boygenius: Baker Bridgers Dacus LLC

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Oh god, 'Letter to an Old Poet'.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 31 March 2023 17:30 (one year ago) link

"Satanist" is like "Some Kinda Love": every line startles me.

the very juice and sperm of kindness. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 31 March 2023 17:43 (one year ago) link

I'm enjoying the production much more - much fuller and more nuanced. I've got what I assume is a shitty vinyl pressing of the EP, but even with that the production always sounded thin to me.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 31 March 2023 19:19 (one year ago) link

i'm very slightly disappointed in the album as I don't think any song on it is as strong as Me and My Dog or Stay Down, but I've only listened to it under non ideal circumstances

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Sunday, 2 April 2023 03:54 (one year ago) link

this sounded nice on the first real spring day of the year. most bridges-related works have one spectacular song and then a bunch of solid ones, and on this one it's "satanist." tho i do still really like "not strong enough"

ludicrously capacious bag (voodoo chili), Sunday, 2 April 2023 14:46 (one year ago) link

The only song I dislike is "We're in Love."

the very juice and sperm of kindness. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 2 April 2023 14:47 (one year ago) link

"Letter to an Old Poet" holy shit

alpine static, Monday, 3 April 2023 22:33 (one year ago) link

I feel like this is about as strong as the EP rather than noticeably stronger or weaker.

A key difference, which Carl Wilson's review picks up on, is that Baker and Dacus offer much happier songs than they were writing circa five years ago. I experience this almost with visceral relief in the case of Baker given how relentlessly self-critical Little Oblivions was (albeit often very amusingly so). But I wonder if some people will come away from this album missing the emotional intensity that is generated by these artists' past tendency to return to the well of their own darkness. In particular Dacus' campfire ballads here, while not a new style for her, basically inhabit one end of her stylistic spectrum.

(Bridgers performing "Letter to an Old Poet" which is practically a do-over of "Me and My Dog", could almost be meta-commentary on struggling to move on from where she was 5 years ago, or appearing to struggle, but wanting to - especially given it arrives at the very end)

Tim F, Tuesday, 4 April 2023 01:58 (one year ago) link

Dacus is such a good lyricist.

the very juice and sperm of kindness. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 4 April 2023 02:05 (one year ago) link

"Cool About It" is such a condensed encapsulation of their various lyrical styles and performative characters, I can't think of lines more typical of Baker, Dacus and Bridgers respectively than "Wishing you were kind enough to be cruel about it", "I came prepared for absolution if you would only ask / so I take some offense when you say 'no regrets'", and "Once I took your medication just to know what it was like / and now I have to act like I can't read your mind".

Tim F, Tuesday, 4 April 2023 02:23 (one year ago) link

This is good and looking forward to repeat listens.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 5 April 2023 02:17 (one year ago) link

Coincidentally, that’s what Taylor Swift advising doing today (via IG Stories) – play it on repeat (that’s quite an endorsement)!

hypnic jerk (morrisp), Wednesday, 5 April 2023 02:33 (one year ago) link

is 'Satanist' the best song ever?

Nourry, Thursday, 6 April 2023 08:18 (one year ago) link

Absolutely loving Satanist here too.

True Blue is my other personal standout on first few listens.

brain (krakow), Saturday, 8 April 2023 18:33 (one year ago) link

True blue is fantastic and the album is good but I’m not too sure about most of the acoustic tracks (except cool about it).

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 8 April 2023 18:42 (one year ago) link

I had to give myself time to adequately absorb the tracks I didn't know from prerelease, and basically I think it's a really good album that's a few songs short of great. I agree that a few of the folkier tracks don't register very strongly —– "Revolution" and "We're in Love" in particular — and I like them best with a bit of a beat behind them. That said, "Emily I'm Sorry" is one of my favorite Bridgers songs period, solo or otherwise, and the other pre-release tracks plus "Satanist," "Anti-Curse," and "Cool About It" are all top-notch.

"Cool About It" is such a condensed encapsulation of their various lyrical styles and performative characters, I can't think of lines more typical of Baker, Dacus and Bridgers respectively than "Wishing you were kind enough to be cruel about it", "I came prepared for absolution if you would only ask / so I take some offense when you say 'no regrets'", and "Once I took your medication just to know what it was like / and now I have to act like I can't read your mind".

superbly otm, my favorite song here

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 11 April 2023 09:08 (one year ago) link

Put another way, the things that each needs to let go of in order to move on are very much in character and carefully (though not obviously so) counterposed: Baker needs to let go of her idealisation of her ex’s goodness; Dacus, her desire for fair determination as to where blame lies; Bridgers, her over-identification with her ex’s flaws.

