Mitski

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rough-hewn folk and discordant indie pop. It's streamlined by Mitski's radiant voice, which sounds about halfway between Jennifer Castle and Dee Dee Ramone.

Haven't listened to this Brooklyn resident yet, but does she really sound kinda like Dee Dee

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 13:26 (four years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

Finally listening to this now, after reading hype for their DC gig last night with Eskimeaux and Elvis Depressedly. Bob Boilen at NPR loves her/them. She does not sound like Dee Dee Ramone.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 23:38 (three years ago) Permalink

Kind of a 90s indie emo feel to it

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 23:40 (three years ago) Permalink

they just recorded an NPR Tiny Desk show

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 23:42 (three years ago) Permalink

She/they were great when I saw hem open for Screaming Females a bit ago. Most recent album has some solid earworms.

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Thursday, 16 July 2015 02:11 (three years ago) Permalink

Little bit of discussion of Mitski on the Speedy Ortiz thread:

Speedy Ortiz

o. nate, Thursday, 16 July 2015 03:03 (three years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

whoa this is gr8

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 16:16 (two years ago) Permalink

YES!! Is it premature to call it my favourite album of the year without hearing it? This song is everything.

tangenttangent, Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:13 (two years ago) Permalink

Mitski/Oranssi Pazuzu '16

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:14 (two years ago) Permalink

And as Brad will surely remind us, "I like it when you sleep...." isn't on Spotify for another week

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:15 (two years ago) Permalink

this is such a beautiful noise tho, she's gone widescreen

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:15 (two years ago) Permalink

new song is so plodding and tuneless. nothing she's done has been as good as "Townie," incredible song

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:22 (two years ago) Permalink

... ?

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:29 (two years ago) Permalink

this song is all tune

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:30 (two years ago) Permalink

also i love puberty 2 as an album title, one thing that strikes me about mitski is she's incredibly funny

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:33 (two years ago) Permalink

it's a brilliant title yeah, love the cover font too

Laertiades (imago), Tuesday, 1 March 2016 20:34 (two years ago) Permalink

new song is so plodding and tuneless.

o_O

This song is massive and beautiful and makes my heart swell.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 11 March 2016 05:15 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

would just like to reiterate how fucking amazing this song is

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 18:29 (two years ago) Permalink

we were reflecting on that very fact the other night

Laertiades (imago), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 18:32 (two years ago) Permalink

It is my favourite song of the year so far. Definitely going to see her in April! Excited daily about this.

tangenttangent, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 18:33 (two years ago) Permalink

fuck i haven't related to something so deeply specific in a while, this is a great video

j. winters (josh), Wednesday, 13 April 2016 18:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have feelings about this video. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but if I am, I don't want to be right.

(Love/partnership/etc looks appealing from afar, then when you see it on full display you realize how absurd and ridiculous it is.)

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:32 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm still working out how I feel about the production but, yeah, good tune. It clicks better for me without the video but I'm weird like that. It's funny: in my head, she is the singer for Voice Coils first and foremost. The solo work seems on paper like something that I would write off as retro-90s alt-rock meh but her voice and melodies can make it connect.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:57 (two years ago) Permalink

Putting it on for the fourth time.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Sixth.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 April 2016 02:23 (two years ago) Permalink

It is super addictive, yeah.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 14 April 2016 02:28 (two years ago) Permalink

<i>It's funny: in my head, she is the singer for Voice Coils first and foremost. </i>

this is so goofy to me; I didn't know anyone had ever seen Voice Coils

How Butch, I mean (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 14 April 2016 15:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Haven't seen the video yet but the song does that thing where the first chorus is the best thing ever, then the second chorus comes in really quickly and it's twice as good as the first chorus. These are all the feels post-metal was going for, packed into three minutes and intensified

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Thursday, 14 April 2016 15:22 (two years ago) Permalink

shes no longer in voice coils ftr

pre millennial tension (uptown churl), Thursday, 14 April 2016 15:58 (two years ago) Permalink

I haven't seen Voice Coils live if that's what you meant, Jimmy, but they made some of my favourite rock music from the last couple of years.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 April 2016 16:01 (two years ago) Permalink

I mean, I recognize that more people are probably familiar with her indie singer-songwriter work than with the glorious prog of Voice Coils. That's why it's funny.

