Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar aaron david says:

    I would suggest not watching Deafheaven, but rather listening to it while looking at another web page. He is too visually distracting, and takes away from the rather splendid music. At that point, his vocals move to the background, and work much better.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to aaron david says:

      That said, the first band is, well… uninteresting. They seem to be trying to hit everything that I should like, but come across to me as another band that only had one influence (garage rock), and it shows. I love garage rock, but it has to be doing something, trying something. You know what I mean?

      This is the live track that has been captivating me:


    • Avatar Glyph in reply to aaron david says:

      I dunno, I rather appreciated watching him…he’s definitely intense.

      Plus, those kids up front are awesome. It makes me really happy to watch them, because we’ve all (if we’re lucky) been there.

      I’m just not sure about *that* style of vocals with *this* style of music. The band originally comes out of a scene where I am given to understand that’s the style; not being an aficionado of that scene, I can’t say whether it makes more sense there.

      But here, where they are doing music that is clearly much more in a Mogwai/GY!BE-type shoegaze/post-rock vein, I am not sure it makes much sense.

      I don’t even mind screaming, per se – Black Francis could do some blood-curdling shrieking back in the day, and even though I am not a huge Foo Fighters fan, the already pretty-terrific “Monkeywrench” only gets more awesome when Grohl starts screaming.

      But on the Deafheaven record (which, again, has some pretty amazing music on it), the vocal style never seems to vary, in pitch, rhythm or volume; and against the rising/falling dynamics and varied textures of the music, that starts to seem pointless. I start wishing they’d either switch the vox up, or just drop them entirely and make an instrumental rock record.Report

  2. Avatar Badtux says:

    Regarding Parquet Courts, I must admit to being a bit of a sucker for twangy garage rock (disclaimer — I featured a Parquet Courts song on my own blog a week ago). That said, I must admit that they don’t break any new ground.

    Deafheaven, on the other hand, merely bores me.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Badtux says:

      Yeah, I didn’t mean to say I didn’t enjoy the PC record, just that it isn’t sticking with me (yet). That genre has a lot of bands like that – one or two songs (I also liked “Stoned and Starving”) that sound great when they come up in the mix, but a whole album of it gets pretty samey (see also: Strokes, Black Lips)

      (Don’t try) to give us pills
      (Oh wait) give us ALL the pills

      I visited your blog – apparently penguins have good taste in music!Report

  3. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    After watching Deafheaven, I’m reminded of two maxims from my show bidness days.

    1. “It doesn’t matter if what you do is easy – you just have to make the people watching think it’s hard.”
    2. “No matter how awful your band is, there’s someone out there who thinks you’re better than the Beatles.”

    I say this as someone who bought the Snowden record based on your recommendation. That is one majestic record. I salute your eclectic tastes.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to krogerfoot says:

      Glad you like the Snowden! They put on a pretty good show too (very danceable).

      I am still waiting for your Morrissey/flashlight story…the GbV primer goes up Wednesday…Report

      • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Glyph says:

        I’ve said too much already.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Huh…I was curious to see if it comported with mine own.

        Way back in the dark ages of the early 90’s, Moz played at my college’s arena. Through an epic screwup (we never found out if it was the college, or Morrissey, or both), the ticketing/seating was all wrong.

        See, the show was originally advertised as (and my ticket said), GENERAL ADMISSION.

        That is, no assigned seats.

        So, upon entering, we decided we didn’t really feel like dealing with the scrum of the floor, and we’d take some empty seats in the lower level of risers, for the easy view.

        We were waiting for the show to begin (the opening act was Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys), when some people came and asked us to move from “their” seats (their tickets did indeed show the seat #s we were in) – we explained, no, this is a Gen Adm show, your tickets are screwy, sorry.

        So they went and got Security, who explained that at some point, assigned seating had started to be sold for the show. We argued a bit, then said, OK, we’ll head on down to the floor – but at that point, they had closed off the floor – they wanted to send us UP, to the nosebleed level.

        Clearly, this was total BS (and we weren’t the only people this was happening to).

        So, everybody being sent upwards is pretty angry and getting restless, and we all quickly decide that there aren’t nearly enough Security guys to stop us all from GETTING to the floor, if we bum-rush the floor en masse (and once there, good luck getting us all out).

        Which is what we did, descending from on high like avenging pansies.

        To this day, I retain a sneaking suspicion that this whole scenario was somehow engineered or intended by Morrissey and his management, to whip the crowd up.

        It was a great show, in terms of intensity (IIRC this would have been around Your Arsenal, and the band was tight) but very, very short – a 45-minute set.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to Glyph says:

        “Which is what we did, descending from on high like avenging pansies. ”
        I think you were listening to the wrong band…


      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Pansy Division was hilarious. They played at the little local punk rock record/book store way back when, and symbolically sprayed silly string all over everyone.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Pansy Division + Trek:


  4. Avatar dhex says:

    the new deafheaven doesn’t really do it for me, it’s very weightless. but people seem to like it, though i have many other first picks in the godspeed you black metal emperor genre. (weakling, wittr, etc)

    same idea, less “scary” vocals:

    also less of that explosions in the sky theatrics, which i never cared for too much. it veers from the gybe template of a soulful yellow mechanical bird who can’t make the rent and well into laying in the back of a pickup truck after prom night territory.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to dhex says:

      I saw Deafheaven-related act Whirr recently, and was bored to tears.

      But, full disclosure, I did arrive pretty late into their set, so I perhaps missed my chance to fall under their spell…instead I just kept thinking “get ON with it already!”

      Still, it was a fun night of people watching.

      EITS is pretty good live, but the record I have (Those Who Tell the Truth etc.) is kinda boring. I put it on recently, and didn’t even make it through a side.Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I envy your music passion a bit. This is a lot easier to share than theatre passion. Now I will tell you about a legendary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was never recorded….

    Filmed theatre usually has an awkward feel anyway because so much of it is about sitting in the audience.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

      Yeah, music is able to bypass both the visual and the language/verbal aspects entirely, so it’s sort of at an advantage in that respect.

      Easier to translate, fewer moving parts, less to go wrong, less context-dependent, more universal maybe.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

        I think theatre is pretty universal. It is also effervescent by nature. I’ve read essays about and seen photos of classic performances like the 1947 Berliner Ensemble production of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children. But the stories and essays are always laced with melancholy because “you had to be there” to experience it.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to NewDealer says:

      I do not have passions, only the the despair that cats share only with their diaries.

      So sad.Report