rock snob

Liam chose The Eagles [as all time favorite band]? That is the most random thing I’ve ever heard, it’s like he made that up on the spot. I’d say he knows two Eagles songs - Hotel California and Desperado. I’m livid about that, yeah.
—  Niall, BBC Radio 1 Christmas take over 25/12
Why Taylor Swift Is The Greatest Living Songwriter (Under 60) Taylor

I recently found myself at a BMI Awards dinner where the song publishing rights organization was handing out some career achievement awards, the first of which went to the classic ‘60s team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. And then they gave one to Taylor Swift, in one of those cases where they have to name the award to the person it’s being given to because it feels a little too uncomfortable to give the standard “lifetime” award to someone in her 20s. In her speech, Swift gave props to her elders: “I first wanted to say to Cynthia Weil, to Barry Mann, and to Carole King, you, the Brill Building, your legacy, are the reason we do what we do. Many of us in this room can’t dream of accomplishing what you guys have accomplished.”

Except she already has. And (heresy alert!) more. Swift is a rightful heir to the Brill Building tradition, with all the mastery of pop craftsmanship that entails, but she’s also the finest contemporary inheritor we have to the confessional singer/songwriter throne. She’s Barry Mann and Bruce Springsteen, together in one silver metallic mini dress-wearing package. That’s why I say Taylor Swift is our greatest living songwriter—under-60 division, just to be safe. But I digress.

I am glad I’m alive in the prime era of Taylor Swift the same way I felt glad to be alive in the half-century of Dylan and Springsteen and The Beatles and Costello. I’ve leaned forward into my first listens to 1989 and Red the same way I thirsted for the on-sale moments of The River and Nebraska and Imperial Bedroom and Time Out of Mind. These are the moments — all too infrequent in the 2010s, if you’re a recovering rock snob — that you live for as a music fan and especially singer/songwriter aficionado: the opening of a magazine you subscribe to, in which the editor-publisher has promised to bleed onto every page in some fashion. You look forward to admiring the craft and you want to know that you’ve been handed the next six months’ or year’s worth of earworms all at once. But most of all you want to feel you’re about to make that passionate connection with a deep-feeler who knows you better than your own best excuse for a best friend.

Where Swift is most like the great confessional rock writers, and least like the Brill Building set, is in her propensity to fill her songs with seemingly stray details. If you’re writing by the books, you learn early on not to include random asides that throw listeners out of the commonality of the lyric. But Springsteen, Dylan, Costello, et al. have faith that, whatever is lost in relatability by including something specifically autobiographical is a gain for fans who know that that weird minutiae confirms the rest of the emotions as authentic. When Swift interrupts Out of the Woods to mention “Twenty stitches in a hospital room/Remember when you hit the brakes too soon,” that’s about as un-Brill as Bruce talking about Crazy Janey and Greaser Lake. But the specificity of the bridge makes the universality of chorus more meaningful, even if the unstable relationship you’re being reminded of by the song didn’t involve a visit to the ER. It may seem peculiar to the 21st century that we can confirm who the significant others in Swift’s songs are by picking out lyrical details about eye colors or fire signs or scarves and checking them against her exes. But is finding out whether All Too Well was about Jake or Harry that terribly different than the thrill of figuring out whether Dylan’s It Ain’t Me, Babe was about Suzi or Joan, but with Google taking the place of waiting years for a biography?

The position that Swift is Actually Quite Awesome is not nearly as controversial among the older white guy set than it would have been a few years ago. You only get a B for courage now, not the former A, if you speak up at a cocktail party and say, “No, I don’t mean it’s good for what it is, or she’s a positive role model for my daughter or a gateway drug to Courtney Barnett, I mean she is truly the shit.” (Crickets may still ensue, mind you, if no longer outright shaming.) You can attribute this in part to Ryan Adams, whose album-length cover version of '1989’ did a fairly excellent job of indie-splaining Swift to people who only needed to hear that her songs could be rearranged in the styles of The Smiths and Elliott Smith to sign off on her. As much as I enjoy Adams’ '1989’, it falls just a little short as reinvention, or revelation: You kind of sense him wanting to get credit for being the first to discover that Swift’s frothiest sounding songs all have minor chords and melancholy under the Max Martin-ization. The real problem with Adams’ interpretations—which is not a fatal problem, given how good Wildest Dreams sounds as an R.E.M. song—is that he doesn’t really have that much use for the words, given how uninterested he is in emphasizing particular words or phrases and how he throws away some of the best lines. (To be fair, this is pretty much Adams’ approach toward his own lyrics, too.) Not that with Swift the lyrics are everything, when she has such a gift for melodic delights and surprises… but, yeah, the words are kind of everything.

