Heartbreaking Bravery

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2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lindsey-Paige McCloy)


Having just run Loren DiBlasi’s beautiful piece on Patio and the impact Lindsey-Paige (LP) McCloy’s influence had on her life, it only felt right to follow that piece with one from LP herself. I was fortunate enough to meet Lindsey-Paige over the summer and came to regard her as a kindred spirit close to immediately after our introductions. The calm confidence that frequently permeates Patio’s music is personified by the guitarist/vocalist and it’s difficult to feel anything less than completely at ease (or even fairly comforted) in her presence. Below, she tackles moments she experienced that were connected to Dan Bejar, Ought, Phyllis Ophelia, and Krill, and the feelings those moments dredged up. Dive in below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on Patio throughout 2016.


I don’t really ever write things that aren’t related to “tech for cities,” so it’s taken me a whole hell of a long time to even START writing this down and to think about how to bound this year (when did it even start?  Does anyone remember?  Please advise.) because it’s been a long one.  Big and small, stretchy, recursive somehow.  I keep trying to isolate one musical memory but i’d have to put it in so much context (like, my story of my love of Krill is years long and others have told theirs so much better) that it would be so boring and long, so i’m just going to cop out and use Steven’s (very loose) frame here and talk about four randomly selected bits of bravery — if i can take the liberty of broadly defining that term — that made me feel a thing!


Dan Bejar sits down while he’s singing.  He just gets up there with a glass of water and he wanders around in between a ten piece band and a sold-out Webster Hall and then sometimes he sits down.  It might make you feel like he doesn’t care and that he’s phoning it in, that he’d rather be anywhere in the world more than here, a couple blocks south of Union Square on a Sunday night.  In fact, it does make you feel this way – the legendary wordplay’s crystal clear and the melodies bloom out like oil from under a leaky car but the performance is still flat (feeling weird saying this, who am i to make this call? Whatever, just reporting what i was thinking at the time, it’s important for the rest of the story, bear with me).

I was a little surprised, given the general vibe, that he came out for an encore, but he did, and then he just destroyed EVERYTHING.  The band pulled out some horn-heavy numbers and Bejar started going for high notes in an unusual way. There was this one crescendo — I don’t even remember which song they were playing, I was so engrossed — where I think maybe my whole life flashed before my eyes and it seemed as though Bejar had grown to at least twice his usual size. It also seemed like everyone in the whole room was snapped up together into some kind of everything-vortex that he was nonchalantly, expertly marshaling toward some kind of new frontier… or something.  I didn’t get a chance to figure out where we were going because everything dissipated really quickly and then we all left down some slow staircase, but I did know that I’d misjudged the whole thing and that Dan Bejar is definitely a wizard master from another dimension.


Ought was billed to play at the same time as Wilco at Pitchfork and i was VERY UPSET.  My brother and i treat festivals like a marathon – we get there early, we don’t ever sit down, and we eat only when its absolutely necessary. We hydrate on a rigid schedule (no alcohol!  could derail focus), we see as many things as possible, and we collapse at 10pm so we can do it all again the next day.  We did not foresee an evil scheduler conspiring against us, placing my two favorite bands playing the festival — Ought, who I had seen and was dying to see again, and Wilco, who I had never seen live and who I love from the depths of my dad-rock heart (aesthetic – cool dad c. 2006) — against each other in the first night headline slot.

Loren, Colin, and I rode, as David heroically drove, all the dang way to Pitchfork, where we met up with my brother. I was going to have to choose between the old and new and I was heartbroken! We took a leap and split the group in two, elder statesmen going to Wilco and the youth pushing up for Ought. We assumed Ought would play for less time than Wilco, and we camped out on the front right (for Ought).  This decision was perhaps our most brilliant call.  Right before they were to release Sun Coming Down, which was probably my favorite album this year, they closed the blue stage with a completely on-fire, in-control set of new and old material. They bravely conducted a sea of flailing and bouncing teens in the miserable heat and showed absolutely everyone up, including Wilco, whose set I did manage to catch as they launched into the hits after they finished playing Star Wars in full.  Thanks for that, Ought.


