The Guilty Pleasures of Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox

Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/anousonne/">anousonne</a> under a CC license.

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Bradford Cox is growing up. As the singer and primary songwriter of Atlanta-spawned Deerhunter, and under his solo moniker Atlas Sound, his music has often bridged the closer-than-you’d-think divide between pop accessibility and experimentation. But early Deerhunter releases tended toward noise and bombast, an overt exertion of youthful energy and chaos. With each subsequent release, with Deerhunter and on his own, Cox has increasingly explored the more contemplative side of his musical coin, and to great effect. His 2008 Microcastles/Weird Era Cont. contained some of his band’s catchiest tunes and most fully realized lyrics to date. Deerhunter’s brand new album, Halcyon Digest, further tones down the noise and ramps up the vocals. We recently probed Cox’s complex mind to learn about the music he listens to in the privacy of his own tour bus.

Mother Jones: What’s your favorite new or upcoming release, and why?

Bradford Cox: Avey Tare’s Down There, because it makes every day Halloween.

MJ: How about something way outside your genre?

BC: Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid, because I like good music.

MJ: Shuffle your iPod for me and name the first five songs that pop up.

BC: 1. Oval, “Zetrick”
2. Pavement, “Cut Your Hair”
3. Neil Young, “Roll Another Number (for the Road)”
4. Quixotic, “On My Own”
5. XTC, “Generals and Majors”

MJ: What’s the latest song, good or bad, that super-glued itself in your brain?

BC: Yes, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”

MJ: Three records you never get sick of listening to?

BC: 1. Stereolab, Cobra and Phases Play Voltage in the Milky Night
2. Storm and Stress, Under Thunder and Fluorescent Lights
3. Steve Reich, Drumming

MJ: Favorite holiday-related song or album?

BC: Dream Syndicate’s Halloween

MJ: Favorite politically themed song or album?

BC: Madonna, Like a Prayer

MJ: Got any guilty pleasures—something you like to listen to but don’t like to admit it?

BC: Glenn Beck’s voice. While I’m beating off.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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