Category Archives: Overanalyzing Pop Culture

The Annotated Decemberists No. 12: “Cocoon”

The lyrics are impressionistic, aside from a clear, early reference to the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius—a tragedy that may or may not keep coming up throughout the song and may or may not serve as a stand-in for the tragedy of 9/11. Who knows? The meaning of a dream is rarely overt. More likely, you’re left with just the feelings it inspired—and everyone you describe it to is going to have a different interpretation. Continue reading

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 11: Odalisque

Now, my knowledge of firearms is limited at best, but I do know this: You load shotgun cartridges with rock salt, not rifles. (At least I’m pretty sure, based on 30 minutes of research and a few Tarantino movies.) Continue reading

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 10: “A Cautionary Song”

Perhaps no band’s lyrics better lend themselves to pseudo-academic analysis than those of The Decemberists. The Annotated Decemberists is an attempt to puzzle through the Portland, Oregon, group’s entire catalog song by song—examining all the obscure vocabulary, historical references and poetic subtext—or … Continue reading

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SONG DUEL!: “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye vs. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Elliott Smith

Two songs enter. One song leaves. Well, OK, both leave. It’s not like we erase all traces of the losing song from the Internet, but we determine once and for all which tune has the right to their strikingly similar … Continue reading

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Here’s a cartoon I drew

Let’s see if you can identify the song it references. To answer your next question–“What, is this blog a webcomic now?”: Yes, apparently it is. I’m going to have work on my drawing skills if that’s the case.

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 9: “July, July!”

Perhaps no band’s lyrics better lend themselves to pseudo-academic analysis than those of The Decemberists. The Annotated Decemberists is an attempt to puzzle through the Portland, Oregon, group’s entire catalog song by song—examining all the obscure vocabulary, historical references and poetic subtext—or … Continue reading

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 8: “Here I Dreamt I was an Architect”

Perhaps no band’s lyrics better lend themselves to pseudo-academic analysis than those of The Decemberists. The Annotated Decemberists is an attempt to puzzle through the Portland, Oregon, group’s entire catalog song by song—examining all the obscure vocabulary, historical references and poetic subtext—or … Continue reading

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Album Art Comics: The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow”

Putting words in the mouths of album-cover subjects. OK, I’m clearly going to be doing a lot of these. Here’s one for Rankstravaganza-featured folk-pop duo The Civil Wars and their pointless use of a double exposure.

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Album Art Comics: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “I’m With You”

Hey, folks, I’m a webcomic artist now. Enjoy. Maybe I’ll do more of these.

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10 pleasant surprises hidden in this year’s Grammy nominations

In a category usually dominated by schmaltzy duets, it’s a pleasure to see a stompin’, southern gothic, traditionalist shit-kicker like “Barton Hollow” nominated. Continue reading

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