Music

John Mayer & Twitter Quitters... What's It Mean for Fans?

Despite being boosted by Dave Chappelle (and doing a good guest shot at a Buddy Guy show I saw), you might not care much about John Mayer but I found it kind of interesting that he was opting outta Twitter. He's not the first and won't be the last star to do it.

What's really interesting is what this means for fans though. On one level, you could say that it's a canny publicity stunt (it worked not just here but also had write-up's in articles like this one from The Wrap). Remember also that Trent Reznor got fed up with some of his followers who were dogging him on Twitter, kissing it off but later coming back to it. Similarly, Soulja Boy got mad at people poking fun at him and split the service, only to return later. Also recently, Miley Cyrus decided to deprive the world of her 140 character or less wisdom, also taking down her Twitter account but unlike Soulja or Trent, she's stuck to her guns and hasn't rejoined the service (at least so far).

As the Wrap article points out, if you really miss Mayer, you can still find him on Tumblr and similarly, these artists have plenty of other social media outlets like Facebook to reach their fans (MySpace too but less and less nowadays). Fans themselves aren't necessarily tied to Twitter alone either so that they don't have to feel that their favorite musician is necessarily abandoning though some of 'em will be hurt to see them go.

Why jump the ship with Twitter though? Maybe it has something to do with the nature of the service. Because it's so personalized (as Miley complained) and because you can get immediate feedback that ain't always complimentary (as Trent and Soulja complained), it's not ideal for every musician. Twitter is a good way to get the word out about your work (album, tour, etc) but as these artists find out, mingling with their fans can be kind of thorny sometimes. Or if you wanna be less charitable, you could also say that these artists are just too damn thin-skinned for their profession.

For musicians I follow on Twitter, I'm not so much interested in news they're spreading or peddling (which you can always read elsewhere in more detail) but something more personalized, as Miley fears- seeing what makes them tick and what they have to say about their lives and what they encounter there. That's why I like posts from Weird Al and Kanye West and Questlove. They might not be as weird or funny or enlightening as they think but if you're curious at all about them, they reward the attention for sure and give us a small piece of themselves. And in the end, ain't that what we want out of the artists we love?

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image