Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Residential Tourism

music_Titus2011Titus Andronicus’ Patrick Stickles discusses consumption of music and housing
In a couple months I’ll be making the cross country move to New York City, so when Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles tells me he’s currently walking down a Brooklyn sidewalk, of course I have to take the opportunity to ask for advice on living in the borough which may well soon be my home.

“The smartest thing would be to avoid what my girlfriend calls ‘residential tourism,’” says the singer and guitarist. “Sometimes these young people are kind of like a disease that moves from place to place and consumes all the resources, and then moves on once they’ve had their fill of it.”

This response is kind of brilliant in a hitting-the-nail-on-the-head kind of way, but it’s also a little contradictory. Beyond the fact that Titus Andronicus—the punkish indie band gracing the stage at Don Quixote’s on Thursday, April 14—broke out on the back of an album, 2010’s The Monitor, that was largely influenced by Stickle’s residency in Massachusetts (let’s see how his current neighbors feel about his Celtics allegiance), the New Jersey native is poignantly, and not necessarily kindly, describing a large slice of his fan base.

“There’s no sense in denying it, oh boy!” sarcastically pains Stickles when asked about Pitchfork Media’s effect on 2010’s “boom year” for his four-piece guitar band. “That’s the thing, you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds. But I guess my hope is that the people who came to our music through that avenue did it because they liked us, not because it was part of some game they were playing.”

Although in one sense he’s talking about two completely different subjects, in another Stickles is describing precisely the same phenomenon. There’s probably no irony in the fact that Pitchfork keeps its only satellite office in Brooklyn.

So what is one to do when faced with the dangers of tourism—whether they be residential or musical? The answer is multifold: while Stickles has clearly used his multi-local life experiences to his lyrical advantage, he also keeps (at least in the back of his mind) some sort of ethical code of conduct for his band. It’s the kind of dichotomy that becomes more apparent as Stickles discusses his move to New England in the context of the sophomore album, The Monitor.

“That’s why we sing about the enemy being everywhere,” says Stickles. “Ultimately, the stuff that I was looking for from that state, I should have been looking within for that. It’s kind of one of the morals of the record.”

And indeed, The Monitor is rife with moralizing. But the lyricism beneath the record’s aggressive Replacements-esque indie never seems to match the forward-driving, marching band vision of its sound, resembling rather a hodgepodge of grand statements and pop culture and historical references.

But its brilliance is that its poetry is never as pretentious as this description would make it seem. Rather, it’s a painfully open and acute audible analogy for the trials of a 20-something in an age where possibilities are supposed to be limitless, but everyone’s still talking recession. Oddly enough, the clearest analogy Stickles makes with this subject during our interview is in speaking about the album’s title, a reference to a first-of-its-kind Civil War warship.

“The ship being the crown jewel of the Union arsenal, you can make these fantastic things,” says the 25-year-old amateur sociologist and nautical historian. “You can make a battleship as amazing as you want, but ultimately the futility of our bickering always wins out, however great you want to make your battleship. Or your punk record.”


Titus Andronicus performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For more information call 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.