Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Hives, ETC

I still like the Hives. I don't think that's entirely popular. Oh. sure, I'm sure there's going to be enough sales of this new CD, Lex Hives, and there is a hype machine whirring into place for it. But, I feel a kind of counter-swell developing, as well.  Sure, they're not entirely an Indie garage band, but they're not entirely not an indie band, as well.
I think the resistance is that people feel they're getting shorted somehow. That's precisely the point. The Hives are one of those "smart/dumb" bands, like the Ramones, or more exactly, The New Bomb Turks. The trick here is that they are both a parody of, and a celebration of Indie/Garage rock. To me, it's obvious, but I get the sense that some people can't see it. You know the stage banter, and the image? That's part of the parody. You know the bone-simple riffs? That's part of the celebration.  The songs are a bit more complex than what they might seem, as well- riffs can comment on lyrics as much as lyrics can comment on the riffs.
I can distill the whole thing down for you, though- what if your indie rock heroes are just as stupid, and just as  much puppets as the corporate sellouts you despise? Now, what if that doesn't matter?
What if all that matters is that The Hives play solid riffs in catchy songs? What if a good time listening and dancing and singing to rocknroll is just a good time?
Now, of course, I wouldn't just leave it there, but for this new CD, I think that's all there is to it- it's just a damn good time.
Sad news, on the other hand- Silence is Sexy announced that they're breaking up. Here's the thing: my philosophy on Art and music is that it's a communication between people. The emphasis is on people, not the Art(ifice). So, if the people involved want to create art as "Silence is Sexy" that's great. If they want to create Art as something else, that's OK, too. I really like the Silence is Sexy rubric a lot, but, what's more important is that they, as people, feel like they're leading good lives, just like it's more important that I like my life, than whether or not I like some form or format of Art. This is why I'm ok with Bob Mould going disco, or with Silence is Sexy breaking up. Of course, I prefer listening to Husker Du than LoudBomb, and I prefer Silence is Sexy being a band than not, but that's not as important as people leading lives that mean something to them. So, it's sad for me that the band is breaking up, but I really hope it's a good step for the people involved.
Next, I got the new issue of The Big Takeover. As with every issue since number 54, it's a frustration. I guess I'm just still having a difficult time with changes in taste. I'm much more into the post-punk, shoegaze and "Artcore" mix that The Big Takeover specialized in from Issues 17 through 54 . Now, if you consider that the magazine comes out every six months, that means 18 years I liked the magazine, and 8 years that it's frustrated me with a shift to more of a  Folk/Indie/Baroque pop emphasis, so the math explains a bit why I'm still talking about it. What makes it all the more frustrating is that I'm pretty damn certain that I've got better taste than Jack Rabid, these days, and he used to help shape my tastes. He would not have been satisfied with The Decembrists and The Shins when he could be listening to Killing Joke, Silence is Sexy, USOT, dEUS, Workers, Torche, and Tona- all of whom he's completely sleeping on.  I've gone from learning and opening my mind with every issue to wishing I could explain things to the writers. When will I totally give up? I don't know, but I can see it coming.
Finally, that brings me to the new Patti Smith CD "Banga". When will I ever learn? Sure, she's got the reputation- fierce warrior poet, androgynous Ur-punk, etc, but I find about 75% of her stuff to be pointless hippie drivel. It's totally her right to do that, and it's what's in her heart, and it's all good for her. The 25% that remains is utterly compelling and revelatory, but now that we're in the digital age, there is no need to wade through that 75% of dross to get to the good stuff- I should have just downloaded the 3 tracks I really like  ( Amerigo, Fuji-San and Nine) and left the rest.  

No comments:

Post a Comment