Michael Nelson

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Quicksand Guitarist Reportedly Arrested For Shoplifting & Resisting Arrest

A few weeks ago, the NYC post-hardcore institution Quicksand announced a new LP -- their third overall, and first in 22 years -- and dropped…
Michael Nelson | September 14, 2017 - 12:17 pm

Sounding Board

Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?

Taylor Swift wrote her first hit single during her freshman year at Hendersonville High School in Tennessee. The song was about her then-boyfriend, a senior…
Michael Nelson | August 31, 2017 - 12:38 pm

Quicksand Tease 1st LP In 22 Years, Interiors

A couple months ago, the great NYC post-hardcore band Quicksand announced a pretty substantial North American tour spanning the month of September 2017. Needless to…
Michael Nelson | August 21, 2017 - 5:54 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: The War On Drugs A Deeper Understanding

You guys ever see that Wilco documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart? I love that flick, but there's one scene in particular: Wilco…
Michael Nelson | August 18, 2017 - 12:40 pm

Waltham – “Summer Nights” Video (Feat. Noelle From Damone & Corey Feldman)

Back in the early aughts, the Boston-adjacent city of Waltham, Massachusetts produced a pair of the decade's best power-pop bands -- one named after the…
Michael Nelson | July 27, 2017 - 6:01 pm

The Darkness – “All The Pretty Girls”

Taylor Swift and I have many things in common, but one of the quirkier items in the shared area of our Venn diagram is this:…
Michael Nelson | July 21, 2017 - 3:00 pm

James Hetfield Disses Kirk Hammett Again For Not Contributing Ideas To Metallica’s Latest Album

Way back in April 2015, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett went on Jamey Jasta's podcast and revealed that he'd somehow "lost [his] iPhone with 250 musical…
Michael Nelson | July 18, 2017 - 4:28 pm

Ted Leo – “You’re Like Me”

It's been seven years since Ted Leo's last LP under his own name -- 2010's Brutalist Bricks -- and those seven years have been a…
Michael Nelson | July 6, 2017 - 10:56 am

The Lurking Fear – “Vortex Spawn”

It can be pretty hard to draw a meaningful distinction between "extreme metal" vocalists, even if you've got a decent familiarity with the genre. That's…
Michael Nelson | June 30, 2017 - 2:01 pm

The Movielife – “Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel”

When most people think of the Long Island emo/hardcore scene, the bands that typically come to mind are Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Glassjaw…
Michael Nelson | June 26, 2017 - 3:23 pm

Mudhoney – “Neanderfuck”

I'm not here to start an argument, just calling it like I see it: Mudhoney were the quintessential grunge band. That's not exactly the same…
Michael Nelson | June 15, 2017 - 2:16 pm

Hear A New Ep Of U Talkin’ U2 To Me?

Podcasts about music tend to be pretty uneven and largely inessential. That's primarily because licensing fees make it prohibitively expensive to include actual music in…
Michael Nelson | June 6, 2017 - 11:17 am

Watch Baroness Debut New Guitarist Gina Gleason

Last week, Baroness announced the departure of longtime guitarist Pete Adams, at the same time also naming Adams' replacement: Philadelphia's Gina Gleason. Filling Adams' shoes…
Michael Nelson | June 5, 2017 - 12:49 pm

Morrissey Releases Statement About Manchester Arena Attack

Manchester, England is one of modern music's most historically significant cities, in no small part because it gave us the Smiths. ("Oh Manchester, so much…
Michael Nelson | May 23, 2017 - 3:22 pm

Premiere

Bloodclot – “Kali”

Bloodclot qualify as a "supergroup" by just about every practical standard. Their bassist, Nick Oliveri, started his career as a member of Kyuss, and after…
Michael Nelson | May 19, 2017 - 12:02 pm