Going back to Swift’s 2006 self-titled debut now, it sounds a little primitive, in retrospect. Which is fine: “primitivist” is exactly what you’d expect or hope for from a girl who released at 16 an album of songs she’d mostly written at 14 and 15. No one should sound 30 as a teenager, unless she’s Fiona Apple. (Hearing Apple’s eloquent teen jadedness when she was a freshman artist felt as impressive and spooky as Captain Howdy’s voice coming out of Regan MacNeil’s mouth.) At the time, it was a widely held assumption that co-writer Liz Rose was the brains of the operation. But you couldn’t help but notice that the best song on the album, Our Song, was a solo Swift composition, penned before she had access to the best song editors Music Row could offer. It sounded utterly conversational , establishing Swift’s knack for writing in complete sentences in a way that sounds completely diaristic and completely musical. It embraced both metaphor (“Our song is the slamming screen door”) and the meta (being one of those songs that is self-conscious about how it is, in fact, a song). It was winsome, guileless, and juvenile—in the best way—on top of being freakily expert for a song written by an underclassman for a school talent show.


Two years later (Swift’s follow-up albums have always been two years later, up until now), she came up with Fearless, which was so much more accomplished that it won her the Grammy for Album of Year, the first time that’d been accomplished by a record made by a teenager. But looking back at it now, you can see it was the only time she ever really marked time, stylistically, as a record-maker. The breakthrough that mattered was 2010’s Speak Now, which was her first real “pop album” (at least for those of us who pay attention to content and not the officially mandated tropes that insisted that honor belongs to '1989’). Just this once, she wrote the entire album by herself, in a rather deliberate F-you to everyone who figured she’d been propped up by Nashville pros. Similar auteurist turns by pop and country artists with points to prove have not always gone so spectacularly but Swift used the opportunity not just to defend but to diversify, as great writers and investors will. This DIY show of tour-de-force ran the gauntlet of effervescent girl-group pop (the title song), Evanescence goth-rock (Haunted), cheerful neo-bluegrass (Mean), girl-on-mean-girl pop-punk (Better Than Revenge), and even a token transitional single in the country-folk style of the first two albums (Mine).

'1989’ is the masterpiece of her career so far
'Speak Now’ also incidentally included the most searing, stark, boldly confessional song by a major artist since John Lennon’s Cold Turkey. (Hyperbole intended.) This was Dear John, a slow, epic-length missive to a love-'em-young-and-leave-'em type that was jaw-dropping in its vulnerability and rage. Never mind the lucky stroke that apparently had the rock star who used and discarded Swift being a guy really named John; Swift does like her literalism, so she probably wouldn’t written a public dear-John letter to a Tom, Dick, or (even) Harry. It’s a ballad that creates the illusion of the artist having vomited onto the page—for those of us who like that sort of thing—but actually belies a severe level of craft beneath the bile. The song rises to an emotional victory, as Swift goes from paying witness to “all the girls that you’ve run dry (that) have tired, lifeless eyes 'cause you’ve burned them out” to being the one who “took your matches before fire could catch me, so don’t look now: I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town.” Compare this to the other great fireworks song of 2010, Katy Perry’s, and there is simply no pyromaniacal contest.


With 'Red’ another couple of years later, she bid a fond F-you to her own previous F-you and reintroduced co-writers to her stable, now adding Max Martin and Shellback as collaborators on a choice trio of songs, as if to say: I dare you to knock this block off. Aside from the handful of tracks with those guys, though, 'Red’ felt more like a classic singer/songwriter album than anything she’d done before or certainly since. It was all about lost love, and hardly for the first time, but now Swift was jettisoning her “better than revenge” approach to achieving payback in song and taking equal responsibility for relational failures, and it was all very sensitive and self-examining and enlightened. So when I got my first listen to the determinedly frothier '1989’ a couple of years still later, I lamented the loss of the previous album’s hard-fought breakthroughs in songwriting maturity.

Lamented it for about two minutes, that is. '1989’ is the masterpiece of her career, so far, and that’s not withstanding the thick gloss of candy coating that covered the whole endeavor now that Martin was fully on board as guiding executive producer as well as hands-on guy on about half the tracks. The meme favored by some critics, that Swift had sold out on us with all this interference by the reigning kings of the pop machinery—and after all we’d done to defend her as an artiste!—was misguided even by the usual standards of stick-up-one’s-ass bias and entitlement. It may seem counter-intuitive, for those of us who usually live and die by singer/songwriter yardsticks, to say that '1989’ is Swift’s most mature album, when there is barely a guitar anywhere in earshot for the singer’s tears to fall upon. But as it turns out, it is possible to talk intelligently, walk in rhythm, and chew bubblegum at the same time.

Yes, '1989’ is a less outrightly emotional album than any of its predecessors. Swift herself has said it’s the first time she wasn’t writing in the wake of a heartache. And that’s part of what makes the album so seasoned and smart. If all the previous albums were her “breakup album,” '1989’ is her maybe-we-are-ever-getting-back-together album. It’s about being just a little bit rueful about past relationships—in a less world-ending, drama queen-y fashion than the take-no-prisoners approach that admittedly made a lot of us fall for her in the first place – and largely about that impulse to reconnect, even as you sit by the phone and consider what a terrible idea that would be. She’s thinking back on a breakup that wasn’t that traumatic (possibly one with Harry Styles, if we’re to take the cheeky title of Style literally), and considering every negative and possible angle to rekindling an old flame. As a result, a lot of the songs on '1989’ are about mixed emotions, which are by and large the hardest kind to write.

