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Any Idea what Steve Albini is up to at the minute? Last thing I heard from him was the production on the McClusky album. Any new Shellac stuff coming out in the future?

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:26 (nineteen years ago) link

I think he's preparing an egg dish at the moment.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:29 (nineteen years ago) link

He IS an egg dish.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:32 (nineteen years ago) link

9:30 AM (or thereabouts) in Chicago; he's probably not even awake yet. Of course, you could just call Electrical Audio and find out (they're listed).

Yesterday I saw the back of the Rapeman Sub-Pop 7", and that reminds me of why I love Albini: flat-tops!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:36 (nineteen years ago) link

bong hits and getting small indie bands to pay him lots of money so they can say "WE RECORDED WITH STEVE ALBINI"

Jonathan Williams (ex machina), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:44 (nineteen years ago) link

bong hits...

Hahahahaha, the guy hardly touches beer! And he gave up smoking cigarettes after the heart attack.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:45 (nineteen years ago) link

he recorded Songs Ohia's next album

stevie (stevie), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:58 (nineteen years ago) link

the new giddy motors "make it pop!" lp was engineered by him...

chances are, albini's engineering some record with loud and abrasive guitars and really well mic'ed drums.

msp, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:05 (nineteen years ago) link

When did he have a heart attack?

J0hn Darn13ll3 (J0hn Darn13ll3), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:14 (nineteen years ago) link

On one of Rapeman's tours of Europe. If you had your own popcorn machine, your cholesterol would be off the charts, too.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:17 (nineteen years ago) link

I heard he makes his own mayonaise, too.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:21 (nineteen years ago) link

homemade mayonaisse made me a believer...

seriously i was a mayo h8r until i discovered the goodness of home-made varieties.

i saw steve smoking after rapeman btw...

gygax!, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:36 (nineteen years ago) link

i saw steve smoking after rapeman btw...

OMG, WHERE?!?!?!?!?!?

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:43 (nineteen years ago) link

shellac in SF - circa at action park

gygax!, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:46 (nineteen years ago) link

out of his ass of course.

nathalie (nathalie), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:47 (nineteen years ago) link

A local slagging-bands zine that comes out every two months has a regular "Dublin bands that fly to Chicago to record with Steve Albini" award.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Which reminds me of an article by Steve Albini. Dunno if you read it.

It is called the problem with music

the problem with music
by steve albini
excerpted from Baffler No. 5
Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end, holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed.

Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says, "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim it again, please. Backstroke."

And he does, of course.

I. A&R Scouts

Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an "A&R" rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for "Artist and Repertoire," because historically, the A&R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly.

These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave. Lyle Preslar, former guitarist for Minor Threat, is one of them. Terry Tolkin, former NY independent booking agent and assistant manager at Touch and Go is one of them. Al Smith, former soundman at CBGB is one of them. Mike Gitter, former editor of XXX fanzine and contributor to Rip, Kerrang and other lowbrow rags is one of them. Many of the annoying turds who used to staff college radio stations are in their ranks as well.

There are several reasons A&R scouts are always young. The explanation usually copped-to is that the scout will be "hip" to the current musical "scene." A more important reason is that the bands will intuitively trust someone they think is a peer, and who speaks fondly of the same formative rock and roll experiences.

The A&R person is the first person to make contact with the band, and as such is the first person to promise them the moon. Who better to promise them the moon than an idealistic young turk who expects to be calling the shots in a few years, and who has had no previous experience with a big record company. Hell, he's as naive as the band he's duping. When he tells them no one will interfere in their creative process, he probably even believes it.

When he sits down with the band for the first time, over a plate of angel hair pasta, he can tell them with all sincerity that when they sign with company X, they're really signing with him and he's on their side. Remember that great, gig I saw you at in '85? Didn't we have a blast.

