Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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16 Responses

  1. krogerfoot says:

    This post is 100% correct. The Sex Pistols would also support your thesis. The layers of attitude and bourgeois-epate-ing were spread over some impeccable songwriting.

    Those Husker Du videos remind me how hard and expensive it was to sync music to video back then.Report

    • Glyph in reply to krogerfoot says:

      While the Pistols’ reputation as “anti-musical” was certainly over-exaggerated, they certainly seem less melodic to me than the examples here (I think it’s fair to characterize Johnny Rotten’s vocal lines as deliberately anti-melodic, though obviously they had their own highly-original-and-now-oft-imitated hectoring quality). I think of Pistols songs as “catchy” certainly (especially the riffs), but not very “melodic”; (possibly relatedly) they were often also slower in tempo than a lot of the other original punks were.Report

  2. Slade the Leveller says:

    Ever Fallen In Love is one of the all-time great pop songs. The fact that it’s branded as punk means it’ll never be heard by many that should hear it.

    Here’s a great cover: https://youtu.be/4op1esLn4mcReport

  3. Slade the Leveller says:

    Another great pop tune hidden in the punk oeuvre (maybe..are the Replacements considered punk or just brilliant Midwest power poppers?) is Kiss Me on the Bus. The yearning in the lyrics get me every time.

    Here’s the performance that got them banned from SNL: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6yi55_that-s-where-we-re-riding_musicReport

  4. greginak says:

    Right on. When i was a snot nosed teen and in college radio circa the 80’s one the things all my Alt loving friends always laughed about was how so much of punk or new wave or Alt was just catchy pop or straight ahead rock or in many ways easily accessible. However because AOR/ classic rock ruled the waves none of it could get played. Hell i had people say REM or U2 were to far out or weird. Geez the rock world got so full of spit and pompous in the 70’s and 80’s ( and i like plenty of rock from those years) but still true.

    Punk saved rock from becoming completely ossified.

    What no love for Orgasm Addict?Report

    • Glyph in reply to greginak says:

      Speaking of R.E.M., a friend of mine had a discomfiting experience recently.

      He was in a stereo shop, to buy a new center channel. While one clerk was helping him, the other clerk (a young gal with hipster glasses and plentiful face piercings) was picking out tunes on the computer, and she seemed pretty knowledgeable about music. One of the things she picked out was something off the new Death Cab for Cutie album (a breakup record! She just couldn’t believe Zooey D. would break Ben’s heart like that!) so my friend started chatting to her (not really flirting, as he is old enough to be her dad, just making conversation while he waited for the other guy to do something) about music and bands.

      He mentioned that he was going to go see a band with Mike Mills/Pete Buck in it at a local club that night – for people of our generation, seeing a couple former members of R.E.M. play in a tiny local club is like having Paul McCartney in your living room or something.

      She just totally gave him a blank “who’s ‘R.E.M.’?” No clue at all who they were. (To be fair, her coworker, who was roughly her age, was just as surprised that she was drawing a blank).

      But my friend and I did the math and realized, yeah, their last significant hit would have happened when this girl was very young, and since their profile had dropped even before they split, they have fallen into a weird cultural amnesia crack right now (my wife said they don’t even really get played on the Pandora stations you’d expect them to show up on, though perhaps that’s a licensing thing).

      Anyway, that was our “holy cow we are OLD” moment, to realize that something once so ubiquitous was now largely-unknown, even amongst the kids who count themselves alt-music fans.

      I mean…R.E.M.?! I wasn’t alive in the sixties either, but that’d be like me not knowing who…well, maybe not the Beatles or Stones, but like not knowing who The Who or CCR are.Report

      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        I almost feel like it’s difficult to be a DCFC fan and not know R.E.M.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          I know, right?!

          But where/when would she have heard them? They didn’t keep plugging away, a la U2 or the Stones. According to my wife, they don’t show up on Pandora much. Although they were very much an inspiration for some contemporaries or followers that still have cultural currency today (Cobain said R.E.M.’s artistic/career path was what he hoped to emulate; the second time I saw Radiohead, they were opening for R.E.M.), they were themselves somewhat “classicist” in a lot of their music (early on they were murky, sure, but those were basically Byrds riffs) – so I think they may not have something that makes them “stand out”. And by the time of their last few post-Berry albums, only the die-hards were still on board, there were no real radio hits IIRC.

          Actually, CCR is a good analogue for R.E.M. In some ways CCR was so “traditional” sounding, and consistent, and resolutely non-flashy, that maybe it’s easy to forget what a great band they were (also like CCR, R.E.M. created albums tailor-made for distance-driving). CCR were not particularly widely-known amongst youth in the ’80s either.Report

          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            I’ve heard them on the classic rock station here, which may be the problem.

            Also, was CCR the first band that was really one dude with 3 guys he toured with? I mean, technically they were all involved in the recording process, but it was pretty well known that John Fogerty recorded most of the parts.Report

            • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

              Chris: I’ve heard them on the classic rock station, which may be the problem.

              Interesting (and maybe not totally surprising) – they went straight to “classic rock”.

              Chris: was CCR the first band that was really one dude with 3 guys he toured with? I mean, technically they were all involved in the recording process, but it was pretty well known that John Fogerty recorded most of the parts.

              First big one I can think of, anyway. Obviously later Stevie Wonder and Prince and Billy Corgan have done similar.

              I wonder if Fogerty is the first because before him no one thought (or was enough of a control freak) to do it that way; or if it’s just that by his time, recording tech was advanced enough to allow one person to track everything separately and then put it together after the fact.Report

  5. Glyph says:

    Speaking of “lean”, have you guys seen Bob Mould lately? Dude looks *fit*. When I was a skinny lad, I remember him being a little chubby. Now I’m the chubby one. 🙁