This Means More

July 26, 2014 at 10:18pm
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Reblog if Jenny Lewis is super important to uuu

July 18, 2014 at 3:11pm
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Damn, true, I never even thought about that angle! Probably still holds weight if people want because I think the new one also has an abrupt mix of styles.

Damn, true, I never even thought about that angle! Probably still holds weight if people want because I think the new one also has an abrupt mix of styles.

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I might have a lot more coming about this record later because I am always hammering it into my IRL friends brains that this band is an Actual Phenomenon. But first, some thoughts on that Jim Kerr article I posted a couple days ago, and Merchandise and punk bands and the 80s.

Joyce Manor have been getting a lot of comparisons to the Smiths lately, which I do not think is off-base although it is occasionally a stretch: Never Hungover Again is definitely *not* like a Smiths record, although there are some elements of the sound they’re working with here that are. For example, the clean lead part on this song reminds me so much of the outro of "Reel Around The Fountain." And the lyric “I wish you would have died in high school” is very Morrissey in its bluntness.

Most of you are smarter than me so please let me know if there is a simple word for what I am about to suggest: Where Merchandise are like fully occupying this 80s sound (their visuals, too, to an extent) to the point that one could easily write it off as pastiche or a throwback, Joyce Manor are taking elements from 80s guitar music and doing pretty unique stuff with them, like incorporating them into songs that move as fast as hardcore.

There’s a lot of ways you can make punk music cross over. You can do it in the really well-worn and “safe” way Merchandise has by synth-ing it up and putting on make-up and posing like pop stars (which don’t get me wrong I love and I think it saved them.) Or you can be like Joyce Manor. I know my friends and I have always had a hard time making easy comparisons to their music. Some people think they sounds like Weezer which LOL that’s a compliment? Some people said GBV just because there was some tape-hiss on the second record. No doubt with their higher profile, writers are going to try and roll them into #emorevival. But I don’t think anyone has pinned them down. Although I am trying really hard to push this Hardcore Third Eye Blind idea through. I’m sure there’s some evidence that artists that are hard to figure out at least generate a lot of conversation, no? Four years after their debut I can’t think of another punk band that has been talked about so consistently and in such high regard and through several blogyears worth of different punk hype cycles.

July 15, 2014 at 12:06pm
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Kerr also wishes to remind people “educated” in all those I Heart The Eighties documentaries, which caricature the decade as deely-bopping in three short hops from Duran Duran to Live Aid to the Yuppie era that there were overtones and undercurrents glibly ignored by the today’s grinning poptalgists. For all their singularity, Simple Minds were not the only band to follow a meaningful trajectory from punk to pop. Certainly, to make such a journey was only considered a “betrayal” by punk’s most lumpen element, the sort who sat scowling, Mohican-ed and left behind on benches along the Kings Road throughout the Eighties. For some, it was conscious and premeditated, like ABC and Scritti Politti, who devised a sort of meta-pop, an ought-to-be pop that was prettier, dramatic and more dazzling than whatever now constituted the “real” thing, transmitting Brechtian, fourth wall-breaking signals of acknowledgement to the hipsters and yet so caught up in the impassioned, self-adoring upward beauty of what they were doing as never to lapse into self-knowingness. New Order had had to reinvent themselves as a result of Ian Curtis’s death, The Associates couldn’t help themselves, while the likes of The Bunnymen and The Cure were irresistibly drawn out of the cult shadows. Others, like Wire and The Pop Group would have loved to have had hits, had they come their way. The charts were not to be distained but were a zone ripe for radicalisation, and beyond that, something undreamt of. All of these groups reached a zenith at the same time in 1982, arguably the finest ever year for pop.

— David Stubbs in The Quietus talking about Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, 2012. cf. Merchandise


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Carson Merchandise is basically Brandon Flowers and this is a Killers song/vid. Not complaining and it definitely beats the “soooo dark and punk approach to 80s pop” credgrab they made their name on. Between this and Future Islands it would look like 4AD has hit a seam of good releases that are actually in harmony with the aesthetic they made their name on, even if accidentally.

Edit: also, a bit of "Uncertain Smile" in here. Or something.

