Posts Tagged With: Twitter

Unblocked by Ryan Adams on Twitter: Will wonders never cease?

DRAtwitterWhen it comes to social media, I have been on Ryan Adams’ do-not-fly list for as long as I can remember — a period that predates the book I wrote about him, “Losering.” Not that I think he’s paying the slightest bit of attention to me, but he did at least go to the trouble of blocking me on Twitter. I am hardly alone in this, of course. There are enough of us who have been shown the door to populate an actual joke-group on Facebook, “Blocked By Ryan Adams On Social Media.”

Today, however, I somehow found myself improbably joining the ranks of the unblocked. I have no idea how or when this might have happened, as it’s literally been years since the last time I checked. But whatever the reason, today that blue “Follow” button appeared as an option when I went to his Twitter page, rather than the scoldy “You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user” shame-message that used to show up.

So anyway, what the heck, I followed him. Even took the liberty of hitting the heart-shaped “Like” button on a few of his tweets, like this one about Heartbreaker. I’m sure it won’t last, even if I can restrain the urge to mention the words “North Carolina” in one of his threads. And now that I’ve called attention to my presence in this way, I wonder what the over/under is on how long it takes for me to get blocked again?

Stay tuned…

...UPDATE (mid-day on May 17, 2018): After I followed him, it took less than 48 hours for me to be kicked back into the teeming blocked masses. I didn’t even have to reply to any of his Tweets for it to happen.

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Love and happiness with Radiohead

OKCIt’s always amusing when something you wrote a long, long time ago unexpectedly comes back around. To wit, the passage below, which comes from a piece I wrote about Radiohead’s OK Computer more than a decade ago. Try as I might, I’ve just never been able to connect with OK Computer despite years and years of listening. So I decided that OKC is arguably the most overrated album of all time and wrote an essay to that effect for the book “Kill Your Idols” (2004, Barricade Books).

Even now, coming up on the 20-year anniversary of OKC‘s release, I’ll still dust it off now and then for another spin to see if I like it any better. Hasn’t happened yet, I’m afraid. So anyway, someone posted this on Twitter today with the lament, “I wish my grade five projects had been as interesting as this.”

Me too!


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“Comin’ Right at Ya” cheap thrills: Lyle Lovett

As pick-me-ups go, seeing Lyle Lovett chime in approvingly on Twitter about a nice review of one’s book is something I’d recommend.


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Ryan Adams reviews the reviewer

Ryan Adams talks a good game about ignoring critics and bad reviews, but the truth is he can be as thin-skinned as anyone else in response to discouraging words. For example, there’s the tweet below (which Ryan has apparently since deleted), inspired by some gratuitous social-media snark about DRA 1989 from New York Times critic Jon Caramanica — who also had some underwhelming things to say about that album when it came out back in September. Ouch…

UPDATE: Some responses from Carmanica are also below. It seems that he, too, is now Blocked By Ryan Adams on Twitter — and taking it in stride.







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Governor’s Ball: A “Terminator” nightmare?

As noted earlier, Ryan Adams is playing a whole bunch of festivals this year, and they’re gigs that come with a certain amount of built-in potential irritants. Sound bleed from one stage to another, for instance. Saturday night at New York’s Governors Ball found Ryan reportedly getting in touch with his inner Mark Kozelek while trying to be heard over electronic dance music star deadmau5 (Joel Thomas Zimmerman), who was playing another stage nearby.

Ryan and deadmau5 have recorded together before (although nothing was ever released). But that didn’t stop Ryan from talking a little get-off-my-lawn-type smack onstage: “Try and make this song on your fucking iPhone. This song is not going to match the robot music over there. It’s like we’re living in a ‘Terminator’ nightmare.” Then he played “Oh My Sweet Carolina.”

Oh, Ryan…

The initial response from deadmau5 via Twitter is below. He also went on to call Ryan “a cool dude…talented musician, had a jam sesh with em once. Which is why I find this odd,” and to poke fun at some of the headlines about the incident: “OH ONES! another rocker vs. Electronic music feud! This is all JUST SO FUCKIN NEW! At least his music is original.”

UPDATE (5 p.m.): At the bottom, a peace-making Twitter exchange between Ryan and deadmau5 restores civility and brings it to a close.


Ryan: No disrespect meant. My humor is 100% sarcasm (as you know). Peace & love. Build that dream machine!…I wrote that last tweet to @deadmau5 on my I phone. Same one I used to take voice notes for my last and new record.

deadmau5: nah  man. i thought it was funny. 😉 no harm done.

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Charlottesville calling

Alas, no, I’m not in Charlottesville, Va., tonight — which is about as close as Ryan Adams is scheduled to get to his old hometown of Raleigh on his latest tour. But even though Ryan doesn’t come around to play here anymore (no matter how much his fans plead), at least other folks are kind enough to pay attention and keep me posted:

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Political science

BreitbartPut a book out into the world and you just never know where its ripples might surface. For example, “Losering” has been popping up in the conservative political blogosphere, believe it or not.

As you probably know, Ryan Adams covered Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” the other night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the same hallowed hall where he did not respond well to a heckler’s request for that same song way back when. As you’d expect, this was widely reported in the usual places — but it was apparently a big-enough deal to attract attention from politically slanted sites that dabble a bit in pop culture on the side. So it is that my book is now enshrined on (the conservative network founded by the late conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart with an agenda of “the destruction of the old media guard”) as background source for an item about it:

In October 2002, Ryan Adams ejected a fan from his concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for repeatedly requesting a cover of Bryan Adams’s “Summer of ’69.” The show was part of the singer’s intimate “Demolition” acoustic tour; the heckler’s repeated shouts for the song were an annoying distraction.

The incident haunted Adams through the years, according to Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown by David Menconi.