Phyllis Ophelia is both one of my oldest friends and the best songwriter I know.  She writes close and catchy songs about emptiness and risk and love and interpersonal activities. My favorite song of hers is called “Saint Hangover” and you really need to listen to it if you’re just a tiny bit hung over at work, trying to finish writing this piece… maybe that’s just me, OK, still, listen.  I was lucky enough to see her play again recently at the Sidewalk Café.  My favorite part of her performance was watching her pull back a bit, become fully aware of the explicit nature of some of her new material and of the presence of an audience hanging on these words, double down, gamely joke about “being embarrassed” on a mic break in a way that somehow cemented total mastery of the situation and of the central subject matter.  Thanks, Phyllis, for going there and for showing us that it’s OK for us to sing about our bodies and others’ bodies and how they fit together and what we want from them, if we want to, and for doing it so dang beautifully.


Krill got out of the game and it seemed like a signal to close a chapter of some kind (this is what I told Gabe, though I don’t think I closed any chapter despite having one fewer wisdom tooth now than I did when I started listening to Krill, maybe that counts for something).  Thanks to a friend I managed a ticket to their last show, though thanks to dinner I missed Big Ups and half of the Frankie Cosmos set.  Got there just in time to squeeze into a spot in the back near the bathroom and the courtyard door, right in everyone’s way, where improbably, and conveniently, my friends were also standing.  Jonah was there too.  Though through some good friends I’ve met 2/3’s of krill, I’d still not met Jonah.  He’s not the kind of guy you feel like you know through his lyrics or through having seen him perform in many of the months of 2015 (probably 2015 was just my Year of Krill, really).  You feel like you can begin to bound the enigma but then “Torturer” comes out as a single and you have to start all over again, etc.

So, Jonah was by himself with a hoodie up next to the wall, and toward the end of the Frankie Cosmos set he turned toward the wall for some sort of private communion with something, maybe —  he was probably just tired and psyching himself up for the third NYC farewell show that week — but it felt both like I was intruding on something really private (it also feels like I’m violating that privacy by writing about this here… sorry, Krill) and that maybe he needed a hug.  I’m not a hugger, though, so I just sent vibes from my mind, of support and thanks because I really am grateful to Krill for having been Krill.  It can’t have been easy to be Krill and speak to, or for, those of us who thought a lot about our effects on others and on ourselves, who worried about how to feel every day, and who felt everything from complete control to utter aimlessness and disgust over the course of a 24 hour period, who cry to “Purity of Heart” (Loren), or drive the Dakota’s to “Alam No Hris” (Stephen and Gabe), or who were the reason for this whole madness in the first place (Bon), or who really think Aaron’s guitar tone is the best of anyone’s (me, vocally).  I will miss krill, but I’m glad I got to be there for it and I am very grateful to krill for having been.

In summary: everyone who makes music is the best, I love bands I love friends cool great 2015 thanks good ok!

2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Loren DiBlasi)


Now that (an excessively busy) January is a piece of our past and we’ve had ample time to reflect on the events of 2015, it’s time to return to a series that began last year: A Year’s Worth of Memories. Every year, a handful of this site’s favorite people in the worlds of music and film are asked to reflect on the smaller moments that stood out as personal highlights of the preceding year as a more personalized companion piece to the more static run of year-end lists. A long list of potential contributors were asked if they’d be interested in writing a piece and a handful responded in kind, writing beautiful pieces that scratched very personal roots. This year’s first piece comes courtesy of MTVNews editor — and a writer that’s earned bylines at Impose and DIY — Loren DiBlasi (pictured above, playing bass and singing for site favorites Patio), who is one of a handful of contributors returning to A Year’s Worth of Memories. Loren’s remained a constant friend through some harder times and it’s an honor to have her be an ongoing part of the series. Read about what had the most impact on her in 2015 below.



