Friday, May 06, 2005

Glowing reviews... (groan)

The most original, reliable and creative music reviews I've found online are not at Pitchfork, but at a small Canadian-based, ads-free site called cokemachineglow. Many of their reviews go off on wild tangents. This is usually a good thing. Getting to the point here, a recent posting caught my fancy, with its indie-rocker self-reflections/analyses. While trying to explain why the Russian Futurists album is so fantastique the author delves into the drawbacks of being an avid, relentless chaser of the next greatest band you've never heard of. Here is his point (mind the excessive use of quotes) :

My point: if we are indeed supporters of "honest" and "meaningful" music, we do an awful lot of trading-card-level torch-bearer-disposal. Especially when our torch-bearers are adamantly exalted by "Us" as the penultimate purveyors of honest music by artists who sincerely "pour their souls into their art." How did we get to a point where, instead of latching on to our dear bands for dear life forever truelovealways, we play virtual-knockdowns, or shred the albums in our spokes until they no longer make any noise? Do we realize that our trading cards are, at their very bases, actually made up of (if we believe ourselves and the artists, which we do) months of hard work, soul-searching, epic pursuits of the perfect rhyme, various forms of in-band bickering over musical minutiae, perseverance through stolen gear and, in the very best cases ( Funeral, Sunset Tree, Either/Or, Personal Journals) blood/guts/boogers diary exposure? No we don't. We binge/purge/repeat, soulseeking an assembly line of recorded, digitized catharses. If music was food we'd all be morbidly obese from a gluttonous intake of empty calories. Q: "Was it good?" A: "Yeah it was great" Q: "What did it taste like?" A: "...."

There is something so romantic and innocent about those days when owning their records was an essential element to being a fan of a certain artist (I recall here my Futureheads obsession, and how not owning their one album seems to be merely a mild oversight). In the 60's and 70's, kids listened to their Joni Mitchell or Clash or Led Zepplin albums over and over, clutching the sleeves and fawning over the liner notes and artwork so much they would never get theirs mixed up with their friend's since it had that smudge of grape jelly in the top left corner, and a little "I heart John Bonham" next to the listing for the Wanton Song. There is something so tangible in that. Something that goes far beyond the satisfaction of downloading a bunch of MP3's. It's the fact that music has become too accessible that has taken away from the basic appreciation of its goodness. Don't get me wrong, as a starving student, I am extremely grateful I have the ability to discover all this wonderful music without having to spend, like, a trillion dollars. It's all very hippie-commune . But sometimes, the pressure gets to me. Just when I'm starting to really get into a couple new bands, and remember the words to their songs, I think, "oh, shit--I have like twenty new albums I've been meaning to check out!"

Yeah, so that thing about less being more.....

3 comments:

romantic greeting card said...

I am working on a romantic blog. In doing so I am looking for information on romantic birthday idea. I ran across you site thought I would stop by for a quick read and search. You have a nice site, but I did not find what I was exactly looking for. Thanks for the read. I will stop by at a later date to see what you have.

romantic gift basket said...

I am working on a romantic blog. In doing so I am looking for information on romantic greeting card. I ran across you site thought I would stop by for a quick read and search. You have a nice site, but I did not find what I was exactly looking for. Thanks for the read. I will stop by at a later date to see what you have.

free romantic greeting card said...

Hi Aurora I am on a quest looking for information on romantic ads. I ran across your blog doing a search and thought I would stop by to see if you had any information. Hey, it is nice to see that other people like the same things I do. Anyway thanks for the read.