Gateways to Geekery!?!
I will have you know I was well into geekery before I even spun this record.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Well That's Not Very....Hey!
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An idiosyncratic blog dedicated to the precursors, the practioners, and the descendants of power pop. All suggestions for postings and sidebar links welcome, contact any of us.
We need to track down this Noel Murray person and kick his ass. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. It's the condescending tone that pisses me off...and the fact that I like The Knack!
Count me in, pal.
Cool, a three way ass kicking!
I can deal with his and my differences of opinion, that is easy to accept. I do not like people who use obscurity as a mark of how cool they want to be. A good ass kicking would help with that.
I wouldn't exactly call BVS obscure. It's a great record, and got a lot of press at the time. 30 years on, it's still the benchmark by which DIY records are measured.
As to the Knack: I loved them in the day, but there's no question they were a victim of overexposure. Still, by any reasonable measure they were a great power pop band.
One thing he says that I think has some merit: "On the East Coast, the back-to-basics movement developed into punk rock, spearheaded by the Ramones. In the Midwest, it became something brighter and shinier." And on the West Coast, it was done with a hipper-than-thou sneer, and that's really the problem with The Knack.
What did you guys think of the caution not to indulge in Cheap Trick too soon?
And frankly, I won't join in the ass-kicking just because he wrote this: "Too much of power-pop sounds slick and uniform, but Black Vinyl Shoes feels as personal as it is accomplished. It’s like finding a love letter in the county dump, then discovering it was written by Wordsworth."
That's fucking poetry, that is.
Cheap Trick? Indulge away! Though I wouldn't go much past Heaven Tonight, their high point and one of the great rock albums evah.
Nice that he gave a shout-out to Utopia's Utopia. (I've heard it referred to as "The Network Album", since that was the short-lived label it was originally on):
Todd Rundgren, has gone on to explore power-pop off and on throughout his solo career and as a member of Utopia, and the latter’s self-titled 1982 album is perhaps Rundgren’s purest shot at the genre.Agreed. An elpee's worth of killer, hooky 3-minute toons.
One of the comments:
"As I understand it, single women living in urban areas are particulary obsessive over Shoes."
As for Cheap Trick, "In Color" is a perfect entry drug into the genre.
Agree with your assessment of the Knack dig, and isn't "Deface the Music" Rundgren's swing at powerpop?
I think Deface The Music was intended
more to be a straight-up Beatles homage.
My Sharona has a place in the Power Pop pantheon as far as I am concerned.
Mr. Murray's comments about Cheap Trick and The Posies early works are very odd. Those first few albums have some of their most potent work. Not to knock what came later - "Cheap Trick" (1997) is just about perfect, and it came along when I had just about written them off. And the Posies "Success" is on my playlist at least once a week. But "Heaven Tonight", "In Color", and "Dear 23" are as fresh now as when they first appeared many moons ago.
The oddest part of the article is what he doesn't cover - British Power Pop in the form of The Records, Nick Lowe, early Elvis Costello and Attractions, etc. etc.
Not to knock what came later - "Cheap Trick" (1997) is just about perfect, and it came along when I had just about written them off.Cool -- I thought I was the only person who loved that record...
I've been following the "gateways to geekery" series, and the entries are somewhat curt by design, I think (pointing readers in a few possible directions).
Noel Murray's yearlong series "Popless" made for an interesting read (spending 2008 going through his mp3 collection rather than reviewing new music); I'd recommend it just for how it made me reconsider the ways I absorbed music as a kid, then as an adolescent and beyond. His confession that he thought P.M. Dawn was the Next Big Thing made me laugh and laugh, as I hid my crappy teenage punk rock CDs under the bed.
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