Zayin

Comments from Zayin

I've always had a special place in my heart for "Happy". It just has the perfect slow build and then the beautiful closing shimmer. Every note is perfectly placed and has that magical guitar sound that no one else could ever duplicate. I used to play songs for my mom all the time, when I was a young boy. I was much older and I went home and played "Happy" for her in the car, and about halfway through she turned to me and was like, "This sounds like a great songs to play at your wedding." And that's when I realized that she really wasn't paying any attention at all to the music I was playing her. It's probably the last song I ever played for my mom in the car. Such a sad ending to a well loved tradition.
+3 |
September 15, 2016 on The Wrens’ Charles Bissell Shares Update On Cancer Treatment
I listened to Meadowlands for the first time, while laying on my back in a coffin shaped compartment near the room of an open train car passing through Ukraine. I had a small sliver of window that I could roll over and peer out of though parted curtains, my back turned to the room full of drunk men stumbling through the aisle, old women bathing themselves with wet rags, children somehow crying in a language I did not understand. I pulled my knapsack tight to my chest and turned up the volume on my CD player to its max, and listened to the first chirping crickets and strummed chords of The Wrens. I had ordered the album blind. I had no idea what I was going to hear. It had taken several months for the package to arrive in my mailbox, covered in stamps, and then several weeks for me to finally get the courage to play it. It was a beautiful woman on the other side of the room and I was afraid to talk to her and ruin the mystery. But here in this top bunk, rollicking through the yellow fields of eastern Ukraine, I finally introduced myself. And I fell in love. I listened to the entire album, start to finish, four times before my batteries finally died midway through the fifth. As the music suddenly cut out and was suddenly washed away by the clunk and hiss of the train I didn't even move. I didn't even take off my headphones. I just remained there, motionless, not even blinking, letting the music continue to play on in my head for as long as possible, before my memory lost. Staring out at these strange suburbs, villages and farms. Cattle glancing up as the train passed and then slowly turning back to their fields of grass. Meadowlands remains anchored to that moment. It is a spirit on a train singing into the dying light and the dying fields to a dying country, about the meaning of loss and the terrible vacancy that closeness inevitably creates. A hole punched into the air and left empty here in the meadowlands. A decade later and the words still echo in my brain, the bitter, drunken, shriek, "Baby!" followed by the matter of fact conclusion about life, "This is not what you had planned." And here we are. I'm sure Charles didn't plan for this. I know I didn't plan for anything that I've had to ride out in the last 13 years. I know for a fact the war soaked fields of eastern Ukraine didn't expect what they've got either. History just rushes on and on like a train full of drunks and dirty old women, and the only thing we can be certain of is that it won't be what you have planned. If human civilization had a narrator it would just be some guy repeating over and over "Little did they know." But that is both beautiful as well as terrifying. I have waited a long time for a follow up to that album, but if life has taught me anything it is to be patient. This year, next year, never. It doesn't matter. I'm content to simply inch aside the curtain and lay back in my mind as I push play one more time here in the Meadowlands, forever.
+8 |
September 14, 2016 on The Wrens’ Charles Bissell Shares Update On Cancer Treatment
That's a wise insight an I can believe it. Also, it fits in the timeline of these particular lives.
