Monday, October 26, 2009
Last week our lil hometown newspaper, The Washington Post, introduced a redesigned top to bottom print edition, and while I quite like much of the overall redesign—as an art director by day—I’ve got some problems with some of the changes which had me pining away for the ‘old’ and discarded look. The ‘golden days’ if you will. Of a week back.
But I didn’t even realize I was in the halcyon, ‘golden era’ of the Post two weeks back. I was in the present, not fully appreciating something that arrives day in and day out with regularity and familiarity. But yank that away, or better yet allow something to ‘evolve,’ and suddenly there’s a rearview mirror which renders what came before into focus from an entirely new perspective. That of, well, ...the past.
Along with the Post each morning, I’m also reading and scouring the blogs on a daily basis. It’s a routine—pour the coffee, browse the blogs. But it’s become a hollow experience...I mean, who the fuck cares about a Julian Casablancas solo record? Who gives a crap if the four preps of Vampire Weekend have another Paul Simon record in the can? Why would I ever care to read about, be inspired by, or find worthwhile the likes of Male Bonding, Bear Hands, We Are Enfant Terrible, Reni Lane, and Yes Giantess? (Random examples there.) But really, why should I CARE?
And I’m sorta pissed off because ‘fringe’ is the mainstream now of course. You might think you’re an indie kid with your Pitchfork and Stereogum bookmarks (to poke a trite example) but you might as well be reading Rolling Stone or Spin. Despite your Bobby Brady fashion inclinations, you are mainstream, corporatized, and while you were following along perhaps a bit too closely, the world turned on its head, sold you out, and your favorite band from Brooklyn’s in an iPod commercial. Or endorsing a beverage. Or selling you sneakers.
Deride the dinosaurs all day long, mock their reunion tours or their Walmart deals, but there was an authenticity at their genesis that none of the aforementioned acts who graced CMJ stages last week can lay claim to. The classic rock dinosaurs left a weighty footprint—but a rehash of a rehash from the same blueprint smothered in frosty, arty artifice is leaving me cold. Man.
I’m adoring the new Big Star box set that contains the working sketches of brilliance and DESPITE the Beatle influences, offers a newness these many years on. And yes, Big Star’s the blueprint for so many bands that followed—do the list in your head. If you do, that’s a pretty strong coterie of bands there.
So am I laying claim this week to the old adage that everything was better in ‘my day’ with the veneer of a crusty old fuck?
Big Star - Thirteen (Mp3)
Big Star - Give Me Another Chance (Mp3)
Big Star - What's Going Ahn (Mp3)
Big Star - Nighttime (Mp3)
Big Star - For You (Mp3)
Posted by Jon at 11:56 AM