Positional pricing, positional leverage

To understand positional leverage, we first need a theory of public belief. My contention is that—to give a “just so” story from our evolutionary history—humans have traditionally lived in relatively small communities, where individual opinion held some sway in group decision-making, if only by exerting tacit pressure on a chieftain or council of elders. (We see this dynamic still: politicians in democratic societies are beholden to their populations, so that even if individual discontents are not registered, widespread discontents are.) Public beliefs, then, are situated, strategic interventions into a communal decision-making discourse.

Bodega’s Endless Scroll

The band members’ silhouettes are soft against Brooklyn Bazaar’s trademark stained-glass as Bodega starts their set. Madison of ONWE channels David Byrne’s hollow stare, set in concentration. Nikki Belfiglio plays a converted computer keyboard as percussion before bite-smooching frontman Ben Hozie’s cheek. Live audio, Bodega at KEXP. Catch lyrics from Neil Young’s “Harvest” and Can’s “Vitamin C” from…… Continue reading Bodega’s Endless Scroll

Regarding Rockism, pt 1: Black Truths, Noble Savages

Daniel Johnston, “Some Things Last A Long Time” I. Introduction Controversy over Lana Del Rey has centered around everything from her singing ability and views on feminism to her interview last year with the Guardian in which she opined on musicians who have died young. (“Glamorous?” she was asked. “Ummmm, yeah.”) But within music criticism circles, one…… Continue reading Regarding Rockism, pt 1: Black Truths, Noble Savages

Our Brand Could Be Your Life

1. Belgian metafictionist Jean-Philippe Toussaint, like many of his postmodern peers, focuses the attention of his novels not just on their immediate stories but on how stories in general operate: the ways that truth and artifice intersect or overlap, and how narrators can bias narrative or vice-versa. In Bodega Bay’s debut LP Our Brand Could Be…… Continue reading Our Brand Could Be Your Life

How To Leave Town

“I don’t think it’s possible to make art that makes sense to people if you don’t spend some time doing normal things,” Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo wrote earlier this week in response to an anonymous Tumblr fan question (echoing David Foster Wallace’s now-infamous quote to David Lipsky about treasuring his “normal-guyness”). To both Wallace and Toledo’s work, establishing…… Continue reading How To Leave Town

Oh Boy: Christopher Owens, Headspace, and Artistic Irony

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about two songs in my record collection. T.B. Blues One is Jimmie Rodgers’ “T.B. Blues,” considered by some musicologists (e.g. Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor) to be one of the first popular autobiographical songs. Rodgers made a career out of singing songs about other people—miners, gamblers, gunslingers, jailbirds. But…… Continue reading Oh Boy: Christopher Owens, Headspace, and Artistic Irony