Everything this person has written for TUNETHEPROLETARIAT

Your heart is hard now

Written by

Deerhunter – Sleepwalking

On Sunday afternoon I took a long nap in which I dreamed I was worried about my future. I couldn’t sleep later that night because I kept worrying about worrying about my future after I woke up. I’ve also been going through a few weeks of not really feeling things. Naturally, I went for a walk around my neighbourhood at 1am.

My discoveries from that walk:

  •   At least one inhabitant of this leafy suburb enjoys the sensations delivered by blueberry-flavoured condoms.
  •   A bunch of randomly blinking yellow traffic lights usually improves the look of a street late at night.
  •   The old man in the corner house near my street – otherwise known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s relative – loves watching Seinfeld reruns more than he cares about repairing his wall, five years after a car smashed into it. Fair enough, dude.

I came home after a while, mostly to sit on the step near my room so the dogs could lick my face. I still couldn’t sleep after that, though. Washed my face (I think) and went for another walk at around 3am.

Thoughts from that one:

  •   Walking is possibly an overrated way of helping you thinking about your problems, but a great way of helping you forget about them.
  •   There are definitely more cockroaches than humans in my neighbourhood.


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Written by

Happy 20th birthday, Caroline! Nobody knows whether you’re a clock or a bomb.

You’ll never die

Written by


Youth Lagoon – Dropla

Hi kids.

Today I’m going to tell you how scorpions mate, based on a lecture my dad came up with in 1989. I remember watching him type it up on our IBM computer, which had a black and white screen (blue and grey, really) and ran MS-DOS, which was, like, the coolest thing in 1989. The four-year-old me – much cuter, a tiny bit shorter – used to play “Jeopardy!” on it at every opportunity, which is why I turned out this way. Anyway, to scorpions.

“Scorpion mating is usually initiated by the male. When the female is receptive, the male grasps the pedipalps (sorta like scorpion hands) of the female with his, and together they walk backwards, forwards and side-to-side . . . there is no true copulation. Instead, the male discharges a sperm transfer capsule (spermatophore) from his genital orifice which he glues to the substrate. By parading, the male directs the female over the spermatophore which she picks up with her genital operculum.”

In other words: male scorpions are cheeky motherfuckers. Apparently, males sometimes inject the females with venom to pacify them so they don’t lose interest. Sometimes the baby mama can get her revenge by eating the son of a bitch, but Wikipedia says this happens infrequently.

[Wondrous Bughouse.]

Your childhood is over.

Written by

Swans – Lunacy (ft. Alan Sparhawk & Mimi Parker)

There was a car crash on one of our nation’s highways two nights ago. A drunk police officer was responsible. Three people died: a mother and her two young daughters. Three others, injured. Media outlets printed a picture of the older daughter, prone on the road, wearing a mask of blood. The next day, there was a protest. There were clashes with the police. A racist journalist said the police should gun the (mostly black) protesters down and “plant cabbages” where they stood. Today, a famous musician got off ridiculously lightly for beating the shit out of a citizen a few years ago. In the global/national/whatever scheme of things, this isn’t really big news. But it isn’t not-news either. It’s just what happens here.

I wish this was fiction.

[The Seer.]

My unfounded theory

Written by

My Bloody Valentine – Wonder 2 (mp3 removed)

Eating, shitting and sleeping. That’s what life essentially consists of, according to my dad sometimes. There’s a level of truth to this, reductive as it is, if you exclude things like doing drugs, talking about and wildly exaggerating drug stories with friends, travel, getting into relationships, sex, playing video games, The Internet, and enduring the manifold awkwardness that modernity confronts us with on a regular basis. Still, the three things mentioned at the top of the paragraph are different, because they retain meaning despite the fact that we do them all the time. P.S. This is 63% of why Louis C.K. is a transcendentally funny man.

Ever have a 5-second epiphany, while watching some professional sporting event – football in my case – about how utterly, completely absurd it is? Like, a bunch of humans running at insane speeds, physically jousting with each other, often violently, stretching themselves to the limits of their own strength . . . in order to kick a round piece of leather into a mesh netting. What? I mean, I love it, but I have no idea why. It is not an unhappy experience, though, simply a weird one – a gentle reminder from your own mind of how strange your existence is. There is something to be said for being disoriented (or disorientated, if you’re British).

The new My Bloody Valentine record is quite brilliant and you should buy it if it’s your kind of thing, but you didn’t really need me to tell you that, really, because almost all of the Very Serious Music Critics can tell you and have already told you that. I do, however, have a theory about this record, one for which there is no real evidence.

My theory is that each song on m b v represents – well, not “represents” but has some sort of strange relationship with – different types of sexual encounters. These include: sensual, lovely, romantic sex; contrived, camera-voyeurism sex; graduation sex; sweaty, tight, period sex; a type of sexual encounter which has not yet been experienced on this planet, but which, if it were to take place, would happen in the back of an airplane charged with unloading apocalyptic explosives upon humanity (“Wonder 2”).