I read Our Band Could Be Your Life ten years ago, when I was sixteen, the year I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up: a music writer. It was the same year I read other books like Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, and Simon Reynolds’ Rip It Up And Start Again, and realized, hey, this is a thing that people actually do for a living. As my obsession deepened, I amassed an extensive CD collection that started with post-punk revival bands of the time (Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads) and worked its way backwards, all the way from Pixies and Sonic Youth to Joy Division, Buzzcocks, and The Fall.

From sixteen on, I didn’t care about anything. I only cared about music. But I didn’t just want to write about it; I wanted to eat it, sleep it, breathe it, and live it until the day I died.

But I never wanted to play it. I didn’t think I could.

There’s this thing with young girls who love music. Except for a few bands I liked — maybe Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The White Stripes — there weren’t many contemporary female musicians I looked up to. If there was a “girl in a band” — the title of Kim Gordon’s memoir, which I would devour a decade later — she was either “not as good” as her male counterparts (the incessant critiquing of Meg White) or she was the dazzling, charismatic lead singer, a figure far more glamorous than I’d ever imagined myself to be (like Gwen Stefani or Kate Jackson of The Long Blondes).

I fancied myself a nerd, an outsider, a weirdo; at the time, I didn’t know many female musicians who reflected those qualities. An exception might be Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces, but again, she wrote lyrics and sang. I was young, timid, and still developing as a writer, let alone a songwriter (and the idea of singing in front of people was scary). I just didn’t think I had it in me.

When I became obsessed with Talking Heads, I worshiped Tina Weymouth; she was cool, and smart, and different in a way I could relate. She had a boy’s haircut, but she was undeniably feminine: her look was chic and classic, and she wore lots of black. She resembled a miniature version of the supermodel Twiggy. I admired her style and her fearless attitude first; her musicianship later. Stop Making Sense was the first time I really noticed the bass on its own, and the idea of playing it — of being like Tina — intrigued me.

But like I said, there’s this thing with girls who love music. I felt that because I was already sixteen, and had never touched an instrument, that it was too late for me. If I hadn’t shown musical promise by that point, I never would. Plus, what if I was bad? Of course, what’s hilarious is that I had never even tried, and I was already writing myself off as incapable or unworthy; this is a classic teenage girl move. Where boys are encouraged, girls are outsiders in music communities, and it takes a lot of time, effort, and courage to break free of that restrictive, deep-rooted thinking.

(Years later, I learned that Tina Weymouth hadn’t picked up the bass until her 20s, to join the already-formed Talking Heads.)


Maybe I wasn’t ready to try my hand at music as a teenager. But once I had reached my 20s, and had gained endless insight working as a journalist, it was time. Still, the circumstances had to be just right. First, there was the concept: Patio. My band. Grass is Green, Vulture Shit, and Flagland played a show at David Blaine’s, spring 2014. Friends and I joked about how we had wasted our Saturday, which was drinking at bars, on various outside patios. Even Randy of Vulture Shit said he’d done the same.

“Wouldn’t ‘Patio’ be a fucking perfect band name?” I proposed. “Like a group of distraught millennials sitting outside, drinking away their troubles, when in reality their lives are actually fine.”

It was a joke at first, but eventually the name took on greater meaning for me; it represented a deep sense of boredom with my surroundings and an overall dissatisfaction with life, whether that was a spoiled mentality or not.

The first time I actually held a bass, I was in bed with a boy, a bass player. I liked him. He had resolved to give me a lesson, but somehow the idea of him teaching me how to play made me more uncomfortable than whatever we had done together the night before. When I didn’t know how to place my hands, he laughed at me, and that was it. I was done. I didn’t want to try something new in front of him, or anyone that I didn’t trust.

I didn’t like him for very much longer. When I finally found the person I did trust, things moved a lot more quickly (and that person wasn’t a boy).


