Grantland: Do you have other artist friends you bounce ideas off? From the outside it seems like everything Eels-oriented happens in your head and in your basement.

Mark Everett: It is in a bubble, pretty much. Other than occasionally Jon Brion maybe, it’s hard for me to think of any other people. I’m too kinda shy to like sit there and play whatever I’m working on for people to listen to.

G: It’s crazy to think Jon Brion had a hand in both your early stuff and Kanye West’s second album.

E: I love Kanye West. I really love his new record, especially. I would love to work with him, too. I think he’s kind of as good as it gets in terms of modern artists. And he’s clearly nuts, but that just makes me like him more. He’s one of those guys that has no filter, and that’s what I’m trying to do on this new Eels record, I’m just trying to get rid of the filter. I find it refreshing when a guy like Kanye comes along and is willing to say all these ridiculous, outrageous things, and he’s just telling the truth as he sees it.

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Also, congrats to Dave Allen for getting a job as an “Artist Advocate” at Beats Music


I was wondering how he could be so cavalier about those Shriekback royalties.

My takeaway was more along the lines of: the dude who played bass on a song with the lyrics “The past lives on in your front room/ The poor still weak the rich still rule” is lecturing David Byrne about new markets?? What the fuck is going on?!!

3 notes gang of four dave allen streaming music

The D.C. taxicab double-cross


uber disruption

What we saw in the 20th century was an anomalous blip when music had a physical form. That was very unusual in the course of human history and it will soon be very unusual again. Music has this intrinsic pull towards the dematerial, towards the unbuyable. It’s a slippery, ghostly thing.

After my Twitter freakout over the shitball-awfulness of Pitchfork’s “dynamic” format (because who didn’t want articles online to be more like restaurant websites!) I feel kinda terrible to call out this quote by Jace Clayton in Eric Harvey’s overwhelmingly terrific article about all things streaming. So let me just reaffirm that this piece is well, well, worth reading if you have any interest in how music is consumed and likely will be. Eric did a great job.

AND NOW THAT THAT’S OUT OF THE WAY, this quote is the epitome of the asinine poetic horseshit we can expect from digital servers out in the desert or wherever being known as “the cloud.” Music is not pulling towards the dematerial. It is not unbought. Computers costs money. Social media outlets, even when free, are owned by someone. Using them is a privilege, not a right. You may not make a fucking dime off the music you create, but someone’s making a dime when you share it online. And as I’m not aware of Clayton’s music taking a more Bobby McFerrin-like arrangement, I’m pretty sure he’s still using purchasable materials to make it. And even Bobby likes to overdub.

Guys, anytime someone refers to “The Cloud,” pretend they said “The Bucket.” “Now you can put your movies in The Bucket.” “Access your photographs from The Bucket.” “Share with your friends in The Bucket.” It will make it easier to remember that someone built The Bucket, and it wasn’t God or condensation. That someone owns The Bucket we put our stuff in. And if we don’t own The Bucket, we’re renting access.

(via anthonyisright)

I think the point he’s making is that fetishizing the physical aspects of music recording/production/listening is located in a particular historical context, as opposed to some a priori authenticity.

(via fieryfalcon)

That’s certainly a point he could be making, but it’s still absurd to see this as going “back” to the way things were just because the artifact of music ownership has slipped from the hands of customers and the money has slipped out of the artists’ wallets. Both still exist, they’re just in the hands and wallets of tech companies.

(via anthonyisright)

From an aesthetic or technological standpoint I don’t think it’s absurd. It  just depends on how inextricably we believe the concept of “streaming music” is tied to the present commercial and corporate factors that underpin its existence. My impression from the tone of the quote was that he was making a more general, optimistic statement about the possibilities embodied by music unmoored from those physical artifacts, given how music is now being consumed. But if “streaming music” is necessarily dependent on the companies that own the means of production, then yes I would agree with you.

(via anthonyisright)

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I’ve come to realize how much the Hive’s deep, at times blind investment in her isn’t so much about loving her one ton of talent but rather their defense of her place on the pedestal. They are in love with what she transmutes. What she is allowed to be. And Beyoncé does this more earnestly than the majority of singers today: she performs for them, shows them what a woman in successful control of her life sounds like. This is why they root for her. She gives her fans hope — as Tina Turner once did for women in the ’80s — a sense that they, too, might win at life and vanquish the hurt. Beyoncé is the rare exception who has beaten the odds, despite her being a woman, and despite her being a black woman.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: The BeyHive"

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How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: The BeyHive

Another excellent essay by Rachel Ghansah

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Outkast, Forever?

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For a recent New Yorker piece, writer Nick Paumgarten reported on the history of electronic music in Berlin, culminating with a visit to what’s considered to be the world’s best nightclub, Berghain, home to some of the best DJs and drugs in Europe. His report could be summarized as follows: Got to the club. Didn’t get high. Didn’t have sex. Went home. And that will forever be the definitive “Berghain piece,” even though the dynamics of the bathroom drug bazaar aren’t explored and no bodily transcendence of any kind takes place. Berghain is boring, and Coachella is “too much.” And the experience recorded is something that almost no one else there actually lived.

Zak Stone


music writing journalism media music pop culture coachella criticism art

Coachella bashing has less to do with reporting on the fans and mainstream youth culture than defining the onlooker himself—and his readers, by extension—as alternative to it. It reinforces the positioning of the media as its own detached subculture, made elite through intellectual labor and by resisting pleasures of the masses. Turning over capital in exchange for a weekend dedicated to pushing the body is a “ghastly goulash of capitalism and vacuousness”—as opposed to just, “having a good time.”

Zak Stone, "The Media’s Obsession With Taking the Fun Out of Coachella"

I would like to add that this is the exact reason that Rembert Browne’s piece on the OutKast set was so great, because it located the problem within the author’s own expectations of exuberance and transcendence, rather than adopting some kind of pseudo-hip attitude.

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It's Not What You Like But How You Like It: Some Thoughts on Pop

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