Chance the Rapper and Radiohead would be pioneers if Jeff Rosenstock hadn’t done it first. This fact—that he’s self-released his albums as pay-what-you-want downloads before In Rainbows or Acid Rap were zip files on your computer—is probably familiar to anyone who’s read a feature or interview with the punk lifer. What’s more surprising, is that even after signing with a bigger indie label, he’s still doing things exactly the same way.
Yesterday, most of us woke up blisteringly hungover to news that a new Jeff Rosenstock album called Post- was up on Bandcamp, as a name-your-price surprise release download. Polyvinyl, which also releases albums from Alvvays and American Football, apparently never questioned his choice to drop it “for free with no announcement, on a holiday when no press people are working,” and the same day when it was sent to the record plant, he writes on Bandcamp.
WORRY. sure sounded like a purge in 2016, throwing everything he loved about music at the wall to see what stuck. It’s a masterpiece, and led to more opportunities than the 35-year-old artist had seen in his decades-spanning career. He played Pitchfork festival with a Trump piñata in tow, and casually revealed how much he was paid to play the fest. He’s scoring a Cartoon Network show this year, too.
On first listen or two, it’s both more concise and expansive than WORRY., pushing song lengths out to seven and even 11 minutes while capturing the daily panic of living in this beautiful time. Post- doesn’t quite leapfrog genres in the same way WORRY. went from ska to screamo to skate punk in a matter of minutes, but the hooky urgency seems well intact.
Defend PR is a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Recognizing the complex and dynamic landscapes that comprise Puerto Rican daily life and struggle, Defend PR seeks to deepen connections between Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora, in the hopes of nurturing greater solidarity, collaboration, and kinship.