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"The idea of selling out is only understandable to people of privilege."
August 13, 2013 8:04 AM   Subscribe

How Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy learned to grow up and start firing his friends.
posted by Kitteh (129 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
The title of this post is a damned good pull quote.

It really irks me when smart people are dismissive of popular things, merely because they're popular.
posted by DigDoug at 8:30 AM on August 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


Jeff Tweedy, Wilco’s frontman and arguably Chicago’s most iconic indie rocker

A single tear for Steve Albini.

The Wilco loft headquarters a band that’s earned a reputation as one of the most independent acts in rock ’n’ roll.

A single tear for Fugazi.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2013 [45 favorites]


Great post, thanks. My favorite bit (other than this post's title): "But when Uncle Tupelo ended, it became very obvious that we were in a business, because we owed people money."
posted by yerfatma at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


I'm pretty surprised how little money one makes as the king of indie dad rock.
posted by JPD at 8:41 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Firing Jay Bennett was the biggest mistake the band ever made. His contributions to Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot were enormous, and the band never reached those highs after he was kicked out. I'm not sure if the decision was "grown-up" or simply the result of two egos clashing.
posted by naju at 8:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [23 favorites]


The idea of selling out is only understandable to people of privilege.

I can understand where they are coming from, but it seems like a risky attitude to have as a musician. You rely on your public image so much, but being seen as selling out can risk it. How much of a risk it represents depends on the genre, I'd suppose.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:46 AM on August 13, 2013


when Uncle Tupelo ended, it became very obvious that we were in a business, because we owed people money. . . . Tweedy resolved to stay out of the red. “Bills get paid first, we get paid last, and we live within our means — that was the basic idea,” he says.

I remember reading the Rolling Stone interview with the Commodores after "Brick House" and "Easy" were making them some money. They were saying similar pragmatic things, like "This year, everybody gets a Buick. Maybe next year everbody gets a Mercedes."

Of course, they had the recent example of Isaac Hayes' bankruptcy to learn from.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:47 AM on August 13, 2013


Look at me, I'm an artist but I've absorbed bourgeois values! Congratulate me!
posted by mobunited at 8:49 AM on August 13, 2013 [25 favorites]


I've got to agree with naju about Jay Bennett. I loved Wilco from A.M. up through parts of A Ghost Is Born, but everything since is just awful.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:54 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you do the thing with drums-bass-two guitars, playing short songs with verse/chorus/verse structure, you've already sold out, haven't you? Compared to Throbbing Gristle, or the guy who does live circuit bending while people throw darts at him, or what have you.

Personally I have no problem with bands making money, I think it's cool.
posted by thelonius at 8:55 AM on August 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


There should be some way to hook indie rockers like Jeff Tweedy up wth a rapper as a business advisor. Some of those guys have some business acument. RZA has has a complex network of shell companies he uses for publishing, movie soundtracks, etc. Birdman owns an oil company. Even Chief Keef has a record label and he is like 18.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:56 AM on August 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


the guy who does live circuit bending while people throw darts at him

Pretty sure that guy sold out, I saw him in an Old Spice commercial.
posted by oulipian at 8:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look at me, I'm an artist but I've absorbed bourgeois values!

What "bourgeois values" exactly are you trying to mock, here? Not being in debt?
posted by en forme de poire at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2013 [53 favorites]


Look at me, I'm an artist but I've absorbed bourgeois values! Congratulate me!

As opposed to what, exactly? "Look at me, I'm at artist who let myself get ripped off by the record companies because I was so obsessed with being above it all that I never bothered to understand the contracts I was signing. Congratulate me!"
posted by yoink at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2013 [31 favorites]


Weird to process exactly where I stand on this one. I don't think Tweedy's the devil for licensing songs for commercials or trying to make sure he makes money on the band rather than losing it. But I do think that it's interesting that Wilco went from great to not worth a damn around the time the arrangements praised in this article snapped into place (count me in on the opinion that firing Jay Bennett gutted the band creatively).
posted by COBRA! at 9:06 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sometimes bad artistic decisions are made at the same time as good business decisions but are not necessarily consequences of each other.

Artists needn't dedicate themselves lives of poverty as an obligation to their fans.
posted by ardgedee at 9:08 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A. only you know if you've sold out, so all such accusations are bullshit -- something a film prof said way back when in film school.

B. I was a fan of Wilco right up until I saw the movie (I am trying to break your Heart). It just left me feeling drained. There was no joy in it. Like wallowing in someone else's depression for 90 minutes. A stigma that has stayed with me.

Not that I haven't heard some good music since, I've just been wary of getting too close.

This, on the other hand, is pure fun.
posted by philip-random at 9:08 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK dudes I'm totally sorry and it's just awesome that he's assumed dictatorial command of what was supposed to have been a collective project because he says he was reluctant. Counterculture! Beards! Steely pragmatism!
posted by mobunited at 9:15 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


With Jay Bennett and Ken Coomer Wilco made some really great records and were a fun, but likely unprofitable, band that looked like they enjoyed the music they made. Post-Coomer and definitely post-Bennett Wilco became a boring band of guys that didn't want day jobs playing whatever lame songs Tweedy wrote without being pushed by Bennett.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 9:16 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


What Jay Bennett's death made me realize about Wilco

I highly recommend his (largely ignored) post-Wilco solo album, The Palace at 4 A.M.
posted by naju at 9:17 AM on August 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


> The idea of selling out is only understandable to people of privilege.

Sorry about that, Robert Johnson.
posted by jfuller at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK dudes I'm totally sorry and it's just awesome that he's assumed dictatorial command of what was supposed to have been a collective project because he says he was reluctant. Counterculture! Beards! Steely pragmatism!

So not wanting to make every group decision by consensus is a "bourgeois value"?
posted by en forme de poire at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2013


I highly recommend his (largely ignored) solo album, The Palace at 4 A.M.

