We’re happy little Vegemites – A bunch of snotty kids with horrible accents.
Oh Great, an advertising jingle. Now there’s a line of work for me. I could be just like Uncle Joey and Jesse.
Vegemite. Much like the country it emblemises, i can’t stand the stuff – i don’t like it, i don’t use it, i don’t align myself with it, i don’t hold it up with any pride, with any fervoured attachment, with any elemental link to my personality, any sense of communal, national bond, etc. I’m not proud of this fucking spread, and i mean it from my heart.
Uh-oh. No. They’re a good band. They do things right. I hold the highest of courts for such decisions, i do, so let it be known – it’s now decreed. I hate what distance cautionary fandom and fear of exposing love of an uncool thing has put between me and Los Campesinos. It’s full embrace now. No one cares.
The only thing that grates here is the name dropping, which is an unfortunate and prevalent thing in this international tweexcore underground. Yes, it’s nice to know we’re on the same page, it’s nice to know what music you like and are affected by, but… i don’t know… it’s like there’s this overarching theme of collecting, of checklisting, of owning, of capital running through this music nowdays. The scene and its history (however filtered and understood) and its reproduction is everything now.
I mean, the Pooh Sticks wrote On Tape in 1988, but now, with everyone knowing everything, and the ability for everyone to know everything, this spate of self-absorption and non-imagination running through this music, it has gone crazy into staple and tedium. It’s always something with me, isn’t it?
On the other side of the contrived, grating spectrum of bands, i place Los Campesinos! I’m sure i’m wrong. I’m sure there’s an absolute to this, and i’ve fallen for the wrong type of band. Los Campesinos are the real irritating band. No! In defiance or delusion, i side with them, i am affected by them, i can bear them. There just so damned disarming and infectious. There is not a lot i like more, that gives me as much joy, makes me feel still here and connected, in this life – at this point in it, who i am in it, where i am in it – than being disarmed.
Give me a drum kit, sit me behind it and i’ll habitually play the opening of this song. It’s the perfect test pattern. Hit everything, hear everything, find your place amongst everything. I just hope no one notices it as me playing this song and leave it just as me testing the drums. I’m sure no one notices me. I just have a feeling it may be a little uncool to reference Youth of Today in some circles. I know it is.
There’s something about this song that grates with me. Sure, it’s catchy – that’s probably the reason it’s here – but… i don’t know. There seems to me something contrived, something dull, something counterfeit, something adult, here. It’s, to me, music from a place i don’t like, a place that should not produce music, nor even know about music this good – a place i’m not sure where, or even how to gain an entrance, so don’t even ask me. I can’t explain my stupid prejudices and hang ups.
Then again, maybe this isn’t not so bad. No, it’s not so bad. A day spent at work with the memory of this song, on continuous loop – some insubstantial, half-recalled loop – being angry at everything, everyone, myself, misled me a bit. It still does seem a bit false indiepop. Death to that.
When the documentary Hype came out, it was sold on it’s coverage and rare footage of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and their ilk. It was because of that i went to see it. It was because of that i’m sure most went to see it. I went for the first recorded footage of Smells Like Teen Spirit or some other significance, i left with Some Velvet Sidewalk, Seaweed, Young Fresh Fellows, The Gits, Flop, and the Fastbacks. Bands that were there before, during and after that explosion, remaining themselves, heads kept, astounded at the attention, the exposure, the treatment and reception of American (hitherto) underground music.
Every band i found by watching it was more exciting, better sounding, and more crucial to me than all the Soundgardens and Stone Temple Pilotses in the world. Grunge became the most repulsive thing in the world. It was punk rock for me. The Fastbacks became the best guitar pop band i had ever heard, before i delved deeper, learned what influenced them and who they’re contemporaries were. Even then, now, more learned, more worldly, they still are probably the best.
This song is the first song off Very, Very Powerful Motor. An album released before Nevermind, before Ten, but still released at an incredible if not as nationally-profiled, aspirational, buzzline-adhesed era in American underground music. It is what it is – the most perfect of summer songs, for what might have been the last normal summer for a while. Oh, and Kurt Bloch is a guitar god.
I’m going to balk at this opportunity for finger on the pulse, up to the minute (well, a week or two late at least) cultural commentary. I don’t really have that much of an opinion, as most do, on this song and its now inextricably fused video. And beside that point, i’m not the kind of person who ever contributes to conversation, and i’m not the kind of person who ever is in line of hype enough to have anything interesting or contributive enough to say. I haven’t read any of the discussion surrounding it, i don’t know where the world is at regarding it. I do have some points, though, that you could probably easily, and with more enlightenment and exigence gleaned, read elsewhere:
The whole video/experience was a little underwhelming for me. My jaw has been on the floor before. Not this time.
What was with all the product placement? Ironic or no, what we see is all linked to Lady Gaga’s ever-growing commercial empire, and we are being sold things regardless.
Every moment Beyoncé was on screen she outshone Gaga.
An essay could be written on Gaga’s use of Beyoncé as another prop, another costume, another stylisation, another adornment in fulfillment of an image. Watch this space. Or another, where this idea has already been thought out and expounded in full.
As far as women in prison, women on the lam, women on a murder spree, avenging women, etc. movies go, this was one of the dullest and prosaic things i have ever seen. Thelma and Louise was more exciting than this. Its coldness may have been intentional, though.
Is she so far behind or in front of the curve, to make such a Tarantino-referencing and stylised clip.
This song is so good.
This video was an event.
If anyone wants to discuss this event more, we can do it here, or in person. We should. Everybody is. Or was. Last week.
This is pre-Underworld, mum, you square. A perfect song, and their only real hit. Lifting, gentle, floating in space. I like how they changed their name under record label pressure from that little scribble to something pronounceable, and yet i still can’t pronounce it because of my stupid speech impediment.