WASSSSUPPP???? Steve Fingerman here with a churlish sneer. I'm ready to blast your brains, e-strangers! Happy new year Music Heads!
I am celebrating my 12th year as a professional in the music industry. Those of you familiar with my long running music zine Sound Sickle or my radio show "Steveway Army" might know what to expect during my hopefully regular postings here. This is my first foray into the "blog world" and I hope to bring all the attitude and bluster it takes to keep this blog competitive... that's Fingerman style!
Anyway I'm going to get right down to business with some quick updates on the state of the music industry in 2009, a forgettable year we might collectively refer to as "The Year of the Distortion Pedal." Personally I would prefer that the pedals you stomp on all day long be bicycle pedals! At least you'd be getting somewhere that way!
Perhaps as a mass-mind metaphor for the political inaction and general torpor of today's youth, the echoing swirl we find all cool white bands enveloping their songs inside, has already proved to be a no-escape cocoon for tuneless fools. And there are thousands of these bands! Don't believe the Skype!!!!
These observations are drawn from my quick perusal of a sampling of these groups which have appeared like whorls of tumor on the sacred fleshscape of the noblest art form, MUSIC. I have quickly sorted through some of these new bands so you don't have to waste your time, and can spend it instead listening to snow shovels grinding against concrete, buzzing fluorescent tubes, or (my favorite) the soft hiss of hamsters burrowing in newspaper piles.
SURFER BLOOD-Borrrring! sounds like the Cars with TONS of echo (or is it reverb) on the vocals. Maybe more than any other band! Except My band: The Echoes. I just made that up. Check us out at some open mic nights in Bay Ridge soon. But back to the rock: this is happy major key music for college students with melodies very indebted to Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective.
TURBO FRUITS- Perhaps slightly better than Surfer Blood. A bit more raucous. Lots of 1-4-5 melodies, distorted vocals. This is really (just) Pop Music, with lots of male falsetto. That could be a noble pursuit for the previous century. But come on! Its 2010, Obama is in office, its time to reclaim the future! We need music for people flying down white corridors with computer monitors for heads. We need music for cancer and molecular activity. SO SPEAKETH STEVE!!!!
BEACH FOSSILS- Innocuous Pop music, sort of Joy Division esque bass. Jangly guitars, echoey vocals, borrrring!
DOUBLE DAGGER- Is this screamo? Two chord songs with some very typical humorless vocals and a spoken word breakdown about gentrification! This reminds me of the 90's. Remember Cap'n Jazz? Evergreen? Moss Icon? Or the projects that involved hardcore people and were supposed to be cool, given the seal of "hardcore" authenticity, but seemed ill constructed and confusing. Remember Iceburn? Rodan? The Rachels? Steve does. This band will doubtless join them in the Earnest hall of punk rock fame.
REAL ESTATE- this band is from New Jersey. Their song "Fake Blues" is good. I give it a 7 on my Stevometer. Kind of reminds me of SONIC YOUTH! A Psychedelic layer of gauze has fallen over everything. The future is so hard to see....
DRINK UP BUTTERCUP- This band is ambitious! Are they trying to be the next SPARKS? Good singing and melodies??? Well, pretty good anyway.
DIE HARD- Pop punk with stupid earnest vocals. I can't even make it to the chorus! Click it off! Apparently this band is playing in New York today...my advice is, save your money and stay home drinking beer and rubbing your ear against the carpet!
ZOMES- Another band from Baltimore who are popular perhaps because of their great graphic design! The cover rules! The music appears to be lo-fi miniatures constructed with organs, guitars, and a lot of tape hiss. Well, Baltimore is a TOUGH town. Its Okay with Steve if people can't afford computers to record on and have to use children's tape recorders instead. Or perhaps its an aesthetic decision? I apreciate that, as I am a fan of ragtime and other music recorded in the 1910's and 20's where a popular production strategy was to deploy a LOT of tape hiss!
SO COW- This is a guy from Ireland covering different songs by artists, playing with a guitar, recorded with a bass and drums. Its all pretty straightforward. Steve says: this is Okay and this guy would do great at a coffee shop almost anywhere!
JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD- This sounds like popular, skater, Dinosaur Jr. type 90's music and is pretty good for rock music. And I'm SURE these guys get the girls. I have nothing against that, believe me! But perhaps the dire economics of our times is causing bands to go hit the road and play zillions of shows before they have any really interesting ideas. I guess the Beatles did that when they were just a quartet of loveable hunks. I'm sure it would be fun to see a band in a bar again, But I've been trying to cut costs way down, (including probably living in my car for a while) and going out to bars and partying, dear readers, is a luxury I can not afford!
JOANNA NEWSOM- At last, some banjo music, not a moment too soon! But why is the MP3 clip on her record label so short? I only heard about 20 seconds??? Well if you want a full review, please feel free to send full length LPs to:
c/o "PUDDING IS LARD"
PO Box 145
Van Brunt Station
Brooklyn NY 11215
SO SPEAKETH STEVE!