Actually, I should revise these thoughts, I've done some re-reading and I don't have this worked out to my satisfaction yet. My previous post was a bit too critical of this follow up article, I was triggered by seeing Levine's quote again and putting that on this author, this piece is less explosive than my first impression. My intuition is telling me there is an issue here, but I haven't successfully identified the root yet. Hmm...
Good post, David. I agree with you in principle: "fuck the writer" is a bad attitude and never constructive. I don't mean to condone that, but I try to address hater feelings because I believe in some cased (not all), it's the kind of thing people revert to when they have intense feelings they want to explain but can't put into words. So in frustration some just vent in a way that overshadows any possible value in their thoughts, and I try to be sympathetic sometimes when that happens. The tour is HUGE news for sure and I would expect the mag to cover it in a post, all I meant is: can an article be news if it's 1/3 reporting an announcement, 2/3 personal vendetta? There are about 20 people involved in the comment discussion he references. 20 who have any idea what the hell was discussed. The vast majority of prospective readers have no context whatsoever. So how does this work for a public audience? It doesnt. Personally, it's galling to see this extremely questionable characterization of the original comments re-published here because I know almost no one will seek out the comments to read and analyze for self. Accountability. The writer can cherry pick details, whatever he wants, knowing his statements are unlikely to be challenged. This new article/announcement becomes the received wisdom from that discussion? No one to challenge that, to speak up and prevent this from being reported/considered journalistic fact? Not on my watch. I just couldnt let this pass because basically, the article he wrote amounts to someone declaring "victory!" at a random moment in a war where all the soldiers were done fighting, then scampering off to.hide as fast as possible before anyone can react in any way, all the way feeling like a winner who got the last laugh. I'm being slightly dramatic here, but you can see what I'm trying to say. And the discussion of Josh' s original article went cold a long time ago, we said what we said and all moved on. The participants are long over it. Reopening those antagonisms--way too personal to be incorporated in something considered "news," in my opinion. I'm ecstatic to know they are touring! Best news in a while for me! But whatever this particular article may be about, it isn't really about the news-its about something else, but I can't finger what, precisely.
Dude, seriously? This article isn't "news", if you actually consider this article worthy "content" I simply can't help you. You think the fact that this small circle of friends has decided to play together again proves/changes anything about Jeffs motive for touring? Correlation =/= causation. I stand by all of my analysis on the other thread. This article is a shameful, cowardly cheap shot that contributes nothing. Frankly, you sound like a petulant child. I KNOW exactly where Jeff's head is at in all this. It astounds me that any magazine would allow its writers to taunt prospective readers like this. Seriously- I'm utterly flabbergasted.
@Goo: You're entitled to your aesthetic. His music is not for everyone.
@Bryce: I didn't miss the positive elements that this reviewer noted. You're missing what makes the last paragraph a flashpoint for several of the angrier commentators. The emotional responses here have nothing to do with the reviewer highlighting the financial dimensions of the tour. It's because the writer presents his theory as if he is speaking for an entire fan base. On what authority can he say that Jeff's fans, many of who have waited so long to see him play, are being VICTIMIZED when they go see him perform, and implying most are so naively caught up in the experience that they don't even realize they are being taken advantage of? THAT'S what's absurd, what makes fans want to post rebuttals. We're proving he does not speak for everyone and pointing out that he has jumped to a wild, seemingly vindictive conclusion that because the experience did not deliver for him the entire tour must be about ripping people off. THAT'S what makes it a perfectly ridiculous rant. You were let down? You felt personally victimized? Fine, say so. His set was too short for what you paid? Ask for your money back. Say anything you want, as negative as whatever, but say it for YOURSELF, and don't try to speak for an entire fan base that you're obviously out of touch with. That's where this writer went over the line, and why other fans are chiming in with their own $0.02. Some of these fans seem to feel personally insulted by his reckless interpretation of an experience they found/find deeply meaningful/moving on a VERY personal level.
@ALL: This essay is a damn good exploration of who Jeff Mangum is as a human being, I think you will understand his motives better after you read it. This is what music means to him, I think.
