Pitchfork is a music site I have a love/hate relationship with. I read their record reviews to stay up on what's new in the indie rock world. But a lot of times I read a review only to listen to clips and wonder if we are talking about the same thing. Pitchfork recently came out with a thing called The People's List. This is a list of the top 200 records of the last 25 years as picked by readers of the site. Not surprisingly Radiohead has two records at the top, one I love (OK Computer) and one I don't (Kid A). Another one (In Rainbows) shows up at 6. I have most of the records in the top 20.
Two of them are records I have read tons about but just do not see what all the fuss is about. One is Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective. Allow me to lift a line from the review of this album. This comes after talking about incorporating West African rhythms and playing around a single chord for 10 minutes:
But Merriweatherfeels like a joyous meeting in a well-earned, middle place-- the result of all their explorations pieced together to create something accessible and complete.
Now I have no problem with a band getting experimental and challenging themselves and going off into new an interesting directions and dimensions. That is what the creative process is all about, right? Right. I think of a band like Wilco. Re-making A.M. is year after year is going to get boring. So it's natural to see a progression from that record to Being There to Summerteeth to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. They are another band that lost me after a while, and though they have gotten back to a roots-ier sound, I have never been able to get back into their new records. I digress.
The pause I have with the above statement is the world "accessible." The next paragraph says this record will be "tagged as Animal Collective's pop album. This is not what I think of when I think of pop:
OK. I kind of hear a Beach Boys thing going in the harmonies. It reminds me of New Order, which is fine because I like the first couple New Order records. But if it's a sunny day and I have the top down, I am not going to be blasting this. And if I hear this coming out of the convertible next to me at the traffic light I am probably going to turn Lithium up.
No offense to the cats in AC. I am not saying they have no talent. And in no way would I say "they suck." They are creating something I could not possibly do.
The other record which baffles me is LCD Soundsystem's Sound Of Silver. A good friend of mine and his son are into this outfit and I believe they went (or were pondering going) to see LCD's last-ever (yeah right) shows in NYC. When I heard they were doing that I thought, wow I must check this out. This is what I discovered:
Now, I actually like this a bit better than AC. I still can't imagine standing through this show. I'd be in hell. I'd have to be a) much younger and single and b) the girl wanting to go would have to be really hot.
The pattern here is it's more electronic kind of thing going on. And I am unabashedly a guitar dork. I have a large spectrum of liking stuff but it has it's limits. If you are new here and wondering "well what do you like, snob?!?" just click around the other posts. Or better yet, check out my band! <nudge nudge>
So don't think I am slagging these bands. I am just saying it isn't my cup of tea. Like I said before they are both really talented and creative and making music that obviously many people enjoy and get and love and use it to make a shitty day a little bit better. Hooray for that! To each his own, right?
And to show that I am not just some rocker with no sense beyond three-chords, here's what I started playing when the first record I was listening to ended:
I wouldn't blast this with top down either. But it's perfect for my mood right now. Rock on, Leonard!