Monday, June 13, 2011

Jam of the day, and a rhetorical contemplation on music journalism: Yuck / "The Wall"

I present this jam, up front, sans debate or even really commentary, save for the title of the Daytrotter session wherein I discovered this tune: All The Old Is All The New.

So what did you think? Somehow, I had put off listening to Yuck for a while after they kinda "broke" in the blog world. (Blogosphere is not a word.) I didn't dislike the description of their sound, nor was I put off by the early and effusive press coverage. I just didn't care whether I heard their songs or not. There are only so many bands I can listen to and keep up with and ... that's that, really. About a month ago, though, I listened to their Daytrotter session ... on my phone! Because Daytrotter released an Android app. It's great, that app. Yuck were one of the "most played" sessions, so I gave them a listen. And I liked it. "The Wall", in particular, kinda stuck in my head. I listened to that session on my bike, riding around town, and it was catchy and hummable and singable and kept my mind buzzing and active and my head bobbing and my foot tapping and everything else that a good song should do. Did I think about the recycling of 90s indie rock sounds? No. Did I think about the complexity of lyrics, or lack thereof? No. Did I think about the ages of the band members, or their maturity, or musical history knowledge? No. It was a good song, and it really caught my ears for awhile, and still does. I like listening to it.

So can someone please explain for me this album review here, from The Quietus? This review says nothing about their music beyond how it's "retrogressive" and embodies "laziness". It's written by someone who admits that they "hated this kind of Lemonheads-lite, floral-dressed, clompety-booted, neurotic ninny inanity the first time round" and proceeds to dislike how it has come up in time and space again, and that admission was made in the first paragraph (including the teaser sentence along with that), so why should I lend any reasonable credence to the ensuing words? After rhetorically asking whether it even matters that this music is so "obviously" an uninspired rehashing of prior trends, the author responds with an emphatic, "yes": "It matters because there's absolutely no way this music could say anything to anyone about their lives in 2011. Try playing this album over news footage of the student riots and it will seems as appropriate as Mungo Jerry's 'In The Summertime'." Oh my god, or lack thereof. This music isn't saying something outlandishly weighty and everyone-join-handsy and meaningful for everyone at this current moment in time? Holy fuck, we shouldn't bother listening at all, because that's exactly what music should do, all the time, and anything falling short is not worth the shameful waste of atoms it represents.

The weird thing is, I'm not even a huge fan of this album, I just don't understand this review. Do people like to read complete thrashings of things that are "popular" out of some morbid fascination? I don't get that. Say something meaningful in your review, please. I spent the time reading it, and it shouldn't leave me feeling about it like the author felt about the album defamed therein. Why bother writing about it, if that's how you feel?

You should enjoy another song & video and forget about what you just read:

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