R. Hell Site Forum Message
words words words etc. etc. etc.
|Posted on:|| 19 Feb 2009|| |
Been meaning to post this here for a while! Our friend Derek White at Calamari Press sent us this. Worth reading.
Bands: I am fundamentally grumpy and indignant when I have the vaguest whiff of pigeonholing, and in a similar vein I have a hard time describing my likes and dislikes. For instance, I would never be caught dead saying that one place in time (...FOR INSTANCE, NEW YORK CITY IN THE 70S) was THE place and how mournful it is not to be there. By the same token, whenever I am reading about various salon-type societies of artists and thinkers and stuff, I become a little morose in the manner of someone still in the hyperbolic, maudlin throes of college life, that this isn't my life, in Berlin in the 20s, or what have you.
I would by the same token never think it wise to say I only liked certain 'older' music, that everything new is crap, whatever. This would be the case even if I weren't a musician. I would hold little grudges against the new, but then would undoubtedly hear something, some time, that struck the genius chord. People are people are people. The shit will keep floating, some of the good ones will always do something good, and so among the new, in every moment and in every case, there will be plenty of shit, no doubt 99%, thereby fueling the smug pleasure of denouncing anything that's 'new', and there will likewise be something - there will always be something - that is fantastic, thereby creating problems for people unwilling to think they could be interested in anything else.
Old v. new: We have a good friend who's been a music writer for over a decade, and is a musician himself. He has a big penchant for obscure and old music, lost R&B (I MEAN BY THE OLD DEFINITION, ANYONE TOO YOUNG NOT TO KNOW I DON'T MEAN BEYONCE), old country, whatever. I was sure when he saw one of our shows that he'd hate us, but he came up to us afterward, in floods of affection, stating that our music linked up all kinds of things running back 50 years. That he didn't know why he hated Sonic Youth so much but that we were like what it would be like if he actually liked them. Obviously, I was thrilled and flattered, as I have a lot of respect for this friend on an aesthetic level, but the point is he is also someone who really, truly doesn't like anything 'new', because he is a grand snob that way.
We ourselves will often say we don't like anything new, because we hate so much of what we hear, especially if it's made it to radio play - not that we actually listen to more than news on the radio. But then, we'll play with some band, or stumble across something, and it will be such a great thing that it gives me this other reason to be happy about being in a band - having just a bit more access to the brilliant stuff when it does suddenly pop up.
I just found out about Girl in a Coma, since we were hanging out in the US, and hell if I don't think they're amazing. I love Die! Die! Die! and loved playing with them. I love Shrag, I love The Jelas, I love The Hysterical Injury. I love Le Chat Noir. The Pity Party and The Human Value are irreplaceable. I thought Ya Ya Boom, despite their dubious name, were totally amazing, and have had a brilliant time listening to lots of the bands we've played with in NM. There's plenty of stuff (...um, 3 out of 4 bands we've recently encountered from LA have really turned my stomach) I encounter and hate, of course. But, as a friend said just last night, it's also fun watching REALLY crap bands, in its own way.
Unlike the Monkees, I'm NEVER too busy singing to put anybody down, but I'd rather say mea culpa and give a nod to the great things that actually are 'new'. The important thing about the good bits of the past is not to become stuck pining for something gone, or that you never saw or heard, but rather to know a lot about these moments, and what was really going on that made them important to art, music, literature, and what it is about that that moves you, beyond pictures of assholes in tight leather jeans. Cause any asshole can wear tight jeans and pout, but only a tiny number of them are worth our attention. But because we live in an inverted world, the people are handed a shit-laden, Jack-Daniels-laced spoonful of Axel Rose, told that that it is wonderful, and spend all their money creating gilded turds.
I can't wait for news of Richard's new recordings.
I'll save the rant about cockrock for another day.
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