Sunday, April 22, 2007

 

Good Taste Bad Taste

Last week end my partner and myself were invited to a diner party, older readers probably know the sort of affair, four or five couples that have known each other for many years though today we probably only meet up two or three times a year at the most. As is usual with these affairs conversation revolved around a) our children, b) our work, c) whatever happened to so and so and d) music which was after all one of the things that bonded us together all those years ago. As has been the case with our lives in general, the way they have taken different paths so is the case with our musical tastes, personally I am rather proud that at my age I am still listening to such a wide variety of music and that I still find myself excited by a new band or sound much the same way as I was when I was a teenager. Sadly this is not the case with my friends, with the notably exception of Jeff and GG, as far as the others are concerned music stopped in 1990, with the exception of certain mass appeal artists. And so my ears were treated to what my host considered to be cutting edge music, the latest Scissor Sisters, Mika and an album of Stones classics Bossa Nova style. I was bored and my ears were feeling offended. These bands might be OK for the odd song but to be forced to listen to their albums from start to finish borders on torture, above all when considering that the CD age has put quantity over quality, rare is the album today that clocks in at under the 60 minute mark, with vinyl it was more often or not two times 20 minutes. Listening to these two artists I was struck by the resemblance to eighties synth/dance music and one name stuck in my head that of Jimmy Somerville. The next day I dug out some old record by Bronski Beat and The Communards, and yes I was right there was a similarity between the two generation though I much preferred the falsetto warble of Jimmy Somerville over that of media friendly nice clean boy Mika. The Bronski Beat songs have the advantage over the Cummunards materiel in so far as they are not just good songs but politically motivated. 'Smalltown Boy' was their debut single that set the scene for what was to follow with it's synth based mix of pop and house, 'Ain't Necessarily So' displays a certain maturity, today listening to it it reminds me of Steely Dan, and had a subversive sensual feel to it.
I wonder if 25 years down the line people will look back with the same affection at Mika and the Scissor Sisters work?

Comments:
i love jimmy somerville.

my mum used to play it all the time when i was little. i got the album a few months back and its fantastic. Comment Te Dire Adieu?! oh yes!
 
i think that mika and scissor are talented but sisters lost the edge by playing the elton john road too hard.
 
It's a little sobering to think that Bronski Beat were doing there thing over 20 years ago. I love 'Smalltown Boy' but I think Jimmy Somerville really hit the heights with The Communards - 'Disenchanted' is somewhere in my top twenty songs ever, and the feelgood cover singles were fabulous.
 
There are very few bands around now that I think will have lasting appeal, well not to me anyway. Nothing is new anymore, no one is saying anything to subvert this retro culture that the kids today are growing up with, and unfortunetly like your friends the majority of the 'older generations' move on and start listening to pop, pap shite. Keep on keeping on.
 
Nuzz, It would appear that we are on the same wave length, planet or wahtever, I would like to add that of course they are free to listen to whatever they want in much the same way as you and me (long live headphones!). I appreciate the Redskins quote.
Crash, your thoughts obviously join those of Nuzz and myself, and it is true there really is a lot of forgotten music out there from the 70's and 80's that still sounds fresh new and vital today even when compared to so called cutting edge music from today. And the rereleases are thankfully not slowing down, I heard the other day that Doll By Doll are at long last on cd, as is the Scars classic 'Author Author', and this my friends is one of the things that music blogging is all about, no doubt I'll have more to say on these and others when the postman decides to deliver!
 
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