RL276 - The Authenticity Wars

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

  • Crisping up food in the microwave (Food and Drink)
  • Taking a steak cooking class (Food and Drink)
  • John talking a music engineering class and not getting it (Music)
  • The bass line of Portugal. The Man! (Music)
  • Different sounds of John’s voice (Music)
  • Seattle being too small for musicians or artists (Music)
  • John being the furthest out person in college (Early Days)
  • Talented bands with the hustle are in advantage over other bands (Music)
  • The huge diversity of the Long Winters was not helpful (Music)
  • Krist Novoselic becoming a politician in the rural area of West Washington (Stories)
  • John getting a Grammy certificate for writing a song on Amy Mann’s album (Music)

The problem: Everybody’s got a different kind of generosity, referring to John’s opinion that everybody sees generosity in a different way and he for example likes to give people a shout out if they have helped him.

The show title refers to Ted Leo staying authentic during the Authenticity Wars.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Crisping up food in the microwave (RL276)

John warmed up two slices of pizza in the microwave, which is not the best way to warm up pizza and often he would eat cold pizza just fine. Merlin recently acquired a product from the Whirlpool corporation that proports to be a pan to crisp up the thing you are heating in the microwave. It looks like a 12” pizza pan, but it is treated with some kind of aluminium (sic) that can be used in the microwave oven, which flies in the face of everything we have learned. Sometimes Merlin gets hot wings form a delivery place just for later, kind of for his table. He likes those crisped up, but the problem is that you got a chicken piece on the inside, you got hot sauce on the outside and in between there is this crisped up flowery coating thing. Heating that in the microwave is not that fun.

Merlin is a master of the microwave, in particular regarding the percentages. He is a percentage man! For John it is a time game and he puts in everything at 100%. Merlin has a really high wattage microwave, like 1200 W or more, and he always has to go a little bit south when they tell you for how long you are supposed to cook your food. It is great if you want to make hot water, because you want pure energy coursing through your water, but if you put a pizza in for a minute, it will be a very hot, possibly burny pizza. For defrosting, Merlin goes for like 10%, because what a microwave does is that it cooks from the inside out. Consider the lasagne: Often one part is scolding and giving you mouth meat, while another part is actually still frozen. Merlin recommends to consider the 40% setting!

John has two ways to use the microwave: He uses it for the thing that he shouldn’t have frozen, but he froze and wants to bring back to life. He is a master of the freezing process, and if he is not sure if meat has gone bad, he will put it in the freezer for later, because then he can cook it a year from now. Everything you pull out of the freezer is brand spanking new! If you got something that is a 2-minute heat-up, try cooking it for almost twice the amount of time at 40%. It lets those little waves really get deep inside. Let the food accommodate the waves! John thinks of microwaves as jiggling the molecules, but Merlin is saying that it is going to tickle its way through. You don’t train a dog by yelling at it and Merlin encourages John to experiment. You can’t undo microwave, but you can always do more microwave. Pizza is such a throw-away food, but John notices this about himself: He screws up food and then he sits and shame-eats it. What he deserves is to sit alone at the end of his table with a napkin tucked into his shirt and a knife in one hand and a fork in the other, just eating this shit-food, miserating in every bite. He doesn’t even learn from it! John's tragedy is that he is unable to cook a steak.

Taking a steak cooking class (RL276)

John got contacted by somebody who was teaching a steak cooking class in Seattle and he liked John to attend. John was so into it, but now he was offered a gig at the same time as the steak cooking class. John partly makes his living doing gigs and it is an out-of-town gig, so now he just feels like he doesn't know what to do. The teacher doesn’t do the steak cooking class all the time, but it only comes up once in a while.

John taking a music engineering class and not getting it (RL276)

One time John took a music engineering studio production class. He had been in recording studios over 100 times, looking over people’s shoulders asking them questions while they tell him they are changing the shelf on the bus. Although John knows what those terms mean, he wanted to expand on him knowledge further. He normally runs his vocals through an 1176 (Peak Limiter), because he loves the way that machine sounds. He knows them intimately from staring at them, but he has no idea what people are doing when they change any settings on them. It is a wonderful machine and you can do tricks on it, like you can push all the buttons in at once. They are not cheap and if John owned one, he would push all the buttons in at once and would leave it there.