According to this theory: The album took 22 years to be released because, well, Kevin Shields took his time accumulating the necessary experiences. Then he turned these things into sound.

[m b v.]

(no subject)

Written by

Serafina Steer – Machine Room

I’m a bit tipsy (at best) and working on a piece about “personal branding” for some of my students.

“Interesting,” you say. Think that’s interesting? OK, well you’re a twat. Or a cunt. What’s the fashionable term these days? Anyway, you don’t need to say that’s it’s interesting, or give me any positive affirmation, because it really isn’t interesting. You and I both know it’s just a job. Don’t get me wrong, I like you regardless! But this shit that I do is a job, a thing I do that brings in money, and that’s it. This is the weird lovely world we live in.

All the stuff we get to do for free is brilliant. You know, going to the park, seeing friends, having them over to your/my place (mine has hookah and a bunch of weird plants on the porch, but you have some cachaça and a real-life karaoke machine!) talking, fucking, checking our phones intermittently for a respite, listening to album streams – album streams, for Christ’s sake. Think about it, think about how beautifully, brilliantly fucked up it is that a pretty famous musician will let you listen to their whole album for free, because they’re not making enough money from the music business in this bog-foresaken capitalist age. So, let’s not say that we have it too hard. We’re pretty well off, by any standard, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

But anyway, yeah, my dog bit a frog. He was pretty much keeled over, trying to puke and failing miserably (like, puking-upwards-style failing). Seriously, he is the John Bonham of tiny dogs. Luckily we had some milk and water and salt available, which is apparently all you need to help a dog when it gets poisoned – either that, or Pedro really wanted to avoid taking him to the vet (Pedro has done this ten times). He’s OK now, staggering around a bit, looking a little lost, kind of like the way I do when I wake up in an unfamiliar bed, I guess. He’ll be fine in the morning.

When you have a job, it brings money in. When you come home from your job, the frog-biter doesn’t really care whether you just hedged Shapeways against Facebook or if you cleaned a bit of scum off Mr. Shepherd’s toilet. You have a body? You have a face? It will be licked. Capitalism is weird like that.

[The Moths Are Real.]

25/11/10: Beach House

Written by

Lower Dens – I Get Nervous

…finally, down near the Brighton seafront, and there I was, the lone coloured fellow in a crowd of pale, proudly unwashed hipsters. Despite the melanin gap, however, the outsider and the home crowd were waiting for the same thing: Beach House. The evening’s opening acts had got things going quite nicely. The combination of indoor heating and Lower Dens’ guitars provided much-needed warmth, on the first frosty day of this capricious British winter. The nameless Christian folk singer who preceded the Dens was less welcome, but he seemed to have a good time regardless. Back to Lower Dens, though – they’re good. I hadn’t heard of them before that night. Solid rhythm section, wonderfully-coordinated guitar and bass combos, and sparse, well-timed lyrics that serve more as another instrument than as separate from melody. All the acts that night came from Baltimore, MD, where this bit of magic is set. It must be something in the water. Or the crime.

Beach House – Zebra

The wait for Beach House was long. “It’s a friggin’ duo, how long could they take to get stoned and tune their instruments?” I muttered inaudibly to an under-aged stranger. My anticipation reached its peak, then nosedived into a pit of frustration, as I followed up my third Guinness with a tweet, snidely comparing Lower Dens to “a pauper’s Sonic Youth.” They deserve better than that. The lanky 40-something Yorkshireman spilled his drinkie. A typically obnoxious couple barged their way nearer to the front, earning the derision of everyone, and the retaliation of nobody. Another advantage of having a girlfriend, I thought. Another reason why escorts are so expensive (or so I’ve read).

And then they came on.

My pre-Teen Dream favourite, “Gila,” was first on the set list. The performance itself was immaculate, with the intimate Concorde2 venue lending prime acoustics to the airy gorgeousness issuing forth from our star duo.

Victoria Legrand – or to give her full name, French-Born Victoria Legrand – clearly has some prescient parents. She is indeed a great triumph. If you were to take her out, you wouldn’t order her food for her, would you? She knows what she wants. Her voice can get it, don’t you worry none. I’ve seen some sexy singing front-women in my time: Anaïs Mitchell, Alexis Krauss (of Sleigh Bells), Erika Forster (Au Revoir Simone… she blew me a kiss once!), Annie Clark (St. Vincent)… when she’s on that stage, Victoria beats them all. By a lot. When she’s not playing the organ, she moves her hands and body around a lot during the songs. It’s not really dancing, and it’s not got any functional purpose. But if you were performing those songs, you would move in that same way. The only thing, of course, is that it wouldn’t be sexy when you do it. That’s just how it goes.

Alex Scally’s backing vocals and guitar/keyboard work deserve great praise too, especially on the Teen Dream songs, which came across more rounded and complete even than they did on the album. In the best sense, Beach House’s songs make you want to sing along, even when you don’t know the words.