She understands more brilliantly the power of dynamics — that even the most grandiose song can benefit by suddenly getting completely naked for 40 seconds.

And here is where we quote another great pop writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously said: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Swift is showing us that first-rate intelligence when she encapsulates the divisions we all experience as we find the good and bad in people, lovers and otherwise: “You always knew how to push my buttons/You give me everything and nothing.” “Ten months sober, I must admit/Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it.” “This love is good, this love is bad/This love is alive, back from the dead.” As the CEO of her own corporation, Swift has had a lot of time to think about risk/reward ratios. Grappling with that in matters of love is part of her giftedness and increasing talent as a writer.

I think again of the congratulations Ryan Adams got for bringing out the sadder emotional undercurrents in '1989’’s material. He deserves some of it, but it’s not as if Swift didn’t make that a fairly easy discovery. Bad Blood is the most blatantly confectionary song on '1989,’ with a sing-song-y quality of the chorus makes you think Avril Lavigne, if you’re making comparisons. But would Avril, or any other pop star you can bring to mind, have interrupted the beats and chants for a lengthy, virtually a cappella bridge that brings the mood down with its warnings about bullet holes and living with ghosts? It’s akin to the hyper-produced song on her previous album, I Knew You Were Trouble, where Swift puts an end to all the dubstep to very quietly wonder, almost sotto voce, whether the object of her affections ever loved her, the other girl, “or anyone.” In the big beat era, she understands more brilliantly the power of dynamics—that even the most grandiose song can benefit by suddenly getting completely naked for 40 seconds.

Blank Space, meanwhile, shows Swift to have under-heralded skills as maybe the greatest comedy writer since Eminem. As probably everyone who wasn’t completely divorced from pop culture in 2015 knows, Swift wrote it as a sort of spoof of her own image as a serial romancer (which is to say, a girl known for dating about half as many partners as a typical guy her age). When she says she’s got a blank space “and I’ll write your name,” it’s understood that she means she’ll write an excoriating song about the dude later on—she’s in on that joke. But amid the nearly Randy Newman-esque humor and exaggeration, there’s a real undercurrent of pain and possible self-knowledge. The time limits that come up in lines like “I can make the bad guys good for a weekend” and “Find out what you want/Be that girl for a month” don’t sound like they’re being played strictly for ironic laughs.

She is maybe the greatest comedy writer since Eminem.

Is she a spokeswoman for a generation? You might be on thin ice using that kind of phraseology for someone who spends so little time writing outside of the relational realm. But Swift does have an understanding of impermanence that seems uniquely millennial. She’s talked about how she looks at the length of her parents’ marriage and no longer takes it as a given she’ll find a lifetime partnership, which would probably come as a surprise to the younger Swift who wrote Love Story. But she finds a haunting beauty in what we might call planned obsolescence. “Wildest Dreams” pulls off the particularly tricky time-traveling feat of looking ahead to a future in which you’re looking back to the past… and of being intensely sexy and rueful at the same time. “You’ll see me in hindsight, tangled up with you all night, burning it down,” she sings. “Someday when you leave me, I bet these memories follow you around.” That moment when you’re in the heat of passion, leaving your body just long enough to realize you’ll be nostalgic for it someday? If you’ve ever experienced it, you probably never thought somebody would nail it in a song.

Not that you have to be a millennial to be capable of considering how things are likely to end even in the midst of everything going right. I was trying to remember what song the future-nostalgia of “Wildest Dreams” reminded me of, in some weird, roundabout way, and then it came to me: Dylan’s You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. It’s maybe heretical to compare the bard with this girl from the north country, but not so heretical to say: Great minds wistfully think alike. And we should all feel a little lonely if either of them ditched us.

Humans are weird.

Putting some of the things that humans do into words makes them sound weird. (made with @samlicker83 )

“Sometimes dirt gets trapped under our skin and shoots out like rockets after a couple of days.”

“We ride around in giant pieces of shaped metal and leather on wheels that we have to fill with decomposed liquidized dead things to keep it running.”

“Sometimes dust particles tickles these hairs in our nose and our nose becomes a snot canon.”

“We kill baby sheep to please the sky beings that keep our crops good”

“We cut out the genitalia of animals and others sometimes and require a lot of small pieces of green paper or invisible data points to do so.” “Why the fuck-” “For our own benefit and theirs.”

“Sometimes squishy flesh rocks form inside of us and slowly kill us.”

“Our young enjoy activities such as: climbing, playing, and fucking”

“We use plastic molds of other people’s genitals to please ourselves even though there is no advantage of doing so.”

“Some of them write stories about two humans of the same gender fucking and show it to many others to gather a following. They write the stories mainly for an audience who thinks the two people in the story should become mates for life.”

“We heat up sand and look out of it instead of going outside.”

“Sometimes we reproduce while others make a permanent record of it for others to see it. That’s a job for a lot of humans.”

“Having sex with the same gender is consider wrong until the words ‘no homo bro’ are said. Then everything is completely normal in societies eyes.”

