Thursday, June 03, 2004

Yeah, so. I haven't been updating ye old blog recently, partly because a. I may be involved in an exciting new blog project soon that will change the focus of this page somewhat and b. I have a tendency to gradually ignore any commitments I make to myself. That said, I promise to make a commitment to effort to try to write for this thing on a regular basis. In the meantime, here are a couple of random music thoughts that will fill some space on this page.

- I heard "Summertime, Summertime" by the Jamies on an oldies station over Memorial Day. Has anyone else noticed just how creepy and unsettling that song really is? Despite the surface catchiness, everything about it seems off in a weird way - the just-slightly-of-tune harmonies, the oddly joyless sounding singer (who sounds like she's desperately trying to convince herself just how fun summer is really going to be and failing), the sparse and distantly recorded backing instrumentation and an overall hollow and airless feel from a song that's supposed to be an anthem for the kids who catch junebugs and wrassle down by the old swimmin' hole. I can't believe that David Lynch never used it in one of his 80s era weirdness-in-suburbia flicks - it has that same aura of barely contained turmoil underneath a shiny, happy veneer.

- The hot rumor on the interweb music nerd circuit is that the original lineup of the Gang of Four will reunite soon. As much as I love the Go4's first two albums, and as impressive as all of the post-punk reunions from Wire to Mission of Burma have turned out thus far, I'm kind of nervous about this one. Of all the great post-punk bands, the Gang of Four's music always struck me as the most identifiable to a specific age - i.e., it's one thing to be quoting Marxist philosophy against sputtering noise-funk while in your twenties, but if you're still doing it in your forties and fifties, it's probably time to stop hanging out at the coffee shop and get out of grad school. Most of the great Gang of Four songs were spitballs fired by young men against a social order gone awry; by middle age, these observations don't seem so novel, and you've either chosen resigned acceptance or unrelenting bitterness. I can't see them working again outside of their original context. Besides, the Gang of Four's output post-Solid Gold was widely uneven and suggests that they're less likely to put together a great comeback effort like onOFFon or Read and Burn. That said, of course I'll shell out the money to see them live if they're actually reuniting, because (choose one) a. I'm probably completely wrong b. they're still responsible for some of the best albums ever c. I am extremely gullible.

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