Normally I favor simplicity in communication, but sometimes you need to just throw everything you can at the wall and see what sticks. A thoughtful, disorganized mind is a dangerous thing, full of quick wit and tongue-tied enlightenment without cohesiveness. I’ve been listening to Dan Bejar’s Destroyer project pretty comprehensively for the past year or so, enamored with the wealth of ideas and poetry floating around in the guy’s head (“Poor child you’re never going to make it/ New York City just wants to see you naked/ and they will” or “It was 2002 and you needed reminding to stay alive”). It encapsulates that drunken-Hemingway-conversing-with-the-common-man thing, cynicism perfectly wed to astute observations and pop hooks. I’ve written about Bejar’s Canadian preoccupation before, but the records continue growing in significance and my understanding of modern social interactions.
What stands out for the artists in this mix are two very simple things: picky, esoteric social observations made by outsiders who’ve seen plenty, and really odd vocals. These are, first and foremost, pop songs. As with Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah (!), they were quick to point out their music sounds like “Bob Dylan, but with synthesizers.” Bowie always seemed to float above it all (perhaps in space?). Spencer Krug prefers the seedy dive to the bar where everyone knows your name. Life can be pretty strange, so embrace it.
A fairly odd recap:
- “Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away,” Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!
- “Oh You Pretty Things,” David Bowie, Hunky Dory
- “The Bad Arts,” Destroyer, Streethawk: A Seduction
- “I’ll Believe in Anything,” Wolf Parade, Apologies to Queen Mary
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