The thing about music writing is that the people who do it are the very best. The other thing is that the best people have been at it — and are constantly getting to be at it — for a long time. At least ten years, as I understand it. Because last night Matthew Perpetua’s Fluxblog got a sweet Tenth Birthday Party at Housing Works Bookstore, and it was awesome.
I’d be entirely lying if I said I remembered what anybody really talked about. Emily Gould talked about a song by Loudon Wainwright’s daughter. Definitely. And Sean T Collins talked about NIN, memorably. Mark Richardson was something of a ringer because he talked about my first- or second-favorite Silver Jews song, “How To Rent A Room”.
The big finish was for everyone to get on stage and talk about R Kelly’s “Ignition” (Remix), which at this point I think it’s safe to say is the real song of our generation. I recall requesting it at a feminist prom party — a room full of feminists! — and everyone (well, at least me) went crazy and danced. It’s that good.
Here are some of the wise things people said.
“All art is communication in some way.”
“You can’t feel that way in life all the time because you’ll destroy yourself.” (“That way” = some intense, Wainwrightish feeling.)
“A song that actually teaches you something about life, like a table you put your drink down on.” (Paraphrase.)
“Homeless shelters for songs of albums.”
When Amy Rose Spiegel said, “When I was fifteen in 2005…” I learned that I am old and should probably retire from my non-career of writing about anything.
“I very seriously considered spending my five minutes up here doing my Paul Banks vocal impression”
“Matthew is one of the few writers who blows Malkmus harder than I do.”
Oh yeah, Rob Sheffield talked about Pavement, or, well, Stephen Malkmus, which was entirely fitting. It’s all coming back to me now, as I review my notes. (hah, notes) Amanda Petrusich talked about Interpol in a way no one seems to have talked about Interpol for at least, what, ten years, which I think was the entire point of the night. So that was awesome. And the two musicians were great at talking about music.
The best and worst part of the night was staying at the after party until after the birthday blog boy himself had actually gone home. Probably a bad idea. But it was also a great idea because I got to drunkenly talk about music, websites, writers, all the things you actually move to New York to drunkenly talk about. And that, as well, seems like what Fluxblog is all about. Not drunkenly talking, but honestly, loosely, intelligently talking about music on the atomic level. Inaugurating and then cultivating that sort of discussion, which is in a trite-because-it’s-true way, life changing. So thanks for the kick ass night.