Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Austin at Last

Austin, or at least what I have seen of it so far, is a terribly dispiriting place. It didn't help that I arrived during a near-torrential rainstorm. But the city itself feels joyless, empty. Before heading out to where I'm staying (at a friend's, a ways out of town) I drove straight to the site for the event on Friday -- the corner of 6th and Lamar -- and was struck by how bland and suburban even this "downtown" intersection felt. The record store, which incongruously seems to have some sort of brewpub attached & affiliated, is catty-corner from a gargantuan Whole Foods supermarket that I have since learned is the largest in the world. So before you come to protest, you can stock up on pricey organic prepared foods.

Compounding my bad mood was the Peter Bjorn and John album, which (ill-advisedly) I had decided to play as I drove in, so I could hone my argument and focus my mind for leading this campaign. That it did: I had disliked the album on my few initial listens, but I was struck on my re-listen in the car at how poorly the songs wore on me. All the phony slapped-on sounds are so apparent: "Start to Melt," which is lame faux Guided by Voices; "Paris 2004," which is lame faux Wilco; "Objects of my Affection," which is some wack-ass lo-fi Proclaimers shit. Even "Amsterdam," the one track that I had begrudgingly enjoyed somewhat on my first few listens, came off as hollow and cloying.

Fortunately, though, all storms must pass, and all albums must end. The rain let up, finally, just about the same time that the nightmare of Peter Bjorn and John yielded to something more pleasurable. (To the next track on my iTunes, alphabetically by artist: "Freek-a-Leek," by the inestimable Petey Pablo & company.) Now, after settling in at my friend's place and enjoying a fine Shiner beer, I have nearly forgotten the heartache of a few hours earlier.

Anyway, more tomorrow -- can't wait to see all of you here.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

This must be a joke. But, besides, what bands should the whole world listen to? If you go as far as planning a boycott on a band, have the decency to give alternatives, at least...

Anonymous said...

Hey, you know what the indie-rock world needs? One more pretentious douchebag who takes the music oh-so-seriously.

The irony of this entire endeavor is that the vast majority of indie-rock that this sort of person champions is exactly as vapid and shallow as the author accuses Peter, Bjorn and John of being.

toddsgirl said...

The alternative, anonymous, is to think for yourself, listen with your own ears, and stop letting the media and its parasitic puppets, the blogs and the pitchforks of the world dictate your aural landscape. Whatever madman is writing this blog, he is a genius. I wish I could be in Austin--though the place sounds dreadful--but unfortunately I am stuck here in Austria.

Anonymous said...

The blogs and the pitchforks tell us we should listen to PBJ, Madman (LOL...) tells us we shouldn't. I see the same principle here, applied on opposite sides...

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot.

D'Artagnan said...

I would like to paraphrase Colonel Nathan Jessup (brilliantly performed by Jack Nicholson) from the movie A Few Good Men - "This is funny, that's what this is."

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I had the resources to drive to a city I didn't want to go to, in order to protest a band I didn't like. What a douchebag. This is sad, really. I shouldn't even be here, as just coming to this 'blog' to check it out is more support than I want to give. Have fun, asshole.

Anonymous said...

Really? You're really talking shit about Austin? 6th and Lamer is not the heart of downtown - Waterloo Records by the way. Waterloo, Waterloo, Waterloo. Now there's plenty of free advertisement for all. Indie band and awesome local business alike.

Dan said...

This is funny.

Also funny are people getting uptight about one guy getting uptight about one band. There's an echo chamber in here...

Anonymous said...

Wake up, you're wasting you life man. You clearly have nothing in life that makes you happy, so you do what all people like you do, elevate yourself to super-fan and try to save people from themselves. You should really think about re-naming this blog, "Cry For Help". Snap.

Anonymous said...

You need to get laid or something so you don't waste your time on idiotic blogs that don't do anything but piss people off.

Austin is the best city in the world, you're lame.

Anonymous said...

VIRAL MARKETING FOR THE BAND

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about any band, but do not talk shit about Austin, Texas. The sooner you get out of town the better. This is where I live and I think it is the greatest city in the U.S. I'm glad you don't like it though, because we don't need depressing and obsessive complainers.

I keep reading here in this blog that people should stop listening to blogs and pitchfork and choose music for themselves. May I suggest that is better to be told to listen to something then to be told not to. While blogs and various websites suggest that people give bands a try, this blog simply rants that no one should listen to them. I admire your passion and tenacity, and I enjoy reading this comical blog, but I do not take it seriously and niether should anyone.

I did get a copy of Peter Bjorn and John's cd recently and I enjoy it. I do not think they are the greatest thing going right now, but I would recommend the cd to anyone. I am still curious about what bands the writer of this blog does like.

Anonymous said...

that gargantuan whole foods is the OG. it used to be across the street next to bookpeople. now it's the giant amusement park you saw. don't knock whole foods though. stick to pb&j who truly suck.

:)

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TimothyD11 said...

Feek-A-Leek isn't formulaic mindless nonsense?

Good luck in your crusade trying to change people's minds about a very likeable band!

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