11 May 2007
THE SAME THAT BURN CROSSES
H/T: Soviet Panda
In what might go down as the Oedipus Rex of franco-filter-metal tragedies, it looks like EdBanger finally figured out what song they've been trying to remake and butchering over and over again, their entire stable practically: Rage Against the Machine's "Killing In The Name." Imagine being at this party in Melbourne, these clowns playing several hours of truly vile shit, which you yourself identify real-time as truly vile shit but can't figure out why, and then said clowns close with a futzed-with version of "Killing" and proceed to go nuts like they made the track "work" or something, completely oblivious to the fact that their entire careers are futzed-with versions of "Killing," while the crowd goes nuts too, an entire generation of people who have never stayed up past their bedtimes just so they can call Y100 and vote for "Bulls On Parade" in the 9PM Cage Match.
The other option is they do know they've been ripping "Killing," like the song's their wizard behind the curtain, and they couldn't keep the secret anymore and they just had to tell everybody and everybody's like, you know what, "this party would be a lot better if those guys left and just let the wizard do his thing. I did not buy this 600 dollar pajama print sweatshirt for nothing," etc.
Thing is Erol Alkan had closed a good number of Trash sets with the original "Killing" for what has to be three years now, and Dave Pianka, the Erol Alkan of PhillyNYC, though maybe it's just a Leibniz/Newton thing, has been doing the same for at least two. Yes it's the most incredible feeling ever when, after hours upon hours of electro and disco and 80s music, this bombtrack drops, and all your choreographed dance-fight moves from grade school come back to you, and all you want to do is just beat the shit out of something, anything, because suddenly you remember you've been taking way too much shit since the last time you heard this song, and all the girls you're trying to hit on have fled for their fucking lives to the bar, and in just like five seconds you smell like a 12-year-old who doesn't know he's supposed to shower every night. Deployed well it's this huge, honest release, not that you don't like dancing and pointing out how many old disco twelves you recognize from all the Soul Jazz comps you downloaded, but you get zapped by the fact that nothing you'll ever hear for the rest of your life will affect you as much as the cassingle of "Killing In The Name" that you stole from The Wall because you couldn't afford the s/t.
I was totally surprised to find out, from my musically educated friends in college, that actually Rage Against The Machine were a cheesy band with cheesy lyrics. That never had occurred to me.
All's to say I've found the root of my psychosis with this EdBanger stuff, the reason I believe it to be destroying everything I care about musically, and that is because track after track they are ruining a really fucking good thing, i.e. "Killing In The Name." It's guilty-in-retrospect contamination if such a thing exists, which it does, eg look what happened to "Kashmir" after Diddy sampled it for whatever that song was again, eg look what happened to "Lust For Life" after Jet made the iPod song. On the bright side, at least we still have "Snake Charmer," and that song from the Godzilla soundtrack.
09 May 2007
THE ENIGMATIC, POSSIBLY MEME-ETIC RETURN OF GUEST RIFF WEDNESDAYS: CHRIS OTT
EYE HATE CULTURE VULTURES
So i dont know if this comes from blog-overload, or what, but i fucking hate the lower east side. Or maybe it has something to do with horrible rumors i read on gossip sites I fantasized would one day write about me, saying i fucked some dude that wouldn’t donkey punch me with the lights out. i’m outraged. i'm outrageous. i hate myself.
alternative music is dead.
it was DOA. i think. i never tried to understand it. it's not understandable. right? i mean, even the people at the labels that can make moves and direct culture hate alternative music, and i dont blame them. just like network sitcom hipsters (omg how I met yr mother is brilliant) and seven-string guitars, this shit is ready for its grave.
btw, i dont place mcr in this category because mcr is this generation’s nirvana. not straight up sva middle class mallrat bullshit (nevar1).
maybe this post has something to do with me being drunk at the moment. maybe all the posts i've made within the past 30 minutes on various sites has something to do with how much i've drank. maybe it’s that i’m catastrophically insecure, and that i’m realizing i’m so far behind i’ll never be able to convince anyone i have a clue about music. maybe i’m the new lori majewski. but oh my god, teenagers have the worst taste in music.
HAVE ANY OF YOU HEARD OF A BAND CALLED POI DOG PONDERING!?!?1
Music did not start in 1991. Do you know that? Knowing your musical history doesn’t start with knowing who Green River was.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE LISTEN TO DIE KREUZEN. listen to what’s the 10 1/2. LISTEN TO MID-PERIOD BORN-AGAIN VIOLENT FEMMES!!!!! listen to stetsasonic. listen to the kingston trio. listen to codeine. LISTEN TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO TEN YEARS AGO BUT MISSED OUT ON BECAUSE THE DRIVING IMPULSE IN YOUR LIFE HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO BE POPULAR, AND ONCE AND FOR ALL: STOP TREATING MUSIC LIKE IT’S YOUR STICKER COLLECTION.
