Obligatory “I’M JUST A SECRET MACHINES FAN WTF AM I DOING ON THIS TAG ANYWAY” post.
I can always tell when Daniel Kessler has tweeted something, because my dashboard literally explodes.
Me and Jonny like to listen to the radio, but they like to play a lot of crap, y’know? Whenever I ask Jonny “what the fuck is this piece of shit?”, Jonny’s reply is always “Atoms for Peace”.
— Thom Yorke (via genuinethomyorkequotes)
Some words for hangover, like ours, refer prosaically to the cause: the Egyptians say they are “still drunk,” the Japanese “two days drunk,” the Chinese “drunk overnight.” The Swedes get “smacked from behind.” But it is in languages that describe the effects rather than the cause that we begin to see real poetic power. Salvadorans wake up “made of rubber,” the French with a “wooden mouth” or a “hair ache.” The Germans and the Dutch say they have a “tomcat,” presumably wailing. The Poles, reportedly, experience a “howling of kittens.” My favorites are the Danes, who get “carpenters in the forehead.” In keeping with the saying about the Eskimos’ nine words for snow, the Ukrainians have several words for hangover.
Hangovers, translated, from A Few Too Many
In honor of tonight’s overindulgence and tomorrow’s consequences, one of my favorite New Yorker essays of all time.
words! i love words!
All I had to drink last night was water, but I love this. A howling of kittens! Made of rubber!(via imathers)
In Cornish, it is “Kurun Spern” or “Crown of Thorns”!!!
A bunch of weird memories stirred up by watching that Hanson video earlier.
I was, I think, 26, when MMMbop came out. In 1997, I was the webmistress of a popular Pop Music Fan Fiction site. One of my best writers, who was a couple of years younger than me, but still early/mid-20s submitted a (romance) story about Hanson. And that was one of those moments where I had to stop and seriously look at what we were doing on that site, because I read that story and thought “Hmmmmm. This is questionable.”
Not that the story wasn’t good. It was a great piece of writing, it was pithy and complex, and actually got into the dynamics of an older woman (LOL! mid 20s! old!) with a teenage boy that both intrigued me, because at that point, I remember watching Hanson videos and thinking “this is marginal”, but also creeped me out a bit, because Taylor Hanson was at the height of their success, like, 14, 15. In the end, I think we ran the story, with a disclaimer saying “this is fantasy and we’re well aware that this is completely unacceptable and please don’t read if this dynamic creeps you out” or something like that.
But what’s notable, is that I remember, at age 25 or 26 or whatever, watching those videos and thinking “this is marginal… but still something I could see being appealing.” Watching them now, on the other side of 40, I think “HOLY CRAP THOSE ARE CHILDREN.” This is when I know that I am LOLold, because as good as it was, I don’t think I would publish that story now.
tomewing asked: Yeah "manufactured" is a stupid word for what they mean but it's the word people use to describe a species of pop so I'm stuck with it. As usual the approach is a straightforward 'contrarian' one: take pop that seems entirely manufactured and look for the agency there, take pop that seems "natural" (in this case bound up with ideas of childhood/creativity/etc too) and hunt for the decisions that show the craft.
Yeah, I know exactly what you meant and why you use that term, because it is the currency when talking about a certain approach to music. All music is manufactured, whether you’re recording at Toe-Rag or Simon Cowell-land. It’s agency on the part of the “artists” that people are looking for. (Sometimes without even realising that a Producer can be an artist as much as a Musician, and being annoyed that the art lies in the manufacturer not the “face” is a mug’s game.) Is this artefact actually something that the musicians created of their volition, or was it something that was manufactured elsewhere and thrust upon the musician? Which is, to me, one of the least interesting questions you can ask about a piece of pop music.
It is almost never a straight dichotomy, as you point out. Looking for the deliberate craft in “artisanal pop” or looking for the natural or chaotic spontaneity in “prefab pop” is always more interesting than trying to assign an artist or piece of music to one or the other. My favourite artists are always the ones that don’t fit happily in either.
HANSON - “MMMBop” (1997). #769 (3 weeks). Under discussion here: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2014/03/hanson-mmmbop/
New entry! As much about bubblegum and its slightly strange/playful relationship with “manufactured” pop as it is about this very good record.
On the tension between “Manufactured” (all pop is manufactured, what he means is “prefabricated”) and “artisanal” in bubblegum. At the time, we called this “rockist bubblegum” but “artisanal bubblegum” captures more of the oddness and tension. I spent a good five years debating what “rockist bubblegum” would look like: Hanson, The Strokes or Busted?
p.s. Do Not Read The Comments. I could write you a sociological essay on the reactions here, but I will spare you.