Bradford Cox to "My Sharona" haters: "Suck my d*ck"

Atlas_Sound_Hood_crop.jpg
Photo by Mackenzie Orth
This past weekend, Gimme Noise's Sally Hedberg witnessed what may become one of the defining shows of Atlas Sound's career -- a possible "Judas" moment on the West Bank. In short, a heckler requested the Knack's "My Sharona," and frontman Bradford Cox took this as an invitation to do the song "as interpreted by Faust" for like, an hour. Some people waved chairs, but others walked out. Here's the review.

In a rambling, entertaining interview with Pitchfork, the incensed and endlessly quotable Cox notes "it was one of the best performances I've done since Deerhunter started," and based upon the video of the show, it's believable. "It was a very natural show and the people that didn't like it can suck my dick," he says. And though his verbiage is kind of crude, Cox has a point here.

The time to walk out of a show -- which is pretty rude in any situation -- is not when the band transforms itself into a piece of modern art. As Hedberg so eloquently puts it, "He's a musician of astounding talent and it's much more salient when he's in the raw." What could be more raw and memorable than a "My Sharona" death trance?

Sorry, Twin Cities, but your favorite moment of any given concert year is not going to be when [fill in the blank] band plays that song you already know for the 356th time live in a similar way to the 355 times prior. It's gonna be something like this.

The only thing that makes me angry about watching this clip (for about the 16th time already) is that I wasn't there myself. "It's unfortunate the narc that videotaped everything didn't get all the best parts," Cox says. "There was this really great chord with harmonic undertones."



Cox notes that "it's not like fucking Lana Del Rey carved an upside down cross on her cheek and defecated all over herself on stage at fucking Bonnaroo." But when she does, you can bet that people will stay and witness it.

Frankly, I hope that Bradford Cox doesn't take this as a sign that he should not come back to Minneapolis. It's the opposite. If anything, he should record an album in the environment that brought out such an unhinged display of raw emotion and talent. This is exactly the type of performance this music scene -- which has been embroiled in a decidedly  self-assessment discussion the past few days -- needs a lot more of.

As one commenter put it: "It was strange, it teetered on the absurd, but it was riveting and should have been reported about as nothing less than a singular moment. If the alternative is predictability and a diligent run through of the hits, count me out."

This time, it came from an outsider, but this is a call to everyone locally to consider the benefits of straying from the predictable nature of what they're singing, writing, and talking about and just randomly urinate out of their mouths from time to time.

Read the rest of the interview with Bradford Cox here.


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7 comments
Guest
Guest

Was it the chair-lifting audience or the emasculating Bradford that gave the show its "punk rock" cache?  Surely it wasn't the ingenuity of the krautrock "My Sharona".

lionel
lionel

The performance was unbridled, essential punk rock. Take it for what it was and stop trying to find a deeper meaning. Criticizing the performance because the audience was being barked at is a fool's errand. Equating it to fascism is ridiculous. Fischer is right when he identifies the "My Sharona incident" as memorable precisely because it could not have been predicted. I was on the older side of the audience spectrum that night and was pretty amazed as kids more than ten years younger were walking out. I live in absolute fear of the day when a performance like this drives me to the door. If that day comes, embalm we with the rest of the haters.

GusHaynes
GusHaynes

Journalistic integrity at its finest when the conclusion is drawn that people were walking out because they were offended by what they saw.  Maybe some people were, but everyone I know that walked out did so because they were bored to tears by an hour long cover of "My Sharona."  It was all worth it for the punchline, though.

casey
casey

"The time to walk out of a show -- which is pretty rude in any situation -- is not when the band transforms itself into a piece of modern art."

This is some bullshit. Paying fans should be and are allowed to walk out whenever they feel like it. One man's transformation into a piece of modern art can suck another man's dick.

Momo
Momo

I'm a Deerhunter/ Atlas Sound fan, but not bummed I missed this show.  It sounds quite unsettling, actually.  While I admire his willingness to embrace all things "unhinged", it doesn't sound like the show exemplified this virtue.  Neither the artist nor the audience want to be "predictable"in their behavior, so they flip the script, and the artist contemptuously barks orders at fans.  Bradford and said fans are misguided if they think fascism is avant-garde.

Solarhiker
Solarhiker

I'm thinking that if people are paying good money for this shit, the economy can't be all that bad.

Chucker1
Chucker1

HUGE fan.....I am so pissed I missed that show.....Love it....    

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