Interview with Pete Steinkopf, guitarist for the... →
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So I’m not really active on Tumblr anymore, but I am still writing about music. You can follow me on Twitter: bit.ly/Nd6gLp Or check out my work on my website (on the home page, or either of the “articles” tabs): bit.ly/OpWNFV As one of my friends pointed out, the foundation of the music journalism I do now is largely rooted in the analytic tactics I’d been working on...
Lost and Found
BET YOU THOUGHT I HAD FALLEN OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH! This island has become An ocean and my boat’s too small The waves are crashing in And I can’t save this sinking ship I sent out signal flares But no one out there seems to care Now the voice inside my head Is the only thing that I have left [This is the second song in which I examine the theme of literary conceit...
Jesus Christ, I'm alone again/So what did you do...
— “Jesus Christ” Brand New from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
The Archer's Bows Have Broken
Who do you carry that torch for, my young man? Do you believe in anything? Or do you carry it around just to burn things down? [In keeping with the themes of the loss of faith, and subsequent search for it, “The Archer’s Bows Have Broken” observes the fine line drawn between religion and politics. Singer Jesse Lacey begins by directly addressing his audience—a new...
"What did you learn tonight?/You're shouting so...
—“The Archer’s Bows Have Broken” Brand New from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
I Will Follow You into the Dark
Love of mine Someday you will die But I’ll be close behind I’ll follow you into the dark No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white Just our hands clasped so tight Waiting for the hint of the spark [In “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” singer Ben Gibbard discusses a loss of faith into religion, especially through the emphasis of death being symbolically...
"If there's no one beside you when your soul...
—“I Will Follow You into the Dark” Death Cab for Cutie from Plans
friendlyintentions asked: i cannot accurately express the intense amazement i feel while reading your interpretations of brand new songs. truly it blows my mind and i enjoy every one
You Won't Know
Hey hey hey! Mr. Hangman Go get your rope Your daughters weren’t careful I fear that I am a slippery slope Now even if I lay my head down at night After a day I got perfectly right She won’t know She won’t know She won’t know… [Many interpretations have been attributed as to the meaning of this song—a man exiting a marriage coupled with an abortion or singer...
They say in Heaven there's no husbands and...
—“You Won’t Know” Brand New from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Limousine (MS Rebridge)
K, here’s your ride Get your petals out and lay them in the aisle Pretend you are God, and grow And that it’s your own day to wed We have found your man He is drinking up He’s all-American, and he’ll drive He has volunteered with grace to end your life We’ll tidy up It’s sad to hold, but leave your shell to us You explode, you firefly, you tiny boat with oars...
"In the choir, I saw our sad Messiah/He was bored...
—“Limousine (MS Rebridge)” Brand New from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
thepiecesofmyself asked: also, i really enjoy reading your interpretations, I definitely had the same idea but you really broke it down and dissected every lyric to it's full potential. this really helps me understand more and just love Brand New even more now. thank you sooooo much
thepiecesofmyself asked: awesome blog. thanks
Good to Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I...
Am I correct to defend the fist that holds this pen? It’s ink that lies, the pen, the page, the paper I live, I learn you will always take what I have earned And so aid my end while I believe I’m winning. [Interesting word choice to utilize the phrase, “the fist that holds this pen”— as if metaphorically Jesse Lacey’s words are his best, and most potent,...
Where Have You Been?
They call holidays an option for a reason I hear you’re coming back to life just for the fourth I’ve been catching all your ghosts for every season I pray to God you won’t come back here anymore. [Many thematic parallels have been drawn between Manchester Orchestra’s I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child and Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside of Me....
Girl with Broken Wings
On the porch she will sit Light another cigarette And take a sip of anything that makes it right. She’s outside trying to hide from the fight just inside Where her mom and her dad destroy each other And on the phone she will call Every boy, yeah, one and all. They will touch her in all the right places. [Singer Andy Hull initiates the exposition of his narrative with the introduction of...
helenm87 asked: Hey, I thoroughly enjoy your explorations of the Brand New songs - fantastic reading - so keep up the good work! I was wondering whether you would write something similar for Manchester Orchestra? I place them on the same par as Brand New - would love to read your insight into songs such as Where Have you Been? and I can Barely Breathe - Thanks :)
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
We saw the western coast I saw the hospital Nurse the shoreline like a wound Reports of lovers’ trysts Were neither clear nor descript We kept it safe and slow The quiet things that no one ever knows [Brand New singer Jesse Lacey has undeniably strong ties to his hometown of Levittown, New York. By creating a contrasting setting for his protagonist and his lover on “the western...
honkandwave asked: I just wanted to say that I loved your interpretation of "Capital H" by Motion City Soundtrack. I think you've definitely picked up on one of the running themes of Justin's lyrics. I just wanted to add that "The Weakends" supports your argument brilliantly.
As years go crashing by,
I think of all I've pondered,
So many minutes...
As years go crashing by,
I think of all I've pondered,
So many minutes...
To Plant a Seed
We’ve planted a seed, an ever-growing wonder to a beautiful tree. Grow. Each branch outstretched and different from the last. Where the old have broken, some easier than the last. The right ones have grown in to fill in the gaps. And all are equal in love and trust. And all are a part of something so much bigger than this. Through the trials our tongues are tied, to trying times, so many...
Again I Go Unnoticed
So quiet. Another wasted night. The television steals the conversation. Exhale. Another wasted breath. Again it goes unnoticed. [This song in many ways is a ballad to the failing relationship, or perhaps to a relationship that has recently become one-sided and filled with unrequited love. Chris Carrabba’s use of very short, choppy phrases add to the jarring effect of the lyrics as...
