like i give a fuck!
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


!!! - "Dear Can". I like the dance-punk, I really do. It makes me want to dance. But while I worship the ground DFA walks on, !!!'s never really been my cup of tea. There just isn't enough whimsy, or restraint, or maybe there's too much grease. "Dear Can," however, is something else. It's the second song from the band's forthcoming Louden Up Now, and it's dance-punk with whiskey in the jar. Bassline, high-hats and jumbling, chugging guitars, certainly, but also a dose of eyebrowed rage, swearing at the top of lungs. It's a stretch to say it sounds like Limp Bizkit hanging out with the Rapture, but I don't think it's far off to imagine a stomping, smoky mosh-pit with a flashing, rainbow disco floor. And people in sunglasses. (I smile when the chorus comes back at around the five minute mark. At that point that anger's altogether silly, a gratuitous Furnaceface yell that can't (and doesn't want to) undermine the two minutes of crisp, funky plasticene beats that preceded it. But the punks gotta have the last word. [And it's even more silly because he's yelling "like i give a fuck!", which is delightfully contradictory.])

The Lucksmiths - "Self Preservation". A complete change from the above, here's one of my most favourite indie pop songs of all time: jangly guitars, a circumambulating bassline, cool horns to downplay the neat-and-clever lyrics. If my imagination had its way, Australia wouldn't have beaches and sunbathers, just kids like this (and kangaroos, too), all dressed in cardigans and singing along with carefree pink lips. Oz could be a twee utopia, with ee cummings anthologies on every bench, bright blue skies that only rain when you feel like a few minutes of drizzly melancholia. This is from the group's absolutely fantastic Why Doesn't That Surprise Me?, which is like a picnic at the open-air library.

Jeff at the Architectural Dance Society had some interesting thoughts on the college music poll I mentioned last week. I think he makes some cogent points on what surveys like this (if they're true, more generally) should indicate to the music industry. As people scramble to explain the (successive) 10% drop in record sales over the past three years, particularly in the wake of that 'downloads don't damage sales' paper, questions like this are really pertinent: why [are] so many college students ... apparently more fulfilled digging through their parents' record collections (or their grandparents' forchrissakes) than buying new music (even if it's new old-music music)?

If you liked the Nickelback comparison song from Monday, you may enjoy the same treatment as applied (rather more clumsily) to Linkin Park.

Posted by Sean at April 7, 2004 4:53 AM

I hate you.

I just finished typing up my post in which Dear Can was supposed to go up.

Hate you hate you hate you.

or maybe it's love of good taste.

Aaah well. Maybe I'll do a Pesach Klezmatics post, like I had intended before I got my hands on Louden Up Now.

Posted by Keith at April 7, 2004 8:47 AM

dance-punk is so late 90's and calling it dance-punk is so 2003

Posted by move on please at April 7, 2004 9:05 AM

sorry keith! on the bright side, look at the time i posted this: last night was rough.

as for "dance-punk," i clearly must not be one of the cool kids. what should i be calling it?

Posted by Sean at April 7, 2004 12:59 PM

Dance Punk is as good a term as you're gonna find sadly enough.

It is a somewhat lame term though.

Posted by Keith at April 7, 2004 2:16 PM

How about if we call it Meatball Hoagie?

Posted by Scott at April 7, 2004 2:22 PM

I can adopt that term for all future references to the genre.

Posted by Keith at April 7, 2004 5:13 PM

Kids do seem to be diggin' all the classics lately. Marketers and focus groups seem to recognize this and are cashing in, meaning maybe the music industry can shut up and pay attention for a second if they wish to know where to recoup their "losses":

And the chik-chik-chik song... yum. Catchy, regardless of the "so late '90s" stigma that's out there, ironic or otherwise. Perhaps we can start calling it "funkgrungadub" or something.

Posted by adam at April 7, 2004 5:37 PM

As an Australian wearing a cardigan right now (if you like The Lucksmiths, Darren Hanlon, Architecture In Helsinki, Art of Fighting and Sodastream should be rocking your boat in a fair dinkum way):

Livejournal has a list of the most popular interests (in general) here that's an interesting read...or it would be if it were online right now. Damn. In any case, the musical acts listed last time I looked were fairly similar to your college professor's list, except with more emo.

Seems to me that the kids want distinctive (but not too distinctive) music with some level of musical proficiency that's catchy, anyway.


Posted by tim at April 8, 2004 2:54 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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