Speedy Ortiz’s Major Opus

Speedy OrtizShawn Brackbill for Carpark Records

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Speedy Ortiz
Major Arcana
Carpark

Jagged, unpredictable, and often inscrutable, the intriguing songs of the Northampton, Massachusetts, quartet Speedy Ortiz seem to deconstruct before your very ears. Grungy guitars emit massive chords, while the thudding rhythm section embodies brutal grace as tempos lurch and surge. In the center of the storm, charismatic Sadie Dupuis—a star in the making—spews knotty lyrics with tense insistence, suggesting Bettie Serveert’s Carol van Dijk on a cranky day.

While earlier efforts (including the thrashing non-album song “Taylor Swift”) inspired comparisons to such indie-rock institutions as Pavement and the Pixies, this fierce and addictive debut is its own memorable experience. From “No Below,” where Dupuis sighs, “I didn’t know you when I was a kid / But swimming with you it sure feels like I did,” to the window-rattling “Plough,” in which she exclaims, “I was never the witch that you made me to be / Still, you picked a virgin over me,” Dupuis deftly sketches vivid scenes with a few well-chosen words, even when the literal meaning is elusive. When she’s swamped by a wave of noise, the thrilling raw power of Major Arcana is pleasure enough.

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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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