13 May 2013

Slates, Slags, Etc. (Reprise #115)

Re, I suppose there's any number of things I could say and this and this, but don't really see the point, since the artists who touched off the discussion/dirt-clod fight hardly merit the vicarious attention. (Nor does anything that appears at NME, for that matter.) And hardly warranting the descent into snotty-nosed snark and bogus polemics.

Except to note the irony in spotting the substrata of retro- beneath all the hubbub about retro-ness & etc. That being that Kulkarni isn't saying anything he hasn't said already, didn't say from the start, back when he first started writing about music, well in advance of being an alleged "old man." Circa 1996:

"I've just been informed ...that K___ S___ are 'the next Oasis'. Of course, the obvious questions don't even get asked. Dissent is useless. Oasis are so big, such a huge commercial fact, they've created their own gravitational pull that sucks everyone below 30 along with them. They're as unavoidable as Coca-Cola or bad government, they're the indie Royal Family, a deadly virus to which there is only one cure: REMEMBER THE MUSIC'S CRAP. What Oasis have done is frighten everyone into a sudden fear of dissing 'The Kids'. To question The Kids is to miss the point, to be snobby, up yer own arse, a killjoy, a misery. Oasis have hardened The Kids consensus into a towering monolith that everyone must work around, accept, try and understand, try and JOIN. They can't all be wrong so the problem is you, right?

Well, fuck the kids. The kids will put this album at Number One. The kids are wrong. The kids are stupid. And, most importantly, 'The Kids' DON'T FUCKING EXIST; the fallacy of consensus is created to pull as many tenners as possible into the slipstream, carried along by momentum and NOTHING ELSE.

There's enough woolly-minded idiocy and crass contrivance in this one record to consign the whole indie-pop scene into the abyss. But at least they're (open yer hymn books) Real Songs Played On Real Instruments. It's not even as if this could've been made in the last 30 years: K___ S_____ are so scared of '96 (is it a white thing? I dunno) and want SO BADLY to be dead and reborn in 1972 it's fucking ALARMING. Crucially, retro-accusations are less important than pointing out how deadly dull the bulk of this LP is, ...It shits itself in fear of the future (1973) and stinks of living death.

..The trouble is it isn't that easy. Turn on MTV, open the NME, turn on the radio, walk into a record shop, and you'll be told that this is the way it is, this is what being you is, that this is a good thing, that we all feel the same way. Fuck that. This isn't the way things are or the way they have to be - this is living in FEAR of being young, this is a bad thing, and we here all AIN'T happy as can be, all good friends and jolly good company.

Don't be a sucker to this lame game. Time to tighten up and party."

Or better yet, this one, from a review of an indie-rock showcase at a Birmingham venue the previous year:

"INDIE is in Birmingham. Indie goes down a rapturous storm. Indie makes everyone happy tonight. Indie is lovely. Indie is the fleetfooted reduced to leadboot toetap. Indie is every single embarrassing moment of your life returned to like eternal dog's vomit. Indie's emotional limit is the delineation of when you feel a bit shit. Indie succeeds in this. Indie is tight T-shirts and rhythm sections. Indie is everyone wanting to look like one of the Beastie Boys even though the Beastie Boys have stopped doing this.

Indie doesn't see any point in voting because everything stays the same and comfy. Indie reaps the benefits of democracy and is unwilling to try and preserve it. Indie is communal contentment over mass ecstacy. Indie is an overheard conversation that makes you want to stab in the halfdark. [...]

Indie is the scornful look from people your brain could eclipse and burn a million times over. Indie is every single transcendent spirit of humanity withered and died to the desire to succeed. [...] Indie is musical bigotry, political apathy, casual racism. Indie is a popularity contest that hates shallowness. Indie is revenge. Indie is the class weirdo with their own thrown in the sixth form centre. Indie is the dual luxury of the glamour of alienation coupled with party invitations.

...Indie is the only world in which Wener's cretinous 'Tory! Tory! Tory!' blathering would not only be tolerated but applauded for their 'bravery'. Indie is the only type of pop that hasn't superseded poetry. Indie is happy. Indie is harmless. Indie is in love. Indie is moving with a bounce and a skip tonight and is proof that nothing is more revolting that the sight of the inheritors of the earth enjoying themselves. ...Indie is where your assumption of universal complexity crumbles into the stark realisation that some people really are complete cunts. Indie is dead and buried. Indie is alive and well. The crowd roared."

I suppose one could say it's a case of things coming "full circle" or whatever. To me it seems morelike locked inside a sense of deja-vu about having a specific instance of deja-vu. Or of there being nothing new about the nothing-newness; in which case, the original thesis still applies.

( The above excerpts, BTW, were pulled from this thread, which includes the full texts.)


Phil Knight said...

I wonder how many drone strikes have taken place since this controversy erupted.

Greyhoos said...

I'm pretty certain that topic falls well outside the purview of the NME's format.

And I don't know where one could look for the answer. I believe there's a phone app that could tell you how many Americans have been killed by handguns in that same span of time; so I imagine there might be one for that, as well.

Phil Knight said...

If there isn't one already available, there's probably some money to be made creating one. Perhaps include a payable option to view each missile-cam.

We could soundtrack it with one of those new NME guitar bands like Peace or Savages.

Greyhoos said...

You're probably right about the market potential(s) for such a thing. But I'm not so sure about the soundtracking part. I suspect that the permissions & licensing fees might run too steep. Plus, I expect most users would prefer the usual video-game music, anyway.

Phil Knight said...

Yeah, I didn't think it through rigorously enough.

This is why I tend to direct my entrepreneurial activity away from the info-tech sector.

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