Wednesday, March 18, 2009

today, I'm breaking my rule and writing about punk rock. soak it up, dlidos

Man, music is in the most fucked up state of disrepair these days. Yesterday I wrote about a pretty horrendous band that had, until now, drifted by under my radar. Without really getting into details (you can just scroll down and read “Let’s Get Freaky Now” if you want those) let’s just say that I was shaken to the very core of my being. It raised a lot of questions: When did I become completely unable to stomach what’s passing as cool these days? Is this real? And finally, and most pressingly “what the fuck, man? Really?”
I’ve figured a few things out during my night of soul searching and I’ve come to the following conclusions:
Brokencyde (the band in question, who play screamo influenced crunk music [sic]) one must presume, is either A) serious or B) Joking. People usually ask this question immediately upon hearing this band…But I’ve determined that it is irrelevant and here’s why:
If they are, in fact, A) serious, then they’re a dreadful sounding band and if they’re B) joking, they’re not funny. SO, regardless of their intended criteria, they’re blowing it. BUT, I didn’t really want to go on a second rant about some dumb group of dickweeds. I only bring these guys up because it seems to me that they’re pretty popular, right? I mean they have 178 thousand myspace friends…but they’ve slipped completely under my radar. Why? I know that people around me like, no, that’s wrong, LOVE to shit talk bands that they think of as crappy who get popular. AND, this band, being SOOOO crappy, and SOOOO popular, you’d think would have made someone pissed enough that they’d go off on one of their stupid rants in my earshot, right? I mean, I can’t wipe my ass without someone telling me how much of a travesty it is that Against Me! or the Gaslight Anthem is huge, and those dudes are my friends! People in the ‘punk rock internet’ (don’t laugh too hard, asshole, you’re on it RIGHT now, so sit down with the rest of us and accept your lameness) sit around and bitch and moan and complain about cool bands getting popular all day long and just let this kind of bullshit slide by like it’s totally fine.
I’d like to posit that this has a great deal to do with what’s wrong in the world in general.
I remember when From First To Last (a terrible, worthless band) was blowing up rather quickly, all the punk rockers could talk about was how crappy they thought the newest Alkaline Trio record was. I know that disappointment registers pretty hard when you love something, but there’s NO WAY IN HELL that anyone is gonna tell me that Crimson is a bigger travesty than the meteoric rise of some craphole zombie emo boy band. (Crimson, by the way is probably my favorite record by the trio, just sayin). Yet that’s where all the vitriol goes.
Now, people are getting so hot and bothered about the Gaslight Anthem like they did last year about Against Me and they’re absolutely furious…DUDE, THERE ARE WAAAAAAY worse things out there. There are way worse things playing the SAME clubs the SAME festivals you go to, poaching the SAME subculture and making it WAY more unbearable than some band that you used to like but then decided not to like based on some unquantifiable abstraction.
Look, I’m not suggesting that you have to like Against Me! or Gaslight Anthem, but is it really worth getting worked up about? I mean, it’s GREAT to hear that kind of shit on the radio, and see them sell out clubs, isn’t it? Isn’t it cool to see a band that’s at least SORT OF doing what you like do well? Isn’t that cool?
No.
And here’s why—Because all of us got into punk rock, underground music for the thrill of the hunt, and once someone lame knows about what you’re into, it becomes cheap…You’ve no longer uncovered a great unknown band that you can deride some dildo for not being cool enough to have found for himself, you’re now sharing a love for something with said dildo. And that’s downright unpalatable. It makes YOU lame by association. SO, you decide to hate the band. OR, and this is a big OR, let’s say you’re bigger than that (not likely), and you only want success for your favorite bands…you just think Gaslight Anthem sucks…Here’s what your problem is: Suddenly, the people, the idiots, have come so close, so PAINFULLY close to embracing something that’s actually cool, and then they stop RIGHT on the precipice. DUDE! You would like to scream, IF YOU LIKE AGAINST ME! YOU’LL LOVE HOT WATER MUSIC!!!!! But no one cares. They want against me. And it burns you up inside, again. They’ve traveled to your cove of bands and then stopped at the one that’s being offered that moment. Nope, the success of the Gaslight Anthem is NOT gonna trickle down to the Cobra Skulls or the Menzingers or Dead to Me. SO, what is there to do but hate on the whole stupid, shitty process…It’s when people come close to doing something right and don’t go all the way that it’s the most annoying, right? That’s your problem? Look, man. I’d rather see a billion Against Me’s and Gaslight Anthems and Hold Steadys and whatever band is this year’s hold steady/against me/gaslight anthem (because there will be one this year, just you wait) get on the radio and get huge than one more fucking Brokencyde, and if you disagree, well my friend, maybe it’s YOU who’s actually broke inside.
Woooh! Going out with a clever, yet gravitas weighted pun is a pretty important and powerful move in oratory (this is, of course written to be delivered to a crowd of self important, preening assholes), but I’d rather go with the post modern analysis of what just happened and then, before the self congratulatory, didactic final paragraph ends, mid- sentence I’ll just

