so tell me, why is Kaputt better or worse than Let England Shake?

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i think dinner party music is the best description then

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

"indie is a value-neutral genre descriptor, after all."

For you.

well sure, i'm not a genre-bigot. but hey, different strokes. anyway, "indie" does describe PJH's sound and market reasonably well, whatever one might think of the genre overall. so it's at least reasonable to think that one might describe her music that way without intending any particularly pointed slam. the use of "middle class" in such dismissals, however, only ever intends to sneer down from a position of aesthetic & cultural superiority.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

liking her is easy and safe too

what on earth does this mean

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

man i'd love it if more middle class people listened to pj here! or people in general. i would have something to talk about with them.

scott seward, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

"middle class indie" isn't a term I'd use myself but I intuitively read it as referring to music that is so ubiquitously held up as a celebrated alternative to the status quo that it becomes a sort of status quo itself.

When I read music described as "middle class" (while trying to keep in mind that "middle class" means different things in the US, the UK and Australia) I usually read it as meaning that the music aspires (or is presented by the media as aspiring) toward a kind of niche-less universality, in the same sense that everyone believes themselves to be middle-class.

Dinner party music is a better term for this phenomenon in some ways but it has its own problems - it works for the XX obv but it's not like many people would actually play Let England Shake in the background of a dinner party.

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Don't people feel slightly self-conscious resorting to such generic criticisms?
seriously, do we need the xth 80s retro wave, the recycling of the recycled? what new stuff does bejar bring to the table? additionally the album is as already mentioned upthread short of melodies. the interview from above where bejar talks about avalon also leaves me baffled. avalon had an aura, it had a spell but bejar's lushly instrumentated mix of too many not necessarily harmonising ingredients leaves me cold. the rich sound seems to hide a deep hollowness behind. and i also have the impression that some elements do not fit into the aural carpet. the saxophone - which i like most - often feels out of place, as if it was just a sample which has been assembled into the music. the cocktail smells fishy and probably gives a bad hangover after consumption. the only track i wholeheartedly love is "the laziest river" but apparently that is not even by him, it is by the keyboarder!

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't think indie describes pj at all. she's awesome!

scott seward, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

the rich sound seems to hide a deep hollowness behind. and i also have the impression that some elements do not fit into the aural carpet. the saxophone - which i like most - often feels out of place, as if it was just a sample which has been assembled into the music. the cocktail smells fishy and probably gives a bad hangover after consumption.

this is a really good description of what i love about this album!

judith, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

what on earth does this mean

that she's massively popular and canonical and her quality is spammed at you heavily, no effort needed.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

a lot of the talk about pj harvey is easy and safe. not her fault but it's true. liking her is easy and safe too. again, not her fault or even anything to do with her music, but true.

― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:37 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh come on. it's a rather harsh and disorienting album, at least relative to stuff like the XX and kaputt. grief-stricken, panicky, despairing. why on earth would we condescend to music that's "easy to like" in the first place? do we take vainglorious pride in a vision of ourselves as brave explorers venturing out into uncharted jungles of forbidding noise? do we laugh at the ants who can't comprehend our passions? do we smoke a pipe while listening to merzbow? wtf?

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's probably donk/grindcore fans who have dinnerparties with blackout crew/napalm death on in the background.

in other-words ,i get the insult, its one i use myself, but anything could be dinner party music.

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

that she's massively popular and canonical and her quality is spammed at you heavily, no effort needed.

― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:48 PM (11 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

what, you mean like beyonce?

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

seriously, do we need the xth 80s retro wave, the recycling of the recycled? what new stuff does bejar bring to the table?

You admitted it yourself: the vocals, the hollowness, the saxophones.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

the vocals? but they are not special at all. just irritating. not only that the guy cannot sing, he even does not have a voice.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

ppl play PJ harvey at dinner parties?

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I would totally play PJ Harvey at a dinner party

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

of course, I would also play GOD at a dinner party if my wife owuld let me, so

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh good, it's time to explain that the UK is different to different countries again

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

what does wife of djp actually play?

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd much prefer pj playing at a dinner party than bejar.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

"middle class indie" isn't a term I'd use myself but I intuitively read it as referring to music that is so ubiquitously held up as a celebrated alternative to the status quo that it becomes a sort of status quo itself.

okay, i get that, and there does often seem to be a sort of unearned snobbery built into mainstream indie culture, a tendency to take pride in a sense of superiority and difference that doesn't require any special ability or effort or entail any actual risk. but it's also a generic, nuance-free objection to a reductive caricature of that culture. hardly the sort of thing we should uncritically embrace.

