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I'm With The Band
July 24, 2012 1:45 PM   Subscribe


 
Cute.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


You are invited
By anyone to do anything
You are invited
For all time
You are so needed
If you really want to go
You are invited
For all time
posted by gwint at 1:52 PM on July 24, 2012 [16 favorites]


Whatever happened to rock stars who banged groupies two at a time while mainlining smack into their eyeballs? No wonder modern music is so boring.
posted by jonmc at 1:56 PM on July 24, 2012 [25 favorites]


i LOVE You Are Invited.. I haven't listened to that album in ages but it's still on my ipod
posted by ninjew at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2012


Anybody who's ever heard Emergency & I knows that Dismemberment Plan aren't boring.
posted by koeselitz at 2:04 PM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


'You Are Invited' is one of my wife's favorite songs. If she ever met this guy, I'll bet she'd be one of those fans staring through an awkward pause as long as she could.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:05 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm curious how the Travistan conversation went.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 2:08 PM on July 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


JonMC: Whatever happened to rock stars who banged groupies two at a time while mainlining smack into their eyeballs? No wonder modern music is so boring.

I think she said that, you just have to sort of read between the lines a bit...embellish...embellish, use your imagination..what do you think she meant by "Travis loves to vacuum..." HINT..HINT...
posted by Skygazer at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm willing to take "plays the keyboard with his face" as a reasonable substitute.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:12 PM on July 24, 2012


I <3 The Ice of Boston
posted by Skygazer at 2:12 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


No. I think she's literal and they really are that dull.
posted by jonmc at 2:13 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please understand I say this as someone who is a computer programmer and likes The Dismemberment Plan just fine:
It should surprise absolutely no one that an antispetic emotionally stifled math rock record Emergency and I was created by a computer nerd.
posted by malphigian at 2:14 PM on July 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


I only know 'The City' from a compilation CD I was once given - didn't know they were a medium sized band on their home turf. (Conversely, Slint have Velvet Underground status in the rock press here thanks to their influence on Mogwai. When I was eighteen, I used to listen to Good Morning Captain all the time in my student halls of residence.)
posted by mippy at 2:17 PM on July 24, 2012


No...I personally saw THE DP destroy a stage and an audience and rock like fucking Gods....
posted by Skygazer at 2:18 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now there is an article that could jinx a life - talking about how you're in love with some famous musician fellow and what it's like being with the band, that's practically a guarantee that the guy is seeing some European music journalist on the sly and will dump you inside six months. Dating people in bands requires a strong sense of self and a recognition that most people who are capable of being in famous and comparatively successful bands are not the kind of people who can be in long-term relationships....I mean, not that I haven't dated musicians, everyone's dated musicians, but it gives me the cold chills to think of this girl marrying a rock star.
posted by Frowner at 2:20 PM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Slint have Velvet Underground status in the rock press here thanks to their influence on Mogwai.

Same in the states. Slint is ground zero for the post-hardcore artbands...they're super super venerated and admired in that seminal VU way...
posted by Skygazer at 2:21 PM on July 24, 2012


Whatever happened to rock stars who banged groupies two at a time while mainlining smack into their eyeballs? No wonder modern music is so boring.

Look for my new album in the fall, "Field Recordings of Simultaneous Intercourse and Intraocular Drug Use."
posted by speicus at 2:22 PM on July 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


The most incredible (as in difficult to swallow) is that he didn't have a copy of Is Terrified, or Change, or The Ice of Boston EP anymore. Really? I know that that might be a difficult point in his life to reflect on anymore, but you don't keep a copy around for this sort of situation?
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 2:22 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, they're unknown in my bit of Europe so she might just do fine - they'll all be trying to sleep with Dalstonites instead. Especially as music journalism is such a sausage fest, and I'm assuming he isn't the Brett Anderson of US Indie rock.
posted by mippy at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2012


Whatever happened to rock stars who banged groupies two at a time while mainlining smack into their eyeballs? No wonder modern music is so boring.

That scene is almost as old as your schtick.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2012 [34 favorites]


I mean, not that I haven't dated musicians, everyone's dated musicians, but it gives me the cold chills to think of this girl marrying a rock star.

DP were a Dischord band so, all that stuff really goes out the window with that DC scene, I think.

I think she's pretty safe.
posted by Skygazer at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The most incredible (as in difficult to swallow) is that he didn't have a copy of Is Terrified, or Change, or The Ice of Boston EP anymore. Really? I know that that might be a difficult point in his life to reflect on anymore, but you don't keep a copy around for this sort of situation?