“Over the years, the Ryman ‘Summer of ’69’ incident has come to be Ryan’s equivalent of Bob Dylan getting called ‘Judas’ onstage in England in 1966,” Menconi writes. “It’s the one thing that everybody seems to have heard about Ryan, even nonfans.”

Golly. Oddly enough, however, isn’t the first right-wing site to have cited “Losering.” In the fall of 2013, Ryan got into a Twitter dust-up with Fox News blowhard Sean Hannity. That inspired the folks at Moonshine Carolina — a political blog that lists keywords like “Obama” and “ACA” under the heading “Prohibited thoughts” — to opine on “celebrities as role models,” and to summarize Ryan’s career via my book thusly:

The Jacksonville boy Ryan Adams, who made a name for himself as frontman of Raleigh’s alt-rock band Whiskeytown, has lived every inch of the clichéd rockstar lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll. As David Menconi details in his book Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown, Adams dropped out of school as a teenager to start up the band, and quickly became dependent upon a variety of illicit drugs and alcohol. The band was notorious for smashing up equipment and generally behaving badly. Once, the whole band was fired from a gig in Texas; alcoholism treatment was on the cards for Adams shortly after that. Following more stints in rehab and a successful solo career, Adams has calmed down – he married the very lovely singer and actress Mandy Moore in 2009, they have adopted a puppy, and are both committed to their careers, with Adams running a successful recording studio. Importantly, he has his addictions under control – he made mistakes, and learned from them.

Scoldy! Well, sir, there was a little more to it than that, but so it goes. In any case, we’d better not tell Moonshine Carolina about this.

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Ryan Adams picks up more Grammy glory

Grammy57Grammy Award nominations are being announced today, rolled out a few at a time on Twitter this morning before the full list is posted at 2 p.m. Eastern Time — and our man Ryan Adams is already up for two. Ryan Adams has been nominated for Best Rock album, while “Gimme Something Good” has been nominated for Best Rock Song.

This marks Ryan’s first multi-nomination year since 2002, when he picked up two nods for 2001’s Gold (Rock Album and Male Rock Vocal) and a third for his contribution to that year’s Hank Williams tribute album Timeless, “Lovesick Blues” (Male Country Vocal). He was also nominated for his 2003 cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in the category of Solo Rock Vocal Performance; and producer Glyn Johns also picked up a nomination for Ryan’s 2011 Ashes & Fire album, as Best Engineered Non-Classical Album.

But for all that, Ryan has yet to win a Grammy and I’d say he’s not likely to win this go-round, either, given who he’s up against: Black Keys, Jack White, Beck and Paramore for song; and U2, Tom Petty, Black Keys and Beck for album. Black Keys look like early odds-on favorites in both categories.

Ryan Adams might well pick up another nod or two, so I’ll update as events warrant. The Grammys will be presented on Feb. 8.

UPDATE (2 p.m.): The complete nominations list is out and “Gimme Something Good” is also up for Best Rock Performance; which brings him to three for this year. But given that he’s up against a lot of the same acts — Beck, Black Keys and Jack White again, as well as Arctic Monkeys — I’m afraid he’s just as much of a longshot to win this one, too. Based on what he just posted, Ryan seems to agree:


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Another award Ryan Adams is up for

OMusicLogoThe heck with the Grammy Awards. Ryan Adams is nominated in the O Music Awards, which “celebrate the best in digital music, from the top artist on Twitter to the most innovative music app.” Below is Ryan’s nomination spiel, which makes it clear that his on-again-off-again Twitter usage is what got him the nod (and it’s a pity he’s not still blogging, he’d be a shoe-in to win). Just today, Ryan was giving Twitter shout-outs to Ezra Koenig for debuting at No. 1 on the charts with the new Vampire Weekend album. I wish I had more first-hand knowledge of Ryan’s Twitter universe; but when I tried to follow @TheRyanAdams on Twitter, I discovered that I am among the many people he has blocked. Oh well, so it goes. Still, vote early and vote often. The awards will be presented on June 19.


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Ed Sheeran is gonna throw it back to you

EdSheeranOn Twitter the other day, I saw someone pose a rhetorical question: Was Ryan Adams ahead of his time or is it just coincidence that 1000 bands sound like him now? That’s pretty funny, given that the rap on Ryan has always been that he’s too retro and/or little more than the sum of his influences. And yet he has kept on keepin’ on, building up a body of work and a presence to the point that it seems like every emotional singer-songwriter who comes along nowadays is “RIYL Ryan Adams.” I must see that description several times a week, at least.

One such act following in Ryan’s wake is Ed Sheeran, a young singer-songwriter who is still more popular in his native England than in America (although touring as Taylor Swift’s opening act this year should raise his U.S. profile a good bit). Oddly enough, it almost seems like he’s shadowing Ryan. Sheeran was on the Grammy Awards telecast last month playing with Elton John, one of Ryan’s big fans and benefactors; and while Sheeran has yet to cover a Ryan song as far as I know, he did cover Oasis’ “Wonderwall” — a song Ryan also covered (and earned a Grammy nomination for) a decade ago on Love Is Hell.

So here, give ’em a comparison. Which version do you like better: Ed’s, or Ryan’s? I don’t pretend to be an impartial observer here, and I do find both quite pleasant. Nevertheless, I do feel like Ryan’s version has…more there there. Ed’s version is nice enough, a pretty rendition of a song I like; it’s almost placid. Meanwhile, Ryan’s “Wonderwall” has more raw emotion, revealing pockets of shell-shocked despair not to be found in either the Oasis original or Sheeran’s cover.

It ain’t easy, being the Next Ryan Adams. But Sheeran appears to be managing: His “Wonderwall” has more than 3.7 million Youtube views.

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