From the first wavering chords of “Gila” to the end of the encore’s “Take Care”, the risible crowd had faded into background nothingness, and it was Victoria, singing to me alone, my dream of the night before coming true. Well, apart from the chalet and the jacuzzi. Good things come to those who wait.

Beach House – I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun

Oh yeah, they also recorded a Christmas song.

I managed to write about Beach House without once mentioning the phrase ‘dream pop.’ It is actually possible, Pitchfork.

[Buy Teen Dream if you want to experience some sweet melodies this Christmas. Lower Dens’ Twin-Hand Movement is an underrated gem.]

Only bored as I get older

Written by

Deerhunter – He Would Have Laughed

Deerhunter makes rather wonderful winter music. For three of the last four winters – I spent the fourth in a place where winter doesn’t exist – their singles, EPs and long-players have dominated my snow-season soundtracks. Ethereal soundscapes. Abstract, repetitious, but somehow tangible lyrics. It works. It works especially well around this time of year, trust me. From Wikipedia I recently learnt that “[Deerhunter frontman Bradford] Cox’s method of creating music is stream-of-consciousness, and he does not write lyrics in advance.” That makes sense after you listen to their music, but it’s also an amazing achievement when you consider songs like “Nothing Ever Happened” or this year’s “Memory Boy.”

Bradford Cox is the leader of Deerhunter. He also fronts a project called Atlas Sound, which is similarly excellent. He is incredibly prolific. Brad has Marfan Syndrome, which means he’s very tall and skinny and strange-looking and doesn’t feel well most of the time. From his singing and his blog and interviews, he comes across as an extremely nice, shy, humane person. He puts a lot of his time and being into music. It’s worth it. I think it would be lovely to be his friend. He seems like he’d be a very good friend.

Anyway, this is my favourite song of the year.

[Get Halcyon Digest. And listen to it with a good pair of headphones. Your winter will be substantially enriched, or your money back. Those last four words were a joke, by the way…]

(follow @elrob)

Don’t bother coming in today

Written by

I’m From Barcelona – Oversleeping

Sometimes, lyrics aren’t important. Ever woke up on a spring morning feeling ridiculously happy for no reason other than feeling ridiculously happy? It wasn’t the dream you just had, because you don’t really remember your dreams, except if you took Vicodin or Nyquil the night before. Maybe it’s the temperature. You don’t care; you’re awake, and you feel like fun. You look at the clock. It’s 9:17. You’ll be late for Contemporary Moral Issues. Or maybe you’re late for that staff meeting about Ulrika’s errant Facebook post. You do your morning stretch, it gets you looking out the window, and ooh, looky! That’s a bit of sunshine, innit! Now you want to prance around the living room in your underwear. Bingo! Swedish pop music is the kind of music you prance around in your underwear to, all sugar and freshness and blue-eyed optimism. The lyrics say you can make it in time. Sometimes, lyrics aren’t important. Melody is important. Feeling is fucking important. Go ahead and prance.

Some observations:

• The name of the band is I’m From Barcelona. They’re not. It’s a Fawlty Towers reference, and if you got that, give yourself a kiss. If you didn’t, you should start watching that show after you’ve chastised yourself with a suitably heavy anvil.
• When a Swede mispronounces a word in a song, it just sounds right somehow.
• I have no idea what Swedish death metal sounds like. But I bet it’s more tuneful and melodic than Justin Bieber.
• Cut Copy. The Concretes. Caesars. Ceo. Why so many good Swedish pop bands starting with C? I don’t know, ask your local conspiracy theorist. If he demands payment, tell him you’ll pony up on New Year’s Eve 2012.
• Don’t prance around your living room if you have hardwood floors and large roommates.

[Buy Let Me Introduce My Friends, one of the most joyous pop records of the 2000s.]

(follow @elrob for more of his observations)

This isn’t about you.

Written by

The National – Sorrow

…remember that time we walked past each other outside that concert last year? It was pretty awkward, pretending not to know who you were. With our history, it was probably the best response at the time, no? But it’s funny how the best response makes us feel guilty, then regretful, then nothing – civility is best achieved through numbness. Anyway, the thing is this. I always wanted to tell you how beautiful you looked that night, for those few seconds when I saw you. In that jacket, with no makeup on, your hair making light of the winter winds. It’d been such a long time since I’d seen you too. I always told myself you looked your best in January. At least I was right about that. That’s all I wanted to say, really. Oh right, the other thing. I saw your short story in the paper a few weeks ago, and finally found the time (no, fuck that – worked up the courage) to read it. Thanks for going easy on me, I thought it was really funny for a first attempt – announcing your talent, as they say. Of course, Sandra didn’t agree. Whatever. You’re a terrific woman, and I’m lucky to have had you when we were younger. Headache’s coming on pretty strong again, so I think I’ll stop here. Come to think of it, it might not even have been you that night – my memory is funny like that now. But I do remember how I feel.

[Buy High Violet. Amazon says it’s good for you.]

(photo taken by Veronika Langerova)