I heard a story about Robbie Williams meeting a girl in his new home of LA, her coming back to his and asking what he did, and in response he popped Live At Wembley on the DVD player. It's the perfect intersection of local obscurity and smug famousness and was rather brilliant.
posted by mippy at 2:24 PM on July 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


"I am totally above being interested in music like those tiresome music fans are, so isn't it just too amusing that I am married to a rock star who makes me coffee and you're not, nyah nyah nyah."
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:36 PM on July 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


The point where I realized that I was, in fact, 23 and walking down K Street to a temping job in the midst of a snow flurry was . . . well, it was kind of a heavy moment.

I started taking I Street to that job instead.
posted by Copronymus at 2:36 PM on July 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was so hoping it was going to end with a story about how she now wears leather mini-skirts.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:45 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I am totally above being interested in music like those tiresome music fans are, so isn't it just too amusing that I am married to a rock star who makes me coffee and you're not, nyah nyah nyah."

I sort of had the same reaction. Not quite so bad, but it really seemed that Goldstein couldn't really relate to the fans and it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Yeah, she had no idea how important The Dismemberment Plan is to lots of people and she says that's not why she fell in love with Morrison, which I don't really doubt, but at the same time she seems sort of dismissive and creeped out by the fans. Maybe it's because I totally get the fans' perspective (mostly for small garage-pop-punks few remember), and I get why it can be weird to somebody from the outside, but it's not so bad. I'm not saying hardcore fans aren't weird, but she just didn't strike me as a music person and really doesn't seem to care that lots of people were affected by The Plan. Must be disorienting to see your SO has a whole other world they're a part of, but she also doesn't seem to want to be a part of it which is her choice. Must make good dinner party conversation. Goldstein is pretty happy with her Park Slope life, that's cool.
posted by kendrak at 2:52 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Really hope they play SF at some point. Really REALLY hope they play SF. Will go as crazy as at the Cap'N Jazz reunion show. MORE crazy. MAKE IT HAPPEN TRAVIS MAKE IT HAPPEN. Also promise I won't stare weird okay?!
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:53 PM on July 24, 2012


I have some good stories about people I know marrying larger-than-life rock stars, but I'm not going to share them because I'm a bitter washed-up former rock star.
posted by item at 2:54 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


How many computer programmers who make music on the side are thinking "He gave up being a rock star?"

Haha, does not compute! Right?
posted by orme at 3:04 PM on July 24, 2012


Just posting to say I love Dismemberment Plan and especially Emergency and I
posted by sid at 3:05 PM on July 24, 2012


Emergency & I is excellent, but Change is great too...


And man, that would hit the spot right now music choice wise...excuse me...
posted by Skygazer at 3:11 PM on July 24, 2012


How many computer programmers who make music on the side are thinking "He gave up being a rock star?"

Playing music is surprisingly un-lucrative for many musicians who most folks would consider "rock stars", especially in the indie scene. Lots of very popular musicians live very modest lives. Additionally, it doesn't have a whole heck of a lot of career longevity for most.

I've played in bands, and I know a very few folks that have been successful, a lot more that haven't, and a handful that occupy the "kinda well known" space in between. I would trade in being a musician for being a programmer any day.

...which is probably why I'm a programmer now, actually!
posted by kaseijin at 3:12 PM on July 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


not that I haven't dated musicians, everyone's dated musicians

I didn't. But I did date an artist, when I was in college in the 80s.

and let me tell you, son, Mike Doonsbury got off light with what his first wife did in the comics. Some of those artists were insane. Waking up one night after we got drunk, finding she'd shaved off half my chest hair and drawn it back in with a green sharpie and was taking pictures...
posted by mephron at 3:20 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


It reminds me of an anecdote Carrie Brownstein recently shared in a radio interview.

Apparently after Sleater Kinney parted ways she tried for the more stable life and took a 9-5 job at a marketing firm. Apparently not having to teach kids guitar at odd hours and then tour for weeks was the nice part of the deal, but crushing ennui hit her when she was in a staff meeting where a manager was trying to snap some motivation into the crowd by bellowing "Get excited, this is it, this is rock and roll!" and she decided "y'know what? it's really not." She quit not long after.