Tim F, Tuesday, 11 April 2023 10:07 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

did we ever figure out who all's in the band? Jay Som on the left here, I believe (correct me if wrong) ... the person next to the drummer looks very familiar but I can't quite place them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPYc7VC6M-Q

alpine static, Tuesday, 25 April 2023 19:12 (one year ago) link

very confusingly they have two bassists in that performance?

the live band there is apparently jay som on bass, madden klass on drums, sarah goldstone (she plays with dacus) on keys, and tiana ohara on bass. one of the bassists moves around instruments i think for other songs?

ufo, Tuesday, 25 April 2023 23:22 (one year ago) link

Am very much here for the extended version of 'True Blue' that will inevitably appear.

Stars of the Lidl (Chinaski), Sunday, 7 May 2023 21:36 (one year ago) link

Nice acoustic version of Not Strong Enough from one of the Taylor Swift Nashville shows.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aiL6c9Qi98

They're playing here this summer at some weird festival that both cost hundreds of dollars and also sold out but at the same time seems like it's on the cusp of being cancelled (literally) for permitting issues.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2023 12:13 (one year ago) link

Re:Set festival? that's their own thing too I believe, as in, they are principal organizers. Three day thing, luckily youu could get single day tickets (which I did for Palo Alto; still a bit expensive considering I don't care at all about the other people playing the same day as them)

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Wednesday, 10 May 2023 15:10 (one year ago) link

If I understand correctly, here in Chicago they put tickets on sale before they had the requisite permits, and the permit issue still hasn't been resolved.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2023 15:40 (one year ago) link

Also, aiui, the neighbors reallllllly don't want it. They just submitted another petition to have it blocked. Apparently largely the same group that has been working to chase festivals out of Douglass Park, they successfully stopped two other festivals at Douglass (Lyrical Lemonade, Heatwave).

If they sold tickets prior to permits, I'm sure that doesn't help their case much either. Doesn't look good with it less than two months away.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 10 May 2023 15:56 (one year ago) link

Yeah, a lot of neighborhoods are sick of their parks and outdoor spaces being commandeered for the summer.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2023 15:57 (one year ago) link

Which I can kind of understand, I think people got sick of seeing Grant Park blocked off for almost half of the good weather portion of the year between Lolla, the marathon, private events, etc etc and it's spreading out to other parks. It seems less about the event itself, but how they lose park access for 2+ weeks on either side of the festival as well. As much as I like seeing more festivals that aren't the Lolla behemoth pop up, I get the annoyance of prolonged park closures during our precious good weather months.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 10 May 2023 16:01 (one year ago) link

Yeah, like this stupid urban NASCAR boondoggle.

Every week a park is shut down, that's another week people can't have picnics, graduations, sports, family reunions, just quiet time to themselves.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 May 2023 16:14 (one year ago) link

I totally understand that, though I did enjoy Pitchfork at Union Park last year. But I feel like that's a tension a lot of places, people using cities as playgrounds and playgrounds as party zones. Maintaining public access to public places is pretty crucial.

enjoyable acoustic version of Not Strong Enough up there, but i hope when i see them we get a full band rock version.

my song of the year so far, probably.

alpine static, Wednesday, 10 May 2023 19:34 (one year ago) link

Simon Pegg just picked 'Salt In The Wound' as his final track on Desert Island Discs, which was surprising and great to hear. They've definitely made it now.

brain (krakow), Sunday, 14 May 2023 11:32 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Took my 15-year-old daughter to see them in London yesterday. The sound wasn't the best (I kept wanting to shout 'turn the guitars up!' like a doofus) and I felt very old and straight but that's all good it was such a lovely atmosphere. They said that, collectively, it was their biggest show so far but I've not been with a crowd that hushed and reverent for a while (which feels weird when it's a crowd of 40,000). I had an absolute blast.

(picnic, lightning) very very frightening (Chinaski), Monday, 21 August 2023 17:06 (ten months ago) link

Very much regretting not organising myself to get to one of the Halifax gigs. Edinburgh would be very much doable at short notice, but I really don't fancy that somehow.

brain (krakow), Monday, 21 August 2023 18:26 (ten months ago) link

"very old and straight" is a good way to describe how i felt when i saw them.

the LGBTQ+ percentage of the audience at the show i saw in the U.S. was many times more than any other show i've ever attended, anywhere. it was amazing to see.

alpine static, Monday, 21 August 2023 18:52 (ten months ago) link

That was a bland review upthread. I just went for a walk through the woods and everything caught up to me - just how gorgeous the atmosphere was yesterday, how that trio of people made everyone feel.

My kid came out as queer a couple of years ago and I've been on a bit of a journey with being a queer and trans ally in my work at school and well, I'm struggling to articulate how yesterday made me feel, without wanting to come across like some dumbass benevolent patriarch or whatever, but yeah, it made my goddamn heart swell.