“The females of our race bleed from their genitals annually and experience unsatiable hunger, rage, and stabbing pains in their bodies while that happens.”

Keep reading

i love these birdie boyfriends so much

mrriggerworld  asked:

Maggie was raised in small town Nebraska, so she's a country girl at heart. Her friends grew up listening to country, so she kept up too. Alex teases her when she finds out, because Alex is a rock and roll snob, and especially when Maggie reveals she was an actual cowgirl (barrel riding, junior division, county champ). Maggie finally has enough, and one night Alex comes home to find Maggie in Daisy Dukes and a cowboy hat, asking if she's interested in seeing Maggie's rope tricks.

Yall are adorable and Maggie is adorable and Alex is adorable and I love you so much.

Digimon Adventure music headcanons!

I’ve been creating playlists for the Adventure kids and felt inspired to share my headcanons about their musical tastes and their relationship with music! Feel free to share yours too!!!

Taichi: Eclectic and open when it comes to music, likes anything that feels good and has a cool beat, without overanalysing it too much. Mostly listens to fun, upbeat, energetic music that pumps him up. Loves Hip-Hop and has a not-so-secret fondness for 80s music.

● Favourite Artists: Foo Fighters, Eminem, Drake, U2, Queen

● Guilty pleasure: Bon Jovi

Yamato: Ultimate music snob and rock purist, disdainful of everything mainstream and almost every song that came out since the early 90s. Grew up on classic rock and blues, claims to hate anything that resembles the Top Charts. Will judge anyone who is a fan of what he considers “pseudo-rock” bands like Imagine Dragons or Muse. Do NOT mention Nickelback in his presence. Knows too much unnecessary trivia and is known to lecture people.

● Favourite Artists: Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, Bob Dylan, Arctic Monkeys

● Guilty pleasure: Daft Punk

Sora: Listens to all genres and gives everything a fair chance, even Knife of Day. Shares at least a favourite band or song with each of her friends. Usually prefers mellow, emotional tunes but also has a soft spot for powerful female singer-songwriters and enjoys a good bop in the club or the occasional obscure indie record. Loves music festivals.

● Favourite artists: Lorde, Bon Iver, Alanis Morissette, Imogen Heap, John Mayer

● Guilty pleasure: Taylor Swift

Koushirou: Mostly listens to EDM/house to block out the sound when he’s working. Tries to check out the charts and well-known classics so he can be aware of what his peers are into. Has no great ear for music and honestly can’t tell the difference between John Lennon and John Legend.

● Favourite artists: No particular attachment to anyone

● Guilty pleasure: Nikki Minaj

Mimi: Mostly a pop/R&B girl who lives for 90s/00s music, power ballads, and anything you can dance or sing along to. Normally dislikes serious, aggressive, downbeat songs. Loves anything Swedish and Latino. Stans hard for most pop divas and classic boybands.

● Favourite artists: Mariah, Britney, Spice Girls, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake

● Guilty pleasure: Disney Songs

Jou : Usually sticks to classical music, but has a fondess for old-fashioned tunes, romantic pop gems, and corny ballads Gomamon slips into his study playlist. Also listens to sutras when exams are approaching.

● Favourite artists: Mozart, Bach, Frank Sinatra, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli

● Guilty pleasure: Seal

Takeru : Devoted hipster indie fan who buys vinyl, borrows Yamato’s vintage records, and loves finding out new bands. But his Spotify actually reveals he has Top 50 Charts and Despacito on repeat. Religiously watches Eurovison every year.

● Favourite artists: The Beatles, Frank Ocean, Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran

● Guilty pleasure: One Direction

Hikari : Ultimate millennial pop stan, probably runs Twitter and tumblr accounts dedicated her favourite K-Pop groups. Directioner and Belieber. Unhealthily obsessed with musicals.

● Favourite artists: Katy Perry, One Direction, Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony

● Guilty pleasure: Céline Dion

some deidara headcanons for your headcanon needs

•like sasori, he is terrible at hand to hand combat. however, he does have incredible power in his legs.

•because of his need to protect his palms, he fights using only kicks.

•his palms and chest do not have taste buds, but are connected to his lungs.

•he is quite the darwinist. as far as he is concerned, death comes when it comes.

•as such, he doesn’t panic when comrades die or when his own life is in danger. he just sort of rolls with it.

•that said, he does worry about his comrades. he doesn’t want them to die, but he can accept it if they do.

•both he and sasori can go from calmly sitting and chatting to enraged and battle hungry in a split second.

•he is rather self-conscious about his height, but at least he’s taller than sasori.

•he is a total classic rock snob. you’re not on his level if you can’t name ten ac/dc songs and every member of metallica.

•his habitual “hm” comes from a bad bout of pneumonia he had when he was very young. it became habit for him to grunt to clear his chest and he just never stopped.

•the reason he keeps his hair so long is because he knows he’s effeminate. he hopes to distract people with his androgynous appearance so they won’t notice the abnormalities on his palms.

•he also keeps his bangs long for a similar reason; to hide his scope.

•however, he is touchy about his appearance and sometimes will act overly masculine around other akatsuki to compensate.

