by Kyle Pope
138 days ago
Posted In: Music Commentary
at 03:24 PM | Permalink
For a band that is called fun., I sure find it ironic that
their music sparks nothing close to that feeling.
I admit comfortably that when I was 16, I was a fan of Nickelback,
Disturbed and other bands that would fall under that “Cock Rock” territory. That’s
a pretty bold statement.
While I’d say that (most) of that fandom is long gone, I
have been finding myself coming back to a lot of the bands the shaped my
childhood and early teenage years. Yes, partly for nostalgia (although no
amount of that could ever make me listen to Nickelback again), but I think this
is mainly because I am finding more and more that I am losing my place in the
ever-changing world of music, specifically alternative and indie music.
Three years ago, I was always into the cutting edge of what
is “now” — what many others and myself thought was good. I survived Arcade
Fire’s The Suburbs winning Album of
the Year at the Grammy’s, braved the great King
of Limbs debate of 2011 and forced myself into thinking that a band like
Chevelle actually sucked.
I read Pitchfork religiously to stay on top of music’s
latest and “greatest” new bands. I even pretended that I loved Bon Iver, but
that fell short when it was revealed that for about a year I thought Bon Iver
was one person. Sorry I’m not sorry Justin Vernon.
Truth be told, I hate Bon Iver. I also think Neon Bible is a much better Arcade Fire
album and even a Radiohead album like The Bends was better than King
of Limbs. I think Chevelle kicks ass, but you’d never hear me say that
out loud until now.
I guess I’ll stop brown-nosing my ego and get to the point. I
like music that is accessible and fun. No, not the band. My friends and I, “We
Are Young,“ but if that’s your idea for a great indie party song, then your
I use fun. as my main example, but this also applies to
Mumford and Sons, Gotye, Imagine Dragons, Lumineers and others. I find my
friends and acquaintances throwing it against the wall and, beyond my understanding,
I’m seeing it stick. It might be just me, but I find these bands depressing.
Not in an Alice in Chains “I’m a heroin addict and I don’t know how to stop
ruining my life,” kind of way either, but more like a Simple Plan, “My
girlfriend left me and now I can’t stop complaining about it” kind of way. Yes,
I just compared Mumford and Sons to a pop-emo band from the early 2000s.
There’s a difference between depressed and depression and
these bands embody that very essence of momentary sadness that really doesn’t
matter in a few months.
Despite the very real and very dangerous depression of the
guys who fronted Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Butthole
Surfers and several other bands during the ‘90s, the final product of that excessive
drug use was great and often fun music to listen to.
You don’t put a hand on your heart and shed a tear for Kurt
Cobain when he screams out the lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Of course
not! You crank it up to 11 and scream loud and out of key with the guy.
Fun has become such a dirty word in alternative music and it’s
not because of any form of stereotypical pretentious hipster nonsense. I really
think the reason is, well…just because. I don’t think there’s a reason why
Mumford and Sons’ Pop-Folk-with-a-Bluegrass-flare fusion is striking big, while
Old Crow Medicine Show has been doing that for years.
What do I know is this: I miss when indie music was something
new, exciting and fun to listen to. When I think of indie, I think of the
playful lyrics like “We could go and get 40s” from the song “12:51” by the Strokes,
the iconic bass line of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and the voice-raising
howls of “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire.
I realize this is all personal interpretation, but indie music
has become something of a boring passé before it even got old to begin with.
Bands have no foreseeable longevity because songs like “We Are
Young” will be replaced faster than you can say “something that I used to
know.” Ha, see what I did there?
And while Mumford and Sons have proven to have some lasting
factor on modern music, I find their songs empty, repetitive and lacking any
real expressiveness. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. “Little Lion Man” and
“I Will Wait” are the same damn song.
They just don’t make good indie like they used to anymore,
but then again maybe I’m getting too damn old for it anymore.
Anger, pain, jealousy and atheism, but tell me this song doesn’t get you going!
I dare you!
