19 February 2006

I'm still a musical idiot

this is a sequel to my panic-at-the-disco post

it was fascinating to watch that band for the 1st time

the theatricality of their video [qt]
exactly matched my original image of the band
as a bay area hipster theater troupe

but i'm still just as uncertain of my judgment
after seeing the video
as i was before

the song seems weak to me
the storytelling murky

they probably fall on the wrong side
of the hipster line
not guarded enough
not ironic enough

so that when i give my thumbs-up
i feel i have to
ready my deflector shields
(ditto with eg tATu)

but i hope they brazen it out
and dare to position themselves
in Queen's vacated
over-the-top niche

i was listening to the hipster
OffTheRecord playlist
as i wrote the above
and again i couldn't believe
how often i had to click skip-to-next
because what i heard was sheerly awful

though i know now
there's plenty of bands out there i like
so it's not a talent drought
(from my peculiar point of view)
it's a taste drought

i've never been much of a concertgoer

stadium rock is of course incomprehensible to me
infectious imbecility
the madness of crowds

but these hipster hits-lists
seem to throw out the artbaby
with the commercebathwater

honoring only those
who assert sheer awfulness

letting stuff-i-like thru
only by accident

the recent semi-scientific results
on tastemaking
confirm a strong herd-instinct

and perhaps what made
the late-60s-early-70s special
wasn't that the level of creativity was greater
but that the mass media briefly included
rather than automatically excluding
some unguarded art

which would imply that the
Sixties could return at the drop of a hat
if critics just diversified enough
to give the artists air

there was a point i meant to make
when i undertook this post
about being dragged off the street
into a bar
by a friend saying
you have to check these guys out

and how at that point
it's just you and them
and you don't ask for a slick show
you just let them lay it out for you

and maybe it rings your bells
or maybe it doesn't

but whether they're hipsters
or shiny clean folksters
or gospellers or popsters or whatever

your friend's enthusiasm
should be enough to carry you
past the genre preconceptions