"I'll be honest: I don’t want to stay up until 4 AM any more at shows"
January 13, 2015 6:22 PM   Subscribe

 
I'm kinda with him on that 4am thing, to be honest.
posted by jscalzi at 6:36 PM on January 13, 2015 [19 favorites]


Not me. The show doesn't even start properly until 3am!
posted by 1adam12 at 6:48 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


That NYT article title really sounds oddly dismissive and a bit mean, doesn't it?
posted by mathowie at 6:49 PM on January 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I may be alone in this, but I've never wanted to stay up until 4am for a show. Or anything else for that matter. 10pm, small glass of brandy, bed.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:50 PM on January 13, 2015 [22 favorites]


On that note, goodnight all.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:51 PM on January 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


i can't let any internet mention of sasha frere jones go by without linking to this
posted by rap and country at 6:57 PM on January 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


I've wished that I could stay up until 4 AM for a show, but I've never been cool enough for that part of rock culture. :(
posted by Going To Maine at 7:00 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Michael Chabon is also a contributor to the site:

He provides annotations for lyrics he wrote for Mark Ronson. This is all news to me!
posted by misterbee at 7:03 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I may be alone in this, but I've never wanted to stay up until 4am for a show. Or anything else for that matter. 10pm, small glass of brandy, bed.

This is why I loved living in London. Pretty much guaranteed that a gig would end by 11pm, no matter what sort of venue it was, unless it was specifically marketed as a late show. Leave gig, public transport is still running, get home easily, bed, able to function the next day. 4am just sounds cruel and unusual.
posted by Pink Frost at 7:11 PM on January 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


That NYT article title really sounds oddly dismissive and a bit mean, doesn't it?

SFJ, while a great writer, can be a bit pompous and pretentious, so maybe that's where it is coming from.
posted by Nevin at 7:27 PM on January 13, 2015


This is why I loved living in London. Pretty much guaranteed that a gig would end by 11pm, no matter what sort of venue it was, unless it was specifically marketed as a late show.

Same with the Bay Area. I think the only show I've been to where I got home past 2 was Prince, and that was a complete one-off.
posted by asterix at 7:30 PM on January 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


That NYT article title really sounds oddly dismissive and a bit mean, doesn't it?
It got some reaction at Romenseko's journalism blog
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:35 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Crom save us from white rockcrits who want to annotate the world.

I gave genius a try on this thread, but not much happened. It seems to play poorly with mobile browsers, though, which might be part of the problem.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:38 PM on January 13, 2015


When I was in my 30s, I remember so thinking, time after time, "God, I am so fucking tired, it's midnight, when is the headliner coming on??" At the time, I was in med school and residency, so I thought I was doing well just being out there.

Now in my 40s, I go to fancy restaurants and think "God, I am so fucking tired, it's 10 o clock and when is the main entree going to arrive??"

I'm pretty sure in my 50s I'll be like "God, I am so fucking tired, it's 7 o clock, when is the take out guy going to get here??"

In conclusion, Genius is awesome, and if you're gonna rock at that age, ain't nothing wrong with rocking in your pajamas at home from 10am to 3pm. If you kids could do it, you would.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:38 PM on January 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Leave gig, public transport is still running
Same with the Bay Area.

Uh, that's not my experience. The way I've seen things working here is all the public transit stops running by 1, and then an hour later all the bars and nightclubs close. I can tell when this happens because I live right by the bridge, and 2:00 is when suddenly everyone's gunning their engines and honking their horns a lot while they wait at that last traffic light.

Because I'm often awake that late even though I didn't go out to a fun concert.
posted by aubilenon at 7:48 PM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I used to stay up until 4am regularly. Now I just as regularly wake up at 4. That time of the night is a lot more fun to be ending things rather than beginning.

I often liked his reviews in the New Yorker. I could always tell within the first paragraph whether he was telling an interesting story or being pompous, so I never felt like my time was wasted. When he is good, he is very good.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:00 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Saying that he can be a bit pretentious is like saying that the sun can be a bit warmish.

On the other hand that NYT hed manages to achieve a new nadir of snooty Eighth Avenue dickishness.
posted by blucevalo at 8:00 PM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just read Alex Ross for music. He could make burping the alphabet compelling.
posted by Nevin at 8:04 PM on January 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nothing I've read by Sasha Frere-Jones in the New Yorker suggests that he needed to stay up until 4am at shows to write it.
posted by kenko at 8:10 PM on January 13, 2015 [21 favorites]


