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16 June 2008 @ 10:17 pm
crossing the ts, dotting the bass clefs  
I have some things to say about music. You'll have to just bear with me - this could be painful.

Of all the Decaydance bands I've been able to hear, I think the Hush Sound are the most accomplished. Maybe I think this because theirs is closest to the sound to which I'm instinctively attracted. It was a bit of a push to get into FOB, MCR and definitely the first Panic album. (For some reason I never had this problem with Blink 182. Then again, I'm still not sure if it's one-eight-two, one-eighty-two, or one-hundred-and-eighty-two. So. There's that.) I also think their lyrics are the fairest of them all - poetry in motion, almost.

I got to pondering this because I've been driving so much lately, in my beat-up '98 Fiat that only has a tape-deck. The radio is my only option and by god, does it play dreck. The new One Republic song makes me gag. You couldn't get more unoriginal than all I need is the air I breathe/and a place to rest my head, if you thought it out with both hands for a fortnight, not to mention that it's practically plagiarism. Contrast this to i took the arrow from your throat/stretched you beneath the trees/among the roots and baby’s' breath/i covered us with silver leaves. Like, SERIOUSLY. Or the heart-stopping now that the calm's returned/i know i can't manage/you're standing in the doorway/though he's asleep in my bed. That is every love story I've ever written or wanted to write. Guys, I have nightmares where the Hush Sound really did break up before Goodbye Blues and Hurricane never existed.

I'm going to stick with my poetry argument, because the Hushies' lyrics feel like reading poetry to me. There's the same slight greying of meaning, the same explosion of feeling when a word or a line falls into step with a part of my brain that before was without the colour of music.

However, I feel the need to defend the other Decaydance bands I've heard too. This is bandom's cunning influence.



I find Cobra Starship a bit gimmicky, although in a cute way. I have only got their first album, as well, which might be a deciding factor. On the other hand, Snakes on a Plane is on my top 25 most played on iTunes, so they're doing something right. I guess the sound is a bit too techno or dance-y for my tastes, but what I like about them is that - like all Decaydance bands - they have a band personality that adds to their music. Look, Gabe goes around making videos about being into cats with Travis to mock Pete (which may or may not be one of the total five bandom videos I've ever bothered to watch). This Japanese style of marketing - which I don't think they realise they're doing - of putting your whole self out there for the fans to be a part of, is pretty fun.



FOB - oh, FOB. I hope now that Pete's happy and kind of stable (though I wouldn't take his training wheels off just yet) the lyrics won't melt like spun sugar in the rain. It happens so often - mainly with writers, but that's what he is, really. Anyway, FOB was the first of the Decaydance bands I ever heard, back when This Ain't a Scene got a little bit of airplay. (Most Irish radiowaves are taken up with gangsta rap. I don't know why this is, and I don't like it. I could care less about Kanye West and his impossibly enormous jaw and his baffling level of smugnosity.) I was captivated because: oh my god, a band who can use the verb 'fit' in that manner deserves my respect. Okay yeah, the newer lyrics are about the travails of fame - yawn (and Mikeyway), but you can pretty much glean whatever meaning you like out of them. One of my favourite songs was 7 Minutes in Heaven, long before I realised it was about Pete's pretendy-OD. In my defence, I don't know what Atavan is the tradename for. If it was subtitled alprazolam or phenobarbitol I would have clicked much sooner, I assure you.



Toasted Skin is a lovely song, but I haven't yet listened to anything else on TAI's Santi. So this doesn't really count as a musical opinion. I will say, though, that Billiam was the person who put me off watching bandom videos. It was painful to see him carefully explain that the Snakes on a Plane were not, in fact, Snakes, but Metaphors of Snakes. WE GET IT. THANK YOU.