By now all rock bands are wise enough to be suspicious of music industry scum. There is a pervasive caricature in popular culture of a portly, middle aged ex-hipster talking a mile-a-minute, using outdated jargon and calling everybody "baby." After meeting "their" A&R guy, the band will say to themselves and everyone else, "He's not like a record company guy at all! He's like one of us." And they will be right. That's one of the reasons he was hired.

These A&R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on.

The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little "memo," is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document. That is, once the band sign it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label. If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength.

These letters never have any term of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes. The band cannot sign to another label or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.

One of my favorite bands was held hostage for the better part of two years by a slick young "He's not like a label guy at all,' A&R rep, on the basis of such a deal memo. He had failed to come through on any of his promises (something he did with similar effect to another well-known band), and so the band wanted out. Another label expressed interest, but when the A&R man was asked to release the band, he said he would need money or points, or possibly both, before he would consider it.

The new label was afraid the price would be too dear, and they said no thanks. On the cusp of making their signature album, an excellent band, humiliated, broke up from the stress and the many months of inactivity.

II. There's This Band

There's this band. They're pretty ordinary, but they're also pretty good, so they've attracted some attention. They're signed to a moderate-sized "independent" label owned by a distribution company, and they have another two albums owed to the label.

They're a little ambitious. They'd like to get signed by a major label so they can have some security—you know, get some good equipment, tour in a proper tour bus—nothing fancy, just a little reward for all the hard work.

To that end, they got a manager. He knows some of the label guys, and he can shop their next project to all the right people. He takes his cut, sure, but it's only 15%, and if he can get them signed then it's money well spent. Anyway, it doesn't cost them any thing if it doesn't work. 15% of nothing isn't much!

One day an A&R scout calls them, says he's "been following them for a while now," and when their manager mentioned them to him, it just "clicked." Would they like to meet with him about the possibility of working out a deal with his label? Wow. Big Break time.

They meet the guy, and y'know what—he's not what they expected from a label guy. He's young and dresses pretty much like the band does. He knows all their favorite bands. He's like one of them. He tells them he wants to go to bat for them, to try to get them everything they want. He says anything is possible with the right attitude. They conclude the evening by taking home a copy of a deal memo they wrote out and signed on the spot.

The A&R guy was full of great ideas, even talked about using a name producer. Butch Vig is out of the question—he wants 100 g's and three points, but they can get Don Fleming for $30,000 plus three points. Even that's a little steep, so maybe they'll go with that guy who used to be in David Letterman's band. He only wants three points. Or they can have just anybody record it [like Warton Tiers, maybe—cost you 5 or 10 grand] and have Andy Wallace remix it for 4 grand a track plus 2 points. It was a lot to think about.

Well, they like this guy and they trust him. Besides, they already signed the deal memo. He must have been serious about wanting them to sign. They break the news to their current label, and the label manager says he wants them to succeed, so they have his blessing. He will need to be compensated, of course, for the remaining albums left on their contract, but he'll work it out with the label himself. Sub Pop made millions from selling off Nirvana, and Twin Tone hasn't done bad either: 50 grand for the Babes and 60 grand for the Poster Children—without having to sell a single additional record. It'll be something modest. The new label doesn't mind, so long as it's recoupable out of royalties.

Well, they get the final contract, and it's not quite what they expected. They figure it's better to be safe than sorry and they turn it over to a lawyer—one who says he's experienced in entertainment law—and he hammers out a few bugs. They're still not sure about it, but the lawyer says he's seen a lot of contracts, and theirs is pretty good. They'll be getting a great royalty: 13% [less a 10% packaging deduction]. Wasn't it Buffalo Tom that were only getting 12% less 10? Whatever.

The old label only wants 50 grand, and no points. Hell, Sub Pop got 3 points when they let Nirvana go. They're signed for four years, with options on each year, for a total of over a million dollars! That's a lot of money in any man's English. The first year's advance alone is $250,000. Just think about it, a quarter-million, just for being in a rock band!