Well, it was a collaboration with Edward Burch, but yes, it was one of the finest albums of the decade in my book. Have you heard the acoustic version?
posted by entropicamericana at 9:22 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK dudes I'm totally sorry and it's just awesome that he's assumed dictatorial command of what was supposed to have been a collective project because he says he was reluctant. Counterculture! Beards! Steely pragmatism!

Perhaps you aren't aware of the back story - but Tweedy was kind of an asshole to his bandmates even before he became some business genius. I suspect the "dictatorial command" is more of him being a control freak than a capitalist running dog.
posted by JPD at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2013


I haven't, but it sounds like I should.
posted by naju at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2013


...but Tweedy was kind of an asshole to his bandmates even before he became some business genius.

Was? Wasn't that the whole reason Uncle Tupelo fell apart?
posted by playertobenamedlater at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2013


I don't think I said he ceased to be an asshole. Just that the "being an asshole" part came first.
posted by JPD at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remember when we all thought it was Jay Farrar who was going to be the winner in the break-up?
posted by JPD at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


...but Tweedy was kind of an asshole to his bandmates even before he became some business genius.

I've always wondered what the story is with John "Rasputin" Stiratt, the only person to stay in the Tweedy musical orbit since the late Tupeloid era.
posted by COBRA! at 9:29 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Was? Wasn't that the whole reason Uncle Tupelo fell apart?

I thought it was because Farrar was a bigger asshole, which led Tweedy to swear he wouldn't get out-assholed again.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


i really enjoyed this - thanks for posting it.

asshole or no - musicians who find their own way forward without huge advances are doing something right.
posted by nadawi at 9:33 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crappy-hipster-band frontman launches PR campaign amidst criticism about selling out to convince critics and on-the-fence fans that he's not selling out.

Seems like a solid financial move to me.
posted by hellslinger at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2013


i would always rather a band pick where they sell out than have to sing under another fucking pepsi banner because that's who the label has a deal with.
posted by nadawi at 9:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wait, Wilco are a hipster band now? Whoa.
posted by Cosine at 9:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wilco is not a band I ever got into, but I'm always interested in reading about musicians who find a way to negotiate the business side of the music business instead of getting screwed over from the word go. We always hear how the business is changing, so let's hear how musicians change with it.

(Similarly, that stuff about the rappers and their shell businesses is fascinating.)
posted by immlass at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


So "privilege" has gone from a specific sociological term to a generic insult for not-poor people. Great.
posted by GuyZero at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


hipster is a nonsense word. the only thing it reliably means is "them, not us" with a sprinkling of either youth or beards or both.
posted by nadawi at 9:47 AM on August 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Remember when we all thought it was Jay Farrar who was going to be the winner in the break-up?

Well, A.M. versus Trace, who would you have picked? Trace is a stone-cold classic.

I wish Jay would drop the higher, affected voice he's been using for the last few years. And hire the Boquists back.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:47 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently, hipster is the new Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: a word you say when you have nothing to say.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


I thought it was because Farrar was a bigger asshole, which led Tweedy to swear he wouldn't get out-assholed again.

I've never pursued this very far (I came down on the Farrar side mainly because I preferred his voice and Trace), but I'd like to point out I'm very lucky I'm not permanently labeled by my behavior in my 20s.
posted by yerfatma at 9:50 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Bill Withers had a pretty good quote in the documentary Still Bill to the effect that if he'd been running a paint store, no-one would have faulted him for selling as much paint as he could. It's art to the fans, a business to the (professional) musicians.

I also recall a quote from Wes Montgomery about how he had a wife and kids to feed and couldn't afford to get too worked up about whether jazz purists were going to be upset if he did an album with strings.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:56 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hipster: the only thing it reliably means is "them, not us"

I just meant boring, milquetoast indy rock that kids who wear tight pants, have ironic facial hair, and ride fixed gear bikes listen to. Maybe that's only true where I come from...
posted by hellslinger at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guarantee that its not even true where you come from. You're just painting a bunch of people you don't know with a facile brush. Hating people for the way they dress is something you should grow out of after high school.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [22 favorites]


I, for one, liked "The Whole Love". It's their best album since "A Ghost is Born". So instead of continuing to gripe about post-YHF Wilco *11 years later*, maybe give it a listen.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:00 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Whether he's an asshole or not doesn't really seem relevant to the topic. Most assholes I know don't have a hard time firing people.

Look, in any walk of life, the smart way to approach the financial part of your career (yes, folks, being an artist is a career) is to ask "Who is reaping the benefit from the value I create?" In an ideal world, you should reap most of that value. Or at least, you should be paid fairly for it. Obviously that is not always the case. This is why I have no problem with athletes making millions of dollars to play a game. Without them, there would be no product. No one pays to see an owner.

My point is, under the old model, where artists didn't "have to worry about money", and were supposed to "focus on their art"...someone, somewhere was making money off that premise, probably the record label. There have always been entrepreneurs in the music business. They just weren't typically the artists themselves. Just because an artist is successful and maybe even making a lot of money, doesn't mean they're not being exploited by others who are making even more money.

This is about Tweedy taking control of (and being accountable for) his music and his life, and capturing as much of the value that he creates for himself as possible. I have no issue with that. He's lucky to be in that position, and it mostly sounds like he recognizes his good fortune.
posted by dry white toast at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


wilco has been called "dad rock" for just about as they've been along. maybe hipster dads? but they don't usually wear the tight pants and their facial hair stopped being ironic (if it ever was*) a decade ago. you also usually see them in nice safe sedans or non-suv suvs.


*the whole hipster facial hair thing is such a silly claim - like, maybe when they're doing the shave off and do increasingly silly styles for a few days, but otherwise, it takes time to grow a good beard and the "hipster" guys i knew in the early 00s weren't doing it for irony - they were doing it because they sincerely liked the way it looked and felt (and the women and men who dated them also liked it).
posted by nadawi at 10:05 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


So "privilege" has gone from a specific sociological term to a generic insult for not-poor people. Great.

Wow, privilege privileging. You don't usually see weaponized snark like that outside a military black ops lab.

It really irks me when smart people are dismissive of popular things, merely because they're popular.

