Episode 106: The Letterpress and The Sharpie

Ryan and Matt discuss tUnE-yArDs “Nicki Nack.”

Matt and Ryan discuss tUnE-yArDs’ Nicki Nack.

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6 Comments on “Episode 106: The Letterpress and The Sharpie”

  1. mezdef #

    I will usually check the syllabus and try to listen to the album of the week before the podcast or at least get an idea of everyones favourite “liminal” space of the week that much of the show seems to find its groove in. Sometimes you seem extra insistent at the minute-or-two point about listening first, so that’s sometimes an indicator.

    More often than not I’m just not into the style or sound of the music, so I’m more interested in it conceptually than in practice. In which case I’m perfectly happy to listen to you guys talk about something I’m definitely not an expert in. You also do a fairly good job of outlining the space any particular point you are making resides in, so I never feel THAT alienated or confounded. Especially when you start using your Derrida mallet.

    Music is tricky as, I suspect, a given population will be more picky about what music they identify themselves with, as opposed to TV. I wonder if it has something to do with the visual vs. aural representation of theme, story, and structure where the the text and subtext and substantially more open to interpretation and strong miss-reading than TV (the latter of which also seems to come under a level of scrutiny an order of magnitude greater). I suspect there are more fine art / film grads than music theory. It could prove interesting digging into the visual representations of these albums and how they diverge from the close personal readings.

    Since I don’t always engage on a purely aural level I find listening to the podcast first and then going in ass-backwards (in an intellectual way, mind you) and listening later with the TFT lens is more interesting. To appropriate (gasp!) Matt’s words, if you keep going far enough up your own ass, eventually it gets dark enough to be interesting.


  2. Amanda #

    Damn guys, the conversation just got really good and then I look and the podcast is 4 mins away from ending! Please please pleeeeease do another on Whokill, Bird Brains and just tuneyards in general (not that this one actually focused on Nikki Nack anyway).

    This may sound kinda stupid, but when I was still in São Paulo I used tuneyards as kind of a psychic shield. I lived in a weird neighboorhood, in that it was very nice and middle class on one side (lots of trees, houses, quiet streets) and very lower class on the other (broken sidewalks, leering men, big crowds) and a lot of the time I had to walk in and around the not-so-pleasant side. I wouldn’t have a problem with the crowds or the “broken” look of the city itself, but those two combined with the men made it so I didn’t really feel safe. Something that always helped me both feel more confortable/less freaked out/on edge and actually at times made me feel like a BAMF and like I owned that city was listening to tUnE-yArDs on my phone, especially Gangsta (which was also used on Weeds, in an emotionally similar way). I just read something yesterday by Arabelle Sicardi (a Rookie writer, among other things) about using make up for that same purpose. I’m posting what she said here because it’s a really great quote and because of the way tuneyards uses makeup as face paint. I feel like her reasons for it are somewhat different, but makeup is rarely used in a non-flattering way by women in everyday life, so I see a parallel there.

    “The first time I ever did resistance makeup in the way that the project uses it was after a show at 285 Kent. Traveling home from Brooklyn to where I live in Jersey is a nightmare: it’s a two hour commute at two in the morning, you’re alone, it’s terrifying. Knowing I’d have this long way home, I put on big red eyeshadow for the show, messy red glitter, smudged purple lipstick that made my teeth yellow looking. And no one bothered me on the way home. It was great. They couldn’t understand what I was doing with my face. I felt safe.” (here’s the article the quote came from: http://www.vice.com/read/owning-your-ugly-at-the-prettiest-place-on-earth-sephora)


  3. Amanda #

    holy crap. just discovered this and felt like sharing. sorry for the total randomness
    “O crítico literário Harold Bloom considerou Pessoa como “Whitman renascido”, e o incluiu no seu cânone entre os 26 melhores escritores da civilização ocidental, não apenas da literatura portuguesa mas também da inglesa.” (http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Pessoa)


  4. RichieGadz #

    I listen to the opening, pause at the instructed point, listen to two songs or so, and if I don’t like it, I quit the whole thing. If I like those first songs, I listen to the whole album and then return to the podcast. #data :)


  5. Chris Morgan #

    I do not listen to musics explicitly for the purpose of listening to this podcast. Usually, I’ve heard a few songs from the album in question before listening, such as this week, and I just listen to it with that knowledge I have. If I haven’t heard anything, sometimes I do still listen to it. Sometimes I don’t, if I am not interesting in the artist conceptually in any fashion.

    Also long live Detroit, a city that shall outlive all its naysayers, and us all.


    • Chris Morgan #

      This may be worth noting, but when TUNEYARDS appeared on Fallon, he referred to them as “they” and other collective nouns. So, Fallon has weighed in on this.

      Personally, the way I differentiate is with a two pronged attack.
      1. Would anybody blanch if they performed songs by the “band” by themselves under the name? I call this the Neutral Milk Hotel Corollary.
      2. Can fans, not diehard fans but still fans, name anybody else in the band?


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