40 comments:

FAskies said...

Yah, too many punk rock egos that hate bands after they get big. I really dont see the point. I still love Alkaline Trio, and I doubt my opinion will change of them, no matter how popular they get. I have still yet to meet people in real life who have a remote sense of musical taste than mine though. Most people look at my iPod and only recognize Alkaline Trio and it's usually some kid who listens to bands like Brokencyde and thinks their so underground. But all these kids who claim to be "underground" only listen to stuff that gained its fame through myspace. They look past bands like The Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music, Latterman, etc. It only really pisses me off when a) People tell me I should be hanging out with those kinds of people cause we similar music taste and b) when they try to impress me by naming as many songs from [list unknown punk band here] but not knowing any lyrics or albums...

myassisapipebomb said...

bums me out when people talk shit on Fat Mike. he's a pretty cool dude still and nofx's last record was awesome, not kidding.

Mark said...

Thank you so much for saying exactly what I feel.

Wayne Michael said...

your going to blow up this year. its already started. I was listening to the sports radio station 670 am and I heard them play you guys. They chopped up boatless booze cruise and used it for the intro and outro music to a segment. Your popularity is going to soar now, especially with middle aged to old white guys. Don't be surprised if a bunch of dudes sporting mustaches and zubas pants start showing up at your shows.

Ryan said...

haha brilliant. One of me fave of yours Brenderino.

stoopidcomix said...

I feel the same way when people rip on Houseboy.

Matt Ramone said...

When one runs out of things to say, maybe they should

aka Candleja-

Andrew said...

i still like alkaline trio and gaslight anthem. i just don't like crimson or the '59 sound. what's wrong with that?

kylewagoner said...

Thank fucking christ for you, though you're the closest thing I have to a christ (as your blog is the only thing written that I give any literary merit to). The kids on punknews.org are awful for this shit. Both the ones that bitch about the new Propagandhi album AND the ones who are posting the tracklisting to the new Punk Goes Pop as "punk news." The punk kids are only destroying themselves and it's sad. And yeah, I fucking love the shit out of Alkaline Trio AND Toys That Kill AND Propagandhi AND I like both old and new material from all of those bands and I don't have to be an alien to truthfully admit that. The point being, it's good music and I enjoy listening to it and it's not bull shit. Whatever. I've got to go to the guidance office.

love,
Kyle

planespotting said...

Echoing Wayne Michael's comments, I also heard 670 The Score play boatless booze cruise's opening guitar progression as the lead in from a commercial break.

I also heard them play Alkaline Trio's "You've got so far to go" one other time.

One of their producers is probably a fan of shitty Chicago punk rock or something.

whosharted? said...

dont know man, I think the trickle down theory in punk rock depends a lot on the persons age. A twenty something who hears the Gaslight Anthem or Trio on the radio for the first time probably doesn't care too much about music and just wants something to rock out to on their way home from their accounting job. The bigger bands can open up the lives and ears of the younger kids.

Fuck, if Green Day and the Offspring hadn't blown up back when I was in middle school I probably never would have dug deeper and discovered bands like Op Ivy, Minor Threat, Bad Religion, etc which lead to discovering local shit like Oblivion, Slapstick, Hoboken, and Crudos.

Some people "get it" and some people dont. It's not really all that important in the long run. Hell, I'll take a Johnny Cash or Hank Williams record over a NO FX or Screeching Weasel record every time.

Nina said...

