Me at the Vine talking about the new Australian #1 single. Fascinating how a 6-month-old song gets a new lease of life in the charts with an event video. I inevitably discuss happiness, yachts, eudaimonia and Scrooge McDuck money pits.
Tim Byron picks his favourite music writing of the year, focusing on the best profiles and the best pieces where people explain how music affects their lives.
This week I went through all my Music Readers from 2013, and thought about which pieces had stuck with me in some way. I ended up with a list of about fifty pieces, and the way I decided to try and narrow that down was to sort them into a few different categories, and pick five for each category. So here are the profile pieces (on everyone from Miley Cyrus to Jason Isbell) and the pieces where people explain how music has affected their lives in some way (from the funny to the terribly sad).
You Am I and what nostalgia looks like in 2013; is the blockbuster album coming to an end?; why Lorde’s like Nirvana; Death Grips’ genius at trolling the music industry; remembering Midget; the other awesome My Bloody Valentine album; R Kelly: loathsome human being, genius…or both?; Morrissey wrote a book.
Me linking to and explaining awesome music writing.
Tim Byron analyses the latest #1 single in Australia so you don’t have to.
I’ve been thinking about that whole Gawker smarm vs snark thing that’s been going around, and decided to apply the general principle of it to this John Legend song that got to #1 in Australia, because my initial reaction to the song was that it was all a bit smarmy. But, of course, that reaction of mine was more because I just didn’t hear my own experiences in the song; smarm is hard to distinguish from not-for-me in music. In any event, I also call Christopher Pyne smarmy, which I also realise is a bit like shooting some smarmy looking fish in a pretty smarmy looking barrel.
Explaining Haim; Courtney Barnett’s big break in New York City; Joe Jonas on what it was like to be famous; why Doggystyle is over-rated; identifying with nervous-breakdown-period Britney; Lady Gaga’s first-week sales and why they don’t matter much; more…
This week’s awesome music writing was pretty easy to put together . I reckon there’s a good range of profiles, sharp analysis, personal narratives, etc on both new music and old, on various genres. Which is just how I like it to be.
Tim Byron analyses the latest #1 single, with a little help from Carl Jung, so you don’t have to.
I’ve written over 100,000 words of this column now. Which is kind of awesome? Here I wonder why angry music isn’t as popular as it was once upon a time, and why Eminem’s seemingly the exception (and point out the parallels between Eminem’s concept of ‘The Monster’ and Jung’s concept of the Shadow, because they’re there).
The inevitable deluge of Lily Allen articles; the backlash against the Lorde backlash; Lady Gaga and the art world; Bill Callahan - the man who wasn’t there?; why Taylor Swift is the biggest pop star in the US; on Rick Rubin’s up-and-down career; A Tribe Called Quest in 1996.
Me at the Vine doing the usual. Lots of good music writing this week, as per usual!
How selling out saved indie rock; Lady Gaga gets undone by her control freakery; Ariana Grande’s literal demons; why Sound Summit was the only festival in NSW in 2013; Cher on being offered a vibrator by Salvador Dali; pop in Britain in 1983; how the Cocteau Twins transcended their influences; the philosophy of Machine Translations’ J Walker.
8 links to writing about music from the last week or so, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, that I thought were interesting.
In which Number One columnist Tim Byron is driven to despair.
Having to write about three X-Factor-related singles does that to a person. I started thinking, “what’s the point of the charts, anyway?” Then I started thinking, “what IS the point of the charts, anyway”, and so I talk about the differences between the ARIA charts in Australia, based purely on sales, and the Billboard Hot 100, which incorporates streaming and radio play etc, and how that changes the charts, for good and bad. I also discuss the song, and Henderson’s cover of ‘One Crowded Hour’ by Augie March.
Tim Byron analyses the new #1 single, X-Factor winner Dami Im’s ‘Alive’, so you don’t have to.
Another November, another X-Factor winner to write about for TheVine - for this one, I ruminate on what works on TV talent shows compared to what works on an iPod or radio, amongst other things. I don’t think I’ve quite run out of things to say about talent show winner songs getting to #1, but I’m surely not far off…