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 Shearwater at the Supermarket 
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010 23:30
Posts: 22
Location: Toronto
I find this weird....

Shearwater's "You As You Were" is playing at 2 different local supermarkets (both are Loblaws for anyone living in Toronto). It's not from a radio station either, it's just some sort of random track list, but every Loblaws must have it. It came on after The Wallflower's song "One Headlight" and the other time it came on after Queen's "Under Pressure." For those who don't know, Loblaws is a huge supermarket, so hearing the song in such a space with random people made me feel all warm inside. Safe to say my mind was blown.

:shock:


09 May 2012 07:46
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
Posts: 157
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
I always feel strange hearing music I care about while shopping, but that would be very cool.


09 May 2012 20:42
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Joined: 24 Jan 2012 13:01
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Crazy! Which locations? I'll have to listen next time I go.


10 May 2012 21:04
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Joined: 03 Apr 2010 23:30
Posts: 22
Location: Toronto
A little north of Toronto. It's at the North York Center in between Finch and Sheppard on Yonge. It's also playing at the Loblaws in Bayview Village Mall. Do you live in Toronto?

So funny tho, I was picking up dog food and the song came on and I turn to my dad almost breathless..."This is Shearwater..."


17 May 2012 18:19
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Joined: 24 Jan 2012 13:01
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Yessir. My local store is Bathurst and St. Clair. They tend to be playing Celine Dion or Mariah Carey everything I'm there, but I'll keep my ears peeled.


23 May 2012 21:16
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007 14:00
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Location: London
From sacred music to supermarket music.

Wow. A tragedy in six words.


24 May 2012 03:20
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
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Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Certainly no worthy music has ever been played in a supermarket.


24 May 2012 23:33
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007 14:00
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Location: London
Shearwater in the supermarket is not an accident. It is an ambition.

Quote:
True ambition in a poet seeks fame in the old sense, to make words that live forever. If even to entertain such ambition reveals monstrous egotism, let me argue that the common alternative is petty egotism that spends itself in small competitiveness, that measures its success by quantity of publication, by blurbs on jackets, by small achievement: to be the best poet in the workshop, to be published by Knopf, to win the Pulitzer or the Nobel. . . . The grander goal is to be as good as Dante.


Tragedy is when being as good as Dante is within your reach, but you opt instead to make music for people to buy dog food to.


31 May 2012 07:33
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Joined: 05 Oct 2008 13:53
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Location: Decatur GA
felicitywormwood wrote:
Shearwater in the supermarket is not an accident. It is an ambition.

Quote:
True ambition in a poet seeks fame in the old sense, to make words that live forever. If even to entertain such ambition reveals monstrous egotism, let me argue that the common alternative is petty egotism that spends itself in small competitiveness, that measures its success by quantity of publication, by blurbs on jackets, by small achievement: to be the best poet in the workshop, to be published by Knopf, to win the Pulitzer or the Nobel. . . . The grander goal is to be as good as Dante.


Tragedy is when being as good as Dante is within your reach, but you opt instead to make music for people to buy dog food to.


I think I'm confused. Is this your take in general on the last album, that SW (or JM) are selling out? Does the video of the high school drill team doing a routine to Red Sea Black Sea also offend you(here it is if you missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32O0m2QikeE)? I don't find it hard at all to believe that someone who programs the music at a supermarket, or a high school cheerleader, might have the same off-the-wandering-path taste in music that I do.


31 May 2012 18:24
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
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Felicity sent me a really creepy yet completely vague private message about how awful Jonathan is. She would seem to have a personal vendetta against him, so I wouldn't take her posts about any latter-day Shearwater too seriously. She is finally living up to her name, though.

Besides, Dante was not always so great himself - despite my reasonably deep amateur understanding of Catholicism of the time and Dante's little heterodoxies, and despite having tried in my late adolescence to buy into the glory of Paradiso, I just can't stand it. The shining world where nothing is happening has turned my stomach since reaching adulthood.

Certainly, Dante was no stranger to politicking and self-promotion. (Why do you think he was so angry over such venal injustices done to him in Inferno? Why do you think his provincial prejudices play such a huge role in doling out torments? And then there's De Monarchia...) Not to mention the idolatry of Virgil, surely the epic poet whose reach furthest exceeded his grasp...

What the heck is wrong with being Petrarch, anyway?


31 May 2012 20:39
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007 14:00
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Yes, I did send jkade a private message. I felt, perhaps misguidedly, that I needed to warn other fans against too much public adulation of Jonathan, which in my case led him to seek me out for a private friendship which ultimately proved unhealthy for me. I realize I played my own part in my disaster, and I care very much about Jonathan and wish him well, but I think enjoying the power and adulation of the rock star has wrought some major distortions on what must originally have been a very lovely personality.

This is what I was trying to say above, without going into the personal aspect of things. That power, and addiction to that power -- more sales, more fans, more applause -- seems to be changing the music as well as the person, which I think is doubly tragic. I could be wrong. I would love to be wrong.