It's because many popular things have this funny characteristic of sucking, or at least of not not sucking. Popular things therefore have a hurdle to jump right out of the coolness gate.

Personally I have no problem with bands making money, I think it's cool.

To me, making money isn't the selling out part, it's the giving up your soul to the oligarchs part. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:07 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another amen to the "something was lost after Jay Bennett" chorus.

I saw him play an in-store for The Palace at 4 a.m. right after I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and was pleasantly surprised at what a winning, charming, instantly likable person he was. The only things he said about Tweedy were warm and complimentary, but he noted that his business people insisted he should shut up anyway.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:07 AM on August 13, 2013


> I was a fan of Wilco right up until I saw the movie (I am trying to break your Heart). It just left me feeling drained. There was no joy in it. Like wallowing in someone else's depression for 90 minutes. A stigma that has stayed with me.

Radiohead's Meeting People Is Easy makes I Am Trying... look like The Sound Of Music.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Meeting People Is Easy

The part where Thom Yorke couldn't get into the Radiohead after party and just kind of walks off into the night without even bothering to complain. He's like some kind of the Rock and Roll Charlie Brown.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:15 AM on August 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


Wow, privilege privileging. You don't usually see weaponized snark like that outside a military black ops lab.

Is privilege a descriptive term or something that some people should feel bad that they have?
posted by GuyZero at 10:16 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meeting People Is Easy

You can see the effect of this doc on suicide rates in most global charts.
posted by Cosine at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2013


Selling out? Tweedy IS the corporation. All of his best music has been made in collaboration with talented but limelight-shy musicians (Bennett, Farrar, Jim O'Rourke, LeRoy Bach, etc.) whom Tweedy then goes on to fire or contentiously split with. Wilco draws thousands to their shows based on the records he made with those people, and Tweedy gets to keep all the concert revenue -- minus whatever he's paying to John Stirratt and the Yes Men of the Month.
posted by meadowlark lime at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I, for one, liked "The Whole Love". It's their best album since "A Ghost is Born". So instead of continuing to gripe about post-YHF Wilco *11 years later*, maybe give it a listen.

Whatever else all this carping is about it's definitely not about actually listening to the music and forming an opinion about it.
posted by yoink at 10:28 AM on August 13, 2013


Great article, wish it had gone on longer. Plenty of good advice for young bands whatever your feeling or level of misinformation is about Tweedy.

1. Don't take big advances
2. Do talk to labels but do not let them dictate the terms of the discussion.
3. Stand by your artistic guns. You know what your audience wants better than anyone else. That continues even after you've failed once or twice.
4. Someone needs to be in charge of money. They may or may not be the person in charge of the musical decisions. Both sides should be motivated by being successful, not by friendships. Trying to be nice rather than pragmatic leads to more hurt feelings down the road.
5. Get really really good at playing live.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:32 AM on August 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Poor Thom. Some dude even yells "radiohead .. creep..... dickhead" at them after they won't let them into the club.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 AM on August 13, 2013


"hipster" means, to me, if you play someone music, they won't tell you if they like it or not until you tell them who it is
posted by thelonius at 10:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


i enjoyed the woodie gutherie project, new multitudes that included jay farrar (and jim james, will johnson, and anders parker). of course, i love every single thing will johnson touches.
posted by nadawi at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is privilege a descriptive term or something that some people should feel bad that they have?

¿Porque no los dos?

*Whole town celebrates*
posted by officer_fred at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I, for one, liked "The Whole Love". It's their best album since "A Ghost is Born". So instead of continuing to gripe about post-YHF Wilco *11 years later*, maybe give it a listen.

Whatever else all this carping is about it's definitely not about actually listening to the music and forming an opinion about it.


I'm baffled by the repeated insistence that people complaining about Wilco's creative direction haven't listened to the music. Really? Is it so impossible to believe that people might be speaking in good faith? You don't agree about Wilco's decline, fine, great, I'm genuinely happy that there's art that you enjoy. Really. But it's kind of a crap move to just work from the assumption that everyone who disagrees without you is talking out of their ass and hasn't listened to the music.
posted by COBRA! at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]



I saw him play an in-store for The Palace at 4 a.m. right after I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and was pleasantly surprised at what a winning, charming, instantly likable person he was.


Yeah, when I saw his picture after he joined Wilco, I was prepared to hate him because, well, white boy with dreads, but he was an incredibly likable and kind person.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2013


thelonius - so 9 year olds who want to know if it's katy perry or lady gaga before they tell you their opinion are hipsters? that seems an overly broad definition (which again just shows how meaningless it is).
posted by nadawi at 10:50 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone said above, your goals as a rock band change over the years. Some people think that rock music is all about tearing up rational thought. If so, I'm sorry to inform you but GG Allin already existed. There is no further over the edge of hardcore one can go. Just want to imitate a version of that in some garageband form? Go for it. You will achieve nothing, but in a really cool way. {this is where I've always been so don't think I'm bitter}

So do you want people to enjoy your music? OK then here are the musical parameters that will lead to that happening. Yes feel free to push against those as much as you want. But to make that happen you have to work hard, and so does everyone in the band. Plus you have to get people to see and hear you. You have a job? Too bad. Make time for it or remain loveable and either unheard or on a small club boutique regional tour level that could be satisfying but often frustrating.

You want to make a regular living at it? Like own a house, send a kid to college stuff? For 30 years? You're gonna need a kind of high level a rock and roll MBA. Good luck.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:50 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


To me, making money isn't the selling out part, it's the giving up your soul to the oligarchs part. ;)

Did I miss something? Is this not an article about how Jeff Tweedy got to a point where they don't have to work through a label? That they get about 80% cut of whatever they make, plus merch and tour rights? Who is the oligarchy here, the dude in the cardigan?
posted by Think_Long at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Jay Bennett hadn't been fired, they would never have hooked up with Nels Cline, who I'm pretty sure was a huge catalyst in pushing Wilco into the more experimental stuff in recent years.
posted by mkultra at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Is it so impossible to believe that people might be speaking in good faith?

