clap clap blog: we have moved

Saturday, January 15, 2005
Allow me to translate certain parts of this NYT article for you.

How did indie rock become the voice of emotional sincerity? Ten years ago,
in the heyday of Pavement and Liz Phair and Beck (the old, funny Beck), indie
rockers were supposed to be at least a little bit prickly. The genre was known
for its urbane disinclination to perform any icky operations involving hearts:
pouring them out, for instance, or affixing them to sleeves.

Somehow, indie rockers became EVEN BIGGER PUSSIES.

"Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" is a bold response to the myth of St. Conor: the
icon of unplugged authenticity goes not just electric but electronic, letting
the mythology melt away in a solvent of flickering rhythms and chirping

In a bold move already done successfully by another sensitive indie-rock singer-songwriter two years ago, Conor's made a crappy "electronic" album! In the studio, he was heard to say, "Gotta get me some of that Postal Service money!" And so he did what anyone would do in this situation: he went out and got one of the guys from the Postal Service.

The happiest surprise on these two albums is the absence of hand-wringing about
the price of fame. Once upon a time, cult heroes who earned even a dash of
mainstream success were expected to release a tortured (or, alternately, snarky)
album about how awful (or, alternately, hilarious) it all was. But on these two
discs, Mr. Oberst doesn't bother to grouse about the mainstream, not even People
This album by someone not even remotely famous or mainstream-successful sure doesn't have much complaining about being famous and mainstream-successful!

ADDENDUM: As Bright Eyes pieces keep showing up in my major-media reading fodder, like Newsweek and New York (maybe he will be famous!), I keep reading lyrics they quote as being great. And they're all just really unnoticable. I mean, what's up, guys?