+1 |
September 9, 2016 on The Long Journey Of “Fast Car”
So, I have to share this story regarding "Fast Car". I never pretend to be someone that knows a great deal about music theory, music history, pop culture, anything really. But I enjoy and appreciate music and I’m willing to explore and find beauty in uncommon territories. I like to think that there are a lot of us here online. We enjoy the exploration of music and can respect the joy that someone else has when they find something they love, even if we can’t get the same buzz out of the particular substance as they did. This is hard to convey to people in real life. I regularly find that people believe that, since I listen to music they define as “obscure”, then I must be some kind of music snob. I am occasionally talked about as someone that hates music, which I find insulting. It’s true that I hate some forms of mainstream public tunes, but that is only because I feel it hides so much other great music from the public. And I refrain from even voicing this opinion in mixed company, because my frustrations with this musical pulp fiction is so much smaller than my happiness that someone else enjoys it. I honestly would much rather have a conversation with someone exploring why they enjoy Miley Cyrus than to explain to someone why I hate Miley Cyrus. But there are particular people in my life that I just can’t stand to discuss anything music related with. They are just musical imbeciles. And arrogant in their total ignorance. They are aggressive towards me, mainly due to their own insecurity. But it leads them to say some of the dumbest things, and I have to bite my tongue and not respond, but really I feel sad for them. I have two examples I would like to share: My brother in law is the worst offender. He is a good friend in most situations, but he has such butt heavy opinions about music you can’t even say anything about music without him capsizing into a frothy paste. He listens to acapella and rap, bad dubstep and he still claims his favorite song of all time is “Mr. Bassman”. I made the mistake several years ago of sharing Sufjan Stevens Illinois with him while we were stuck in a car together for several hours. He went totally nuts. He literally couldn’t listen to a song longer than 15 seconds without declaring it as crap and turning it off (in favor of his Linkin Park remix album). This is a nerd IT tech we are talking about here. He has constantly since then described my music as “stuff that sounds like it’s about to completely fall apart at any second.” Which I have concluded is just his way of describing what a banjo sounds like. A while ago he forced me to play a song for a mutual friend of ours to illustrate to them the awful music I listen to. Seriously, consider this jerk for a second. It’s one thing to not like someone’s music choices, but to call them out at a party and make them play it for someone just so you can shoot it down? Who does that? I couldn’t just pick anything. I had to play a Sufjan Stevens song off Illinois. He kept pushing until things were really awkward, so I finally gave up and played “Concerning the UFO Sighting…”. My brother in law instantly started laughing. He laughed like total idiot. I mean, the man was rolling around on the floor. He then pulled out his phone and played a different song, a better song, a song that he claimed Sufjan was “TOTALLY RIPPING OFF!”. The song? Fricken Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. What the hell, right? But everyone in the room laughed like this was actually the same song. My wife had to hold me back. Seriously, “Concerning the UFO Sighting…” and “Fast Car”. SAME. I just walked away from that one. Whatever dude. But not two weeks later I’m having a discussion with my brother, another source of musical frustration. We have come a long way in recent years, but as an older brother he is still insecure and has to put me in my place regularly. He comes to me for music recommendations, and every 5th song he has to make fun of, and then turn it around to be about how I have horrible music taste. But he hasn’t found his own music in years. He just takes my recommendations, and then plugs what he likes into Pandora. Well, the other day, he was asking for recs and I had been listening to a lot of Mikal Cronin. So, I sent him a few things, including the song “Piano Mantra”. He responded over chat to say that it was a decent song, but it was a copy of something else he couldn’t place at the moment. A little while later he sent me a link to the song he was trying to remember. The song? Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. MOTHER FFUFUFUFUFFFUUUUUUU…
+7 |
September 8, 2016 on The Long Journey Of “Fast Car”
Yeah, I think it's kind of a stretch to say that Shia has messed up his career. It's not like he was kicked out of Hollywood or something. He's not Macaulay Culkin. I see him as the other son, the Good Son, Elijah Wood. He isn't doing weird indie art house stuff, he is just famous enough to get whatever work he wants and is grabbing for things he thinks will be fun. I have no doubt in my mind that Shia no longer needs the money. He is well beyond that point. So, why not goof off for a while and still work. Is he weird? Or is he just really really bored? Because I think he's bored. Bored enough to get Missy Elliot tattoos on his knees. While we are on the subject. How can you even post an article about something like this before we have pictures of his tattooed knees to go along with it? Show us the knees Shia. Show us the knees.
+3 |
September 8, 2016 on “I Don’t Love Missy Elliott Like I Wanna Get Two Missy Elliott Tattoos” Says Famous Weirdo Who Got Two Missy Elliott Tattoos On His Knees
This whole conversation reminded me of the classic Datarock track "Computer Camp Love". Still a great song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMDlSBT5P24
0 |
August 18, 2016 on This Lana Del Rey Demo About BBM Sexting Could’ve Been The “E-Mail My Heart” Of 2011
Wretzky should give Corgan a big middle finger and join The Pixies, and then, just to stick it to Frank Black, Kim Deal could join the Smashing Pumpkins.