Their manager thinks it's a great deal, especially the large advance. Besides, he knows a publishing company that will take the band on if they get signed, and even give them an advance of 20 grand, so they'll be making that money too. The manager says publishing is pretty mysterious, and nobody really knows where all the money comes from, but the lawyer can look that contract over too. Hell, it's free money.

Their booking agent is excited about the band signing to a major. He says they can maybe average $1,000 or $2,000 a night from now on. That's enough to justify a five week tour, and with tour support, they can use a proper crew, buy some good equipment and even get a tour bus! Buses are pretty expensive, but if you figure in the price of a hotel room for everybody in the band and crew, they're actually about the same cost. Some bands (like Therapy? and Sloan and Stereolab) use buses on their tours even when they're getting paid only a couple hundred bucks a night, and this tour should earn at least a grand or two every night. It'll be worth it. The band will be more comfortable and will play better.

The agent says a band on a major label can get a merchandising company to pay them an advance on t-shirt sales! Ridiculous! There's a gold mine here! The lawyer should look over the merchandising contract, just to be safe.

They get drunk at the signing party. Polaroids are taken and everybody looks thrilled. The label picked them up in a limo.

They decided to go with the producer who used to be in Letterman's band. He had these technicians come in and tune the drums for them and tweak their amps and guitars. He had a guy bring in a slew of expensive old vintage microphones. Boy, were they "warm." He even had a guy come in and check the phase of all the equipment in the control room! Boy, was he professional. He used a bunch of equipment on them and by the end of it, they all agreed that it sounded very "punchy," yet "warm."

All that hard work paid off. With the help of a video, the album went like hotcakes! They sold a quarter million copies!

Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are:

These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There's no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. Income is underlined, expenses are not.

Advance: $250,000
Manager's cut: $37,500
Legal fees: $10,000
Recording Budget: $150,000
Producer's advance: $50,000
Studio fee: $52,500
Drum, Amp, Mic and Phase "Doctors": $3,000
Recording tape: $8,000
Equipment rental: $5,000
Cartage and Transportation: $5,000
Lodgings while in studio: $10,000
Catering: $3,000
Mastering: $10,000
Tape copies, reference CDs, shipping tapes, misc expenses: $2,000

Video budget: $30,000
Cameras: $8,000
Crew: $5,000
Processing and transfers: $3,000
Offline: $2,000
Online editing: $3,000
Catering: $1,000
Stage and construction: $3,000
Copies, couriers, transportation: $2,000
Director's fee: $3,000

Album Artwork: $5,000
Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $2,000

Band fund: $15,000
New fancy professional drum kit: $5,000
New fancy professional guitars (2): $3,000
New fancy professional guitar amp rigs (2): $4,000
New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $1,000
New fancy rack of lights bass amp: $1,000
Rehearsal space rental: $500
Big blowout party for their friends: $500

Tour expense (5 weeks): $50,875
Bus: $25,000
Crew (3): $7,500
Food and per diems: $7,875
Fuel: $3,000
Consumable supplies: $3,500
Wardrobe: $1,000
Promotion: $3,000

Tour gross income: $50,000
Agent s cut: $7,500
Manager's cut: $7,500

Merchandising advance: $20,000
Manager's cut: $3,000
Lawyer's fee: $1,000

Publishing advance: $20,000
Manager's cut: $3,000
Lawyer's fee: $1,000

Record sales: 250,000 @ $12 = $3,000,000 gross retail revenue Royalty (13% of 90% of retail): $351,000
Less advance: $250,000
Producer's points: (3% less $50,000 advance) $40,000
Promotional budget: $25,000
Recoupable buyout from previous label: $50,000
Net royalty: (-$14,000)

Record company income:
Record wholesale price $6.50 x 250,000 = $1,625,000 gross income
Artist Royalties: $351,000
Deficit from royalties: $14,000
Manufacturing, packaging and distribution @ $2.20 per record: $550,000
Gross profit: $710,000

The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

Record company: $710,000
Producer: $90,000
Manager: $51,000
Studio: $52,500
Previous label: $50,000
Agent: $7,500
Lawyer: $12,000
Band member net income each: $4,031.25

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 millon dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month.

