Tag Archives: Inspiration

The best songs of the 2010s

Michael_Angelakos_(Passion_Pit)_in_Columbus,_2015

Back when blogs still existed — including this blog — my friend Asher wrote about a musical contradiction: “If dance music should make you want to dance, it doesn’t make much sense that the best dance album of the year makes you want to do anything but move.” 

This was 2012. The album was Gossamer, Passion Pit’s second record. In 2008, Passion Pit had rocketed from dorm room novices to indie darlings because of the single “Sleepyhead.” The track is about a breakup, but that’s apparent only if you can understand the hard-to-decipher words sung in lead singer Michael Angelakos’s falsetto voice. “Sleepyhead” was part of a Manners album that, because of its emphasis on the beats and choruses, was a relatively light-hearted affair. 

Although Gossamer had a similar bounce, it was far more introspective and its lyrics far clearer. Angelakos wrote and sang about drugs, mental illness and anorexia. After a performance in spring 2012 that included songs featured on Gossamer, he told Pitchfork, “We tried as hard as we could to pretend that we were having a good time, but we were miserable.” A week before the album’s release that summer Passion Pit announced the postponement of the rest of its tour because Angelakos was seeking treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. The personal journey he undertook to create Gossamer had contributed to his illness. 

Could we dance to that music? Should we? Continue reading

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Thanking David Beckham (and Gurinder Chadha, Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra)

This post, which is not about soccer, begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Sunday preceding Thanksgiving, one hour and 15 minutes before David Beckham will don the Los Angeles Galaxy uniform for possibly the last time, trying to emphatically conclude an experiment, marred with record losing streaks, coaching changes, and superstar infighting between him and Landon Donovan, that had come so close to derailing as one of the sports world’s biggest busts just two years ago.

I might watch the game. I’m not sure. I’ve just been paying a lot more attention to Beckham the last few weeks, because I need to thank him.

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About a month ago, as I melted onto my couch in a post-surgical haze, downing bowls of macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip-cookie-dough ice cream because my operated-upon mouth couldn’t handle anything sufficient, I decided to watch a movie.* Continue reading

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