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Modern Life Is Rubbish came out in May 1993, so it came out after Suede.
Leisure is a shoegaze/madchester album.
Britpop wasn’t a “thing” either. Suede, Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Elastica etc all sounded very different (well, not really Blur and Elastica), had entirely different attitudes, and covered very different subjects. The only thing they had in common was a debt to classic British pop/rock, from the Beatles to the Stone Roses.
These anniversary things are fucking ridiculous! () turns ten? Big deal! It’s not a landmark album, and it’s not even Sigur Ros’ most loved or influential. Does stereogum have nothing else to write about? Why not hire some decent writers who are knowledgeable about music both in historical context and in theory? Or who have seen more than their own navels?
You want an anniversary? Please Please Me is 50. There you go. In other news, Tomboy is a year and a half. Oh, remember the days, and the incalculable influence!
Nirvana embraced the mainstream music industry, they just pretended like they didn’t because it wasn’t cool. That’s why the indie world accepted them: they had the same attitude, but it was fake. Kurt Cobain was just as much of a careerist as Billy Corgan. He just said the right things, and somehow people bought the myth that a band on a major corporate label with videos on the corporate rock channel and their faces and words gracing the corporate rock magazines actually wanted to play a basement for their pals.
Selling records and being on MTV absolutely makes a band more important than another because they’re part of the mainstream and that enables them to have a larger influence (which makes them important).
Nobody created alternative culture, not the Smiths or those two other OK but inconsequential bands you mentioned. It’s something that was around and was growing, and the Pumpkins helped push it along in a big way. I think he’s talking about the mainstream alt culture of which Pitchfork and this site is a part. The Pumpkins helped it flourish and grow, and change the mainstream.
You can talk about the “indie community” but it doesn’t mean fuck all to a weird 13 year old flipping the channels and seeing a Smashing Pumpkins video come on after Janet Jackson or whoever. To kids unaware of “the scene” the Pumpkins were hugely important, much more so than the cool bands that had no impact on the mainstream at all. The Pumpkins didn’t commercialize anything, but they did bring some weirdness into the commercial world. And, again, it had a huge impact. You can’t underestimate the importance of having a band as weird as that be one of the biggest in the world. It had a huge impact on the culture.
It’s a good album, but it is most definitely not “a flat-out, no-two-ways-about-it masterpiece that stands behind only Nevermind as the best album produced by the grunge scene.” Even if that were true, it’s damning it with faint praise because that scene didn’t produce very many solid albums.
Most of the songs are good, but they stick around for far too long, and nothing really happens in them. They don’t develop at all, they just endlessly repeat two parts, have a generic guitar solo, and repeat those two parts several more times. This was a common problem for a lot of grunge bands. The songwriting was not that good. Maybe if they’d gone for a heavier approach, or had more interesting textures it would have been better.
Oh yeah, and their lyrics are dreadful.
And how about the rest of it?
When I feel heavy metal, and I’m pins and I’m needles
(looking up the rest…)
Well I lie and I’m easy
All of the time I am never sure
Why I need you
Pleased to meet you
Yeah, that’s about America, riiight. Sure, the song is a joke, but it’s not a satire of a country.
I got my head checked
By a jumbo jet
It wasn’t easy but nothing is
I got my head done
When I was young
It’s not my problem
It’s not my problem
Please, please explain how that’s a satire of America, or anything else.
Song 2 is a satire of America?
i got my head checked by a jumbo jet, it’s never easy but nothing is
when I was young i got my head done, it’s not my problem, it’s not my problem
Wow, take that America!
(really not a satire of America or anything else…)