I've been laughing about this since it came up on Sunday. My lols and feelings about it are kinda complex and muddled, but I find it hilarisad that arguably the preeminent pop critic writing for one of the most culturally influential publications is leaving his (highly coveted, if undoubtedly difficult and not-high-paying) job to chase tech money, working for some massive bro douches, annotating lyrics (or building a team to do so). He's leaving flailing old media, jumping ship to a company named Genius that has "tech bubble" written all over it, a company that has $56 million in VC money but absolutely no monetization plans and a silly "ambitious" goal to annotate everything on the web. Not that I'm judging him because he's getting some paper and some equity I'm sure. But SFJ comes off as an ass and continually has super weird takes on stuff (lots of race weirdness in particular, which is not encouraging considering the race weirdness of the Rap Genius founders); anyway some links: Vox (stick around for the end, where one of the Genius founders emails the Vox journalist: "congrats! on your retarded article! you fucking moron - get a real job".) And Gawker (sorry to link to them, but that article from a few years ago hits the right note of snark that's needed when discussing this company.) The Elliot Rodger misogynistic annotations are bizarre. Basically sorry for the mess but this is a rabbit hole of ridiculousness in a seemingly innocuous story.
posted by naju at 8:12 PM on January 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


SFJ, while a great writer, can be a bit pompous and pretentious, so maybe that's where it is coming from.

I didn't share his taste in music but I did enjoy the way he wrote about it. I'm curious who the New Yorker will hire to fill the slot.
posted by Flashman at 8:33 PM on January 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


(highly coveted, if undoubtedly difficult and not-high-paying)

I'd bet it pays pretty high. And to judge by Alex Ross's example, affords plenty of time for in-depth research and serious writing.
posted by kenko at 8:45 PM on January 13, 2015


> The way I've seen things working here is all the public transit stops running by 1, and then an hour later all the bars and nightclubs close.

Every show I've been to at the Fillmore/Warfield/Slim's/Great American/Independent has you out on the street by 12:30 at the latest almost always. Well, I shouldn't speak so confidently about the Independent, since I haven't been to a show there in ages. Bars and clubs, though, yeah, different beasts.

I have, though, napped at the Fillmore during opening acts. Sigh.
posted by rtha at 8:48 PM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


New York is a different town in which to be a music critic, and it really favors the young — I know this from personal experience. There's so much going on that I'm unsurprised someone who is a bit older wouldn't want to stay up that late and maybe get a cushier, higher-paying gig. Much respect to him for sticking it out as long as he did, frankly.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:03 PM on January 13, 2015


Confession: I've never really cared about lyrics. Intermittently I worry it's a significant failing on my part, especially since I make my living off of writing words, sentences, and paragraphs. And I love good music and good songs. But honestly, it's all just doo-doo-dah to me. I love the sound of the words and that's all that matters. My favorite album is R.E.M.'s "Murmur." YMMV
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:10 PM on January 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is the best news I've heard all week! God, SFJ is terrible.

I guess he's probably busy enough with the classical beat but I'd love to see Alex Ross take over the pop music column too. But whoever they get will undoubtedly be a huge improvement.
posted by equalpants at 9:17 PM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really hope they consider Maura Johnston. She's the best pop critic working today.
posted by naju at 9:31 PM on January 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


_sirmissalot_: "Confession: I've never really cared about lyrics. Intermittently I worry it's a significant failing on my part, especially since I make my living off of writing words, sentences, and paragraphs. And I love good music and good songs. But honestly, it's all just doo-doo-dah to me. I love the sound of the words and that's all that matters. My favorite album is R.E.M.'s "Murmur." YMMV"

I am completely with you, except for the "worrying if its a failing" part. If I was in the mood for poetry, I'd read poetry, without all the distracting percussion and instruments. If other people can multitask like that, then great, but when I start processing the words, I'm no longer listening to the music. I do like the sound of the human voice, but I don't care what is being sung. Go figure, one of my favorite bands is the Cocteau Twins.
posted by Bugbread at 10:05 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


As far as staying up late to listen to music: the absolute best feeling is to go to a really late afterparty, that starts around 5:00 a.m. and ends at noon. But you don't go after a night of clubbing. No, you go to sleep early, say around 9:00 p.m., then wake up around 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, and off to the club. You're full of energy and vigor, and then at noon, when the party ends, and the zombies around you shuffle off barely awake to their beds, you leave the club drunk and excited and step into the sunlight and despite already having had a ton of fun, you've still got the whole damn day ahead of you. It's the best.
posted by Bugbread at 10:09 PM on January 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


I do like the sound of the human voice, but I don't care what is being sung. Go figure, one of my favorite bands is the Cocteau Twins.

Oh man that shit is downright incomprehensible. I love it so much! I also love all manner of cut up vocals, scat singing, and nonsense singing. So yeah, no need for annotations here, either.
posted by aubilenon at 10:19 PM on January 13, 2015


But you don't go after a night of clubbing. No, you go to sleep early, say around 9:00 p.m., then wake up around 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, and off to the club.

