Song of the day – 49: Kitchen’s Floor
Never trust a critic. Never trust an artist. Trust the tale.
D.H Lawrence held that, “The proper function of the critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it”. It’s a great notion, and I understand what he means – the reason why it’s possible to love ‘Love Your Money’ by Daisy Chainsaw while hating everything else about the band; and also a great defence for plagiarism – but it is also a maxim that doesn’t hold up when applied to rock’n’roll. Everything is context. The way musicians regard the floor on stage, the make of effects pedal, the angle the guitar is held at… all of these are crucial.
Since moving to Brisbane I’ve noticed something about musicians here. The only ones interested in soliciting my opinion are Nirvana fans, grew up with the male US alternative pantheon (GbV, Sun City Girls, Truman’s Water, Pavement duh, Sebadoh duh) of the 90s. This, as you might imagine, is a turn-off. It’s OK. It’s all right. Once these folk meet me – or worse still – see me perform on stage, they realise what a dull character I am and figure out that if I ever was interesting it was a long time ago indeed and – hey – we couldn’t give a fuck he doesn’t like our band as he’s clearly irrelevant (and only likes bands in with female musicians who can’t play, right Jo?). It’s OK. It’s all right.
Kitchen’s Floor are the rare few who fall into first half, but not the second, of the above category. Does this influence whether I like them? Initially, no. And then, yes.
It’s been pointed out to me by someone half my age that Kitchen’s Floor sound/move like the Pixies/Nirvana axis – I don’t see that. I see two boys and girl thrashing furiously, and trying to make sense of surroundings (damp mattresses, uncaring peers, blurred vision). I hear a drum that clatters, vocals that are indecipherable yet cut deep the way I recall vocals from forgotten Olympia WA bands in the 80s cutting deep. I hear cow bells and distortion and fuzz the way I was once unable to describe Cows. I hear vocals that grate and guitars that warm. AND I AM UNABLE TO SEPARATE THE TALE FROM THE ARTIST. Does this make me a dreadful critic, or simply one that chooses to believe in the truth/illusion?
Kitchen’s Floor have a new seven-inch out.
Here’s ‘Orbit’ from it – and I’ve got to warn you. It’s going to take you several listens to get it, and that’s mainly because – in this age of Internet access and YouTube and random iTunes playlists – it’s eminently possible to separate the musician from the tale. And it shouldn’t be.