Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Let's follow the road of hype

A few months ago, I heard some rumblings about this band called Autolux. They opened for Secret Machines and Moving Units on a recent tour that came through Dallas. I heard all this talk about how Autolux was better than the headliners ("Did you see Autolux? Man, they were incredible!"). Well, they played Dallas last night with the Raveonettes and a few of my friends suggested I go see the show. I didn't go to the show and haven't talked to anybody that went to the show, but I have to talk about this. Why? Because this my friends, is how hype begins.

This kind of hype is nothing new, but lets display some recurring patterns for the unitiated:

-Band gets talked about on message boards, shows, blogs, etc. ("There's this new band called _____ and I think they're awesome.")
-Band prepares album as buzz words are tossed around. ("This could be awesome!", "I'm really curious to see what this band can do")
-The album leaks onto the internet and people critique it on message boards.
-Mixed reactions to the album are abound ("This is brilliant!", "This is OK . . . ", "Meh . . . ", "What's so great about this band?")
-The album is released and reviewed. More mixed reactions come out. ("This is really brilliant!", "This is just OK . . ." "I think it's very 'meh'", "I don't get what's so great about this band")
-If this album is mostly perceived as fresh, interest grows.
-If this is not mostly perceived as fresh, interest goes elsewhere.

Right now, Autlox is perceived as fresh with a lot of untapped potential. This, in my opinion, may be the biggest form of praise out there. When you have a young band that has a decent-sounding CD and great live show, people's imaginations go wild. The band is on Sony, almost solidifying more talk on message boards, blogs and review sites with the kind of marketing/publicity money a major can through around.

Autolux's sound is best described in the vein of My Bloody Valentine and other late-80s/early-90s shoegazer/dream pop. A band in this vein is a welcome change in a day and age of bands more interested in late-70s/early-80s post-punk. Add in the fact that their music is pretty good and their live show is pretty good too adds more attention to the band.

Who knows if a dream pop revival is coming our way in the next few months. For now, I will watch this cycle and see if my predictions are correct.


Matthew said...

I respect you, Eric, but that was by far the most pretentious post I've seen on your blog to date. Who cares if people think Autolux are amazing? (Which, might I add, they are.) I saw them open for the Secret Machines and was blown away. Their CD isn't on Sony proper. It's actually the first release on DMZ, the Coen brothers new label (yes, Joel and Ethan). Also, they're not that young. The members used to be in Ednaswap, Failure and Maids of Gravity. You shouldn't refuse to listen to a band simply because they're the subject of a fair amount of hype. (If that's the case, sell your copy of the Arcade Fire CD.) Sorry for the rant, but you owe it to Autolux to check them out.

Eric Grubbs said...

Matt, I'm not personally slagging Autolux's music at all. I have heard their music and have enjoyed what I heard. I'm just amazed by the general nature of word-of-mouth hype. The way that people talk about bands is fascinating because the cycles are so cruel with changing tastes.

I call Autolux "young" because they are young as far as releasing albums as Autolux. I don't mean to slag their past experience in other bands.

I may be wrong in saying they are on Sony, but I've been lead to believe that DMZ has ties to Sony. Thus helping out a newer band get on tours with somebody like Secret Machines and the Raveonettes, thus helping the word spread.

Following the trail of hype has nothing to do with whether someone has heard the music or not. I use Autolux as an example because they are getting the same talk so many bands have received before. People love to talk about bands with seemingly unlimited potential yet oftentimes these are the people that later slag the band when they are disappointed in future releases.

Listening to music is such an incredibly personal experience. I'm fascinated by how passionate people get when music is talked about in a public forum (this back-and-forth is no different).

HappySam said...

don't belive the hype