Thursday, March 8, 2007

Who Peter Bjorn and John Are

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Peter Bjorn and John are an indie rock band whose name is straightforwardly derived from the names of its three members: Peter Morén (vocals, guitar), Björn Yttling (vocals, bass), and John Eriksson (drums). They have put out three full-length LPs so far: Peter Bjorn and John (2002), Falling Out (2005), and Writer's Block (2006). Only this last album has received much attention outside of Sweden. This is due entirely to the success last year of that album's first single, "Young Folks."

If you do not think you have heard "Young Folks," you should think again. Listen to it if you think I am wrong. Or watch the music video to refresh your memory:



In the waning months of 2006 it was everywhere. In November the song was featured on the ABC show Grey's Anatomy, and it made scores of 2006 end-of-year best-of lists, even of the non-indie variety. As Pitchfork put it in naming the song #5 on its own best-tracks list,
In a year of The Long Tail-- when nobody didn't have a website (not even Ryan Adams), and music listening followed TV viewing and political wingnuttery into Big Bang-style fragmentation-- "Young Folks" belonged to everyone.
With its retro-1990s break beat and its catchy but empty whistle riff, "Young Folks" was a perfectly sweet, semi-irono dance number to warm our autumns, and even winters. It was respectable ear candy to modestly rock our modest urban houseparties. It should have ended there.

And yet here we are in March, with SXSW just days away, and Peter Bjorn and John seem to be on the short list to be (in the lamentably accurate term) the "buzz band" that emerges from the festival as the New Voice of a Generation or some such.

For more on why this is deeply problematic, wait for my next entry.

12 comments:

Sam said...

Hey... thanks for emailing about your blog. How do you intend to stop them, exactly>?

The Wrong Folks said...

Yes, I know, it's confusing... I'm getting to it... wait a couple more posts

Anonymous said...

OK, I like this.

Jeff said...

Here's a slogan for you: "PBJ? More like Fluffernutters!" You can totally use that one without crediting me.

Anonymous said...

Where do we go with the pitchforks and torches?

Anonymous said...

MARKETING FOR THE BAND.

Anonymous said...

dude i can understand if you hate this band, but why must you make it such a big deal? alot of bands cut corners live, its alot of shit they have to do at once ya know. and besides, could you whistle that solo perfectly 60 to 80 days consecutivley?

Anonymous said...

great band cant see the point in this blog and your an idiot get a life

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