I am just as snarky and ironic and Insufferable as any music snobs. Let’s be straight about that, and I doubt that anyone of the normal fucking people (or, as Prof Hubbard says, Pay-OH-play) figures anything different.’
So, you know, maybe you folks are not the best folks to accompany me to a band of young people who are fervent plunderers of old music.
Bear with me, I think this makes sense.
Rory texted me late afternoon, saying that there was a band at Turner Hall, and I will tell you right now that Turner Hall is one of the best places to see bands, hands down. So, by the transitive factor, if a band is there, they must be awesome. I think nobody can reasonably argue that.
So we meet there, and the opening bad was serviceable. To me, they sounded like a lot of very young bands do, like they’ve been raised on YouTube and think landing a song on a car commercial will be the best way to hit it big. Well, I was raised on the radio, and saw what that environment did to bands, chewing them up and spitting them out while cruelly ignoring most; so who am I to argue? Twin Peaks, they were called, check ’em out before David Lynch sends his high-priced but weird attorneys to visit them.
I think Foxygen is a dumb name. Especially for a band that isn’t playing electro or dance music. But again, who am I to argue?
The only thing I knew of them was this song:
I was told that band were sardonic hipsters, making satirical references to hippie music tropes; but honestly, I could not make out any tongues in cheek from anybody in the band. Except maybe the guy being out-of-time on the tambourine, during the songs he wasn’t faking on guitar. Well, that’s what it looked like from where we were.
I saw an honest affection for older music, and Rory and I had a swell time playing Name-That-Influence from bands that recorded before most of the kids in the audience were even born. Well, it sounded new to them, I guess. I told a few of them about this new English Group, the Lead Balloons or something like that…
But everybody draws from the past in some way. (I have seen a compelling case that Led Zep, in addition to plundering many older blues players, also quite freely appropriated from their contemporaries when they could). REM once sang “standing on the shoulders of giants, leaves me cold” but they were working from templates laid down by the Velvet Underground and the Byrds (and doesn’t that “San Francisco” song sound kinda like an REM song?). So we made ironic, sarcastic mockery of the ironic, hipster kids who thought they were enjoying sardonic hipster music. It was like a triple reverse irony backflip.
In any case, Ror and I had massive amounts of fun, and the band was entertainingly anarchic on stage. And since they didn’t have the young lady touring with them, they had the integrity to not play their current single.