Be Careful What You Request at Bradford Cox’s Shows

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We get the feeling that Atlas Sound/Deerhunter mastermind Bradford Cox won’t be featured in the  Indie Outing (the secret jambands roots indie rockers) blog on Relix anytime soon. At an Atlas Sound show on Friday night in Minneapolis the self-described punk rocker responded to an audience member’s request for My Sharona by inviting the opening bands up to help him with an hour-long freakout on The Knack’s 1979 smash. Cox, who took the stage wearing a ski mask, ranted about the death of folk music, simulated fellatio on one of the musicians, ordered an audience member to strip and told the crowd members to pick up their chairs above their heads and shake them by the time the song was through according to blogger Sally Hedberg of City Pages.  Hedberg called it “an unending cover that length of a Phish concert,” to which Cox responded “I am terrified and horrified and shocked that anyone would mention Phish in any article related to me” as part of a lengthy diatribe to Pitchfork about the “incident.”

In fact, Cox thought the show went great and called it “one of the best performances I’ve done since Deerhunter started” during his incredibly entertaining chat with Pitchfork. “No one else fucking allows themselves to become unhinged. If it’s frightening to people, then those people seriously need to look at the mediocrity they subscribe to.” Bradford doesn’t seem to understand the stir he created. “It’s not like fucking Lana Del Rey carved an upside down cross on her cheek and defecated all over herself on stage at fucking Bonnaroo,” he told Pitchfork. The ironic part is that Cox was aiming to give attendees a spontaneous experience that goes beyond playing the same songs the same way night in and night out, the same thing Phish fans strive for from that band.

Here’s a playlist of  My Sharona videos shot by someone Cox describes as a “narc”…

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28 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Request at Bradford Cox’s Shows

  1. Billy LeRoux Reply

    If this kid doesn’t look like a poster boy for Heroin nobody does.

    • Shockadow Reply

      He has a degerative condition, you assumptive asshole. Why is anyone who loves Phish calling out a druggy looking musician in the 1st place? That’s a real pot/kettle= BLACK situation.
      He doesn’t smoke or drink & his music is beautiful. We grew up in the same neighborhood & are friendly.
      In the same breath, I adore Phish & have since 1990.
      He is probably today’s single greatest ARTIST who makes music that causes you to think.
      You gotta give him props for not being scared to say what he feel & stop being so judgemental. You aren’t important enough to giva an opinion.

      • Jimmy Reply

        Yeah but he’s a dick. Read the things he says in that Pitchfork article. According to him, not one human being in the world except him “becomes unhinged anymore.” Nope, he’s the only one, ever. And what a sad, sad life…he had to sit in his big white suburban house by himself sometimes because his parents divorced. get in line, pal, we all have tough times, and mine are 100 times worse than yours and I’m happy. I’ll bet $100 he can’t name 4 Phish songs. If he hates them so much, surely, he’s at least heard enough to form that opinion. And anyone who is a self-proclaimed punk rocker is just as douchebaggy as the guy who gives himself his own nicnkame. And no one who graduated high school in 2000 is classifiable as a punk rocker. He’s from Athens, I know his type. He sits outside the coffee shop all day looking pissed (and spent a good about of money on clothes to look like has no money), collecting vinyl not because he came up with the idea, but because that’s what he’s been told he has to do to fit in with the “my life is horrible because I didn’t get enough attention” crowd. I wish we could go back to high school, where I was bullied myself, so I could personally beat this guy’s head into the monkeybars during recess.

        • Shockadow Reply

          He’s from Kennesaw Georgia. Not Athens.

          Bradford is an outspoken ass sometimes. It’s why you shouldn’t want to know your rockstars. That affects how you percieve the music…

          • Jimmy

            I know plenty of cool rockstars. This guy isn’t one of them. The world doesn’t need a poor man’s Ryan Adams. One is enough.

        • Mary Reply

          wow Jimmy, what a positive and thoughtful guy you seem! would love to buy you a beer some time, buddy. peace xx

  2. andrew Reply

    That jam was more Velvet Underground than Phish by a mile.

  3. Billy Dub Reply

    Who has time for close minded musicians. Why alienate possible fans by making such a comment? If that is what the hour long cover sounded like I would have gone to the bathroom or left. NEXT.

