Thursday, September 25, 2008

TVD's Daily Wax

"Good rock 'n' roll... [long pause] I don't know. I guess it's just something that makes you feel alive. It's just like, it's something that's human, and I think that most music today isn't. And it's like anything that I would want to listen to is made my human beings instead of computers and machines. To me, good rock 'n' roll also encompasses other things, like Hank Williams and Charlie Mingus and a lot of things that aren't strictly defined as rock n' roll. Rock 'n' roll is like an attitude, it's not a musical form of a strict sort. It's a way of doing things, of approaching things. Like anything can be rock 'n' roll."

"I went to see that movie the other night, The Last Waltz, and you sit through something like that in 1982 and you really see why New Wave was necessary. There they are, so smugly thanking that they're brilliant musicians or even jazz musicians just because a guy can play a solo for 10 minutes that's just scales. It's real pompous. The only trouble with New Wave is that nobody followed up on it. Everybody thought that the initial gesture was all they had to make. Richard Hell made that one album and got too lazy to make another one, or the Sex Pistols breaking up. Although it's good they broke up. But very few of them followed through. But it was really an exciting burst there for like a year, year and a half."

"I've never liked live music that much, to tell you the truth. A few people. I like the Ramones. I liked the Clash for a while. Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Stooges back when they were around. But you know, even the Stones I never liked live that much. And now, here in New York, the club scene is just so dead. You look in the Voice every week and there's nothing happening except these bad bands in these unpleasant places. The Palladium is hardly ever open any more. See, it might sound like, "This guy is talking a real depressing line" or something, but I just think that everybody is staying in their houses and listening to their old records and everybody is sort of digging in for the long haul. One would wish that it was otherwise, but that's the way it is. And, see, I mean, to pretend that it isn't is really bad faith to the readership. My responsibility as I see it as a critic is not to help a lot of new bands sell their records. It's to help people who are buying the records to keep from making a purchase that they're going to get home and hate my guts and the band's too because it's a piece of shit. And these critics, most of them, it's much easier to help the bands, because you get more work that way and every magazine wants to print reviews that say, "This is wonderful, this is great, go out and buy it." A lot of magazines won't even print negative reviews. A friend of mine does a record review column in Esquire, and it's like five positive reviews every time. They don't want you to say anything that's bad because they don't get advertising bucks that way. So it becomes like a facet of your groovy modern lifestyle. Well fuck that shit. I don't wanna be used like that just to sell product. I ain't a shill! And if that means you say everything suck, well I don't know. I don't know where I can go really from having as bad an attitude as I do, but it's the only attitude I think that you can have. The only person I know who thinks that anything is happening in music right now is Robert Christgau. I think he's great in a lot of ways, but you know..."

-Lester Bangs, last interview with Jim DeRogatis

The Vibrators - Baby Baby (Mp3)
Mink Deville - Let Me Dream If I Want To (Amphetamine Blues) (Mp3)
The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker (Mp3)
The Dictators - Two Tub Man (Mp3)
Johnny Thunders - You Cant Put Your Arms Round A Memory (Mp3)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

just a heads up, the eddies & the hot rods tune has all the id3 correct but is actually Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.

JON said...

...weird.

Thanks Anon TVD'er. Now is IS Sheena...

Urban Gypsy said...

Ha! *I'VE* "never liked live music that much" either but was always too embarrassed to say so! Now I feel so vindicated... great posts this week, keep it up Jon! :)

Anonymous said...

"My responsibility as I see it as a critic is not to help a lot of new bands sell their records. It's to help people who are buying the records to keep from making a purchase that they're going to get home and hate my guts and the band's too because it's a piece of shit."

Amen. I may not always agree with Lester Bangs but you should probably have some respect for him either way.

- Dan