Comments from Michael Nelson

You're nuts. This might be my second-favorite track on the album!
+5 |
September 13, 2017 on Japandroids – “North East South West” Video
There are gonna be like five regular commenters who get this reference, but I got a kick out of Ray's concluding sentiment: "It took a while to truly grasp what the album had to say." Friends, here we have proof positive that we ALWAYS need to accept the possibility of a record so excellent we don’t understand it yet.
+35 |
September 11, 2017 on Strawberry Jam Turns 10
An old friend of mine used to write a food-criticism column where he worked in all these obscure historical facts, philosophical and metaphysical concepts, and scientific terminology, and his core intent was to describe the fact of "eating" in the most grotesque, tactile language, while also praising the meal itself. We would sit around cracking ourselves up thinking about how readers might react. "I dunno, Margaret. It seems like he loved the meal, and yet, I find myself ill after having read this." Of course he truly loved EVERY meal. He would write a positive review of curdled milk if somebody served it to him. He just deeply appreciated every morsel of food he ingested, because it had required the sacrifices of others to keep HIM alive. For obvious reasons, that column is no longer being published, but I think we would all find greater happiness in life if we paid such careful attention to our bounty. http://archive.longislandpress.com/2010/10/28/chris-lunchbox-syosset-thai-nirvana/
+5 |
September 9, 2017 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Holy shit. Is this too many characters for a Twitter bio? I'm humbled. Is there a stronger word than "humbled"? Whatever that word is, that's what I am. "Thankful"? Something like that. Thankful. Thank you.
+4 |
September 9, 2017 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Thanks for sharing! I never saw this clip before, but this is exactly what I was talking about. He took all these structural limitations and unanticipated, unavoidable challenges and used them to make the performance more exciting, more intimate, and frankly BETTER. But he wasn't stunting, just, like, delivering. It was very warm and charming while also being incredibly fucking badass while ALSO having no pretense or affect either way. He's a rare breed. And also his new album is fantastic.
+2 |
September 8, 2017 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
I cannot possibly accept this obscenely generous compliment, but I CAN say this is quite literally the nicest thing anybody has ever said about me, and it's also the nicest thing anybody ever COULD say about me. You are truly, TRULY far too kind. So I can't accept, but I appreciate it so very much just the same.
+12 |
September 8, 2017 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Listen to Red House Painters' "24" if you want some subtextual irony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vhtpAIbIpQ
+2 |
September 7, 2017 on Lost Edge: LCD Soundsystem’s Road To Sincerity
From Boy to Best ... Thing About Me You Are, that is!
+5 |
September 6, 2017 on U2 – “You’re The Best Thing About Me”
Well, even if you don't comment again, I'm glad you did, and I hope you'll read my reply. Which is: I totally agree with what you're saying, but that goes to my point. For all we know, Taylor Swift and Kanye West talked at length about this line well in advance of the song's release. Even if they didn't, it makes no difference. If Taylor Swift (the artist) wants to comment on Kanye West (the artist), that's her right. And honestly I think her intent was to be funny rather than mean. "Don't like your tilted stage"? That sounds like something an 8-year-old would say. "I'm a jerk? Well, I don't even like your, um ... shirt!" I think that's how she intended it to play, but again, who knows. HOWEVER, for me, it's a question of optics and response. There's a darker tone that I think is UNINTENDED, but one she should have accounted for. Taylor Swift has been championed by the alt-right as their Aryan Goddess or whatever. Breitbart is tweeting out every lyric of "LWYMMD" in an effort to claim it for their own hateful ends. When she leans into that, even on a micro level, it furthers feelings of separatism, and I think emboldens people to view their own hatred as acceptable. I don't think it's hard to imagine lines of thought like, for example: "I never liked that Kanye West or his awful wife [whose father was O.J. Simpson's lawyer] and I'm glad Taylor is finally giving it back to him. She's always been a smart, sweet, successful, very pretty young woman and a good role model. Kanye West can rot in prison for all I care." Etc. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I hope that at least conveys what I was THINKING.
+2 |
September 1, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
Well it sounds slightly less cool than "the Autechre of extreme metal," but I'm very flattered just the same. (I'm really more of an Analyze Phish fan than anything else.) Thanks man! Fwiw I was gonna cut that little "major label office chatter" skit from my WOD manifesto but it tested through the roof with my focus group aka my wife, whose first-read feedback has consistently elevated my work from "bad" to "not bad." You should see what DID get cut. Yikes!
+4 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
This made me smile. Never change, Bloc. ❤
+6 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
You're absolutely right about the clumsy tonal shift, and for that I offer no excuses. If I'd had another day with this I woulda softened that, and looking at it now, I wish I had. But these takes only stay hot for so long!
+4 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
