Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Not You. It's Me - And It's Also You

Notice something? Yeah things about dried up here at the Sonic Parthenon shop. Per the economy, the staff has been mostly let go - little Timmy was the last intern and this old hack misses that kid's never-give-up attitude, especially when he had to fetch my coffee (there was never enough cream in it). Now only Doris is left to answer the phones while I try to figure out this Telex machine. Heck, we even lost the domain name to a Propecia ad (It's now but what does that matter? If you ain't usin' Google for all your clicking link needs, you're an older fogey than I am).

Alright so it wasn't entirely because ticket prices are too high in a time of savings and austerity (and I don't fault some of these price makers - they have to eat too) that has caused the well to run almost entirely dry this year. It's me.

The whole New-York-Rock-Socialite-Taste-Maker movement didn't pan out as it looked like it could have in 2007 and 2008. That life did not have enough of a return (again, a fella's gotta eat). And things being how they are, the day life involves not just a job but a job that takes a lot out of me. The energy is drained by the punch-out. Also there's a girlfriend and friends (and watching the entirety of Battlestar Galactica in a matter of weeks) but you don't need to know about all that. I have a mystique as a solitary type - punching away on a whiskey-soaked Smith-Corona - to uphold!

But also - it's you. YOU - New York Rock Scene and Music in General. I've listened to a ton of singles as usual this year but it's almost entirely from podcasts - public radio songs of the day. Not from word of mouth. Not from the alt-music media. Only these daily stabs in the dark that come lazily to me. And none of these tracks have truly led me to discover new bands to champion beyond that one song.

Where are the collectives and artists' dens? I hate to put it so crassly or with such shallow wanton need for feeling hip but where are the damn scenes?! Don't make me long for expired bulk from 3 years ago and 5 years ago and 10 years ago. Chillwave? What the fuck is chillwave? I like Wavves' "King of the Beach" but that's as close as it's gonna get. I even liked that boyfriend song by Best Coast but I knew what would happen if I went to the overpriced show: I'd be surrounded by spaced-out zombies dressed in Sally Jessy Raphael glasses (lenses optional) and lederhosen.

Bushwick? No.

Why do all the bands on Brooklyn Vegan or Pitchfork or Stereogum all have beards and plaid shirts with the sleeves pulled up? Or oversized shades? Why are there so many 80's techno beats? Why is it taking the Pains of Being Pure at Heart so long to put out the second LP? Why did the Airborne Toxic Event go on a tour with a classical quartet before ever putting out another record? IS there another record?

Also this whole Twitter business. It seems to be the dominant form of communication these days (more so than Facebook) but it does no favors for music and getting music out there. Do bands use MySpace anymore? Their own websites?

Sure, you could say it's me. That I had my fun in the early 2000's with the garage scenes and some of the singer-songwriters. That my shallow, retro fun came in the form of the Darkness and Electric Six and old timey roots acts. That I just couldn't keep pace when things began to change, as they inevitably would, and I would tire of whatever had replaced what I was into as being the most cited, most shared among the Indie music media.

You could also say its me because what I got into after the scenesterism was a response to my own life. I've been harping on the same bands for a couple years now - bands helmed by grown-ups, singing introspective songs. I haven't been with the hipsterati scene because I've just moved on and maybe - maybe - grew up.

Nah. That's not it. You guys just suck now. Stop it.

OK wait - so it's both of us. We have to come to some sort of compromise or we'll walk away from each other and regret it for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, there's a solution:

Hear me tomorrow night at 7PM when I once again join DJ Rez on his rock n roll radio show at We'll share, we'll love, we'll laugh - we'll learn from each other and from ourselves. You'll hear the sounds of bands of large, abandoned Midwestern cities and of vibrant, soul-inspiring acts from either side of the continent. There will most likely be some visits from across both ponds, the great barons of Punk, New Wave, and Glam. And we'll bring it all back home with some sounds from the great American songwriters - the drunkards, the lonelyhearts, the bastards of young.

This may be our last chance, Scene. Get yourself out of your latest hoola-hooping fake sport activity of the week and get back together with me before I totally ensconce myself in those new Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Nick Cave records and leave you and your eternal, texting-like-there's-no-tomorrow, youth behind once and for all.

Lights out.

P.S: I have never liked Sufjan Stevens. Ever.

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