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* - galaxy

a guided tour of influencial bands

Posted on 2009.04.25 at 16:36

written fri night i.e., 1:am
 

This post is about music, but wait.  I deserve to talk about me first.  Because i deserve some praise for two days of anguish - two days straight of trying to get this crumby old laptop to go online.  i mean it was existential hell.  actually, i did get it online via free Juno, which i hate.  It is slow and full of things that eat you.  i just wanted to download some security stuff, but the connection kept changing because i blocked the ads - so i lost the downloads, except a little firewall.  i went back to trying to install PeoplePC, which was endlessly complicated - but i finally got to the point where i was registering my password online, and these script errors prevented it - they probably came through Juno.  So, i'll try a little more on that later, and then go back to experimenting with the mainframes.  ultimately, i'll get a new hard-drive for my GOOD laptop.  anyway, i've had a lot of music playing all through this, and i finally relaxed tonight and listened to more of it.


i played morrisey's last with depeche mode a lot.  first, depeche mode: i now see how influencial they were, on new order, the eighties, art of noise, eno/heads, and of course into today's club music.  i also see how they would be great with exstacy - because i listened while having a non-cfs high, and heard the music a lot more positively - otherwise, they can sound sort of wimpy-heavy and droll or something.  it occured to me that if they had morrissey as the singer, they would be geometrically better.  even though he's droney too - he has a much better, nuanced voice.

morrisey and his original band, the smiths, emerged from the same punk days of england which gave rise to the cure - and somehow they both ended up defining early goth.  i don't know where depeche mode came out of.  but, odd that these three goth bands didn't sound similar at all - though they were all VERY influencial.  i never understood how the smiths derived their sound - it was an emulation of U.S. country-folk, with some punk and beatles and soul added - but who were the actual artists they were immitating?  i don't know - johnny cash, the band, big star?  yet morrisey has always had his own unique style, which confuses me even more.  how was this monster created?  now, here's a fascinating tour...

i have always suspected that the smiths were a strong influence on R.E.M.  tonight, and after being so into morrissey for a good while, i now see that R.E.M. was cleary, deliberately emulating the smiths - and michael stipe was totally trying to BE morrissey, fgs.  it's just that R.E.M., from Georgia, was better at country, and evolved more into positive american pop (i think they might also have been influenced by C.S.N.& neil young (the monkeys), fleetwood mac, and bluegrass); and stipe's voice was completely different and less dynamic.  but his groans and yaps, and his angst and drones, and his good attempt at variation, were all based on morrissey.  and R.E.M. was clearly going for the same BIG and plush yet STARK sound so well forged by the smiths.  so, the big music scene of Manchester, england, (the smiths), found it's way to the next big music scene, Athens, georgia, (R.E.M.).  R.E.M turned out to be ANOTHER extremely influencial band, and it clearly seems, to me, that R.E.M. was a major influence on Nirvana, and the grunge scene way over in the NEXT big music scene, Seattle, washington.  isn't this cool?  well, the grunge scene would never have made it out of the northwest if it hadn't been for two music producers in Madison, wisconsin, who later formed the band GARBAGE.  and, for a garbage lead singer, these two guys went all the way to Manchester, england, and got the cool gothy-punk-courtney-love-looking eye-candy singer, shirley manson, not to be confused with her sister, marilyn.  so, i think this is cool.  many a minute i have whiled away, comparing her accent to morrissey's, and i always wondered what was the deeper CONNECTION - i knew it was there, and now i have found it!  the Manchester-Man influenced american R.E.M., who influenced nirvana, who begot garbage, who went full-circle to Manchester for a singer.  what i am saying can't be said - it's IN THE MUSIC.

garbage was also influencial, on metalic goth or industrial - but, at heart, garbage isn't much different to a lot of where morrissey is now.  (i'm listening to garbage & kittie & system of a down pillow right now - sat. 1:30pm, rainy - and remember that i used to be cool once).

it is my opinion that R.E.M.'s "don't go back to rocksville" is pretty much a perfect song, (in the same way as gabriel's "salisbury steak").  i think "rocksville" is a fine evolution of their earlier "radio free europe" (comparable to the smith's "panic in the streets", etc.), and inspired by the monkeys', "last train to clarkesville".  it's interesting how some genius bands succeed so well that people tend to neglect them, even though they rock forever.  people look at R.E.M. the same way as they do the beatles, as too pop to matter, when in fact they were not only musically radical, but their genius remains fresh.  (influence is NOT a bad thing!)  but this pseudo-hip public regard is not true towards Morrissey in the U.S., he's still an unusual here.  and this is also not so much true regarding george harrison, who wasn't the ULTIMATE pop icon, but who's extensive influence is mindboggling.  and, while the beatles and lennon have been thoroughly petty-fied, post-beatles mccartney has maintained some value, partly because his songs were so melodically tight, and his genius was so strong, that most people COULDN'T approximate him, thus limitting his influence, ironically.  but, apparently he hasn't done shit in years ha ha.

i noticed some lines in a recent morrissey song, which are very immitative of some in a song by robyn hitchcock - and i've also noticed that morrissey seems to have many of the same studio musicians as hitchcock.  hitchcock seems to be england's robbie robinson - he has vast influence amongst musicians, on the inside, but is only a lesser pop-icon.  his protogees, the decemberists, are more popular than he is.

who else did i listen to?  cure, blue nile, coldplay, sweet/penn, liz phair, DANCE, blackeye peas, ska, sublime, no doubt, bosstones/smashmouth, dropkick murphy's, throwing muses, belly, cowboy junkies, lucinda williams, iris dement, natily macmasters, david grey, kurska goes yap.

get most new stuff and dance via radio.  note!  la la - MY Top 10 Dance/Club/Techno/House/Disco/Avant Gourd/etc....  coming soon…..  gotta goooooo

 


Comments:


saint_androgyny at 2009-04-26 19:01 (UTC) (Lien)
I never thought that way about The Smiths and REM before. I've always thought the Smiths were more interesting, but Morrissey kind of needs a better backing band. All the Smiths songs they did when I saw them live a new weeks ago kind of seemed hammered and ham-fisted and didn't have the same somewhat delicate and detailed approach that Johnny Marr, as well as Andy Rourke and Mike Jones, did when writing and playing the Smith's instrumentation.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2009-05-02 19:07 (UTC) (Lien)
i agree

well, one reason for my view is that i'm so into morrissey at the moment, and i have a british thing to meh

but the smiths were earlier - and if you listen to the chord changes and the background guitar which would be the LEAD guitar in REM, you will totally see it

the smiths were more a background band, trying to break free through it's occasional instrumentals - and rem was more foreground, recruiting the two singers

i think morrissey made a bittersweet deal in leaving the smiths for his more orchestral-goth power-pop sound - it doesn't translate back to the smiths sound well - but i think marr produced morrissey sometimes, didn't he? not sure

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