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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Save Heebie-Jeebies

Despite my annoyance with errors and misspellings, I, like everyone else, am prone to these mistakes. No matter how many times I go over something, chances are good that I'll find a typo or a missing word later. In the case of band biographies, matters of truth are always twisted around. However, whenever I come across an article that is so wrong, I'm reminded of why I write in the first place.

A few weeks ago, Kyle forwarded me an article that Scott over at AP found here. This write-up on Lifetime is mostly correct, except for one huge glaring error:

New Jersey had yet another music arrangement called Hellfest in 2005. Lifetime was asked to reunite and play for a charity event for the save heebie-jeebies foundation. Heebie-Jeebies had been a club that Dave and the band mates grew up playing, so naturally they agreed and were feeling confident about the whole ordeal.


Heebie-Jeebies? It's one thing to mistake New York's legendary bar CBGB's as See-Bee-Gee-Bees, but come on. If the Onion changed their AV Club section to all humor, this write-up should be considered. Seeing this stuff reminds me of why people got into playing music, just like how I got into writing.

In the documentaries I've seen and books I've read, the simplicity of punk rock inspired so many people to pick up guitars and start bands. Seeing how playing barre chords and keeping a steady beat was enough to play, no wonder so many people latched onto punk. As somebody who was into Led Zeppelin and Metallica when I got interested in playing drums and guitar, I figured that I'd need to take lessons to play that stuff. Though I taught myself how to play sloppy drum solos, play on a double-bass pedal and play basic rhythm guitar, punk rock later showed me that the excess was not necessary. In other words, punk rock was not my inspiration to pick up and play. Yet the general idea behind punk rock and do-it-yourself was the key to doing what I'm doing now.

I've made no secret here that I don't like Andy Greenwald's Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo. All of my attempts to read the book have resulted in anger and the thought of "I can do better than this." Maybe that's a sign of a huge ego, but trying to read something that is an outsider view thinly masquerading as an insider view is insulting to me. Granted, other writers I know have been following post-hardcore closer and longer than I have, but I think I should at least throw in my two cents. That's the beauty of sharing all of our views; we're all coming from different angles.

I recently ordered Clark Humphrey's LOSER: The Real Seattle Music Story via Amazon. Looking at the consumer reviews at the bottom of the page, a certain review from "A reader" really popped out to me:

While there is plenty of interesting info on many Seattle bands, this book does NOT accurately document the real Seattle music scene. As an active full-time musician in the Seattle-area music scene for over 20 years, this book tends to reflect the attitude of the ROCKET magazine, a now defunct Seattle-area music periodical, which selectively covered only a tiny fraction which turned out to be more-or-less favorite bands of the staff. I would NOT recommend this book if you are interested what actually went on in the Seattle music scene.


If LOSER does not accurately document the Seattle-area music scene to this guy, then what's holding him back from writing his own book? I argue that if something bothers you so much, you should try and do something about it. In the case of writing a book, anyone can write one, so what's the stumbling block? There are plenty, but I cannot stress how emotionally fulfilling writing and researching has been for me. Whatever gripes I've expressed are greatly dwarfed by the pleasure of just doing this.

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