Why are these alt-rock musicians suddenly lining up behind Morrissey?

It is usually best to ignore Steven Patrick Morrissey. The foppish former frontman of The Smiths and recent right-wing blowhard now brays from the fringes, his music all but irrelevant, his views as nuanced as those of a toddler in a temper tantrum. His only worthwhile contribution to pop culture over the past decade came when JPEGMAFIA borrowed his name for the brilliant “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies.” He’d be a punchline if the joke didn’t feel so easy. He’d be a focal-point if it wasn’t so clear that he was desperate for the spotlight.

But here we are, after even the most ardent Smiths fans have disavowed the man, preparing for another cursed Morrissey record. And while it holds true that we should all ignore him, California Son, out in May, throws up something tricky. Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Young The Giant’s Sameer Gadhia, The Regrettes’ Lydia Night, LP, and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong (misspelled as “Billy” in the press release, for what it’s worth) will all guest on the record. What possible reason could any of these people have for lining up behind Morrissey now?

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