Adult Problems - A Wrap-Up of Things That Happened in 2012 I Can Actually RememberBy Zachary Lipez
Like Jesus for the Jesusians, spider imagery for Weird Tweeters, and alcohol for—well—everybody, a man occasionally needs a crutch. For column writers, old or new media whatever, it’s the end of the year wrap-up. As I can only remember what got on my nerves in the last couple of days, my list is a bit truncated. It is basically everything I’ve been thinking recently about 2012 that I don’t really have 600 words of thought on. I don’t doubt that it will be, barring Andy Rooney Arisen to Whisper Sweet Foibles Into Your Ear, the best (non-rap) end of the year wrap up you will see this year. Possibly ever. Every day I wake up and give thanks for the immolation of standards.
In 2012, I heard Taylor Swift for the first time! Mainly because of this Noisey article. I was going to say that she sounded like Eve 6 but, being wicked about music writing, I listened to them and apparently they have a guy singer. Maybe Eve’s Plum? I dunno, it sounded like pop-rock. And I’m always glad when something is pop-rock and actually, you know, popular, as opposed to power pop, which has six fans if you count Metal Mike twice and still gets to call itself “pop.” Bullshit, power pop. Bullshit. Anyway, Taylor Swift was fine. Worrying about what squares like is outside my purview.
So…YOLO was a thing. I’m fine with it also, being (generally speaking) a populist. My greater issue was with those who took to Twitter to denounce it as "Carpe diem for dummies." Let me make something clear: it is. And vice versa. Pat sayings are dumb, even in Latin. So what? It’s fun to say stuff that you don’t ever have to mean. Life is hard enough without following either YOLO or carpe diem to their terrifying conclusions. Being entirely self-centered is nothing to actually intend. I spent so much of 2012 raging against motherfuckers who thought that being an Arcade Fire fan meant you were inherently more intelligent than a Dave Mathews fan, it’s a wonder I have any Facebook left. Taste is just taste. Forever and always. I’d end this paragraph with YOLO or carpe diem, but I’m a grown-ass man.
Speaking of online anger, 2012 was wicked perspective giving. Thanks for nothing, 2012, you fucking blood bath. It’s fun to get pissed on the internet. I do it. Often. But except for a few lucky individuals (looking at you, William Gass), I believe that the human psyche is capable of only so much hate before it exhausts itself, ceases to have any meaning besides empty online air. As long as Assad is still in power and the NRA exists in its current form; you aren’t that mad at Pitchfork. Ever. While I’ll never doubt our capacity for eye-rolling scorn, to expend any actually visceral hatred on Pitchfork, or any website that isn’t trafficking in landmines for baby sheep, is consigning yourself to trivial motherfuckerhood. Don’t do it. Jokes at the expense of Ryan Schreiber’s Interpol fixation are still totally okay, though.
Mention of the NRA brings us to Chief Keef. He also is a thing that’s happening. I have the the rap knowledge of a Republican Freshman. Therefore, I have no opinion on Chief Keef. Many music writers would do well to follow my incredibly admirable example.
Beach House didn’t write a song for a VW! I’m glad. I respect their vaguely anti-commercial belief system. Know what I like even more? Bands that write songs that couldn’t easily be placed in a car commercial. I realize that every song by anybody ever can now be shoehorned into an ad, and I don’t really have a problem with that. Do you and buy me a drink. But we should be honest and admit that some mellow little guys are better fits than others. I don’t got a lot of love for music that isn’t Carol King that can be played in a restaurant or a coffee house without a damn head noticing. Goes back to taste, sure, but Lord have mercy, I thought Portishead's Dummy pretty much ruled out the need to create just background noise. They’re the only ones to my mind who’ve managed to make worthwhile art that works also as environment. They were even nice enough to make a second album that was essentially the same. So restaurants would never have to invest in a white noise humidifier. I wish more people used Portishead’s third album in the background, but the world is a particularly wimpy vampire, so what can I do? Anyway, Beach House, making music that is essentially a car commercial and then not letting the car commercials use it just seems mean. Just so you don’t feel picked on, Beach House, I’ve been thinking on this ever since Flaming Lips decided to stop being freaks and opted to become chapters in a Thomas Frank book.
I know most of this may be trivial, but this stuff matters to me, and presumable reader, to you. Otherwise, there’s The Economist. And I always imagined that the staff there mainly grooves to Supertramp.
A bunch of other stuff happened too! I got the editors at Noisey threatened by punx for liking their bands without permission! I discovered that saying you're “apolitical” is, like, a bazzilion hail marries for former nose and black metal racists! I discovered that musicians liked me a lot better when I worked at a cheaper bar! I discovered that indie fans apparently really love bands that sound like Mike and the Mechanics! That was weird! That IS weird! I saw Stevie Nicks! I saw Stevie Nicks!!!! 2012, thanks for all the Stevie Nicks.
That’s my Top Of My Head 2012 Wrap-Up. Oh yeah, the fact that the Rosenkopf record wasn’t on most site’s end of the year list is completely strange to me. One more reason to feel completely alienated from my peers. I honestly have no idea why the most beloved bands are beloved. The most reasonable and Occam Razer-ey answer is that I’m an idiot with terrible taste. An ogre of aesthetics with my face caked with Hydrox crumbs. Not completely out of the realm of possibility. I do enjoy a lot of the Lookout Records back catalog. Thanks for bearing with me in 2012.
Follow Zach on Twitter - @zacharylipez
Ace of Base's Secret Nazi Past
Before he founded Ace of Base, Ulf Ekberg was a member of Commit Suiside, a Nazi punk band.
Parquet Courts - "Light Up Gold Road Trip" (Full Documentary)
In this new documentary, Noisey follows rising indie rockers Parquet Courts from Mexico to Texas and London as they tour to support their debut LP, 'Light Up Gold.'
Yung Lean Doer Is the Weirdest 16-Year-Old White Swedish Rapper You'll Hear This Week
Yung Lean raps over pillow-fluffy beats and raps about glory holes and Arizona Iced Tea. Who the fuck is this kid? And why is he like this?
Adam Ant - The British Masters, Chapter 6
Noisey's John Doran talks with the great post-punk pop star Adam Ant about tribal body mods and layering tape.
Photos: Taking Acid at Coachella
When Paley sent these photos in, she included a nice little caveat over email that we've decided to reprint here in full, not only because it's too good to edit, but because her photographs of her and her weird buddies riding the snake are some of the best
R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013)
On Thursday, the hyper-talented graphic designer, artist, and famed album cover creator Storm Thorgerson passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
The Internet Is Scary
As of six months ago, my Facebook fanpage is like a dojo where hormonal teenagers hone their technique. Here is a heartfelt poem from some kid who wants to rape, kill, and marry me.
I Accidentally Touched Little Richard's Butt One Time
It was in the Detroit airport. After it happened Little Richard said, "He graze my derriere."
Listen to St. Lucia's Remix of The Colourist's "Little Games"
Last month, Cali quartet the Colourist released "Little Games," and St. Lucia just pulled a warm Balearic blanket over the whole thing, sanding away its rough edges with bright synths and lightly gated percussion.
Aaron Montaigne, Godfather of Screamo, is More Interesting Than You Can Ever Hope to Be - Part Two
On surviving combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with the help of magic, 'Bladerunner,' and everything in between.