such a pleasure

Posted on March 4, 2009

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It was such a pleasure to sit down at the computer and type, for my very first headline as Art & Film editor, “ONLY CASUALTY IN BRIDE WARS IS AUDIENCE”

Today is my birthday and I’ve been thinking of all the things I’ve done in the last year. It’s a pretty good list, and considering all the balls I currently have in the air 23 is going to be just as good, if more focused. I’m currently working on a music video, a limited edition t-shirt series, a Real pressing of YBIYS, plans to record a follow-up, a few essays that I can hopefully get published somewheres. Now it’s time for a celebratory coffee and scotch, and then to go cook dinner with friends.

In other news, pitchfork has never really bothered me, but I am noticing that they have a serious blind spot in terms of seeing past put-on airs. This Dent May record got panned because the reviewer didn’t trust his persona to deliver heavy-handed old school rhymes like “Since graduation day he feels like a fraud/He still regrets he never studied abroad,” but when every song is a 1-6-4-5 ukulele jam with handclaps, what else would you expect? The put-on is actually really, really simple and not deceptive. The reason for the low rating seems to be solely that the reviewer feels wary of being tricked, as if the whole record could be some kind of joke.

On the other hand, Wavves gets a stellar review, despite being one of the more boring exponents of the whole shit-gaze thing (I hesitate to call it a movement because that implies that these people all sort of talked to one another as they developed and it doesn’t seem to work like that anymore), and including an equal set of pretenses scraped from a more recent template. I mean, his best song is a really noisy power chord jam where the chorus is “I’m so bored” over and over. Come on.

My point is not that Dent May is good and Wavves is bad, because that’s really just a matter of personal taste and I don’t feel that strongly about either band/dude. My point is more that everyone who performs is adopting some kind of persona. Even a non-performance, turn your back on the audience persona is a persona. Just because someone’s persona fits the mold of what’s hip at the moment does not mean that it’s invisible or sincere. And, just because someone’s persona does not fit the mold of what’s hip at the moment doesn’t mean that they’re any less sincere. Authenticity is a myth (and a mostly harmful one) anyway so maybe it’s time to just let go and stop pretending that some people are real and some people are fake and we can tell which is which.

Some people just like different things.

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