The Patch

June 8, 2007

Friday 8th June – For those who know nothing of music…

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 10:07 pm

WARNING. POST CONTAINS HEAVY DOSES OF OPINION. OPINION DISGUISED AS FACT.

Yeah, so it’s Friday evening and I’m stuck in front of a laptop screen, with my ears full of Justice and my mouth full of Tetley, all for you loyal fans who of course hang on to my every word and submit to every music ideology I thrust so gleefully upon you. Or am I? Or Am I? OR AM I?!?!!?!

Yes, enough of the hackneyed Amiga Power references, on with the show. For today I am in a CYNICAL mind. Yes. So cynical. So I aim to criticise and lament and hopefully destroy some eternally popular artists that people seem so eager to proclaim as the greatest ever. What these people do not seem to realise however is that they know nothing about music whatsoever. They do not care for it. They do not nurture it. They not look for it. It comes to them and they are so overwhelmed by its mediocrity to want to do anything about it. These people need culling.

First up, the band for which I have only utter contempt for, and contain absolutely no amount of integrity, ambition, quality or meaning. Red Hot Chili Peppers – the perpetual favourites of white middle class 14 year old girls who joyfully announce themselves as vegetarians/vegans/fruitarians/coprophagians/whatever makes them feel less guilty about their worthless lives, yet still insist on wearing leather, and persist on this idea of false rebellion in defiance of their parents whilst they indulge in their abundance of food, shelter, clothing, iPods, TVs in their room, Sky Plus, copious eyeliner and various hair dyes, always feeling the need to condemn their own lives as utterly hopeless because nobody really understands them or cares about them, writing down their various torrid thoughts in bloody awful poetry that somes up all their ‘feelings’ and ’emotions’ in the most horrificly shallow way possible, as the whine about how daddy won’t buy them that latest navel ring or nipple accentuating top to attract that oh so wanted male attention. These people also probably like Scrubs.

Anyway, now that that’s summed up. Onto the music. Formulaic, uninspired, entirely unoriginal and oh so arrogant in its white guys playing black music better than any black guy ever fashion. God, I just hate them. I really do. The most trite, benign lyrics spring from the tuneless voice of Anthoney Keidis as he contemplates what bump he shall hump next, yet all the time sounding limp, bored, stale and completely emotionless. Tunes are redundant, with no sustainable melody allowed to emerge through the persistant desire to let Flea’s bass carry every song in its own hideous slapping style. Frusciante’s guitar has not evolved from their college rock days. Indeed their style has remained constantly unimaginative and coarse for over 20 years, with the rest of the music world, and all its wonderful experimentaion and diversity, seemingly unknown to them.

People may site their longevity and influence as positive notes. But Mary Whitehouse lived until she was 91, and the only bands to have found any merit in their hopeless existence whatsoever have been bands as equally melodically dyslexic. Without RHCP we wouldn’t have The Calling, Creed, Puddle of Mudd, Fall Out Boy etc. This is a wonderful world.

With their mediocre, inoffensive, far from complex style, radio and MTV lapped them up thrusting them upon a generation numbed by an omnipresent media. There really was no hope.

Moving on from those incompetent ragamuffins, and onto those other old codgers still playing it cool amongst today’s music mehing youth. My vehemence for U2 is certainly nothing compared to my feelings for RHCP, but it’s undeniable that they do not deserve their place amongst the music elite. They have occasionally come up with a tune or two of merit (Sunday Bloody Sunday and With or Without You certainly both deserving some credit for the emotion contained within), but, as a a band, they have failed to come up with something truely original and inspirational. Their career has revolved aroung latching onto already established music styles and doing it with a bigger budget and more style than any band around.

They do have talent, Edge is a remarkable guitar player and Bono can deliver more notes than your average rock chanteur, but they often overplay what talents they do have, repeatedly taking themselves too their limit, not understanding the positive effects of crafting understated, yet still emotionally powerful tunes.

They are also easy to listen to. This is not a good thing. Most of their songs, though not infuriatingly silly and inane as RHCP, are just unmemorable and pass by. Mundaneness sells, and U2 are proof of this.