So I pretty much hated Panic's first album. Camisado grew on me, but at the rate of a dying fungus. If I'd got the first album after the second, I would have been sorely disappointed. I'm aware that liking Pretty. Odd makes me the musical equivalent of the people who insist Eragon has literary merit and who cares if he stole from Tolkein and Lucas, no one's interested in those stuffy old guys anymore. To be fair (to myself), I don't find the Beatles or the Beach Boys to have much relevance in MY life. Half of them are dead. They used a Rolling Stones song on House - when's the last time the Beatles were on the soundtrack to House? Or anything? But whatever. I'm not going to talk about that because my position is supremely precarious and I don't actually know enough about technical music to defend it. I'll stick to firmer ground: lyrics. Specifically, those of Lying is the Most Fun.

The first time I heard that, I was SHOCKED. I think because I don't expect the word fuck, in that context, in that kind of music. Or something. However, Lying is probably my favourite Panic song and here's why: it's the most raw bloody honest set of lines I've ever heard. I know most people's reaction is to hand Ryan Ross some Anti-Delusion pills, but wait. Just think about all the breakup songs of musical history - Rhianna's recent overly-polished contribution springs to mind - and consider what they say. They say: I'M SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU AND BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU. They all say this. It's a nice sentiment. It would be even nicer if it were realistically the reaction anyone, bar an egotistical manic, had to a breakup. Ryan Ross says: I'M SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOUR GIMPY-ASS NEW BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND. YOU SHOULD HAVE PICKED ME. Which, yeah. Bitter and jealous and more than a little immature, but true.



I'll put hand to heart and confess that Cupid's Chokehold is the only Gym Class Heroes song I know. It got a load of airplay here, though! because it is kind of rap-ish. When I didn't know about the FBR family or bandom, I was pretty meh about this song, and I thought the lyrics were verging on the Shane Ward-ish. It's amazing how much affection the insight provided by bandom gives a person. For example. I now like to think Cupid's Chokehold was written about Billiam. That is what I like to think.


tHiS pOsT wAs bRoUgHt tO yOu bY aN sUrFeIt oF lampreys iMmuNolOgy
 
 
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(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 16th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
I don't have one of those. That site scares me.
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 16th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
This is where my lack of exposure comes in. I thought it was fun.
mrsquizzical: hushsoundmrsquizzical on June 16th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
hushies are definitely my favourite (ugh greta's VOICE!) and i adore pretty.odd. i think the 'omg it's like the beatles' stuff is overstated by people. and come on. they're hardly the first!!! and i like the beatles. when i was 13 or so i got right into them for a couple of years, and had their complete works.

of course, my taste in music is not something you'll have much time for since i'm a diehard U2 fan for the last *mumbles a number similar to your age* years. *ducks from you*

i've got a few tai albums from a friend now, and i like it ok, for background music. cobra starship. yeah. i wouldn't have listened to either if it wasn't for bandom. i'm still thrilled as anything i'll be getting to see them play in august!

old mcr is too punk for me. but black parade is (imhumbleo) a truly Great Album. and there are bits of 'revenge' that i have on my playlist.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Hush Sound: Greta + pianoscoradh on June 17th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC)
I think it's undeniably true, but the problem is I'm just not savvy enough with music. I can easily say that no matter the appeal of Eragon, it's stylistically and plotistically inferior to the great works it riffs off. However, just because I like Panic more than the Beatles doesn't mean they're better than the Beatles. I have to be careful not to imply that I can in any way judge this. :D

Eh, I'd take U2 over gangsta rap any day. akjsdhfkjlsh NO.

I would not have got into this bands alone, for sure. However, if the Hushies had a greater listenership (which they deserve!) I would definitely have found them myself. It's my kind of music, which the rest - isn't, but I like it anyway. You know?
mrsquizzical: gerardmrsquizzical on June 17th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
i do know. yes.

the hushies are music that i can recommend to all my friends in a whole hearted way. no cringing necessary. (cringing because of the obvious fandom implication)

mind you i rec 'black parade' all the time, too. like they need me, to. but with that it's a bit like telling all the christians i know how fabulous harry potter is. blowing that stereotype. i enjoy showing people that mcr is actually a really great band and not at all the emo suicide cult leaders they're sometimes portrayed as.

