Each Tuesday, FADER editor Matthew Schnipper highlights an underappreciated recent release he thinks we need to know about. This week it’s Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix kind of. Go buy FADER to really read about them and read Schnipper's thoughts after the jump.
Last night I got drunk and DJ’d. I haven’t done that—DJ—in about five years. I was never very good at it, but I did somewhat regularly when I was 21 and 22, mostly at a movie theater with a bar. The DJ set up was in the old ticket-taking booth, which meant I had to walk through one of the theaters to get there, often when a movie was playing. I lived a few blocks way, so all the records got packed into a rolling suitcase and a Kmart laundry basket that came from god knows where and they’d get shuffled through the aisle, up to the screen and into a tiny, dark room with a big hole in the wall cut out so you could see the bar. I DJ’d every Wednesday for a while and played basically whatever I wanted. Which is basically what I envisioned DJing at Lit for Josh Wildman and Andrew Kuo’s night Hugs would be like. It basically was, playing songs I wanted to hear really loud while I got progressively more drunk, danced alone to Belle and Sebastian and then went home without saying goodbye to anyone. Music is awesome! In vague order, here are all of my memorable musical experiences of the week. I don’t remember what I did on Wednesday. Probably listened to Cass McCombs and cried because I am a giant baby. Oh wait I went over to my friend Jessica’s house to watch my friend Kevin’s company on CNN’s Black In America. After she tried to make me watch So You Think You Can Dance.
I have taken to playing lots of stuff like a guitar, like interactive air guitar. My roommate Andrew has introduced me to In Treatment, an HBO show about therapy, which has many entertaining hours worth of people talking about brutal, raw shit. It also has this catchy theme song. We watched an episode of it and the song came on and he picked up his laptop and played it like a guitar, in a tribute to how awesome playing stuff like a guitar is and also in tribute to how sweet Gabriele Byrne is on this show (fuck yeah, fall in love with Laura, she is a babe, your wife is not for you). It was awesome.
My friend and coworker Erin sent me a text message that she was thinking of going to see DJ Harvey but they thought it was somewhere in the Thirties and no one wanted to go up north really so we went to the basement of this bar Von to see if there was any good music. Once when I was in third or fourth grade my friend Keith invited me to go to a late night youth group meet at his church, a lock-in. I can’t remember if it was supposed to be a sleepover and I bailed or if we just left late, but I remember walking around in a church, maybe the only time I have ever been in a church, with all these really peppy, normal, nice, kind of boring kids and just wanting to get out of there so bad. That was the vibe at Von. But it was really nice and earnest. There was the hottest girl there with her plain forever boyfriend. And they were so stoked, and she is probably a neurologist and he probably works in technology and she doesn’t want some fancy shit, they probably met in calculus at Emory and moved to the city for job opportunities and love the mood. Everyone at Von could not dance well or dress well and it was awesome. One dude was doing this epic pelvis thrust that that was so foul but he was owning it and did not care. There was a couple who were both terrible dancers and dancing together and were so happy about it, just smiling and chilling. I danced for a little while when Zapp came on. How amazing was Roger Troutman? I don’t listen to Zapp nearly enough. I was going to bring “More Bounce to the Ounce” to play last night but I didn’t. Anyway, Von is cool but it’s not the spot to chill at all night on Friday but Erin, her friend Ly and I want to go dancing so we check out what is at Love that night and sure enough DJ Harvey is playing so we went there and danced to a bunch of sweet music I have never heard in my life. Erin and I shared a cab and she fell asleep on the way home. I put Girls on on my iPhone and started to dance when I crossed the street to go to my house and she yelled out the taxi window at me.
In the morning I cleaned my house up and listened to records while wearing shorts and Sean John slippers I got from the free pile at my work. I put on Phoenix and started to sing along. Then I recorded myself singing it with my iPhone and emailed the file to Pete, FADER’s editorial director and completely obsessed Phoenix fan who wrote our current cover story on the band. He wrote me back and thought it was him, which would mean I was secretly taping him singing to Phoenix. Then I put on a shirt and walked down the street o see Wild Yaks play outside. All I ate until dinner that day was a piece of cheese and some peanut butter. Later I got faded and a bunch of people came over to my house before we went out dancing. I was wearing a baseball hat. I put on the remix to “Make It Rain” and rewound the R Kelly verse five times. Don’t ask me what my name is/ Stupid bitch I’m famous is the best couplet ever. You know how Deborah whats her face does those one page interviews in the NY Times magazine? I want her to do one with R Kelly. I feel like they have a similar demeanor. I have the worst singing voice ever I promise but man I was killing that R Kelly verse with a blanket wrapped around my head like a Bedouin. I like props I guess. We went out dancing after that and this dude Janka Nabay, whose music is called “bubu” (which is awesome) played. He had a grass skirt and a weird mesh tank top like he was playing capture the flag. But he was lipsyncing and I was pretty dazed at that point. I walked out of the bathroom and into a low bench and fucked up my leg pretty bad. Oh also I listened to “Birthday Sex” like twenty times.
I heard some people DJ in the park then it rained a lot. Then I heard Zombies at a potluck.
That was yesterday when I DJ’d like I told you about above. But I didn’t tell you that first I went to go see Cass McCombs. It was awesome but it did not change my life. Live music is weird. The first show I ever saw was NOFX. I went with my dad, my friend and his dad. It was so awesome. I remember figuring out what I should wear (I wore a grey T-shirt and brown corduroys). NOFX threw around inflatable sheep. We got stuck in traffic going to Danbury and I was so nervous we were going to be late. We weren’t late, it was fine. I guess I don’t get nervous the same way anymore. Nor does anyone perform with inflatable sheep. Cass McCombs made a lot of perfect songs. He uses a delicate pedal steel and live that was replaced by an enormous keyboard. I got caught up trying to hear the second guitar because I never could. The drummer was singing along like it wasn’t his band. For a while while he was playing I thought about a job I applied for four years ago as an ad copywriter that I never heard back about.