Friday, April 19, 2013

Pseudo 80's British Alt Pop: The Genre That Never Dies


Maybe it's the passing of Margaret Thatcher, or maybe it's the constant repetition throwback earworms (like Budweiser using “Second Chance” by Peter, Bjorn and John) in advertising, but I've been in the mood for some 80's pop.

In my search, I happened upon yourmusicisawful.com and the site's accompanying podcast, DangerRadio. I gotta say, I love it. And I hate it. No, I'm confused. But it makes me happy. And sad.

The writing on the site is funny, and transcends tiresome hipster irony because it is obviously the work of real lovers of 80's brit altpop and the current crop of revivalists. I like listening to the podcasts. I haven't heard some of these bands in years. The new bands are great- by which I mean that they are virtually indistinguishable from 4AD or Factory bands of the late 80's and early 90's. That's the bit that I find a little sad.

Yes, I guess in the early punk days there was some nostalgia for the music of our parents- Link Wray, Gene Vincent and all– but there was still a strong vein of originality in pop music at the same time. Has rock simply reached the end? Is it like jazz, where new players are primarily engaged in an academic exercise, covering old ground and reinterpreting it?

Yourmusicisawful.com is aware of this, it seems, but they don't really know what to do about it. In the article Hey Kids, Grow a Pair: How Music Blogs Neutered Indie Rock, author Kitty Vincent dives into the issue, with complete awareness of the irony of attacking music blogs from a music blog. Is there any way of escaping the digital ghetto? Are music blogs to blame, or is it a broader culture where all music is reduced to disposable “content”?

I'll lay awake at night pondering that issue, but in the mean time, I'll choke back my pride and enjoy a slice of free digital content from so-called "Dangerous Music" Podcast. And by the way kids- ease up on bashing the “middle-aged new wavers” okay? We were the ones who made it dangerous...