"It’s hard to imagine sending a submission and being subject to the approval or disapproval of someone who, though undoubtedly super talented and precocious and brilliant in a way that would be uncanny and kind of disturbing if it weren’t so aligned with what I personally think is cool, is 14 years old. What I’m trying to say is that it creeps me out that everyone I know is sending you their resume because I want experience to count for something, and right now it seems like it has never counted for less."
“And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women — except, of course, those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape kit ‘n’ stuff. But for everybody else, it’s a win-win. Unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years. Whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know, actually, I take it back. The whole thing’s a disaster.”—the missing portion of Tina Fey’s acceptance speech, which was snipped by PBS from last night’s broadcast of the Mark Twain Prize ceremony. (via washingtonpoststyle)
To tie this all up: as Odd Future proves, writers are quick to take aim when women are in jeopardy. And yet, when it comes to giving women, like Warpaint, their due — which includes the idea that they might, in fact, be desirable and have desires! — it’s that same sense of fear that causes them to lose their tongues.
Great post about how critics approach violence in music with honest aplomb, yet skirt around female sexuality and desire. Click through to read the entire post.
“I’ve sought refuge, to an extent, in the fact that I now know this city relatively well, so I can head straight to places which are reliably lovely – the Housing Works Bookstore, Shakespeare and Co and McNally Jackson for books, Other Music for records. Here – the White Horse on Hudson St – for an end-of-work drink.”—
“In 2010, Pitchfork (and therefore, whether we like it or not, much of mainstream music criticism) is all about rewarding “embarrassing” “honesty” and “sincerity,” terms which all deserve their separate scare quotes. It’s the only way to explain a sentence like this: “The supposedly juvenile feelings of Pinkerton still pack visceral power years after listeners would’ve supposedly outgrown them.” Those twin “supposedly”s are an aggressive statement: juvenile feelings are mature feelings, and we do not outgrow them. (Except for Rivers Cuomo, apparently, whose songwriting now displays absolutely zero emotions.) Arguable, I suppose: Cohen’s repudiating someone who isn’t there, someone telling him Pinkerton is for teenagers only. This is pretty pointless: why can’t the album be both juvenile and great? Why do we all have to embrace our gooey innards or risk being accused of being, I dunno, “supposedly mature”? What’s this weird either/or divide when it comes to emotion in music? This is somehow all the Arcade Fire’s fault.”—
This is something I worry about a fair amount; he’s my favorite musician ever and, to me, is on such a higher plane that anyone else that it’s a crime for him not to be hailed with godlike appreciation at every turn. And yet, Bon Iver probably sells more than this new greatest hits/”introduction” set will, which makes me angrier than metaphors can adequately express.
What’s less bothersome but still confounding is how fumbling every attempt at writing about him has been in the last few years, as if all there is to say is “Untimely/mysterious death! Saaaaadness!” or respond with backlash to those things, instead of addressing the (totally fascinating!) evolution of Smith’s career, the continuing value of his musicianship and lyricism, etc. So I’ll go ahead and pick on Pitchfork’s coverage again here, because their readership is the most likely group to 1) be potentially interested in Smith’s music 2) be too young to have caught him in the late ’90s, or even upon his 2003 death.
There’s only so much you can say in a few paragraphs, but especially in a review of an album billed as an “Introduction” to Smith, the writer should offer the same — Mark Pytlik’s review of the album, which, hilariously, is the highest score any Smith album has on the site — is sympathetic and true enough in its broad strokes, noting that the musician’s appeal stems equally from his musicianship, lyricism and emotionally staggering vocals. But beyond that, the review misses the details or focuses in on the unimportant: An opening graf about Tupac and Cobain and Buckley? Seven years after his death? C’mon, guy! And then, this: “His real-life meekness, softness, and raw emotion never demanded or required anything as tragically operatic as cavernous reverb, barbed wire guitars…” he writes, before saying he was “arguably at the peak of his powers” during his DreamWorks years — the years he embraced cavernous reverb, barbed wire guitars and the widescreen ambition of his heroes, the Beatles. To be fair, yes, his songwriting never required those things — but they’re as much a part of who he was as a musician and what he chose to be (regardless of who was doing the funding) as his intimate solo performances.
And there’s a reason Smith chose to embrace the acoustic guitar as the center of his sound: He played for years in punk/alternative act Heatmiser, recording three albums and an EP concurrently with his early solo material, and wanted to step away from that. (As if his first three albums aren’t impressive enough by themselves.)
Re: this particular collection, I imagine it’s heavy on “Either/Or” because those are the songs that won Smith fans the first time, when they were included on the “Good Will Hunting” soundtrack — but also because Kill Rock Stars likely doesn’t have the funds to splurge on the inclusion of more tracks from the DreamWorks era, now owned by Interscope. This also would’ve been a good opportunity to mention the tricky label situation (which KRS is nobly trying to remedy) that’s keeping the remainder of Smith’s unreleased material locked in uncaring major label vaults, as well.
To Pytlik’s credit, this is the best review Pitchfork’s ever given Elliott Smith; for probably the first time ever, it reads as the work of a genuine appreciator. But there’s just so much to what Smith was, and what he remains, that asking for an equal critical engagement feels only right.
Yes, there is much more to be said about Elliott Smith than the usual sad inevitability of his death foreshadowed by emotionally raw acoustic guitar and vocals, but let’s focus on what’s really important here: the hideous album cover. I mean, really? It’s Elliott Smith, not fucking Phil Collins.
My friends are always complaining about this. Unfortunately, for the most part, it is true.
So about a year ago I started doing this: whenever I agree to go out with a new guy, unless he asks me out for a something specific [dinner, drinks, etc.], or there is something I really want to do, I tell the guy he needs to plan it because I like to save my decision-making skills for the important stuff, like rating his date planning skills. So far I’ve always gotten a laugh, a planned date, and some jokes about being rated during the date.
I just miss getting picked up. It was so clear where the beginning and the end of the date were. Now it’s like, does he get on the subway with me? Should he walk me to the bus? Does he pay for the cab? How do I “invite him in” if he doesn’t even go back with me? THESE ARE REAL COMPLICATIONS.
Men still do all of these things. Why don’t guys you choose to date do these things?
Because the men you are talking about are all committed to dating the women who appreciated their planning of dates so much that they then continued dating them. That’s why.
These guys are in the same category as the guys who actually call rather than text, and will make plans farther in advance, than say, the day before. Let’s just say those men seem scarce these days, like people in NYC who say “thanks” when you hold a door for them, or give up their seat on the subway for a pregnant lady. It’s all so “quaint.”
“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”—Anaïs Nin (via palelimbs)