(picnic, lightning) very very frightening (Chinaski), Monday, 21 August 2023 19:57 (ten months ago) link

I had a very similar feeling seeing them in Vancouver with trans kiddo.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 21 August 2023 21:43 (ten months ago) link

with my trans kiddo, I mean.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 21 August 2023 21:43 (ten months ago) link

Thinking about the (now locked) phoebe bridgers haters thread, and while I don't intend to relitigate the issue here, it struck me as odd to think about how bridgers frequently attracts those kinds of responses but baker and dacus largely do not. Part of that it just profile level and the fact that bridgers feels more celebrity-adjacent (dating paul mescal etc), but it's more interesting to imagine that it's also partly reflective of their diverging songwriting personas.

Of the three, bridgers' songwriting feels most obviously "gen z" to me (scare quotes intended) - that mix of deadpan and archness, both numb and emotionally needy. Like, I can imagine her letting a friend know she had just had serious surgery by writing "in the hospital, nearly met my grandma again lol", whereas baker if she sent a message at all would be like "you need to pick me up", and dacus would probably be giving her friends advice from her hospital bed without mentioning where she was. To be clear, this is not what I actually think these people would do in these circumstances, but rather what the narrator-characters of their songs imply to me.

Like that line in "cool about it" where bridgers sings "Once I took your medication to know what it was like" - which is presented as evidence for how deeply attuned to the other person and their reality she is, even though it's also a totally fucked up thing to do, and of course she knows that. Like, if the song generally is about the difficulty of walking back intimacy after a relationship ends, then bridgers' verse adds another layer: "there is no document of intimacy which is not at the same time a document of narcissism".

Tim F, Wednesday, 30 August 2023 07:40 (ten months ago) link

I got into this band the way I get into most music these days: a song on a playlist or a Discover Weekly, a tickle that becomes an itch and so on. I knew Julien from her associations with Frightened Rabbit and knew of her confessional style; I had a vague sense of Phoebe Bridgers and no knowledge of Dacus at all. I very rarely look for live stuff or interviews so had no visual sense of the band at all. It wasn't until my daughter got into them and they became this intense lockdown thing, that I filled in the character backstories and what they meant to the fans.

Since then I've developed a vicarious appreciation of the closeness of things, most of which operates outside of the music yet seems utterly inseparable from it: the characters to each other, the 'characters' to the 'real' people involved, the relationship to the fans. Your second paragraph speaks to this: how porous the boundaries seem, how the band seem to blur the line between drama and 'real life'. Seeing them live cemented all of this and I wasn't really prepared for the emotional wallop of it and what it meant for me and the people there. The trio appeared on stage very briefly, at the end of Muna's set and it was like 30,000 people spontaneously burst into tears. It was extraordinary but also contributed to an ongoing feeling that this simply isn't sustainable; that they're playing that is so combustible it's bound to explode at some point. Julien is too damaged. Phoebe is just a chaos engine. Lucy will tire of being the third who walks beside them. Etc etc. I know it's all part of the mythos they've built but there it is.

Now, I am well aware this may be entirely personal and a shit ton of projection because of my relationship with my kid but I can't decide if this is just new to me and it's a 'welcome to true fandom, where the hell have you been?!' or a novel situation worthy of thinking about some more. Your post emboldened the latter reading but I may well be talking complete bollocks so forgive me if so.

(picnic, lightning) very very frightening (Chinaski), Wednesday, 30 August 2023 09:43 (ten months ago) link

tl;dr - a daft old man is worried about the boys.

(picnic, lightning) very very frightening (Chinaski), Wednesday, 30 August 2023 09:48 (ten months ago) link

It was extraordinary but also contributed to an ongoing feeling that this simply isn't sustainable; that they're playing that is so combustible it's bound to explode at some point. Julien is too damaged. Phoebe is just a chaos engine. Lucy will tire of being the third who walks beside them. Etc etc. I know it's all part of the mythos they've built but there it is.

wow, amazing

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 30 August 2023 10:03 (ten months ago) link

in the hospital, nearly met my grandma again lol

lol

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 30 August 2023 11:35 (ten months ago) link

great post Tim F

corrs unplugged, Thursday, 31 August 2023 07:01 (ten months ago) link

two months pass...

They killed on SNL tonight.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 12 November 2023 06:00 (eight months ago) link

No one has ever done less holding a BC Rich

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 12 November 2023 15:31 (eight months ago) link

I enjoyed both songs. Old man me was also won over to them in part awhile back hearing Bridgers talk about music and her family and such on her Sirius XM radio show.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 12 November 2023 17:33 (eight months ago) link

I just watched SNL and I really wanted David Letterman to walk out after they performed so I could get a handle on the relative heights of the band

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 23 November 2023 00:38 (seven months ago) link

wait I thought he was in the band..?

stuffing your suit pockets with cold, stale chicken tende (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 November 2023 01:18 (seven months ago) link


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