Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Low Spark of Indie Boys

So, RogueR brought home this Copper Press zine, and I was flipping through it in the loo and came to an interview with Howe Gelb. I didn't even get to the first paragraph (which is kind of a good thing, since it's just a cutesy-woo piffle about Gelb asking the interviewer questions about dragging and dropping in iTunes while they're on the phone) before getting rageful; the italicized epigraph reads: "But spirit is something that no one destroys," -- Howe Gelb, "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys." OK, sit with me for a second -- AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! I bet you're confused by my anger. So was I. But I finally figured out -- that misquoted preamble is SO much of why I hate music journalism, and shudder at the thought of being part of its tradition, in spite of the fact that that identity, of music scribe, was probably the most comfortable fit of my adult life so far. But man, oh man -- that epigram (epigraph? sorry) just shows that most writers think music journalism is an excuse to show off your own cleverness: It's about how spot-on your musical metaphors are, how well you trace out the "Ben Franklin having mushroom tea with the Donnas in the Mojave desert" lines in the journo sand. It's not about the historical line, the complexities of how Steve Winwood and Traffic begat Howe Gelb and Giant Sand. Fuck, in this case it's not even about HOW TO READ THE LINER NOTES, apparently. Because you wouldn't want anyone to know that you just got the cool rock shivers from STEVE FREAKIN' WINWOOD. That is SO not cool. You don't want anyone to think you were listening to "Higher Love" or nothin'. "Who, me? No, no, that was Springsteen's Nebraska, dude. You must've heard wrong."


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