•he is aromantic and asexual.

•he gets along rather well with karin and sometimes styles her hair like his when he’s bored- it doesn’t help hidan’s theory that deidara is secretly a girl.

Mara Wilson tweeted the extremely true observation that if you are a woman of the right age to have an N*SYNC/BSB/Hanson phase but you didn’t, it is probably because you like girls. I appreciated this because this is probably one of my biggest cultural dividers with straight girls that should have made me realize a lot sooner. And while I’m sure a closeted younger me would have blamed it on my being a “music snob” I was PRETTY INTO the stupid girl pop of my era. I did have a Spice Girls phase!

Anyway, long story short, the replies are filled with butthurt straight girls like “MMM NOPE I JUST DONT LIKE THAT KINDA MUSIC DONT STEREOTUPE!!!!” And while some are probably right some sound a little like closeted teenage rock snob Rose Circa 10 Years Ago, IYKWIM

And then there’s this one

I

3

Happy Birthday Anton Corbijn !

‘ Depeche Mode will grow & grow Tomorrow… all the time in the world’NME1981;

Anton, born 62 years ago on 20 May 1955, is a Dutch photographer, music video director, and film director, also the creative director behind the visual output & artwork for Depeche Mode since the eighties, below a recap of his first collaboration with Depeche Mode for the NME back in 1981.

THREE MODES IN A BOAT

by Paul Morley
New Musical Express, 22nd August 1981
_____

Paul Morley skinnydips with the electropop heart-throbs from Basildon.
Anton Corbijn pictures it

SO I’M surrounded by three of the sweet Depeche boys, impressed by the variety of their haircuts, surprised by their simplicity, and I do what any responsible writer would do. I go boating with them.

Basildon is close to Southend, Essex, a half hour journey on old stock from a little-known London station. Depeche Mode – “hurried fashion” – are in between a British tour that ended in Edinburgh last Saturday and the recording of their debut LP, and are meeting the NME at Basildon station. The NME is twenty minutes late! “Sorry, it’s his fault,” I glibly blurt, pointing at the lanky lensboy. Depeche look annoyed, don’t say much, and hang around the station entrance until their instant photographs have been processed.

We walk through the new town: unlike a close, dirty and snaggy city, Basildon is flat, open light grey and fresh brick red. The sky looks close. I bet the tap water is moderately drinkable. We stroll past the square shopping centre, probably a local attraction for the postcards, cross a busy dual carriageway, an odd sign of speed, towards the indoor swimming pool.

“A lot of people,” Andrew Fletcher – a redhead, with new, dangerously close-cropped hair – tells me, “think that Basildon is a little country village.” Thatched roofs and jukebox-less pubs. “In fact it has a population of 180,000,” Martin Gore – derelict blond curls, a couple of days’ tender fluff on the chin – affectionately mocks him. “Oh, Andy knows everything, even the population.”

“Believe me,” continues Andrew earnestly, “It’s got an electoral roll of 107,000 and that’s not including kids. That’s the biggest in the country, and next time it has got to be split up into Basildon East and West.”

Have you lived in Basildon long? I ask singer Dave Gahan – black hair with a strange lie and an abbreviated fringe pointing down the centre of the forehead. “Since I was four,” he says. Depeche Mode are the formalist tingling sound of young Basildon, the alert geometric sound of the new town, the soundtrack for all cosmetic optimism, an evocative representation of the functional artificiality of some environment. Sunshine suits Basildon, all interviews with Depeche Mode should take place in the open air.

The Swimming Pool is set in a small tidy park: next to the swimming pool is a boating pool, near the boating pool is a putting green. Teenyboppers on school-holiday burn their legs in the sun and look numbly happy in the peace and slowness. Depeche and the NME sit on strictly mown grass under a toy tree; missing is songwriter Vince Clarke, who from past interviews appears to be the most prepared to attempt to rationalise the anti-romantic anti-intellectual Mode pop.

“There was a guy who interviewed us for the Daily Star, Ricky Sky, and he was desperately looking for a headline, an angle, and he was saying to us – haven’t you done anything really exciting, what’s been happening? We said well nothing really, although when we played at Ronnie Scott’s once all the lights went out! He was excited by this, then he started to talk about looks and he said do you think it’s an advantage to be good looking and in a band? Vince said Yeah, obviously, it’s an advantage in life to be good looking. Rick Sky made it out that Vince had said UGLY BANDS NEVER MAKE IT, IF YOU’RE GOOD LOOKING THEN YOU’RE NUMBER ONE. Since then Vince has never ventured out of his flat! He is so upset. It really hit him hard. He hasn’t been out for six weeks and he had a real bad depression.”

At the station I felt that Depeche Mode were going to be surly and silent: pop technicians simplifying their calculated art so that it fits into “the interview”. Actually, they like talking: what they like talking about most is nothing in particular. There is a residue of scurrilous schoolboy values, an innocently mutinous streak. They’re in no hurry: they’ve a cheerily vague idea about where they’ve been, and aren’t too concerned about where they’re going. Yet! Tomorrow is just another day: yesterday was a bit of a laugh. Today: flick the switch, talk to the man, fiddle with pieces of grass. Depeche Pop: for all the time in the world and no time at all.

