got the sense that all their Worcester buddies had driven into the city for it. My friends and I ended up right in the middle of them and it was raucous. A bottle of whiskey was being passed between stage and crowd, there was tons of stage diving and stage crashing, and Dom sounded AWESOME. Almost broke my glasses.
I only made it through one Go! Team song but lasted long enough to see Dom’s guitar player run up and dive off the stage a few more times. It was hilarious.
My body is ready
Why would you come to a comments section asking for less commentary?
Hey, don’t let anyone or anything take writing away from you. I enjoy your blog and the content is miles beyond most. Your passion really comes through and that makes a difference. Thought the mbv write-up was especially great.
If you feel like tastes are shifting away from yours, make that your strength! Use it to define your point of view. Or if you really do want to take a break from writing, try another medium. Lots of college radio stations make airtime available to “community members” (I live in MA too and know that Boston College’s WZBC does this).
And don’t get discouraged by the downvotes here. Reading comments on sites like these is like watching pundits yell at each other on TV news shows, but yours always feel like they are coming from a human being. I respect (and frequently agree with) the things you have to say and in general I think if we were all talking in person we would all be friends.
That’s just about the weakest anti-Strokes rant I’ve ever heard. So if Julian’s dad made pizza for a living you’d like their music better? Take the songs for what they are; there’s no need to trash anyone based on where they came from or who their parents are. There are a zillion variables that contribute to a band blowing up and it’s silly to fault the artists for having a few in their favor or taking advantage of the resources available to them.
Even if they were “unfairly” promoted over other NYC bands, well, just because someone helped you get your foot in the door doesn’t mean you aren’t busting your ass to keep it there.
I actually love listening to MBV at the office while I work. The textures take over and I get pulled into the music yet it doesn’t distract me when I need to write cogent emails. It’s kind of like listening to classical.
How so? No snark meant, I’m curious. Most of the music I listen to and read about features female musicians and pop culture is littered with massively popular women. I’m not saying sexism doesn’t exist, just that I find it hard to believe that someone as established and wealthy as Beyonce can’t play with women if she wants to. It’s hard for me to think that all this time she’s been forced against her will to play with men.
Yes. I didn’t mean to criticize her clothing choice.
Thanks for the insightful response, Nathan. Yours are great points. I totally agree that there is nothing wrong with a female entertainer flaunting her sexuality or having a sexualized image, and agree accordingly that scantily-clad definitely does not equal bad. And you certainly don’t have to be a man to appreciate her beauty and fitness. I didn’t mean to criticize her clothing choice.
I meant to criticize the people proclaiming her a role model for young girls based on the following: her thighs, dance moves, and wealth/fame (aka the entire halftime show). Those are all great individual accomplishments Beyonce should be proud of, and if you want to record pop songs or are doing lots of squats at the gym then you should go buy her poster. But it should not be mistaken for something more. She should not be deemed the height of female achievement because she gave a song and dance performance in front of a Pepsi-Cola backdrop and looked good doing it (nobody should).
The NFL/CBS/Pepsi gave Beyonce the gig because they knew she would perform well, attract viewers, and ultimately increase profit. That is why we just saw her on TV. It does not make her someone to look up to – she may have other qualities that do, but this halftime performance is not some great win for women. It was a business move and should not be misunderstood as any sort of feminist progress.
Fixating on her all-female band only shows that people are happy to take what is fed to them and justify it under the guise of feminism rather than wanting something more. It’s akin to being in an abusive relationship and being OK with getting beat up as long as there are flowers every once in a while. (An ugly metaphor and I don’t mean to make light of domestic abuse.) Beyonce just supported and perpetuated the system that feminists purport to change but nobody noticed because she had a couple women playing the instruments.
I can totally appreciate Beyonce’s singing/dancing talent, but I have a problem with the people who are holding up this halftime performance as some sort of paragon of female achievement and empowerment. I saw too many disturbing status updates like this one after halftime:
“Beyonce is living proof that a woman can be sexy, strong, talented, intelligent, and classy all at once. A shoutout to Sasha Fierce for inspiring grown women and little girls everywhere. I will now make watching YouTube videos of that performance my full-time ambition in order to gain some of those #skillz, #dancemoves, #curves.”
Which was affirmed by other girls with lines such as: “The day I confidently shake my booty on national television in a bangin’ black leather bodysuit…”
I don’t doubt that Beyonce is in many ways a great role model. But I will say that her performance was, from a feminist standpoint, pandering and regressive. Observing the reactions and praise it garnered from “progressive” women made me feel like I had been watching the wrong channel.
If Beyonce gyrating in her underwear about wanting a man to put a ring on her finger is the gold standard for young girls to aspire to then feminism has been completely swallowed up, subverted by the system, and turned into a gimmick that exists to maintain the status quo, championing what is utterly nonsense and believing that it’s a victory. And don’t give me the “But she had all female musicians!” argument. That is neither noteworthy nor impressive and serves only to trick you into thinking her performance was pseudo-progressive.
I don’t mean to sound like a total grouch and say that there is anything inherently wrong with looking great, dancing suggestively, or flaunting it if you got it. There isn’t. It’s just that so-called feminists need to stop rationalizing how progressive it is. It’s not, it’s the status quo.
It was off to the side of the overflow camping area, and I was a bit facetious in calling it “woods,” it was more like cultivated rows of small trees. Sort of like a Christmas tree lot crossed with a vineyard.
I’m getting it too.
Totally agree. Festivals can’t replace seeing a band you love in a small, intimate club (then again, nothing can). And I am less likely to get sunburned in a club, so that’s a plus.
That said, at Sasquatch last year the Walkmen played a gorgeous set as the sun was setting and then Spiritualized took the stage and the combination of the two literally blew my mind (with the help of some choice substances). Then I had the hardest time ever trying to eat a burrito during Beck and basically dropped it all over someone. And then a friend hooked up with a girl in the woods. Hard to do all that in a club.