Not the Sun
Please don’t be technology ‘Cause I can’t turn off your love like some cold machine Don’t feed me scraps from your bed And I won’t be the stray coming back just to be fed Don’t be waves Come to seal my fate, marine Just pretend That you want me And be my bait* [*There is a decent split of differing opinions as to whether the lyrics in the last line are...
From Brand New’s album of demos, “Fight Off Your Demons” (2006) Well I wrote your name and burned it, To see the color of the flame, And it burned out the whole spectrum as if you were everything, I’m just burned gold, A normal flame, I am not anything. [Unlike singer Jesse Lacey’s often-explored theme of bitterness towards past relationships, “Untitled...
Sudden Death in Carolina
Last night I swallowed liquor and a lighter, And this morning I threw up fire. But it’s nothing new, I’ve been piecing it together and it’s got something to do, With every look thrown like a knife across a crowded room, And every slow and quiet car ride I spent drinking in the backseat, Every stupid melody to every stupid song, And every stupid word that everybody’s...
I’ll be back tomorrow, I’ll be back in the ballroom swinging, I’ll be back with my superman action and I’m off to save the world. Silly me, I left a message with no return number For my boys in blue in case of an emergency, In case the shit goes down. I’ll be back tomorrow, I’ll be back in the ballroom swinging, I’ll be back with my superman...
From Brand New’s album of demos, “Fight Off Your Demons” (2006) I, I am feeling like a veteran, Uncompensated for the blood I’ve left to pool on foreign grounds, And I, sometimes reach to rub at aching legs, But they’ve been dust for over a decade, And you’re the limb I’ve lost but somehow I still feel it. [To me, this verse metaphorically...
Home Is for the Heartless
If home is where the heart is, why do I feel so fucking heartless? The crumbling skyline cuts a vicious horizon, sinking its teeth into the cold September sky. Decaying towers of steel reach with crooked spires for the heavens, like bones of the hollow chest of this town, torn wide for the scavengers. Mother mercy, take my hand. Follow me through this forsaken land. Father time, return...
You're as subtle as a brick in the small of my...
Because I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish I’ve seen more guts on eleven-year-old kids [Spongebob’s pilot debuted on 7/17/1999, making him, and fellow characters, 11 years, 11 months, 21 days old as of today, 6/28/2011.]
So wake up, run your lips across your fingers until you find Some scent of yourself that you can hold up high To remind yourself that you didn’t die On a day that was so crappy, whole and happy you’re alive [Interesting construction in the first line; normally one would run fingers across his lips, instead of vice-versa. Personification of a defining scent that “you can...
From Brand New’s album of demos, “Fight Off Your Demons” (2006) Well I lost my taste for the company of airports and cars We flew through the year and Avoided the dust and rock. We stood in the way of the tank till we bored and stopped So never show doubt in your hand Till you know what they got [Introductory first line utilizes personification, that Lacey draws...
homburgs-deactivated20111216-de asked: Your Brand New interpretations are fabulous!
Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis
With one or two I get used to the room We go slow when we first make our moves By five or six bring you out to the car Number nine with my head on the bar And it’s sad but true Out of cash and IOUs [In an interesting interview with MTV (via VH1), Brand New singer Jesse Lacey likened the title of this song and its purpose to his fear of an inevitable fall from grace on the horizon,...
World War Z: 2/2
Literary Analysis of a World War Z passage A lot of HRs got pretty badly smashed up, a few had to be tagged and bagged… Nothing screams as high as a feral with a PIE round burning in his gut. The HR pukes had a real problem with that. They were all volunteers, all sticking to this code that human life, any human’s life, was worth trying to save. I guess history sorta backed them up now, you...
World War Z: 1/2
Literary Analysis of a World War Z passage One woman was halfway out the window when the bus tipped over. Something was in her arms, something clutched tightly to her. I tell myself that it wasn’t moving, or crying, that it was just a bundle of clothes… No one even looked, they just kept streaming by. Sometimes when I dream about that moment, I can’t tell the difference between them and the...
Little Lion Man
Weep for yourself, my man You’ll never be what is in your heart Weep little lion man You’re not as brave as you were at the start Rate yourself and rake yourself Take all the courage you have left Wasted on fixing all the problems That you made in your own head [In an interview, Mumford & Sons singer Marcus Mumford stated that the inspiration for “Little Lion...
Superior men understand what is right; inferior...
yes, it took me an entire playthrough of pokemon black to discover this awesome confucius quote, restated by rood of the seven sages.
I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light
The time has come for colds and overcoats We’re quiet on the ride We’re all just waiting to get home Another week away, my greatest fear I need the smell of summer I need its noises in my ears [ Much in the tradition of literature such as The Catcher in the Rye, Lacey sets up a distinct contrast between winter and summer, where winter is representative of the coldness that...
Time Won't Let Me Go
Whenever I look back On the best days of my life I think I saw them all on T.V. I am so homesick now for Someone that I never knew I am so homesick now for Someplace I will never be [Use of immediate irony; the stark contrast between “the best days of my life” and the fact that Sam Endicott only experienced these events vicariously through television is jarring. The next...
Play Crack the Sky
Sent out an SOS call, it was a quarter past four in the morning When the storm broke our second anchor line Four months at sea, four months of calm seas To be pounded in the shallows off the tip of Montauk Point [Immediately establishes literary conceit, whereas the ocean is a metaphor for singer Jesse Lacey’s relationship and love which were peaceful, but now are being sent into a...