The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige.

The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their t-shirts yet. Maybe the t-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys.

Some of your friends are probably already this fucked. Steve Albini is a much sought-after producer and founding member of eighties punk band Big Black. more on Big Black

Jahsonic, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:04 (nineteen years ago) link

Thanks for posting what Albini was up to like 6 years ago.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:09 (nineteen years ago) link

is this article a revised version? we should invite albini to revise the figures to take account of inflation.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:46 (nineteen years ago) link

hstencil, its monday and we are in a pretty louse mood, right?

nathalie (nathalie), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:49 (nineteen years ago) link

Despite having to clean up a stopped-up toilet (thank you, roommates) I'm actually in a good mood. Even with that Albini article getting posted somewhere for like the 600 MILLIONTH time.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:54 (nineteen years ago) link

Albini made the last GY!BE album bad.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:51 (nineteen years ago) link

explain? (haven't heard it but what is abt albini's contribution that made this record 'bad' in yr opinion?).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:55 (nineteen years ago) link

Albini is great with simple guitar bands like Shellac, Low and Labradford. With Godspeed his attempt to capture their 'live energy' turned it into a big blurry mess.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:58 (nineteen years ago) link

A lot of you people on here are big nap takers so I might check the new GYBE! out.....

Jonathan Williams (ex machina), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:00 (nineteen years ago) link

it can't really be albini's fault: what are GYBE supposed to put on the record instead of their 'energy'. I don't think they have tried their hands at songwriting. the point is it prob is the band's fault.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:04 (nineteen years ago) link

He put the microphones TOO CLOSE!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 19:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Maybe GYBE should try writing songs. I mean, if Mogwai can do it...

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:10 (nineteen years ago) link

if only those microphones were a couple of cm to the right then 'energy' would be captured. precious precious energy.

''Maybe GYBE should try writing songs. I mean, if Mogwai can do it...''

they are not v good at it callum.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Are too. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Not very good? Uh, have you HEARD Rock Action?

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:26 (nineteen years ago) link

heard one alb of theirs. that was enough.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:29 (nineteen years ago) link

All three of their albums are vastly different, but Rock Action is particularly different. They wrote SONGS for Rock Action.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:29 (nineteen years ago) link

GY!BE were one of two bands at Shellac's ATP which weren't there by invitation of Shellac. This presumably means that they were invited before the big fight, and Foundation wouldn't take them off because they're a big draw.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:39 (nineteen years ago) link

I really don't care.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:43 (nineteen years ago) link

big fight?

jones (actual), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:49 (nineteen years ago) link

Hmmm, Sunday morning donut & pop tart rock shows.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Festivals seem like a stupid idea to me. Who wants to watch a rock band at lunch-time?

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Why's there such a big cult of personality around a recording engineer? I don't get it.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:23 (nineteen years ago) link

Because it's fun.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Because of where he PLACES THE MICROPHONES. Ooooh!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 20:35 (nineteen years ago) link

''Why's there such a big cult of personality around a recording engineer? I don't get it.''

um, he's not just a recording engineer sundar. shellac, rapeman and big black were/are good rock bands.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:58 (nineteen years ago) link

It's because of his music? That's even weirder.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 25 November 2002 21:00 (nineteen years ago) link

OK he does come across as an idiot and this 'cult' you talk abt (well, since I do live in the UK and don't mix in indie circles)... its the first time I heard of it b-but I like his bands.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 21:07 (nineteen years ago) link

Because there are two people here and I want you to kill them.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 22:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Because of where he PLACES THE MICROPHONES. Ooooh!

oh... don't forget the record buttons! and those level knobs! oh shit... and the pan knob!

