Yo Yo! Check out the full stream of Metropole

So, now our record, Metropole is streaming in its entirety. So far, people seem to be pretty happy with it, which is great, because uh…I don’t think it’s too crazy to say that a great part about what makes being in a band fun is seeing people react positively to your songs. I know I like that—when people get the look on their face that I get when I see bands I love playing songs I love, that’s what it’s all about for us—that transference of fun and enjoyment. I truly enjoy that stuff.

Some bands do not, however. Some bands like to challenge listeners, and they do things like write songs that are purposely defiant to the notion of what they think their fans want. Or they’re intentionally abrasive in an aggressively offensive way. Some bands will create a catalog of songs that their fans enjoy and then refuse to play those songs in order to, fuck…I dunno? Test the loyalty of the fans, their ability to keep up? I’ve never thought of being in a band as equivalent to being a music appreciation personal trainer, but lots of band folks seem to think that’s a pretty good way to do shit.

We have friends who were in a great band back in the day. They put out a fabulous album that I still love a lot. As soon as people started coming to their shows, they stopped playing all the songs on their only record, and started playing only new stuff, which was much heavier and darker. We kind of laughed about this ‘daring the audience to like you’ move, and suggested that their next release would probably just be sheet music, but alas, they never went full Mozart and instead just broke up.

I like playing the songs people like, and I’m pretty excited to be able to play some of these new ones along with the songs that everyone who comes to our shows wants to hear. I’ll be doing that on Tuesday the 28th—playing acoustically at Reckless Records in Wicker Park in Chicago around 6pm. And then all of the Lawrence Arms will be doing it up the west and east coasts in Feb and March and then we’ll hit the Midwest and Europe sometime after that. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Should be a goddamn gas.

Two things though, real quick before I go, and these are only tangentially related to the above musings: 1) a few people have expressed disappointment in the fact that there are references to Twitter on this album. The arguments seem to be either A) that’s gonna date this record, bro… besides, technology is kind of a faux pas in general when it comes to creating stuff of a certain caliber or B) Twitter is too stupid to sing about. But I disagree with both of these assessments and here’s why:

A)   I am on twitter. You can even follow me if you want. I’m @badsandwich. It’s a part of my existence. Is Twitter gonna timestamp the record? Who fucking cares? The DATE is printed on the record. And sure, Twitter probably won’t last forever, but if you think that referencing outmoded technology is a surefire way to turn something from high quality into laughable garbage, tell it to Dostoyevsky and his novels full of old potbelly stoves and samovars. Tell it to Revenge of the Nerds and their shitty desktop computers. Tell it to Biggie and his pager. Kurt Vonnegut once said something roughly to the effect of (and I’m WILDLY paraphrasing here, so forgive me) “leaving technology out of your books is disingenuous and lame.” (well, he probably said it with a tad more eloquence). And I totally agree with that. If I can write about television or cars, I can write about twitter. Which leads me to point B)

B)   Uh, Yeah, twitter can be kind of stupid, but it’s also a pretty neat aggregating tool for cool minds, clever ideas, up to the second breaking news, and general tomfoolery. It’s CAN be really stupid, but its potential as a medium of stupidity is no worse than that of television.  I mean, certainly Twitter has low points, but are they really any lower than a segment where Mario Lopez gets an E! exclusive tour of Nicole Ritchie’s house? Doubtful. And Television, my friends, is a fucking STAPLE in rock and roll. So there. Twitter songs are fine. And besides, everything is context. And in the context of this record, the disconnectedness of Twitter, the lone voice in a sea of lonely voices, is pretty in line with the whole thing.


Finally, I just did a feature in the AV Club, where they asked me to pick a song that I absolutely hate and discuss why I hate it. I picked Shiny Happy People by REM. Some of the commenters (don’t read the comments) jumped on me for ‘cherry picking a bad song.’ Uh, THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT OF THE GODDAMN ARTICLE, DUMMIES! I am supposed to pick a song I hate. Sorry you like REM so much and, I’m extremely sorry that they have this song in their catalog, but uh….yeah. Anyway, Sheesh.

Y’all are great. See you soon. xoxoxo

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16 Responses to Yo Yo! Check out the full stream of Metropole

  1. Heathbar says:

    Everytime AV Club releases one of those articles, I always hate another song by the same band so much more than the focal point for the article. In this case, you even mentioned it! “Stand” makes me wish for the sweet release of death via beating from a sack of dried cat turds. Album rules, of course. You should be just as proud as you currently are, but likely, no more. 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      I must agree, Stand is hands down the worst song ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, Stand is hands down the worst song ever.

      • Jake says:

        Stand and Shiny happy people are cringeworthy. I think Orange Crush kinda sucks too…but I think Country Feedback, Radio Free Europe and pretty much all of Automatic For the People are really great music and songwriting.

        • Heathbar says:

          I definitely appreciate more REM than Beex, but hims way more punx than me. Plus, I completely understand where he is coming from. Michael Stipe appears entirely too smug for me to ever enjoy the majority of his catalog. It’s a wonder I appreciate Clarence Carter so much.

  2. Jake says:

    Couple things on my mind…

    1. I’m really looking forward to TLA “hitting the Midwest” sometime soon because none of the dates currently released are close enough for me to get there without an overnight stay.

    2. The new album is pretty damn good, and that’s only after one listen. So I can’t wait to really get to know this one.

    3. Agree with you 100% on the Twitter thing. It was kinda weird the first couple times I heard a band sing about texting too, but now that’s 1000 times more commonplace than even calling someone on the phone.

  3. CH says:

    Great point on Twitter. Too many artists romantically cling to the past for imagery. How many more references to “sinking ships” must I hear in punk rock? You didn’t sail the ocean in a wooden vessel.

    References to technology keeps things fresh and honest. Many of us own computers and phones — no need to deny it.

  4. Shaun says:

    As a long time fan,

    I can say without a doubt that this is exactly the Lawrence arms album i was hoping for.

    It’s a mixture of everything that makes TLA my favorite band.

    Gets better with every listen believe me 🙂

    From The Guy inAustralia with the Hourglass tattoo you took a photo of 🙂

  5. Sandro says:

    Pretty simple here: this is one awesome fucking album. Preordered, got a sweatshirt, and then preordered for a friend as an early birthday gift.

    This will likely stand as my favorite Lawrence Arms work for some time. “The YMCA…” is an outstanding song and was the first to catch my attention. Easily a favorite upon first thirty listens (With fuck knows how many more to come).

    Drunk Tweets was fantastic and I thought the incorporation of Twitter ultimately just made it a more personal work, as if to mark “Brendan Kelly was here.”

    I’ve always loved your work and the insight into your lives and minds it gives. Y’all make for interesting characters to follow. I hope to be following for at least another decade or three before you die old.

  6. P.U.N.X. says:

    ahhh what band are you talkin about

  7. Robb says:

    Metropole is fucking fantastic! A little premature but possibly your best?

  8. Robb says:

    Metropole is fucking fantastic! A little premature but possibly your best?

  9. Robb says:

    Beautiful Things is the jam

  10. Chip Delam says:

    Please come up to Wisconsin!

  11. Kanthackit says:

    I’m diggin the song Never Fade Away.. Awesome voice harmonies!!

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