It’s a MUSIC DEBATE! (Part One of Infinity)

Let me preface this by saying that I know it’s very difficult to come up with anything original musically in this day and age. And that I’m likely unfairly biased on this subject. Also, I’m not the best spokesman for independent artists (or anything, really). Jesus. Maybe I should’ve prefaced this with “PREFACE:”.

So, we played a show a couple nights ago opening for a major-label post-punk band and their touring sidekicks (indie pop darlings who chose to name themselves using an obscure Cure lyric). To avoid boring you all to death, I’ll leave out some of the details, but let’s summarize by saying that it was an okay show (by both bands) and that I’m a petty bitch. Point is that I, in some reflexive / reactionary / impulsive moment that I can only blame on being married to Michelle, I posted about the show on our band’s MySpace blog. And now everyone (in my own band) is calling me out.

Let’s say that Joy Division is Generation One (although they were clearly influenced by Velvet Underground, who would, in this case, be Generation Zero . . . whatever). All those post-punk bands (most notably Gang of Four) from 1979 to the early 80s are Generation One. In Generation Two, we have our Interpols, Franzs, Maximos, and Killers-es; yeah, Generation Two has been around for years, right? So, NOW a band comes along like they have discovered some nugget of holy Ian Curtis’ fierce mission, seemingly spurred on by bands that they’ve heard doing Joy Division some great injustice, put aside their RAP careers, signed to a major-label, and started pimping their brand of post-punk as the sweet nectar juiced for them straight outta 1980s Manchester.

I read the interview on their bio page, and it just seemed like out-of-left-field jerkdom, prepared to diss all the other retro-revivalists (playing “spot the fakes”) because they were THERE, listening to all those Generation One bands when it was going on (and dating themselves by speaking about it). “Yeah, and there’s a hundred bands doing mediocre period/genre music, but none of it makes me feel like I did when I was a kid [sitting] in my room listening to The Queen is Dead or Purple Rain on the record player. It’s easy to capture the style of the music, but writing songs that speak to people is a very different thing.” I want to know what makes them more special than Interpol. I was there, too, fellas. And you’re no better than any other Generation Two (or Three) band.

The stinging part is that I realize I’m being pointlessly bitter about it. And the cherry on top is that I like a lot of what they do. Sure, it’s uncomplicated post-punk and the vocals have almost no range at all, but I enjoy that kind of music. I just wish they weren’t so fucking up front about how they’re going to find everyone and hose them down with their special blend of emotive (or unemotive) post-punk.

I’d actually thought of starting a debate series where I invite readers to debate me on a variety of topics, wherein I would ultimately end up losing the debate and then post excerpts from the debate here for the enjoyment of others. Bring it! I know some of you have opinions about this subject. (If you don’t have my IM address, and would like to expositionally kick my ass, shoot me an email.)

Posted by Scott-san on 03/23 at 01:06 PM
 
  1. Don’t everyone talk at once.

    In related news, I have my fingers crossed that I didn’t inadvertantly break up my band in all my self-righteous zeal.

    Posted by Scott-san  on  03/24  at  11:56 AM
  2. All I can really say in regard to the entire matter is that it’s very difficult to tell the difference between when someone is actually “punk” and just an “asshole”.  I will say that if there is one thing that usually ruins an artist, it’s when the image becomes more important than the music.  Unfortunately, the artist is never aware when this happens.

    Posted by cw  on  03/24  at  01:25 PM
  3. i’m too young to argue this point.  I wasn’t born during generations 0,1 and I was too busy listening to top 40 shit during gen 2.  Now that I’ve blossomed from my cocoon (gen 3) I only know that what you look like on stage is almost as important as how you sound.  image is everything. 

    i want rock-star hair

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  04:01 PM
  4. deleting blog posts is the new black.  Also, the reason I never got into Interpol is because I can buy Joy Division and Bauhaus records cheaper in the used bins.  I mean, no offense to anybody but if you’re rehashing something somebody else has done?  Don’t try to be like “YEAH BUT WE’RE THE BEST!!!!” whatthefuckever.

    Don’t break up your band.  Or do.  Whatever.  Smashing apart everything is the cool newest thing.

    Posted by styro  on  03/24  at  04:30 PM
  5. You should really give Interpol a chance. Although YOU would really like Metric much, MUCH more.

    I don’t see much Joy Division in the used bins, BTW. Lots of Cure, though.

    I’m not breaking up the band. Although there’s still a wrestling match over control of the MySpace page.

    Posted by Scott-san  on  03/24  at  04:46 PM
  6. Interpol makes me want to stick forks in my eyes.  And don’t even get me started on the Killers (music for date rapers). And it’s fun to despise your peers, personally if fuels about 80% of what I do every day.  Don’t give it up. Hate on. It makes you strong…

    PS - Generation One music makes me very very very happy.

    Posted by ap  on  03/26  at  08:12 AM
  7. grrrr.  ive been thinking about this for a full day since i read it the first time.
    there is no way, unless youve been living like a recluse in a log cabin in appalachian kentucky,theres no way that you can write music and not be influenced by someone.  so its fine for these dudes to think their own stuff is pretty good, but in the end theyve gotta “nut up” and admit that someone else’s music probably helped them evolve to their current point.  and that there are probably a few other bands out there going through the same thing, and rather than take shots at them, admit that they’re going through the same self-discovery.  they’re not re-inventing the wheel and they need to come to grips with that.  what is this, oasis?  =)
    on kind of the same train of thought but maybe not really, ive always wondered...how do our older icons feel when someone kinda shitty includes them in their list of role models?  like if 50 cent said he was inspired by ll cool j...does ll cool j say “yay, another little protege?” or “dear god, he sucks, i dont claim him.” is it always flattering to be an inspiration, or is there a line that can be crossed?

    Posted by s  on  03/26  at  09:27 AM
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