John would find a setting and never touch it again. When a compressor or a limiter is doing its job, John understands in his mind’s eye kind of what is happening to the sound, but he cannot quite put together the mental picture or the map. He scopes it out as a geography over the course of a year. Maps sometimes require that you understand the physical property of the thing that you are doing. If you don’t understand what sound is, how can you make a map of it? How much can you understand what sound is unless you really study sound? Sound is some waves, but sound going through a box is electricity. So John sits and talks to engineers and they tell him you put a shelf on the bus, but what is he trying for by doing that? Then they tell him that they will just do it until it sounds good, but it sort of sounds differently good in every direction.

The class was taught by a noted engineer producer and the attendees were John and four other people. He stayed in a hotel down in Portland and the class was 3 days worth in the studio, learning all this stuff. John came out of there exactly as ignorant as he went in and to no fault of the class, but he lacks a fundamental comprehension that wasn’t in the purview of the class. John was sitting there with the duns cap on, asking ”What is sound?” or ”What are we manipulating?” or how does his voice gets turned into electricity? He gets it, he has heard it 1000 times, but he just doesn’t get it!

What is wonderful about recording is that if some tiny adjustment is made by a knob, John can perceive it and has an opinion about it. He knows enough about the words to be able to say that he wants a little bit more shelf on that bus, the engineer does it and it turns out that John was right. He has no idea though, and he is just casting spells that he learned from some wizards. Somebody liked to put 3/4-used-up 9-volts in their effects boxes, because they gave a warmer sound. They do this all the time in mixing records. It sounds amazing in the studio through your NS-10s which sound terrible, but everybody uses them. Then they tell you to listen to it on headphones and it sounds terrible. You cannot just mix something hearing it through one source, which is the real destabilizing thing. Mixing is such a delicate art that is influenced by the room and the other people’s sweat.

The bass line of Portugal. The Man! (RL276)

John keeps referring to the new Portugal. The Man song Feel It Still because everyone in the country has it stuck in their head (they are the third most popular band at Merlin’s daughter’s school, but she wouldn’t say who the other two bands were). They have made quite a bit of psychedelic music in the past and that new hit song doesn’t sound like them. They are from Wasilla, Alaska or BF Motherfucking E as they say in the North. Wasilla now is not the Wasilla of their childhoods and certainly not the Wasilla of John’s childhood. In John’s life, you could carry a gun into a 7-Eleven there. It is very small, like a wide spot on the road and the road isn’t very wide. Those guys are fun and they are taking the piss.

The bass sound on that track is already a very cool sound out of the gate. It has its own tone which is pretty unusual for a contemporary pop song. The first time John heard this tune start with this bass line, he felt that there was no way they would be able to sustain that bass sound through the track. It is a very individual bass sound, but it is not going to punch through and it is not going to be sufficient, because it is such a nuanced tone. It is plunky with a bit of a slap-back and some reverb, pretty 1960s sounding, almost like flat-wound strings and you wouldn’t think that it would manage on contemporary radio. During the production of the song, which was done by Mike D and Dangermouse, somehow they were able to keep this bass sound going and it really propels the song. It is one thing to get a tone like that in the studio and by like ”Ah, that is a cool bass sound”, but to commit to it, stick to it and make it work, that is real artistry! It is what distinguishes this song from everything else on the radio right now.

Different sounds of John’s voice (RL276)

John has started a new war movie podcast called Friendly Fire. During the first episode he apparently took a bite out of a sandwich or something. He doesn’t remember doing it and it is very unusual for him to have a sandwich during the recording of a podcast. He has no recollection of it, none! The podcast is on the Maximum Fun network with very particular fans who noticed that. He checked with some other people that he is doing podcasts with and even Dan Benjamin said that in the first recording with him, John took a bite out of a sandwich.

John does a lot of mouth sounds, but he also has a voice that comes from a husky place from deep inside a vessel. That is also why he doesn’t like the sound of his own voice when he hears it. There are a lot of other tones in it and it is a little bit phlegmatic with a little bit of rattle. It is a natural kind of amount of something and he brings his whole body into the sound. If they would record at a different time of day, John would probably be making a lot fewer noises, because a lot of them are morning noises. He thought about trying to record a song in the early morning, because his voice has a very distinctive tone that he is trying to capture in a song and he can get much lower in the morning. John hears people saying that he and Merlin start sentences higher and then getting low. Merlin is famous for starting really high. He does a Mariah and adds an octave. It is all for effect and that is what they do! Everything that is in the voice is in the voice.

