The Redemption of Disco

I'm having trouble with the redemption of disco.

The long-awaited new Daft Punk album, RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY, certainly has a lot to do with it, but from where I'm standing the ball started rolling last year with Hot Chip's IN OUR HEADS. This is, of course, a purely personal evaluation; you may find enough disco element's in Royksopp's JUNIOR, or perhaps your definition of disco can encompass the sounds of LCD Soundsystem's 45:33. But for me, it wasn't until that Hot Chip album that I began to evaluate where I stood with disco, and it took a hell of a Daft Punk album to finally make me commit to a decision.

For us loathsome millenials, disco has long been the communal punching bag. We all developed different tastes and hates, but it was universal that disco was bad. It was awful high collar white suits, images of John Travolta pointing to the opposite corners of the room, "Disco Inferno" and our parents in awkward pictures. We could come around on all our other biases, but disco was the village idiot, never to be redeemed, a scar on music history reinforced by jokes on The Simpsons.

At the same time, I was a bassist, and disco was the last genre that let us feel important. Rock & roll had great bassists, but they were great because they used their talent to force themselves into notoriety. With disco, a good bass groove was necessity, not a luxury reserved for the cream of the crop. I thought of the genre as uncool, but even then I still had to learn "Play That Funky Music" and "Stayin' Alive." It was fun to do, but still, ultimately, the peak of uncoolness.

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My 10 Favorite Albums, 2012

10. Tame Impala - Lonerism
When an album entitled LONERISM has song names like, "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," "Why Won't They Talk To Me?" and "Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Can Control," there are certain expectations to its sound. I'm always down for the sadness — it is actually kind of obnoxious how down I am for the sadness. But separated from its words, LONERISM is a joyous album. Very few albums try to talk about these things like isolation and social anxiety in the framework of bass grooves and upbeat atmospheric melodies, and even fewer manage to be this infectious. Social anxiety you can dance to, it turns out, is a gleeful playground. LONERISM makes me wonder how I would've turned out if in my formative years I had found something like this album to express my teenage angst. I envy the theoretical High School sophomore that discovers this album, and learns to get pain off his chest with multicolored sunlight.

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Review | There's Always Been A Dream Of All

I wasn't sure if I would like the new Hot Chip album much. I have a high opinion of them, always have. But the last Hot Chip album was my favorite Hot Chip album since the last Hot Chip album. And the one before that, my favorite until then, too. It's turtles all the way down, and that's not a normal arc for a band this prolific. At some point, the wave is supposed to crest, and I'm supposed to run into an album that I can't really get into. In todays critical-blog culture, that seems to be the way of things unless you're a genre-king. The odds of Hot Chip topping themselves, again, seemed slim.

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Essay | Days of Music

Shocking confession: My life isn't all too exciting right now. The best way I can describe it is a series of ellipses punctuated by an exclamation mark, and this pattern repeats until I start moving towards a career. All of that is to say in an unnecessarily abstract way: I do a lot of nothing, and then something, and then nothing.

I will spend three weeks applying for jobs with no bites. Then I will take a trip to Washington. I will spend three weeks staying indoors, forgetting what air smells like. Then I will work on a film set for 10 days. Then I will spend three weeks just to observe my mental and physical atrophy. Then I will attend three bad-ass concerts within 10 days of each other. HERE IS A BLOG ABOUT THAT LAST PART HOW ABOUT THAT SEGUE

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