DAVE: “It’s just the pop sound of the ’80s, that’s what I would describe Depeche Mode as.”

Andrew: “Yeah, I don’t think tours play a major part in what we do. I think most of the people who bought our record have never been to a gig in their life and will never go to one. They’d rather see a picture in a magazine … A lot of housewives bought the record, I reckon, old ones as well as young.”

Dave: “My mum always tells me if a song we’ve made is bad, if it’s too choppy she doesn’t like it. It’s got to have a good beat and run melodically.”

Andrew: “A lot of people still don’t realise that the whole of our set is pop. Virtually all our songs are pop songs. I think people think it might not be like that.”

What do you think people think?

Martin: “They think we’re jokes!”

Andrew: “Naah… a lot of people have still got this thing – synthesiser, he must be moody. You get a lot of Numanoids coming to our gigs.”

Dave: There was this bloke come to see us the other day and he said to me after the show – I think it’s really bad the way you have all your friends in the audience talking to you and that, and then we’re all over here and you don’t react to us. I said well what do you mean? He said: I think it’s really bad that you have like all your friends in the changing room. I said well what do you want me to say c’mon all the audience into the changing room. He said – well have you got lots of friends? I said well I’ve got a few. He said – well I haven’t got any. Well pity you mate! Isn’t that a friend, a guy who was with him. He said – yeah he’s a friend, but not a friend like that.

“It was really weird! I couldn’t be bothered talking to him. He thought that we should be like Gary Numan and have the distant lonely look and image. Because we play synthesisers and we’re supposed to look strange at people, and not smile. The bloke didn’t like the way I smiled at people!!”

DEPECHE MODE electerrific pop is a mazed glitter reflection of fast life and new values, the subjective sense of populist culture, the sound of flashing lights, a minimalist activating caricature of repentance and reason, a clinging ringing radiance. Soothing and exciting, pop’s equivalent to the TV commercial. Their songs are successive transformation of images, precise parodies of the sense of interplay between technology and man. They’re simplifications, curt cuts, ironic pop sculptures, lively chairs, a spiked soft drink.

Talking to them – especially without Vince Clarke, the missing trinket – you can’t directly appreciate the subtle merit of Depeche pop, where the intention seems to be to disclaim reality as messy and stale, to condemn daily life as heartlessly indifferent to the needs of imaginative life. Depeche Mode is a figurative pop that is the result of a collision between SENSITIVITY and INSENSITIVITY, RESPECT and INDIFFERENCE.

There is more going on than it seems: there will be more going on. Mode’s literate, significantly glossy pop has a superficiality that is contradicted by an inner consistency that hints at emotion, tragedy, spirit, or perhaps an anticipation of impatience with the present format. Depeche Mode are moving between the over candid and value-less simplification of Numan, and the convincing confrontation of new possibilities of Cabaret Voltaire. Listening to the focused pop of Depeche Mode – “to sound like a fairy tale full of silent machines, robots, consumer imperatives and mute children in love with the sky” – can put this listener in the best possible mood to take in the day. Today …

Minus Clarke, Depeche Mode talk like teenyboppers: no complications! Depeche unpretentiously admit that they’ve ended up this way today through a series of lucky breaks. Unlike distant rubbing cousins like Cabaret Voltaire or even The Human League there’s been precious little sense of purpose. They find it difficult to frame their new fame. Ingredients, colours, ideas, references, styles were generously, haphazardly scattered: the accidental pattern that’s formed is brilliant, attractive and the bright basis for a special design. Depeche are a supreme example of the electronic vitalisation of the basic pop format, and it’s the beginning.

Depeche Mode haven’t appreciated this yet. They’re still adjusting, playing truant. That they’re an obvious part of the evolution from Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League and DAF – musically and conceptually – whose observation and explanation of SURROUNDING is dislocated and oddly associated indicates that DeMode have the potential to be a shade more provocative than their fakerist contemporaries. Tomorrow…

THERE IS no impudent statement about Mode’s employment of electronics; though they relish the opportunities. To them it was natural, a rewarding route to constructing intelligent pop songs. There is no rigorous or possessive art background. They’re all under 20. Vince Clarke may well have a folkish background – try singing “New Life” with a finger in the ear, acapella like Steeleye Span singing “Gaudete”. Andrew was a rock snob – pre-punk into The Who and Deep Purple, out of that when punk churned along, and then fond of the Pistols and Parker. Martin, whose previous group performed the theme from Skippy, likes Sparks, The Velvet Underground and Cabaret Voltaire. Dave’s background associates the group with the swift shifts of Egan clubland, has placed them near to the air the cults with names breathe.

“Yeah, I was a soulboy, I’ve done it all, I’ve been everything. I used to like soul and jazz-funk like The Crusaders. I used to go to soul weekends and hang around with the crew from Global Village and I went to, like, The Lyceum on a Friday night.” He got interested in punk, and when that burnt out went back to the clubs for the exotic new electronic fun, the floating fading fantasy of The Blitz and Studio 21.