+2 |
August 17, 2016 on Billy Corgan Reconciles With D’arcy, Discusses Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Rumors
This comment is great. But it's so much better with Brent's voice coming out of your avatar.
+5 |
August 17, 2016 on Here’s What Michael Phelps Was Listening To Before Those Historic Olympic Wins
I am a traffic engineer. Please, Tell me more about transit systems. Or is there a Transitgum where it would be more appropriate to talk about this?
+7 |
August 15, 2016 on Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt Play Drums On Subway Platform For Some Reason
I would like to see the video of him carrying that kit back up the escalator.
+5 |
August 15, 2016 on Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt Play Drums On Subway Platform For Some Reason
Well then, digital fist bump my padfooted brother. Sometimes weekends can suck. I too need more coffee. It was 5:30 this morning that I was watching through a McDonalds drive-thru window and saw a lady shaking a coffee pot over my cup so she could be sure to get allll the grit. Cymbals Eat Guitars is truly a God sent palate cleanser this morning.
+3 |
August 15, 2016 on Cymbals Eat Guitars – “Have A Heart”
The description is spot on. This track is fantastic. I'm so pumped for this album. It's up on GooglePlay as well, if that matters to anyone.
+2 |
August 15, 2016 on Cymbals Eat Guitars – “Have A Heart”
Okay okay, but guys. This song is amazing, right? Like, holy cow this song is great.
+5 |
June 30, 2016 on Cymbals Eat Guitars – “4th Of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)” Video
That's the thing though. I'm not saying he didn't frantically claw his way into this narcissistic world of celebrity, because he absolutely did. He bled for this. He has pushed and pushed until he is way out past the breakers in this absurd almost comical level of celebrity. He married a woman that is just like him and they just rebound off of each other like mad. And for that very reason he is the perfect person to send back staticy transmissions telling us what he has found out among these planets of self importance with their spiraling moons of fans and network of rusted satellite paparazzi. I'm not saying that he doesn't LOVE every second of it, deep down; his narcissism is not an act. But I honestly feel like there is a part of himself that also truly hates it and is disgusted by it. Fame is an addiction. It is a mental condition that cries out and makes him physically need that attention in order to survive and function. But just like any addict he hates the very drug he bleeds for.
+5 |
June 26, 2016 on Kanye West Unveils “Famous” Video Depicting Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner, & Other Celebs Naked In Bed With Him
I don't know. I mean, it's gross and dumb, but I can see it from Kanye's perspective, and it is actually slightly profound. I mean, it's the intrusiveness of fan culture. It's uncomfortable to watch. It's all of these "famous" people laid bare just like everyone wants, but they are not doing anything sexy or evocative. They are just sleeping. And we, through the eyes of the camera are just sticking our heads right down next to their faces. Trying to get an angle so we can see their naughty parts. We are blurry cameras devouring the famous as if they were a table of food laid out in front of us. They are neither inviting us into their personal space or trying to push us away, they are just sleeping, and we are ghosts drooling over their nakedness. I don't know, I didn't expect much, and I didn't really enjoy it, and didn't watch much more than the very beginning, but I feel like I kinda /get/ what he is trying to say here. And I feel like Kanye is really the best person to say it.
+10 |
June 25, 2016 on Kanye West Unveils “Famous” Video Depicting Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner, & Other Celebs Naked In Bed With Him
Counterpoint: I really enjoy this. I've listened to it maybe 6 times today. I appreciate how it can explode without having to get loud. It's a very subtle pop song, which is intriguing and a trend I hope continues in the future.
0 |
June 20, 2016 on Maggie Rogers – “Alaska”
This is sad news, considering that I had hopes that he would be available to run as Bernie Sander's vice president.
+7 |
June 6, 2016 on Killer Mike Starring In New TV Show Produced By Tim & Eric [UPDATE: Or Not]
I guess it's not too crazy. It's all about style, right? I am wearing a pair of Pavement shoes. Not the band though, like shoes made out of real cement. I made some enemies in the mafia and now I'm standing off a pier at the bottom of lake Michigan.