The internet has kind of collapsed the distance between performer and audience. Musicians are no longer remote, godlike beings of a different order; they are us. They are people like you and me, people our age, the kind of people we work with, live with, date, make friends with. They need us to survive, and we love them like friends or family. And they also work in an industry that is notorious for sucking something vital out of people, mangling them and even killing them at times. Is what happens to the person behind the product none of our business? Or do fans and artists, now interconnected in ways we weren't before, have new responsibilities to each other?

I actually started out as an Okkervil River fan, way back in 2003, and over the years I saw something happening to both the band and its music that disturbed me more and more. One by one, people disappeared and were replaced, as OR gradually coalesced around a single personality, Will Sheff's. The atmosphere on stage got edgier and more joyless, and the vulnerability that balanced the swagger so beautifully was gradually eclipsed by something harder and shinier, opaque, even cruel. I don't go to OR gigs any more; I feel weird applauding what basically feels like a dysfunctional family.

I feel like the same thing is happening to Jonathan/Shearwater. Like I said, I'd love to be wrong. But if I'm not, it's a goddamn shame.


01 Jun 2012 10:29
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011 22:49
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I do fairly well with people. I don't have any enemies that I know of. But it is difficult for me to accurately judge the character and motivations of people I see frequently, much less people I barely know. I doubt you've seen much more of him than I have. I suspect the character flaws you impute to Jonathan say more about you than him.

You know what, though? If under the gentle surface lurks a deadly undertow, I don't really care. The music that he and Thor and Kim (and Danny, Mitch, Lucas, and Christiaan) are making is more in sympathy with my worldview than any other current music that I know of. And I listen to a lot of music.

And I never much cared for Okkervil River and was put off Shearwater for months back in 2006/2007 because of the connection. I have come to like a few things here and there, but they're generally not my style.

P.S. if I interpret the leaves of Amazon sales rankings aright, if I correctly augur the flight of iTunes ranks, you don't have to worry about too many sales or too many fans. Hopefully Animal Joy has been enough of a financial success to keep this enterprise aloft for another few years, but it does not appear to have been the breakout success they've deserved since 2007, and that, my friends, is the truly damnable shame.


01 Jun 2012 21:00
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Well, I don't claim to be able to fathom JM's inmost soul, but after several years of emails, texts, phone calls, Skype conversations and visits, I feel like I know him a fair bit better than the average fan. But as someone who started as a diehard fan myself -- you can read back through my posting history here if you like -- I understand completely that we all want to believe only good things about the people who make the music we love.

This is precisely what worries me, though: the deification process. Does the fact that someone makes art we like render their behavior in private and professional life irrelevant? jkade seems to think so, and on the whole, our culture agrees. I am not 100% sure myself, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable to think of the effects this notion has had on talented people who have taken it to heart: it becomes seductively easy to believe that you need not be answerable to actual people as long as you have enough clapping hands.

And when clapping hands become the goal, when the music becomes subservient to that end, then maybe something holy ebbs away, and something else takes its place.


03 Jun 2012 16:52
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008 12:01
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felicitywormwood wrote:
This is precisely what worries me, though: the deification process. Does the fact that someone makes art we like render their behavior in private and professional life irrelevant? jkade seems to think so, and on the whole, our culture agrees.


This is why I don't like to meet or hear a lot about the personal lives of artists whose output I enjoy - I have a hard time dissociating my feelings for them as people and my feelings for their art. It's probably also the reason that I can't find even objectively beautiful people attractive if they're unappealing to me in terms of personality.

In any case, this is fairly deep and potentially problematic discussion for a thread about hearing songs in the grocery store.


03 Jun 2012 22:24
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Joined: 27 Nov 2008 07:52
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Location: Stratford upon Avon, England
felicitywormwood wrote:
Well, I don't claim to be able to fathom JM's inmost soul, but after several years of emails, texts, phone calls, Skype conversations and visits, I feel like I know him a fair bit better than the average fan. But as someone who started as a diehard fan myself -- you can read back through my posting history here if you like -- I understand completely that we all want to believe only good things about the people who make the music we love.

This is precisely what worries me, though: the deification process. Does the fact that someone makes art we like render their behavior in private and professional life irrelevant? jkade seems to think so, and on the whole, our culture agrees. I am not 100% sure myself, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable to think of the effects this notion has had on talented people who have taken it to heart: it becomes seductively easy to believe that you need not be answerable to actual people as long as you have enough clapping hands.

And when clapping hands become the goal, when the music becomes subservient to that end, then maybe something holy ebbs away, and something else takes its place.


Sorry, but I think you probably need to get on with living your life rather than pointlessly worrying about the "deification process" of musicians. Trying to infer negative aspects of Jonathan's personality on here because you feel that you "know him a fair bit better than the average fan" is quite frankly unhinged.

Just continue to enjoy THE MUSIC, or don't. The internet doesn't need any more pseudo psychology.


05 Jun 2012 02:49
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