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Magic: The Gathering Colors For All My Favorite Bands

For the uninitiated, Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game where cards belongs to one or more of five colors — white , blue , black , red , and green . Each color has its own aesthetic and style of play.

You can describe people's personalities/vibes by asking "which colors are they?" Duncan Sabien's "How the 'Magic: The Gathering' Color Wheel Explains Humanity" lays it out.

Lots of bands I like have a consistent persona that comes through in their music. I thought it would be fun to think about what colors that persona is. Order matters: the first color is stronger, unless I say otherwise. These are my opinions and if you want to argue with them... that would be fun and I would enjoy that.

  • AJJ: a clear . "People are my religion, because I believe in them" is a super white lyric, and "I'm gonna fuck the devil in his mouth / I just need to listen to my Siccness so I can learn how" is... a pretty red one. AJJ is great at expressing what it's like to care honestly and deeply about others, and about Mankind in general, while at the same time not being a very functional person. Often white/red is like "fight for what's right!" where the emotion red is following is anger, but AJJ is a good example of what it's like when the emotion red is experiencing is despair or anxiety. They can have some activist energy too and are Bernie supporters, which makes sense because Bernie is white/red.
  • Aesop Rock: . Dude raps about living in the woods, growing mushrooms in his car, and holding baby snakes in his hands. That's not just a cheap "oh he likes nature" connection — even when he's talking about Satanism or whatever, he's got a lot of reverent stance towards the world and respect for its complexity that I think is very green. However, I don't think you can have this much internal conflict and be mono-green: although Aes seeks harmony with the world, he seems to lead a life pretty driven by his emotions.
  • Anaïs Mitchell: I think? All folk music seems white/green to me. She's got the political concerns that come through on Hadestown, so that's white.
  • Bill Callahan: . Bill Callahan is the greenest guy who ever greened. His music pushes nothing on you, instead inviting you to join in observation. It's not impulsive like red, but it's not building to anywhere like blue. The world seems very mysterious when you're listening to Bill Callahan.
  • Car Seat Headrest: ??? Love them though I do, I don't have a great idea of CSH's colors. Blue/red? Do they fit into the framework?
  • Ceschi: as they come. He has some incredibly angry songs. At Ceschi shows I've been at, I really felt a sense of community even though I'm not a superfan.
  • Conor Oberst: . Nothing gets between Conor Oberst and his feelings.
  • Joanna Newsom: . Our first blue! When I think of "perfection through knowledge," I think of Joanna. Everything she does feels very crafted. Whenever I close-read her lyrics, I feel like it's the intended experience. The green is weaker, but reflects a tendency towards "acceptance" in her writing — the unwavering march of time is green.
  • Kanye West: . No big surprises here. Kanye wants to be the best, and he does what he wants. As this tweet indicates, I think his endorsement of Trump comes from a place of not wanting to be tied down by preconceptions, labels, or anything — pretty red.
  • LCD Soundsystem: ???

Okay, that's enough for now.