Rock music seems to be a compulsion for some people, and I guess that's why indie stars like Carrie and Thurston Moore and Wayne Coyne and others are still touring and making music in their grey tops.

I sure as hell, along with most people, prefer stability. You fit more life into your hours when you're not jet-lagged, tired, and hungover. And there's a lot of life to be lived. Best of luck to Travis.
posted by midmarch snowman at 3:24 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Playing music is surprisingly un-lucrative for many musicians who most folks would consider "rock stars", especially in the indie scene. Lots of very popular musicians live very modest lives.

Just the other day, I was watching a few old live videos of this (former) band I love called The Mendoza Line, and the YouTube comments about the singer/writer Shannon McArdle* said, "Dude, that's my English teacher!" "No joke, she works at my school!" Ain't that sweet?

*whose second solo album comes out next week
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:25 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole moderately successful
rocker (pick your own genre hypenate) leaving the scene and marrying a financially secure, uptight soccer mom to be is common enough to be a borderline cliche. The actual cliche is the acrimonious divorce that follows the reunion-tour fueled midlife crisis.
posted by thivaia at 3:28 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Endless touring and the pressures of a band dynamic, as well as the constant scarcity can make a regular job more attractive than people think. As Travis said, if they'd been getting as much attention (and the shows and mullah), they probably would've stayed with it.

And now they're getting it and getting bigger than ever. This is going to get interesting pretty fast, and now I'm contradicting myself I realize (from saying she's pretty safe), because having been in a band for 8 years, no relationship meant as much to me as that group of people (family really) and the sound we were making. Uggg...

Who the hell knows what Travis is thinking, maybe he's like time to make some babies for a few yearsetc. It wouldn't be solely his decision anyway, those seem as democratic as any DC Dischord band gets.
posted by Skygazer at 3:37 PM on July 24, 2012


I recently read Richard Beck's 'review' of Pitchfork in n+1, which contains the chilling paragraph:
Pitchfork’s grandest experiment in unfiltered honesty took place in 2004. In the 1990s, one of Pitchfork’s favorite bands had been the Washington DC rock group The Dismemberment Plan. But when the lead singer, Travis Morrison, released his first solo album, Travistan, Chris Dahlen gave it a 0.0. “I’ve never heard a record more angry, frustrated, and even defensive about its own weaknesses,” he wrote, “or more determined to slug those flaws right down your throat.” The record sold terribly as a result, and Morrison’s concerts, when they weren’t empty, became awkward. “I don’t think it occurred to [Pitchfork] that the review could have a catastrophic effect,” Morrison told a reporter. “Up until the day of the review, I’d play a solo show, and people would be like ‘That’s our boy.’ . . . Literally, the view changed overnight.” As Morrison’s career went into a tailspin, the opening line of Dahlen’s review, “Travis Morrison got his ass kicked,” began to sound self-congratulatory, as though Dahlen enjoyed being the one who did the kicking. Travis Morrison subsequently retired from music, returning only for a scattered batch of Dismemberment Plan reunion concerts in 2011. Today, the front page of Morrison’s website is dominated by the word “RETIRED!” in an enormous font, with a smaller note below: “Befriend me on Facebook. I’m so nice!”
Man, it was so good to learn that things turned out actually no-so-bad for him in the end.
posted by hydatius at 3:57 PM on July 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


i'm trying like heck to remember if dismemberment plan was one of the bands that slept on my floor. i'm pretty sure i was at the show, and it was the right time for bands sleeping on our floor, but it was also 2 months after i turned 21. i've lost most of that year down the rabbit hole. i only remember one of those bands from that time being jerks and it wasn't dismemberment plan, so if they slept on our floor, they were considerate and jovial.

also a big fuck yes to kaseijin - the people i/we know who should be set for life if talent and hard work resulted in rock and roll paychecks is a list too long to think about really. some still grind it out, some take day jobs, some take sometimes jobs, even more quit all together - but very few (if any) are afforded the lifestyle of "record when i feel like it, tour to support it, and just hang out otherwise."
posted by nadawi at 4:04 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Travis and I were in our high school's Ecology Club together and there was a proto-Plan show that was a semi-benefit for the club that was my first no-parents, people-drinking high school party. I was never a particular fan, but have been occasionally checking in since then to see what he's been up to. I'm glad their reunion went so well.

