Friday, July 15, 2005

Black Lipstick...

Sometimes you just need a little dirty rock in your life. Sometimes that need is filled by a band like Daimond Nightsbut other times it needs to be a bit more unkempt. You know, a little sloppy, ragged. unhinged, more Velvet Underground than Van Halen, more Sticky Fingers than Pet Sounds. Lately that particular bill has been filled by Sincerely, Black Lipstick by Black Lipstick. Both the VU reference and the Stones reference are apt starting places for these guys. But I can also hear REM (they probably wouldn't admit it) and the driving drone pop overtones of Luna. There's also a nice boy-girl vocal interplay on some of the songs that has a charming kind of we-can't sing-great-but-here-we-go-anyway attitude.

From Sincerely, Black Lipstick

Grandma Airplane

Also check out this excellent review over at Coke Machine Glow. It's not the review of the music as much as the discussion of the current nature of music consumption that's so striking. I've been feeling this for awhile, the tendecy to consume music in large amounts due to availability but never falling deeply in love with any of it because it feels like we need to rush on to the next thing. I guess it's self critical to a certain degree since I do write a music blog, music reviews, band interviews, etc. I do miss that feeling I had when I was young of sitting down in my room with a record (let's say The Specials The Specials) and deveouring it, playing it over and over, reading the lyrics, being %100 committed to the idea of it. I suppose part of that had to do with money being hard to come by thus making purchases much more important, but a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was hard to find out about bands so when you found one you latched on like a pitbull. Is music, particularly "alternative" and "indie-rock", turning into an episode of Short Attention Span Theater? There's lots of quality music out there and that shouldn't be a problem, it should be as blessing. But perhaps the total unfettered access to it ends of being detrimental. Than there's the whole issue of trophy records. Albums that are purchased based on buzz but are never loved or listened to with extended admiration. Instead they're name dropped into conversations as if they were celebrity sightings, worn like badges of hipness but not loved or deeply appreciated. I try to be engaged with the music I post here at Bars & Guitars but sometimes I'm guilty of playing this game or worse propagating it. So I may slow down my posts a little. I've always shot for 5 a week, but maybe 3 updates a week would allow me to better present the music to you good reader. Just something to think about. We'll see. I'm not going back and proofreading all that spittle so please forgive the typos.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, do I identify with what you're saying. Of course, lots of people do. I often think with nostalgia of the days when I was young and poor and every new vinyl record album I bought would be pored over and listened to obsessively.

Now I'm in mid-forties and pride myself on keeping up with music, as so many of my contemporaries do not, but with 8500+ songs on my iPod, and some 85 mp3 blogs I look at more or less daily, I'm constantly cycling through music--music that pleases me enormously--without really ASSIMILATING it into my mental landscape. Something has to be enormously big and obvious to break through that and get me to listen over and over--like "Naa naa naa" by The Kaiser Chiefs, such a memorable song, or "Nervous Tick Motion" by Andrew Bird. And the CDs I buy--many of bands I first hear via blogs--end up being underplayed--underappreciated. There IS too much music. Even listening to it almost all day during the work-week, I just don't get anything like the experience I had as a college student when access to music was less instantaneous, and dare I say it, throw-away.

These habits, though, are VERY hard to change once you get going ....


12:54 PM  
Blogger Diana Senechal said...

Excellent points in both the Coke Machine Glow review and your blog entry. Of course they make me question myself a lot. I tend to listen to my favorites over and over, but don't even have enough time for that. I also fall into the trap of trying to "catch up."

And I do get the feeling that a lot of the music out there may be really good, even amazing in some ways, but is made for this rush, and won't last as soulmate music once all the raving's over.

That review sure did make me want to check out "Our Thickness," I must say...

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I try to assimilate as much as possible but the truth is I find myself drawn to just a few records: Picaresque, Illinois, Black Sheep Boy, Aw Come Aw Wry take up %95 of my listening time. Everything else gets scraps but I still write about them, try to "get" them, and yet I purchase, request and download knowing I have no chance of really "catching" up. ever.

Bars & Guitars

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is that our society has become disposable, from pop music to television. We lose sight of the fact that just ten years ago, cds were new, tapes were king and everything great was still pressed in wax. I left the US for six years and lived in a small village in Africa, and during that time everything from literature to music had to be substantial, important and meaningful. It was a time of great change, the invention of the iPod, mp3s and huge hard drives. So I was left with the classics, about 50 cds that I could listen to for years without ever tiring of them. I appreciate what you do and I've found some great bands through this and other blogs, but I still listen to those 50 cds every chance I get. I'm in my mid-thirties, grew up on bands like the Pixies, New Order and The Police. And I still listen to them, well not the Police, but the Pixies and New Order. But aside from those 50 bands I had in the Peace Corps, I can't say that I give most of them the time they deserve. Because I don't think most of these bands are making disposable music, I think that they aspire to greatness from a love of music that we all had as kids, listening to the warm scratchy sounds on our parents hi-fis. What is the next new thing? Hopefully it is a return to our roots, for me that is Uncle Tupelo, The Wedding Present, The Replacements and all the other bands I bought in College and High School. Maybe we spend too much time searching and not enough time listening.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess one of the main criticisms (or perhaps merely questions if more appropriate) of what i do both as someone who writes a music blog and writes for various on line music sites is simply that it feels near impossible to make a meaningful connections with a lot of the music I write about. That may be more my fault than anything else, but it's also a saturation problem. Internet distribution, music blogs, a proliferationn of on line music sites all make it very easy to get a decent band some word of mouth. Couple that with the major labels general lack of artist development, constant prosecution of downloaders and the tendency to off the back with any given trend or sound instead of creating it and you've got this fertile music under ground churning out mp3 after mp3. This is good and bad. Good because there's lots of quality out there. Bad because there's too much to process. I suppose I should find a great satisfaction in finding bands that make it into my (as the above commentator said) top 50 list. But I almost feel like there are another 50 slipping through my fingers, undeservedly ignored. Who knows, I may just be thinking about it too much. I think my greatest danger is writing about bands too quickly, labeling them great before they've sunk in and then feeling regretful later.

Bars & Guitars

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black lipstick is really bright, but I prefer classic red lipstick!

4:10 AM  

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