(really tho... all respect due...)

msp, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 03:56 (nineteen years ago) link

i think you're confusing tracking with mixing

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Tuesday, 26 November 2002 04:01 (nineteen years ago) link

I saw Shellac like a month ago. I went because Rye Coalition were opening, and if you don't know about them, ya betta axe somebody. I was thinking about going up to Steve and saying (in numbnuts doofus voice) "Uh, Mister Albini, here's a tape of stuff I did on my 4-track with about $500 worth of equipment. Do you think you could listen to it, and then tell me if I have any talent that you could perhaps mold into something great, take me under your wing, as it goes?" But I drank to many beers and had to leave 3 songs into Shellacs set, so it didn't happen.

Helltime Producto (Pavlik), Tuesday, 26 November 2002 04:16 (nineteen years ago) link

You guys are nerds.
Seriously. Steve Albini is not Julia Roberts and you are not Mary Hart.

E-to-the-Izzo, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 16:22 (nineteen years ago) link

And you're not H.L. Mencken so step off already.

hstencil, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 16:30 (nineteen years ago) link

yeah, i feel similarly, also near that age but a very early millennial, a pioneer for the new 1000 years. there was no one there to explain the gen x / slacker thing, so i basically understood it through pop culture - how the simpsons would portray sonic youth, stuff like that. the rebellion thing didn't really connect with me - i'm still not sure there's a direct connection between the "slacker" thing and "political rebellion" thing. the idea to drop out of society has been part of every generation since the boomers, at least, right? and slackers didn't even do that (it seems to me), they just kind of thought caring about stuff was inherently uncool

just staying (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 19:06 (seven months ago) link

anyway, don't mean to go on a tangent about "slackers", i know that's not central to dog latin's point

just staying (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 19:08 (seven months ago) link

I thought part of it was sort of a reaction against the excesses and materialism of the '80s – like, "We're just gonna hang around Austin" (literally, in the movie Slacker) "and do what's satisfying as a lifestyle, not strive for the conventional trappings of success"?

Which I guess in a way would be rebelling against their parents' path (for some)...

juristic person (morrisp), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 19:09 (seven months ago) link

From the sounds of it I'm roughly the same age as you and apparently I'm on the absolute cusp of what is generally defined as Gen X/Millennial, and while I know it's wrong to out too much stock in these marketing concepts, I feel there's a marked distinction in attitudes between friends who were a few years older than me growing up and people younger. This might be a UK thing, but there didn't seem to be so much of a stigma about "dropping out" among those I knew who were in their late-teens/early-adulthoods in the early-90s. They would go travelling or live in a squat or get an arts grant or just go on the dole. I'm a bit too young to remember myself, but from what I'm told, going on the dole was just a thing people did from time to time. I even had friends a few years older than me who wore their lack of work ethic as a badge of pride. Anyone younger than me would have been abhorred. And the stigma around benefits has increased so sharply since then that even people who genuinely deserve social security and government money are painted out as scroungers in society.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:04 (seven months ago) link

But yes, we're digressing here. Or maybe not... The same UK slackers I'm thinking of, who were, as I say, self-professed countercultural types with strong (I would say) antiestablishment, if not quite-far-left values, are now the ones moaning about cancel culture and snowflakes and blah blah

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:08 (seven months ago) link

The Mary Whitehouses of this world were trying to protect some sort of old fashioned, almost Victorian values of "decency". Gen X were largely about rebelling against such stuffy, repressive ideals most likely enforced by their parents. It was a dutiful countercultural signifier to be shocking, to break these taboos, to be "authentic" without sugar-coating or genuflecting to notions of decency.