There was a weird little orbit in that time and place...I also did theatre stuff with some of (the future) The Vehicle Birth, and half the people I knew around my age in Virginia in that era seemed to have a two-degree max separation from either Dave Matthews or Fugazi.
posted by jocelmeow at 4:12 PM on July 24, 2012


Funny how hard it's to pin down a definition of "rock star". My first reaction was that the bar is set pretty low if one calls TM a rock star, but upon further thought, I realized that wasn't fair. There just really isn't a clear one. Isn't name-recognition a critical component of "rock star"? Just being an amazing musician doesn't make you a rock star if you're obscure. But how much name-recognition would qualify for that term? Can you be a rock star if you're mostly known to fans of a particular sub-genre of music? Don't you have to be famous to be a rock star, like in being known to most people who are even vaguely aware of popular music? Perhaps your fame doesn't need to penetrate into popular consciousness such that even a person not following music at all is aware of you - that would be a superstar, someone like perhaps Elton John, or Paul McCartney, or maybe the top 100 or so. But do you qualify as a rock star simply because you can be stopped in the street and recognized by someone somewhere? Can you be a rock star if you cannot make money from making music? If you are a rock star don't you have a catalogue that can give you a good living just from passive income? Or did you get robbed by bad deals and crooked managers? But isn't it the very definition of a rock star that you have the pull just from your face on a poster that you can make a living even if your catalogue has disappeared, instead of having to make a living from non-music? If you don't have enough pull to guarantee you a living just for showing up at a concert or issuing a CD, then how are you a rock star as opposed to a somewhat renowned musician? Who qualifies as a rock star?
posted by VikingSword at 4:26 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My hat is off to anyone who cares enough about playing out to tolerate the lifestyle of being in a touring band past the age of about 25. No security, no real home, bad food, the fatigue of endless driving, packed into a death trap van that smells like 5 guys' old socks and farts. I guess it gets a little better if you can afford a tour bus.
posted by thelonius at 4:32 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who qualifies as a rock star?

Good question. The only easy answers are:
A. Jack White
B. Not Tom Cruise
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:33 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Rock star," like a lot of things about the entertainment industry, doesn't describe an actual phenomenon, but a marketing one. You are a rock star if you can get the media that covers you to describe you as a rock star.

This sort of stardom can be fairly short lived if one does not aggressively maintain it. The interesting thing about Dismemberment Plan is that their legend grew without them, or marketers, putting any real effort into it. They had been picked up by fans and other musicians, who maintained their reputation, until it blossomed into what might be a second, and more successful career. It happens every so often like this, and is pretty remarkable when it does.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:33 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ellen & Ben is one of my favorite-ever songs. I put it on a mix-CD I gave to my eventual-husband in . . . 2002? I think? I like it because it's just this really normal story about kinda boring people falling in love and then out of it, and this weird gossipy interloper making weird gossipy interloper comments. If I wasn't supposed to be writing a book right now, I'd totally whip up a parody called Travis & Katherine, but I guess you can't do that without being a little meanspirited and predicting divorce and who knows? The Ocean City girls on the boardwalk singing oh oh oh oh etc.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:35 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who qualifies as a rock star?

Good question. The only easy answers are:
A. Jack White
B. Not Tom Cruise
C. But definitely Thom Yorke
posted by Windigo at 4:41 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ellen & Ben I think everyone has one or two Ellen & Ben-type relationships in their past it seems like...
posted by Skygazer at 4:48 PM on July 24, 2012


Who qualifies as a rock star?

It's a weird question I think about a lot. I've had nights where I feel like one, but there isn't a single person reading this that's heard my music. (unless my brother is on. Hey M! Kiss my niece for me!)

But it's also perception. I had butterflies in my stomach just talking to Steve Albini, and I nearly peed shaking Chuck D's hand once, but I could be in a room with Thom Yorke no problem. And I love Radiohead.

Indeed, I've been in a room with Jack White and didn't bother to talk to him. Of course, being around JW, I understand what a true rock star is. There are people who would literally lay down on the ground for him to tie his shoe on, if he asked.

I think the last real rock star was Billy Squier. I don't know why.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:51 PM on July 24, 2012


You're just fishing for Steel Tigers of Death fans.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:58 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Indeed, I've been in a room with Jack White and didn't bother to talk to him. Of course, being around JW, I understand what a true rock star is. There are people who would literally lay down on the ground for him to tie his shoe on, if he asked.

