I knew going into a screening of Kill Your Idols last night that a certain percentage of the film would consist of back-biting comments. Still, I wanted to see it in hopes I could get something out of it. I couldn't have foreseen being so annoyed with certain aspects of the film that I would go home and spend four hours working on my book's prologue. It's not like Kill Your Idols is a bad film; I just find non-stop complaining with little acknowledgement of hope very frustrating.
Kill Your Idols' 75-minute runtime is split between showcasing New York's original no wave scene and a handful of modern bands that come from its influence. People like Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Lydia Lunch and Alan Vega are interviewed as well as members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars and A.R.E. Weapons. Basic backgrounds on the forefathers were nicely done, but when it came to what some of its forefathers think about today's crop of bands, I became very agitated.
Why the agitation? Instead of discussing the positives and negatives of a scene becoming more mainstream, the constant negatives give this a grim view of today and tomorrow. Yeah, there's plenty to complain about, but this stuff is going to continue to develop whether the people like it or not. Plus, I find this odd coming from people who really had to search and dig for this world back in the day. What's holding them back from searching for something modern that is inspiring to them? Have they just given up?
For me, I gotta look back at what I complain about. I take many mall emo bands to task on here, but there are plenty of modern bands in that post-hardcore vein who blow my mind. It's easy to read some puff-piece on Panic! At the Disco or Fall Out Boy and become annoyed. But I gotta wonder what's so hard about getting into records by Cursive or the pAper chAse? This is a continuous search and it shouldn't stop. Kill Your Idols reminded me of that.