Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Makes Man Start Fires?

what i'm listening to right now: The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts by Minutemen

So, I've been listening to the single greatest album ever, Double Nickles On A Dime by The Minutemen. I came upon their autobiography in 172 seconds, "History Lesson Pt. II". D. Boon lovingly recalls the entire history of the band and hits you with what might be the most sentimental punk song ever. But it dodges schmaltz by a mile with a mix of greatness and sincerity. This is the song that can connect any one to The Minutemen for the rest of their lives, D. Boon singing that "our band can be your life". By this point, a point that has been addressed by many writers before me. It's the perfect line. It's to the Minutemen what Eno's quote about The Velvet Underground is to that band, it's the sound of a hundred bands starting.

So I'm thinking about this song, and Amanda's interview last night with the Annuals comes to mind. The interview went bad. To catch up anyone who's not aware of the Annuals, they're a band from Raleigh that has blown up on the internet. Fawning reviews in Pitchfork and the likes. Appearances on the Conan O'Brien show. Etc. The thing is the Annuals never took the time to blow up in Raleigh. That's not their fault, the internet is to be blamed for that. The Annuals, though, aren't that bright.
Amanda is an excellent interviewer, she comes up with great, intelligent questions that challenge her interviewees. Not that she's confrontational, she just tries to get to the intellectual nature of the musician. After her interview with Eric Bachman (of Crooked Fingers and Archers Of Loaf fame), his roadie said that he overheard the interview and said it was the best one he'd heard in a long time. So, I'm kind of belaboring the point that she's very good at her job.
Her questions flew over the head of the Annuals, they either weren't paying attention, or were just kinda dull. Which is so upsetting, because they're music isn't dumb. They play music that sounds like there's an intelligence behind it. It's perfectly acceptable for someone in a hard rock band to be dull. They're just kids, but, you know, damn.
So anyway, the point, why did I think of this while listening to the Minutemen? One of the members of the Annuals said that they were first band to make music the way that they do. A bold, bold statement. Essentially, "Our Band Can't Be Your Life". What a crock, huh? I mean, really.

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