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 Bon Iver
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   04-26-12 11:06

OK, now that I've seen Bon Iver play, I gotta ask: what's so compelling? I don't get it.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: nosepail 
Date:   04-26-12 11:36

To me he is mostly inspirational for being an indie star with a high net worth and a prematurely receding hairline. I enjoyed his first solo acoustic record, and found some genuine emotion in there, despite the omnipresent and annoying falsetto vocals. This latest record is just so glossily produced and new-agey, it makes me yearn for the rough edges and earthiness of a Bruce Hornsby record.

As Justin Timberlake on SNL: "Sorry I’m late… whatever. I was just wandering barefoot in the woods of Wisconsin. I fashioned this guitar out of a canoe and I wrote a song for your baby."

I also kind of like his putdowns of award shows.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: breno 
Date:   04-26-12 12:42

I've probably said this before on a number of occasions, but he's the Susan Boyle of indie rock - the creation myth is so irresistible that it accounts for a massive chunk of any attention directed his way. No one would buy a Susan Boyle record if instead of being a fat, unattractive middle-aged woman who wandered onto a talent show and surprised people by singing passably well, she was instead someone who'd come up through traditional showbiz channels. Take away the backstory and most of the people who now proudly own Susan Boyle CDs would instead be wondering why they'd forked over money for an album of schmaltzy cover versions.

Same way with Justin Vernon - take him out of that damn hunting cabin in the dead of a Wisconsin winter and put him in a studio in Chicago and For Emma Forever Ago - an album I like just fine, btw - gets about as much attention as the average Damien Jurado album does upon its release, and that's if Vernon is very, very lucky.

Now, take the desire of the many, many press outlets that completely missed out on getting to join in the fun of sharing the wondrous story of how "Justin Vernon, brokenhearted by romantic and artistic disappointments, holed up in a remote cabin in the winter and poured out his heart blah blah blah into For Emma" when that album came out to be able to do so and add that to the equally strong desire of the press outlets that DID get to tell the story the first time around to do some "We're so fucking cool because we knew about him before you losers did" gloating, you get the recipe for a good old fashioned Pre-Ordained Classic when the second album comes out, regardless of the content of that album.

Because as much as indie rock fans like to posture that they're above such considerations, they're (we're) suckers for a good story just as much as those mainstream losers that watch American Idol and vote for whoever has the saddest story to tell, whether they're the best singer or not. Thus, Jeff Tweedy became the Voice of His Generation following the too-good-to-really-be-true story behind the tortured creation, corporate rejection and eventual fan embrace of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (that oh, hey, just happened to be filmed for a documentary, imagine that) and Justin Vernon becomes a peerless bard of heartbreak who is a tortured genius just because his dad owned a hunting cabin.

And okay, YHF and For Emma are good albums. But it's the stories behind them that made everyone decide they were classics.



Post Edited (04-26-12 12:48)

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: mats84 
Date:   04-26-12 13:00


Absolutely agree with breno - and I'll differnetiate between Wilco and Bon Iver by saying the Wilco thing was at least passable because they did get some people who were just joining in late.

Wilco had made their (almost) great album before (Summerteeth), so they also had that "building effect" that something great was due to happen at that time in an organic way too. Though make no mistake about it : I consider YHF a deeply flawed album with a few high points and a lot of weak patches and it was the beginning of the end for me and that band.

Bon Iver just is a wuss singing in falsetto about his mushy feelings. I don't get this guy at all - even his heartbreak doesn't sound like heartbreak - heartbreak doesn't sound that pretty, that "nice".

I hear that and I think it's closer to David Gates and Bread than anything remotely resembling what I like in my pop music.




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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: breno 
Date:   04-26-12 18:53

http://boniverotica.tumblr.com/

I wonder what Kathleen Edwards thinks of this.



Post Edited (04-26-12 18:58)

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Delvin 
Date:   04-27-12 12:06

I know plenty of folks who get into folk and folk-derived music in general, but I'm not one of them. So I don't have much to say about Bon Iver. (Although I do suspect he would have drawn a lot less attention under his own name. "Bon Iver" has a touch of mystery to it ... plus, die-hard music snobs can get pleasure from correcting anyone who pronounces it "Bon EYE-ver.")



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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   04-27-12 12:46

What I saw the other night was definitely not folk. I guess because his first record was performed primarily on acoustic guitar, he's considered folk.

He played a few songs I thought were pretty good ("Blood Bank," "Towers," "Calgary," "Re: Stacks"), but most of his tunes seem pretty slight. The best song he did was a cover of Patty Griffin's "Nobody's Crying." And he sings almost all of them in one of the most annoying falsettos I've ever heard. Apparently women swoon over his voice, but to me it was eardrum-piercing. It was made all the more annoying by him singing a few tunes in his regular voice, thus proving he doesn't have to be irritating, but that it's a choice.

He closed the main set with a song called "Beth/Rest," which was centered around terrible-sounding 80s keyboards and noxious, busy sax playing. When did Phil Collins become an influence on indie rock?

I will give him this, though: outside of "Beth/Rest," he made very good use of his horn players (most of whom doubled on other instruments) - they played mostly non-cliched lines and arrangements.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: HollowbodyKay 
Date:   04-27-12 12:56

Quote:

"Bon Iver" has a touch of mystery to it ... plus, die-hard music snobs can get pleasure from correcting anyone who pronounces it "Bon EYE-ver.")


