Join 3,517 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You don't have to leave Justin alone.
March 10, 2013 7:29 PM   Subscribe

Short Song For Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi by John Darnielle. [slv]
posted by cthuljew (43 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
You were supposed to try.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:45 PM on March 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


To answer your question, yes.
posted by someone is wrong on the internet at 7:45 PM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love John Darnielle and everything he does forever okay? Okay.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


Not that I'd wish it on the guy, but it's a pretty big injustice that Justin Bieber has an army of paparazzi, while John Darnielle has none.
posted by schmod at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


John Darnielle doesn't wear diaper pants, though, so he can probably just outrun the paparazzi better.
posted by maryr at 8:08 PM on March 10, 2013


This is not a very good They Might Be Giants song.
posted by Nomyte at 8:11 PM on March 10, 2013


I don't like his music and sure, he can come across as annoying, but what teenage boy isn't? He grew up poor and had a passion for music and was discovered on Youtube after his mother uploaded some of his competition videos for the family to see. What 14 year old boy wouldn't take an opportunity like that to help out his family? I'm sure he wasn't thinking of all the paparazzi getting up in his face at that moment.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:13 PM on March 10, 2013


It's a lovely song (though I agree the abortion line doesn't quite fit, even though I get why it's there). Seems like just a small, nice thing Darnielle wanted to do for him.

It's not parody or satire cjorgensen, pretty sure it's sincere. But here's another, even shorter song that may be more relevant to your question. Music is pretty subjective: his singing sounds particularly good to me here.
posted by catchingsignals at 8:24 PM on March 10, 2013


[Let's try this without the first-comment thrashing, maybe? ]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:27 PM on March 10, 2013


John should try taking his own advice. He certainly fails with this song.
posted by dobbs at 8:28 PM on March 10, 2013


<333
posted by subdee at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is the incident that prompted this song.

As you can see, the paparazzi in question was an asshole ("fucking little cock, fuck off back to America").
posted by subdee at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2013


Really? I didn't think he was being an asshole at all.
posted by maryr at 8:35 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahem. Badly timed comment. The paparazzi was a total asshole. I did not think John Darnielle was being an asshole in this video.
posted by maryr at 8:37 PM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here is the incident that prompted this song.

Someone send this to Leveson, I'm sure he'll do something about it.
posted by catchingsignals at 8:38 PM on March 10, 2013


I so wanted that song to go on far longer than it did.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:44 PM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Nation Agrees Justin Bieber’s Inevitable Meltdown Could Be Interesting To Watch"
posted by Nomyte at 8:47 PM on March 10, 2013


:D @ your second comment, maryr. For a second I was like, but he is yelling insults the whole time?

However, another side to the story:
Charles Murray, a cameraman for 5 News witnessed the incident and said it was "an angry outburst".

He added: "He deliberately went out of his way to shove the photographer. The photographer shouted back at him as Bieber got into his car.

"Bieber then decided to get back out of the car and slapped his camera out of the way."
Probably the most ironic thing in this video is the paparazzi who tries to cover the camera that turns to film him after Bieber is gone.
posted by subdee at 8:51 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bieber gets way more shit than even other comparably famous celebrities. Like, a lot more. It still blows my mind that half the comments on articles about those two guys who were going to castrate/kill him were jokes supporting the (would-be) killers.

Like seriously, in what world does being a pop star mean it's okay for people to call for your torture and murder?
posted by subdee at 9:03 PM on March 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


On an at least tangentially related note, I've been finding Damon Lindelof's multiday obsession with Justin Bieber's canary-yellow, spiked baseball cap on Twitter to be a most amusing distraction from the war, injustice and dark portents of impending doom in the newsier part of my Twitter feed.
posted by gompa at 10:05 PM on March 10, 2013


Like seriously, in what world does being a pop star mean it's okay for people to call for your torture and murder?

Apparently, the Internet.
posted by cthuljew at 10:22 PM on March 10, 2013


It is probably a bad sign that I have been listening to this dude since the days he was recording cassettes for Shrimper, but as soon as I read the title of the song I thought: that sounds like a Mountain Goats song title.

Except that now "Short Song for Justin Bieber" is actually a message on the subject of Justin Bieber! Bizarrely literal, John. Back in the day, it would be called "Short Song for the Hapax Legomenon" and would read as follows:
I stood above the orchard
Smelled the sweet fumes of the traffic
I loved you so much right then
I loved you so much
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:43 PM on March 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Not that I'd wish it on the guy, but it's a pretty big injustice that Justin Bieber has an army of paparazzi, while John Darnielle has none.Last Plane To Jakarta forum he mentioned knowing where Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) lived and how he kept it secret because people would show up at his house or try and follow him.

This video isn't working on my phone. I'm going to assume that it's filled with ineffable truth, an empathy for Bieber, a sense of humor and an infectious joy tempered by wisdom.

This isn't the first song he's written about a celebrity. For Charles Bronson is about maintaining your public persona and Michael Myers Resplendent is about doing your job, even in a disreputable medium.

I need to dig up that fanfic he wrote about Axl Rose and Eminem.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:57 AM on March 11, 2013


Is Bieber accused of anything like beating up his cat? I'm curious why he was hiding in the video subdee posted. I'm not sure why you wouldn't just wave and step in your vehicle and drive away.
posted by johnpowell at 1:21 AM on March 11, 2013


That was a great, short song.

Though it could have been Political song for Michael Jackson to Sing

Actually, maybe it couldn't.
But what was was pretty great.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:22 AM on March 11, 2013


I don't follow many creators on Twitter because I've learned that I usually don't want to hear what they have to say. But I follow Darnielle and recommend him even if you aren't a Mountain Goats fan.