John is conscious of voice-over work that is being done. Although there is something deeply wrong with the sound of his voice, when he hears other people doing voice-over work, he thinks that he could definitely do that better than them, although he would need his tooth back. John Corbett from Northern Exposure does a lot of beer ads and stuff. He got this rye Tom Bodett folksy sort of voice. In the 1990s when they were making that show, they were filming it right outside good old Seattle town up in the mountains. He bought a bar called The Merchant’s Café, which was cool, but there was a lot of scuttlebutt around town about him sowing his wild oats. It was the 1990s and he was a TV-star born in 1961, meaning he was 30 in 1991 at the peak of his fame and he was probably causing real trouble around here. John wasn’t traveling in those circles. Now he is married to Boe Derrick and she is 5 years older than he is. During the peak of her fame in 1979 she would have been 22 years. If you are in a movie running on a beach in a bikini, 22 years is a good window for that. Somehow John Corbett and Boe Derrick met one another.

Seattle being too small for musicians or artists (RL276)

The thing about voice-over work is like all work: There are a lot of people who want to do it. John had quite a few friends from Seattle who at the age of 28 started to feel that Seattle was too small for them and they moved to other places. Reggie Watts for example was a Seattle star and had a band called Maktube, but then he moved to New York and it turned out that he was correct. He was John’s Nemesis and John had heard that he was moving to New York and they bumped into each other at a party. It was a situation where they went around the corner and literally bumped into each other. They were standing there with that whole business still between them, looking at each other. John told Reggie that he had heard Reggie was moving to New York and he agreed with him that Seattle was too small for him. Reggie was surprised and that let them part on good terms because he appreciated it and he was probably on the cusp of that move and was anxious about it. Now when they see each other, that’s a long time ago. John and he have mutual friends who moved to LA at the same time because they felt that Seattle was too small for them and they were going down to LA to become actors.

John had said that to Reggie in a way that he thought was very generous. Now he thinks that everybody has a different kind of generosity. One of the generosities that John has is that he likes to give shout-outs to people. He knows people who don’t give shout-outs and doesn’t know why, because it doesn’t cost you anything to say that this person helped you, or telling you that he admires your thing, even though he doesn’t like you.

Some Rock musicians from San Francisco recently told John that you can’t be a Rock musician in San Francisco, but you have to move to Los Angeles. LA has no clubs while San Francisco still has Rock clubs, but it doesn’t have any Rock scene anymore and Merlin can’t name a single band from San Francisco right now. There was a time in the early 2000s where there were a dozen very active bands, like for example Vanderslice, Orange, Beulah and Actionslacks. Merlin went to school with their drummer. There are still all those Rock clubs in San Francisco, but their music scene is the LA music scene. It is easy for them to go up there and play shows. Because you don't always play a full venue, you want a place that has capacity for 200 and that still feels like a good room if there are only 100 people there.

John has a pretty good handful of friends who moved down to Los Angeles to become actors. At the time there was a feeling that sketch comedy was going to be a thing that came out of LA instead of New York and there were some edgy-sketch people who went down there. They transitioned very quickly into ”I hope I can get a role in this commercial for Kodak”, then pretty soon they were just auditioning for anything, and even though they were only 32 they were trying to get the role of the dad in the Palmolive ad. Pretty soon they were waiters or not even that. They would say that for every role they audition for, there were dozens of more handsome, better educated, younger, and hungrier people looking for the same job. In Seattle it was kind of a big deal, because they had a theater company and they had their own space.

The first time The Long Winters arrived in New York City, they had a big article in The Village Voice, their fist ever show was full and the audience knew all their songs. It was because they were from Seattle and they were exotic. If they had been a New York band, they would have just been just another New York band to them.

John being the furthest out person in college (RL276)

Going to Gonzaga for a couple of years was a big advantage for John. It was during a period in his life when his only goal was to be the one person who was the furthest on the fringe. In Spokane and particularly in Gonzaga, a Jesuit school with an undergraduate population of 2500 kids, it was not much effort to be out the furthest. There were always going to be people who are further out in one direction or another, and there were always people who took more drugs than John or who were more strictly edgy, but it was easy for John to be the one person who was the furthest out from the center whilst still being in the orbit. At the University of Washington with 4000 students at the time, he would have needed to be a lot more at risk of injury, first of all.

