Monday, November 3, 2008

TVD | Angry Old Man | No. 1

If you're a regular reader and familiar with the continuing TVD narrative, you were witness to a brimming over with disgust last week for about 97% of the artists and bands that are pimped daily by Pitchfork and Stereogum respectively. It depresses me to no end to think that the kids coming up today will have a generation of half-baked bands or pseudo-talents to recall as their collective 'first's.

It depresses me even MORE however, to be referring to the 'kids these days' as it seems I was one of 'em just an hour ago. But to hell with it - I'll embrace it in a new TVD feature: Angry Old Man, wherein we attempt to re-raise the bar that has been dropped precariously low over the past say...ten years. (I could go back even farther, but alas, I'm no spring chicken and time's a-wastin'...)

In the summer summer of '76 I was a whopping NINE years old and one of my best buddies was my pal Nick who, if I recall correctly, was two or three years older than me--a whopping 11 or 12. Nick had this odd set up for a bedroom in his home as his parents, brother and sister all had their bedrooms upstairs while Nick had a precursor to Baby's First Bachelor Pad with his bedroom on the ground level and the ability to come and go as he pleased. This totally blew my mind up - the FREEDOM, I'd think often. Nick was also in possession of more than a few cigarettes and Playboy magazines which solidified his rep, at least in my eyes, as one cool kid. My folks weren't similarly convinced.

It was that summer when one late afternoon I found myself sitting in Nick's disorderly downstairs and the kid put a copy of KISS "Destroyer" in my hands and dropped the needle onto Track One -- "Detroit Rock City". The sound effects, the radio in the diner with its subtle build up into the song knocked me the hell over. Like the jazz standard I recall thinking, "how long has this been going ON?" I was transfixed to say the very least. Grabbed around the neck and THROTTLED was more like it.

A tiny bit later it was like I was taken out to the playground and given a serious rock schooling as Sweet's "Fox on the Run" drilled its candy confection into my cranium. Another good friend Carol had an older sister who introduced her, then us, to BOWIE. We'd sit in Carol's room among her doll collection and listen to "Space Oddity" over and over with the drapes shut tight. Then Alice Cooper...imagine - Alice is a GUY. No waaaaay. And "Bohemian Rhapsody" ...one of my very first 45's b/w "I'm In Love With My Car," a Roger Taylor composition that got as much play as the operatic A side which even my folks found oddly compelling for all of its classical music strains.

So, what's the point you ask? You were NINE. Where's the tie in with the Pitchgummers?

Well, inherently, THAT's my first point. That 'something' is missing. That stomach-twisting, chill inducing 'otherness' is all but nonexistent this morning and most mornings on the Pitch/Gum frontpages. Ask yourself - is anything reaching through the monitor and sending your life into an upswirl? You needn't be nine to be simply excited and enraptured, and a whole generation is knobbing at the teet which isn't even delivering this one, BASIC nutrient. The ONE ingredient careers are built and sustained upon. (U2, anyone?) Really, if I'm thinking through mathematical progressions to get to the center of your Protools lollypop, you're doing it all wrong.


Rule #1: Engage us.


Sweet - Fox On The Run (Mp3)
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (Mp3)
David Bowie - Space Oddity (Mp3)
Alice Cooper - No More Mister Nice Guy (Mp3)
KISS - Detroit Rock City (Mp3)

9 comments:

fiftypercent said...

I quite agree. In fact, I pretty much advocated the same position here:

http://mineforlife.blogspot.com/2008/07/lowest-common-denominator.html

JON said...

And I quite agree with what you've written, fifty.

Viva la revolution!

Dumbek said...

"Destroyer" was one the very first LPs I ever acquired. And by "acquired" I mean "stole from my older sister." I think I was 11. "God of Thunder" used to scare the bejeezus out of me. That record definitely started me on my musical journey.

Uncle E said...

Great post, total agreement here.

JON said...

Thanks for joing me out on the limb...

Anonymous said...

the one truly magnificient advancement mankind has achieved:

They have completed erased "imagination" from the equation.

No more wondering how these sounds were made, who are these freaks making this music and how'd they do that . . . if you're favorite band was on TV then you had to get permission to stay up late and catch the show, if not you missed it.

basically i could go on and on but we all get it. all that's been accomplished over the years is the removal of mystery. mystery use to be the thing that got our imaginations running, discussions happening and dreams off the ground.

sad days.
Flecton Big Sky

JON said...

Very well said...thanks...

3-Pin said...

Total agreement, albeit backed up one musical generation. I was lucky at that age to have new Beatles, Stones, Who and Kinks to blow me out of the water, along with Motown and Stax. The rush to quick dollars has diluted the music and eliminated the time and money to invest in crafting good songs and working up decent music to market. Yikes - I sound like an angry old man.

DALE SULLIVAN said...

i'M 54 AND GREATLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RELEASE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS BY AN UNDER-30 ARTIST, WILL CHAMPLIN. YOU CAN STILL FIND MUSIC THAT GRADS YOU, THERE'S JUST A LOT MORE GAR-BAGE TO SIFT THROUGH. AND IF YOU CAN'T GET INTO WILL, HIS DAD, BILL CHAMPLIN ALSO HAS A NEW CD THAT KICKS A**! OR THE NEW EXILE CD! DON'T LET YOUR EARDRUMS GO TO WASTE!