Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No One Will Miss Me If I Don't Go Away

Sabbatical self-sabotage. A hiatus from self-hatred. I didn't plan on such a long silence, but I had neither time nor interest to post anything. I got into a funk at the end of the year, when I realized how estranged I have become from the tastes of the online music community. I don't feel the need to be part of the in-crowd, but the consensus among the cognoscenti was far afield from what I thought was good. I guess I'm minding the gap.

Some of my very favorite bands made very good records in 2010. It a great year for music, by my lights. But many of these artists were either ignored completely (Freedy Johnston, the Figgs, the Futureheads, You Am I), or they were labelled as derivative and behind the times (see, for example, the Tiny Mix Tapes review of the second Blood Red Shoes album, Fire Like This.) At least the Fall got good reviews for Our Future, Your Clutter.

I've always carried a torch for certain underdogs, but this past year just made me feel old. I haven't been to any shows in the last few months. I put them on my calendar and cross them off as they go by. I was planning to see Wye Oak, but they cancelled. I skipped the Obits show in Athens last month, but fortunately Sloan Simpson was there with his recording gear. I had free tickets to see Gogol Bordello last week, but I didn't go. Even the first ever Atlanta performance by Savage Republic couldn't get me out of the house.

I still get excited about new bands (like Red Fang and Jeff the Brotherhood), and it makes me happy when a group like the New Pornographers makes a great record like Together (my favorite album of 2010). I should just enjoy the music (and I do), without wondering whether other people are hearing and appreciating it. I'll continue to write here about the stuff I like, at least for a little while longer.


At 4/12/2011 11:27 PM , OpenID spanghew said...

Hell - how'd I miss the new(ish) Figgs album? Just downloaded it now (legally)... I have that Futureheads one...I'll have to check out Freedy. (All bands I like...so, you like the F-bands, eh?)

At 4/13/2011 8:55 PM , Blogger jonder said...

Yep -- I like the Figgs, the Fags, the Fugs, Freedy, and the Fall. There's a recent Futureheads session on Daytrotter that's worth hearing.

At 4/14/2011 9:35 AM , Blogger jonder said...

...also the Feelies, Fela, Fire Engines, Flesheaters, Future of the Left, and Fred Frith (to name just a few).

At 4/14/2011 10:13 AM , Anonymous Ann said...

perhaps you should embrace your role as a curmudgeonly contrarian (and other C words).

At 4/14/2011 12:46 PM , Blogger jonder said...

C is for cookie. That's good enough for me. It should suffice for you as well, you nattering nabob of negativism.

At 4/14/2011 4:19 PM , Blogger  said...

Glad you're back with us.

Thanks for the comment & the link over at NSS.

I love it when you young whipper-snappers start going on about feeling olde.

I appreciate the fact that your tastes fall outside the 'online music community'. It hips me to musick I might otherwise miss. Some of it I dig & some of it I dog, but that's the point of this whole blogging thing, ain't it?

But since you're buying into the F thang, just explain to me what all the love for The Fall is all about. I've tried over the years to gain some at least passing acceptance of Mr. Mark E. but for the life of me, I can't listen to them. His voice, the musick...I just don't get it.

Help me out here.

I wanna be kool.

At 4/14/2011 8:51 PM , Blogger jonder said...

Hey, Nathan! Thanks for your perspective. It's hard to advise you on the virtues of the Fall if you can't cotton to Mark's voice, since that's about the only constant in the Fall's 35 years worth of music. Well, that and a general disregard of musical conventions such as tunefulness, strict timekeeping, and instrumental virtuosity. I guess I would start by asking what you've already heard, as there are almost 30 studio albums. As you might imagine, some are better than others -- and some Fall fans prefer certain periods of their work. I favor the first five years -- the period before Brix joined the band, which culminated with the album Hex Enduction Hour. The years with Brix were the most successful commercially, and perhaps the easiest on the ears. It's hard to argue with the track selection on the compilation "50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong". Its only weakness is that there have been more great Fall songs in the six years since it came out. I could make you a mix CD (or three)...

At 4/18/2011 8:48 PM , Blogger  said...

I'll give you a list of what I recall, but I don't think I've ever listened to an entire album, at least not in one sitting. I may have heard it in its entirety over time, or not, I don't really know.

Grotesque (I have this one);
Middle Class Revolt;
Bend Sinister;
& one with a skull on a black cover that I don't remember the name of that a friend of mine was always making me listen to.

That's about it for me & The Fall.

At 4/21/2011 10:31 AM , Blogger jonder said...

The one with the skull on the cover is Cerebral Caustic. Grotesque and Bend Sinister are great records IMHO -- maybe you just don't like the Fall! You didn't even like "Mr. Pharmacist"?

At 4/21/2011 6:31 PM , Blogger  said...

I want to like them. You're supposed to help me out. "Mr Pharmacists" is a kool enough tune, it sounds like a garage Nugget. I guess I just don't see what raises it above the mire.

At 4/22/2011 9:23 AM , Blogger jonder said...

"Mr. Pharmacist" is in fact a garage nugget, first recorded in the 1960's by a groop called the Other Half. What makes it levitate above the murky muck? I will try to help you grok the Fall.

At 6/16/2011 5:32 PM , Blogger ib said...

Jonderneathica. F@ck the party line, I insist; uncommonly late to the hop as is my habit.

Well. I have had little inclination, myself, to wax enthusiatic - to log in persistently - much of this year thus far. Trends and fads being overrated.

I like The Feelies, too, since you resurrect them here. Fred Frith I have just recently been spinning. Those Art Bears.

The Fall's a given, of course. Nathan... What gives ? Mark E.'s slur is a sling of small wonder.

Anyhow. Emphatic solidarity is what I mean to divulge. I suspect that when you next check in, I might have fallen back into some silence.

At 7/06/2011 9:45 AM , Blogger jonder said...

Belated but sincere thanks for your words of solidarity, brother iB.

I made a 20 song sampler of the Fall's 30 year career for Nathan. If anyone else is interested in hearing it, this is the link:



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