1. jeremydlarson:

    Like some things “Little Mascara” goes by unnoticed because it is frictionless. It is utopia, too good to be true. Maybe it’s more of a schematic than it is a good Replacements song. Maybe that’s why it’s perfect. It’s a perfect song. Here’s why I believe this:

    Intro

    The intro has its own life apart from the rest of it, like part of a theme for a sitcom that’s used in the truncated opening credits when it the show hits syndication. This is Peak Intro, like a send-up of an intro that is so obviously an intro it transcends quaint and becomes essential. This what’s known as the Jk-Not-Jk Curve of the Sublime, and this sits right at its zenith. Holding a chord like that for a measure then kicking in with the verse is such a classic rock trick, a little like AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

    Verse 1

    Like the best Replacements songs, it’s about moment of realization, the anagnorisis, where once there was light, now, suddenly, there is darkness and irony. Verse 1 has two stanzas, the first with the indelible “You and I fall together/ you and I sleep alone.”

    The second stanza could be controversial due to of Westerberg’s phrasing. “For the moon you keep shooting” might ring as clunky backwards phrasing (c.f. “Making love to his tonic and gin”) but he does pair it with, “For the kids you stay together” which calls it a wash. Are you criticizing Prince for “Dig, if you will, the picture/ Touch, if you will, my stomach”? This may be controversial, but I put these two instances in the same category.

    And then that playground melody on: “…After 1:00, and there’s one that’s long gone,” which is like a send-up of “Shave and a Haircut.” (There’s got to be an actual melody that he’s aping here, and I’ve never been able to think of it. The point is is that it’s so familiar, the inferred *clap* on 1 and the quarter notes on 2 and 3 is ur-folk, basic instinct.)

    Pre-Chorus 1

    Thing to note here is how he slides down to the low dominant note on “losing is..”

    Chorus 1

    And we find that the intro is actually just what’s underneath first chorus, note for note.

    Verse 2

    The greatest pop songs have propulsion. Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” is queen of this because it never stops pedaling, and it never lands on the tonic of the chord the song is in. “Little Mascara” has other tricks that keep it moving, like truncating the Verse 2 to just the first one stanza, especially when it’s just plot development here.

    Pre-Chorus 2

    Continuing with the idea of propulsion, Westerberg lands on a higher note this time, on the tonic, when he sings “…losing is.”

    Chorus 2

    This song is a masterclass in how to exit a chorus, and it’s a toss-up between this one and the third one for which I think is the best chorus-exit of all-time. I love that he delivers the kicker of the song here (“That you cry your eyes out”) as it modulates for what I guess you’d call the bridge. It’s totally unpredictable, and while adhering to the tenets of pop songwriting, he’s inverting it all along the way.

    “Bridge”/Guitar Solo

    Great bridge that modulates back down the the original key for a great guitar solo, which takes Intro structure. Momentum is still building and building.  

    Pre-Chorus 3

    It brings the other kicker (“All you ever wanted was someone/ Ma’d be scared of”) the twist in the plot, the anagnorisis. And now on “…losing is” Westerberg hits the high dominant note, up the octave, with a ornament flip to the submediant. Each Pre-Chorus greater than the last.

    Chorus 3

    This adds a little lead guitar line after the first “…a little mascara,” which would probably have been a saxaphone under Jim Dickenson’s rule. Westerberg mimics the melody of the Pre-Chorus 3, maximum climactic catharsis, very high in his range.

    The master stroke, of course, comes when it takes the Intro structure and excises the pause altogether. Westerberg takes the triplet rhythm to sing “that you cry” without the surprise modulation, as a victory, planting the flag at the top of the building or on the moon or a first kiss finally. It’s high exaltation, fully earned.

    Outro

    As an outlying opinion, I don’t mind fade-outs. I think this fade-out is particularly good, only because they are trying to copy the climax over and over, to relive this moment they built, this brilliant moment, until it gets harder and harder to hear, a copy of a copy until it finally becomes blank

    ~

    This is not the best Replacements song, or my favorite Replacements song, but it is the perfect Replacements song. I hope to god play it tomorrow night, when I see the Replacements for the first time in my life. I can’t wait.

    This is my favorite Replacements song.

     
     

  2. Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church Will (Kinda) Stop Hosting Shows

    therunout:

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    September 17, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    Longtime Philadelphia show promoters R5 Productions announced today that shows at The First Unitarian Church, a Center City venue heavily used by the promotion since 1996, will be mostly phased out beginning in 2015.

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  3. Jud Jud Are The Most Innovative Hardcore Band Of All Time

    therunout:

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    September 16, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    In this ongoing era of musical oversaturation, oblivious and obvious genre complacency and stark convention that sometimes feels like an endless loop of the same shit in a slightly different box, there are very few, if any, artists who are truly peerless.

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    Jud Jud rules. Need a reunion ASAP.

     

  4. US Emo: When Facebook Groups Go Horribly Wrong (Or Right?)

    therunout:

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    September 15, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    Facebook has long been the social network of choice for your parents to share image macros, your conservative childhood friends and their heated straw man political arguments, and for regionally-flavored listicles shared ad nauseum (for me, it’s usually a listicle having to do with Florida-based grocery store chain Publix, which admittedly is the best fucking grocery store chain in American history). Users can also scroll and scroll and scroll, often looking at the same status updates dozens of times in one day, and return the next day, and every subsequent day until they die, to do the same thing. It’s great.

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    Read this and then burn your Facebook account

     
  5. (Source: cordjefferson)

     

  6. Mariachi El Bronx Return And It Is Good

    therunout:

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    September 12, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    Something odd happened five years ago: The Bronx, a band full of white dudes from Los Angeles who’d previously debuted to plenty of hype in 2003, seemed to be losing a bit of creative steam.

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    hey

     

  7. A Eulogy For The iPod Classic

    therunout:

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    September 10, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    First came the touch screens that made the feel and touch of a click wheel seem bulky and rudimentary, then came streaming music services that yielded ripped CDs and purchased (or stolen) MP3s unnecessary. The iPod Classic, a short time ago the nascent technology that promised to Change The Way We Listen To Music Forever, is now a thing of the past, another unfortunate casualty of the mile-a-minute advancement/assault of technology on our eyes, ears, hands and brains. The iPod Classic is dead; long live the iPod Classic.

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    Anyone selling their iPod? I need one.

     

  8. The First Thing: Cayetana

    therunout:

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    September 9, 2014
    by Ryan Barnes

    In spite of its name, Cayetana’s new record Nervous Like Me displays a confidence far beyond what one might expect from a band made up of self-admitted newcomers. With a sound that combines elements of riot grrl, ‘80s post punk, and ‘90s college rock, Cayetana manage to sound earnest without tipping over into the realm of twee.

    I sat down with lead vocalist Augusta Koch in the sweltering “green room” (read: horrifying murder basement) of Brooklyn bar Saint Vitus prior to a lively set played to a packed room.

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    This is great. Happy to be able to publish it.

     

  9. Cayetana Threw A Fun Record Release Party For ‘Nervous Like Me’

    therunout:

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    September 8, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    Record release shows are special. They are, by their very definition, parties thrown to celebrate an accomplishment, not just a show for the sake of a show.

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    I’m sleepy.

     

  10. Iceage Subvert Expectations Again

    therunout:

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    September 8, 2014
    by Bryne Yancey

    It can be difficult for a band to wash away the “hype band” smell. The distinction comes with its own set of built-in expectations and prejudices, few if any of them fair to the band themselves.

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    hi