11 September 2006

A true nugget amongst the pellets

One of the most luxuriously-furnished refuges of the joyless music snob can be found in garage music. And as they would point out, we’re not in the domain of UK garage, dubstep, crank or crunk but garage music all right ? Garage. The true sound of the sixties, where the revolution happened not through George Martin’s Eton overdubs, or the scrawlings of college prettyboys like Dylan or Morrison , but Houston
acned noboteens and their bad amps. In their garages. Garage, all right ?

For me the Nuggets-wielding wonks represented the opposite of what liking music was all about, and was a warning of what occurred to you if you read Q magazine too much……instead of listening to sounds and words you might start collecting musical obscurities. And worse you might start imaginary charts in your head rating the obscurity, the forgotten history of the lost genii of the pop explosion, yada yada. Until you never actually listened to anything ever again. The piece of your brain normally reserved for enjoying the Cramps, say, would instead jabber at you in nerdfax a list of the bands who recorded ‘Psychotic Reaction first’, what three-figure chart position they reached...and would then fall silent as you asked aloud in your incense-soiled Altamont-pit why you had neither a girlfriend or any pleasure centres .

This negative reaction was usually confirmed by being played the fabled music itself by some saucer-eyed approval junkie in his (single) flat and realising that I usually preferred the bands that covered, were influenced by or (it was insisted) merely copied the originals. They usually played the songs better, with better equipment.
Besides, I had my ears full being exposed to early post-punk and post-industrial
sounds by my ( comparatively sexually successful) flatmates and couldn’t bear tracing the Chinese-whispers-daVinci-rock-puzzle back any further. I’d probably end up being told that some technician working for Edison wrote and recorded Grail-esque acetates of Mr Pharmacist, Venus in Furs and Tomorrow Never Knows. And he’d be rubbish.

I understood that the stories surrounding the bands, their tales of failure, epic drug abuse, asylum committals and more failure were good stories but usually the bands themselves weren’t as much fun and sounded like bland pub band versions of those Johnny-come-latelies who nicked their tunes and had the technology to make the ideas work. For example, the 13th Floor Elevators sounded like a crap version of Spacemen 3. The Electric Prunes paled in comparison with my discovery of The Cramps. The Seeds vs The Bad Seeds…no comparison. And before hollow-eyed garage-geek Loic reminds me that the Bad Seeds were another shit garage band I’ll jump in to state that I know, and this type of comment illustrates exactly why I hate the whole thing.


But. And I’m so pleased, because I always wanted to find some hidden treasure in there that would make me want to caper around like an angry ape, and because they are simply great, and I take back everything I’ve said up to now, and that even if the Fall covered them and their only album (they did an album ? sellouts !) rakes in £800 on Record Collector, and their biography reads like the brainburp of the worst type of 60s failure-fetishisto, I don’t care, because they’re fabulous, I can’t listen to anything else. And I’m becoming one of them.



kek-w said...

An Approval Junkie writes:

Good. And so you should.

Not many people seem to realise that Nick cave/Bad Seeds were/are complete crap. This is a concept that needs to be more thoroughly digested/embraced. There's a percieved/consensus peer group pressure-applied wisdom about Cave wh/ is totally wrong, and it's tragic that it's taken over 20 years for it to come to light that he's a total fraud.

Check out Esteban Mordac III if you like The Monks.

Oh. And for a moment there, I thought you wrote: "Worked for Edson..."

Loki said...

can't agree with the Nick Cave comment...a total fraud?... what's he pretending to be? i agree that quality control is not always there but he seems genuinely interested in exploring the song as an idea...

kek-w said...

An Australian.

kek-w said...

An artist.

kek-w said...

An artiste.

kek-w said...

A writer.

kek-w said...

A song-writer

kek-w said...

Johnny Cash.

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