Now in our fifth calendar year|
PCR #233 (Vol. 5, No. 37) This edition is for the week of September 6--12, 2004.
Drugs. That's what the press and gossip and hype would have you believe is what fueled the Libertines' sophmore offering. That's not a completely wrong assumption, nor is it entirely true. During the making of this album, band member Pete Doherty was just released from jail for breaking and entering an apartment and stealing for drug money. Thing is, the person whom he stole from was friend and bandmate Carlos Barat. Now if that isn't interband turmoil, what is? After completeing the album, Doherty is in rehab once again. The opening song "Can't Stand Me Now" says it all. This album isn't about drug use, it's friendship and the shit you put up with for sticking by your pals. Same thing with "Last Post On The Bugle" in the lines "as they led him away, he sang we'll meet again someday, oh my boy theres a price to pay". The drug references pop up but only in context of what the rift is about, Doherty and Barats friendship being torn apart by his problem. This is encapsulated in "The Saga" the song the whole album is about, basically. It recites the legend of the album "a problem becomes a problem when you lie to your friends". The album's sound is like its predecessor Up The Bracket, basically a hodge-podge of indie rock, punk, Smiths odes, dub, and even skiffle. The saga of the Libertines, while brutally honest on the album, is also suprisingly fun, which shows despite their troubles, they pull together to make great music. Let's hope the last song on the album "What Became of the Likely Lads" isn't their eulogy. "What became of the likely lads what became of the dreams we had...oh what became of forever? we'll never know".
The White Stripes aren't blues. For all their posturing and, yes, greatness they are in reality punk-rock, Led Zepplin, classic-rock, test-tube babies. The Kills on the other hand are blues. The Black Keys are in another world entirely. They play 1940s electric blues, fuel-injected with Black Flag and backed by hip hop drum beats. The Blues is alive and well in The Kills and entirly reinvented with The Black Keys. Finally someone is doing it right. How can you deny Canned Heat gruff vocals and ear-peircing Howlin Wolf guitars. Refried Boogie, indeed.
The number of bands The Velvet Underground's debut has inspired could be put together to form a rope and could surround the equator easily, no problem. There are the two camps: the bands who are inspired by Lou Reed's mock Dylan-can't-play-for-shit attitude, and the others who base entire careers off of Nico's vocal turn on "Femme Fatal". The Concretes, like Stereolab, are one of the bands inspired by the latter. But like Broadcast or Midnite Movies they don't simply ape the sounds they take it and make something beautiful. Something for us to fall alseep to, something for us to dream to, that maybe somewhere Nico isn't dead and is recording and haunting us with her deathly angelic voice.
On Blank Wave Arcade The Faint progressed from indie punk to '80s technoclash. On Danse Macabre they practically made dance punk and electroclash a household name. So naturally this leads one to the assumption that Wet From Birth should be a step forward once more. Not happening, people. Instead we get lame electropunk, with wannabe Robert Smith whining, and annoying guitar synth clusterfucks. Funny thing is the pre-release talk from the band was that it was more organic. Where did that go? I don't want to know 'cus then I'd have to listen to this for a third time. Yeah, the 2nd was denial. Empty fun for a bit and quickly forgotten. File under cheap sex.
"The Digital Divide" is ©2004 by Terence Nuzum.. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.