  4. Jimmy Reply

    This guy will be broke and unknown in 3 years tops. Who gives a fuck what this idiot says

    • Shockadow Reply

      Listen to Microcastle before you label him. You’ll be surprised.

  5. tonyyy Reply

    I like dude’s music and I think he’s talented, but reading his comments and reactions are really starting to turn me off.

  6. Kip Reply

    As a fan of both Phish and Deerhunter / Atlas Sound, I was a bit turned off by Brad’s comments about not wanting to be mentioned in the same context as Phish. But he’s also entitled to his opinions and if you follow him at all, you know he’s one heck of an opinionated man.

    As for poster child of heroin comment, Brad does have a disease called Marfan disease. It has something to do with not being able to properly build muscle and why people who have it look so skinny. Not trying to bash the person above since they probably didn’t know this, just wanted to clear that one up.

    Still going to see him tonight in Boston either way since Parallax was an amazing album. Maybe I’ll yell out Fluffhead and see how good he is at replicating that gem.

    • Scott Bernstein Reply

      Well said all around and LOL! at the Fluffhead request idea

    • Shockadow Reply

      This guy get’s it.

    • Is that Skeletor? Reply


  7. Shockadow Reply


    That’s why you shouldn’t seek out meetig your favorite artists. Often times, their personalities detract from the music they make.
    Love their songs, tho…

  8. Jaynate Reply

    Tipsy fuddled boozy groggy elevated
    Prime did edit her
    Hellborn elfchild roadhog mountain fortune hunter
    Man beheaded her
    Fat bulk expanse mass lump block clod
    Tipsy fuddled boozy groggy elevated
    Prime did edit her

  9. Tanir Alley Reply

    DeerHunter suck..he’s a freakin crack addict. He’s also one scary motherfucker. I couldn’t stand being in the same room as him.

  10. Chilly Jackwater Reply

    “It’s not like fucking Lana Del Rey carved an upside down cross on her cheek and defecated all over herself on stage at fucking Bonnaroo,”

    I’m pretty sure I saw Del McCoury do this at What Tent in ’04

  11. Reverend Justito Reply

    I am so going rock my Phish shirt when I see these guys open for Kasabian in Hollywood next month.

  12. Jeremy Reply

    Part of me is really excited that an artist had the gall to play an hour-long “My Sharona.” I think it definitely is a thing worth talking about. (And I hear the Velvet Underground influence; maybe some Television?)

    But I guess what I am confused about is the anger in the response, rather than the possibility of playfulness. I can see the “punk” in what he did, sure, but I am turned off by the vitriol. Did he ask for requests, and this was a response? I find “My Sharona” to be much better than a damn “Freebird.”


    the only person I asked to strip was the person who commandeered my stage [by requesting ‘My Sharona’] and made the show about his self-interest. I tried to emasculate somebody whose ego was super potent. He asked me to strip when he called out the name of the song. It was a joke; he’s basically throwing a dollar bill at the foot of the stripper. And I’m just saying hey, let’s reverse the roles. Come on stage. Do something entertaining. Entertain me.

    I just am having a hard time balancing out the cause and response.

  13. Is that Skeletor? Reply

    is that skeletor? He, in his wildest dreams, could only hope that he would have 1/1,000,000 the musical mastery and prowess of the mighty Phish. He should stick to playing his 2 minute garbage and drop the word “Phish” from his 100 word vocabulary. Maybe he should also look into healthy eating habits and a trip to the dentist after he takes an elementary music appreciation class at university of pheonix when he’s away from his grueling 2 show touring schedule.

  14. Jeremy Reply

    Did you even read the comments ahead of yours?

    • Is that Skeletor? Reply

      I glanced through it and caught the keywords: Hipster, Pitchfork, Disses Phish. I think I caught the general drift of this “story”. Maybe Trey can get him on his next solo album since hip(ster) is in these days.

  15. Is that Skeletor? Reply


  16. Kyle Reply

    My friend was his roommate, so if you have any questions or remarks about him, direct them towards me and I’ll give you the truth.

    • Jimmy Reply

      Sure I have one. How come he thinks that having some condition (and acting like he’s the only one on the planet that isn’t healthy) entitles him to be a fucking asshole dickhead?

  17. parker Reply

    That he fashions himself a punk rocker is what I find most entertaining.

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