Skip to main content

Agony & Irony

Riddle me this: when a skateboarder gets his own custom made shoe, people consider that a sign that the skater has "made it." But when a pop-punk band has a custom made shoe, it's a pure sell-out, credibility-killer. Why is that?

The reason why I bring this up is because of this story. The gist: Alkaline Trio worked with Nike to create a custom made shoe. Why is this so troubling to certain fans of the band (and those who think being "honest" is leaving anonymous message board comments)? Maybe because many still think all things that look and sound like punk rock adheres to a strict code of ethics. And if that code is broken, there's hell to pay.

As somebody who never really got up in arms about a punk band signing with a major label (and still doesn't), I'm more puzzled by those who do get up in arms about stuff like this. Isn't this a band that plays music and we like this band because we like their music? Yeah, I know there's all sorts of sociological complications with a band getting popular, but at the end of the day, I ask myself, "do I still like this band's music?" More often than not, it's an answer of yes, whether or not I like the old stuff more than the new stuff.

In this case with the Trio, I can only offer my perspective as a fan of most of their material. I still think highly of the band's debut album, Goddamnit. Something about the playfulness, zest, and hooks on that record have always rung true for me. The band has plenty of other songs that I like, but I just don't follow them as closely as I used to.

In regards to the band working with Nike, this news doesn't make me want to spew hate about the band. The band worked with the company and created a shoe. If Nike created the shoe without the band's involvement, sure, I think that would suck. But does any of this stuff make or break my daily life? Absolutely not. I've got a book to edit, a job to work, a dog to walk, and a band to practice with for an upcoming show. Those are the more pressing matters in my life these days.

I'm not really interested in buying the Trio's shoe. I'm not saying I'm uninterested in order to make a stand against a band's merchandise. I just think the true jewel of a band is if their music can move me. But we all have to find something to complain about, right?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J