I always find the idea of him as a rock star weird, because I was acquaintances with him when I was in college - nothing very interesting, we just sorta hung in circles that some times intersected. I'd see him at parties at a certain guy's house (whom my roomie was dating at the time). He was just some dude with a baby face, nothing rock star about him at all. How does the shift happen? Are people born with it or is it cultivated as they move along the path of being a musician?
posted by Windigo at 5:03 PM on July 24, 2012


How does the shift happen? Are people born with it or is it cultivated as they move along the path of being a musician?

Man, if I knew that I wouldn't be fishing for fans on Meta.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:13 PM on July 24, 2012


HA! I knew Travis in college. He trained me as a DJ in the college station. I had no idea The Dismemberment Plan got that big. HA! Good fer him.

A random memory: during finals, the station's schedule changes, and DJs could do one-shot shows. Coming up with stupid names for the shows was part of the fun. As it was December 1991, Travis named one of his one-shot shows "Just Because Freddie Mercury Is Dead Doesn't Mean Queen Doesn't Totally Suck."

Well, I laughed.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 5:31 PM on July 24, 2012


Not a lot of people I know agree with me on this, but Change before Emergency & I. Any day of the week.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:53 PM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I live at 13th and Euclid. Beat that.
posted by downing street memo at 6:07 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


It should surprise absolutely no one that an antispetic emotionally stifled math rock record Emergency and I was created by a computer nerd.

Antiseptic I understand, but emotionally-stifled? Have you been to a Plan show?
posted by downing street memo at 6:12 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously, no Is Terrified fans here? For whatever reason, that's my goto Plan album.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 6:15 PM on July 24, 2012


I think Change is the better album in the way Rhythm of the Saints is a better album than Graceland. More mature, more cohesive. Both (all) have amazing songs, but Changes brings them together better.

There's an age thing, too: Emergency & I is more youthy, more brash. Change gets you in the goddamn gut.
posted by wemayfreeze at 6:17 PM on July 24, 2012


All I can say is that I would happily settle for a cute computer programmer in my life. True love (AND a workaround for the fact I can't code my way out of a wet paper ANYTHING!)!
posted by Samizdata at 6:18 PM on July 24, 2012


Whatever happened to rock stars who banged groupies two at a time while mainlining smack into their eyeballs? No wonder modern music is so boring.
posted by jonmc at 9:56 PM on July 24


The lack of that behaviour is not the reason modern music is so boring. The reason modern music is so boring is because most of it is made by people who are either spoilt, dumb, vain or greedy.
posted by Decani at 6:30 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Downing Street Memo, that means there's a better than 50% chance I've been to a party at your house.
posted by troika at 6:57 PM on July 24, 2012


I heard a story about Robbie Williams meeting a girl in his new home of LA, her coming back to his and asking what he did, and in response he popped Live At Wembley on the DVD player. It's the perfect intersection of local obscurity and smug famousness and was rather brilliant.

The utter lack of market penetration in the US by the likes of Robbie Williams and Kylie completely baffles me. But good for him. I'd have done the same thing in his position.

Rock music seems to be a compulsion for some people, and I guess that's why indie stars like Carrie and Thurston Moore and Wayne Coyne and others are still touring and making music in their grey tops.

Heck, I saw John Mayall two nights ago, in fine form with a great band.

Some people live music all their lives. Others try to make a living at it. It's two entirely different things.
posted by hippybear at 7:00 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I grew up in the suburbs of DC, but I'd already been living in Carrboro, NC for a few years the first time I heard the Plan on WXYC Chapel Hill. Of course it was 'Ice of Boston' off of The Dismemberment Plan is Terrified. And of course I loved it instantly. The fact that they were a Dischord band, from my hometown just made it better somehow. Got a chance to see them several times over the years when they came through town; my place was easy walking distance from the Cat's Cradle.

By this time I had met the girl I thought I was going to marry. We had been together about 5 years. I was still wrestling with a PhD program at UNC, though, truth be told, mainly it was wrestling with myself. I hated what I was doing and was really looking for someone to call my bluff, but somehow, improbably, I kept advancing inexorably toward the degree in spite of my best efforts at sabotaging myself. (I was still young and foolish and had not yet figured out better ways to handle such things.)