I am literally about to do this!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:27 PM on January 13, 2015


I catch myself daydreaming about being in a band again, sometimes, and then I remember: you hated having to be in rock clubs so much when you were 27.
posted by thelonius at 12:03 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wish I could still stay out super late, but I just can't. Even in Vancouver, a sleepy town where decent acts are rare, the ticket says "Act on at 8!" but they really mean, "maybe by 1:00 the headliner will be on!, buy outrageously expensive pints in the meantime and claim your seat!". I now need the act to show up at a reasonable time, play the gig, and be done by 12. Also there must be some instrument-playing, not just turning up to push incomprehensible buttons. I'm very au-fait with music technology, so I know there's a lot of skill requred even with the incomprehensible-button-pushing, but I still need to see some instrument playing chops, these days. The last gig I enjoyed was Dawn Of Midi, who turned up on time, were totally mind-blowingly-amazing, then were done by 11:30. Less than that, sadly, I can't really constitutionally cope with. But I'm fine with that. I'm an Old now, and I choose my gigs carefully to fit with my knackered old requirements. Still. Go and see Dawn Of Midi if you get a chance. Legitimately mind-blowing. Ditto Colin Stetson, who honestly made me feel like I was watching some sort of vaguely inappropriate self-immolation-by-Saxophone.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:46 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oddly enough, I have gone to a LOT of shows over the decades and they basically all end at 11:30 or 12.

That is, except The Polyphonic Spree. The last 3 times I've seen them, they've started the first band around 9pm, usually two openers, so by the time the Spree comes on stage, it's well after 11. I think I saw them at Neumos in Seattle once where they had to close the bar before the end of the show. Never seen THAT happen before in my life, ever.

Now, going out dancing, that's another thing entirely. I'm the same age as SFJ, and wish my body were capable of enduring chemical support to dance until dawn like it was when I was 20. The aftermath is too much for me now. The last truly excellent dance night I was at (a furcon in Seattle) apparently kept going until 4 or 5am, but my body gave out around 1. I was glad to leave (although sad to abandon the really great DJ and awesome crowd) and get some sleep. I was functional the next day, and that was perfect.
posted by hippybear at 12:51 AM on January 14, 2015


As an LA night owl, the prospect of a show that goes until 4 AM is almost enough to make me move East. Due to the liquor laws out here, the whole damn town shuts down around 2 AM. Even the hipper clubs start playing undanceable shit around 2:10 to chase you out, and by 2:20 they just turn on the lights real bright and start stacking chairs around you.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:26 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I start derailing around 4.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:26 AM on January 14, 2015


On the one hand I agree with Naju. But on the other hand that Lupe annotation is really really choice.

Smart, crowd-sourced annotations are incredibly fun to read and, as a free resource for all, make us all smarter about culture, in the same way TV Tropes or Snopes does. Just because Genius is a vc Funded Bro-factory doesn't mean it can't potentially perform an invaluable service for the world, way more than just another think-piece for a dying print journal. In other words, I hope this works. But yeah, he could easily jump ship for the Atlantic in 6 months and all the annotations will go back to being obvious dumb jokes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:23 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's good that Genius has expanded its scope to other genres besides rap. I don't think I ever could have parsed the inscrutable lyrics of Zeppelin's Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.
posted by Flashman at 5:07 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every concert that I've been to for years has ended exactly at 11, I assume that it's a legal thing but I don't know that for sure.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 AM on January 14, 2015


I'm delighted at the match. I can't stand SFJ and Genius is everything but so having them in the same space makes it easier to avoid both.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:14 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Up until May 2014 I played in a band that gigged in SF. The last slot of every show is supposed to be the headliner, right? Wrong! That's the slot used to screw the band nobody likes. The crowd starts to trickle out around 1130, and god help you if you go on after midnight. Nobody would be there. I started pushing for three act bills when we were the ones booking just to avoid fucking anyone over. The clubs were usually okay with it once they saw our draw. When you're in the band you have to stay later than everyone, because loading out is a dick move when someone else is still playing. That part I don't miss at all.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:17 AM on January 14, 2015


SFJ, while a great writer, can be a bit pompous and pretentious

Isn't that a requirement for a job with an internet-based industry? I know it's practically a requirement for writing on the internet.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:51 AM on January 14, 2015


> Nothing I've read by Sasha Frere-Jones in the New Yorker suggests that he needed to stay up until 4am at shows to write it.

QFT.

And honestly, 4 am is a bit hyperbolic. Not that it's impossible, but the typical NYC gig just does not run that late.
posted by desuetude at 7:37 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is Sasha Frere-Jones actually David Cross? Because that picture looks like a slightly larger David Cross.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:12 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought he looked like Anderw Sullivan's cousin, actually.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is Sasha Frere-Jones actually David Cross? Because that picture looks like a slightly larger David Cross.

The Annotator That Ate David Cross, coming to a theater near you!
posted by jonp72 at 8:52 AM on January 14, 2015


Jesus, if I could quit my day job for one that let me hang out and listen to bands until 4am, there would be a bugs bunny style me-shaped hole in the wall here.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


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