Depeche Mode were originally Vince, Martin and Andrew, bass guitar and a drum machine. Dave joined up, Depeche Mode became two synthesisers, a drum machine a vivacious front boy. Yesterday…

“We were just a band and we played in front of friends and that… we didn’t start off being a pop group, that’s just the way it went, it was just the music we liked making. We never said let’s form a band, let’s get in the charts, let’s be enormous. We didn’t intend it to be a career, we were still at work until recently. We just never planned anything. We would have signed any deal, we just wanted to put a record out.”

They didn’t anticipate the recent shifts from IRRELEVANT BIGNESS towards mobility, colour, commotion: the newest pop urge to participate more in the bombardment of the senses? Pop in discos: pop as part of the rushing crushing soundtrack for the day. “I think we’re lucky to fit into all that. We have had a lot of lucky breaks.”

MEETING DANIEL MILLER was the sort of lucky break that can be turned into legend. Miller is Normal, Miller is Mute, Miller is ghost, Miller is catalyst. “If we hadn’t signed with Dan’s Mute label we would have signed with a major label and got immersed in all that stupid expense, the big rigs and the 20 roadies…”

DeMode certainly appreciate their fortunate independence: the flexibility. “We didn’t think about it before, but now we run our own thing, plan what we want to do, how and when we want to do it. It could’ve been the other way easily. We emerged just as all the big labels were searching for their “futurist” group.” Depeche Mode appeared on Stevo’s Some Bizzare compilation and were therefore momentarily branded as “futurist”. “We came very close to signing with a major. But we can do anything with Daniel. We could if we wanted do a record that’s just a continual noise for three minutes and he’d release it as a single.”

If it wasn’t for Miller Depeche Mode would have been lost. They would have stood still. Miller has propelled them forward, is helping them see things clearly. His commercially practical yet unconventional vision has given DeMode a properly encouraging context to exploit and perfect their belligerently simple Pop Art. The story goes that at first he didn’t want to help them: when he first heard them they were scrappy and he was in a bad mood. Fate needed to make it happy ever after. “We really were lucky to meet someone like him. We’re surrounded by people we can totally trust. The people he’s got on his label, like Boyd Rice, really are out of order. He puts out a single even though he knows it’ll only sell 1,000. He just does it because he likes it… I still don’t understand Daniel Miller. I don’t see how he’s made any money until us. He’ll make a bit out of this single! But you know we just never really thought anything really. We just wanted to put a single out. Then we did “Dreaming Of Me” as a one off for Mute and that went into the lower charts and we were surprised. Then, in a couple of months, everything’s happened.”

I SAW YOU just before the release of “Dreaming Of Me” at Cabaret Futura and you didn’t move – you were frozen!

Andrew: “That was really terrible… a really funny gig. We hadn’t learnt how to move. It’s very hard moving when you play synthesisers.”

The next time I saw you, on Top Of The Pops playing “New Life”, you were hipping and hopping like puppets with broken strings.

Andrew: “It used to be the main criticism of us, that we didn’t move enough on stage. But it’s really hard, we’ve relaxed a bit now and we dance but we used to be shy and we used to be really young.”

Martin: “We used to be really young! It was only 6 months ago. We used to have this idea of having rails on the stage and we would be on platforms on stage so that we could be moved back and forwards on stage although we didn’t have to actually move! We really want to make our show good but we just haven’t had a chance to sit down and think about it.”

I’ve seen people vainly try to imitate Dave’s daft dance but they can never do it.

Dave: “Did you see Razmatazz yesterday? We were on it and all these little girls in the background were trying to imitate me – copying me weren’t they? I didn’t know when we were doing it but they were there doing exactly the same dance – like you go through loads of times before the real performance and the girls must have perfected it towards the end.”

Do you like appearing on television?

Andrew: “It’s alright. At first I felt a bit like a prune. Like pressing a keyboard and pretending you’re really doing it and singing into a mike with a lead going nowhere – half way through you think God what am I doing here, looking like a prat in front of millions of people. We’ve got used to it now.”

Second nature.

Andrew: “Yeah, it’s just funny now.”

THE INTERVIEW in the sun fades away after about 40 minutes. Depeche are obviously bored, and so they should be. We go boating. DeMode are recognised by almost everybody sunning by the pool. Now that they’re FACES are they into glamour? Shrug, stare into space, laughter.

“There’s no glamour. We drive around in Dan’s Renault… we don’t now because it’s broken, so we get trains. Don’t know about glamour. Nothing’s really changed. We might have a few more pennies in our pockets, and when I say pennies I do mean pennies, but same friends, same places to go to. You always think wouldn’t it be great to have a hit single, but when it actually happens nothing really changes.”

They seem remarkably unaffected and unimpressed by their success: likeably irreverent. “Oh, it’s great fun…” Glad to hear it. The three muscle men who hire out the boats recognise the local goodies Mode. One of them chats to the boys as he helps them into a boat. “What number are you this week then?” “Fifteen” “That’s the way – go get ’em!” He points out the group to what looks like his dad. “Hey this is Depeche Mode, they come from around this way.”

