Tag Archives: Built to Spill

Art of The Anti-Song

I love songs which reference either themselves or other songs. In jazz I think it’s called ‘quoting’. It can be fun and effective but one does run the risk of being cheesy. I haven’t tried it yet in my own songwriting. I recently came upon a song from a band called Denim which inspired this post. I had never heard of them. The track I found “Middle of The Road” was released in 1993. Pure pop catchiness but with ethos of punk in that our narrator begins with “I hate the Stones and I hate blues, Eddie Cochran and blue suede shoes, I hate the King, I hate Chuck Berry, I hate Hooker, I hate Leadbelly, alright” He goes on to list types of music he dislikes, drugs and all of the things which accompany the typical rock-n-roll trope. It works (for me) in this day and age of folks who profess to not care much about lyrics. Dig this:

The indie rock band Built to Spill made a song of quoting (lyrically) many rock songs which proceeded them. Plus I just love the opening line “You were wrong when you said everything’s going to be alright”.

The Replacements ‘I Hate Music’ is a perfectly joyous contradiction. Bob Stinson’s blistering playing is sorely missed.

Many folks feel as though music should be either a.) uplifting OR b.) dance-able with not too much to think about (aww c’mon more thinking? do I have to?) cutting out whole swaths of our collective human experience. Yes we get furious and yes we get sad and thankfully there are still artists who give voice to that.
Thanks, as always, for reading/listening!

Next up:
Goodbye Blue Monday, 1087 Broadway, Bklyn NYC Friday, January 10th
Philip Lynch 8PM
Cameramen 9PM
The Rotary Club 10PM
Combat Jazz 11PM


Power of The Crowd

On my birthday, a couple of weeks ago, I went to hear Built To Spill play (I try to go every time they’re here in NYC). Generally I’m not fond of crowds…I know, I know then why do you live in NYC? Well the museums, the theatre, the music, the parks, the all night everything, and the extraordinary people. Crowds, though, remind me of majority rule, how strong one voice has to be to break the walls of idiocy, and unquestioning compliance. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good, ethical, thought-out or right. I digress…the show was sold out. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of kids there….a new generation has discovered this excellent band from the 90’s! Good for them. Slam Dunk, a band from Victoria BC, opened the show followed by The Warm Hair. Slam Dunk was fun excellent pop-punk stuff. The Warm Hair was either an ill-conceived novelty act playing on stereo-typical rocker tropes or just really not very good. For The Warm Hairs rock posing and posturing, tough guy shirtlessness, and audience provocation…they had NO searing solos! (A prerequisite for rock, real or invented, to fly). The line-up actually made me wonder whether Built to Spill put the weaker act on before they went on for an even more impressive show by contrast. In any event, Irving Plaza filled up by the time Doug Martsch and company were set to take the stage, not a comfortable moment for those of us who treasure immediate personal space as most new yorkers do. We especially recognize personal space as a commodity whether it’s a seat on the subway or a nice apartment….a better price usually trumps space though. All of that said, there were at least 3 or 4 songs where the crowd joined in! We knew all the lyrics! We were gathered in the same spot for the common joy of reveling in these awesome songs! It didn’t make me like the people I was surrounded by any more than before but I certainly garnered a feeling of community which used to be the norm at shows I attended years ago.

Here’s an excellent review, setlist and photos of the show: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2013/11/built_to_spill_25.html

Here’s a piece on introverts (which oddly enough I think may be): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html

P.S. Next Appearing: Philip Lynch w/ Ben Kraus (on bass) Saturday November 30th, 2013 @ 7PM The Way Station 683 Washington Ave. Brooklyn, NYC