Labels: guest riffs
07 May 2007
I STRONGLY ENDORSE COCOROSIE FOR THE POSITION OF META-REACTIONARY BLOG POST TREASURER
Get Him Eat Him
The opening song was "2x2", which I had happened to hear way more than six months ago as an instrumental, when Matt played it for me through broken Grados at that place on First and 10th. I forget where we were before, where we were walking from, but Matt had been talking a bunch on the way about how he was trying to hold back a little with the songwriting, trust his instincts and not rush to the "difficult" decision or the crazy chord that throws everything off or the sudden rhythm change up--how after his debut album he was learning how to let his songs breathe. It's the counter-intuitive instinct at the moment at least in indie rock, which is in both its breakneck rapidriff phase (Fiery Furnaces, Deerhoof, Architecture in Helsinki, Of Montreal, etc.) and its grandiose, super-dramatic indie U2 one too (Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Annuals, etc.), which bands are (mostly for the worse) hyper *cough* aware of.
So I put the broken headphone cups on my ears. The song hasn't started yet. I try to take a fork of this berry tart thing we're splitting and I end up taking a much larger bite, you've been there, a transgression on the basic premise of splitting. I'm looking at Matt, a person I love and respect and admire for a billion reasons and for what's increasingly seeming like a billion years, and he's queuing up a song that, for him, signifies his maturation as a songwriter and in general that critical moment when you stop worrying about what's cool, what's now, what'll be reviewed well, whether the threads of influence are too bare, and just write the songs you want to hear. I'm supposed to listen to this song and more/less corroborate that yes this is everything you say it is, and I'm liking it lots. So anxiety on both sides of the table--especially since our friendship began and thrives on yet another basic premise, that we both enjoy the same kind of music, that our tastes are remarkably in line so much so that we'd go into business together--plus it was hot out.
Obviously I loved the song. Started with this multicolor swell of vocal and instrumental harmonies and vocoder, not unlike LeMay fave the New Pornographers, then eases back, then went right back up to 10 again with this sugary horn passage courtesy the Beirut guys. What struck me was how much rhythm was tucked into otherwise straightforward parts--the track was detailed but wasn't claustrophobic--which frankly was really kept me from really really liking Geography Cones, and yes does constitute this "maturation as a songwriter" thing Matt was pretty sure happened.
So they played this Friday night and it occurred to me that if somebody heard that song you'd think Get Him Eat Him were very Now--huge sincere sound but with lots of quick changeups, lots of different song sections fitting together, building off one another, etc. An album of ADHD "2x2"-type songs and you'd probably see their whole album leaked ten times over blogs by now.
Nice time as any to bring up the fact that Matt and Band really love indie rock--not Peter Bjorn and John / Fujiya & Miyagi girls in tanktops indie rock but the really nerdy sometimes corny often-borderline-emo 90s indie guitar rock stuff Pitchfork got behind before feeling the need to diversify. 12 Rods, Walt Mink, the Wrens, Cap N Jazz, Chavez, Mercury Rev, Polvo, Jawbox, Circulatory System, Bedhead, Skeleton Key, those first couple Trail of Dead albums, Olivia Tremor Control, Built to Spill, Dismemberment Plan, etc.--I mean my guess is 90% of the people who went to the Peter Bjorn and John concerts last week haven't heard a single D-Plan song.
All these bands that everybody's forgotten since indie rock's become so fucking cool... I don't know what to say except that Get Him Eat Him didn't forget them, and they still love that stuff, most of which is very not Now. The rest of Arms Down plays like a glorious homage to these "Pitchfork bands" actually, many of which Matt himself wrote about and escaped in as he was younger, many of which just don't exist anymore or just aren't allowed to because most people there are really worried about getting things "right" and/or worse, have intense preoccupations with their critical reputations. Something that Ryan and Matt and Brent and all the early writers just didn't seem to have...
Basically I highly doubt anybody over there has the balls to write the review Arms Down really wants, i.e. a walk down Pitchfork's memory lane. It'd be solipsistic and irresponsible or "fake Brent D" or whatever, plus the whole ridiculous conflict of interest thing, plus the latent tension between musicians and critics and the taboo of "crossing the line," which remains the most unfortunate legacy of awkward music reviewers who've convinced themselves their reviews count for cultural criticism. I'm not saying this album is by any means a crucial moment in the history of indie rock or online music criticism, but it's very interesting to me to hear a 2007 record that sounds like a Pitchfork 8.9 circa 1999--maybe even better, since Matt can actually sing, and the mixing is as mentioned above extremely smart, dense but not claustrophobic, and the band knows how to write breakdowns really well--and realize that FUCK, the site that practically made this record could very well turn its back on it because none of the lyrics reference Denis Cooper. Etc.