+10 |
May 27, 2016 on The Official A Moon Shaped Pool Chiffon Scarf Is Here!
Man, it's way too long to copy here as text, but I have to share this short story about Concerning the UFO Sightings, and how everyone should appreciate it as much as I do. Hopefully Stereogum's filters don't mind me posting a link. http://shadrach451.tumblr.com/post/144987025160/musical-lepers
+1 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
I was just getting ready to say this. I always listened to "Romulus" and thought, "Man, I would love to have an album that explores nothing but this sound and style of story telling." The first time I listened to Carrie & Lowell I went nuts, because it was exactly what I had always been wanting.
+3 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
I have my children convinced that "Justice Delivers It's Death" is a song about Black Friday. It's the first "Christmas Song" we play after Thanksgiving after we open up our Christmas Music for the season.
+1 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
And I would follow that comment by clarifying "The original recording of 'The Child With the star on His Head', not the one that was included on the album." Give me 8 minutes of twinkle lights.
+1 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
Where is Majesty Snow Bird? I weep for that song. You know what would make me happy? I would be overjoyed if Suf would just release a Majesty Snow Bird EP that was nothing but 20~25 minutes of that one song. He could do it. He probably has it already recorded even. He just doesn't feel like it's good enough. But come on. Can you believe the sad irony in writing a song like that and then having it only ever see the light as bad quality live recordings and then rough cut Christmas party sing alone snippets on a Christmas album? If he didn't release so much amazing music, I would be tempted to be insulted. But I'm what they call a cry baby entitled Sufjan fan, that is still sore about "Lonely Man of Winter" as well.
+1 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
It looks like you are going to fit right in.
+5 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
Seriously. More people need to listen to "Lord God Bird". You know you have found something special when you find an artist that can write songs as great as that and never even include them on an album. Like it's a doodle he made one day while he was bored and left on the bus one day, and yet, here I am, over a decade later, and I still stare at that doodle all the time and find more and more beauty in it with each passing year.
+3 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
I think it's his most famous, because he specially sat down and worked to make it his most famous. He was fastidious about it being accessible and able to be played on the radio. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm not insulting the song. Quite the opposite, I think he knew what he had to do to make it as enjoyable as possible to a mainstream audience. That's why we ended up with so many different versions of it on the follow up collection 'Avalanche'. He was obviously working hard to optimize the output, and he succeeded. For that, I give it high objective praise. But my subjective praise would go to other more complicated and difficult to digest Sufjan tracks. Places where he can be seen making beauty out of discord. Where he is purposefully trying to scare the listener away, and the effort in refusing, enriches the beauty of what is revealed. I think a bigger fault in this top 10 list is the fact that it completely ignores so much of Sufjan's broader story, and the quirks of his releases that make him who he is. There is no mention of all 100 of his Christmas songs, some of which are at the top of his catalog. And nothing from All Delighted People, which is the lost younger child that should have been born after Illinois. So much of his sound craft from Illinois reaches it's pinnacle on that "EP". And there is nothing from his early period where his master songwriter was clearly visible in things like "Joy! Joy! Joy!" and "Rake", both of which could be praised as the height of his abilities if they were released today. Enjoy Your Rabbit, is also not mentioned directly, but that's acceptable, because Enjoy Your Rabbit is really only exciting as the "big name actor's first co-staring role in a weird obscure 80s sci-fi movie where he plays an android that dies off screen" kind of way. Also not mentioned are his ballets, endless colaborations, and of course the BQE, which I feel he only made for me personally to love, since I'm a diehard Sufjan fan that also happens to be a traffic engineer that listens to Philip Glass while designing highways and then goes home to watch Koyaanisqatsi for fun in the evenings.
+10 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs
Upvote for Majesty Snowbird. I have a renewed hope that someday it will see a studio quality release now that we have a studio version of Radiohead playing "True Love Waits".
+2 |
May 26, 2016 on The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs