Thursday, August 6, 2009

I tried Los Campesinos!, I really did

So this evening (Wednesday as I write this) Los Campesinos! are playing at the fabulous Nightclub 930. And I really considered going, honest I did. I had heard their first album once before and it sounded alright, catchy in parts, plenty of silly song titles. And they're Scottish, so that's something something. Thus I downloaded their first album through eMusic (well most of it, the quality of eMusic has dropped off a cliff and their prices have gone up like a housing bubble and I will not be renewing my subscription) and gave it a listen. And I realized that it was just a bunch of rowdy Scottish youths with Comm degrees shouting at me out of key. And so I figured I would pass up the live show.

But this speaks to a broader issue, giving music a chance, or not. I listen to a lot of music, but I can't listen to everything. So sometimes I make blanket generalizations. I've heard enough of modern country music to know it's not really my thing. But I'm not going to dismiss all country music it out of hand. Willie Nelson is awesome, so are Cash and Merle and Hank and Ms. Cline.

And on a more specific basis, I don't think much of Arcade Fire. I listened to Funeral, and while there are some catchier tunes, I agree with the assessment my sister came up with -- it's just indie rock. Decent, but not deserving of the vast billowing hot air of hype that it has received. Yes, there are a lot of them banging on things on stage when they play live. But the album is still so so.

On the other hand I think Coldplay are great (yes, I know that a certain joke just popped into your head). My sister bought the first album and I avoided it for a while, think they were just another Travis, who I also gave a fair listen and found really dull. But Parachutes was and is fantastic. The guitar lines were catchy, the basslines excellent, the drumming as bland as English-made Indian food, and somehow everything clicked. Plus I really enjoy Mr. Martin's self-deprecation. He remains a sort of anti-Bono. I remember watching an early performance where he politely encourage the audience to get excited, as they were about to play their hit. What other lead singer lays it out like that?

But there are only so many hours in the day, so I'm dismissing Cymbal Eats Guitar and Tapes n Tapes and most of the crap that Stereogum hypes. Sorry guys.

1 comment:

Jason Heat said...

I'm with you on most of this, but I'm really into Arcade Fire - certain songs more than others, but always pleasing.