The internet isn’t a place where people can acknowledge and respect the nuance in other people’s choices. Everyone is an expert on how somebody else out to be living. It’s unnecessary though. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are accountable to each other. Not writers who compose their thoughts in listicle form. To even have an opinion on their situation is a gross miscalculation of my relevance as a music fan.
One thing objectively worse than Coldplay’s music is commentary about Coldplay’s music. As we begin, consider following a few ground rules.
1. If you feel compelled to reference another artist, actually say why that’s relevant. “Coldplay sounds like (x), therefore (y).”
2. Explain why, after 15 years as a band but you still don’t have enough evidence to decide your feelings for Coldplay, why you’re still trying?
This song screamed for a bombastic breakdown but they refrained. That’s intriguing. It’s arranged perfectly for the EDM remixes to be poppin’. So in a way, everybody wins. Very good song.
Your site, your rules. I get that. But I don’t get how a music site for adults in 2014 had an actual conversation about whether parents can use marijuana and how that’s symptomatic of unhealthy management of mental illness. Being “good” is one thing. But _’s more of an unwanted distraction than anything else.
Huge American Idol fan. I’m biased toward the show. But declaring that a debut R&B album won’t be culturally relevant is not a reflection of the show’s popularity. It’s a reflection of the genre itself. Maybe I’m wrong but R&B hasn’t had a culturally powerhouse debut from an African American woman since Alicia Keyes.
That American Idol isn’t the pervasive cultural force it once was. No question. But that observation doesn’t speak to the realities that R&B is, by and large, a dead-end of American black artists on a massive scale.
Great article. Loved having this on a Tuesday morning. This is a slightly irrelevant point but this got me thinking. Somehow, and we know this about music in 2014, bands growing and developing their craft toward commercial viability is a motivation worth rejecting. But when I think about the author, he, in his mid-30s I think I read, is getting better and better at his craft. Writers don’t command the form until they reach 40. Breihan can do this for another 30 years if he so chooses. This piece, like much of his recent work, suggest a future of just really insightful, meaningful writing I, as a fan, can get excited about. But with musicians, there’s such less expectations for healthy growth. That’s weird. That the narrative presented in this article exists says much more about patrons of music than the artists themselves.
Good move. Anything to help neutralize the influx of think pieces on “The State of Rap Music in a Macklemore world.”
What more of a hit can Foxes get than Clarity? That’s a genuine smash. And I Need Your Love is the best thing Ellie Goulding’s been connected with. I’m not sure what she’s showcased that would make anyone anticipate any sort of compelling musical vision. But Goulding does make good singles. Her voice works well on dance tracks. That’s her calling card to longevity.
I love the writing on Stereogum so I’m down for this. But I’m reminded of a tweet by Vice yesterday: Why pretending to enjoy rubbish bands is the new pretending to enjoy decent bands.
Muse had to share a day with Coldplay at Lollapalooza a few years back. If U2 hijacks their day at Coachella, they’ll never play another festival in America again.
Maybe I’m wrong about this but Stereogum (or some likeminded publication) had SVIIB in studio to perform two songs, Conjur being one. I was hooked at first listen. I went to my school’s radio station and was excited to see they had a copy of Alpinisms. I stole it. For me, college was a time to get into different styles of alternative/indie music and SVIIB were easily one of the more influential bands for me exploring newer sounds beyond the Killers or whatever I liked in high school. One summer I went to a free show at South Street Seaport (with the xx opening when they were a foursome) and recognized them before their set I remember eagerly telling BC, “Your album cover is the background of my computer!” He gave me a look as if to say, “Wow, are our fans this pathetic?” Haha, but they were friendly. Last year, I made a playlist with songs I want played at my funeral. After a string of anthems like All My Friends or Exit Music (for a film) or the YYY’s Hysteric, it ends with The Wait. I always will prefer Alpinisms to DfD, but that song will stay with me forever. I’m not sure I’ve dealt with the death of an artist who’s music I new really, really well. Strange feeling. Thoughts to his family.