I think there's a difference between something you like getting famous and/or changing to become something you don't like so much, and something you'd clearly always despise getting famous. The latter doesn't matter really, no one worth a shit cares. But the former really blows. I think that's why no one cares about chiodos or brokencyde, it's the same reason no one cares about toby keith, it never meant anything.

that being said, i love am! and gaslight

Alex said...

It does suck when you can't see your favorite band in your hometown because you thought for months "Nah dude, they won't sell out. I barely know anyone who likes these guys", and then Q101 plays their single 7 times a day, and all of a sudden, you're driving to some shithole like Cleveland to see them. It's not their fault, and I'm happy that they're getting recognized for being a great band, but I hate Cleveland.

Alex said...

PS- It's not still St. Patrick's Day, but I have a hangover from said holiday, so I find it funny my word verification was "Micks".

Looks like Blogger's on your side.

johnny B said...

there's a point where a punk band realizes they have the choice between selling out and selling groceries. these bands have families to provide for now and children to feed. their trying to at least make money off of something that they love to do. imagine traveling the world, in order to do something that you like to do for fun...and then get paid for it. you'd have to be an idiot to have it any other way. a lot of it has to do with how the band sells out. you can tell that tom gabel wanted to keep his old fans that he was worried about losing. he kept concert tickets and merch relatively at the same price, and still puts his heart and soul into every lyric he writes.

AJ (Blame the City!) said...

Everytime you say something awesome like this and I agree (which is a lot), I try and comment you only to get shut down by the website running me in circles and generally being shitty...but that's not the point. The point is that you hit the nail on the head here. Who gives a fuck if The Gaslight Anthem sells a million fucking records? They should, because the music is great. And if some douchebag tells me they really like Against Me!, and have only heard "Thrash Unreal and Stop", well then they look like an idiot, not me. I can still put on "As The Eternal Cowboy" and enjoy the fuck out of it. Anyway, you've already said it better than I'm going to be able to in this comment, but I just wanted to say thanks for seeming like the smartest dude on the planet who regularly uses the word dildo.

Robb said...

You like those Cobra Skulls, eh? Me too. They may as well be crack. God, I'll take them over your pal Gabel and co. any day. But don't hold it against me. Ohh, me..

They plan to uphold the tradition of integrating 'cobra' into all song titles, I trust? This is imperative.

Avery said...

You nailed it. People just need to set aside their egos for a second. And the best part about it is all these people talking shit about how [insert band name] hasn't put out a decent album since their first one dropped, yet are so stoked at all the shows and know EVERY lyric.

1TTH said...

You have just put down my thoughts better than I could have ever done.

I also have another reason to hope that bands I love (Gaslight Anthem/TLA etc) get "big". I live in New Zealand so if a band doesn have some decent following the chances are they will never come to NZ.

1TTH said...

PS - as for the above comment about Fat Mike, I personally think the guy is a douche bag who has flipped more than a few times on his punk rock morals.

And the few times I hacve seen NOFX, and once met him, he was a ranting, self righteous tool.

PPS - did anyone else thinkg of the song "Know It All" by Lagwagon whilst reading this post?

Jon said...

Oh my god Brandon you're so smart and you said everything I wanted to I can't believe it its a miracle I love you forever wow.

Wayne Michael said...

didn't against me tour with the foo fighters though? Well i guess its better than touring with nickelback, barely. If that was the only tour they did then that would suck, but I saw them earlier that year with the above mentioned and awesome cobra skulls at the hob show. That show was awesome and weird as hell, with that world friendship society thing and that fat white rapper who took his pants off. What the fuck was up with that guy?? Ok, so back to my point, they still did the smaller tours with good bands instead of forcing their fans into having to pay foo fighter bank to see that stadium tour if they wanted to see them at all that year.

Robb said...

Are you thinking of Har Mar Superstar, Wayne? Stripping down is his 'trademark'.

Wayne Michael said...

robb, the guys name was sage francis i think.

M! said...

I ran that band by this guy I know who listen to the most deplorable music and he was like, "You like that? Check this out http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=403911830 "

I can't believe how much of that shit is out there.

To continue what you were saying... I really hate the "Sold out" argument as well. Somewhere along the way people forgot the definition of that and instead hurry to eat their own at the smallest taste of success.

Great post as always Brendan.

M!

