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

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i get the impression that he's using 80s signifiers as a shorthand for the "cinematic" superficiality that ultimately alienates the narrator. this interpretation seems to follow from what judith described earlier: emptiness and longing reflecting emptiness and longing.

"superficiality that ultimately alienates the narrator" is accurate yet too negative a spin on the vibe at work, I think.

I feel it's more akin to, if you're single or you've just broken up or whatevs, romantic films with happy endings making you as sad those with unhappy endings (lol this makes me think of Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me").

It's not the "emptiness" of the desire that gets the narrator down so much as the impossibility of bringing it to life.

I know there have been times in my life when I've listened to, say, Hats, and I've felt that way, the impossible swell of emotions didn't same fake but it seemed sharply otherworldly, a plenitude in the music that threw into relief a lack in life.

So in a way Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats.

Tim F, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 21:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's how i'd read it, too. i don't think that's at odds with the idea that the 80s are being used to shorthand superficiality, the conjuration of heightened worlds that can be seen but not inhabited and the alienation that arises from the discontinuity.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I agree with that. I don't mean idolising in the way a teenager would. It's a tool in many ways. I don't doubt he loves Avalon though.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

He adores this sound palette. He loves it. There's no irony or machination there. But he knows how to use it, too, what it signifies.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

So in a way Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats.
do you mean that literally? in the sense that bejar makes music after having listened to and being influenced by hats? hats by the way is probably the one album in the ilm canon which i never "got" at all. there too the singer's voice is very hard to swallow. and the slow & lush music seems even more shallow. kaputt is much easier to digest than hats. just the idea of having to listen to hats drives me nuts.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

"So in a way Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats."

oh my god you are demented. but in a good way. its a cool thought.

scott seward, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i used to embarrass myself a bit listening to that first blue nile album alone in my room as a kid. i had been taught to keep those emotions in check. i wasn't used to hearing declarations of love that were that loud. and naked. i never really learned how to be completely naked. but i appreciated others who were bold in that way.

scott seward, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i never listened to the lyrics of blue nile. the maudlin voice was like a wall in between the words and my ear. are they really that confessional? usually i love songwriters who seem to be totally open in their songers. like neil young or joni mitchell for example.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

songs

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Buchanan is a very stark, emotional lyricist, aye.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

So in a way Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats.

do you mean

So in a way listening to Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats.

because otherwise - maybe i am splitting hairs here - you are comparing a work, an artefact with an activity. there is a logical fallacy looming there.

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 23:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Listening to Destroyer is like knitting a hat

hmm

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 23:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

kaputt is a hat listening to a hat
having fun with destroyer...

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

do you mean

So in a way listening to Kaputt is like listening to someone listening to Hats.

yes. of course. And I don't mean it literally sounds like that, I was talking about what I perceive to be the album's general emotional content and narrative thrust.

Tim F, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 23:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean, keep up

judith, Thursday, 9 February 2012 00:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

fuck listening to a hat!

/obvious joke

Laughing Gravy (dog latin), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

everyone on this thread is wrong

junior dada (thomp), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

even if that means i'm saying mutually exclusive positions with no middle ground are both wrong. they are both wrong. go away. you're wrong.

junior dada (thomp), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's an album called hats?!?!

fuck all of you who like it

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

wait what is your job again?

judith, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

nothing to do with hats

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's an album by The Blue Nile, lex. superior chill '80s sounds.

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

i know what my favoured chill sounds are and they're not what destroyer fans recommend smh

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

vibe with me, brother (may i call u brother?)

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

(i've vaguely intended to get into the blue nile for about a decade now but this episode may have killed that faint intention completely)

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

would u ask mariah if u could call her brother?!?!

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

you are definitely not mariah.

judith, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

can we all agree that 'let england shake' is considerably more of an indie rock album than 'kaputt'? it's strange that lex is spending so much energy defending indie rock.

