I just read that Radiohead debuted a new song at a live performance. It had me thinking about how it is when you hear new, non-recorded material by the band. It's always a bit confusing, you don't know it and it's a bit strange lumped in with all those other familiar songs. But it must be especially confusing with Radiohead. I mean, Radiohead don't write "songs" in the classic sense anymore. Thus, i don't think anyone would have left the show with a good memory of the song.
Reminds me of a discussion i had with my friend Clint last summer. He's an obsessive Radiohead fan, i'm only a modest one. I was making the point that, although Radiohead are creating interesting albums, they are weak (in my opinion, obviously) because you're never going to walk around town singing "Mixamatosis" in your head- and if you are, then i'm sure it's not pleasantly. Now i know not everyone wants to listen to compact pop songs and they like the challenge of different forms of music, but my point is valid for anyone who's a massive fan of tight, well structured song writing.
I like melodies, harmonies, riffs, hooks,licks, those sorts of things. They get stuck in my head and i love it. They make me want to listen to songs over and over. They suck me in and i really enjoy them. I've been listening to alot of local music lately and most of it lacks those elements and alot of those musicians look down on those elements as 'derivative' or 'the stuff of sell-outs'. That's too bad, becaus what they're making often sounds like turgid crap. All the metal, emo, screamo that gets played locally makes me think that those genres are popular because they allow people who lack the talent to sing or write those memorable riffs and meloides to perform their own boring songs.
I like it how music snobs bitch about the decline of rock n roll, that is music with guitars, and then they snub their noses at Jet, who are derivative in the actual definition of the word, but undoubtebly play catchy, fun, exciting music. Then they point to their own heroes, such as the dreary Interpol (who i do like, but admit it they are dreary! and that guy with the holster is a total loser!) and wonder why the mainstream ignores them. Also, why do critics hate on Jet and the Vines for borrowing from the Stones and Nirvana, respectively, and never criticise any of the million bands who site Joy Division, the Cure, or the Smiths in the last couple years?
This all goes on and on. I really hate music critic snobbery, it's a real pet peeve of mine.
To be a music critic today you must do the following:
-worship Ian Curtis, Morrisey, and all of post-punk
-oversee the fact that the Stones made the same albums over and over and criticise any new bands that update their sound better than they did
-give every mainstream album a minimum of 3 stars (regardless of how chincy the lame-ass beats are or the pathetic gangsta lyrics that took 2 minutes to write are)
-turn on any band that gets hyped by NME
-dislike melody and all things catchy, unless it's played by a bunch of 30 somethings who've toiled away for years (i.e. Modest Mouse and the Shins)
-pay 90 percent to lyrics, 10 percent to the actual music
-admit to liking popular things only years after so as to appear ironic
-worship the blowhard that was Lester Bangs
-consider Led Zeppelin one of the greatest bands of all-time (despite their peers from years before hating on them), this makes me wonder what band will emerge as the new Led Zeppelin in years to come, that is, what band who's gotten terrible reviews all it's career but has maintained a huge popularity will eventually gain critical appreciation
-give artists that are deemed to be like the John Lennon of our times a free pass on every recording (see Eminem who's most recent record is absolutely fucking shite but still got 4 stars from RS)
-jump on the bandwagon of a confusing indie band that everyone is hoping so as not to appear 'not with it' (ie the Arcade Fire, who i will just flat out say are boring)
-worship the following artists: Bob Dylan, the Stooges, Marvin Gaye, Neil Young, the Plastic Ono Band (good god), the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Prince, Joy Division, and others, you have to like them, all of them, despite their different styles and the fact that you may not like funk, punk, grunge, roots rock, soul, you have to like THEM.
I'll think of lots more later. Harsh i know, but they're just my opinions."I could write a record for 600 people in a fucking office building in London, or i could write a record for millions of people around the world" - Noel Gallagher