Wayne Michael said...

hey, even if that brokencyde band sucks balls, at least they are playing some instruments(badly) and being creative (even though what they are creating is bad)

This is far far better than today's rap/hiphop garbage that is going platinum. I would rather hear some vampires screem over keyboards about why they love hot topic than have to hear some talentless clown sing through a robot voice modulater about clubs and dubs and hot tubs and champagne bubs.

Samantha said...

regardless of the blow up they will still be true to themselves and that all that matters. Gaslight and trio still rocks regardless of how much their ticket prices go up.

DoYouStillHateMe? said...

I hear what you're saying about people not liking bands because they are on the radio now, but seriously, I would rather hear Gaslight or Alkaline Trio or even Against Me and Rise Against than all the other bull shit out there. It kills me that people know who those bands are now(only 1 or 2 songs) because they heard it on the radio, but what can you do.

...Crimson is criminally underrated, some of my favorite Trio songs are on that record.


....O.K seriously we need a new Lawrence Arms record this year. It will save punk rock!

nancy said...

Hmm, interesting you touched on this touchy topic. I secretly get sad when a band I like gets big (eh hem, asslight) but I act like I'm happy about it so I don't look mean. I guess it's my way of being 2 faced about it. You're happy that they can live and actually make money, but you're sad that the dude with tribals all over his muscle arms and an Affliction shirt and gel in his spiky hair and his fake tan is singing next to you at the show...in Jersey of course. On another note, Kyle Wagoner does not like the org, huh?

FranklinStein said...

i second the JAWBREAKER dude...it's time to put out another larry limbs record. even though i've finally concluded that oh! calcutta! is y'all's best record and give it a spin per week, my appetite for your gravelly groans and chris's creamy croons is insatiable.

Saulio SBJ 123 said...

Here's my problem with musicians "making it": I don't know if anyone here likes hip hop at all, but Atmosphere is good in my opinion. I would enjoy going to their next concert in my town...but it is almost $40 (which doesn't even compare to something like the Rolling Stones). Still, I got to see NOFX, No Use for a Name, and American Steel all together at the same venue for $20 bucks. Atmosphere is twice the price and, on top of that, the people that I know that try to avoid (because they are annoying) will be sprinkled into the people I see there instead of people that don't bother me. I'm happy for Atmosphere that they got all popular and stuff and I'll keep listening to their music, but their concerts aren't something I'll probably ever do now that they are on TV and stuff.

Tom said...

I think Against Me! is an exception cause they openly talked about how they would never "sell out" (I hate those words) and yet they completely did. Although still, good for them. I am glad they are able to support themselves and their families on what they love. I was just a little upset (for I am not a big Against Me! fan) that their new album featured craptastic songs such as "Stop!"... I mean, wtf?

Sickie27 said...

wtf is a Gaslight Anthem?

The main thing I hated about Against Me! getting big was the ridiculous amount of people at their shows and me getting super duper squished against teenaged girls in New Wave jackets. Which would've been cool if I were a middle aged dude.

We're all pretentious while pretending not to be pretentious and it makes us dumb.
<3 you

felchmart said...

you sure know how to light a fire under the collective tush of the bsc

Seagull Steve said...

Brendan. I hope you realize that probably everyone on here agreeing with you are the same people bitching about the gaslights, against mes, trios, etc. Its pretty funny. I personally have done some complaining about AM!, but its purely due to their last record sucking. Tom's ep was really good though, I thought.

p.s. To a couple of you....um......EVERYONE thinks Fat Mike is a dick the first time they "meet" him......they do have a song called Fuck The Kids, ya know. Punk Rock Jesus he is not (who would want to be that anyway? Yuck.).

Sean said...

hahahaa

"Chris' creamy croons..."

hahahaha

[ps. the word verification was "hamcyde"... i shit you not haha]

Mark said...

I can't believe you Candlejacked.

Brian Detweiler said...

Why the fuck did you make me YouTube that? I can never get that time back.

tony said...

well played sir, well played

Louis said...

I keep telling my friends that if they like the Trio they should love the Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, etc. No one listens.

I also first heard of brokencyde from this online comic, and I thought he was joking:

http://www.yourscenesucks.com/

Check out the Crunkcore poser. Also the orgcore punker. I'm guessing a lot of people here are him...