I'm not saying that every single person in this thread who has expressed distaste for some or all or Wilco's music is arguing in bad faith. I'm saying that what has animated this discussion--what makes it important for people to declare their passionate distaste for Wilco has nothing much to do with whether or not they like the music.

If music discussions on venues like Metafilter were about what we did or did not happen to like listening to and nothing else then they'd be...well, they'd wouldn't happen at all, really. I mean, we might care about what our friends did and didn't happen to enjoy, but how much would we care about what a bunch of relative strangers did and didn't happen to enjoy? I guess they'd happen occasionally but they'd be low key "well, if you liked this then you might also like this" kinds of discussions.

What makes these discussions become embittered and passionate has almost nothing to do with the actual music and everything to do with a complicated calculus of social prestige. We want our tastes to say something about what kind of person we are, so it's in part about tribal allegiances. Of course, there's also the complex and somewhat paradoxical economy of prestige within which taste itself operates. We want our tastes to be rare enough to be valuable (i.e., if I like all the things everyone else likes, then my tastes cannot stand out and mark me as a person of note) but not so rare as to seem random (whereby you fall out of significance altogether). There are all kinds of entirely predictable gambits that this game leads to and which you'll see being played out on any given day on Metafilter. For example, there's the "that thing everyone else dismisses as populist drivel is actually IMPORTANT!" You get to increase the rarity-value of your tastes with reference to your sub-group by "daringly" embracing something that is generally dismissed as populist (the really daring version of this is the "Pop phenomenon of the moment is actually amazingly cutting-edge" gambit; the more normal version is to take up something that was dismissed out of hand as mainstream pop a decade or so ago and discover that it's actually the Greatest Thing Ever). Another version of the same thing is the "oh, sure, the Western/American version of that is crap, but if you listen to the Senegalese/Thai/Bengali version it's sublime! It doesn't matter if it's something that's seen as utterly mainstream in that cultural context, it will be rare enough in ours that championing it will earn you recognition for the relatively obscurity of your taste. Then there's the everyday "my favorite band is this band you won't have heard of" gambit--but the problem with that is what to do when other people do start hearing of the band? And worse, the terrible, terrible disaster that occurs when they actually like the band. Suddenly your investment in taste-obscurity is tanking! The market is flooded! The only thing to do is to short that opinion as hard and as fast as you can: "Oh, sure, they were great back when the right number of people were into them, but now they're populist crap!"
posted by yoink at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2013 [17 favorites]


You could cut and paste Gene Simmons and KISS into this article.
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Performative display of cultural capital is obnoxious, yes. But jesus. You really think that's what's happening here, yoink? The band has significantly changed its sound, members and philosophy throughout its career. Why would it surprise anyone that there are fans of specific eras, and that they have genuine opinions rather than performative ones?
posted by naju at 11:14 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying that every single person in this thread who has expressed distaste for some or all or Wilco's music is arguing in bad faith. I'm saying that what has animated this discussion--what makes it important for people to declare their passionate distaste for Wilco has nothing much to do with whether or not they like the music.

Fair enough. I guess the thing we maybe/probably disagree on is what percentage of the discussion falls under that umbrella. I'm not going to claim it's 0%, but it's certainly not 100%. And I more or less agree with your longer thesis, with the caveat that it's not a universal thing and that actual discussion of music on its own merits can and does happen here.
posted by COBRA! at 11:18 AM on August 13, 2013


Yeah, well, the business of making a decent living making music is about the same for Kiss or Wilco, except Kiss made their music in an era when there was more money floating around in the business. It's hard to imagine, if you run some back of the envelope numbers, that anybody but Tweedy is making more than an acceptable middle class income out of doing this thing that matters a lot to thousands or tens of thousands of people.
posted by wotsac at 11:19 AM on August 13, 2013


Hipster: the only thing it reliably means is "them, not us"

I just meant boring, milquetoast indy rock that kids who wear tight pants, have ironic facial hair, and ride fixed gear bikes listen to. Maybe that's only true where I come from...


So...you're agreeing that you meant "them, not us"?

And how the hell do you have "ironic" facial hair?
posted by straight at 11:24 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are all kinds of entirely predictable gambits that this game leads to and which you'll see being played out on any given day on Metafilter.

You forgot the most predictable gambit of all: "You are just trying to advertise your cultural capital, whereas I am talking about the music and my personal relationship to it. You are playing social-prestige games which I see through and have no interest in."
posted by DaDaDaDave at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


You could cut and paste Gene Simmons and KISS into this article.

You could. You could also view the whole world in black and white as long as you never need to go out in it.
posted by yerfatma at 11:36 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like Gene Simmons line about selling out. "yeah, we're sell-outs. We sell out every place we play." But Tweedy is nowhere near the level that Simmons is. I haven't seen any Wilco branded coffins yet.

Look, as some of the more rational minds in this thread have pointed out, if you are going to make a viable living as a musician these days, you have to make some choices. You can be the idealistic fool squatting in an abandoned factory and refusing to bow to the man for only so long. A better plan is what Tweedy is doing: take your product back from the man and control everything you can. If it means you have to make business decisions, that's no barrier to sleeping well at night. Especially if you are sleeping in your own bed, under your own roof, rather than freezing your ass off because you have standards.

And yeah, The Whole Love is a fine piece of work. For my money, their best since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
posted by Ber at 12:08 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


To me, making money isn't the selling out part, it's the giving up your soul to the oligarchs part. ;)

Did I miss something? Is this not an article about how Jeff Tweedy got to a point where they don't have to work through a label?


Yes, you missed the comment I quoted, which said:

"Personally I have no problem with bands making money, I think it's cool."

My reply was in the context of "bands" not Jeff Tweedy in particular.

"Tweedy" however will always make me think of Craig Ferguson referring to posts on The Tweety.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:16 PM on August 13, 2013


I'm not sure if the decision was "grown-up" or simply the result of two egos clashing.

