Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Pump Up The Volume

So my home computer finally died a couple of weeks ago. As much as I'd like to blame this for my less than prolific posting of late, it's not exactly the case. Luckily, my mother was nice enough to lend me her laptop until I can scrape up enough cash to buy a new computer. (Thanks, mom!) After good deal of struggling with various technical difficulties, mainly trying to get the damn mic input to turn off the voice recognition software, I am able to present you with a new podcast. I bet Happy Harry Hard-On never had these problems, even when he was being chased by the FCC. Then again, I never had Samantha Mathis write me an anonymous mash note. Now that would have made it all worth it.

Download The Unblinking Ear Podcast
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dola said...

yoman work on that BV thread dude but i think this guy got it right:

Yeah, JAMC or, ten years later, the all but forgotten Lush.

The real object of ridicule here isn't the bands, they (though maybe not Dum Dum) are trying hard enough, it's the labels. Whether it's Subppp's sub-par grasping for the next "it" band, or Domino's almost embarrassingly obvious re-releasing of musicians' back catalogs that are now thought to be essential. I wish the whole thing wasn't so transparent and that there were more surprises coming from the bigger indies.

I saw them play Friday. Mr. Sniper plays good bass lines, and she's got a look and a nice voice, but between the fucking forever set-up (i guess now we know why) and the fairly forgettable songs it was more like a guarded event than avant garde. Do bands try for that anymore? Could they?

dola said...

fuck, 'yeoman.' here's a lesson kids, don't rely on phonetic spelling to get you through life.

PB said...

My mini-rant on Brooklyn Vegan to which Dola was referring is here:

It's funny. I didn't know Sniper was in Dum Dum Girls. I played the Mayfair Set record during this podcast. I was told it was members of Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls, by people who work a the dude's record store no less. Shows what I know. I guess I should visit the Terminal Boredom message board more often.

However, I do have to say that I think that dude's comment is pretty off the mark.

If Sub Pop's trying to find the next "it" band... well, that's sort of their job, isn't it? They're not some little vanity label, after all. I'm sure profitability is a major concern with whom the decide to sign, but that's capitalism for you. They've probably released more duds than classics over the years but they've also given a lot of worthy bands a chance at a wider audience, so you kind of have to tip your hat. Sure they could be a little less concerned about the bottom line but they could also be like Touch & Go, staring down the barrel of oblivion.

As far as Domino's reissue program goes, if Sebadoh III and Young Marble Giants are in print for future generations to hear, you'll get no complaints from me.

dola said...

Ha, no your sources are correct. The band I saw on Friday was in fact The Mayfair Set, which also features Mr. Dogs on bass guitar. From what I heard on Myspace, I do like The Dum Dum Girls songs a bit more but I was not there on Saturday. Maybe that says something about the interchagability of some of those bands, or the force of personality (and shades), or the fact that I was really high this weekend.

I can't fault Subpop for needing to pay the rent. I do think that because of the unique nature of their "commodity," that there really should be methodological distinctions between independent labels and the huge conglomerates, even if they are compelled by the same economic laws as any other sector. Signing a band after one show because of some internet/scenester buzz and the hot geographic location (is the art that compelling from 2000+ miles away?) is ironic considering the history of Subpop. I'm not saying it's as clumsy as Warner poaching grunge bands, but it's in the ballpark. Well the bigger ones like Citifield at least. You're right about the opportunities that they have provided to other, more 'organically' (ugh) grown bands over the years. I guess it's nickpicky and inconsequential.

To parahrase Clint Eastwood, when it comes to business, deserves ain't got nothin to do with it. Art is something different though. Part of it is about coming to grips with how the internet has changed music and its promotion. What am I looking for, little fiefdom cottage industries with exclusive rights to their own scenes? I dunno. Is that the world we live in? No, nor should it only be, I guess.

And ultimately, yeah, if you don't like it don't listen. Thanks for allowing me to ramble/formulate my own thoughts on this PB!

p.s. You'll be amused to hear that Psych Horseshit sucked ass for now the second time in a row after a great set earlier in the year opening for Kurt Vile. The singer even appeared sober this time as opposed to last. It seems like he's really taking his snotty provocateur thing into high gear and forgetting that (yes) they have good songs to play. From now on i'll stick to the albums.

Anonymous said...

yeah turd burglar, your rant is pretty pathetic. your whole argument is that everyone is jealous?!? WRONG. everyone HATES on all the stupid bands out there... i'd wager that less than half the people on BV are in bands or want to sign to sub pop or any other label. brand new bands with record deals based solely on the questionable star power of some other brand new indie turds... NO ONE IS JEALOUS, DICK FOR BRAINS.

try using the anonymous feature next time, nutsucker.

PB said...

Dola- I get your point and I'm happy to have you share you ideas on my tiny rest stop on the information super highway. It is perhaps nitpicky and inconsequential but at least it offers exegesis, which is a lot more than one can say for most of the BV commenters. If you'd care to check my latest comment on the subject, it's here:

Dare I say that it's steered the conversation toward intelligent discourse? That's probably an exaggeration.

One more point before I move on: singing a band on the basis of a single show is not all that uncommon. I saw Chavez open up a Matador showcase at the New Music Seminar back in 94. It was supposedly their second show, which leads me to believe they were inked after their first, or perhaps even before their first. Bands can, and sometimes do, record a lot of demo material before gigging out. Said material may just happen to impress some label folks mightily. I'd say the Chavez thing worked out pretty well for Matador.

As for you, my anonymous friend, my whole argument was not that everyone is jealous. To understand that, you would have to read and absorb the ideas of others, which is clearly beyond your grasp. I didn't use the anonymous feature because when I put forth the effort to share my ideas, I like to get credit for them. Since your ideas are on the level of junior high locker room graffiti, I can understand why you'd rather remain nameless.