This comment might create waves, but I’d also submit that we are seeing a lot of computer-based electronic music for one simple reason: it is a completely different animal to mess with a music program than it is to plug in a guitar, or sit at a piano, or behind a drum set, and use your mind and body to create it.
Unsugarcoated: it seems like a lot of these “electronic” bands would never have enough conventional musical talent in a million years to make anything even slightly noteworthy. There are a lot of untalented hacks out there with MacBook Pros.
**This isn’t to say the bands mentioned in the article fit this bill. But they are out there.
Or in a way that artists try to push it into new territory and/or use its versatility to find the right tone, timbre, etc. for a song.
I’m sort of in the same boat. Established acts like The National, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, The Walkmen, My Morning Jacket, Spoon (I could go on and on) might not be “guitar” rock, but guitar definitely features prominently into most, if not all, of their music. Then you have new(er) artists like Tame Impala, Local Natives and Fleet Foxes who fit the same bill. Kristian Matsson as a finger player is probably one of the most skilled guitarists to come along in a generation, but he doesn’t dry hump the air wearing a Flying V so he doesn’t get labeled as a “hero”.
The way I see it, guitar is being relegated to one of three new roles. It’s another instrument in an ensemble, a la The National or Radiohead, as it used to be in the early days of country and jazz. In other venues, guitarists who aren’t lacking for skills are exploring what the instrument can do and how to make it the perfect ingredient in a song. One other route it is taking is as an accompanying presence for singer-songwriters like Matsson.
As a pop instrument though, it might be at a low-point in popularity. I still have memories of the Jonas Brothers sporting Les Pauls, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Seriously. Before I watched the video, I saw some comments about its length and was expecting it to be ten or twelve minutes. It clocks in at 7:42. ’tain’t nothin’. Arcade Fire just released a long(er than we’re typically used to because of a single-centric mindset) song and did a pretty damn fine job. It that’s “boring” to someone, I think it demonstrates much more about said someone than it does AF.
I’ll take the Marshall Mathers ESPN video over any of his music any day.
Fans can be spoiled brats, don’t get me wrong. But without people paying money for performances, almost no musical artist could do what they do. DG’s behavior doesn’t qualify as “pushback”. The expectation was completely reasonable- you let someone put your name on a bill, fans see the bill, fans pay money for an appearance, and you do it. It comes off as an attention-grabbing stunt, and in that aspect you’re absolutely right that it worked. But it was little more than that. It wasn’t gutsy, or even retaliatory.
I’ve known bands to walk off the stage when audiences are unruly or unresponsive. I can’t blame them for that. I wouldn’t blame DG all that much for standing on stage, silently, for five minutes, and calling that an appearance, because technically they’d have done what they said they were going to do. Perhaps they could have come on stage and done horrible, off-key ballad karaoke. The band could have served drinks and played a looped video of a bearded transient jerking off into a fedora for all I care, but the line that they crossed went from plausibly empathy-inspiring statement into full-blown narcissistic hissy fit. It’s no one’s fault but your own if you give the impression that you’ll be somewhere and then just aren’t- you yourself set the expectation, not the media or the fans. That part is just an excuse for the behavior.
If the artists are whining about the “expectations” being showing up to a place they said they’d be, then fuck them. Honestly. I can say honestly that if one of my favorite bands did that, I’d no longer be a fan. It’s not even about “art”. It’s about doing what you say you’re going to do.
DG’s behavior is self-righteous pretension at its most insufferable.
I thought you didn’t want to state your opinion.
I’m a die hard fan now and was once a skeptic. Their body of work is something you really need to wade into gradually. But like mayonaise said, it might just be a matter of taste.
Ahem, *is still one of my favorites.