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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

That's What (Music-Related Write-Ups) Often Do

Despite reading books that aren't on music (ie, Stephen King's Cell) and watching DVDs that aren't centered around bands (Twin Peaks, The Fog), as well as beginning another full edit of the Post manuscript, I've been very active with reading articles and watching documentaries on bands. I might be wrong, but it's been a little more than usual. As a result, I've been going bonkers wanting to hear more music by these bands.

I have to give full credit to Decibel's cover story on the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan for this recent surge. Dissecting the last few years of the band into a coherent and non-tabloid-ish affair, I felt compelled to dig out my copy of their '04 barnburner, Miss Machine. With their next album Ire Works dropping next week, I'm pumped. But why get all excited about a band when I read about bands all the time? I say it's in the way the story is told.

In the case of the Dillinger article, how Kevin Stewart-Panko details the band's parting with original drummer Chris Pennie from the horses' mouths . . . and not in black-and-white, simple ways. Pennie and his ex-bandmates explain what all went down, as well as the making of Ire Works. All in all, it's not some write-up about a metal band where the struggles of making their "heaviest record to date" is whittled down into three paragraphs or less. For an exceptional band like Dillinger, nothing less would do them justice.

The same can be said with what I've seen from the forthcoming book, Burning Fight. From the chapters I've read, Brian's done a very thorough job of explaining many sides of hardcore in general. From the political debates, various scenes and band member relations, he really left no stone unturned. And it's really made me want to check out a lot of the highlighted bands' records.

Couple that with a recent viewing of the Thursday documentary, Kill the Houselights, re-reading AP's oral history of Botch and reading Ryan's exhaustive, un-edited oral history on Coalesce, and I'm realizing something. For me, chances are very good that if a) I've heard about a band a number of times over the years b) read a long, well-done article, and c) have heard a sampling, liked what I heard, but have not heard more, I will probably go nuts wanting to hear more from a band.

All along the way with writing Post, I've hoped some people would respond in similar ways to the bands I've featured. So far, I've encountered that response here and there. People who've never really heard Jawbreaker or Jawbox have a desire to hear Dear You or For Your Own Special Sweetheart after reading their chapters. The way I see it, if I can give back as a writer to the bands that inspired me, then I've done part of a good job. Of course, the other part is telling a truthful and honest portrayal. Maybe that's why it takes a long time to write stuff like this.

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