July 8, 2014 at 10:58pm
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Reblogged from selfdefensefamily

Anonymous said: Pat why do you like Belle & Sebastian? They're the Wes Anderson of music.


You are very confused. 

You could make an argument that Jens Lekman or Xiu Xiu is the Wes Anderson. I wouldn’t agree, but the argument is there. 

Belle & Sebastian, for at least a couple records, was the Sam Peckinpah of music. Raw, man. 


June 29, 2014 at 1:06am
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Reblogged from nonaband
I believe in N O N A

I believe in N O N A

June 23, 2014 at 9:45am
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Reblogged from juanalikesmusic

It hurts to get into music stores, see the customers handling those fabulous time detentions, the place and life, so many times buying voices of the dead, violins of the dead, pianos of the dead, getting out with an exquisite death under their arms to listen to later in between two drags of cigarettes and a fortuitous comment.


"Una voce poco fa" by Julio Cortázar from Último round (“Last round”)  (via juanalikesmusic)

I love this quote. I’m reading it as Cortazar is not only pointing out how so many musicians and composers are deceased by the time their music is heard, he’s also upset that many listeners don’t really understand the true weight and “value” of music and it’s just another thing to have an opinion about. Is that an OK reading of this? 

I have a copy of The Winners that was long ago supposed to be returned to the library that I should probably get into soon…

June 18, 2014 at 7:17am
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Reblogged from recommendedlisten →



Recommended Listen is a one-person operation, which in short means I’m rather stretched for time trying to cover EVERYTHING I think is worth your ears’ full attention. We are fortunately half way through 2014 and on the verge of the official start of summer, which makes for longer days and…

June 13, 2014 at 10:26am
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Reblogged from andrewtsks


There’s been some back channel discussion going on between me and a few other people in re: my SYWH/pop-punk post from last night, and while I feel pretty good about what’s come out of that, I do want to mention that the overall conversation just further indicates to me something that I already kinda knew was going on: young kids getting involved in the punk-related music scene in recent years just call anything with melodies pop-punk. That means everything from melodic hardcore with clean vocals and occasional breakdowns (The Story So Far) to 90s alt-rock revival bands (Daylight) and even bands that might count as post-hardcore or as emo, depending on how you look at it (La Dispute).

So not only has the term “pop-punk” joined the term “punk rock” as being such a widespread umbrella term that it doesn’t tell you much of anything, it has also (unlike punk rock) become something that’s used inaccurately as often or even more often than it’s used accurately. I can see where the entire lineage of melodic hardcore bands that came in the wake of Lifetime and Saves The Day (which includes everyone from Fall Out Boy to Man Overboard) sound enough like something that would be called “pop-punk” to have ended up with the name, but they’re also completely different from the bands that descend from the original Descendents/Crimpshrine and/or NOFX/Lagwagon family trees. That shit is confusing enough without kids just defaulting to pop-punk whenever they encounter something they don’t already understand that doesn’t have screamy vocals. 

Really it’s just a further indication that the internet, by universalizing access to all styles and eras of music, is destroying context and creating a world in which everyone listens to everything but nobody knows anything about the stuff they’re hearing. Removal of gatekeeping and arbitrary obscurity is good, but where actually talking about all this stuff is concerned, it’s pure fucking chaos most of the time, and it’s only getting more chaotic as time goes on.

More to come on this issue, I’m sure.

The consequences of this were not really apparent to me at first but now I think that with this massive umbrella of “pop-punk,” rather than unifying disparate genres and subcultures, actually further factionalizes them. You have the bearded, Fest-going D4 fans busting on the Warped Tour set for liking “fake” or “soft” pop-punk. You get side-eyed at the DIY house show for expressing your love for the Wonder Years. I mean there’s even lines drawn between org/Fest-core people and fans of Run For Cover bands, all of whom are DIY as fuck. 

It’d probably be way better if people disgusted by the fact that The Story So Far and Kid Dynamite are confusingly tagged with the same genre understood that there are actually really distinct important differences and that it’s OK to have like 40 different microgenres that all call back to Lifetime. I feel like it’d foster a better climate of understanding with a lot less judgement passed. Or something.