Just as I was preparing to go out last night, I got an email tip that I should listen to the streaming archive of KEXP's live performance by Peter Bjorn and John yesterday. (You have to put in the date and time to find it: the band went on soon after 1:45 p.m. Austin time, so that's 11:45 a.m. Seattle time.) In particular, the tipster said, I should pay attention to "Young Folks." Let me tell you, it's worth a listen: it really pulls the veil back from this phony band.
One thing that a lot of us have probably thought when listening to "Young Folks," or seeing video of their live performances, is: How does Peter do such an awesome job of whistling? He seems to nail it every time. Well, the answer is: he's lip-synching the fucking solo. The KEXP performance is 100% proof. On at least two occasions, he accidentally starts singing over the solo. The entire facade of this band crumbles. They're like a Swedish Milli Vanilli. And worse: when he messes up and starts singing over the whistling, you can actually hear him laughing about it. You can almost hear what he's thinking: these stupid American hipsters will listen to anything. You can give them a song with a whistle solo (bad enough) but then you can fake the fucking solo and laugh about it, and the stupid Americans will still go along calling you the big "buzz" band of SXSW. And it's happening, too. You try to stop something but then you can just see it happening all around you. I read it in the blogs; I hear it when I'm walking along the streets; this is the goddamned band this year. And it sucks.
The thing that especially sucks is, you all are going to realize that I was right. I swear. Give it a year, and somebody will mention the name Peter Bjorn and John, and you're going to laugh and say, "Oh yeah, everybody was excited about that band, weren't they? How funny that anyone took that band seriously." It's inevitable. What's worse, I even think that you know this now. Yes, it's fun when we all like the same thing at the same time. And yes, it's easier with something light and vacuous. But where will that take our culture? What will indie rock be remembered for?
I still hope that some of you are going to come to the protest today. I need for it to be over just so I can have any sort of enjoyment here in Austin, or in my life in general really. I never did wind up going out last night. I'm also sick of all the insults -- in comments, and in email, and even on the streets (I don't know how people figured out who I was, but it seems to have happened). No, this is not viral marketing for the band (I think I've dispensed with that here and here -- if you think that a PR person would insult the band like I have then truly you have never interacted with a PR person). No, I am not a loser, or a douchebag, or any of the other things that people want to call me. I just am trying to advocate for the long-term aesthetic interests of all of us, and even if you don't understand it now then maybe you will later.