“Never heard of them.”

“It’s really odd, at first you think God, imagine being on TOTP, imagine being in the top ten, but it all changes when it begins to happen. When we got into the lower charts we thought it was good for a while, but then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 40. Then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 20…”

Depeche finish their boat ride. “All the way to number one!” shouts a boat man. Depeche are confused about what they want, why and what for, and are just beginning to work out guidelines. They intuitively realise that there is MORE than Radio One recognition: the charts the glossy magazines will unusually form the background to a hard artistic growth. Depeche Mode are casual but not silly. Would they mind the mythical mishap of ending up as one hit wonders? “I don’t think it would put us off in any way – although some people in the papers would love it. We’ve done a lot already, we’ve learnt a lot, but I hope we’re not one hit wonders!”

I walk around the pool as Anton focuses. Two little girls ask me if I’m in Depeche Mode. It’s nice to be asked, but I point at the threesome. Two early teen lads come up to me and ask me what paper the articles going to be in. Are Depeche Mode local heroes: “Oh yeah really well known!” The two lads argue about whether Stiff Little Fingers are the other Basildon pop stars.

Dave walks the NME back to the station: the deal was all over inside 90 minutes, as it should be. Do they get recognised a lot in Basildon?

“Quite a lot… it’s funny. The people round here sort of think that if you’ve got a single in the charts you’re going to be driving round in a Rolls Royce, but we still use buses. They see you in the chip shop or the Wimpy and they think it’s really odd.”

Is his mum excited? “Oh yes. Mum says to my aunts – make sure you see them on Razmatazz! She’s been really good about it - she’s kind of let me have my own way. She could have been harder.”

She had a banking career in mind? “No, no… I went to college doing Design and shop display, but I left. The College were pretty good about it. They sent me a note the other day, saying congratulations on the success.”

Detached Dave quietly says goodbye to the NME, and straight away seems to have forgotten about them. What did I do today? He might wonder later that night. Tomorrow is just another day… but the day after? Depeche Mode can make intimate and challenging pop art out of routine and insecurity! Dave walks off towards sunsets and sunrises and certain surprises. Depeche Mode will grow and grow. Tomorrow… all the time in the world.

“This is Gideon.  When would it be convenient for you to die?”

-Gideon Gordon Graves, Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley

skysolo headcanon #2

Han is a classic rock snob, but Luke is totally into pop and indie music because it makes him feel happy.
He likes knowing that even if the chords are simple and the lyrics are overused, it doesn’t lessen the feeling of the song. Whereas Han has no chill about music, he can only deal with lyrics that speak to him personally and a strong bass guitar. He can’t stand songs about partying or getting high, because that isn’t what he feels inside, dammit Luke, and who the fuck is Miley Cyrus anyway?
But you can bet he’ll watch Luke sway his hips around the kitchen and sing all the words to pop songs under his breath while cooking with a little smile on his face.
And more often than not, he’ll sneak up behind Luke and tickle him before the chorus so when Luke’s taking a breath and is really about to go for it, he ends up paralysed with giggles.
Luke doesn’t mention how Han always seems to know when the chorus is.
Nor does he mention that Han can hit all the high notes in Chandelier, unexpectedly (he’s heard him singing in the shower), as his epic falsetto is one of Han’s most closely guarded secrets. Luke just smiles and lets himself be tickled.
That is the way of things.

Provo un odio profondo e incommensurabile nei confronti di quelle persone che, quando si parla di musica, se ne escono fuori con aria di sufficienza dicendo che loro ascoltano rock, ti sparano due nomi di band a cazzo e denigrano tutti gli altri generi musicali. Mi verrebbe da dire loro: ‘guarda che quella musica non l’hai fatta tu, quindi è inutile che ti gasi tanto’.

anonymous asked:

Sherlock and Molly singing 'Highway to Hell' by ACDC at the top of their lungs whilst in the car on a motorway...

I tweaked it slightly, but hope you still like it, dear Nonny! Enjoy!

‘No, no, no!’ Sherlock shouted, jerking Molly from her lightslumber in the passenger seat.

Her heart raced and she gripped the safety handle with white-knuckled terror, prepared to meet her Maker.  ‘What? Oh, God, what?’

He grumbled and waved a hand in disgust at the radio, which was currently on a classical station. ‘That’s not the proper tempo for this piece! Adagio… not Larghetto. Good Lord, does no one understand the importance of maintaining authenticity in performance?’

Her hand over her racing heart, Molly took several deep, calming breaths. Everything in her screamed to smack the Consulting Driver and she barely managed to tamp down her rage. ‘For the love of triple murders, Sherlock, don’t scare me like that!’

He merely quirked an eyebrow in acknowledgement before sneering once more at the music coming from the radio. Molly shifted into a less defensive position and glanced at the clock on the dash. They still had another three hours to go of their five-hour drive to the country for a case and it wasn’t yet 8 in the morning. Her head lolled back in frustration.

Sherlock scoffed in derision at another segment and, having had enough, Molly reached over and flipped the stations.

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m changing the station, Sherlock, before I end up tossing you from the car.’

Keep reading