If anyone's got enough of an opinion to take the time to argue it here, I'm reasonably sure they'd agree that Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett were both very talented musicians and songwriters and generally non-passive presences in their creative work, and that their collaborations produced several fantastic albums. (I'd put the Being There --> Summerteeth --> YHF progression up there against three consecutive albums by just about any band in pop history and be confident Wilco would hold their own.)

Given that art is an inherently ego-driven endeavour, it follows that their egos didn't always mesh seemlessly, and that over time it was likely if not inevitable that the conflicts would come to outweigh the harmonies. This happens time and again in any creative enterprise, and seems particularly endemic to pop music, where killer songwriting duos come together often to acheive heights they'd never have reached independently and then all but destroy each other in the process of trying to maintain the level of achievement. Call it the Lennon/McCartney (or Jagger/Richards) conundrum.

In any case, the "grown up" thing to do once the friction becomes impossible is to agree to stop hurting each other. It's rare to get total consensus on how to do so. The mess that results does not negate the work done together previously or separately afterward. As a music fan, thankfully, you're not actually required to pick a side.
posted by gompa at 12:23 PM on August 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


And yeah, The Whole Love is a fine piece of work. For my money, their best since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Also this.
posted by gompa at 12:24 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are people saying that the line up keeps changing? It looks like like current lineup has been in place since 2004. That's way longer than my friends have been at any of their jobs, for the most part.
posted by armacy at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are people saying that the line up keeps changing? It looks like like current lineup has been in place since 2004.

Yeah, Wilco's best understood as two separate bands: the Tupelo remnants plus Bennett that turned alt-country into lush experimental pop, and the post-Bennett ensemble that seems equally obsessed with long noise-rock experiments and gentle, tightly crafted pop songs. The second band took half a decade to actually find its true voice out of the remains of the first and still hasn't quite hit the sustained peak of the Bennett era, but I'd argue it's all been uphill since Sky Blue Sky.
posted by gompa at 12:34 PM on August 13, 2013


Wilco made a decision to trade the edge they used to have for a fat payday. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, it just trades one fan (me) for a host of new ones who like their new AM Gold Dad Rock. Maybe the well ran dry (sometime around A Ghost is Born, I reckon) and needed to keep going?

Also, attaching your music to a product cheapens it. Once I start associating a song I made an emotional connection to with Tide, or McDonalds... well... really?! I'm not supposed to have that relationship eroded a little?
posted by basicchannel at 12:46 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's hard to imagine, if you run some back of the envelope numbers, that anybody but Tweedy is making more than an acceptable middle class income out of doing this thing that matters a lot to thousands or tens of thousands of people.

That's the distasteful part of the article. Tweedy didn't just fight back against "The Man". He put the squeeze on his own band. He didn't get rid of Wilco's record label, he became the record label.
posted by Nahum Tate at 12:57 PM on August 13, 2013


"I'm pretty surprised how little money one makes as the king of indie dad rock."

I thought he was in the millions of dollars there in the article — even if that's gross, it still adds up to a 1 percent net.
posted by klangklangston at 12:58 PM on August 13, 2013


a lot of independent artists have their own record label - there's giant difference between dbpm and warner music group - he didn't put the squeeze on his band any more than ani difranco/righteous babe records did.
posted by nadawi at 1:02 PM on August 13, 2013


Tweedy is making more than an acceptable middle class income

I say this as someone who loves Wilco as a whole, has no problem with this article or Tweedy's behaviour while agreeing that Bennett was awesome and a great loss, and that Wilco has been stabilising into less interesting but still satisfying routes.

But I've seen estimates of Jeff Tweedy's net worth pegged at 9 million bucks.

That's pretty good dough and plenty more than middle class in my book. At least he lives a solid, neighbourhood Chicago life and kids at city schools, albeit in a nice one with a Michigan lake house
posted by C.A.S. at 1:03 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Then there's the everyday "my favorite band is this band you won't have heard of" gambit--but the problem with that is what to do when other people do start hearing of the band? And worse, the terrible, terrible disaster that occurs when they actually like the band. Suddenly your investment in taste-obscurity is tanking! The market is flooded! The only thing to do is to short that opinion as hard and as fast as you can: "Oh, sure, they were great back when the right number of people were into them, but now they're populist crap!""

Yeah, and then there's the asshole who won't believe that you actually like these bands because you like them (and don't like others because you don't like them) and presumes that it's always an elaborate pretense of social posturing, denying any other aesthetic considerations. Usually this type crops up because someone has slagged their favorite band as uncool, and so needs to salve that by denying the concept of cool altogether, and certainly alleging that the only way one could come to that conclusion is if social status posturing is the primary motivation for talking about their darlings.

Who do you think has spent more words in this thread on their given position?
posted by klangklangston at 1:04 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


if i really like an artist, i trust them to choose the deals that they think are good. i mean, wilco let vw use some songs, not mcdonalds, which i think matters. it's about knowing your band, cultivating your relationship with your fans, and not making moves that will alienate a majority of them while still remaining profitable.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on August 13, 2013


I'm pretty sure Nels Cline was living hand-to-mouth doing art-noise-jazz before this gig, so yeah, he doesn't make the returns Jeff does, however, for him its a solid, reliable gig that probably pays far more than he made before.

Hard to know what to think, but i have less of a hard time with that than with John Stirratt not owning a share of something he must have in the past.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:06 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


he didn't put the squeeze on his band any more than ani difranco/righteous babe records did.

Well, there is the whole part where they used to all own Wilco equally but he had his lawyer make the other dudes give back their shares and all, to the point where "Wilco" is just an alias for Jeff Tweedy.
posted by Nahum Tate at 1:07 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish there was a judge who could bang his gavel and call for order in this Court of Credibility masquerading as discussion thread.

I'm not sure what a lot of you think Tweedy, his employees and his fans owes you, but I would recommend you stop waiting for it.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:10 PM on August 13, 2013


"they all" describes a very long line of people -should they all own equal share and decision making power in the band most of them aren't a part of anymore? the lawyer writing to have the shares sold back part was about 1 dude who was fired from the band (and that's not a weird thing to have happen). do you have any other proof that the lawyer and tweedy strong armed or forced his current band into the arrangement or are you just filling in the blanks in the shittiest way possible?
posted by nadawi at 1:14 PM on August 13, 2013


Performative display of cultural capital is obnoxious, yes. But jesus. You really think that's what's happening here, yoink?