He would walk into a party at Gonzaga and do stupid shit like break a wine bottle over his head, which is much harder to do than it seems. It hurts a lot more than you think because in the movies they use wine bottles that are made to break. On University Avenue he would have been even worse off than he is and would be missing more teeth than he is. To be the weird fish in a small pond helped John a lot and protected him. It is like being the edgy goth kid at your High School: It keeps you safe. If he had gone to LA, San Francisco, or certainly New York, it would have been a very different thing for him.

Talented bands with the hustle are in advantage over other bands (RL276)

No matter if you are genuinely talented, being used to the hustle or having that extra fire or grit is utterly critical to even getting your first role as an actor. When you are young and starting out, it is easy to make the mistake of thinking that people with hustle will get past you, even if you have more talent, but when you get old, at least in show business, you realize that the people who get past you are the ones that have hustle and more talent. Somebody asked John the other day if it bothers him that all these other people got famous while there was something about the Long Winters that didn’t catch fire. John asked back if they meant that the New Pornographers, Spoon, Band of Horses and The Decemberists all got famous and not him? Those bands are all great!

John doesn’t think that Band of Horses got famous instead of the Long Winters because they hustled, but it was because they had an incredible sound! They were killer! A great example for Merlin is always The Mountain Goats: They just keep on touring and putting out records. One way to get lucky is to work really fucking hard! They are an interesting example because people love them and John never liked them. It is not his thing. This band is an example where John in a weak moment would say that if you put out 40 records, people will stick with you, but when John hears people talk about them so worshipfully, he also has to realize that he is just not hearing it, but it is there. Another example might be Ted Leo: He works really hard and during the Authenticity Wars he was able to maintain authenticity in a way that is very hard. He also worked hard to maintain unimpeachability in the Fugazi Model. Those guys never charged $40 for a T-shirt.

The huge diversity of the Long Winters was not helpful (RL276)

During the young middle of John’s career, there were all kinds of bands that had the same amount or slightly more juice and energy in both the local scene and in the CMJ-dominated national Indie Rock music scene. John did wonder why those guys were getting a one-page in Magnet. John even had a 3-page in Magnet and most of the other bands are gone now. You don’t hear as much from Nada Surf anymore these days, but they are on tour in Europe right now. Nada Surf is a good example of a band that always sold more records that John did and he thinks they were a better band than The Long Winters were in all the measurements of a band. Their live show was killer, they worked harder, their songs were catchier, you could go back and forth all day. You can put the best 10 A.C. Newman songs up on the big board!

Merlin thinks that John’s songs have a lot of diversity and what he has released is super-interesting and very high quality. John’s songwriting is really really good, which is one of Merlin’s biggest attractions to John as a performer. His songs are just so good! The 5 best-known Nada Surf songs are not as good as John’s 5 best-known songs, but John interjects that they sound like Nada Surf songs. The Strokes have no diversity and all their songs sound like The Strokes. All Interpol songs sound like Joy Division and when those songs come on, you know it must be the new Interpol song, whereas The Long Winters music all sounds like ”Who the fuck knows?” The only thing The Long Winters don’t have is a Ska song. It is an everything-everything sound, which is a bad strategy if you are trying to make a band popular. Every song by The Mountain Goats sounds like The Mountain Goats. You would never think that the song would be some kind of Ork Pop or if this were the Smashing Pumpkins.

John admires the fact that Ted Leo always stayed true to his school. John’s school was ”cut your own hair” and not ”sound like your influences”. John cut his own hair right before every single photo shoot, which means that John looks terrible on every single band photo. He thought that people would look at the pictures and identify a kind of truth about John, but people don’t say things like that, but they wonder why he has this terrible haircut. For example in the song Cinnamon, John thought he was communicating this whole story about the Baader Meinhof gang, but he didn’t give any evidence of it. He cut his own hair before every photo shoot, because he thought he believed in the principle, but the principle does not convey.

People couldn’t look at John and tell he was a vegan, while Ted had a big V for Vegan on his shirt and talked about it in every interview. What John had was a suit covered with question marks like the Riddler. On one tour he wore a striped tie like he was in the Decemberists, and another time he wore a gold leotard. It was top hats for everybody! On one tour he was just going to wear this track and he looked like he was in the Happy Mondays. There was no consistency and all he was doing was only in his head. He thought people were going to pick up on it, but what he was really doing was this eclecticism and all people picked up on was ”Is this the guy from LCD Soundsystem, except he is wearing loafers and a bowler?” It looked like Clockwork Orange and it didn’t make any sense! That is true in the songs, too. For every song, John started completely fresh, like he was doing an experiment, which he thought was a great premise, but when you listen to the records, you never know what is coming next. Maybe the bass line of the next song is going to be played on Tambourine?

The other bands got their hair professionally cut at great expense and told the person to cut their hair to make them look like Ron Wood in 1972, while John was sitting in front of the mirror trying to make it even. He looked like a girl in college who is experimenting, trying some stuff out. When he was 16, if he had just bought one good leather jacket that fit him and then just worn that leather jacket. He would have been that guy with that leather jacket , it would have solved a lot of problems between the age of 16 and 26, because you wouldn’t have to think about it, you would have just worn that leather jacket all the time. If you picked Hardcore as your sound, it is right in the name: it is hard core and the sound is very distinctive and you can learn it. If you stick around long enough in hard core, you become part of hardcore. You are no longer just an aspirant. Once you become part of it, what you did when you were young now becomes part of the history of hard core. At the time, there were bigger bands than you, but when those bands go away and you are still around, you have written the history of hardcore somewhat. You survived and the victors write the history. But if you just start out like being different and doing your own thing. If you don’t invent a genre, which is very hard to do, then you were not part of any scene back then and you didn’t rewrite that scene, you just floundered the whole time and clamoured up on whatever raft you managed to get on and then the raft went over the falls.

John is somebody who cannot be mad of the Moody Blues, in the same way that he still listens to Richard Harris sing how he left his cake out in the rain (song: MacArthur Park). He listenes to Mannheim Stealroller’s Christmas every year, not because he wants to, but because his sister insists. Moody Blues were the guys following Pink Floyd. They were taking their style and making it a bit more palatable and John doesn’t disagreed with that, but there is a lot of anger at Moody Blues and John doesn’t understand why.

Krist Novoselic becoming a politician in the rural area of West Washington (RL276)

John loves to watch Portlandia sketches online, partly because he has very good feelings about Fred Armisen. Merlin is currently bingeing this stuff! Fred sent John a very nice email at one time, based on his own generousness, just because he became aware of John and thought he would send him an email to tell John he liked his thing. For Merlin, Will Ferrell and Fred Armisen have just very funny eyes and he will start laughing just by looking at them. John has never gotten into Will Ferrell. There is a running character on the show named Spyke who is this crusty punk rocker in his 50s. He decides it is time to speak truth to power and get his old punk rock band Riot Spray back together (Season 8 Episode 1). Riot Spray is Henry Rollins, Krist Novoselic and Brendan Canty from Fugazi. Krist Novoselic looks like a guy you would just see at Whole Foods, a pated man with glasses down on his nose.

Krist moved to the most rural place in Western Washington. There are rural places on the High Plains in Eastern Washington that are very rural. You can get out there and when you come over the rise you see an abandoned house sitting there in 2nd amendment country. In the West of Washington there are a lot of places where it just rains all the time and the main cash crop is Cranberries. There are a lot of fishermen of the kind that might not come back every time they go out. They are the real crazy ones with permanently squinty eyes. The wind blows all the time. There are shellfish people that are very shellfish. Krist moved down there and bought some land. John knows that territory pretty well and he can only imagine that even at the hill side the ground is always soggy and you are never standing on hard ground. It is kind of where he grew up, out in Aberdeen, it is the same country. There is no economy anymore because the logging that used to be there is mostly gone. Krist got his private pilot’s license and he has a little Cesna 172 and when he comes to Seattle he flies himself up there. He got himself elected to the Grange Foundation, the local agriculture board. It is effectively the government for the region, but they all just get together in a hall and argue about Cranberries. He is active in super-local politics of this crazy little way-west super-Louis-and-Clark outpost out there.

When John was running for City Council, he and Krist talked every week, because Krist was very interested in Seattle politics and wanted to help John. He wanted to make sure that John had his platform straight and 90% of the advice he gave John was dead on. There was a brief moment where he was put up to run for national office, either Senator or Governor, but he was proposed as a politician himself. He got into the race and at the first press conference somebody asked him if he was affected by Kurt Cobains death from heroin and Krist was like ”Get me out of here!” That world was not where he wanted to be. If you don’t love this grind, it doesn’t matter if you are good at the job.

