January 5, 2009

More bite, less banter

Scrolling through other stuff, I found this decent send-off of 2008. If anything, it's worth reading for the Lester Bangs quote, and I'm not sure whether I can disagree about Deerhunter because, well, I am a "completist," I guess and well, see for yourself.

The greatest problem posed by the nanosecond hype-cycle of online crit isn't bloody-minded trailblazing as an end unto itself. It's the cliquish fractalisation of subcultures so that the context for enjoyment of a given band or music is so narrow that it's damn near inaccessible. What am I talking about? Okay, Deerhunter are a band that I kinda like. I think their production is half-assed, their melodies predictable, and I can almost see Bradford's bullshit hippy swimmy arm movements when I listen to his self-conscious delivery. But the obvious points of reference are all bands that I really dig, so I can't categorically dislike Deerhunter. Ergo I often ask myself what I'm missing about the band that sends so many listeners over the moon. Well, according to Matthew Perpetua...

It helps to have the context of other Deerhunter records, and probably also Atlas Sound and seeing them live, to get the bigger picture of who Bradford Cox is and what he’s doing, and why it’s special and good, especially in the current context of indie rock circa ‘08.

In other words, only completists need apply to the fanclub. What the fuck good does that do anyone not immediately enthralled with their music? A band needn't be popular to be "special and good," but for them to be important, something needs to resonate beyond a certain navel-gazing blogipelago.

Sure Microcastle has a slow arc and it's uber self-conscious and you have to spend time with it to appreciate it, etc. But why not try last year's Flourescent Grey EP for some immediate enthrallment? And there I go again: way in over my head. I should have worked today.

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