Around this time, my girlfriend decided to apply to film school -- a dream of hers for pretty much her whole life. And with 100% of my heart I supported her. There were a couple of applications that were almost doomed; essays lost to a corrupt disk; job demands that she absolutely could not put off; deadlines looming, and tearful phone calls, where she simply said "I can't do this. I give up." I just said "How can you give up? I am not giving up on you." I found some print outs of her essays, scanned them, cleaned them up and sent them to her to edit. Ended up driving out to the post office at the airport that night (the absolute final date for mailing the application) just to make sure it would be postmarked with that day's date instead of the next day's date. She got in. (Of course! She is brilliant.)

In the meantime I finally quit the PhD program. To this day I somtimes wonder if I should have moved with her. But it was a 2-year program, and she wanted to come right back to NC. So I thought, let me figure out my own dream to follow instead of following her to live vicariously through hers. Besides, I thought, we've been together years now. We're solid. This will work. It did for a while. But two years became three as she found work with the department. In the end, she decided she wanted to move out to LA. And honestly, I think she really did owe it to herself to go for it. (In the end, she never did make that move, but that's another story...) But things between us had long since started to crack. And I could not take it anymore. So I ended it. It ended up taking us a ridiculously long time to break up, but ultimately, what I thought could never happen happened. It was over.

During that time of falling apart, I started running more. At least 10 miles per run, at least 5 times a week. And going out to see shows 4 or 5 nights a week. Playing beach volleyball on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00PM until it got dark. Some time in there I heard the Plan's song 'Gyroscope:'

He says it’s over and it’s such a relief
It’s finally happened and he’s making his peace
All the reminders don’t bother him in the least
The Jekyll and Hyde shit will finally cease
His eyes on fire and his hands kind of shake
Like his voice is ready to break
You kind of wonder how long this boy’s been awake
Or how much less sense one person can make
If he spins fast enough than maybe the broken pieces of his heart will stay together
But ain’t no gyroscope can spin forever, yea

So, yeah, that hit home. And it hit me pretty hard. Started me thinking a little bit about what I was doing. And it still means something to me. I was never a 'fan', never tried to talk to Travis after a show or anything, but the Plan is one of 'those bands' for me. And at least I can still console myself with another Plan song; my first Plan song, actually, 'Ice of Boston:'

So I guess the party line is I followed you up here.
Well, I don’t know about that.
Mainly because knowing about that would involve knowing some pathetic, ridiculous, and absolutely true things about myself that I’d rather not admit to right now.
Woke up at 3 A.M. with the radio on, that Gladys Knight and the Pips song on
About how she’d rather live in his world with him
Than live in her own world alone
And I lay there, head spinning, trying to fall asleep
And I thought to myself: “Oh, Gladys, girl, I love you but, oh—get a life!”
Hey! The ice of Boston is muddy
And reflects no light, in day or night
And I slip on it every time

So, that song comes on sometimes, and I sing along. And I get to the part about Gladys Knight, and I have to smile.
posted by fikri at 7:19 PM on July 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


What was the point of this article?
posted by Isadorady at 7:37 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Love the D-plan, enjoyed seeing them live back in the day. But (sips some Haterade) Travis had some really great musicians with him, and Pitchfork didn't sabotage his solo career. He simply kind of sucks balls by himself.

Happy to hear he's doing well though.
posted by bardic at 8:59 PM on July 24, 2012


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact the Plan is getting kind of big so many years after they broke up. I'm glad it's happening, but what led to it? It can't all be because they released Emergency & I on vinyl.

That said, a new album from them would be nice.
posted by mrbula at 9:28 PM on July 24, 2012


Funny how hard it's to pin down a definition of "rock star".

Not really. A true rock star is somebody you can plunk down in any city in the world and who would be recognised. Go below that and you soon come to the level of fame a successfull science fiction writer has.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:28 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who qualifies as a rock star?

If their DUI makes national headlines.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:10 AM on July 25, 2012


Yeah, by my definition this guy isn't a 'rock star' - if I met him in the street I'd have no idea who he is. He's a guy in an indie band, or an indie-rock band, whichever. Liam Gallagher, much as I'm not an Oasis fan, fits the definition more for me - badly behaved, substance abuser, wasted money on ridiculous indulgences, married an actress. 'Rock star' implies some kind of a) weirdness b) decadence c) muso pretension to me. Robbie Williams is an enormous star here, but he isn't a 'rock star'.

Mind, is Dave Matthews a rock star? Because he plays the same size venues as Jens Lekmann over here, but in the US is substantially more famous.
posted by mippy at 3:42 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


What was the point of this article?
I ultimately thought it provided an interesting perspective on how she got to not only learn about Travis' prior life, but re-live it with him. My wife was a very different person several years before I met her. She always told me I would not have been friends with the old her. For now, I learn about her past life through stories and photos. In the case of this article, she gets thrown right in the middle of it all and gets to see it firsthand.

