What's There To Be Embarrased About???

The website Coke Machine Glow gave us a gold medal first place prize in their year end "I Was Briefly Not Embarrassed to be From New Jersey While Watching MTV" category. Check it out here - http://tinyurl.com/ybjl9ot

Also I've encountered a few end of the year lists from major internet sources. The kinds of places that people with little confidence in their own abilities to analyze art look toward to tell them what to think and feel. It is pretty amazing to me that my end of the year list could be so completely different. I am dumbfounded and confused when I see these lists and realize that I couldn't care less about 49 of these people's top 50 albums of the year. Where does that divide come from? Why do these places continue their complete blackout on artists from a community I would loosely define as DIY/ punk? What is it that makes me look to these types of artists and see the most original and compelling music while many 'indie' media sources don't find them even worthy of mention? I'm not angry, just confused. I guess I'll go listen to the promo copy of Shellshag's soon-to-be released album 'Rumors in Disguise' for the 6th time in 2 days. I can already tell you that it is going to be in my 2010 year end list even though we're still sitting in 2009. It is that good!

Check out the first track off of 'Rumors in Disguise.' It is called 'Resilient Bastard.' I promise you won't be able to stop listening to it! http://riotactmedia.blogspot.com/2009/12/meet-your-new-favorite-jam-of-2010.html



Anonymous said...

thank you screaming females for getting me into bands like JEFF, shellshag, bad blood and cheeky. heavy days has literally not left my CD player since the day i picked it up

Anonymous said...

I have been to New Jersey several times and I liked it more than NY, actually. Maxwell's is one of the finest stages ever and I wish that I could remember the name of that great record store in Hoboken, right on a main sort-of avenue? Geez, I can't remember. Ringwood was a pretty cool little place with it's own scene a few years ago, thanks in part to Bill from King Ghidora. Anyone remember them? I used to play in a band called Some Velvet Sidewalk and we always went over really well in New Jersey (the 3 times we played there) and the people were awesome and very hospitable(any one who lets 3 smelly touring bands use their shower is a most gracious host and a friend for life).

Chris Harris said...

Interesting indeed. What lists are you referring to? Do you not care about the artists because you've heard their music and don't like it/can't find any artistic merit in it, or is it because they're on the list and that's reason enough to dismiss them? While I agree that many major Internet sources overlook a lot of great acts, and, that there are lots of politics involved in who gets attention and who doesn't, I have seen an attempt at diversity in a lot of these lists. Perhaps that diversity doesn't dig as deep into your community as you would like, but you guys seemed to be poised to change that. One could argue that you're already changing that. After all, wasn't your top 10 listed on Brooklyn Vegan, which is a major taste-maker blog? Don't you have a two page photo layout in the current issue of Spin? I actually think the more interesting question here is the apparent lack of diversity on your list. Has the love of your community prejudiced your ear to the point where nothing else passes the litmus test? It seems to me that whatever "divide" exists, probably exists both ways. Too often great music gets overlooked because it doesn't fall in line with what's trendy, or fit into the general aesthetic parameters of a community. You're probably just as guilty of this as the Internet sources you scorn. It's the way of the world I guess. Perhaps we can hold out hope that the old adage: "the cream always rises to the top," will prove true and talented, hardworking bands that are truly offering something unique, regardless of genre, community, or taste-maker status, will garner their due attention and respect. I wouldn't bet on it, but stranger things have happened.