Don't Start A Band N° 1
BBBD is in a state or turmoil.
The world has become more complex for your favorite blogger: he neither wants to quit not exert more time into writing daily posts; he wants to pursue other things but utilize the freedom that BBBD gives. A conundrum has arisen, and solving it seems unlikely.
We can no longer churn out daily posts that hail the Hot New Thing -- such artists are few and far between, anyway, and not the stuff of frequently-updated blogs such as this one -- and we no longer want to compete with the other names out there. BBBD is content knowing it's been around, that it maintains a voice, and that it is still of at least some relevance.
That being said, expect to see plenty of articles on this website, but perhaps with diminished regularity. Today, we commence an experimental column of sorts: "Don't Start A Band." That's right, BBBD is prescribing abstinence. We're tired of the tirade of press releases, are afraid that every conceivable band name has been registered on MySpace, and are annoyed with our own desire to keep churning out write-ups for God knows why. With "Don't Start A Band N° 1," we indirectly outline the reasons why one shouldn't create a band (one-man or otherwise) through a brief look at more worthy artists. This is all we need. Sorry.
The early 2000s were huge, and this doesn't need to be reiterated. Others had revived genres and styles before, but no previous generation of young musicians had done it so self-consciously. BBBD personally holds that this occurred because wannabe hip acts realized their fathers were actually listening to some pretty friggin' sexy music, played by pretty sexy kids, in pretty sexy and gritty clubs. Conversely, it's hard to imagine a twenty-something admiring Elvis in all his blandness in 1975 and thinking, "Wow -- I could totally reappropriate the King's sound, aesthetic, and fashion for my own, more current needs and desires." For a myriad reasons, 1975 - 1985 was an exceedingly appealing era to the younger musicians of the late-1990s and early-2000s who grew up on hip records by the likes of the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Talking Heads, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and so on. This was before the massive reissue trend put the CD market into a deathlock. Teenagers were listening to music that wasn't necessarily grounded in an era -- "In Between Days" still makes any somewhat emotional person fall prey to tears -- and certainly detached from prudishness, uptight behaviors, and constriction. The Beatles may have churned out some stunning pop tunes, but do you know what really has left them eternally ingrained in our psyches? Their fedoras, two-button, skinny cut blazers, narrow, leather-soled shoes, and knit ties. That and their rabble-rouser behavior ... who else could compete with their immediately gratifying nature? No one.
But we're digressing here. At the beginning of this millennium, kids growing up on the post-punk of the 1970s/1980s reservedly acknowledged that their parental units were actually attached to a pretty damn cool musical epoch, one that deserved to -- no needed to -- be revived. Hence the post-punk revival (or post-post-punk if you're especially dim). (Now we're bringing back "original" rock 'n roll, the stuff that finally snapped people out it and got them rejecting the crud that was on the radio ... after this Black Lips-fronted phase ends, though, what will we have? A revival of the 21st century's post-punk? Let's hope Devendra Banhart isn't in the equation, whatever it may be. Square.)
The Strokes, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads, and, of course, the Kills were at the forefront of this reincarnation of post-punk ... and we are forever indebted. Now those of us too young to have actually bought a vinyl record but old enough to remember the bad days of 1990s pop can happily live through both the modern and the trendily old both. That's the whole appeal of post-modernism, right? Keep recycling, reinterpreting, reading ... and never become unaware. As long as we understand what we're getting ourselves into, we're all set. The Kills, unlike the other aforementioned outfits, perpetuated their existence by pushing forward this whole post-punk revival trend. "Warm Leatherette" may be a tremendous piece of industrial post-punk music history, but it serves as a gimmick to many; that crap Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner put together as Electronic was only intended to be a goofy side-project that neither moved the early U.K. electronic movement forward nor compelled many folks to actually listen; likewise, we're starting to believe that perhaps the Strokes (and like bands -- there are thousands ... use your imagination) didn't actually want to stick around, but rather hop into the scene at an opportune moment and profit off our collective interest in the post-punk of yesteryear. The Kills have plodded through the eight or so years since the dawn of postpunk revival and have kept their charisma and core principles intact. The Kills are a band to aspire towards, but few can do what they've accomplished. Plus, Jamie dates Kate Moss. Dream on, Brit-poppers. Tie your shoes and go home.
It's 2008: the Strokes have yet to return, Interpol has yet to impress us like they did with "P.D.A.," and Jack White has yet to shed the pounds. Hack DJs clutter out clubs pretending to be the voices of a generation, but have no idea what the hell their generation is, who don't give a rat's, and haven't an iota of a clue as to how to become relevant. Let's just mosh in the meantime, right? Next time you consider checking out Le Castle Vania or Steve Aoki or Guns 'n Bombs, resolve to staying home and watching Jeopardy at 3 AM. It's better than walking into a club, immersing yourself in the noise and confusion, and fooling yourself into thinking it's music. Until a duo like the Kills comes along again -- and the Old Guard of 2001 is replaced by a New Guard -- we've nothing. Don't Start A Band until you've something to say.
the Kills - Fuck the People
the Kills - Murdermile
the Kills - M.E.X.I.C.O.C.U.