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh lex you sure are incorrigible, arent you

⚓ (gr8080), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think Let England Shake is more in the tradition of major label outsiders than indie rock.

timellison, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

pj harvey is obviously not indie rock enough for you p4k disciples

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

way more rock than kaputt and made a *concept album* about..."war, man"

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

in England anything that sells less than 1 mil or spends fewer than 20 weeks in the chart counts as indie iirc

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

way more rock than kaputt

what ISN'T more rock than that mimsy weakling nonsense

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

cool, lex is going to tell us what rocks

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

so you're saying that rockin is a good attribute

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not even sure it's more rock. Because the electric guitar is more prominent? If Destroyer is not soft-ROCK, than what is it?

timellison, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex i think once you let go of the notion of "rock" = the pinnacle of music you can experience kaputt in the proper context (a context that oft involves, ime, a girl by your side and a full pitcher of sangria though ymmv)

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

⚓ (gr8080), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

the m83 superpitcher remix is really awesome and id like to thank this thread for reminding me of it

BJ O (Lamp), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

so: thanks

BJ O (Lamp), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh yeah that is totally a gr8 remix

⚓ (gr8080), Thursday, 9 February 2012 02:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

ive been listening to 'kaputt' a fair bit this week trying to hear in it the virtues that plax and gr80 hear and i guess i still prefer bejar when he was making altars out of halter tops than after his rebirth as a ladies man even while i vibe the red silk flourishes that adorn 'chinatown' or the meadows and memories through which 'the laziest river' meander i almost wish the songs were cleaner, softer, easier to please. idk ive never really listened to the stuff hes referencing here except in the vaguest way or like jennifer warnes 'famous blue raincoat' and i can here that albums sax and longing in this but its way more subtle, i guess?

BJ O (Lamp), Thursday, 9 February 2012 03:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

(i've vaguely intended to get into the blue nile for about a decade now but this episode may have killed that faint intention completely)

I don't think you'd like The Blue Nile anyway lex.

They don't sound at all like indie or destroyer (that wasn't the purpose of my reference), but even so my sense is that you're not into any balearic vibes that actually come from an 80s pop-rock place (as opposed to being, like, disco with spanish guitars).

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 03:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Is he a Ladies Man on this record? He's closer to embodying Death of a Ladies Man.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 9 February 2012 03:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

My intuition is that there's far less self-conscious "signifying" happening on this record that some folks are reading into it. It makes sense that Bejar was deep into Avalon when we was writing these songs, but his voice feels assuredly and self-consciously his own. Just because he doesn't sound like Ferry or feel like he's coming from the same place in his delivery doesn't mean he's wrily resigning himself to non-Ferry-ness. That's why this, Tim, despite it being a lovely and provocative mise en scene, doesn't ring true for me:

<i>It's not so much that Bejar could never write "More Than This", it's more that he could never write a song from the perspective of the singer of "More Than This", only from the perspective of someone sitting in the audience watching Ferry sing it and wishing for a moment that that could be him, and at the same time knowing it's an impossibility.</i>

The first part is true--he could never write a song from that singer's persepective (his voice is just not that kind of voice, and he's just not that sort of lyricist)--but why does the second part follow? I think there's a certain distanced quality to Bejar's vocals across all of his stuff--certainly his New Pornographers songs--which makes me feel like that's just the way he sings rather than some sort of purposeful distancing from what he's drawing inspiration from.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 05:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's a weird claim too given how completely constructed a persona Ferry's is. anybody could write "More Than This," in a sense; it's not an act of self-expression except at great remove

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 9 February 2012 05:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd argue that the part of Ferry that's being expressed in what we often perceive as a "constructed" or "removed" way is just as real and crucial to his persona as, like, whatever he's like at home.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 05:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

mmm - there's an argument to be made there but it's pretty theoretical. the point is whether one buys Bejar doing it or not isn't really down to "who" either of them are but how one aligns with musical/social cues - more on the listener than on the artist

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 9 February 2012 05:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sure, yes. And I'd argue (and Tim said something like this upthread: "I think that typically we can overstate the importance of retro sonic signifiers in respect of stuff that sounds a bit like 1982-1987, certainly as compared to stuff that sounds like 1977-1981, or 1966-1968, or etc.") we as listeners have a more difficult time wrapping our heads around an artist borrowing from this once (and, for many, still) beyond-the-pale era with a straight face than we do with an artist borrowing from postpunk, etc. We're seemingly still at a stage as critical listeners where we insist that a saxophone signifies with more intentionality than, say, a guitar.

Clarke B., Thursday, 9 February 2012 05:57 (2 years ago) Permalink


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