I had a new girlfriend, and we listened to Is This It all the time. Our love story was based on this album. When we play some songs live, I can feel that some people are seeing parts of their past again— they remember what they were doing when they first heard the song. Being a musician is such a good job, your music is the soundtrack of a lot of people’s lives.
The Strokes could make a great album right now, but if it’s just the same thing, what’s the point? I know when we did Moon Safari, it was like, “OK, if people like that, they will listen to it forever. We don’t need to make another one.” The Strokes’ first album is perfect like it is. They don’t need to make another one of those.
“It’s instructive to picture what this guy would actually look like IRL, some clown with a real emotional haircut, Crocs hanging off his feet, Urban Outfitters leather jacket hung over his IKEA futon, remnants of that Taco Bell burrito with the Fritos in it congregating at the corners of his mouth as he binges on Skyrim, blasts “Pumped Up Kicks” on infinite repeat, and gargles dozens of shots of, like, Goldschläger.”—Rob Harvilla imagines the guy Lana Del Rey is singing about all through her album Born to Die. This part of his review made laugh out loud. I really admire the way Rob integrates glib, humorous bits into his reviews in ways that actually advance his ideas about the record. That’s not always easy to do. (via perpetua)
“You can’t explain why you like something. The bigger question for me was always to the people asking me to explain. [I’d say], ‘Why don’t you want to hear this?’ I love finding out why people don’t love things. And if you ask people why they don’t like things, particularly when they get into this sort of culture box, you find out that they’re not liking things because of what people are going to think about them, and not because of what the things actually sound like.”—Stew, on how people like music or don’t like music because they think other people think they should like or dislike it. (via nprfreshair)
“The conversation surrounding Lana Del Rey has underscored some seriously depressing truths about sexism in music. She was subjected to the kind of intense scrutiny— about her backstory and especially her appearance— that’s generally reserved for women only. But the sexual politics of Born to Die are troubling too: You’d be hard pressed to find any song on which Del Rey reveals an interiority or figures herself as anything more complex than an ice-cream-cone-licking object of male desire (a line in “Blue Jeans”, “I will love you till the end of time/ I would wait a million years,” sums up about 65% of the album’s lyrical content). Even when Del Rey offers something that could be read as a critique (“This is what makes us girls/ We don’t stick together ‘cause we put our love first”), she asks that we make no effort to change, escape, or transcend the way things are (“Don’t cry about it/ Don’t cry about it.”)”—
At this point, I don’t really care about whether or not Lana Del Rey is ‘authentic.’ While she has obviously been unfairly criticized because she is a woman, we need to focus on the unhealthy vision of femininity that she presents.
“ALL WATERS: Why are straight women always walking with their hands in the back pocket of their boyfriends’ jeans? Would I do that all the time too if I didn’t have to think about it? Alan and I hold hands in specific parts of the city and sometimes outside of those parts. But there is always a little ‘catch’; no matter how much I think the shame and fear is gone, there is always a little something in the back of my mind. I am almost embarrassed sometimes when we are holding hands, and that fucking infuriates me. I can’t even imagine that hesitation ever going away, and that makes me very sad.”—
To be fair, Klosterman did end his piece by saying that he was rooting for Merill Garbus’ legacy as a genius, though he warned of possible, impending “doom.” After all, maybe in a warped, tough love kind of way, this piece could be considered a preemptive favor to Garbus and her fans alike. It’s right of critics to doubt and question the “genius” label whenever these unwieldy things get hitched to a musician. But it’s Klosterman’s method of dissecting Garbus that feels snidely less-than-honest, not to mention less-than-informed.
In some ways, this could be because Chuck Klosterman represents a slightly older guard of music critics, the ones stuck firmly in a mostly male-dominated High Fidelity kind of indie-verse. Maura Johnston, music editor of the Village Voice, rightly labeled his position on Garbus as “Old Man Yells At Cloud That He Seems To Find Gender-Ambiguous” but Klosterman’s piece seems more deliberately irresponsible and misleading than that. Perhaps, “Old Man Attempts to Discredit Artist Who Challenges Gender Binary by Calling Her ‘Asexual’” would be more apt. Thing is, it’s been over a decade since High Fidelity came out. Indie rock is no longer fairly represented by the slightly greasy, slightly antisocial Rob Gordons of the world. Time to get with the times, Mr. Klosterman.
“Only Paris seemed (slightly) resistant to Helvetica’s charms. One can find it everywhere on the streets, but an attempt to introduce it underground was less successful. In the Métro it was tried out in the time between Alphabet Metro and Parisine, but in a mish-mash of styles, combining several old and new weights, and it wasn’t popular. The problem with Helvetica in a city notably immune to a uniformity of type was that it just wasn’t French.”—How Helvetica Conquered The World With Its Cool, Comforting Logic | Co.Design
About one of the most resolutely sexual albums of the last few years. A shame that Grantland’s huge audience is exposed to this level of crude misrepresentation masquerading as coy/self-effacing insight.
