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Glyph

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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  1. Avatar krogerfoot
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    says:

    Indeed.

    About 25 years ago, one of my band’s first real shows in a real rock & roll venue, Cannibal Club in Austin, was opening for Pylon, whom I knew to revere because REM cited them as a huge hometown influence. I was practically delirious with proximal glory, though I’d never heard any Pylon songs or known anything else about them, pre-YouTube/Wikipedia. They were the least “we’re-in-a-band”-looking group of musicians I’d ever seen at that point. They made the staff take all the colored gels out of the lights and had an almost perfectly bare stage. They were an absolutely terrific band, and their drummer scolded me for asking them to autograph the poster for the show (us and Pylon!!!), which I somehow subsequently lost.

    I haven’t heard those songs since, probably. That was great listening. It’s a wonderful age we’re living in, where we can just dial up pretty much anything that exists and enjoy it instantly.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to krogerfoot
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      says:

      Dude you opened for Pylon? That’s huge!

      I definitely came to them through R.E.M. (their cover of “Crazy”) and B-52’s. And they’ve been one of my favorite bands ever since. Kind of the American Gang of Four (though not nearly so political, and strangely IMO even less well-known).

      This post was pretty much inspired when I stumbled across that video for “Beep”. I didn’t think they HAD any videos. I have the original Chomp vinyl LP, the cover of which has a serrated top edge (you know, like it was chomped).:

      http://www.amazon.com/Chomp-More-Pylon/dp/B002P0QHQO

      Dangit, let’s do just a few more:

      Report

      • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Glyph
        Ignored
        says:

        “Dude you opened for Pylon? That’s huge!”

        I guess I am kind of a big deal.

        It was a good illustration of the reality of indie-rock* immortality. The singer told us that she was using up her vacation days from her job at Kinko’s to go on tour.

        * The term didn’t exist back then, I don’t think, or at least hadn’t yet taken on the meaning of “guitar rock with incompetent singing.”Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to krogerfoot
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          says:

          I watched a short bit on Pylon (it might have been part of the Athens Inside Out doc?) and IIRC they originally split when they felt they had made all the music they needed to make. This despite fans and other bands like R.E.M. sort of pressuring them to reform or continue; supposedly they had no animosity towards each other, they just saw Pylon as a complete, done thing, and had no desire or ambition to take it to the next level. I don’t know if they didn’t want mass success, or truly thought there was no other place to take their sound, but they didn’t seem bitter or regretful about it, Pylon was just a thing they had done when they were kids, they were almost confused that anybody else cared.

          Which is another thing about “indie rock immortality” – people like you and me cared. Much as I love, say, the world-conquering Stones, there’s always something about those bit players in the out-of-the-way corners, the underdogs who never got their due, that really excite a certain kind of rock fan’s imagination. Even more so when they appear to mostly discount their own importance and ego and aren’t bitter or disillusioned, but seem to have a healthy outlook on life.Report

          • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Glyph
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            says:

            “. . . They just saw Pylon as a complete, done thing, and had no desire or ambition to take it to the next level.”

            There is that. There is also the thing that is kind of hard to explain to people who love your music, the obstacle to the great movie that can’t be made about tragically ignored geniuses like Big Star: Playing and making great music is really hard work, and is almost never rewarding enough to keep at it for more than a few years. I mean, it needs to provide certain regular amounts of fun and remuneration, and that balance is incredibly hard to get and maintain. Those points are sporadic punctuation marks in a dreary and demoralizing novel-length run-on sentence.

            You have to admire people like Pylon, who had the wisdom to recognize that they were more likely to have fun for a short time than make enough money to do it as a job. You have to salute them for having the guts not to go for it.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to krogerfoot
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          says:

          krogerfoot: indie-rock…hadn’t yet taken on the meaning of “guitar rock with incompetent singing.”

          I will reiterate that I’m 100% fine with “guitar rock with incompetent singing” – my complaint is that the term too often today dispenses with the first two words of that description.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to krogerfoot
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      says:

      Awesome.Report

  2. Avatar dhex
    Ignored
    says:

    “why isn’t there more gothic dub?”

    do you even witch house, bro? 🙂Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    “If there’s No Future, we might as well dance.”

    And also if there is one.Report

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