2012 & the Abysmal Company You Kept
By Mike Turner
Well, it’s once again that time of year where we all give up and phone it in. The month of the end of the year list is now upon us. I’m sure I’m not the only one to point this out but each year the end of the year lists get earlier and earlier as we decide that anything released in December doesn’t really matter. I know I’m guilty of it — hell I’m not even doing anything really different from what I did last year. Oh, what was it that I did last year you might ask? I basically made a list of why you the reader might be getting a bum deal buying into the constant relentless banner-ad-scrollover-pop-up-ad-with-a-vitamin-water-tie-in that is indierock these days. So sit back and get either really pissy or have a good laugh as I tell you why you might be sucking and what you might do to remedy it before the holidays. I mean you can’t get all that mad as you didn’t even buy this shit anyway unless you count your Spotify subscription.
The year started off with the most thunderous wet fart of the year that you sniffed up like it was buttered popcorn called Grimes. When I heard this shit the first thing I wanted to do was find out where Ivo’s (the guy who started 4AD) grave was so I could piss all over it, cause that is what whoever is running that label is doing. I couldn’t believe the rate you all jumped on the bandwagon of this Canadian tweaker. I’m sorry but Grimes is just bad instructional video background music with an emotionless burning man version of Bjork. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Feel something… anything…
Meanwhile Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab released a new album this year titled Silencio. Not only does the music stir emotions, but you also get songs about the evils of capitalism, personal responsibility to one’s self and to others, as well as spiritual, mental, and physical growth.
With this one we’re gonna do a two for one. Both Grizzly Bear and The Shins put out new records this year. After having the displeasure of hearing this wallow, I now know what it must be like to stand in line at a Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t actually know, but I imagine it sounds about as mundane as these two bands. It’s all cleanly packaged, served right up exactly the same every time, and if you take in enough of it you’ll feel the need to go to the bathroom. The lyrics are about as real as the couple in front of you going on about how they wish they’d hurry up and get new episodes of The Office up on Netflix already. This is the sound of bands whose goal was to be full time working musicians and decided to stop really working on being a good band. This might as well be Seals & Croft and Loggins & Messina, but those guy could write radio hits.
But for every Shins and Grizzly Bear we have these young upstarts like Cold Pumas and La La Vasquez that help keep things a bit lively.
Passion Pit made a dance record so void of any soul that house music is in foreclosure. Dance music for the Tea Party youth culture set. I’ll sum it up real quick: rich kids with super pricey electronic gear make records that say nothing for people who need nothing but want everything.
Back in the sleepy poor-as-hell slack-ass streets of Athens, GA Kevin Barnes and his of Montreal had this track left around to place on a b-sides and forgotten tracks compilation, proving this man’s cast away tracks have more soul than an entire Passion Pit box set.