When I read music described as "middle class" ... I usually read it as meaning that the music aspires (or is presented by the media as aspiring) toward a kind of niche-less universality, in the same sense that everyone believes themselves to be middle-class.

there's something very suspect about negatively describing music of "aspiring to niche-less universality", especially if one has any fondness for chart pop. for one thing, we can't so easy know artistic intent, and for another, all art has identity, even that which we're inclined to sneer at. furthermore, it's a huge mistake to damn art for the sins of the critical culture that responds to it.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh come on. it's a rather harsh and disorienting album, at least relative to stuff like the XX and kaputt. grief-stricken, panicky, despairing. why on earth would we condescend to music that's "easy to like" in the first place? do we take vainglorious pride in a vision of ourselves as brave explorers venturing out into uncharted jungles of forbidding noise? do we laugh at the ants who can't comprehend our passions? do we smoke a pipe while listening to merzbow? wtf?

you're misinterpreting me but i'm not really massively annoyed about it.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

what does wife of djp actually play?

usually stuff in the vein of Toni Braxton

if I start getting into stuff weirder or more active than Massive Attack, I get frowns

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

the only music you can play at dinner parties is dave brubeck, you ppl are savages

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw I am certain my wife would despise Kaputt because of the singing

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

you're misinterpreting me but i'm not really massively annoyed about it.

― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, February 7, 2012 3:01 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, sorry, i got carried away. it's partly that ilx's snobby, knee-jerk indie hate gets on my nerves, partly that i really like let england shake.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw fwiw i much prefer the john maus record to kaputt, was that ever discussed here?

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Implying that dinner parties are at best a sedate affair at which boring couples play mellow music or at worse symptom of class prerogatives is some hackneyed shit, sorry.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

why are "dinner parties" hauled out whenever someone thinks an album's dull?

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

what kind of dinner parties do you guys attend?

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

i enforce a strict turtleneck-only dresscode hippie

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Euler, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw fwiw i much prefer the john maus record to kaputt, was that ever discussed here?

not here, but in the albums results thread. i was hard on it there, as i initially felt like it was a big step down from love is real, but i've been listening to it over the last week and realizing i was rong to dismiss it so quickly & entirely. does make sense to compare it w kaputt.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's no room for dinner in my rock'n'roll lifestyle

buzza, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i only eat cocaine and pussy

judith, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

turtlenecks are pretty cool, esp under a shirt.

i didn't bring up the dinner party thing btw, let the record show.

yeah i feel like the diff between john maus and destroyer is the diff between dance music and indie, or sonics v songs. i actually like plenty of more song-based stuff these days but the richness of the maus record is something i kept coming back to, prob the most expansive pop/dance stuff since sally shapiro imo, which i also still listen to a lot.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

the vocals? but they are not special at all. just irritating. not only that the guy cannot sing, he even does not have a voice.

Even if it's an affected imitation of Bowie or Tennant or whomever, his voice is rather distinctive!

jaymc, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

kaputt reminded me of the magnetic fields a bit.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm dropping non-sequiturs here but i am actually sober

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i would totally play pj harvey at a dinner party

s0 safe s0 middle class

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

localgarda, let's trip balls, wear turtlenecks, and make gabber remixes of 4 Track Demos

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

localgarda likes this.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah i feel like the diff between john maus and destroyer is the diff between dance music and indie, or sonics v songs. i actually like plenty of more song-based stuff these days but the richness of the maus record is something i kept coming back to...

that's funny, cuz i see maus and bejar as occupying a v similar place on the dance-vs-indie scale, both making atmospheric and rather ironic indie music that draws on aspects of 80s club pop. maus' stuff is a good deal more beat-driven tho.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i didn't really get that dinner party music talk. surely destroyer's harmless, easy listening stuff must be the perfect background music for a standard dinner party, no? quite like sting was in the 80s but sting was better, he had tunes & some jazzy vibes.

x-p
concerning the vocals, his voice might be distinctive but it is a mumbling voice, it is introverted. he sings as if he would speak to himself. why should i listen to someone lost in a soliloquy?

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

whenever i read people talking about destroyer's yuppie 80s signifiers i'm like, man i WISH it sounded as good as that. far more fundamental problems though. boring arrangements that aren't a hundredth as good as the cocktail bar stuff you're talking about, all but non-existent songwriting, AWFUL AWFUL SINGING

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

my overall take on Kaputt was "music for people who like the idea of Pet Shop Boys but find them too aggressive"

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

i only eat cocaine and pussy

lol

BJ O (Lamp), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

zinnnnnggggggggg

xp

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

his voice is rather distinctive!

one's man distinctive, another man's annoying. would like an instrumental version of this plz.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think maus sounds v italo influenced. but something like "hey moon" is v like destroyer i guess.

maus prob my favourite record of last year...

x-post did anyone actually use the phrase "dinner party music" in earnest about any music? i am unsure if they did.

my overall take on Kaputt was "music for people who like the idea of Pet Shop Boys but find them too aggressive"

putdowns like this are always shit, regardless of the artist involved. "it's like band x i like but WATERED DOWN", yeah or maybe it just isn't like band x you like.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:31 (2 years ago) Permalink


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