Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Have To Invite Dave In Or He Can't Enter

I had a conversation with a Dee-Bag once. I asked him if he had heard the new Green Day (21st Century Breakdown). His response was "Ha! I haven't listened to them since, like, High School." Is that some sort of badge of honor? I was just trying to have an open discussion about the follow-up album to a pretty big album. Regardless of your opinion of Green Day, American Idiot was HUUUUGE and what a band does after such a big release is something to at least keep your eye on. I didn't realize I was offering him the opportunity to assert his musical superiority over me.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I just got my hard copy of Streetlight Manifesto's "99 Songs of Revolution: Vol 1". In the booklet Tomas Kalnoky talks about a similar thing that happened to him involving the Dead Milkmen. I don't really understand this High-horse people can get on about the music that they don't even contribute to. They simply like it and that association somehow grants them the ability to condescend those they disagree with.

In regards to my story "21st Century Breakdown" ended up being pretty flatline. A good example of a lot of passion and creativity that didn't amount to all that went into it. And, for the record, I'm not going to hate on Green Day and demand, like some sort of holier-than-thou Punknews poster, that they pack it up. I think they still put out some good music. And if they stop making good music but they are still doing their thing, then best of luck to them.

Speaking of looking down on someone's taste in music let's talk about Dave Matthew's Band. Before you start thinking I'm going to get all snarky and talk about how much I hate DMB, hold your horses. A few months ago, for some reason, I picked up Dave Matthews Band's latest album, "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King". I heard this album was dedicated to their sax player who passed away in 2008 and that interested me. It's a tragedy but I think important moments like that and how a musician/artist deals with that pain can create the most inspired music/art. Turns out I really, really dug the album so I started picking up past albums. I am officially into DMB now. I think a lot of people want to hate on them but I find it's more accurate to hate their die-hard fans. "Now, how is that OK?" you ask.

When a band puts their music out there they are just trying to express something (let's give them the benefit of the doubt that they aren't some sort of manufactured homunculus like a Disney kid or Jason Derulo or something). It's pure in the sense that it is just pink and naked and true. Then a ton of people start to jibe with that original message but it's like a game of telephone. The original meaning gets reinterpreted over and over and over again until it has been twisted into something entirely different to serve someone else's purpose. I don't mean in the "the way I interpret this is it's about loved ones" sort of way but instead interpret it in a way that redefines the band and changes their raw meaning. I feel like I am not explaining myself well here. How about an example?!

I tell someone that I like eggs but prefer the yolk to the whites. They tell their friend who hates white eggs what I said. That friend then thinks to themselves "I like Mike because he doesn't like white eggs." They then tell a friend "Mike Henry likes brown eggs only." That friend hates brown eggs and now hates me. In reality, brown... white, it doesn't matter to me at all. I feel like that's what's happened with DMB.

Not that you can't just flat out dislike them. Lots of people do. But there are so many musicians that have had their message distorted by their fans. Some of them succumb to it while others manage to press on with or without them. An example of the first is Weezer and an example of the second is Streetlight Manifesto.

Ok... the dead horse has been thoroughly beaten. I had to type this blog over the course of two days because while I was originally writing it my video card went kablooey. Looks like I have a topic for the next blog!

I want to wrap every entry with a bit about what I am currently listening to. Right now I am uber-obsessed with 78RPMs' "Go" EP and "New World Chivalry". "Burrito Snatcherz" on Go is a great tune. I've always loved these two albums but lately they have just really jibed with me. RIP Lynette.

Later, nerds!


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