Hi! I'm twice-coloured! (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 April 2016 16:04 (two years ago) Permalink

ya i think we approach this funny in the same way but from opposite ends lulz

How Butch, I mean (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 14 April 2016 16:55 (two years ago) Permalink

Still pissed her UK date sold out in basically seconds

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Thursday, 14 April 2016 17:45 (two years ago) Permalink

guess she's more popular overseas; still tix available for the show in my town.

def agree w/ brad's comment upthread that she's v funny.

dc, Thursday, 14 April 2016 18:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have feelings about this video. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but if I am, I don't want to be right.

(Love/partnership/etc looks appealing from afar, then when you see it on full display you realize how absurd and ridiculous it is.)

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, April 13, 2016 9:32 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark

don't forget the racial aspect

, Friday, 15 April 2016 11:12 (two years ago) Permalink

The racial aspect seems like the key element in it (I saw a story online where she acknowledges this). Japanese woman spurned by clean-cut white American boy who first leads her on

curmudgeon, Friday, 15 April 2016 14:19 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I picked up on that too after I read the story, but initially I thought she really captured and condensed the timeline of "this person I like likes me" -> "oh no, this person is with someone else now" -> "look at those assholes!"

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 15 April 2016 14:27 (two years ago) Permalink

lol I guess that's a difference between you and me in that that's literally the first thing i noticed 10 seconds in

, Friday, 15 April 2016 14:49 (two years ago) Permalink

don't forget the racial aspect

― 龜, Friday, April 15, 2016 4:12 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

^^^

j. winters (josh), Friday, 15 April 2016 19:33 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I love the sound of that sax.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 15:16 (two years ago) Permalink

shove off radiohead, this is more like it

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 15:46 (two years ago) Permalink

the ending is the most wonderfully antisocial thing i've heard all year <3

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 15:48 (two years ago) Permalink

this album's going to be great

ufo, Tuesday, 3 May 2016 15:56 (two years ago) Permalink

:'D

propaganda for the American springtime (tangenttangent), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 16:19 (two years ago) Permalink

this is so good

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 21:35 (two years ago) Permalink

I don't get "relating" to lyrics. They're someone else's stories, for the most part, even fictionalized. They evoke that act's particular reality well or they don't.

Isn't it possible to relate to someone else's stories?

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:10 (one month ago) Permalink

this revive is even worse than the one where i wrote matt dc a longread

imago, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:17 (one month ago) Permalink

i don't particularly relate to any of mitski's songs but i think she's a good songwriter and storyteller. "i bet on losing dogs" is devastating without it ever having to resemble my own life

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh, yeah, when I do relate to lyrics, it's usually in the sense of "empathizing", not in the sense of "this song is about me".

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:27 (one month ago) Permalink

any good resonant art imo we should see a wider picture than just ourselves in, and anytime as a critic my first reaction is "i relate to this" i work v hard to get outside of it bc it seems a v solipsistic relationship to have with art and that it doesn't necessarily inform anybody else of why that art is good

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:33 (one month ago) Permalink

quite

imago, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Isn't it possible to relate to someone else's stories?

― The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r)

I think that's what I said?

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:35 (one month ago) Permalink

My reaction to "relate" reminds me of the anecdote Orson Welles told about filming The VIPs: when the director told him to "relate to those windows," Welles responds, "Anthony, you mean you want me to look at them?"

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Anyway, as a gay man I live in a listening world where 98 percent of songs aren't for or about me, therefore treating songs as narratives as foreign as a Thomas Hardy Wessex novel became my default position. When I hear an overtly gay song by, say, Troye Sivan or Pet Shop Boys, my guard goes up for reasons Brad mentioned.

