on Sep 28, 2012

(A reading of “Electric Flight Orchestra,” New York Times Magazine. Interview by Andrew Goldman, August 3, 2012)

NYTM: You grew up in a household with very few rules. I’m curious what your parents would do when you threw a temper tantrum.

Skrillex: I didn’t throw temper tantrums. My dad treated me like a friend. If I was excited about something, he would give me undivided attention or sit and watch me play guitar for an hour. That’s true parenting. I wouldn’t want to throw a temper tantrum and let my buddy down, you know?

A real buddy might teach you how to properly zip up your trousers.

More to the point: are good parents responsible for bad music?

When the Rolling Stones were getting their start playing small London clubs in the early 60’s, their parents would still have their laundry picked up for them every week. On the other hand, John Lennon had famously unfortunate relationships with both of his parents. So the tried and true “Beatles vs. Stones” framework is unfortunately useless here.  

Indeed, there’s not an immediately apparent historical comparison for Millennial parenting techniques. Has there been a generation in the past whose children were as notably coddled as the current under-25 set in America? In the Victorian age, pre-tweens were lucky to be chimney sweeps and not die before growing armpit hair. Compare that to the embryos of today, who will go on to be named after further and further out L-train stops (maybe), and all given bibs that say 'Rock Star' on them (most definitely). But is “baby knows best” really what’s right for little Montrose and Halsey?

Yorkonomics in action
Skrillex is a fitting case for examination. Has his worldwide audience stepped in to applaud his recitals like a loving parent who wants to see their kid succeed, talent or not? His crassly well-meaning anti-pedo video for “First Of The Year (Equinox)” has been viewed on YouTube 82 million times. That’s over twice as many views clocked by his calendar-watching peer, Rebecca Black, for her equally engaging song “Friday.” But at least Black knew what order the days of the week are in. Imagine how Skrillex is going to feel when someone finally works up the courage to tell the poor guy that neither equinox falls on the first of the year. It’s like that time Radiohead released “2+2=5”. Come on, Thom, you guys went to freaking Oxford. No wonder you let people pay whatever they wanted for the next album, you wouldn't have been able to figure out the royalty statements anyway. To be fair, could be senility setting in... 

NYTM: Do you actually enjoy living out of a backpack?

Skrillex: Do I enjoy it? People live in bunkers in Iraq for years, you know? You can put yourself through whatever to attain what you want to attain. We’ve accomplished great things, and that’s kind of what it took.

Now that’s the kind of worldly perspective only young fame can afford. For real though, no matter your feelings on the accomplishments of the United States' war in Iraq, there’s no denying that Skrillex has accomplished something similarly significant. All while sticking it out in economy class, like a soldier. Is 'hero' not a strong enough word in this case? 

NYTM: Your music has been criticized for being too full of testosterone. Do you produce too much of the hormone?

Skrillex's Dad, who also made music for babies to dance to.
Skrillex: No. Look at me. If anything, I’m more in touch with my feminine side.

A fair question, and surely one that concerns the New York Times’ readership, if ultimately better asked of Skrillex’s doctor. Hopefully a follow-up interview will be in the works after his check-up results have come back.

As for the feminine side, here's hoping he was playing Swamp Ophelia during those hour-long jam sessions for his dad...

Skrillex: …That’s my goal: to make music babies can dance to.

It’s clear that the parenting instinct is strong in this one. If that really is the goal, one has to wonder how close Skrillex thinks he is to achieving it. If his dad played a lot of Atari Teenage Riot CD’s around the house as a baby, he’s pretty much on the right track. Get psyched for his ear-molesting Raffi remix, “Baby Beluga (Shark).” (Close enough, don't discourage the boy.)

ALARM CLOCK REVIEW: “Gangnam Style,” 6:43am

"Without you, I am nothing!"

After two rounds of the snooze bar, the nonsensical conversation I was having with an old middle school classmate whose name I can no longer remember is permanently interrupted by the workmanlike monotone call of “heeeeyyyy, sexy ladies!” A feeling of emptiness sets in almost immediately. It was apparent from the beginning that the complete package had a value greater than any one part of it, but the stark light of the radio format forces the outwardly confident tune to confess to its visual better-half, “without you, I am nothing.” Unmoored from the Internet, where its claim to the zeitgeist (at least for another week or two) is clear and continuously refreshed, the song drifts aimlessly, lost in time, imaginably just as much at home next to a deep cut from C + C Music Factory as the fist-pumpers they play in the grocery store up the street from my apartment.

Unlike yelling at someone’s butt, which is never lost in time, but always timeless.

The Top 9 Most Pink Albums of All Time

on Sep 13, 2012

Some albums are pink, and some are more so. The good news is that Dear Jerks has compiled the most comprehensive list of nine pink albums ever assembled under or over one roof. Read on, if you dare, to see who gets to take home the crown for most pink album of all time -- including the infinite future!

9. Frigid Pink - S/T

At the risk of singling out the guy with glasses, he does look a little wary of the other dudes.

8. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday

You had your chance, Casual Friday.

7. Wire - Pink Flag

Post pink pioneers.

6. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

The plot to this one is only half as confusing as "Prometheus."

5. Boris - Pink 

Fun fact: Boris Pink was the CIA's code name for Nikita Khrushchev.

4. Tuscadero - The Pink Album

Tuscadero are gonna be pissed when they find out how many pages are usually in those notebooks.

3. Pink - Can't Take Me Home

No, you cannot take this naked lady motorcycle cop from the future home. She's on a stake out.

2. Sunny Day Real Estate - Sunny Day Real Estate (LP2)

If we were talking about sheer percentage of pink coverage, this would be it. However...

1. Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother

...we're also talking about attitude, which this bovine has lots of. You can't take this cow home!

HONORABLE MENTION: Weezer - Pink(erton)

Has "Pink Triangle," to boot. Remember when the 'Green Album' came out and you pretended it was good? Fun times.