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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Review: Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights

This is about the band Interpol and some other things. I've listened 1 1/2 times and that's all I need.

Interpol do a great take on Joy Division with some other bands they seminaled thrown in. They're not as important as Joy Division but I'd rather listen to Interpol's catalog than Joy Division's. Joy Division was part greatness and part Snipe Hunt /No Soap Radio. Sure they have hits, but lordy could they record long stretches of nothing. That kind of noodling is great if you're in a barbituate-enhanced suicide death spiral, but it's dull for us civilians. You also don't want to venture too far from Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats or too deep into Jim Foetus. I also didn't appreciate JD and Foetus not listing what songs were on their records. I didn't know if something was an album or a 12", and after a point I lost interest.

I've watched Joy Division tapes for as long as I could hold the fast forward button. The meandering, minimalist electronic dada genre is like Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Can. It's clever, simple and only worth the time it takes to get the punchline. The longer you dwell on these things the more pretentious or eccentric you must be. I find it creepy and instructive how Joy Division fans back in Ian Curtis' time drew sick pleasure from his epileptic seizures.

As far as Interpol not sounding original, who cares. There's almost no real originality in music anyway. Without The Rolling Stones and The Ramones the punk genre would still just be called garage rock. Without The Clash, Rancid would still be living in their van eating beans. I love bands that do a great job emulating other bands I like. I'd pay in blood for someone who did a good Wall Of Voodoo circa 1981.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I was at the Gang of Four show this week and some guys behind me said, 'Hey, they're ripping off Gang of Four' and we all laughed hysterically.

Still laughing.

4:32 PM

Blogger Emerson said...

There's a great band who became what they hated. Did they play any songs from Entertainment at least?

7:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah they played lots off Entertainment (Ether, Not Great Men, Damaged Goods, Essence Rare, Tourist, Anthrax) and some off Solid Gold (Poverty and somethings I'm forgetting) and the big disco hit, Man In A Uniform.

I don't agree that they became what they hated. I saw a bunch of guys playing great songs having a good time with an oddball audience. That's not loathe-worthy in my annals. Yeah they're older and they learned that they need money to live and that the revolution will not be. Still the songs and technique hold up well even if the ideology doesn't.

9:25 AM

Blogger Emerson said...

I meant what they became by 1982 when I first saw the video for "I Love A Man In Uniform". It just seemed like a sell-out to me, considering the stridency of Entertainment! I felt the same way about The Human League when and after they hit with "Don't You Want Me". I await Chumbawumba's cover of "Yummy Yummy Yummy"

11:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooouf, I've been defending GoF on so many fronts lately I completely forgot about their past. Yes, they did suck when they used the drum machine.

Human League will forever be in my good favor for 'Travelogue' and for the line 'Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, Good Times'.

I heard Chumba was gonna do ads for Microsoft then use the money to pie Bill Gates.

12:22 PM

Anonymous New Evolutionist said...

I seem to be one of the few who prefer the second Interpol album to the first. The influences, JD most of all, are worn even more obviously on their sleeves, but it benefits from concision and better production.

12:02 PM


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