When I get sick, I tend to read music books. (I don’t really know why—maybe because all the plots are basically the same?) And during a recent illness, I broke out Michael Azerrad‘s telling of the indie foundational myth, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and it’s informed a lot of my thinking lately about the cyclical nature of the genre and our brave new world in which We Are All Indies. Whereas doing it yourself—DIY—was once one option among many and employed for specific aims, now it seems to have become more of a requirement for anyone wanting to put out an album. And that move, from a technique characterizing particular styles of music and levels of fandom to something that is supposed to envelop all of pop, represents a significant change in how we interact with music. As Digital Music News put it this morning, “is a DIY, niche-targeted, ‘middle-class musician’ goal not sexy enough for some artists—or their fans, for that matter?”
That dumb British emo-prog band who had the song… More »
Big-time rock critic Michael Azerrad’s life took an unusual turn recently, when a proggy British emo band called Tubelord* wrote a song about killing him. The murderous ode to him, called “I Am Azerrad,” is their next single, and it features these lyrics:
“I see today, I see you, Azerrad / I’ve read the clues, they lead me to your head / I’ll kill today, I’ll kill you, Azerrad.”
That seems pretty conclusive to me! At least Azerrad got in some good lines about it when he wrote the incident up for Spin–he even tracked down the lead singer of the band, Joe Prendergrast, who acted all quiet and British-y about the whole thing, saying he picked Azerrad’s name because it had a “swing to it.” As Idolator pal Eric Harvey notes, Prendergrast’s defense is pretty flimsy.