Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Jonah Weiner
Slate (6 July 2010)

“Nathan Williams has big brown eyes, side-swept bangs, and skinny tattooed arms—he looks a bit like Justin Bieber, if Justin Bieber were the kind of kid who drank vodka from plastic bottles and wanted to beat up Justin Bieber. In 2009, under the name Wavves, the San Diego, Calif., musician (who is now 23) released Wavvves, his second album and one of the year’s most exhilarating rock releases. Encamped in a backyard shed, Williams used GarageBand software to record his fleet, fizzy odes to youthful oblivion, but they came out with a rough-and-tumble feel that one tends to associate with pre-digital recording. The best songs are concise and gratifying, nodding to girl-group beats and Beach Boys harmonies, but they have dirt on their faces and move within a thick, ever-present cloud of sonic filth, like Pig-Pen from Peanuts. Williams’ voice is a wimpy, smart-alecky sneer, and on standout songs like “So Bored” and “No Hope Kids,” he’s able to deliver pretty pop melodies while sounding as if he’s rolling his eyes at pretty pop melodies.”

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Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

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"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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