I loved Yeezus and love that we both look at it very differently. For me, Yeezus was an exercise in amplifying his inner thoughts and deciding if his essence alone can be masterful art. The arrangements were sparse, the lyrics jumbled but that was the point. It wasn’t thought out. He put his money that his totality alone is captivating enough to carry an album. Even his collaboration with Justin Vernon, a sort of nihilistic minimalist himself, shared that same mentality. I don’t know if I’d call Yeezus an album about death or mortality. His posturing is more than just self-loathing bluster. He left the choirs and soul samples and other qualities that make him accessible behind and bet big that his totality was enough to carry a record. He was right. That’s not fear that’s maniacal confidence.
I think because I was convinced he was going to get better and had already began anticipating how special it’d be to see these guys again makes this harder for me as a fan. For now, thanks for the memories. Thoughts to his family.
“Musician-Producer-1/2 of School of Seven Bells-Nothing to fall back on.”
Unrelated story: I went to a pre-release listening party for the Foals’ album. I don’t think the public was supposed to be invited but a lot of us showed up and they let us in one by one. By the time I got inside, the music was over but I got to literally rub shoulders with Yannis and there was an open bar. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a dollar to tip my 15 dollar cocktail. I’m a disgrace. Safe to say, no one asked for my number.
Of all the times to add Fiona Apple to a list, it belonged here. The Hot Knife video was sensational.
I enjoyed reading this. It’s a shame EDM is only discussed in sites like Stereogum when mentioning deaths due to MDMA. Many producers and their music deserve better. On that level, I wish the drug wasn’t as culturally relevant. Still, this article does go to show the blending of genres into the monogenre, like you once wrote about. Artists of all colors and styles are hyping the same drug. It’s interesting to think about.
Very cool. This list most closely mirrors my own personal list. Although did we all sort of forget the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released an album this year? While it didn’t have the obvious singles like It’s Blitz, it was strong. I’m reminded of the blogosphere ignoring of Bloc Party’s Four last year. Given both of these band’s legacies, they deserve way more of the benefit of the doubt with multiple listens.
I’m stoked for this. Money and music is all about perspective. 55 dollars in New York pays for a cover charge and maybe three drinks. Considering the nature of the event and the venue, this at least is a moment attendees won’t ever forget.
“Damn Virgin and their corporate BS. . .but can I get Freefest tickets?”
Friends, Virgin Mobile is the best phone plan. I pay 25 for a plan with unlimited data, letting me assault my Spotify Premium account. I hate marketing as much as the next guy but, I gotta say it: I broke free.
Just saw FR perform last week. Brilliant performance. With the right producer, I think these guys could be primed for a Snow Patrol-esque jump. They’re too dynamic to be contained in the UK indie sphere.
I found the platitudes honoring Lou Reed’s death rather funny. Not because he doesn’t deserve them. But because the same publications that cited his fierce commitment to nonconformity publish ridiculous interviews like this. When “artists” like Toro Y Moi or Grimes show their “don’t-give-a-fuck” attitude by shouting out Buckcherry or Taylor Swift, it’s really insulting to the legacy of men and women who demanded outsiders and freaks and the misunderstood be showcased and celebrated. I hated this.
Yikes. Regardless of right and wrong, keep it in the family.
This dynamic is interesting to think about in relation to big UK rock bands. Elbow’s discography is undoubtedly less musically diverse than Coldplay’s, but Elbow is a band all Brits can rightly be proud of, meaning they’ll rarely get criticized for being musically monotonous. Keane has released five #1 albums in the UK. Each sounds very British, by either relying heavily on U2 or Queen for inspiration. They’ll get hammered by American and even UK press, but they accomplish their goals more often than not. Oasis’ obsession with the Beatles has been discussed for years. There seems to be a tension between ambitiously claiming a mantle from the past successors, being a cultural representative to the rest of the world of what British music is while still being artistically interesting. Americans seem less forgiving with their artists.