Just a few of my favourite Man Machines.
For some reason, had missed raiding my parents 7” collection. A few cool finds.
Record fair pickups. Officially putting a stop to my buying any more records for several months.
Kind of funny that the best song ever written about Gen X is also the best song ever written about Millennials. Maybe it is just the best song ever written about being young.
There’s something appropriate about how almost everyone (including, apparently, Pitchfork staff writers) gets the lyrics to this song wrong.* I feel like it’s what Westerberg would want.
*the chorus is “WAIT ON the sons of no one”
I’d happily rank The National among my absolute favourite bands, which makes their new single, “Demons,” all the more heartbreaking: it’s terrible. Simply terrible.
I want to write more about it, but won’t have the time right away, but my initial thought is that this is the band’s Elizabethtown: like Crowe’s nadir, it feels like the work of an artist stuck in a formula to the point of self-parody, making qualities that were once endearing now exhausting. It you were to tell me that this was actually another band spoofing the National, I’d be inclined to believe you.
Young Galaxy - “New Summer”
Chord change of the year at 3:12.
I have a funny feeling a lot of Haligonians are going to be sharing this Herald story today about how a Billboard promoting an initiative for the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour at Mount Saint Vincent University shows a group of men.
Full disclosure: I have friends who work at the Mount’s PR office. But I’d still feel bad for whoever it was getting this coverage today for two reasons:
1) The ad has a copy problem, absolutely (or perhaps a design problem) but it’s also not difficult to discern what the ad is trying to do: showcase how men are donating to the cause and supporting the Wall of Honour, presumably in the interest of getting more men to donate. The issue is that it’s not clear who “we” and “us” refer to: the men or the university. Given that ads usually default to the voice of the company or organization, you can’t blame drivers for being confused when they drive by quickly. But this sort of slightly-off copy confusion on the part of ad writers/designers is the sort of mistake that’s all too easy to make: I’ve seen first-hand how readily stakeholders and planners alike get caught up in the idea of a campaign and miss particulars like this. So I have a distinct “this could happen to any of us” feeling here.
Which brings me to…
2) That the Herald’s headline has an entirely different tone than the article. The article basically reads as follows: “A few people were confused by this ad - we had to resort to a tweet as our best example - but here’s a detailed explanation of what the Mount was trying to do and, more importantly, here’s all kinds of great details about an initiative that probably wasn’t going to get much press otherwise.” But what the headline writer came up with was “University tribute to women shows men only.” I’d argue that isn’t just against the spirit of the article, but borders on being simply wrong (since the billboard isn’t a tribute to women, but to encourage donations TO the tribute).
So yeah: it’s a ad with a copy and/or design problem, absolutely, and its shortcomings offer good lessons for those of us working in the field. But I can’t help but feel like the Mount is taking a bigger hit than it deserves here, and all in the interest of the Herald’s hit count.
Edit: A few people have mentioned to me the gender connotations here: that “men” are needed to support remarkable women. Fair enough, but I do wonder if that concern would even come up had the ad’s copy/design not been confusing. That said, it is worth asking why they decided to separate the men’s ad from one featuring women, rather than doing them together. If nothing else, that would have avoided some of the reaction.