I've never had to pronounce his name, as no one has ever mentioned him in my presence not once ever.

However, I've always been planning to pronounce it in an outrageously feigned French accent:

Bohn Eee-vair.

Very nasal and ostentatious on the "Ohhhhn" in "Bohhhhhhhn."

I'll let y'all know as soon as he ever comes up in any musical discussions in my neck o' the woods.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Delvin 
Date:   04-27-12 19:10

> I've always been planning to pronounce it in an outrageously feigned French accent:
>
> Bohn Eee-vair.
>
> Very nasal and ostentatious on the "Ohhhhn" in "Bohhhhhhhn."



"Oui! Oui! C'est très prétentieux! Je suis impressionné."



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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: totaji 
Date:   04-28-12 14:40

You guys have no idea...

http://boniverotica.tumblr.com/

"Bon Iver must have known I would wear his workshirts to bed while he was away. He left me gifts in the breast pocket of each - a tiny shell, a dried flower, a pinecone"

:)

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Jermoe 
Date:   04-28-12 19:57

This is one of those stupefying mysteries. If we, the target audience, don't like him, then who does? I can't/won't buy the knee-jerk response of "Girls," either, because, let's be honest, Justin Vernon is not a very attractive slab of humanity, is he?

We're dealing with a variation on the whole Kid Rock/Matchbox 20/Nickelback effect: millions of someones are buying this, but who are they?

Just for the record, I'm not especially anti-Bon Iver, but the two songs I've really dug have both been covers (the aforementioned Patty Griffin chestnut and Peter Gabriel's "Talk to Me").

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: zwirnm 
Date:   04-28-12 22:20

I think "Blood Bank" is a fine song, and I also think the choruses are a huge ripoff of Warren Zevon's "Searching for a Heart."

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   04-28-12 23:32

"This is one of those stupefying mysteries. If we, the target audience, don't like him, then who does? I can't/won't buy the knee-jerk response of "Girls," either, because, let's be honest, Justin Vernon is not a very attractive slab of humanity, is he?"

Based on my experience the other night, I'd say that (a) we are not the target audience, as said audience is likely under 30 and (b) both sexes seem to appreciate him, but he's definitely striking a chord (sorry) with girls. There were comments like "His voice can make you pregnant."

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: HollowbodyKay 
Date:   04-28-12 23:40

Quote:

We're dealing with a variation on the whole Kid Rock/Matchbox 20/Nickelback effect: millions of someones are buying this, but who are they?


We asked Peter Frampton's chest hair …

… if it could offer any insight into the phenomenon.

The reply? "We have no idea!"

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: breno 
Date:   04-29-12 09:03

Quote:

but he's definitely striking a chord (sorry) with girls. There were comments like "His voice can make you pregnant."


All through history, hype has triggered outbreaks of mass hysteria in which women are able to convince themselves that the most randomly bizarre things are sexy as hell. Recall that back in the 80s THIS GUY was for a brief period the biggest male sex symbol in the USA:



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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   04-29-12 09:20

I don't know who that is, but he looks like a child molester.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: breno 
Date:   04-29-12 09:55

It's Anthony Geary, who played Luke on General Hospital. I never watched that show (I was a Days of Our Lives man myself, due to a huge crush on Kayla Brady), but apparently Luke raped Laura, Laura fell in love with him, then they got married in the wedding of the decade and women all over the country thought he was just the dreamiest thing ever.

And that photo is not a "where are they now" current-day photo or anything. That's what he actually looked like back when women were swooning over him.



Post Edited (04-29-12 09:57)

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: nosepail 
Date:   04-30-12 10:42

This site is absolutely hilarious. My favorite so far is:

"Light flickers across his body. He’s trying not to fall asleep, because he still has stories to tell me. The handmade beeswax candles are burning low."

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Delvin 
Date:   05-01-12 11:46

> We're dealing with a variation on the whole Kid Rock/Matchbox 20/Nickelback effect: millions
> of someones are buying this, but who are they?

In the case of those other artists, the answer's pretty easy: mainstream rock fans. People who never would've gotten into the various strains of rock that TPers have focused on, and wouldn't get into 'em now. People who loved songs like Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" and Matchbox 20's "3 AM" because they fit in well with their existing tastes.

I've posted here before about a review I once read of REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity, in which the reviewer predicted that mainstream rock listeners would make the album a big hit: "They'll like these songs, because they liked them the last thousand times they were written." That holds true with the artists and songs mentioned above — literally, in the case of "All Summer Long."

> If we, the target audience, don't like him, then who does?

I am not part of the target audience for Bon Iver ... unless it's in the same sense that statues in the park make up the "target audience" for pigeons.



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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Jermoe 
Date:   08-02-12 16:04

Your Bon Iver dubstep dreams can come true:

http://www.avclub.com/articles/bon-iver-launches-remix-contest-invites-fans-and-h,83311/

Okay, then.

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 Re: Bon Iver
Author: Delvin 
Date:   08-02-12 16:10

Really, all these posts about Bon Iver are lulling me to sleep as reliably as his music does. Where's a Japandroids thread when you need one?



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