I met Lindsey-Paige (LP) McCloy through mutual friends later that year, and quickly realized that not only did we talk, act, and dress similarly — something that’s still pointed out to us by friends and strangers alike — but we shared an affinity for everything music- related. The major difference between us was that LP had been playing in bands for years, and I had so much to learn.

Through a combination of weird, serendipitous events — like a sudden breakup that afforded me an abundance of free time, and finding our heroic drummer, Alice Suh — Patio soon evolved from a joke, to a joke band, to an actual band. Immediately, LP and I learned that we worked exceptionally well together; her calm and patience, combined with her talent, is an ideal balance for my rash, dramatic nature. The first song I ever played on bass, per LP’s instruction, was Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair” (ironic because I don’t even like Pavement, but it’s the perfect starter bass line). LP wrote fantastic bass parts to Patio’s first ever song, “Air Japan,” and soon — after lots of practice — I discovered I could write my own parts.

I’ve found that the way I make music is similar to the way I write about it: spontaneous, emotional, and unpredictable. Riffs and melodies seep into my brain while I sleep, or completely unsolicited, a lyric will pop into my head while I’m showering, cooking, or riding the subway. By no means is it an orthodox process, and by no means is it easily replicated. Sometimes I’m happy with the end result — I wrote all the words and parts to my first song, “Baby’s Alright,” while my phone was dying on the M train — and sometimes it’s utter shit. Even when it’s shit, it’s still good. It’s all part of it, even the bad stuff.

There’s nothing I look forward to more than band practice: being trapped in a small, sweaty room with my bandmates. LP has the uncanny ability to translate even my boldest, most bizarre suggestions into actual, cohesive sound, and we’ve collaborated on songs I’m insanely proud of. When my penchant for bleak, dark noise becomes too overwhelming, she cuts me off (or we meet somewhere in the middle, like on the track we’ve semi-jokingly dubbed our “goth country song”). Sometimes I’ll arrive at practice equipped with nothing but a sentence, or I’ll start plucking in a random pattern, and with her guidance, it transforms into something tangible and inspiring. Ours is the healthiest, most meaningful (and longest) relationship I’ve ever had, by far, and for that, I love her to no end.


All this year, I’ve worked tirelessly at not just making Patio better, but making myself better. Often, these efforts have been one in the same. After a rough end to 2014 (one which I so openly, or rather drunkenly, detailed right here), and disappointment after disappointment, my positive outlook began to fade, until I hardly recognized myself anymore.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to do the things I’d always loved to do: write, go to shows, interview bands, see friends. After something traumatic happened at a show involving a person I loved more than anything, I could barely leave my bed, let alone leave my house. For months, I couldn’t sleep. I stopped eating almost entirely. I stopped listening to music. I couldn’t go to a show without having a panic attack, or feel completely crippled with anxiety. And if I couldn’t do the things I had always done — the things I was good at, the things that had helped me make a name for myself within our little Brooklyn community — then who was I?

In 2015 I was split open, and Patio helped me feel whole again. My band has given me something new, something fun, something to look forward to. It’s helped me forge a new identity, but it’s also taught me how to embrace my own life again: the friends who love me, the things that give me purpose. Depression and anxiety are both very real, but it’s important to have an outlet that lessens the burden, whatever it may be. I’m lucky to have found a new one, despite the turmoil of this year.

In many ways, Patio is still a joke, but for me, it’s the realest thing I’ve ever had. We write silly, nonsensical songs about diminutive genitalia (“Microballs” is all Alice’s genius) and call fried chicken sandwiches our boyfriends. And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever cared about anything more in my life. Back in my teens, when I read all those books, I knew that I’d one day be a writer, too — and I’ll never stop working at that — but I never, ever imagined that one day, maybe my own band could exist. Now it does. Whatever we accomplish going forward, that feels real, and it feels fucking good.


-Loren DiBlasi