pitchfork interviews ezra koenig

about the new album, contra:

I didn’t want any simple “f*ck rich elitists” kind of songs. A lot of people define themselves in opposition to other things, like, “Everybody but me is an asshole or a hipster or a first world baby.” It’s easy to write a song that just takes down easy targets– there were songs like that on the first album, though some people misinterpreted them. It’s more of a challenge to write a song that’s about compassion toward people that you disagree with or people that represent something you think is reprehensible.

on the album’s title and the track “i think ur a contra”:

That song basically defines our own version of the word. I’d like to think that song straddles the line between straightforward love song and something more ambiguous. But what’s so interesting about the word “contra”– and why people make a big deal of it as an album title– is that it means so many different things that are linked by the root of the word, which is “against.” So even though it refers to the counter-revolution in Nicaragua, and the video game, and the contrabassoon, and Marx-contra-Hegel, it all means the same thing. It’s an incredibly basic, primal idea. “Contra” might have all these deeper connotations, but it’s actually a neutral word; it implies conflict, but it doesn’t imply which side is better.

read the full interview at pitchfork.

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~ by CJL on October 1, 2009.

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