Episode 89: It’s a Very Fine Line between Beck and Fred Durst

Ryan and Matt continue Total Request Taped as they consider 65daysofstatic, Protest the Hero, and Sleigh Bells.

TFT Logo 2013Matt and Ryan continue Total Request Taped with a consideration of 65daysofstatic, Protest the Hero, and Sleigh Bells.


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65daysofstatic in a tweet by @tetrarchangel, Protest the Hero in a tweet by @ArdenSedlins, and Sleigh Bells in a comment by Tulse on TFT #80.

Other Titles

  • It’s Not a Tuber
  • Horse eLyrics
  • Sleigh Bells Are Going To Kill Lorde
  • The Demon Voice Unlocks the Portal of Agency

7 Comments on “Episode 89: It’s a Very Fine Line between Beck and Fred Durst”

  1. Nicholas Nutter #

    There is a YouTube equivalent of “I Am Sitting In A Room” where a guy uploaded then ripped the same video from YouTube of himself 1,000 times in a nod to the original. Instead of whalesong, this sounds like…digital water? Yeah, digital water. Like the dying of a T-1000 or something.

    Anyway, here’s the short version, compressing them all into 3 min:



  2. Tulse #

    Alexis Krauss is Fred Durst?! Ouch! Talk about social violence!

    On a broader issue, I’m curious about a view that was expressed several times during the discussion of Reich and the other conceptual minimalists. The comments about some of the pieces were along the lines of (to paraphrase) “you don’t need to listen to the whole thing to get the idea”.

    I found that a curious comment about a piece of art, not that I don’t understand exactly the sentiment expressed, but I wondered what that says about what is required for an appropriate aesthetic experience of different genres of music, and more broadly art in general. On the one hand, for a highly conceptual visual artist like Jenny Holzer, I do feel that a mere list of her “truisms” gives me pretty much all I need to know to have a good understanding of those pieces. But on the other hand, I don’t think that Rothko can be comprehended at all with the verbal description of “it’s some big fuzzy blocks of colour”, or even by seeing a small photo of a piece — only seeing an original painting conveys the aesthetic sense.

    Likewise, while apart from Reich I’m not as familiar with the various minimalist composers mentioned, I think one could do a verbal description of, say, the first movement of Górecki’s 3rd Symphony along the lines of “strings play the same 24-bar theme over and over higher and higher”. But that description would certainly not do justice to the work, nor do I think one could “get” what he was doing by only listening to a few minutes of the piece. In a real sense, the overall aesthetic effect is produced in large part by the rising repetition and gradual swelling of the music over an extended period of time. Similarly, listening to only a few minutes of one of the pieces from Glass’s Einstein on the Beach can make it seem silly and simplistic, while listening to the whole opera is a very moving experience (at least for some).

    I think this true of other more popular forms of music as well — for example, for me a lot of the aesthetic impact of electronica and related music comes from its growing effect over time.

    (On a more casual basis, the “piece” “White Album 1 X 100”, which is a recording of 100 different first pressings of the first side of the White Album played simultaneously, all drifting slowly out of sync, is I suppose a middle ground — while you pretty much get what the effect is by just jumping in at various bits, listening to the whole piece is pretty darned cool.)

    These remarks aren’t intended as a criticism of the podcast comments, but rather a roundabout way of asking you to unpack them more. (And if I’m making too much of an off-hand phrase that wasn’t meant for such analysis, my apologies.)


  3. Timothy J Swann #

    One, thanks for this. The joy of Total Request Taped is half an hour of overthinking about a band probably only you among the listening community care about.

    Two, post-rock can also be defined as sand. I once wrote that post- makes everything better: post-rock, post-metal, post-apocalyptic, postman. I would define post-rock as taking the instruments of rock outside the structure of rock – so Godspeed You! Black Emperor as the kings of this genre write effectively classical or minimalist music but the crescendos come with guitars as well as violins and french horns. I pretty much listen to post-rock as my main genre – GY!BE, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, 65dos and other substantially less famous purveyors, of which as you say, 65 have gone a more electronic route. Where I see the most overlap with a musical lexicon more commonly understood, is soundtracks. Contrast Wild Light with TRON: Legacy. GY!BE did the soundtrack to 28 Days Later, and 65dos did an alternative soundtrack to Silent Running. What I like a lot about post-rock is that emotional movement on a gradient, and the lack of vocalists for the most part, as I find most vocalists very grating.

    Post-metal does exist, as prog rock still does, my favourite post-metal song being: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvmYCgckjQg – but I’m afraid my metal taxonomy isn’t good enough to discern where the difference lies. Prog and post are definitely the areas I love most in music – with my fondness for Pure Reason Revolution already expressed to Stokes, of this parish.

    So basically I loved this and I’d love to hear/talk more post-rock.


  4. Nathan #

    Thanks so much for taking on Swann’s request. As a post-rock fan frustrated by a seeming lack of post-rock analysis or criticism, I thought you guys’ pieces of novel comparison were great! You guys tackled an elusive album and got a lot out of it.

    If you decide to risk the nearly irrelevant topic of post-rock ever again, Swann’s right about GY!BE’s status. This band seems to posture itself as “revolutionary” unlike all the other bands as usual. Unlike most other post-rock bands, GY!BE has a political edge to them; their album covers feature graphs of record labels’ connections to arms manufacturers, their music is set to recordings of political-dystopian poetry, and one of the band’s members has criticism of other bands such as Arcade Fire, another band I really like.

    (Trolling by one of GY!BE’s former members towards Arcade Fire. Its more interestingly evocative than accurate, and perhaps deserves testing.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kso9IU7_yy8

    No knowing when their next stuff might come out. I think their most interesting and cohesive album is Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, mostly because I’m convinced that album is about gnosticism…


    • Timothy J Swann #

      Hey Nathan, somewhere in discourses of authenticity being discussed on the site I posted Warren Ellis in Doktor Sleepless writing about how GY!BE sell authenticity more than music, but even they commodify it. I adore their music, and LYSFLAH was my introduction, again I just was told to listen to Storm and then instantly went and bought the CD.

      A clear point about post-rock is the substantial significance of song titles – if there’s going to be 20 minutes of instrumental music, calling it Mladic deliberately contextualises it to in the harmony and melody be saying something about Mladic and Yugoslavia in general (the track was originally called Albanian)


      • Nathan #

        I’ll check that discussion out. Sounds cool.

        The lack of lyrical content and/or musical precedent for some post-rock isolates it from more tradition rock criticism, which often includes lyric and vocal analysis. I’m not studied enough on rock criticism, but the inclusion of lyrics seems like a make-it or break-it for critical commentary on a piece. If Talk Talk’s album Laughing Stock did not have the ambiguous lyrics it contained, one wonders how much interesting commentary could have come.


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