A few months back I wrote a post deriding the awful, awful names of a bunch of blog buzz bands. (Alliteration!) I recently had a inclination to do it once again and had been compiling a list of the more aesthetically offensive monikers gleaned from the various mass e-mails I get from publicists. However, I had an attack of ethics, reasoning that these were all relatively unknown bands just trying to get a little recognition. There must be much more deserving targets for my ridicule. Maybe Jamie Kennedy's Heckler affected me more than I realized. I want to be a creator like George Lucas, not a destroyer like all those guys who correctly state that George Lucas hasn't made a good film in the past 30 years.
This weekend I ran into Pop Tarts Suck Toasted's Pat Duffy and told him of my aborted idea. He told me (I'm paraphrasing) "All these bands have PR behind them so it's okay to trash them." So if anyone has any problems with anything I've written below, I'd encourage you to head on over to PTST and take it up with Pat. (His blog also includes MP3s of most of these tracks if you actually want to give these songs a listen.)
Deer Tick "Long Time"
Not technically a bad name but points get deducted for adding further confusion to the marketplace with another "Deer" band. (See Deerhunter, Deerhoof.) Sometimes I wonder if these bands just get popular due to misplaced name recognition. People hear "Oh that Deer-something band is supposed to be good" and check out the wrong group but decide they like it anyway because that's what's hip. Crystal Stilts, Crystal Castles, Crystal Antlers... I dunno but one of them got "Best New Music."
I'm aware that's a pretty cynical point of view but keep mind I live in a place that elected a guy named Molinaro directly after a guy named Molinari.
But I digress... the track itself is inoffensive NPR-indie with some country affectations. If that description captures your interest you should probably be reading another blog.
Radical Sons "I'm So Sick of the 21st Century"
I concur with the sentiment of the title but from the sounds of it these guys actually never heard a band who made a record before 2001. I would almost swear that I saw this band play Luna Lounge hoping to take the same career path as the Strokes or the Walkmen. Is that retro already?
Phil and the Osophers "High Art"
Oof. With a name like this, I'd expect these guys to be playing pre-grunge modern rock covers to drunken Rutgers students at some club on the Jersey shore. Do you guys know any Dramarama? What's Matt Pinfield like in real life? Surprisingly, this song aint that bad: minimal, clean and catchy with some garage accents that don't evoke mere 60s revivalism. Give it a listen if your physician recommends three and half minutes of moderate head bopping a day.
Sunset Rubdown "Idiot Heart"
Pretty decent facsimile of the more commercial branch of early 80s post-punk. If you told me this was a lost Grauzone track I'd probably believe you. I guess that's a compliment.
Previously on Lost "Be My Constant"
A bad name yes, though when I was making notes for bands to include in the piece I had no idea they were actually writing songs about Lost episodes. I don't know if that makes it better or worse. I like Lost as much as anybody but nothing about this homemade demi-prog gave me a deeper appreciation of Desmond and Penny's relationship. Plus, now I can't do my long promised surf band tribute to Jim Starlin's run on Warlock without it seeming like a opportunistic knockoff.
Genghis Tron "Blow Back"
There were a couple of dudes from my old college radio station were really into metal (usually served black) and gabber techno. I'm pretty sure they would find this totally weak and deride the band with some kind of homophobic slur. I don't condone that sort of intolerance but, in this case, I can't really argue.
Screaming Females "Starving Dog"
I bet these guys like Primus. That's all.