Saturday, October 04, 2008

There Are Only Two Types Really

One of the things that’s really grating is that we’re stoking genre warfare on almost a daily basis. With all of these new avenues of choice to where you can find music comes a really ugly sort of taste reinforcement.

People who were going to Dire Straits concerts weren’t exactly buddies with the kids at Minuetmen shows. But thanks to all of this new media saturation more music fans have a much clearer view on what their missing out on.

It’s sort of the reverse of selling out. More like smacking down a particular band before it can invade you laptop.

Because the Internet is the ultimate multimedia scene; you don’t have to really weigh in on the music.

You see the word “indie” and “Seattle” and maybe “queercore” or “lo-fi” and whatever. You think to yourself how boring Belle and Sebastian is and how you couldn’t stand Juno then you leave it at that.

We’ve started judging people instead of the music.

I don’t dress like the members of the collective Your Heart Breaks. We don’t really share any similar personal background. I don’t even like the music of a lot of the artists they tour around with or even some of the solo projects from their collaborators.

But Love is a Long Dark Road is an excellent record. And none of what I said just now changes how I feel about the music they make. If anything it only makes me more sympathetic to where we part ways. My only regrets about this one is that I didn’t snatch it up sooner when it came out over the summer.

It’s a lush and human record. Unlike a lot of confessional albums no one is trying to impress anyone or glorify spoiled and childish complexities. Instead there’s sort of an overarching message that we all secretly hold on to people and places which cause us that distinct brand of embarrassment.

The sort of embarrassment that almost always escalates to a long and secret pain.

Principally this is Clyde Peterson’s project and her great gift is restraint. Her guitar lines and lyrics stop short exactly when they need to and the small bits of violin and horns stay at very low volumes.

Her voice has that sort of deadpan insistence that you get from social workers or clerks at the DMV. If you believe them—you’ll believe her.

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