Find Me On:
Fascinating piece. I think this hiatus upsets me (mainly because I want more Walkmen music but also) because it’s just so simple and calm. The shrug that ends a long, long career in a typically showy business. It just makes sense for the Walkmen to go out like this. But I just don’t really know how to understand it. Should I be happy for them? Sad that they’re stopping because they didn’t feel there was anything left to do with “The Walkmen” moniker? I guess it’s just bothersome because it reveals that artists are really just plain old people and they get bored with stuff too.
But I think I’m happy for them. I’m happy I got into them while they were still putting out albums and that I got to see them live twice. I saw them once at Merriweather Post Pavilion opening for Fleet Foxes. During the long note in “All Hands and the Cook,” I kept peaking over at Robin Pecknold on the side of the stage. When the instruments kicked in, he went crazy and starting air-jamming with the song. I’ve always loved that memory.
I just wish they (and others) didn’t consider A Hundred Miles Off a disappointment or a mistake or whatever. Sure, the album’s a little messy, but I really love it. It’s a lot of fun to listen to, just like all of their albums.
I’ve always wondered what it would feel like when one of my favorite bands broke up. You always hear about these popular bands breaking up, but it’s never been one of my favorites. The Walkmen are my favorite band. I still don’t know what it feels like. The quotation above and the fact that they won’t have new music coming out anytime soon make me sad, but I feel kind of happy for them at the same time.
You & Me is my favorite album, and I don’t think about it the way I think about other albums I love. There’s something special about it to me–and there’s something special about the Walkmen for me.
They’ve always seemed kind of weary to me. I mean, just look at the title and the tracks of songs on their debut album. Even though You & Me is my favorite album, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone is the one I turn to most nowadays. It has this tired and resentful feeling to it but it’s hungry at the same time. It’s got some fight to it. But then other songs hit me the hardest when I’m just sitting at my desk, too tired to keep my head up. “They’re Winning,” even though it’s only 2 minutes long, is maybe my favorite song of all time. The gradual, patient build-up which turns into an anxious plateau. And then the lyrics: “I’ve stood in line so many times, how could I do it all again?” and ending with “How could they keep it up so long?”
I don’t know how the Walkmen kept it up so long, but I’m really glad they did.
selfie’s out; selfy is in. the man himself has spoken.
I’m excited just to see Robin Pecknold.
i like this. the vocal work following “what rhymes with hug me” cracks me up.
also, “that man is not your maker” is surely yet another reference to YHWH, right?
Is “Ya Hey” too thematically dark for summer? If not, I’ll vote for it. If yes, I’ll nominate “Diane Young” in its stead.
Outside of VW, I think “Sea of Love” by The National might be my personal song of the summer
Has anybody listened to Daughter’s If You Leave…? It gets very little coverage, but it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year.
I can’t think of anyone better at putting big drums in a quiet song than Bryan Devendorf.
steve buscemi’s funny
I definitely have some of my personal favorites that I would put on here, including a few from Sad Songs, but I still love all of these songs, so I’m not going to complain.
What’s up with that picture though? Matt looks like a male model.
This note just makes it that much sadder. His hesitant optimism, promise for new music, and thanks for the fans…
This is one of the few musician deaths that I have felt personally affected by. I only recently got into Songs: Ohia after listening to Molina & Johnson for months on end, an album I feel is criminally underappreciated.
I know it’s a cliche thing to say, but something about Molina just didn’t seem meant for this world, whatever that means.
I think everything you’re saying is valid – but do you think All I Need is a happy love song? I’ve always considered it to be an incredibly depressing love song. For me, the narrator is stuck in a one-sided relationship. She doesn’t give him any attention, but he’s willing to do anything for her.
Don’t you think there could be a correlation between not being cheery and having better lyrical content and music? To maintain cheeriness imposes severe limitations on lyrical content I would imagine.
“This is, I think, largely because they make music that makes people feel good about themselves and about life in general. ”
I think this is it. I’ve been trying to think of an artist that consistently releases sad/depressing material that is also at the top of the charts. I can’t. Sure, artists might release the token sad song off their album, and it’ll get big, but they need some upbeat stuff too.
I recently, after some introspection, realized I had been listening to a lot of music (and watching movies) for the sole purpose of making me sadder (than I already was). Then I thought about how a lot of people (probably the majority) listen to music because it makes them happy or gives them ‘feel good’ vibes. They might listen to a sad song when they’re feeling down, but they don’t every single day.
I think the difference between people who like stuff in the Top 40 and the people who don’t is that the people who don’t have a greater appreciation for this sad, ‘artfully inclined’ (like this phrase by the way) music. We don’t just listen to music for fun or to be happy. We also like for it to delve into aspects of the human condition, like despair or loneliness. Other people just don’t. Which for me makes it hard to share music with others.
I’ve never listened to Macklemore. His name weirds me out.
My favorite of these Deconstructings so far. Good job.
hi my name is sac and i think this is a question that everybody will agree is incredibly important: how do you feel about mumford and sons?
Was that a Bon Iver joke or did she say Bunny Bear?
They seriously just zoomed in on Chris Brown when Rihanna started singing?
hey james since you won’t answer do you think it’s fair for me to say you have no bravery?
hey james if you ran into her in public and she asked if you thought she was pretty, what would you say?
I think it’s fair to say this list is pretty solid.
I’m really glad A Hundred Miles Off got two songs. I love that album immensely. My list probably would have had “Wake Up” or “Thinking of a Dream I’ve Had,” but those are just personal preferences.
And of course, “The Rat” is unavoidable at #1. You’d have to have a nerve to not put it at the top.
I guess where some people see smooth, I see comfortably aware of one’s own awkwardness
I don’t really understand why people love or hate Mumford & Sons.
Pros: catchy songs, a change from EDM, cute outfits.
Cons: songs sound the same, cute outfits, folk-pop bastardization
I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed (briefly) some of their songs I’ve heard. My biggest problem is that their songs are too happy/inspirational. I like my folk to be soul-crushing.