Episode 78: I’ll Bet Mr. Haim Makes Great Waffles

Ryan and Matt consider Haim’s debut album, Days Are Gone.

TFT Logo 2013Ryan and Matt consider Haim’s debut album Days Are Gone.

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7 Comments on “Episode 78: I’ll Bet Mr. Haim Makes Great Waffles”

  1. Amanda #

    Hey guys!
    I’m watching Ani DiFranco on TV (hi Matt!) and realized: could Lorde, Haim and short-haired Miley be this generation’s alternagirls (akin to Fiona, Tori, Ani, etc) Or have we gone too mainstream to the point that even the alternative-ish girls are still deeply rooted in the mainstream (Lorde making essentially a hip hop song while criticizing current hip hop songs, Miley having started as a Disney star, Haim and their “past”). Or is the current alternagirl someone like Regina Spektor? And if that’s the case, who else? tUnE-yArDs? St Vincent?
    Why was “alternative” girl rock or whatever so popular in the 90s and so niche now? Is it because everything’s more niche, or is it because the mainstream has gone too far into Katy Perry/Ke-dollar sign-ha/Rihanna territory?
    And is the mainstream now so mainstream-y ~because~ of the “niche-fication” of everything else?
    Both in terms of image and musically. Afterall, Ani’s genre is folk, right? And Fiona made some almost-jazz and Tori gets very instrumental (someone get Stokes, I’m running out of words to describe how not-pop they all sound, each one in their own way/genre)


    • cat #

      I still listen to Fiona Apple. I’m not sure what you mean by alternative. Based on what I listen to, I’d throw out Lana del Ray or Oh Land but if we’re just talking about music that doesn’t exactly qualify as “pop” there are a lot of directions you could go in.


      • Amanda #

        I love Fiona Apple. I actually only started listening to her music when Extraordinary Machine came out (I was 11 when When The Pawn came out, wasn’t really aware of her then), but she’s been one of my favorite singers ever since.

        I’m using the word alternative because that’s what the media called them back in the 90s, and because of the whole alternagirl thing (Angela Chase, etc).

        I guess my comment was an attempt to define what alternative means now. Like I said, the singers I mentioned were called that often, so we can refer to them as “alternative” without having to actually stop and analyse their music in order to decide whether they fit within the mainstream or not.

        So I’m wondering, if we were to define a group of current bands/singers as alternative, who would be in that group and why?

        I don’t know Oh Land, looking it up. And I definitely would have put Lana Del Rey in the alt camp when she first came out, but not so sure at this point…

        PS: Ryan, thank you for mentioning the Dirty Projectors about a billion podcasts ago. You might remember I bought tickets to see them last year, but I wasn’t able to go at the last minute, and I only really started listening to more of their music now and wow. Thank you.


        • cat #

          Without putting more thought into it, I would say that there’s a spectrum similar to what Ryan and Matt were discussing on a previous episode when they compared Miley and Lorde as a pop music delivery system vs. an artist. I’m paraphrasing.

          I would probably put Taylor Swift at one end, though I’m sure there are acts that are even better examples of mainstream pop music. Then Katy Perry who is extremely popular (she’s set some records for #1’s) and puts out somewhat generic upbeat songs and anthems. Then Lady Gaga. Then Jessie J. Then Regina Spektor. Then Florence + the Machine. Then Lana del Ray. Then Oh Land. I could get more into this but we should probably move it over to the forums.

          I think the way you’ve described the alternative acts of the 90’s, these need to be artists that still have some level of popularity. People knew Fiona’s name and she had hit songs. I would probably also throw Jewel and Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette into the vague definition of alternative and they all had their hits as well.

          Speaking of Key-$-HA, I was actually listening to Warrior a few days ago. It’s pretty interesting as an album. A lot of the songs don’t sound like you’d expect them to.


  2. cat #

    Matt, I’m disappointed that you had the chance to sing “Hold On” during the podcast and you didn’t take it.


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