shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Some days, I just feel like posting a lot.

Due to the wonders of DVD, I have been reliving some late eighties/early nineties musical glories. After my initial feeding frenzy over the Beatles, the first 'alternative' artists I really heard were, lessee, the Cure, the Smiths (obviously), the Wonder Stuff (ex-boyfriend obsession), the Violent Femmes (naturally, since we all have to own that first album at one point), the Stone Roses (the nine-minute 'Fool's Gold'! I didn't even know what ecstasy *was*), Jane's Addiction (school-wagging soundtrack!), the Throwing Muses (how did I manage to find *them*?), the Pixies, and a bunch of bands on Flying Nun (the Clean, the Chills, the Verlaines, the Headless Chickens...). When you're a teenager and you haven't heard too much, your band-love can be really pure and intense. That's cool, of course, but I've found when you come back a decade or more later, it can be a bit horrifying to find out that the artist you've spent all those years remembering fondly is actually derivative, lame, cringeworthy, or downright shitty. (When I was sixteen, I knew a guy whose favourite band EVER was Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Oooooops!) That's why the new Flying Nun retrospective DVD, Very Short Films, and the Pixies Best-of DVD, are kind of a relief as well as great retro fun. Through sheer dumb luck, it seems, I actually liked some really terrific bands, who wrote some fantastic songs. *Now* I understand that David Lovering is a great drummer. *Now* I get the crucial importance of Joey Santiago's atmospheric surf-music-referencing guitar. *Now* the true, catchy genius-weirdness of Black Francis and Kim Deal is actually apparent to me. Whew. And watching the made-for-two-cents videos on Very Short Films is really heartwarming. The ratio of great-to-crap is pretty impressive from 1981 until the mid nineties. How did all these incredibly talented people end up in one far-flung, tiny spot, on one label, writing lovely, odd, mostly-jangly music? And how did they survive when most of the country completely ignored them? Coming back to these bands and knowing that it wasn't sheer parochialism on my part - that they really *were* good - is cheering stuff. Yay.


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