Thursday, February 12, 2009
at my age, it's hard not to hear other earlier bands when i hear new ones. i've quit letting that impact my judgment for the most part. it can actually happen several ways. there can be simply a direct rip-off of the earlier band's sound or groove. a good example of this is the band, the wondermints, who imitate the beach boys sound to near perfect replication. it's spooky. i wasn't surprised to find out that they're brian wilson's touring band. while i like some of this group's music sans brian, i think imitation tends to lead to parody(check out all the cat power imitators: i'm talking to you, feist!). a good parody exposes weaknesses in the original. the original starts to sound like an imitation. it's a vicious cycle.
one of the other ways i hear earlier bands in new music is less obvious, less distinct. i will not say it's a feeling. i think it's more that the new group has taken aspects of the old band & asked different musical questions or faced different musical problems w/them. as an example of this, for me, more laudable approach, i give you animal collective. i think this is where the beach boys would be if they appeared now. & they were able to keep the lsd away from brian this time.
animal collective's new album, merriweather post pavilion, is filled w/these sparkling pop gems.