Again, not in every post but unquestionably in any of the ones that are specifically concerned with the question of "what does it say about you if you listen to Wilco." The question of whether Wilco is music for Dads or for hipsters or for hipster Dads or...fill in the blanks...is entirely motivated by anxiety about "what does professing a liking for this music say about who I am and where I belong" and not at all motivated by the question "do I like this music."

Yeah, and then there's the asshole who won't believe that you actually like these bands because you like them


Yes, that imaginary person you are very angry with does sound like an asshole. Let's hope s/he doesn't show up in this thread anytime soon (because, you know, s/he hasn't yet).

As I said before and will say again for the hard of reading: I am not disputing anybody's ability to genuinely and unfeignedly like or dislike anything. I'm saying that what makes these discussions heated and what drags them into the "if you like X you are a bad person but if you like Y you are a good person" area that they always devolve into is essentially unrelated to those questions and is far more deeply rooted in the social messages (and personal prestige) associated with professing liking/disliking for X or Y.

Usually this type crops up because someone has slagged their favorite band as uncool


Yes. That single Wilco album I own (YHF, if it matters) sure testifies to my deep personal identification with Mr. Tweedy and explains my need to White Knight for him against all comers.
posted by yoink at 1:22 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


hellslinger: I just meant boring, milquetoast indy rock that kids who wear tight pants, have ironic facial hair, and ride fixed gear bikes listen to. Maybe that's only true where I come from...

I think it's only true where you come from. Not only are no "indie rock" kids riding fixed geared bikes, but the guys riding fixed geared bikes are NOT listening to milquetoast indie rock music. And with that mention, the owner of Relapse Records happens to own a pizza place that has one of the best track teams in the nation 8) (likewise, if you can gulp down the insane illegalities and lack of empathy for the public, MASH and Macaframa bike videos will show you that these guys aren't "hipsters" as you are thinking of).

I was always of the opinion that selling out wasn't selling out unless you expressly had lyrics or an attitude/image that was anticonsumerism or anti-authoritarian or whatever. A prime example would be the Minor Threat and Nike controversy from a few years ago that I think was posted on the blue (I'm on my phone so I can't reliably check right now). I remember hearing Her Space Holiday (the project from the vocalist of Indian Summer, an awesome screamo/punk band) in a car commercial a few years back and thinking to myself "way to go Marc Bianchi, you finally made it."
posted by gucci mane at 1:25 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


dudes give back their shares and all

Sell back at par value. We don't know what par value was but I am guessing it was nominal. Like 1 cent per share nominal.

Anyone here know how you would accurately value a band, at the point they sold the shares back?

That is an interesting question I think.

Just today, Gucci Mane offered to sell his interest in Wakka Flocka Flame for 1 million.

"I will sell all rights to Waka Flocka Flame for 1M. His next 3albums & my percentage of his publishing mechanicals and touring.

Anyone have any insight into how he came up with that number?
posted by Ad hominem at 1:25 PM on August 13, 2013


"but the guys riding fixed geared bikes are NOT listening to milquetoast indie rock "

No, they're always blaring dubstep from shitty boomboxes bungied to their frames.
posted by klangklangston at 1:31 PM on August 13, 2013


Discussion of the whole Bennett/Tweedy breakdown thing tends to overstate the "creative egos" angle and underplay the "former drug buddies" angle. The subtext to the doc is that it seemed like Tweedy & Bennett were getting along great when they were both using, but that they had grown apart as Tweedy was trying to distance himself from all that. This article reinforces the idea that Bennett was canned in the midst of a slow drive on Tweedy's part to sober up and build a very stable, very reliable lineup with no loose cannons who would potentially show up drunk or miss rehearsals or things like that.
posted by anazgnos at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was always of the opinion that selling out wasn't selling out unless you expressly had lyrics or an attitude/image that was anticonsumerism or anti-authoritarian or whatever. A prime example would be the Minor Threat and Nike controversy from a few years ago that I think was posted on the blue (I'm on my phone so I can't reliably check right now). I remember hearing Her Space Holiday (the project from the vocalist of Indian Summer, an awesome screamo/punk band) in a car commercial a few years back and thinking to myself "way to go Marc Bianchi, you finally made it."

I've had sort of the same thoughts, but I can never really pin down boundaries. I saw Public Enemy a few months ago, and the show was sponsored by Sennheiser sound gear, with Chuck D even taking a moment of stage time to thank them for it. It's pretty easy to make an argument that Public Enemy taking any money from any corporation is a massive sellout and betrayal of everything the band stands for.* There were points in my life when I would have made that argument. But now, I don't know. It's not like PE is obviously writing songs with corporate sponsorships in mind. And in this particular case, hell, its entirely possible that Chuck D has a genuine affinity for Sennheiser gear. On the other hand, I'm acutely aware that I might just be making excuses for a band I like to be hypocritical. Maybe I am. Maybe it doesn't matter. it probably doesn't really matter in the end.

*You can also make the argument, of course, that claiming any sort of integrity or moral high ground while Flavor Flav is part of your act is at this point kind of a sellout. But there's a lot of nuance to be worked out with that one, too.
posted by COBRA! at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


i don't know very many people who listen to just one type of music (even if some have a predominant genre they enjoy). it seems like the idea that a certain social group only listens to/watches/engages with a certain type of media is a way to other those who a person feels they don't identify with.
posted by nadawi at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


9 year olds who want to know if it's katy perry or lady gaga before they tell you their opinion are hipsters?