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:38 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm willing to believe that most songs are about heterosexual love, but 98%?

pomenitul, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Better to be paranoid than sorry.

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:48 (one month ago) Permalink

I wonder if there is some element of irony in her whole lyrical thang. Towards the end of “Be The Cowboy”, there are about four songs in a row where the phrase “kiss me” pops up in the first line or two. In any event, it’s an excellent album, and “Come into the Water” in particular has as sublime a melody as has been composed in recent years.

Freedom, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Tbf the 'I relate to this song' trope is less annoying than 'I totally relate to this character'.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 13:16 (one month ago) Permalink

i think i agree with that

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 13:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Listening to Mitski for the first time (be the cowboy) ... anyone else get a bit of Margo Guryan vibe? in the vocal melody and chord choices?

thomasintrouble, Monday, 22 October 2018 08:47 (four weeks ago) Permalink

saw her live last night and holy moly the difference between a) the show and b) the crowd since her last show here a couple of years ago was... wild. very theatrical and a jam-packed theatre full of screaming fans who knew every lyric.

vote no on ilxit (Will M.), Monday, 22 October 2018 15:03 (four weeks ago) Permalink

very late to this discussion / please don't yell at me for holding this opinion

but "relating to" a song is a fundamental method of developing emotional connections to music used by millions of people, probably a certain higher-than-par percentage of whom are women or girls. My sister related the hell to Taylor Swift when she was 15, and I mention Taylor because with Mitski as well, it seems to be fairly key to how many of her fans relate to her music. I don't understand dismissing it; to me it just seems like a somewhat abstracted, obfuscated version of "lyrics don't matter," which I also disagree with.

(I don't particularly relate to most of Mitski's songs, for what it's worth, which is possibly why I think it's a good album but don't have any special emotional connection to it, and thus don't listen to it that often, since I'd rather listen to the ones I do.)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 20:35 (four weeks ago) Permalink

"Relating" to music sounds effectively the same as feeling communion with any piece of art, whether it's a song or a book or a movie. When I hear/see/read my inner behavior reflected, acknowledged, and externalized by an artist, there's a relationship there.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 20:42 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I don't think I'm the same, but my "inner behavior" is pretty dull and not something I'd probably want to engage with in externalized artistic form (lol).

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 20:43 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I also don't know that it's possible to talk about "Your Best American Girl," in particular, without talking about it as a song that a lot of listeners do relate to. I'm probably not the best person to expand on that, since for a lot of people the song draws upon specifically Asian American experience. but it seems an odd thing to dismiss

I thought this was a good piece (not about "Your Best American Girl" specifically), the last few paragraphs in particular https://www.npr.org/2018/09/06/642252679/mitski-is-the-21st-centurys-poet-laureate-of-young-adulthood

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 20:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, some folks on here seem to interpret "relating to" as meaning having the exact same experience. To me, it's just connecting with the emotions of a song.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:03 (four weeks ago) Permalink

also possible to relate to a song while realizing that it is objectively bad, which is where some of people's "guilty pleasures" probably come from

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:06 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That NPR article's pretty harsh on Lena Dunham, lol

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:16 (four weeks ago) Permalink

xxp yes

xp "guilty pleasure" is a wack concept, there is no "objectively bad" art

flappy bird, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:27 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I just meant people's conception of a "guilty pleasure" which is a concept that I think we can all agree exists in the world for some people

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:05 (four weeks ago) Permalink

as far as "objectively bad" art I was referring to relating to a song while also as a critic finding it to be a bad song, which I thought was what I was supposed to do

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:05 (four weeks ago) Permalink

sure, it'd still be subjectively bad

flappy bird, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:06 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I really did miss the nitpicking of semantics

