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Thursday, November 01, 2007

The kids are alright

This post was supposed to about this brilliant insight I had last night concerning Thomas Huxley, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman, but that can wait, because right now, I'd rather write about the epilogue of Fargo Rock City.

Yes, I'm sorry. Once more you will be subjected to ramblings about Chuck Klosterman.

In any case, the epilogue of my favorite heavy metal examination leaves me with the wondrous, glowing feeling that I, personally, validate my one of my favorite writers. See, in this postscript Chuck mentions a book which was published at the same time as his--a little something called Our Band Could Be Your Life. Maybe you've read it. Most people (read: hipsters) have. I have. Chuck has. And the way he describes it, the aesthetics of these two styles of musicians are desperately dissimilar. Incompatible, even. The artists of Azerrad's book consciously attempt to be "important", while the bands of Klosterman's are simply concerned with being "cool". Chuck makes sure to point out, however, that the fans of these musicians are probably not that dissimilar--that kids like Black Flag for the same reason that they like Van Halen ("Man, these guys fucking rock!").

Why yes, Mr Klosterman. You are correct. At least for me.

See, not only have I read both Fargo Rock City and Our Band Could Be Your Life (numerous times each), but one actually led to the other. I read Our Band Could Be Your Life when I was fourteen, a massively uncool, reclusive ninth-grade bookworm. I loved it immediately and it made me install Kazaa on the family computer so I could download lots of Black Flag and Fugazi and Minor Threat, et cetera (Interestingly--perhaps tellingly--the only bands featured in the book which stuck with me were The Minutemen, Big Black, and Mudhoney. But that's a different story). Another group that piqued my interest, though it was merely a throwaway mention, was Queensryche.

Downloading Geoff Tate due to a sideline note in a hipster Bible led me to a fully-formed metal appreciation, which in turn made me buy Fargo Rock City.

So stick that in your juicebox and suck on it, critics the world over! Music really is simpler than you people want it to be! The same pseudo-intellectual kid who listens to Steve Albini and his thunderous drum machine can appreciate "Girls Girls Girls" (even if she is a girl). The vast, vast majority of music listeners, be their drug of choice rap, country, math rock, or glam metal, listen to their favorites for one reason: it fucking rocks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huh, I didn't really get the impression any of the bands in my book were trying to be "important." Can you cite some specific examples?
-- M.A.

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