I admire nothing as much as a well-bitten bullet, Yes, those 9 year olds are hipsters.
posted by thelonius at 1:37 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


COBRA! i've known of a few bands who once they start to make it a little big they're offered all sorts of gear, and everyone who i've heard talk about it is super fucking stoked by it. fender/martin/orange/sennheiser calls you up and ask if you want to use their gear on stage - that's fucking rad. that shit is expensive and most musicians i know have a serious gear buying tendencies. to be able to pick what you want from a catalog and not have to spend even more of your advance that you're not going to pay back is awesome. those deals don't even seem like they're on par with volkswagon or mcdonalds or nike - that right there is a symbiotic relationship that obviously helps both - i don't see a bright line between taking gear and using it on stage and playing under a banner advertising that gear.

...now, with every single artist and band that jimmy iovinne touches suddenly loves beats by dre, i do question it - but that's just because the product is shit and i have a hard time believing that if these bands were able to have any headphones they wanted they'd choose those.
posted by nadawi at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


thelonius, which brings me back to the second part of the comment that you left off - that seems an overly broad definition (which again just shows how meaningless it is).
posted by nadawi at 1:43 PM on August 13, 2013


klangklangston: No, they're always blaring dubstep from shitty boomboxes bungied to their frames.

I have yet to see that. I don't know how they accommodate that into their frames, which are pretty specifically designed if they are actual track frames or track frames designed to be on the road (like Leaders sort of are).

COBRA!: I've had sort of the same thoughts, but I can never really pin down boundaries. I saw Public Enemy a few months ago, and the show was sponsored by Sennheiser sound gear, with Chuck D even taking a moment of stage time to thank them for it. It's pretty easy to make an argument that Public Enemy taking any money from any corporation is a massive sellout and betrayal of everything the band stands for.* There were points in my life when I would have made that argument. But now, I don't know. It's not like PE is obviously writing songs with corporate sponsorships in mind. And in this particular case, hell, its entirely possible that Chuck D has a genuine affinity for Sennheiser gear. On the other hand, I'm acutely aware that I might just be making excuses for a band I like to be hypocritical. Maybe I am. Maybe it doesn't matter. it probably doesn't really matter in the end.

Well, is Sennheiser actually a bad corporation? Do they take part in sketchy work practices, treat their workers poorly, buy politicians in order to further their dominance, etc.? I can see how it would be treated as selling out, but I also agree with you that it probably doesn't really matter in the end. Sennheiser could be a totally fine corporation with no problems at all who are just trying to put their name out with an incredibly popular/influential rap group and figure they could also hook the group up with some additional money.
posted by gucci mane at 1:49 PM on August 13, 2013


So liking Wilco isn't cool anymore? Then I say fuck being cool.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:03 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hipster Privilege.

I don’t know what that means, I was just hoping to be the first to say it. It’s the kind of thing you say and everyone nods their heads, although they have no idea what you’re talking about.
posted by bongo_x at 2:08 PM on August 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


nadawi, it is indeed too broad. I was actually thinking of a specific incident when I posted it, where someone steadfastly refused to offer an opinion on a slab of music, lest they be caught out admitting to enjoying something that they normally deemed beyond the pale.

However, I do not agree that only things which may be defined precisely exist, which seems to be what you are getting at in your argument. Can you tell me all the rules you follow to recognize a friend's face? Of course not, but that does not mean that you can't recognize faces, or that faces look different from one another. I don't accept that, if you can't present a list of formal criteria for who is and who is not a "hipster", that the term is therefore meaningless as a signifier of a loose subculture. Consider how many other concepts would be meaningless, if subjected to this kind of criterion.

This is not a crusade for me; I do not devote a lot of energy to sneering at purported hipsters. And going around insisting that, since you've succeeded in classifying someone as a hipster, you know everything about them, is obviously a stupid way to behave. But I've never found the idea that there is no such thing persuasive at all. The term has been in use since about 1957. That's a pretty long life span for a social idea that nothing corresponds to.
posted by thelonius at 2:14 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Does this mean it's OK for Jay Leno to do Doritos commercials?
posted by bukvich at 2:23 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reading this article and the subsequent comments makes me really long for being born into a world where "rock and roll" never existed. Fuck all this shit. It's incomprehensible to me how it all become such a big deal to so many people. Nearly all of it it so fucking boring as fuck, I mean how long have people had ears and such? I'd much rather listen to waves crashing on a shore than any goddam "rock" record. So there.

Actually, just gimme a vinyl copy of Abbey Road and a decent turntable. I don't even need electricity I can just put my ear really, really close.
posted by absentian at 2:31 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I have yet to see that. I don't know how they accommodate that into their frames, which are pretty specifically designed if they are actual track frames or track frames designed to be on the road (like Leaders sort of are)."

Uh, with a bungie cord around their seat tube or rear fork? They're everywhere on group rides, dubstep from skittle fixies. It's a Midnight Ridazz cliche by now.
posted by klangklangston at 2:32 PM on August 13, 2013


Discussions I would rather read than another "define hipsters" thread: different ways of counting grains of sand and their merits; a thread about a new webcam pointed at freshly-painted walls as the paint dries; pros and cons of various pieces of accounting software; a debate over whether or not tip is included in a specific bill from a Thai restaurant I went to with some friends in 2005; pretty much anything ever
posted by en forme de poire at 2:34 PM on August 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


i never said there was no such thing - earlier i defined it. it means other, with a sprinkling of youth and or beards. the fact that kids who dress like an 80s toy commercial and people who make music using only lightening bugs and the power of their facial hair are both somehow hipsters shows just how ridiculous it is.

as to your 1957 thing - who liked jazz and swing music so much that they adopted black culture as their own. that seems a far sight from just one of the definitions offered in this thread, boring, milquetoast indy rock that kids who wear tight pants, have ironic facial hair, and ride fixed gear bikes listen to.
posted by nadawi at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always maintained that hipsters do in fact exist, on metafilter that is like saying I believe in mermaids, and my biggest complaint about hipsters is how many threads they ruin.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:47 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


klangklangston: Uh, with a bungie cord around their seat tube or rear fork? They're everywhere on group rides, dubstep from skittle fixies. It's a Midnight Ridazz cliche by now.

I haven't been on any group rides so that's probably why I've never seen it. The people at the World Naked Bike Ride blasting that stuff weren't on fixed gear bikes but maybe that isn't the type of group ride you're talking about.