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

it's an essential ingredient in this glorious stew

flappy bird, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:19 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That NPR article's pretty harsh on Lena Dunham, lol

― a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:16 (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i haven't read it but it isn't harsh enough

imago, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:22 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Iggy Pop has called Mitski "the most advanced American songwriter,"

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:22 (four weeks ago) Permalink

why on earth ppl are dealing with guy above as if he’s arguing in good faith after the kurt cobain drop is beyond me

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:24 (four weeks ago) Permalink

lena dunham's alright

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:26 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Lena Dunham is awful

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:29 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i mean she’s pretty talented but she’s awful

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:29 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I was just talking about the "relating to" thing since it just seems like such a core way to have an emotional response to music, which is part of what is music is for, and also seems to be the source of Mitski's appeal for a lot of the people who love her

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:30 (four weeks ago) Permalink

she takes a lot of risks and they don't all pay off. in her show, in her public statements, etc.

i find her almost tragic bc she wants to be woke so bad but she will always be problematic.

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

lena not mitski. wrong thread

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i feel that mitski repels identification as much as she invites it. there is an edge to some of these songs that suggests a frightening darkness you, the listener, don't really want to get sucked into. imago used the word "dysphoria" to describe the mood of some of these songs and i think that's right.

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:34 (four weeks ago) Permalink

sometimes it's just subtle shifts in the lyrics that throw you slightly off. like in fireworks, on first brush, is a song about someone who goes numb due to depression but then--apparently--has a cathartic moment brought on by fireworks. but if look closer it's not really that at all. she says "i'll listen to the memories as they cry, cry, cry." she's not crying--it's like the alienation is complete, right here at the moment when it was supposed to fall away . i feel there are other twists like this throughout her oeuvre.

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe that is what people identify with. I recognized the feeling that caused her to write it that way—her being outside her own memories.

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:43 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i relate extremely closely to her timbral and melodic choices

imago, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:58 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I think that's what I said?

Fwiw, I still think "I don't get 'relating' to lyrics. They're someone else's stories" is different from "it is possible to relate to someone else's stories" but those explanations were great, thanks to you and Brad.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 01:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the thread just seemed to have settled on a consensus of "relating to songs is fake/is annoying/is bad criticism/see even Welles said so," which wipes out a good 75% of my method of and pleasure/catharsis in listening to music

(like anything else "relatability" is a tool and songwriters can wield it in different ways. the example that comes to mind is St. Vincent singing through gritted teeth "I am a lot like you, I am alone like you" in a song directed at audiences -- she also calls herself "(their) casualty." the mitski record doesn't weaponize this so much, but its directness in lyrics definitely seems written with that in mind. of course, to relate to, say, "I'm not wearing my usual lipstick" you need to be the sort of person who has a usual lipstick)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 12:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I appreciated your posts.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Art enables us to experience the world in new ways, and one way lyrical art does so is by describing, in a glimpse, the experience of being another person. I can see many reasons why people would want to avoid that experience, but for me it's a fundamental reason to keep listening to lyrical music.

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that is not the consensus this thread came to but fine

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i think the point me and alfred were making is that not relating to mistki songs isn't an obstacle to enjoying her music. we were primarily reacting to a series of very bad posts. we weren't trying to be prescriptive about anyone else's approach to music

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

any good resonant art imo we should see a wider picture than just ourselves in, and anytime as a critic my first reaction is "i relate to this" i work v hard to get outside of it bc it seems a v solipsistic relationship to have with art and that it doesn't necessarily inform anybody else of why that art is good

― princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5:33 AM (two weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

like, this is just my approach, it doesn't have to be anyone else's. i just try to keep myself open and available to experiences that are not my own and distrust whenever i like something bc it resembles my experience

also obv i like a ton of music bc i relate to it, and "relate" even seems like an inadequate word at this point; i love death metal bc it sounds like the inside of my head, which is probably a way of relating!

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

apologies, a consensus is just what it had seemed like

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 14:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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