Sam Smith

So, this kid’s music is not really our thing, but, you know, good for him for being young and out and having a hit record carried on the strength of his voice, which is quite remarkable.

This article http://www.thefader.com/2014/08/28/social-anxiety-sam-smith is better than most writing we’ve seen wrestling with these issues (in contrast, we did not like the Gawker piece because prude-shaming is not any better than slut-shaming in our book) but still something is missing from the conversation.

One thing that is missing is some kind of broader understanding of the limits of transgression as a political program or strategy. Like, the kind of affirmation of difference with emphasis on the self-consciously “freaky” a la Gaga is just as easily and just as completely a vehicle for neoliberalism and consumerism as Smith’s fussily chaste balladry. Judith Butler didn’t really understand that either, so if we’re all just getting caught up, NBD.

As far as ballads go we still much prefer David McAlmont.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrdPDMV0KVU


Huh.

People have been reblogging our 2012 endorsement of Barack Obama for president with weird, (possibly snarky?) comments over the last couple of days. We are unsure what that is about.

So: a reflection: BHO has come through in big ways on some things and been a disappointment on some other things, which is the best you can expect for presidential politics, a process that is as completely necessary as it is necessarily fraught.

In fairness, most of the biggest disappointments of this term have been a result of republicans in congress being a bunch of do-nothing doofuses, especially on immigration. but sure there have absolutely been other things that have been kind of infuriating.

but when stuff like the executive order banning LGBT discrimination in federal contractors happens or when a ton of your friends get health insurance who haven’t had it since high school and then you read that solar power capacity has increased twelve fold since 2009—you remember that none of this would have happened under a romney administration. that is what we mean when we say that voting is not about the lesser evil but about the greater good.

so, a mixed bag, and always too slow, but yes we will choose the messiness and frustration and joy and disappointment of electoral participation over the purity and self-satisfaction of non-participation every time and we will not regret it and then we will go out and organize and protest and write articles and letters and meet with elected officials and be noisy. political participation can’t end with voting. part of the frustration with politics may stem from the way that elections themselves become these huge emotional spectacles in ways that the slow grind of engagement with day-to-day politics can never match.



For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.

Lana Del Rey to The Fader. Well this is going to go down like a sack of shit, eh, Tumblr? (via nyconversation)

"Our intergalactic possibilities"? Jesus, this almost makes Gaga look coherent.


I’ve heard several young hipsters tell me they’re socially-liberal and economic-conservative, a popular trend in American politics,” he writes. “Well, I hate to break it to you buddy, but it’s economics and the role of the state that defines politics. If you’re an economic conservative, despite how ironic and sarcastic you may be or how tight your jeans are, you, my friend, are a conservative …

nprmusic:

Read: The violinist and songwriter Owen Pallett explains the tensions at work in his highly personal new solo album. 

Very good record by important musician. Pretty hilariously backhanded treatment of Gaga within as well.

(via likeapairofbottlerockets)


CATHARSIS THEATER PRESENTS: What Was So Frustrating About The Taylor Swift Conversation, A Play In Five Years

sadybusiness:

Me: Wow, some of these lyrics are really anti-feminist. Have you heard “Better than Revenge?” That’s some messed-up stuff. 

Them: Calm it down, Captain Buzzkill! Does everything have to be about feminism all the time? Why can’t you just evaluate the music?

Me: Okay. Let’s talk music. If we’re taking message and subject matter off the table entirely — which is a big concession for me to make, but this is happening in good faith, right? — then the lyrics are not very strong on a technical level. Just very one-dimensional and literal. There’s not a strong vocabulary or command of prosody — you’re never going to get “you made your major overtures when you were a sure and orotund mutt” here, consonance and assonance just don’t come into it at that level — and the command of metaphor and image is likewise lacking. Lots of cliches: If she writes about being unpopular, the song’s called “Invisible.” If she writes about falling in love, it’s “a fairytale and he’s the prince,” or else “sparks” are “flying.” Run down the list of song titles, and you’ll see what I mean: “All Too Well,” “State of Grace,” “Knew You Were Trouble,” and that’s just one album. It’s just a very flat, un-inventive use of language: Someone is describing a feeling by actually saying “I felt this way about that thing,” and when she tries to get fancy, she lands on “Hallmark” a troubling percentage of the time. 

Them: Too much lyric talk, not enough music talk! 

Read More


hardcorefornerds:


"… the United States is pushing an Internet economy or digital economy that is based on advertising. It’s a business model based on surveillance."
Astra Taylor’s radical internet critique: “I don’t want to give in to the libertarian logic of our time” - Salon.com

I have a bunch more stuff I want to talk about from this great piece (h/t likeapairofbottlerockets, again) but this juxtaposition is just too perfect.



Everybody should read this Astra Taylor book.  Buy it from your local independent bookseller.  If you don’t have a local independent bookseller buy it from powells.com

hardcorefornerds:

"… the United States is pushing an Internet economy or digital economy that is based on advertising. It’s a business model based on surveillance."

Astra Taylor’s radical internet critique: “I don’t want to give in to the libertarian logic of our time” - Salon.com

I have a bunch more stuff I want to talk about from this great piece (h/t likeapairofbottlerockets, again) but this juxtaposition is just too perfect.

Everybody should read this Astra Taylor book. Buy it from your local independent bookseller. If you don’t have a local independent bookseller buy it from powells.com

…an absence of reactionary sentiment is not the same thing as the presence of progressive values.
Alyssa Rosenberg

A decade ago, in his book No Collar, sociologist Andrew Ross described how tech start-ups borrowed art’s cocktail of work, play and personal life to create a new corporate culture around “self-actualization.” When young incorporated artists borrow this mix back—along with a toolbox of networking strategies—the result is a feedback loop. Business is branded by art and vice versa. What appears to be art is basically business. Nothing else feels possible.