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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Just Don't Understand What All These Kids Dig About Him

I've been a little late to praise this, but it's better late than never. When I wrote Post between 2004 and 2008, I dealt with the mainstream's version of what post-hardcore/emo was. Articles, TV news reports, a decent documentary and a really off-base (and superficial) book tried to explain why teenagers liked Fall Out Boy and Dashboard Confessional. More often than not, I was discouraged by bands with an eye on a prize and journalists with deadlines to meet with very little time for research. So I spent a lot of time attempting to explain why a band like Jawbreaker still matters while Panic at the Disco had a ticking time bomb attached to their relevance.

During the research process, I had a subscription to Alternative Press and stayed in touch with some of its writers (writers I'm still in touch with today). While they did feature bands that weren't in the music business to have a Top 40 hit, a lot of the attention I saw was to bands that wanted that golden egg. That discouragement was a good motivator in terms of getting the project done. Eventually, I let my subscription end when I finished my book. I haven't felt the urge to subscribe again, mainly due to the understanding that I am clearly not their target demographic. I have no anger towards that; better to get young people who actually buy the magazine excited about bands that speak to them.

But for me, I held out hope that young bands would see through the nonsense of discussing Pete Wentz's dating life or different variations of black nail polish and find beauty in Sunny Day Real Estate's music or the importance of Dischord Records. Luckily, this has happened and has been around for a few years.

Thanks to friends of mine who have a voracious appetite for constantly hearing modern music, I have been introduced to great bands like Spraynard, Snowing, Dikembe, Dowsing, Everyone Everywhere, Grown Ups, Into It. Over It, and Iron Chic in the past two years. I have especially been impressed by the releases on the Count Your Lucky Stars label. These bands sound more like Cap'n Jazz, Braid, and American Football, with a label aesthetic more like Polyvinyl. (A good place to start with the label is with this free compilation of songs.)

These are bands that retain the heart and mind of being young, frustrated, and unsure. And the best part, this is music you can still listen to as you age. None of that, "Oh, I'm so embarrassed that I liked this band" shame here.

When I interviewed Evan Weiss from Into It. Over It last year, he put it best: "I think it was a lot of people getting tired of seeing bands that weren't authentic bands playing songs that really mattered to them. They were tired of being sold a product and just wanted to see a band get up there and be a band. You can only be fed bullshit for so long before you lose patience."

Boy, this is a great thing to see. Completely makes wading through years of muck worth it. 

1 comment:

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

That last line resonates a lot with me. I don't want the bullshit. I know it's cheesy but I want Something Corporate's Konstantine to reference Jimmy Eat World off the Clarity album because it mattered to someone at that moment they were writing. Not because the hook is going to get more listens.