People on tall bikes, on the other hand...
posted by gucci mane at 2:57 PM on August 13, 2013


I thought he was in the millions of dollars there in the article — even if that's gross, it still adds up to a 1 percent net.

It worked out to like 5 mil per annum, but that's basically gross - figure another 20% goes missing in the form of non-direct operating expenses - so a band of 6 guys who are pretty far out in the tail of popularity and tour a bunch only making that much money strikes me as surprising. As someone said upthread Tweedy is probably giving his "employees"/bandmates low six figures in comp. That seems really low to me for a band that "made it" - and its kind of depressing. Jeff Tweedy basically is paid like a middle of the road NFL player - granted his career is longer.
posted by JPD at 3:39 PM on August 13, 2013


And how the hell do you have "ironic" facial hair?

Frank Beard. That's how the hell you have ironic facial hair.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


>>arguably Chicago’s most iconic indie rocker
>A single tear for Steve Albini.

Yeah. A few people still get paid to write such cruft.
posted by Twang at 4:02 PM on August 13, 2013


9 million gross sounds like a lot, but typically you have a lot of guys taking percentages off the top. Venues take a huge chunk for instance - 40-50% as I recall, but I haven't thought about it in many years. The upshot being that the idea that the typical band member is seeing a percent or two of gross turns out, as I recall to be about where I put it.
posted by wotsac at 6:07 PM on August 13, 2013


Bands often have full time employees, big bands can have many. A big band is a small, or even medium sized business.
posted by bongo_x at 6:20 PM on August 13, 2013


I just want Nels Cline to be able to afford all the pedals he needs.
posted by drezdn at 7:09 PM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE NELS CLINE NEEDS AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PEDALS ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT THIS BAND OUT OF BUSINESS??!!?!?!?!
posted by The World Famous at 7:11 PM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


I just want Nels Cline to be able to afford all the pedals he needs.

The ironic thing about that is that I spent a long time in my 20s thinking any pedal other than distortion and (maybe) vibrato was the devil's plaything, and this belief was 100% informed by Uncle Tupelo and early Wilco / Son Volt megafandom.
posted by COBRA! at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did love Wilco when Jay Bennett was in the band, but, yeah, the stuff after he left has not been interesting to me. But listening to YHF and Summerteeth and the Guthrie stuff brings back visceral memories, happy memories.

I don't understand why people expect Tweedy to be a "nice guy." To achieve success in this world requires considerable drive, focus, and, to a certain extent, ruthlessness. Or, to put it in nicer terms, human beings are complex pieces of work. And the persona we enjoy when listening to music may be very different than what lurks beneath.

Interestingly, nobody has remarked about the toll pain, depression and drug addiction have played in Tweedy's life up until around A Ghost is Born. Bennett enabled the drug addiction. It produced some wonderful music, but there you go.

And if anyone says that Tweedy is shit, just listen to Sunken Treasure. It's a DVD of his solo stuff released around 2007. Good stuff.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:23 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nels Cline pedals. The correct number of pedals is: n + 1 where n is the current number of pedals.
posted by The Michael The at 8:38 AM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyone else sick of hipster dad rockers beardily riding around on those ironic bikes with the Nels Cline pedals? I'm sick of them.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:26 AM on August 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nels Cline pedals . The correct number of pedals is: n + 1 where n is the current number of pedals.

I was expecting something else. He even mentions being known for using a lot of pedals, but those looks like pretty average pedal setups to me.
posted by bongo_x at 10:40 AM on August 14, 2013


To put things in perspective, Shakepeare would have been a sell-out because he wrote many of his plays on behalf of his patron, King James.

Of course, Tweedy is no contemporary Shakespeare. That would of course be Bob Dylan.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:05 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always maintained that hipsters do in fact exist, on metafilter that is like saying I believe in mermaids, and my biggest complaint about hipsters is how many threads they ruin.

Ahh thank you. Someone else understands. Yes, they do exist. The reason threads get ruined is because all the hipsters get pissed when you call them hipsters or make fun of things that us "squares" have agreed upon is part of the culture. The worst thing about hipsters is that they have no sense of humor and they get all identity-political when you talk shit about their music. I'm a metalhead. You want to make fun of how silly Iron Maiden or Slayer is? Go ahead, I think so too. And I won't accuse you of being too privileged to 'get' 'it'.

My first comment was meant to point out that this Tweedy guy probably helped create this article as a PR campaign as cover, to legitimize his "selling out". Maybe he's just being shrewd businessman, I don't know, but my cynicism tells me he probably had a hand in this release being published and that whoever wrote it didn't just decide to do a profile on this guy because he's extremely important or interesting. Judging by the comments from the fans in this thread, it doesn't sound like he is.
posted by hellslinger at 5:41 PM on August 14, 2013


"The worst thing about hipsters is that they have no sense of humor and they get all identity-political when you talk shit about their music. I'm a metalhead. You want to make fun of how silly Iron Maiden or Slayer is? Go ahead, I think so too. And I won't accuse you of being too privileged to 'get' 'it'."

There are plenty of hipster metalheads. See: Brian Posehn, Chuck Klosterman, John Darnielle…

If you really care about who hipsters are, you're probably a hipster.
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 PM on August 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ryan Adams is the ultimate hipster metalhead.

I was at a BBC taping where he had the back n forth grief with Neil Finn, and he gleefully admitted using his phone to bid on a Satyricon tshirt on ebay from the stage. All he could talk about was obscure death thrash noise band reunions.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:46 AM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


hellslinger: "my cynicism tells me he probably had a hand in this release being published and that whoever wrote it didn't just decide to do a profile on this guy because he's extremely important or interesting"

That's how most "profile" journalism works these days. It doesn't necessarily follow that someone pushing for good press is trying to hide some bad behavior.
posted by mkultra at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


wait, you mean to tell me that an article which quotes him and others around him directly is something he had a hand in?? next you'll tell me that when movie stars show up at press junkets they're there to promote movies!
posted by nadawi at 9:09 AM on August 15, 2013


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