The site is really gorgeous, and the words are OK too. This album deserves just as much attention as the new Fall Out Boy record. It’s a strikingly bold, thoroughly catchy hour of music, and I highly recommend giving it a bit of your time. (Key cuts: “Daydreaming,” “Last Hope,” “Still Into You,” “Hate to See Your Heart Break.”) Thanks to Steven for the opportunity.
I was fascinated today, with the album stream hitting the web, to see the generational appeal of Fall Out Boy in action. Apparently every 23-year-old writer I know loves them. When Infinity on High came out, I was already six or seven years deep into indie rock and graduating college; the emo-est record I loved that year was the Thrills’ Teenager, a should-be cult classic. I grew up in Southern California in the ’90s: you listened to all punk, all the time, whether you liked it or not, and by the time they blew up, FOB’s overly clever, heavily sanitized brand of rock sounded like a joke to me even next to my aging, relatively embarrassing New Found Glory and Saves the Day records. (More context: I also really hated that first Killers album.)
My tastes are considerably more shameless now, but I’m amused that the world has spun in such a way that they — and not Paramore, arguably the most consistent, progressive mainstream modern rock band of the last decade, fronted inarguably by mainstream modern rock’s most compelling young frontwoman — are this week’s default critics’ darling. Poptimism!
I maybe should’ve seen this coming. Pitchfork has written about Fall Out Boy exactly once, in a defensive, foreshadowy news item typed by Ryan Dombal in 2009:
Some may scoff at the notion of Weezer— untouchable high-school-nerd heroes!— lowering themselves to tour with the puerile likes of Blink and FOB but, in 2009, that sort of closed-mindedness seems silly. Simple fact is FOB’s last three albums crush Weezer’s last three albums in every single way. And who wouldn’t want to hear “Dammit” one more time in a huge arena?
The above paragraph would fit comfortably on MTV Buzzworthy, which I know because I write many like it for them. However, in 2010’s lone Paramore mention, Tom Breihan called the band “arguably the best of the MySpace emo wave, for whatever that’s worth.” So they’ve got that going for them. The site, and its dozens of peers, have been extremely hands-off of anything emo-associated until the recent run of emo bands in lo-fi clothing (hi, Japandroids), but I have to wonder if Paramore, one of the last decade’s true breakthrough acts, gets less coverage (or at least less goodwill) from indie sites/critics for the same reason Taylor Swift does: teen girl fanbases, not just their mainstream appeal. Frank Ocean’s music may be a lot more substantial than Justin Bieber’s, but let’s be honest: they top the same charts. It’s only how they get there — and the buying demographic’s cool factor/indie-website-reading likelihood — that’s different. It feels like a marketing choice rather than a critical one; Jon Caramanica, for one, has no trouble writing meaningfully about Swift and Ocean alike if the music warrants (it does!), and his is the lead to follow.
Anyway, Jamieson is the best and so is this Paramore album. Take them both seriously.
Ray J did not, in fact, “Hit It First”: an investigative report by David Greenwald.
“One of our focuses is to help kids learn how to think critically,” said Victor Vuchic, a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation. “It’s probably impossible to do that with multiple-choice tests. The challenge is that this requires human graders, and so they cost a lot more and they take a lot more time.”
Because education should be fast and efficient and not the most well-developed, fully funded aspect of human civilization, nope, definitely not.
Thom Yorke: Well, my mate Stanley Donwood, who I went to art college with, who does all our artwork with – I mean I do it with him kind of thing – we always have these lovely plans about we want to go and live in Berlin for a month and just paint and get in trouble and things like that. So, we call ourselves the Sunday Painters and we go on bad painting trips. We did one where –
Alec Baldwin: You said bad painting trips?
Thom Yorke: Well, they’re bad painting trips because I’m involved.
There are entire decades of Thom Yorke interviews that could’ve been this much fun!
I wrote and shot photos for this month’s Consequence of Sound cover story on Wavves. We talked about God, home ownership, pot, losing the slacker label and the band’s accomplished new album, Afraid of Heights.
He paid a lot of money many years ago for the vault beside Marilyn Monroe’s, at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, not far from the Mansion. He likes the idea of his life’s story ending with him lying next to his beloved first centerfold. “I connect to that sort of symmetry and continuity,” he says. “Things fitting together. Making sense.”
Hefner is an endlessly fascinating figure. This is a good piece. The Hef doc on Netflix is also very good, as is Gay Talese’s Playboy-centric Thy Neighbor’s Wife, which I’d venture to guess is better than any proper biography.
A celebration of self-expression and a revelatory dive into capitalist hell, two sides of the same logo-stamped coin.
With directions similarly foggy, we wander into the Hotel St. Cecilia courtyard. A dozen or so people sit at tables and chairs with the ease of old ladies playing bridge. As we step closer, one group includes the rapper J. Cole, while Carrie Brownstein, smiling in a white Peter Pan-collared shirt, lingers nearby. “Did you see her?” I whisper to Jeremy. “Who?” “That’s Carrie Brownstein.” He tiptoes back to peek before we walk up the stairs, looking for a party and finding a catering table and a fussy head waitress instead. She points us in the right direction: down the hill, toward the big tent. We make our exit and I wonder if I should tell Carrie I’m thinking about moving to Portland.
More from my exhaustive SXSW diary, which you can read in full on Thought Catalog.