Welcome to the O Music Awards guest writer series, a place where we hand the proverbial reins over to qualified writers/musicians/etc and let them share their thoughts about music, technology and more. Today’s guest blogger is Russ Marshalek of Flavorpill. The subject? Bon Iver’s many Grammy nominations.
Dear Mainstream America/People With Television Sets:
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way right now: A band you don’t know but really probably should have heard of will be winning some Grammys in February. I’m talking about Bon Iver, the musical project/log cabin-building service of Justin Vernon. To avoid the memewave upset of this past year’s “Who The Hell Is Arcade Fire?” outcry, let’s get a few things straight right now.
It’s pronounced “bonny vher” not “bohn eyever” and is French for “I spent a lot of time in the woods crying this one time.” Bon Iver is at the forefront of a genre of music referred to as a “PDJ” or “post-dad jam”, meaning music that hip, modern-day fathers listen to while eating vegan meatballs, discussing beard oil, or using social media. Other relevant PDJ bands who won’t be winning Grammy awards in 2012 include The National and Fleet Foxes.
What sets Bon Iver apart from other PDJ bands is Vernon’s use of Auto-Tune. Bon Iver has been the veritable emessary of Auto-Tune to the Caucasian world. No one single figure since Cher has done so much to make the audible tweaking of the sung human voice acceptable to be heard in grocery stores, billiard parlors and elevators, and certainly no musician ever has bridged this gap with the working-class modern dad. In fact, soldout music has compiled a handy reference guide to acceptable and unacceptable usage of Auto-Tune for white people. But the important takeaway is that Bon Iver is also featured heavily on that one Kanye West record (yes, he’s the guy that’s always rude and talking about either his penis or his feelings, but he wrote that “Golddigger” track, which is fun to dance to as long as it’s the radio edit!).
Bon Iver’s albums are readily available wherever albums are sold, so iTunes and Filestube. If you’re looking for something that you can play for Grandma but really can’t stomach Zooey Deschenal and enjoy flannel and a good vegan steak, you just might have your new favorite band. Don’t be surprised, then, when Bon Iver cleans up (figuratively, not literally, Justin Vernon’s beard is a part of the experience) at the 2012 Grammys. And, for the love of god, don’t take to twitter with #WhoTheHellIsBonIver?, please, some of us need that bandwidth to discuss Lady Gaga.
By Russ Marshalek