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As if on cue, France's between-song riffing grows more manic. He'll start to say something, and then stops before completing the thought. He compliments the crowd for being so good looking, then, without missing a beat: "Hey, can you guys not tweet anything? Or not Instagram any of this?” The show concludes with Rado addressing the audience as he leaves the stage: "Thank you, New York. Don’t believe everything you read." It's a sad parting note, given the day's events.
At no point in time has a band had more access to what people are thinking and saying about them as right now. If The Beatles were able to read every negative comment about them at the flick of an iPhone screen, how would that have affected their music? The tension between France and Rado is palpable in that brief exchange about the jacket, but there's also a feeling it was perpetuated by a need to fulfill roles now expected of them.
It seems fair to say that less and less music writers are rewarding albums that they love with 1,500-word think pieces. In the constant churn of advance album streams and hyped four-song EPs, a record may be publicly praised for a moment, but then it's quickly reserved for personal listening as the the music press moves on to dissect the next day's offerings. Driven by page views, we're leaving the larger cultural conversations to when there are negative aspects of a band to discuss, not positive. This year's Big Deal albums can be boiled down to pessimistic taglines: Kanye's an egomaniac, Robin Thicke's a sexist, Vampire Weekend's still too white, Foxygen's a mess. We've created a world where a band only stays in the public conscious if there's a debate or controversy to be had, and then, like Foxygen, we tear them apart when they oblige to take part.
So, what's the solution to all this? I don't know, man. But I'm going to go listen to "San Francisco" now because, Jesus Christ, that's a great song.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.