To be a good City Council person and to be good at running for City Council are two totally different jobs and you have to be good at both. To get elected, all you have to be good at is the running part. Once you get in, people will discover if you are good at the other part. A couple of people on the City Council who were running together with John, one in particular, is now on there and the consensus is that he is not as good as he might have been. 10% of the advice Krist gave John was about Cranberry farming which was not useful in running for office in Seattle. He had some stuff he wanted to make sure were on John’s agenda. He is a very unusual and wonderful man. Once Duff McKagan asked to interview him for the release of Duff’s book.

John getting a Grammy certificate for writing a song on Amy Mann’s album (RL276)

John recently said that he has never won an award. When the Grammys were on, he avoided all media because who wants to be watching those! He is even on the Grammy board (WHERE?) and votes for them, but he doesn’t want to watch the show. Then Amy Mann got the Grammy for best folk album and John wouldn’t even have thought about her as a folk artist. As they were texting back and forth, John remembered that he wrote a song on that album. Amy’s album did not win ”Best Packaging”, but it won for the music.

He did not ask Amy where his parade is, but he contacted his people at the Grammies and asked for a friend if hypothetically an album wins a Grammy for best in category and your friend has written a song on that record, what is the story with that? You don’t get one of the little gold gramophones, but is there something? They came back and said that you would get a very nice gold-embossed certificate suitable for framing that says that you wrote a song on a grammy-winning album. All of a sudden, it is not quite that John won exactly something, but he did get a certificate.

Jonathan Coulton wrote a bunch of songs on that album, too, so he is going to get a certificate, which tarnishes it a little. His record was actually nominated for Best Packaging and he lost to Father John Misty, but for the nomination he will get yet another certificate. His wall of diplomas is once again much better than John’s and it almost looks like a dentist’s office. He might even get nominated for a Tony because he wrote some songs on the new Spongebob musical.

As John was contemplating receiving this certificate which he probably will not open, he realized that a few years ago Kathleen Edwards won a SOCAN prize which is a major Canadian award, for a song that John has a co-write on. It was generous on her part, because she was sitting in John’s living room and asked him to listen to the song and tell her what he thinks. She played it on his piano that his cousin yells about as being a weird sounding piano and John told her that it was a great song and all he would do was change this to that and add this and take away that. She gave John songwriting credit on it and it does have a part that you can hear is very John. It is a wonderful song and it is her song entirely, but she gave him songwriting credit.

When the SOCAN awards for best song were announced, they said that Kathleen Edwards and John Roderick won this award, but John was not in Canada and he never wrote them a letter asking them for a certificate or something and so now it occurs to him that he has another certificate or participation for another thing that he kind of was standing next to when someone won. Now he starts to feel that he has half-won a couple of things. He also did sing the background-harmonies on Transatlanticism. Sean sang on a handful of songs on that record and he does have a gold record on his wall from Transatlanticism. Guess who doesn’t? It is John! He doesn’t have one and he thinks that when they were sitting with their notepad out, deciding who to send these to, Sean was very helpful because he sang on several songs. Then they give one to the producer and mixer. Josh & Emelie from Bazuk got one.

John does not have the thing for the wall that you put next to the bathroom. Or maybe he wouldn’t open it? His trophy room would just be unopened boxes with a full display case, a bell jar on it and a plaque with a question-mark. Just stuff he got in the mail that might be an award. It will be so Yoko Ono, it would be so strange, a room full of beautifully framed and mounted things in envelopes that for all he knows could be a Big Mouth Billy Bass or it could also be a Grammy. No-one is saying it is not a Grammy, it is a Schrödinger’s Grammy! Right in the center there would be a really big box that is probably a platinum record from Death Cab for Cutie. It wouldn’t cost a lot to send one to everybody who worked on it. Who is to say how many people ended up learning about them because they came to see the opening act? It is pretty safe to say how many people did because we can look at our own record sales.

John’s metaphysical trophy wall has a lot of these award-adjacent envelopes. Now he an Merlin also have phoney awards, a non-existent award that they made up and they were mad they weren’t nominated for and somebody went throught the trouble to make that real. An award was literally invented for John, they made those headphones and painted them gold. To be honest, those are noise protection headphones.

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