Maggie Nelson's new book has an essay about art, which I haven't read in full, but I found this line to be interesting and illustrative of shifting attitudes:

"The twentieth-century model imagined the audience as numb, constricted, and in need of being awakened and freed (hence, an aesthetics of shock), where as the twenty-first-century model presumes the audience to be damaged, in need of healing, aid, and protection (hence, an aesthetics of care)."

jaymc, Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:16 (seven months ago) link

That is interesting. I mean, you could apply a whole bunch of theories here but maybe there's a noticeable cycle of breaking/fixing going on in societal art ove the generations which would be interesting to look at. I certainly find the whole turn-of-the-millennium era of pop culture interesting because a lot of it really does feel like the apex of unapologetically provocative excess: Limp Bizkit, Tom Greene, Blink182, superclubs playing Ibiza trance anthems, the rise of pop songs specifically about money, Eminem etc. To 19 year old me (who had grown up with 90s punk, hip-hop, rave, metal etc) it felt like all that stuff was overshooting and missing the point: It felt like an extreme apex, endpoint and farce of the stuff I had previously enjoyed, like someone heard Rage Against The Machine and thought "Yeah these guys are really angry about something, probably their breakfasts or something" and copied it and 'roided it up and took out all the politics and had a big hit with it. All that kind of stuff felt to me like the logical conclusion of "shock values" because it had no agenda other than to shock or provoke little more than an apolitical sense of energy and excitement that was nevertheless aimless.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:41 (seven months ago) link

... Blink-182?

talkin' about his flat tire (DJP), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:42 (seven months ago) link

I'm sorry, was there more than one band that went by that name

talkin' about his flat tire (DJP), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:43 (seven months ago) link

no see they're Blink-182-1, you're thinking about Blink-182-2

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 20:51 (seven months ago) link

I think you're thinking of Black 47.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:17 (seven months ago) link

You're thinking of the Blink-182 from Earth 31.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:19 (seven months ago) link

John Mayer (of all people) said something recently about David Letterman in this interview that got me thinking along similar lines:

Letterman was this trusty depot: 5 nights a week you could hang out in this place where, if you were a bright person — but one who also didn’t want to use their intelligence manipulatively — you could watch someone use their intelligence for entertainment purposes. Basically misappropriate their intelligence! I grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, and if you grew up in New England and you were bright, there was a good chance you were going to go into some dark art, like become a defense attorney. But Letterman was sending up erudition by misappropriating it for nonsense, and I always found that heroic.

The idea of misappropriating talent and entitlement feels like something Letterman and Belushi brought to Gen-X American men.

And where the edgelord business ties in, as a model for Gen-X men to imitate, is the idea morrisp said of "intentionally being a dick" -- from Dr. (fun honorific!) Hunter S. Thompson to Bill Murray, being kind of a self-aware dick and leaning in to the entitlement.

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:30 (seven months ago) link

Thanks for that Maggie Nelson quote, jaymc — loved it so much I ran out and got a copy of her book of essays you mentioned, On Freedom.

Xgau Murder Spa (nikola), Wednesday, 10 November 2021 20:32 (seven months ago) link

I've ordered it too.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 11 November 2021 10:12 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

Haven't listened yet, but the description implies it will be good:

Steve Albini talks U.S. politics, Electrical Audio and pandemic life, Shellac’s 30th anniversary and updates on their new record and new singles collection, Get Back and the Beatles he has met and spoken with, why he unlocked his twitter, owning his own insensitive socio-cultural mistakes, his Norm Macdonald encounters, Poverty Alleviation Charities’ 24 Hour Improv event on December 18-19, future plans and more!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 December 2021 16:42 (six months ago) link

His McCartney story (cameo appearance by the Auteurs) is funny

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 17 December 2021 16:58 (six months ago) link

They're finally gonna put the early singles on CD/Bandcamp (presumably)? Nice!

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 17 December 2021 17:03 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

It’s gonna be nice to finally own these limited edition items and really dig into them.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 3 January 2022 12:43 (six months ago) link

Listening to that episode now.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 3 January 2022 13:13 (six months ago) link

Better than winning a Grammy.

— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) January 4, 2022

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 02:55 (five months ago) link

I'm enjoying Eve 6 guy's sparring/burgeoning friendship with him, even if he couldn't get him into Counting Crows

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 12:04 (five months ago) link

Yeah, that's been entertaining. I could have sworn the Eve 6 person has a real/fake beef with Patton Oswalt going, too.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 12:54 (five months ago) link

Are they still going??

treat the gelignite tenderly for me (Sund4r), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 13:20 (five months ago) link

oh god jim goad

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 13:53 (five months ago) link

that interview was really good

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 13:53 (five months ago) link

You think I'm lying about that radio station @LinBrehmer can vouch. Occasional Joan Armatrading or Squeeze joints aside, it's all crow. (Lin I hear there's a new Eve6 song just dropped and the promotions budget is unlimited @FalconryFinance merchandise) (beef is so hot rn)

— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) January 5, 2022

no one has played Counting Crows in at least 24 hours. But thanks for listening.

— Lin Brehmer (@LinBrehmer) January 5, 2022

Oh shit, not a beef with Lin Brehmer. Chicago will tear itself in two!

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 20:40 (five months ago) link

Au contraire!

— Eric Ziegenhagen (@ericzieg) January 5, 2022

papal hotwife (milo z), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 21:38 (five months ago) link

lol, I saw that!

not sure why Albini thought that Lin, of all people, would vouch for his minor (but completely accurate) XRT swipe though

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 21:43 (five months ago) link

so this is what albini does now

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 21:55 (five months ago) link

based on the timestamps, lin was right. it had been about 24 hours and 10 minutes since xrt played the counting crows.

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:22 (five months ago) link

How do you figure? Counting Crows was played at 2:47 pm the previous day and his tweet was at 2:12 pm today, that's less than 24 hours in my book.

And yes, I am disappointed in myself for spending this much time thinking about it.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:25 (five months ago) link

It's OK, it was a long December

jpg trouble in wallo gina (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:28 (five months ago) link


a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:31 (five months ago) link


Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:31 (five months ago) link

surely there's a poker game happening somewhere that would be happy to deal ol' Steve in

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:35 (five months ago) link


oh shit you’re right..i thought i saw 3:12 for lin’s tweet

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:48 (five months ago) link

Not to get super-pedantic (and certainly not on Twitter), but according to the same source, XRT played "Round Here" at 6:01 a.m. this morning!

... (Eazy), Thursday, 6 January 2022 00:29 (five months ago) link

Can’t believe Albini missed the Black Crowes spins

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Thursday, 6 January 2022 01:17 (five months ago) link

Apropos of nothing, but an Albini Black Crowes album would've owned.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 6 January 2022 03:11 (five months ago) link

Crowes did a Zep cover album, and Albini recorded a Page/Plant album, so pretty close!

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Thursday, 6 January 2022 03:16 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

just to say that 'the back BONE of this country is the independent TRUCK!' is one of the most *bombastic intro*s to a record of all time. that squeal and thud.

maelin, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:48 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

He won his second World Series of Poker bracelet last night, taking first out of 773 players. $1,500 entry fee led to $196,000.

— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) June 18, 2022

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Saturday, 18 June 2022 11:21 (two weeks ago) link

That'll buy a lot of Travis Bean guitars.

papal hotwife (milo z), Saturday, 18 June 2022 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

Or go towards the staff at Electrical's take-home.

Maresn3st, Saturday, 18 June 2022 18:29 (two weeks ago) link

presumably gets his poker face from bands asking “how did you like that?” after a take

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 18 June 2022 22:18 (two weeks ago) link

presumably gets his poker face from bands asking “how did you like that?” after a take


stirmonster, Saturday, 18 June 2022 22:22 (two weeks ago) link

It was a HORSE tournament too, that’s awesome

frogbs, Saturday, 18 June 2022 22:30 (two weeks ago) link

xxp hahaha kudos

thinkmanship (sleeve), Saturday, 18 June 2022 22:31 (two weeks ago) link

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