Fuck You For Liking Stuff
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Stephen Malkmus - "Baby C'mon"

It's 4:24.

My brain is really nervous that whatever review I give, whatever statement I give, will seal me in a tomb of regret to wake up in later on. I want to be right. I want to convert you. okay, here goes:

Boy is chained to the floor, guitar strap glued to the back of his neck. Teaches himself to play and everyone gathers around and claps. Keeps playing for 10 years, every day, a constant parade of clapping, cheering people, he's still chained to the same spot. Eventually, his arms hang by his sides and he stares out at the crowd. His stare turns to conscious examination, he is fascinated why the crowd hasn't left. He begins to see why, in their expressions, in the mirrors they're holding. He shrugs, picks the guitar up from his waist and resumes playing, to much applause.

I really believe that Malkmus is trying to Face some Truth, but his truth still looks and sounds like lies.

It's 4:40

[if you're american, buy the single off iTunes]

Posted by Dan at March 22, 2005 4:40 AM

Man, what a way to put it. I couldn't agree with you more - the new album irks me in a way the SM has done in the past, but with much more ferocity.

Posted by Funtime Ben at March 22, 2005 9:44 AM

i'm so confused. anyways, i like this song. between this and the one fluxblog posted i'm excited for the new album. quite a feat considering how much i dislike pig lib.

Posted by george at March 22, 2005 11:21 AM

at least it is short.

Posted by bmr at March 22, 2005 2:59 PM

Really, it's Malkmus. Attaching some sort of expectations to it based on some faux Pavementistic notions probably isn't the best idea. He's always been what he produces. And it's never been anything more or less than this album.

Impenetrable lies? Not really.
It's truth because there's no way of telling the difference at this point.

Posted by Ampersand at March 22, 2005 3:55 PM

"Attaching some sort of expectations to it based on some faux Pavementistic notions probably isn't the best idea."

I agree (well, maybe not with the term, but the idea). I hope I didn't give the impression I held the contrary opinion.

"It's truth because there's no way of telling the difference at this point."

Mmm, that doesn't hold with me. There are still lies and there is still truth. Take, for example, this song, I really feel like he's talking to himself when he says "hell's not far away, so baby c'mon". but he, or some one of equal authority (Spiral?), could, with perfect validity, say that no, that's a lie. So, in fact, everything's a lie if we can't distinguish the two, thus defeating the attempt of the title of the album. Unless the title itself is ironic, in which case, he must be really frigging despressed.

Posted by Dan at March 22, 2005 6:29 PM

"I agree (well, maybe not with the term, but the idea). I hope I didn't give the impression I held the contrary opinion."

Yeah, I'm referring more to some of the negative backlash I've already seen leveled against it by others. Most people still seem to be riding on the wave that he's expected to change their lives like he did in 94' or else he's a failure. I don't like the term either, but it's been something he's been plagued with since launching a solo career.

"So, in fact, everything's a lie if we can't distinguish the two, thus defeating the attempt of the title of the album. Unless the title itself is ironic, in which case, he must be really frigging despressed."

See, I'm not so sure. While conventionally that's true, I'm not sure that's the response it's aiming for. He's never fused more than an ounce at a time of personability into his songs (and even when he does how can we be sure he's referring to himself.) So coming from an album formerly titled Hamburger Serenade, maybe we're the ones that are supposed to face the truth that he's never been or in fact been interested in being what we've made him out to be. Like you said in the entry, he, more than anyone, seems to be mystified by his stardom. And yeah, maybe it is a little depressing.

Fact or fiction, the album's a pretty nice listen.

Posted by Ampersand at March 22, 2005 7:41 PM

I'm looking at the post in Netscape, and the paragraphy starting "Boy" is all crossed out. Don't know how to fix it though...

Posted by Anonymous at March 22, 2005 9:45 PM


p.s. He's clever, but I think dude just likes music. Of course there are musical allusions to Rod Stewart embedded so take that as you will.

Posted by Roger at March 22, 2005 9:59 PM

I still think he sounds happier on this record than he ever has, even if it's bullshit. All throughout the album, he looks at puzzling life situations and tries to accept the bright side of things. The truth, as he sees it, sounds like it is just him finding some form of acceptance of the thoughts that plague him. "The road to rejection/is better than no road at all"

Posted by EJ at March 23, 2005 4:15 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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