It also opens the question of "Rock Star" status. I personally think she was being a bit facetious with the title, but what would you call it? Her SO books a tour, at respectible sized venues, that quickly sells out. She went along with him to shows and festivals where he is being adored by fans. "Rock Star" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Travis Morrison, but I'm not in her shoes and I can see how the thought might cross her mind.
posted by bwilms at 4:50 AM on July 25, 2012


To me, rock stars are people who may or may not be at all famous or beloved by fans and who may or may not be technically gifted musicians/writers but who, as performers, ooze charisma and embody the ineffable quality of rock-n-rollness.

Some rockstars: Jack White, Dave Davies, Aimee Mann, Brian Jones, Mahalia Jackson, Gene Clark, Alex Chilton, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, Nina Simone, Glenn Gould, Koko Taylor, Link Wray, Johnny Cash (+ June = doubleplus rockstar), Tom Waits, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan in 1966, Arthur Lee, Mozart

Great artists but not rockstars: Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, Hank Williams Jr., Roger McGuinn, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan in 1975, George Jones, The Beatles, Chopin
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:51 AM on July 25, 2012


Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, Hank Williams Jr., Marvin Gaye, The BEATLES, not rock stars??

I must protest in the strongest possible terms you perversion of the term "Rock Star."

Rock star is ultimately about the myth or fantasy fans impose on a person, and it's why it's such a difficult role to play, because at the end of the day, it has very little to do with the actual person who gets beleaguered with that role, it's about the myraid expectations and definitions of that person that the media machine and their material and art has built around them, and how it becomes such a personal message for many many many people, but at the end of the day is an illusion. A fantasy. A personal mythos externalized onto another.

It's the same reason most rock stars can't be with anyone who buys into that, or anyone who isn't also a "rock star" or "celebrity," because for anyone who doesn't understand the sleight of hand of it, for a "rock star" it completely destroys any chance at their own selves, their own real selves being loved regardless of any of that baggage, which at the end of the day is just in reality a very small and very unreal part of that person...

I think with someone like Travis M. that term should be mostly ironic in nature btw....

I think his GF may actually be misusing that term herself to delineate her own special status with him.
posted by Skygazer at 7:25 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would say that conventional rockstars are sort of sanitized and made presentable for the masses. The public wants their rockstars to be larger than life and over the top, but not too over the top or crazy because then you get into GG Allin territory. Jack White is just Billy Childish for the masses, or wishes he was.

Pete Townshend and Ray Davies are interesting rockstars because they really have a quiet sense of humility now that they're old. Rockstars should only age like Iggy Pop.

Can indie rock produce rockstars? Probably not, but then again "indie" is more an aesthetic now than a way of doing business.

It's cute that she feels her husband is a rockstar. Hell, I'd be hurt if my husband didn't come to my shows (but we met through the scene). It just seems like she's gotten some good stories of this but really seems too good for it.
posted by kendrak at 7:27 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ellen & Ben is one of my favorite-ever songs.

Worth reading is one of the pitchfork writer's personal anecdotes about the couple from that song. (Go to the 2001 entry on that article.)
posted by symbollocks at 12:38 PM on July 25, 2012


The BEATLES, not rock stars?

OK, I will grant that if we take Ringo's detachment and fashion flair + John's balls-out tortured artist thing + Paul's general magnetism + George's dark horse introversion, then yes, The Beatles add up to one (1) rockstar. That seems like a fair compromise.

Can indie rock produce rockstars?

Every genre/flavor of the arts has its rockstars, and indie/alt certainly has had many folks who are lousy with mystique and emit fearsome bolts of creative charisma like so many Tesla coils. Such as: Will Oldham, Neko Case, Cass McCombs, Cat Power, John Macauley of Deer Tick, possibly Joanna Newsom, possibly Simone Felice, Howe Gelb, some might say Will Sheff or Conor Oberst or Craig Finn, and the Grand Imperial Poobah herownself: PJ Harvey, who will still be a rockstar when she's 105.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:14 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm one of the creeper fans, because a long, long time ago, I emailed Travis to ask him to my prom. In a really sweet gesture, he actually said yes! Until I had to admit that I lived several states away from him.
posted by ohkay at 1:31 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


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