Remember back when Liz Phair came out with her Matrix-produced pop album and rebuked her indie fanboys by saying she’s always been attracted to manly Marine type dudes as opposted to bookish music nerds? Well, bookish music nerds are getting rebuked once again by another 90s indie icon. This time Stephen Malkmus reveals that he’s really, really into fantasy league sports to Chuck Klosterman in an interview for GQ.
The only member he consistently communicates with is multiinstrumentalist Bob Nastanovich, but that’s mostly because they’re in some of the same fantasy leagues. “Stephen is a pretty difficult guy to access,” Nastanovich explains via telephone, calling from a racetrack in Illinois where he’s working. “If you’re not in the same town with him, you don’t really hear from him. I’ve found that the easiest way to get in touch with him, even if it’s about a Pavement-related issue, is to propose a trade in one of our fantasy leagues and attach my question in an e-mail memo.”
Klosterman adds, “I cannot exaggerate the degree to which Malkmus enjoys fantasy sports; he almost seems to like them more than music. […] Malkmus does not watch the NHL, yet he still participates in a fantasy hockey league. He’s that kind of guy.”
That’s almost too weird to believe. Or is it? Lots of music geeks love sports, I guess…
Chuck Klosterman reviews a new box set by “a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes.”
1967 proved to be a turning point for the Beatles—the overwhelming lack of public interest made touring a fiscal impossibility, subsequently forcing them to focus exclusively on studio recordings. Spearheaded by the increasingly mustachioed Fake Paul, the four Beatles donned comedic Technicolor dreamcoats, consumed 700 sheets of mediocre acid on the roof of the studio, and proceeded to make Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking album no one actually likes. A concept album about finding a halfway decent song for Ringo, Sgt. Pepper has a few satisfactory moments (“Lovely Rita” totally nails the experience of almost having sex with a city employee), but this is only B+ work.
For reasons you don’t care about, Chuck Klosterman asked a bunch of German students to write an essay about who they considered to be “the most interesting twentieth-century American — not necessarily the most historically important, but the individual you find most personally compelling,” and the responses are amusing. Especially this one:
Someone selected Ryan Adams. This made me happy for two reasons. The first is that I suspect Adams is something of an underrated semi-genius, and I like the fact that he’s more appreciated in places where nobody cares whether or not Paul Westerberg hates him. The other reason is that I think there’s probably a 98 percent likelihood that Ryan Adams will read this sentence, put down the magazine, walk over to his four-track, and immediately write a psychedelic country song titled “Hey Little Leipzig Girl (I’m Glad You Dug Those Whiskeytown Bootlegs),” which I will be able to listen to on the Internet forty minutes from right now.
We’re waiting, Ryan. Please don’t let us (and the little Leipzig girl) down!
In an article called Me, On Shuffle for Esquire magazine, Chuck Klosterman compiles “all the best parts of all the rock songs I consistently enjoy the most, in the hope of figuring out whatever they have in common” to define “a unified field theory that defines what I like about sound.” Turns out, not much. But it’s an amusing read for any music freak who’s ever struggled with the idea. And hey, who hasn’t?
• The acutely sleazy guitar lick Mick Mars plays behind the beat on Motley Crue’s “Ten Seconds to Love,” particularly from :30 to :44 on that track.
• The vocal sequence from Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” where she sings and talks to herself at the same time, which starts at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the song.
• Pretty much all the bass playing on “Paperback Writer” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”
Plus, there are audio snippets. Although they’re provided in the annoying AIFF format — really?
Klosterman in Spin: “I sometimes think it would be to my benefit if I never listened to any album until two years have passed since its release date. I suspect I would avoid a lot of crap whose only value is that most people haven’t heard it (yet).”