Friday, October 16, 2009


Sometimes, it's difficult having so much better taste than everybody else....
Here's an example. Recently, I heard this band, Blacklist, and thought they were pretty good. I can't say I'm 100% behind them, though. The music is good, sweeping, swirly epic anthemic stuff than I'm always a sucker to hear. On top of that, they're smart people, graduates of the New School, and the singer is also a writer, and references a lot of somewhat left writers.
But, musically, they're actually more limited than what I like. They don't have the depth and variety of emotions that a band like Silence is Sexy or Pandora's Box or Workers can conjure up easily. Lyrics-wise it's a lot of intellect, but where's the connection? Where's the resonance?
Politically, though I'd say they are fellow travellers, I cannot really get behind somebody who sides with Christopher Hitchens.
So, I like them, honestly I do, but I still prefer the others. Maybe the guys in Workers are grad students, I don't know, and certainly cannot tell from their lyrics, but I feel a greater sense of real humanity from them, a more direct connection, and I feel better listening to them. ( I push the comparison between the two bands because the sound is very similar. Check out the music on myspace from Blacklist and the same from Workers)
I don't mean to set myself in opposition, so much as I just really am a bit different, so my tastes and desires are different. If I'm in opposition to anything in the arts it's this:
I suspect you're far more likely to hear about Blacklist than any of the others bands because they're based out of New York. They have the far more expensive haircuts and outfits. I suspect they have a publicist. In other words, however left-leaning the lyrics may be, they definitely have stakes in the machine. That machine is what I'd oppose. It's not about taste: it's about manipulation, and not even external manipulation because we often do it to ourselves.
So, as always, I would ask: how much longer must we tolerate mass culture?

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