How about a career in pretentious blandness?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s expletive is ‘By nails and blood!’ – English, 13th century.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Yes.. Was it Friday night?… No, but what’s happened to pop music?… I mean… It used to be that old people would hear the young people’s music and say, ‘Oh, what a noise! This is horrible, course, and unmusical! Look at them swaggering about, oh, and all that aggression! This is terrible! What is the world coming to?…’ So, what has the world come to?
Anyway, Friday night… I was flicking around the channels on the TV trying to find something even slightly stimulating to watch. On BBC 2 there was ‘Later Live… with Jools Holland’. I have given up on this programme; it has been unrelentingly dull for a long long time, however, I decided, in my desperation, to once more give it a try – a few years back I did happen to see on it ‘Operator Please’ playing ‘Just a Song About Ping Pong’ – it was magnificent – so unlike the normal stuff Jools has on – so, there was just a chance that…
A song was just starting. It was by a band advertised as being ‘New York rockers’; they were called ‘Interpol’. Oh dear!… I actually laughed out loud – no, really, I did! Cool and serious, a boring tune, strumming guitars, layers of blandness, and the vocals consisted of a couple of uninteresting phrases repeated over and over again as if repetition would somehow improve them. They reminded me a bit of ‘The Smiths’ whom I used to laugh at too…
‘What’s the world coming to?’ I asked earlier – well, this is it! What has happened to young people? Where has all the life, enthusiasm, creativity, energy, rebelliousness, and style gone?
‘Interpol’ were followed by someone, or some people, called ‘Zola Jesus’. The song was wishy-washy, pretentious, po-faced, and dreary, but for me, comic… I laughed again! – But at the same time I sort of felt sorry for the poor young things.
It almost seems as if the current pop and rock performers have been to college and studied hard to learn how to be rock stars. As they received their degrees the head of the college shook their hands warmly and whispered to them, ‘Now don’t go surprising or upsetting anyone, will you?’ ‘No, of course not sir…’ they whispered back…
Really I think it’s all about ‘cool’… These kids are so desperately cool that they can’t express any emotion in their art, displaying any emotion is definitely not cool!… which is a pity really, because that’s what music is all about.
I wonder where Jools finds the audiences for his show. They all seem to be very easily pleased – perhaps they are all out-of-work actors who are paid to be there? They enthusiastically cheer and clap these anodyne rock band simulacra as if they’d just seen Jimi Hendrix sweating over his sexy dive-bombing screaming guitar, or the subversive uncompromising dark moody Velvet Underground doing a steaming monumental version of ‘Heroin’…
To be fair, I suppose these 21st century musicians, grew up listening to the sanitized, packaged, marketed blandness of the previous decade, so one can’t blame them for thinking that that was what music should be…
Isn’t it funny that now the old people are complaining that the young people’s music is too safe and nice?…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, brain, cool, existentialism, expletives, fashion, Grumpiness, guitars, history, humour, information, irony, music, observations, style, sweating, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How about a career in pretentious blandness?…

  1. Indeed. Terrible programme, which I suspect is something to do with Mr Boogie-woogie. I think today’s pop stars are very career-minded, which is a shame because while they chase money they will not make good art.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Indeed, indeed… Its like the ‘first album’ phenomenon – where the first album, when the band was poor but creative, was brilliant, and then they get rich, and become very dull…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s