Episode 137: Everyone Knows The Indie Rules

Matt and Ryan discuss Sun Kil Moon’s “Benji” and The War On Drugs’s “Lost in the Dream.”

Matt and Ryan discuss Sun Kil Moon’s Benji and The War On Drugs’s Lost in the Dream.


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13 Comments on “Episode 137: Everyone Knows The Indie Rules”

  1. Stokes OTI Staff #

    Ryan, would you say that Sun Kil Moon is, at its best, an experimental asshole collective?


    • sheely OTI Staff #

      Yes, I think that is very much the point that I was making. I think there is an interesting question about the “collectiveness” of it, but I think part of what makes it interesting is the skill of the instrumentalists and the arrangement, so I do think that is a pretty apt discussion.

      Are you on Team War On Drugs or Team Sun Kil Moon?


  2. Stokes OTI Staff #

    I’m just listening to the albums now… So, The War On Drugs is a U2 cover band, right?

    (p.s. I’m on Team War On Drugs, obviously. I freaking love U2.)


    • Stokes OTI Staff #

      … aaand, Sun Kil Moon sounds like the T-Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack to a Coen Brothers adaptation of the lousiest short story that Hemingway ever wrote. It’s kind of a punishing listen. I would say that Benji has nobler artistic ambitions than Lost in the Dream, but that doesn’t mean that the end result is actually better.

      I do think that they’re an interesting contrast, though. They seem to have different ideas about the nature of songwriting. Sun Kil Moon is all about crafting a persona. This is the Kozelek show! And you do get the feeling that he is offering himself up on a platter, warts and all. We can talk about the degree to which he’s humble bragging and fishing for compliments, or whatever, but I think that HE thinks it’s sincere and unfiltered. And something about that commands attention.

      The War On Drugs doesn’t seem to care about persona at all. It’s much more about capturing a specific moment of emotional experience, and it’s accomplished much more through the music than through the lyrics.


  3. Coughin Ed #

    people are wildin’ if they think this diss track is worth a hill of beans

    “no vaseline”, “***** in yoo”, “linda trip” would all like a word…


    • Chris Morgan #

      If nothing else, you deserve credit for using the word “wildin'” and the phrase “hill of beans” in the same sentence.

      Also, the only dissing track worth a damn is Atom and his Package’s “If You Own the Washington Redskins You’re a Cock.”


  4. Coughin Ed #

    “ether” “takeover” etc.

    sorry for double post


  5. Chris Morgan #

    This doubling up of albums for a single podcast episode got me thinking that, should you ever do another omnibus episode wherein you touch on a handful of albums, might you consider Childbirth’s It’s a Girl!(?) You can’t find it on any streaming site, and it was only released into the world as a cassette, but you can listen to the entire thing on their Bandcamp page. It’s only 17 minutes long, so it’s not a real time commitment. After listening to these two albums, perhaps people can use a nice, breezy listen.

    As for this particular episode, I can express my general feeling about everything simply by saying, “UGH.”


  6. Josie M. #

    These are both different variants on what my partner Kyrie calls “sad bastard music”. Emphasis, in this case, on the bastard. Musically, this episode made me once again mourn the passing last year on Jason Molina, who – while working in the same indie-Americana domain – was just a way better songwriter. So the rather than continuing to listen to either of them, I put of some Songs:Ohia from 10 years ago.


    • Josie M. #

      Oh, and it just occured to me. I saw both Molina (with/as Magnolia Electric Co.) and Death Cab for Cutie at Respectable Street around then, so he probably played there too – whereas The War On Drugs maybe get played there by a DJ. They skipped over that stage or at least didn’t go as far on the road while in it, which I’m assuming is partly what Kozelek resents about them.

      The thing I struggle with here – acorss this whole thing – is knowing what I like, I actually should like Benji and be on his. I’m into sad bastard music! But it just goes a little too far into ugliness. The War On Drugs, meanwhile, just bore me, as they seem to have bored you….and I actually think that’s a much more cutting insult than “suck my cock”.


  7. Rambler #

    Some episodes of TFT give me the same feeling that the filmspotting podcast does…

    Here are two heroes that subject themselves to the most malignant, pretentious, self-aggrandizing, and fundamentally worthless tripe in the world… so that I don’t have to.
    Thank you for your service.

    Incidentally if twod was capable of being non-boring they should have been to write a song called “Sorry (middle-aged creeper)” with a chorus line of “Kozelek is not allowed to s* our c*s”


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