(One morning he RTed me and I was like, "I should just head to bed right now because nothing better is going to happen this day!")
posted by Legomancer at 5:26 AM on March 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


As you can see, the paparazzi in question was an asshole ("fucking little cock, fuck off back to America").

This was obviously in response to Bieber going out of his way to shove him on the way out - you can see bieber doesn't take a direct line to the car door and that the paps start suggesting assault and asking 'what was that about?' before the tirade you quote.
posted by biffa at 6:09 AM on March 11, 2013


It's a bit of a jump between "Hey, jerk, you pushed me" and "Get out of my country, you little fucker". I'm not saying Bieber should have pushed him, but usually when a guy gets pushed, assault charges are not bandied about quite so quickly.
posted by maryr at 7:52 AM on March 11, 2013


This isn't the first song he's written about a celebrity.

Far from being the first, I'd say "tragic or semi-tragic celebrities" is a John Darnielle obsession. All Eternals Deck has three (Charles Bronson, Liza Manelli, Judy Garland), Trascendetal Youth has that song about Frankie Lymon, there's that song about Dana Plato. If you add in the sub-set "songs about the tragic deaths of reggae singers" that's a pretty decent short Mountain Goats album, right there.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:54 AM on March 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


maryr: Verbal abuse is worse then assault? The instigator did have to be restrained from coming back for more also, which does not go in his favour. Can't we agree they're both arseholes?
posted by biffa at 8:46 AM on March 11, 2013


beautyandmakeup4eva
9 hours ago
Cute but justin lay off the weed its doing bad things to u
posted by naju at 8:53 AM on March 11, 2013


I'm quite fond of his song about Amy Winehouse as tragic-mythic archetype
posted by naju at 9:00 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love John Darnielle and everything he does forever okay?

I used to feel that way, but ... that was disappointing. (I admit I have no idea why Biebs is in the paparazzi news ...)

I'll just close my eyes and flash back to Fall of the High School Running Back or My Favorite Things and pretend it's 2002 again. JD looks old (as do I).

there's that song about Dana Plato

Or that one. One of his best.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:13 AM on March 11, 2013


I don't follow many creators on Twitter because I've learned that I usually don't want to hear what they have to say. But I follow Darnielle and recommend him even if you aren't a Mountain Goats fan.

the Last Plane to Jakarta archive is worth browsing as well.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:18 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Per twitter, it sounds like he spent all of half an hour writing that song, so I'm not shocked that it's fine, but not great. I've also decided to make my peace with the fact that John Darnielle is not going to keep churning out songs like the ones that made me love the Mountain Goats. I'm not one of those "stagnation = death" types but it seems like Darnielle is and that works for him and he seems convinced that whatever he's doing right now is the best work he's ever done and I find that endearing, even if what he's doing at any given moment doesn't do it for me that much.

In conclusion, I try not to be one of those people that goes to shows and yells for the first Mountain Goats song they ever heard because it's clearly the perfect Mountain Goats song and they paid $30 to hear "Cubs in Five" and nothing else.

BUT, if he wanted to do that cover of "I think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" that I love so much I won't like storm the stage to stop him.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:27 AM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


$30?!?! I am old.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2013


biffa - yes, I think we can definitely agree they are both arseholes.
posted by maryr at 12:20 PM on March 11, 2013


This is proof that it is basically impossible for me to hear John Darnielle sing without smiling, no matter what he's singing about. Someday I'd like to know what devils he made deals with.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:57 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't like his music and sure, he can come across as annoying, but what teenage boy isn't?

I think John Darnielle is like 46 or 47 now.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:08 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]



rhiannonstone, I think John's written about all the devil's he's made peace with.

Per twitter, it sounds like he spent all of half an hour writing that song, so I'm not shocked that it's fine, but not great. I've also decided to make my peace with the fact that John Darnielle is not going to keep churning out songs like the ones that made me love the Mountain Goats. I'm not one of those "stagnation = death" types but it seems like Darnielle is and that works for him and he seems convinced that whatever he's doing right now is the best work he's ever done and I find that endearing, even if what he's doing at any given moment doesn't do it for me that much.

I interviewed him once and he said he doesn't wait for inspiration. He 'chases inspiration down an alleyway and steals its lunch money'. It's pretty inspiring that he can make a song about ANYTHING sound good.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:09 PM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I interviewed him once and he said he doesn't wait for inspiration. He 'chases inspiration down an alleyway and steals its lunch money'. It's pretty inspiring that he can make a song about ANYTHING sound good.

Yeah, that bit at the beginning of "You Were Cool" about using the same four chords so that the idea doesn't get away from him is pretty clearly true. It works for me, mostly because I care way more about lyrics than about music.
posted by Ragged Richard at 3:14 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know you're getting old when you remember when pop idols used to be stars, not lightning-rods.

And they used to say the 60s were crazy.
posted by Twang at 8:26 PM on March 11, 2013


I've also decided to make my peace with the fact that John Darnielle is not going to keep churning out songs like the ones that made me love the Mountain Goats. I'm not one of those "stagnation = death" types but it seems like Darnielle is and that works for him and he seems convinced that whatever he's doing right now is the best work he's ever done and I find that endearing, even if what he's doing at any given moment doesn't do it for me that much.

I feel similarly sometimes, but I enjoy his creative persona enough that it leads me around to liking whatever he's doing at the moment. We've all got our particular favorites though, and I think he does a good job of balancing songs from different periods of his career when he plays live for that reason.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:29 AM on March 12, 2013


« Older Path of Exile is an independent game developed by ...  |  "You may have noticed that the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments