COLUMN SEVENTY-EIGHT, NOVEMBER 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
sounds the same but it's lost the meaning...cuz the underground ain't
underground no more..."
- The Black Halos
morning my eyes are a little redder than usual, and it's not from bong hits, as
some of you might suspect. No, it's
because I stay up that extra hour to watch both The Punk Show and Loud,
Much Music's pastel attempt at putting "hard" music on TV.
Remember, I have to get up at 3:45 a.m. (that's A.M., folks) to bike to
work. Yes, as you all stumble home
from whatever jug of grog you've been putting your mucusy lips on all night, I
am going to work. Pass the hairshirts and violins, please...
I have a beef
with the music industry, particularly the alleged hard music industry.
With the advent of the rap-metal mix, or nu-metal, as it is called by
youngsters manning the chatgroups and web-boards, a music I came to identify
with at an early age has gone down the pipes.
This argument is nothing new; every generation thought that their music
was better. I wouldn't have a
problem with nu-metal, other than the fact that really, it isn't metal and it
isn't even hard.
I don't care
how they do it, anyone can duplicate a sound; I can cover Beatles tunes if I
want to---it doesn't mean I have the feeling or the true blood and guts of what
Paul, John and Bozo the Drummerboy put into it.
I'm talking about bands like Poppa Roach, Linkin Park, Sum 41, Blink 182,
I'm talking bands like The Vines, The White Stripes; basically what you've got
is a bunch of products, a pack of Boy Bands With Punk Guitars.
I'm waiting for the next season of Popstars to be the punker band, where they'll give a bunch of preppy kids a few thousand bucks to go out and buy a new wardrobe, complete with fishnet
is a sell-out
be worn on the arms), black nail polish, leather pants and piercings.
The second step will be to get them as tattooed as possible before
teaching them the Bent-Over-Korn-I'm-Biting-My-Lower-Lip-Chewing-My-Goatee bass
And all that
before hair and make-up. My sister
tells me in the truck the other day, "I don't consider myself punk because
punk is a sell-out term." Yeah,
it's a sell-out term alright, because the kids who used to be punker kids were
the scum of the school grounds. Having
a Mohawk used to get you a fat lip. Now,
it's a fashion statement. How does a person stand out in the crowd when the
crowd is the abnormal? The tides
have turned---now the preppy kids are "punk" and to NOT have a strange
pattern of hair dye is a fashion no-no.
As much as
these teether punks try to claim they are "individuals", they are
really nothing more than the status quo, and the marketing executives at every
clothing manufacturer and record company knows this.
I for one, am sick of it. Yeah,
Sum 41 and Blink 182 are punk alright, but in the most vile and prison-sex sense
of the word...
And speaking of
so-called hard bands, I saw this interview with a band called Glassjaw, who
claims to be a hardcore band. They
likened themselves with Ian McKay's Minor Threat, the original hardcore
Straight-Edge band (for those of you who don't know, Straight-Edge was a concept
where the individual abstained from all drugs, booze, cigs, and sometimes, sex,
and instead found their pleasure in the aggression and drive of hard, pounding
aggro music). "You wannabe's,
you don't belong," the lead singer said to the VJ.
I'm thinking, hey, cool, a hardcore band. This guy's saying what I've
always said. The next thing I know,
I'm watching a video by this band that sounds exactly like Our Lady Peace.
How can this guy claim to be a hardcore unit when they sound like a Coors
Light power-puff band?!
If Glassjaw is
hardcore, then Abba is Led Zeppelin. And
again, the singer is wearing the Gap t-shirts, the kitschy foam redneck hat and
the Converse All-Stars. If you ask
me, anti-fashion is the nu-fashion. The
more retarded you look, the cooler you are.
I could go on and on about sell-outs---like Nofx, the anti-racist,
anti-corporation pseudo-punkers from California...yeah they're anti-everything
alright...with a small chain of coffee shops to run in their spare time...fight
the corporations, guys...oh wait, you are a capitalist too...whoops...
Moving on the
Canadian rock and continuing with the clone theme---how many Nickleback
spin-offs are we going to see? Jesus,
it's bad enough we have to listen to some of the worst lyrics and generic riffs
ever written by a band whose smartest statements in interviews seem to be about
how much booze and dope they ingested the night before, but do we have to hear
it from 25 others just like them?
we hung over. Hey here's our new
song, which sounds like the last one we wrote.
No, we're not two-dimensional dickheads, we're the awesome force of
Nickleback! Now let's get high!!" That
could be a misquote. Don't quote
me...Again, it's the same thing---our hair is long, but not too long, and it is
washed and styled nicely. My teeth
are bleached and these faded black jeans are retro, man.
I got them at Workwear World, to show my blue collar roots.
It's all style and no substance and as the weary consumers we are, we
just keep snapping that shit up. I
have a hard time listing bands that sound like them, not because I can't but
because there are SO many of them, I keep thinking I'm seeing the same band on
TV, or hearing their songs on the radio. Stop the madness!
Of course, I have the right to turn it off, but what fun would that be?
There is hope
in the world, however. Jason
Newstead, former bassist of Metallica, has jumped ship and will join Montreal's
VoiVod on their next tour and will record on their next album.
Perhaps VoiVod will come up with something better than that Pink Floyd
cover they did 10 years ago. Look
for something harder in the New Year...
something harder, Henry Rollins was on the Drew Carey Show. So maybe that's something softer...Ol' Hank played a thug
that Oswald hired to beat him up after he accidentally thumped his mom.
The best thing about Rollins' acting is that it's just Hank wearing
different clothes. Rollins will also host a new show on TLC (starting Oct. 20)
called Full Metal Challenge, which is basically a twisted version of Junkyard
So much for new
entertainment. Hopefully it will be
better than his last show Night Visions, which lasted a half-season on
Fox. TLC has another show featuring
Ice-T, who you may recall sang for Body Count, whose song, Cop Killer got
banned from record stores. Seems
Ice has had a change of heart and no longer thinks all cops are racist,
homophobic, fat-ass donut eaters, as he goes "out in the field" with
some of America's finest law enforcement on Too Tough, TLC's version of Cops.
So there you
have it, even the old Road Dogs have their days in the sun. Maybe I'm old and
cynical, maybe I need to accept change more easily, maybe I need to be less
but as Iggy Pop
That's all the
news that's fit to print, as Cliff Syringe would say...
'er any way you can get 'er ##
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