music

Like It’s 1999

The last few years have been good ones for alternative music, even if the word “indie” has been rendered just about meaningless.  It’s been so good, in fact, that we’re now hearing novelty songs on alternative radio, which is usually the signal that a great artistic cycle is about done running its course.   I heard two in a row today and couldn’t help thinking we might be about ready to repeat 1999.  That means two things: 1) A new slew of The (Nouns) bands are on the horizon that will have either The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes, or The White Stripes as their first point of rock n roll reference, and 2) Jack White is about to put out a great album.

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photo by Marian Trinidad

Lars Ulrich and Felix White on Oasis

Ulrich and White hit the same vibe, because Oasis hit, cultivated, and empowered a certain nerve.  Like I’ve said before, they sneered the abyss all the way back to hell.  They changed my life, too.

via Oasis: the band that changed our lives – by Lars Ulrich and Felix White | Music | theguardian.com.

One Does Not Simply Hate The Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

I just saw a Freshly Pressed post from a few days ago about hating the RHCP, which does not stand for the Republican House Caucus on some word that starts with P.

I watched The Halftime Show fully realizing the Chili Peppers weren’t necessary.  Bruno Mars and his band are more than talented enough, so I’m not sure why the Peppers were there other than to remind you what kind of shape you won’t be in at 50.  But from “Under The Bridge” on, I’ve been a fan.  And “Give It Away” is about getting off of drugs.  And Anthony Kiedis and Flea were in Back to the Future.  And hey is that Frusciante (no)?  And the drummer is Will Ferrell.  What I’m saying is, what’s not to like?

Here’s something for you.  “Californication” is only 8 years younger than “Under The Bridge,”  but 1999 is still 15 years ago.  I know, right?  And “By The Way,” which is a lot like “Otherside,” is only a few years younger than that.  “Otherside” is basically their “Everlong,” even if it isn’t even half as good (because “Everlong.”)   “Around the World” is a great song.  “Scar Tissue” is everything the summer of ’99 was that wasn’t Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana.  For that alone, we should be thankful.  And hey, I liked that song, but enough was enough already, innit?

Even though we didn’t need them, because Bruno Mars was already reminding us of how awesome James Brown was, don’t pretend them showing up and doing what they do wasn’t pretty great.  Did I need half the stuff I ate last night?  Nahbsolutely.  Did I need to see Cliff Clavin and Hulk Hogan in the same space and time not called 1987?  (Yes).  Was it cool to see Kiedis and Flea being Kiedis and Flea?  Was the moon landing faked?  (Yes, and “that’s not the point.”)

Kanye West is Not the First Postmodern Rapper

In the build up to Tuesday’s release of his new album, some critics are calling Kanye West the first postmodern rapper.

No.

Postmodernity is rap’s DNA: self-referential, sonic decoupage, even self-conscious. You can’t watch or listen to “The Message” without feeling this in your bones.  That the Old School was also sincere is a bonus.

Modernity bred racism and slavery.  Rap deconstructs (Bad Boy videos of the late 90s, focused so thoroughly on image, not withstanding).  I haven’t even said Busta, Missy, or Beasties, yet.