True, that Jeff Mangum is touring again may feel like a risk--but it is the best kind of risk an artist can take. He's been compared to JD Salinger, who's career was defined by a similiar myth, but frankly all this tour proves is that Jeff has 10 times JD's guts. Judging from his interviews and statements he has made about his own creativity, his attitude has always been to value AUTHENTICITY in his art above all else, and that is why his performances have inspired authentic awe in those who have been lucky enough to hear him sing. What Jeff will choose to do next is still anyone's guess, but nothing his heart allows him to do can possibly damage his myth or his legacy. His return to the stage might be the best artistic risk he has ever taken. Jeff has been doing, truly, a most beautiful thing. All he has to do is continue to follow his heart.
when i wrote aeroplane, i spent 90 percent of my time screaming nonsence
into my little tape recorder, or chopping up sounds with my sound blender, or
just making noise, and 10 percent of my time writing songs. it was very liberating,
because i never thought about what i was doing, and a week before we went to record i didnt even think we had a half finished album. but i didnt care. i figured if we went the studio,and only recorded one finished song, then that would be fine. creating just one minute ofsomething inspiring is an incredibly fun thing to do. so next time you hear that neutral milkis recording, dont get your hopes up. it may only be one minute of music.
major organ was just a bunch of friends putting music together for fun. it was a project
that changed hands at least a dozen times, and most of the time you didnt even know who was working on it,and you never knew where it would go. released mostly to inspire other dreamers and home recorders to do the same with there friends. we weren't trying to create a masterpiece. trying to do anything is the of death of creativity, and if we can encourage people to not try, but to just do, then we have accomplished our goal.
"I think what Elephant 6 meant for us is very simple: there's something pure and infinite in you, that wants to come out of you, and can come out of no other person on the planet. That's as real and important as the fact you're alive. We were able, at a really young age, to somehow protect each other so we could feel that. The world at large, careerism, money, magazines, your parents, the people at the rock club in your town, other kids, nothing is going to gvie you that message, necessarily. In fact, most things are going to lead you away from it, sadly, because humanity is really confused at the moment. But you wouldn't exist if the universe didn't need you. And any time I encounter something beautiful that came out of a human somewhere, that's them, that's their soul. That's just pure, whatever its physicality is, if the person can play piano, if they can't play piano, if they're tone deaf, whatever it is, if it's pure, it hits you like a sledgehammer. It fills up your own soul, it makes you want to cry, it makes you glad you're alive, it lets *you* come out of *you*. And that's what we need: we desperately need *you*."
--Julian Koster, circa 2005, from the book about the making of Aeroplane. Julian has appeared with Jeff on many of the recent tour dates.
Comments made during his Fall tour, From: http://blog.beatgoeson.com/2011/08/15/mang…
JM: Anybody have any questions? Not that I have any answers, but . . .
Fan: Will there be a new album?
JM: I don’t have any fucking idea. I didn’t think I’d be doing this.
Fan: We’re glad you are.
JM: I’m glad I am too. I think it’s good for me, I dunno . . .
Fan: Have you been writing new songs?
JM: I go through periods of writing. I mean, if something came out of my heart naturally I’d put it out, but I’m not gonna make another record because of . . . whatever . . . all the other bullshit.
Comments on his creative process in a 2002 interview: http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/5…
Pitchfork: Is this reframing process something you use in your songwriting in general? Do the songs come out of fragments?
Jeff: Yeah, usually I create tunes that are fragmented. I think the biggest obstacle for people with their creativity is that they feel they have to sit down and create this finished, polished product. Especially nowadays, it's so easy to have a library of two thousand CDs, books and records. So many things. We're used to having all of these finished works of art in our life that seem to arise out of nothing. I think that so much of the creative process is a fragmentary one, and then it's about just allowing your intuition to put it together for you. It's funny how you create something and you think you're going in a million different directions, and then the thing you end up with is the thing that you wanted to create your whole life, but you're just as surprised by it as anybody else.
The only thing the myth has done for Aeroplane is, perhaps, given the album more exposure. But time and time again, the album justifies its own stature in the ears of a new listener. When I saw Jeff perform I brought a close friend who knew nothing of the songs and nothing of the myth. After the performance my friend was glowing, saying it was one of the most amazing concerts she has ever been to. Many in the audience knew all of the lyrics by heart, even though most were probably in preschool when Aeroplane was first released. Such a following is not gained through luck alone--Jeff is a rare talent, and I hope the myth of Aeroplane does not stop him from taking the next great risk and daring new material.
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