approaching danger levels (ps what am I missing)
I no longer want to read other people’s opinions on the new albums by bands I love, let alone get indignant about them. Truly, I am grown!
I coloured my favourite of my drawings from last night’s Eurovision: Belarus.
Tweaked pencil lines and Photoshop - I love making drawings this way!
Two songs into Mac DeMarco’s set at Manchester’s Roadhouse on Friday, a member of the extremely self-consciously “rough’n’ready” crowd yelled, “gg allin!” presumably alluding to Mac’s oft-told story about sticking two drumsticks up his bum at a gig. (It’s the subject of his song “Freaking Out the Neighborhood”.) “Heh, any girls wanna come up here and get raped?” Mac responded. “Just kidding, we don’t rape people in Canada.”
At that point, two friends we had come with walked off, coolly observing the rest of the gig from the bar area. (Though there’s not that much distinction in the crusty Roadhouse, whose tacky floor seems to slope downwards the further away from the stage you stand.) I thought for a while about whether DeMarco’s “just kidding” had saved the remark (Canada is hardly exempt from rape), and whether I could continue enjoying the gig; he’s not a musician I like for his personality at all (in this week’s NME, he tells some grim anecdotes about getting bladder infections from when he worked at a vet’s, and would often go for a wank during breaks without washing his hands), but the podunk sleaziness of it (which I do appreciate in his very funny videos) seems in a way to accentuate the quality of his music, and I really love both of his records. (Which, in light of the rape comment, is an absurd ratio, I know— it definitely did not make me appreciate his music any more.) When I saw him support Diiv last year, he stumbled, swayed, and lolled around the stage in between songs in a way that did not fill you with anticipation for his next song, which he’d then pull off with unbecoming grace and skill, the talented jackass— at one point, his guitarist broke a string, and Mac improvised a pretty accomplished jazzy fill while he sorted it out, his gap-toothed smile bared the whole time.
At certain Manchester gigs, there’s this striving air among some quarters of the crowd that I’ve been trying to pin down. On Friday, I realised there was definitely an element of self-consciousness to it: I’m going to a Mac DeMarco gig, and I’m going to wear a scutty denim/shearling jacket, and peak my baseball cap at a cool 48 degree angle. It’s funny that the name of a classic punk was invoked, since there weren’t really any present at the show. (An illustrative aside: My boyfriend went to the toilet before the show, and saw Mac DeMarco at the urinals. Complying by the Unspoken Laws of Not Talking to Other Men at the Urinal (and the fact that John isn’t that enamoured of making conversation with scuzzy little indie boys), he didn’t say anything. However, two young men entered, one lairy, one polite, and started talking to Mac, wangers in hand. “The whole aura that he has around him permeated that exchange, it was really peculiar,” John said. “It made me feel really creepy!”)
Obviously, the packed front few rows loved the “rape joke,” (a term that seems to call for Daily Mail scare quotes if I ever saw one), and goaded Mac into more. He played the next few songs (I forget which ones) with enough competency, breaking in between two to tell us that we were celebrating with him today— he’d just found out he was going to be a father in nine months time. The girlfriend of a friend we were with at the show had been partying with Mac the night before at the Great Escape in Brighton, so we exchanged faux-sympathetic looks. Mac continued, exposing the remark as a fib (I can’t remember it verbatim): “Yeah, I got a text today… From a stripper in Las Vegas…” More uproarious cheers.
Perhaps it’s projecting too much onto this weird little dude who protects himself with gross stories and an obviously fake name, but the more people cheered for him, the more he seemed to want to misbehave. (One of the bar-retiring friends thought the opposite, that he could only see the front few rows, unaware of the folded arms at the back, and played to those who appeared to love him.) After he had gone through about six songs, the gig fell to pieces; he and his band attempted to rattle through shoddy half-covers of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and a few others (seemed like what the Roadhouse’s stage would usually be used for), and then the bassist (I think - it was impossible to see) took the mic for a couple of truly terrible, yelped punk-ish songs. At one point, the front half of the crowd started booing, but it was complicit and comedic, not sincerely pissed-off. It ended in a sloppy, defeated mess, no encore.
It was a terrible performance, but that term makes me think of when parents tell off their kids for acting out, a hissed, “Thanks for that little performance.” In some ways, it’s refreshing to see a young indie rock act completely messing up their own show, not striving in any way, balking at adoration, no matter how relatively small. There are too many bands of his stripe who claim to be non-conformists, but willingly lay prone while they’re carried through the requisite seas of hype, grouching at it while complying. (Hi again, Diiv!) The whole performance came off as a young man’s dumb joke, at the expense of other young, dumb men. If he doesn’t lose the rape jokes, that’s all it’ll ever stay. Which would be a shame.
I reviewed The Great Gatsby OST for Pitchfork. Spoiler alert: It’s really terrible.
Arrested Development mood chart by Lindsey Weber
Sometimes you meet someone and instantly fall in love. That’s me with this gif.
From the 1949 version of the GREAT GATSBY which, based on this alone, is OBVIOUSLY much better than the 2013 version.
I’m cancelling my ticket for Saturday’s showing, there’s no way the new version can be this good.
Today I reviewed new songs by two total prodigies of different stripes: Kiran Leonard is a 17-year old, freakishly talented young man from just down the road from here, in Oldham, who sounds like he should have been on Elephant 6. Ellis Ludwig-Leone is the brains behind San Fermin, whose “Sonsick” was designed to fill this summer’s “Stillness is the Move”-sized gap. Listen by clicking those links!
Mulberries - for [blank] by Double Dutch Press
The Persistent Cult of Arrested Development -
And if I saw on your Facebook wall that you were an Arrested Development fan, well, I could bet you and I were gonna get along just fine.
About a month before I started university for the second time, in September 2008, I had joined the last.fm page for users with some affiliation with Bristol University. I did not pre-emptively sign up for sports teams or JCR; I scoured last.fm and Drowned in Sound to try and find friends. I had chosen to live in a large student house rather than halls (my reasoning: I “didn’t like students”), which made meeting people a bit harder. I can’t remember whether I found Leah first or she found me, but we had relatively good compatibility (back in the days of the tougher algorithm, can I get a high five last.fm nerds), so we exchanged a few Shoutbox messages. Turned out she loved Arrested Development. Same here— I’d finished watching the whole thing earlier that year, and only knew one other person who liked it, the guy who recommended it to me. The Shoutbox exchange became friendly enough that it seemed appropriate/wise to ask where she was living for first year. “61/63.” My future address. Out of the 15 other people who were going to be living that house, in a first year intake of several thousand, I had the good luck to get stuck with an Arrested Development fan. Today we were emailing about how it’s going to be impossible to watch the new series with anyone else, lest they laugh at the wrong bits/laugh too much/don’t laugh at all and our respect/admiration/love for them vanishes in a millisecond and we cannot be friends any more. I’d say we were well suited.
Meryl Streep in Silkwood (1983)
Okay Vulture, if you insist