by isaac black

I can’t say enough good things about this song and video.

The video uses an absurd concept to sharpen the tragedy of the subject matter (and with a spot-on archetype of today’s basic white girl). But what gets me every time is when Mitski rips into the second pre-chorus, finding solace in her cranked Les Paul.

I’m a big fan of emotional indie rock. If that doesn’t tip you off already to my demographic, I’m a college educated white dude. Before I was aware of the idea of privilege, before Twitter, I saw indie rock as a refuge for outsiders, like myself. Yes, I was an outsider! Learning that my music tastes (including the dilettante forays into hip-hop and afrobeat) were extremely typical for college educated white dudes made me embarrassed to listen to the Pixies for a minute. I realize that in the cultural landscape the travails of college educated white dudes are over-represented, and that’s lamentable, but it still resonates with me! Call it my guilty pleasure.

I have no idea what it’s like to try to assimilate, as a young Asian-American woman, while trying to find love. I have no idea if it’s subversive for Mitski to play a cranked Les Paul. But there’s something here that speaks to me, outsider to outsider.