Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Fleet Foxes . . . Our Generation's Arcade Fire

So I talked some smack about these underbathed beardos earlier, and as they have now been crowned 2008 homecoming queens by Pitchfork, I feel I must lay out why I don't believe the hype. FF are largely a nostalgia act digging into the whole West Coast hippie harmonizing '60s vibe. And there have been plenty of well respected acts that draw deeply from one past genre or another that have been big in the indie scene. But for me personally, I'm just not a big fan of CSNY nor the Mamas and the Papas nor The Band nor any other Americana harmonizing machines. I don't hate any of those acts, but I don't have a regular desire to listen to any of them. And quite frankly given the choice, I'd choose the genuine article over the FF.

The other thing is that most of the acts pillaging the past and going on to great aclaim in the Pitchfork world are doing so in the context of punk rock and it's offshoots. The Rapture and Interpol stole a lot of their sounds from PIL, Gang of Four and Joy Division. None of the original bands were every mainstream, despite the loads of respect heaped on all of them now.

I also find myself deeply disappointed in the pitchfork list, where even the honorable mentions were pretty predictable. There just weren't many things like the Orthelem album a few years back to give people a different slice of music from what they would have expected. Pitchfork has solidified into a cannon that already feels a lot like Rolling Stone magazine mk. 2 where a Stephen Malkmus replaces a Neil Young, but the basic waves of excessive adulation directed at a certain small core of artists feels about the same.


Jason Heat said...

I like Arcade Fire.

AZWiner said...

its true.. i guess im also not the biggest fan of this new wave of indie-dance-techno-disco thing... its good and all but theres a lot of it on that Pitchfork list. i used to look to pitchfork for music i didn't know about and now I get exactly what's expected. Fleet Foxes DOES sound kinda like the Shins and people seem to like them a lot too.

I also get the feeling Nova is playing with the idea that Arcade Fire was the next Radiohead and so on, which is all funny because they are all still making popular music.

Check out Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2008 HERE