Paper Heart is definitely not the worst movie on this list. (I didn’t love it, but I did respect it for trying a different way of story telling.) Guess which ones I only saw for the trainwreck factor or on account of being stuck with a group of people who wanted to see it!
I think I personally accounted for about a fifth of Scott Pilgrim’s box office income. I’m still sad that it didn’t get more attention and came out during the Michael Cera hate saturation point.
“Almost everyone engaged in creative pursuits will know the feeling of being on one’s laptop at stupid o’clock, willing something to happen on the screen in front of them. It’s toolkit and office – and also the place to socialise and unwind, especially in the middle of the night. The state of mind that accompanies this will also be recognisable. It feels lonely, but oddly peaceful; your eyes hurt and your skin feels slightly numb; every so often, fatigue makes you zone out and hallucinate (mildly, like having a spot of vertigo when you look down at the space bar). There’s a lack of distraction from your own thoughts, which means you’re susceptible to wandering down dark or melancholic cul-de-sacs – and believing those thoughts are profound. No wonder a soothing soundtrack is needed: music that affects just enough woozy weirdness to mirror your brain’s odd patterns, but can be relied on not to provide any surprises. Comfort food, essentially.”—
“Using the term cheesy to attribute poor taste to “girls” is telling. The origin of the word “cheesy” comes from the Urdu “chiz”, meaning “thing”. The negative association for an Indian “thing” is a leftover of the colonial attitude towards objects and customs of subjugated people. A cheesy thing was thought to be big or showy. Of course, big and showy are not values of the western cultural elite. Modesty, intellectualism, the mind over the body are Protestant values. Criticism of pop dance music often focuses on its immodesty: too big, too popular, too ostentatious, too pompous, too showy and too sexual. Pop dance music is created to inspire movement and provoke participation – but what is wrong with leaving both your head and heart on the dancefloor? You might even ask why are women more interested in dancing. Perhaps because they are allowed to display their bodies as sexual spectacles while men are more encouraged to display their bodies as athletic spectacles.”—Ask the indie professor: Who likes ‘cheesy’ music and why? | Music | guardian.co.uk
“it’s disappointing that men (and women!) still feel that women exist to be controlled. and most of all it’s disappointing that working in the music industry as a woman is still so difficult and so unheard-of and so second-guessed, knowing that it will be that way until the world changes its expectations for women, and then seeing a woman like lana del rey and all the internalized misogyny she stands for becoming so popular. so i guess i really don’t hate lana del rey, i hate what she makes apparent to me about the state of gender politics in the music industry. when you listen to her music i suggest you take into account the fact that she, the image of this woman as you know her, was created by men to appeal to men. then i suggest you stop listening to lana del rey and listen to grass widow or something.”—y’all should read my roommate’s ~thinkpiece~ on lana del rey because it mostly sums up my own thoughts (except i get too depressed when i contemplate the state of gender equality in the music industry so i couldn’t have written this)
“Take a (French) city dweller dining on a cafe terrace. He or she orders a salad with olive oil, lemon and pine nuts, followed by a truffle omelette and a glass of Chablis, and a poire belle-hélène for dessert (poached pears with melted chocolate). The meal ends with a cup of coffee sprinkled with cinnamon and a gin-based liqueur. Then our diner takes an aspirin and jots down a few lines in a notebook with a disposable ballpoint. That person has just used the output of 15 trees: ash for the chair, elm for the table, olive for the oil, umbrella pine for the nuts, a lemon tree, oak for the truffles, false acacia for the white wine barrel, a pear tree, a cocoa tree, a coffee tree, a cinnamon tree, juniper tree to flavour the gin, willow for the aspirin, castor tree for the plastic and Scots pine for the paper. We could not live without trees.”—The contribution of trees to our lives: it is time to take stock | Environment | Guardian Weekly
“The affectless tone of Lana Del Rey’s voice and the airlessness of her undateable vintage sound, combined with her lyrical and videogenic embrace of the victim role, drain her music of the vital ingredients that made rock and roll, for example, so much fun: youth, sexiness, laugh-out-loud humor, blessed impropriety. (I guess she showed some deadpan wit in going with the headsmackingly obvious “Born To Die” as her second single.) Instead, there’s the draw of necrophilia, the frisson of going deep with someone who’s surrendered her own free will. It’s not a surprise in the least that such a figure would be compelling in an era ruled by vampires and zombies. Lana Del Rey’s closest peer might be the Kristen Stewart of the Twilight movies, a heroine who’s really a sacrifice.”—Best music 2011: Hating Lana Del Rey and loving Lou Reed. - Slate Magazine