I think your question is a good one, but any answer I offer is gonna be an extended variation on this from above: Her songs are not simply based on real-life events; they are — to borrow a phrase from one of Swift’s favorite TV shows — “ripped from the headlines.” This is a deliberate innovation on Swift’s part, and she uses it because, by doing so, people relate to the work even more.
+3 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
All fair. I'll do what I can to get myself out of this knot. Yeah, I'm definitely speculating about "22," and my shout to Max wasn't just for laughs -- I've been closely following his career for almost 20 years now, and the one thing that EVERYBODY says is, he's a ruthless editor with a scientific approach to songcraft. (It's called "melodic math" if you're not familiar, and it's an actual teachable/repeatable formula.) So it's totally possible that they nixed that bridge just because it didn't conform to his standard. It's interesting to see that Swift underlines the word "those" in the updated draft, indicating to me that the repetition of "those" is more math-based than it is, like, a meaningful word. But I'm speculating there, too. The truth is, I don't know what she intended for that song to convey, but it has always felt to me very much like she wrote the song to strike a chord with the broadest possible audience, and her own explanations haven't done much to dispel me of that notion. Here's an example: "I wrote that about my friends, like finally I’ve got this amazing group of girlfriends and we tell each other everything, we’re together all the time. And I think that was kind of the marker of me being 22, like having all these friends and there’s all these question marks in your life, but the one thing that you have is that you have each other." I admire that sentiment, I just don't hear it in the song. It's kinda fitting that one of the top comments on that Genius page is simply "I can't wait to be 22." THAT is what I hear in the song. And that is an AWESOME feeling to evoke in a listener. I suspect that was the author's intention, but you're right, it's just a suspicion. To your broader point: I'm not calling her out for being calculating or disingenuous at all. Absolutely the opposite. To call someone "disingenuous" implies a question or criticism of their sincerity, but w/r/t Taylor Swift, we have no point of reference against which base such a claim. We don't know if she is a sincere person, we know only about the sincerity of the character she has written for herself and even THAT is clouded by our own projections. She's an artist. We know her art. Is her ART disingenuous? I'm not gonna get all metaphysical on you here, but I don't believe art can be fundamentally disingenuous. Is Taylor Swift a "calculating" person? No idea. Is her art "calculated"? Well yeah but so was fucking Raymond Carver's or Stanley Kubrick's or whoever, forever. I mean, besides like a 1-year-old's finger paintings, all art is to some degree "calculated." The thing I'm criticizing is this reaction to her music, right now, that seems to be a referendum on her intent or motives. WE DON'T KNOW HER INTENT OR MOTIVES. But historically, we can see a pattern that SUGGESTS a consistent artistic identity, and suddenly, people are forgetting about all that and acting like she's always been something else.
+7 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
Doug you are fucking nuts if you don't put a sticker on the CD case that says "An extreme metal Autechre." That's the coolest praise I've ever heard about anything.
+5 |
August 31, 2017 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2017
Thanks man, I know about that fact-check, I just said "Tennessee-bred" as a way of shortening "Pennsylvania-born, Tennessee-bred" to make it read snappier. I did not know the other stuff. I remember somebody telling me she grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, and I was like, "Yeah but it was a Christmas-tree farm owned by her dad who works in finance." I'm not even sure it was an operational Christmas-tree farm or just basically a literal evergreen forest owned by the Swift family.
+6 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
Here are the aforementioned accounts, if yr curious. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-muse-behind-joni-mitchells-carey-1415721658 https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-joni-mitchell-met-cary-raditz-her-mean-old-daddy-1415721367
+5 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
Well she's a total fucking badass so I expect her to only say badass stuff, but I gotta be honest (and I recognize the irony in me saying this but) a couple years ago I was reading accounts of the song "Carey," first from Joni's perspective and then from Carey's (or whatever his real name was), and it was honestly absolutely riveting. It deepened my appreciation for her music like tenfold, and that's saying something. That said, I loved "Carey" for a VERY LONG time before I even knew it was based on a real relationship. Her writing absolutely blows my goddamn mind and needs no context to do so.
+8 |
August 31, 2017 on Drama Chameleon: Won’t The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand Up?
Incidentally, that whole Arcade Fire album basically just repackages a bunch of Eastern philosophy underneath all its snark, so I think Win Butler might feel a little conflicted about your defense of him here.
+9 |
August 30, 2017 on Here Is A Video Win Butler Made With ClickHole
"Foreign word" - I can tell already that you're a pretty cool guy. "5 paragraphs of bullshit" - so you liked the other 250 paragraphs, but took issue with five of 'em? Was it just the ones with the "foreign word"?
+12 |
August 30, 2017 on Here Is A Video Win Butler Made With ClickHole