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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21 Responses

  1. Avatar dhex says:


    hey do you like holy other? good stuff.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Never heard it before. Just pulled this up on YouTube – something about the chopped-up vocals here makes me think of Pogo:

      • Avatar dhex says:

        he’s kinda like a more goth r+b version of the haxan cloak, but without that england’s hidden reverse style menace it reminds me a lot of the beach house young love and quaaaaaaluuuuuuuudes vibe. which i suppose is ultimately a spaceman 3 vibe? not enough of a historian to tell ya.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          I just ordered the album – I guess he is or was touring with Beach House (it’s very gratifying to see they’ve kind of made it big – saw them around the time of their first album with about 15 other people in a tiny sweaty room and it was very very cool.)

          Spacemen 3 were not afraid to get real noisy (as annoying as Christgau can often be, his “Stooges for Airports” is a pretty apt Spacemen 3 descriptor, on both sides of the jibe). Beach House ride a much softer trancier line between dreampop/shoegaze/slowcore. I think of them more in the Galaxie 500/American Analog Set/Mazzy Star vein (though all these acts share an affinity for the drrrrrooooooooonnnnnnne).

          There’s an absolutely-blistering live version of this ‘TV Eye’ swipe that’s not on YouTube, but:

        • Avatar dhex says:

          actually i take it all back and pin the blame on m83 as a direct connect to bh.


          how great is this song, btw? when i die i want my brain to fry out to a montage of this mixed with some skateboarding vids and footage from fashion week nyc 1993. or like a really large white warehouse space where an old japanese man dressed like a 1930s bartender polishes the same pair of battered boots until shit goes dark.

          too bad the rest of the (double!) album is kinda bleh.Report

          • Avatar dhex says:

            ok well i don’t know what’s going on with editing (can’t get youtube embeds to work) so i meant to link to this:


            eta: ok so that worked. wtf? i was seeing previews of the other videos posted in this thread. anyway whatever my point about the afterlife stands.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Embeds have gotten twitchy for me in comments. The only mostly-reliable tips I can give are: use the shortlink, not the embed; include only one embed per comment; and it seems to more reliably embed if you do it after all your text (if you include text below it, it may show up as a link, not embed).

              Also, THANK YOU, something has been driving me crazy for the the last few hours of my life and you just jogged my memory. There was a track snippet/intro playing at the end of episode 8 of Mr. Robot (which I watched last night and is, seriously, excellent) that I own, but could not place.

              It’s this one, from the M83 album I like a lot – had the show let it progress past those “Atmosphere” drums at the start, I probably would have gotten it:


              • Avatar dhex says:

                m83 is the ultimate prom music band. even moreso than mogwai.

                i was disappointed by their last album, but midnight city is easily one of my favorite songs ever.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Well that is pretty awesome.Report

  2. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    What artists could make basically the same record 5 times, and you’d buy them all?

    I’m not a fan of any band with a consistent sound. I like to see what my musical heroes have discovered lately and tried to blend into their stuff. How a group could make 5 albums of interchangeable music is beyond me. Musical evolution is what makes a band interesting, at lest to me.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      What if you’re the Ramones or AC/DC? There’s something to be said for doing one thing well.

      I can certainly see myself reaching a point where I think “I just don’t need any more of this”; but it’s such a beautiful album, I’m not there yet.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

        I think at this point AC/DC has become a parody of itself. The Ramones always had a jangle pop group hiding behind all of that black hair. While they might be remembered for the 3 chord beauties they produced, their best stuff is not that.

        While the Beach House stuff is beautiful, it’s beautiful in the way the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are beautiful at their football games. Utterly devoid of meaning, at least to me. And that’s the beauty of art, there’s something for everyone.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          Wow, that cheerleaders analogy is…unexpected.

          I’m not sure that this style of music is shooting for ‘meaning’, (I mean, it may well mean something to them), as opposed to conjuring a mood, a feeling, a frame of mind. Different strokes, obvs. – but in “Levitation”, when she sings “There’s a place I want to take you”, in my heart I want to follow.Report

          • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

            But don’t you think music is supposed to have meaning? Even if the meaning is I want to get naked with you, as is the case with most pop songs? Otherwise, you have musical wallpaper, or smooth jazz, whatever you want to call it.

            Not too long ago someone posted a mashup of a bunch of modern country songs here at the League, demonstrating the interchangeability of songwriting in Nashville these day. To my ears Beach House is working from the same template.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              But the country thing was multiple artists, all working the same vein. This is a single artist, working a sound that right now they pretty much own. As someone who enjoys some ambient/drone type music, I’d also question the assumption that music must always force its way into your consciousness, as opposed to being what it is and letting you choose whether and how to engage with it.*

              To your point below, this post isn’t meant to be a knock on artists that are versatile or questing either; but in my experience, being too versatile is just as likely to lead you to obscurity, as popular success. For every Prince there’s a band like Yo La Tengo that have done all kinds of things and are critical faves because of that, but will probably always be a cult success because there’s not one handy thumbnail/pigeonhole for them. Especially in the visual arts, it seems like the path to mass exposure is often picking one style, and turning out endless variations on it. If Georgia O’Keefe had painted just one flower, no one would care.

              *IIRC you are a musician/songwriter – have you ever tried this trick to help write songs? Put some music that you know very well on when you are going to take a nap. Set the volume so low that you can just barely hear it. As you doze and hear music that is familiar, but not all “there”, your brain will fill in blanks, and make up new melodies from the bits and frequencies that you can’t hear.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      @slade-the-leveller I tend to agree. Or at least I give artists that do so bonus points.

      One of the reasons I like Elvis C so much (other than his lyrics) is that he’s always trying things that are way, way outside of his wheelhouse. I don’t always fond those attempts successful, but I appreciate the reaching regardless.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        So too with Prince? He’s trying new stuff all the time, too. IMO, he misses more than he hits these days, but when he hits, it’s pretty solid.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

          I think that’s the point. Even the misses will draw someone in, and that someone is going to buy the back catalogue. If your sound is the same on every record, then your audience will be limited to only people who like that sound.Report