Here’s the first installment of my book-focused newsletter, about the new Murakami.
What is it all about? What am I really thinking and feeling? What should I really be thinking and feeling? What’s good to really think and feel? That’s what writing is for me, as I’m sure it is for everybody who writes. Robert Frost once said that a poem is a ‘stay against confusion,’ and I guess that says it about as well as anything. What you feel when you’re writing is the relief of thinking: if you write the sentence correctly, you’re clarifying. If you write the right sentence, nothing feels as good.
1. Arcade Fire Cover Neil Young’s “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown.” By Zoe Camp. August 15, 2014.
2.Arcade Fire Cover Feist’s “I Feel It All.”By Jenn Pelly. August 13, 2014.
3.Arcade Fire Cover Huey Lewis’ Back to the Future Song “Back in Time.”By Jeremy Gordon. August 12, 2014.
4. Arcade Fire Do Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Washington. Evan Minsker. August 10, 2014.
5.Arcade Fire Cover Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles.”Jeremy Gordon. August 5, 2014.
6.Arcade Fire Cover the Beverly Hills Cop Theme. Evan Minsker. August 3, 2014.
7.Arcade Fire Cover Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing”, Steal Fans’ Cell Phones.Evan Minsker. August 2, 2014.
8.Arcade Fire Cover Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Hey Tonight” in Concert.Jeremy Gordon. July 31, 2014.
9.Arcade Fire Cover The Smiths’ “London” in London. Zoe Camp. June 7, 2014.
10. Arcade Fire Cover Echo and The Bunnymen’s “The Cutter” with Frontman Ian McCulloch Himself.Molly Beauchemin. June 6, 2014.
11.Arcade Fire Cover R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe.”Zoe Camp. May 3, 2014.
12. Arcade Fire Cover Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven”, Kinda Sorta Poke Fun at Deadmau5.Jeremy Gordon. April 28, 2014.
13.Arcade Fire Cover Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind.”Evan Minsker. April 27, 2014.
14.Arcade Fire Cover Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.”Jenn Pelly. April 10, 2014.
15.Arcade Fire Cover Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).”Evan Minsker. March 11, 2014.
16.Listen to Arcade Fire Cover Prince’s “Controversy” Live.Evan Minsker. March 9, 2014.
17. Ok I’m bored don’t make me keep doing this
This is amusing, and you can probably guess what the author was going for so there’s no point in taking offense. But it ties into something I was thinking about when we, and publications like Stereogum or Spin, caught some flak for posting every cover Arcade Fire was playing on their current tour. Were we slaves to the clickbait? Were we so profoundly unoriginal as to be gobsmacked by every song selection? Was music news dead?
Well, I saw it like this: Arcade Fire are a very popular band; they’re probably the most popular post-Radiohead band for Pitchfork’s audience, and yeah, if you love Arcade Fire (who, again, are a very popular band and not, like, Twin Peaks) and you read our website a lot, this is what you would want to read. You would want to read about your favorite, very popular band playing a very popular song. (Zach himself noted their cover selection during his review of their Barclays show.) So, ha ha, it’s funny… but it you know makes perfect sense, right?
Juke Box Hero
1) At the bar, a specifically handsome type of New York man comes up to me after my drunk friends and I have been playing Drake and Kanye on the jukebox for a half hour, and introduces himself. “You’ve been killing it all night,” he says. “People are really into it.” He says he DJs at the Standard (the ritzy hotel in Shame where Michael Fassbender gets his fuck on) and asks for my e-mail; he mostly plays trap, but wants to consult me in the future. I give it hesitantly, because literally—literally—all I’ve been requesting are the most basic Drake/Kanye songs and clearly he must be messing with me. No one could be that impressed by “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “All of the Lights”, no? But he is too good-looking to troll strangers, I decide, and so I give him my e-mail. Only something silly will come of this.
2) Because they’re drunk, people keep putting too much money into the jukebox and forgetting to select all their songs. Rather than inform them of this, I’ve been making the extra selections for them. It’s been like ninety minutes of Drake and Kanye and Rihanna and Bobby Shmurda and blah blah, which is intermittently interrupted by a guy who looks like a member of Jet and keeps playing stuff like Big Star and the Replacements and something called Elephant Stone I’ve never heard. Big Star and the Replacements are my guys, you know, but it’s really not the right place; not to brag, but more people are dancing to my boilerplate rap choices than “Can’t Hardly Wait”. He means well and at least the songs he’s choosing are short, so we let it go. But then some other goober has the temerity to go and plug in five classic rock album cuts—something off Led Zeppelin III, Metallica’s “Battery”, that type of thing—and says, when I tell him he’s about to kill the vibe, that he wants to kill the vibe. I ask what’s wrong with Drake, and he says, “I like him but I don’t want to hear his whole fucking catalog.” It’s his money, and it’s also a free country. But I don’t tell him that there’s about ten songs plugged in ahead of him, because of all the leftover money, and stifle a little glee when the lights go up a half hour without a single song of his coming on, watching his annoyed face turn to the jukebox in realization that he blew $5 to fail at ruining everyone’s fun.
Woke up feeling like an emptied-out Hot Pocket, the type of hangover to make you dramatically proclaim “I’m never drinking beer again” for about 12 hours. Writhed around in a state of nerves, texted with Brittany about my poor life decisions, read people on Twitter talking about college football until I was exhausted again. Dreamt of eating pasta salad, and woke up after an hour not feeling nauseous. Now very, very interested in finding some of that pasta salad; can taste it when I close my eyes.
I wrote this for VICE Sports about the Cubs, their bad business practices, and ways of dissent.
I’m replaying Final Fantasy 8. No, I don’t want to talk about it, not yet. But the game is insane, which I am only now realizing as an adult; it’s tailor made for moody teen boys, which is what I was when I first played it and loved it. Look at this, the gunblade, the weapon used by the main character, Squall. It’s a sword and a gun; it’s a sword with a gun in the handle; it’s a sword that you hack into someone, and then pull a trigger so they also get shot, with the gun. It’s two penis substitutes in one hand. So stupid, so great, I’m hooked, goodbye.
That’s my problem with fucking trap music: People are rapping about killing niggas and selling fucking drugs all day, but it sounds happy—that’s bullshit. That shit’s stressful: You’re not going to make no fucking money, somebody’s going to end up dead, and you’re not going to be able to pay for his funeral because his mom probably don’t fuck with him like that, and he don’t got health insurance. So now you have to do a fucking car wash to pay for somebody’s funeral and bury him in some cheap shit. Where’s that song?
I talked to Vince Staples.