Whenever I happen upon concert footage of current, popular bands on the Last Call with Carson Daly show, I yell, “Get offa my lawn!”wishing I had a gun to shoot the out TV screen a la Elvis.
Are the bands as shitty as I think or have I just turned into an old grump?
I really do think it’s the former, but maybe I’m just being bitch. I had a lucky youth, in the sense that it overflowed with the most amazing music of the 20th Century. I grew up with parents who were musical. I saw dozens of shows and concerts with my mother, and hundreds more with my friends. One of my uncles was the Jazz pianist Ray Bryant, and my cousins Kevin, Robin, and Duane Eubanks are all performing and recording. I love and appreciate all kinds of music – Rock, Pop, Funk, Disco, R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, Classical, Country & Western, Punk, New Wave, you name it, I’m digging it. But the stuff I hear now? It’s white noise…sonic wall paper…beige, bland, blah!
I noticed this downturn four years ago when I worked at a club in the Lower East Side. The bands featured on the weekends were what I call Jug Bands. It was the time when soporific dross like Mumford And Sons and Arcade Fire were all the rage. Every Friday and Saturday night I saw 20-something dudes with long beards, suede jackets with fringe, and stupid hats, trying way too hard to look like they’d stepped out of 1969.
The club was lousy with Banjos, Juice Harps, raggedy acoustic guitars, shitty lyrics and middling melody. I ranted about it on Facebook every night I worked – my friends loved it, and I hated it.
As for Carson Daly’s show, the music segments are usually shot in LA – at The Whisky, The Teragram Ballroom, etc. – complete with wobbly camera work, sometimes in black and white, and the sound is always shitty. Most of the artists look really young (which of course is fine). They scream a lot and play too loud (that’s the old lady in me) some of them might be newfangled Punk bands?
This shit gives me a headache.
And the audiences are filled with hipster doofuses with too many sad tattoos, bad haircuts, artisanal facial hair, and lame thrift store drag. They bop their heads around like zombies, eyes glued to their iPhones. I take off my t-shirt and throw it at the TV screen. Why don’t I just turn the channel when I know that there is a Night Court rerun waiting for me?
I look at it as self-inflicted karma for breaking some guys heart.