That’s the big two bands that those with limited music knowledge tend to embrace as their most favourite. Of course, there are others. Muse’s overblown hysterics mask a shallowness that is invisible to the teenagers of this decade, who have allowed Matt Bellamy’s grating vocals and overtly enthusiastic guitar to soundtrack their latest LiveJournal entry or DeviantArt upload. And of course Fall Out Boy and their numerous cohort have threatened to turn this generation’s 14 year olds into even greater imbeciles than the likes of Boyzone, Spice Girls, Steps et al did 10 years ago. At least their worthlessness and detachment from all meaning whatsoever was obvious!!

I don’t really know what point I’m making here. I guess it’s just that I hate people who don’t go to the effort to understand and appreciate music for the wonderful, life changing thing it can be. The likes of RHCP, U2, Muse, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance are insanely popular but this popularity has nothing to do with the quality of music they produce. It’s solely down to marketing, image and over exposure. The vast majority of people latch onto these bands because of what they think they represent not because of the music being produced. In a fair and just world, Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, Justice, Twilight Sad and their equally fab contemporaries should be riding high at the top of the charts and be the biggest selling artists in thh business and the names of every teenagers lips, but this is not the case. It’s disheartening in that sense, but also hopeful in that this kind of music is at least still being produced. So enough of that negativity, I give you two great sites on this here internet that promotes only the finest music one could hope to hear.

Planet Sound

Yes, the legendary teletext music magazine has finally got itself online. As horribly designed a website as it may be, its content is what matters, and I can guarantee that this content will be honest, just and entirely correct. Always up to date and well informed, it displays stories and features in an unpatronising fashion that is just as humourous as it is essential for keeping in the know about the musical going ons of this world. With a talented bunch of writers at their disposal, reviews are never contrived nor pandering, allowing an honest approach that is more often than not completely correct in its findings. This is the magazine that first brought to my attention pretty much all of my favourite current bands, from The Libertines to Arctic Monkeys to Belle and Sebastian to The National, Planet Sound was there first, often months before any competitors. And their taste is impeccable.

Debaser

A daily updated blog with links to download new albums absolutely free of charge. All entirely illegal of course, but it’s the best way for music to be heard nowadays, and the profit lost on these sorts of websites is still nothing in comparison to the amount made on each album through selling at ridiculously inflated prices. So I fully encourage these sites and all like them. Go forth and enjoy.

Record of the Week

And so after all that, we come to the climax of this Friday’s entry. I have two records this week, mainly because both are great and I can’t decide between them.

First up, Last Good Day of the Year by Cousteau. Similar fantastic brass reliant pop to that made so wonderful by My Life Story, Johnny Boy and McAlmont and Butler, yet also similar in the fact that Cousteau were (and are in the form of Moreau) a band utterly ignored by the great record buying public. This record will melt your heart.

Next is a band recently raved about by the sublime John Earls on Planet Sound. The Yeah Song by Mon Ouisch is that sort of thrilling punk The Cribs aspire to yet fall at the last hurdle. Relentless in its tirade against ‘fashionistas’ I choose this because it reminds me of a party I was in attendance at a couple of weeks ago where I put on Teenage Riot and nobody gave a shit, yet Dreaming of You by The Coral came on and everyone stopped what they were doing to sing along. Cunts.

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3 Comments »

  1. That was some excellent cynicism! I can’t say I share your utter loathing for the likes of RHCP & U2 but I can claim, with a touch of (mostly unfounded) pride that I never thought they were that great to begin with and I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Really. Also I am very much Pro-Arctic Monkeys. (Now might not be a great time to announce that Scrubs is my favorite show but in my defense I don’t own any eyeliner…)

    Comment by Amie — June 11, 2007 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  2. Do you find that when you say you’re not a fan of RHCP, people look at you as if you just said you killed their mother? I hate it when that happens.

    Comment by denesha — June 12, 2007 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  3. Ugh RHCP, I share your distaste. Although you’re definitely not alone on the matter- I probably know more people who dislike them than not! (Oo, also, on an American radio shows they tore apart one of their more recent songs, comparing it to a song done by a relative unknown a while back. They were, for the most part, EXACTLY the same. But of course nobody’s going to notice because the other artist was an unknown. Just another reason to add to the list for hating them)

    I also share your views on Muse, and hate the disdainful looks I get every time I say so.

    On the other hand, Scrubs is pure genius- how dare you slag it off 😛

    Comment by Ames — June 14, 2007 @ 12:08 pm | Reply


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