INTO THE FLOOD AGAIN
laundry day. i like black tights. a lot.
Continuing the trend of trying to live 2009 like the fun times, I spent the early hours of the morning at Lit. Sarah was DJing the Glasvegas afterparty, and we decided to mark the occasion with an impromptu Tarts of Pleasure reunion (we hadn't DJed together since September!!). I jokingly told Sarah to bring techno goggles and a rave whistle because the time I spent with DJ Watkins in October left me addicted to killer rock remixes. My first song of the night was the Computer Club remix of NIN's "That's What I Get." Almost immediately, a group of people charged the DJ booth to tell us how stoked they were that the Tarts were back in business. Told us they'd been big fans of the Orchard Bar days and couldn't wait to dance again. My DJ guilt kicked in and I felt obliged to treat the peeps to old school Tarts, as opposed to the new stuff I had set aside. And so our set became pretty standard, not to mention far too short.
Sune DJed after us, adding to the retro appeal. I mean, dude was our surrogate cheerleader back in the day. After he finished his set, we retired to the back room to chill with the Glasvegas clan. Before getting into a dorkery expo over shared love of David Lynch, we discussed 90s music and our weaknesses for metal (I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when Sune proclaimed broad admiration for Axl Rose and Megadeth; I'm pretty sure his pre-Raveonettes band was of the metal variety).
What I found particularly interesting was his observation regarding grunge music's staying power (or lack thereof). He's a self-proclaimed fan of Nirvana and the like, but noted that today's younger generation seems less interested in the stars of grunge than they are of say, post-punk. That Joy Division and Depeche Mode have a broader appeal than the Soundgardens and Alice in Chains of the world. (More specifically, that you don't hear people spinning the latter bands at nightclubs. Dude obviously never came to Hanger Bar, but I'll forgive). I suggested that the discrepancy is purely a product of post-punk being more danceable, not necessarily more popular, but who knows.
We also got into a debate about the best singer of the 90s. I told Sune that I'd recently seen the video for "Head On" by Jesus & Mary Chain and that it reminded me so much of the Raveonettes. He admitted that he'd always thought it was a Pixies song, because their version was the first he had heard. And that he actually prefers the cover, because he thinks Frank Black is the best singer of the 90s. Oh silly, silly Sune. Mike Patton anyone? Eddie Vedder? Anyway, I looked up the Pixies version on Youtube today, and no.
Mega lolz points for the long cardboard CD box, but that's got nothing to do with the performance. As far as versions of the song go, JAMC's original is clearly superior. Don't get me wrong. I think Frank Black is amazing, but he is far from being the best singer of the 90s. It all comes back to my assertion that music is completely, completely subjective. When and where you discover a song or band determines your love for it far more than definitive "quality."
Coincidentally, I had a related conversation about Glasvegas themselves today. A journalist friend was expressing disdain over last night's Bowery gig (which I missed in lieu of watching the Knicks lose). He went so far as to say that he thinks they're in the Bravery category of style over substance. Blasphemy! I love the Glasvegas record, but am also quick to admit that the love is a product of timing. Back in August, I was faced with a train journey from London to Wales and wanted new music to pass the time. I had caught the end of Glasvegas' set when they opened for Kings of Leon in Brixton and figured their album was as good as any to soundtrack the late night trip. And it was perfect. Sweeping, dark, epic... just like the UK countryside passing my window. It made me happy (oh you know, in that dark, moody sort of way). But who's to say that I'd like it as much had I picked it up in the wave of current hype? Knowing me, I probably wouldn't.