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Animals
at 10:56 AM | Permalink
OTR Skate, Cincinnati Opera Gala, Steampunk Symposium, ReUse-apalooza and more
Thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center's current music video exhibition, Spectacle, a number of talented musicians, artists and directors have flocked to Cincinnati during the past two months to perform and discuss the power of music videos in our culture. Tonight, director Vincent Morisset stops by to screen Inni, his powerful black-and-white film about Icelandic Pop Rock group Sigur Rós. Morisset will then discuss his work with Sigur Rós and Arcade Fire and take questions. The event begins at 6:30 — come early to check out the Spectacle exhibit if you haven't yet. The screening and talk are free for members, $7.50 museum admission for non-members.
It's Final Friday and last year's popular monthly OTR Skate is back! Don your best hot pants and tube socks and roll over to the OTR Recreation Center for a night of old-school fun with a hip twist. Bust a move on the rink to the music of Automagik and You, You're Awesome. Admission is just $5 (skate rental included) and goes to the Rec Center to provide youth programs and scholarships for area kids. Enjoy free Vitamin Water and classic game room attractions like air hockey and foosball. Been a decade or two since you last laced up those skates? Cincinnati Rollergirls will be on hand for some pro tips. The fun begins at 8 p.m.
Northside's Building Value presents its third annual ReUse-apalooza tonight from 7-11 p.m. Learn about how the nonprofit reuses materials and what you can do to promote sustainable building practices. Music will be provided by Messerly and Ewing and there will be a silent auction featuring Building Value projects. Tickets are $20, $50 VIP. After the benefit, head over to Northside Tavern for a free after-party.
If you've checked out our cover story this week, you know about the steampunk movement that's taken flight locally. What started as a literary genre that mixes Victorian history with futuristic fantasy elements a la Jules Verne is know an underground culture with its own music, art, costuming and performance aspects. This weekend marks the first Steampunk Symposium at Tri-County's Atrium Hotel. While weekend passes are sold-out, Saturday one-day tickets will be available at the door for $20. Whether you're a diehard steampunk or just curious about the movement, this quirky event has something for everyone. Saturday's schedule includes various steampunk bands and authors, a midnight masquerade, workshops, fashion shows, a mustache parade, verbal dueling (a battle of wits) and dozens of other activities. Various events run from 10 a.m. until around 2 a.m. Read more about the culture and find a Saturday lineup here.May is Bike Month and the Main Library downtown kicks off the cycling celebration Saturday with a bike expo. Check out various bicycle exhibits, meet organizers from groups like MoBo Bicycle Coop, Queen City Bike and League of American Bicyclists and meet Bobbi Montgomery, author of Across America by Bicycle. Get all the information you need to become a regular cyclist about town. The expo runs from 2-4 p.m. Go here for more details.The Cincinnati Opera will perform the highly anticipated Southern-inspired George Gershwin hit Porgy and Bess in June, but you don't have to wait until summer to get in on the excitement. Saturday's Opera Gala, "A Hot Night in Charleston" will transport Duke Energy Convention Center's Grand Ballroom into the Pametto State with soul food, cocktails, music and dancing. After you've had your fill of Southern-style eats, stick around for the after-party, "Late Night in Charleston." Being a benefit for the Opera, tickets for the Gala are pretty steep ($250, $175 for first-timers); If you're on a budget, consider coming for the after-party, which runs from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. — tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will begin being serves at 6:30 p.m.
Add a little cuteness to your weekend with the Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic open house Sunday. The facility has been yarn bombed by the Cincinnati BombShells to welcome new cats ready for adoption. If you're looking for a new cuddle buddy, consider adopting one of OAR's rescue kitties at the event. The free open house runs 1-4 p.m. Go here for more details, directions and more info on donations and volunteer opportunities.For more art exhibits, theater shows events and concerts, check out our To Do page and music blog.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The popularity of left-for-dead formats in some circles makes us wish we had saved that Sha Na Na flexi-disc that came with a box of Tide mom bought in 1977. Vinyl died and then was instantly reborn and had a cult following. A growing network of underground artists and tape buffs have resuscitated the cassette as a hip period-piece/music provider. And now the clunky 8-track tape is getting a second look.