(i blame fall out boy on the kids.)

actually while i'm rambling on about this, i get a bit pissy at the eye rolling about panic. how it's derivative or whatever. they stand out from most stuff on the radio. most pop sounds exactly like any other pop. gangsta rap certainly all sounds pretty homogenous to the non-discerning listener (ie. me). panic have been influenced by stuff, but they admit it and have still created something very new i think. /rambling.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: PATD: Group hugscoradh on June 17th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I rec'd the Hushies to a guy working in Waterstones! They really can appeal to anyone (although okay, I might have said they leaned towards jazz. Idk! I don't listen to jazz. He looked like he might, though).

Emo means nothing more here than a modern term for goth, which again, only means wearing black and growing your hair long. It was a handy enough term to describe their style of clothes, although if bandom is to be believed Geeway only wears black to hide the stains. :D

Oh, me too! They're doing something original rather than new. And while many bands would tip their hat to the Beatles in terms of influences, you couldn't really name many who were inspired by them. And why it's not okay for Panic to pay homage to the Beatles, but totally okay for MCR to pay homage to the Pumpkins, I have no idea. This must be some musical strata of honour I'm not aware of.

I think Panic have a lot of imagination - their videos and stages shows demonstrate that they can think outside the box. That Ryan had the guts to wear the costumes he did speaks volumes. And if people go to a show knowing they'll be entertained by something a little more than just playback - if the videos are worth watching for their own merit - then people are more likely to listen to, and then buy, the albums. It's business savvy if nothing else.

Especially given how young they are - if they can produce this now, imagine in ten's years time, when they've found their feet and don't need to riff off anyone - it'll be pretty amazing, if it happens.
wildestranger on June 16th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
But what about the band that wants to save your life? WHAT ABOUT THEM? *blinks earnestly at you with the fervour of a true believer*

But yes, The Hush Sound - I agree that they are vocally and lyrically far superior to all other FBR bands (and My Chem, although it pains me to admit it). Patrick Stump and Brendon Urie both have accomplished voices, strong voices, beautiful voices, but neither of them manages to sound half as interesting as Greta Salpeter. As for lyrics, I tend to go with - Ryan Ross, ahahahahhaa. Pete has a few clever lines but cleverness is a long way from poetry. And yes, Hurricane, that line, oh my god.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Because the Irish do it betterscoradh on June 17th, 2008 10:21 am (UTC)
Oh man, I think MCR are ADORABLE. Or do I mean adorkable? Look, when I first heard Teenagers - the only song to get airplay here - I liked their sound. But without bandom I would not have got into them in a big way. Well, that and the I'm Not Okay vid. It's amazing how much better that song gets when one pictures Geeway's anguished little face and croquet and asthma.

She's got a real husky voice or something. When I discovered how young she was - with that voice and those lyrics - I nearly died. With the others, you can pretty much chart their DOB just by listening, but her? I hope they ignore the rest of the hoopla and keep on making amazing music - their work is timeless and beautiful.

I still prefer Pete's cleverness to the general tosh that's out there. DO YOU KNOW HOW OFTEN I AM SUBJECTED TO SHANE WARD BECAUSE HE IS IRISH? DO YOU? if we had babies/they would have your eyes ERLACK ERLACK

Heh, Ryan Ross just doesn't give a shit how his lyrics apply to the rest of the world. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If he were an randomised control trial, he'd have loads of internal validity but about zero external validity. And I'm really sad my brain came up with that metaphor.
winkinganniewinkingannie on June 18th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
I was actually introduced to the Hush Sound about two weeks ago, when they opened for Panic. I was blown away. I quickly got their albums. The sea is red wine, this is the death of beauty. Who else has lyrics like that?
Hearing Pretty. Odd made me like it a whole lot more than when I first heard it. The folksy aspect is very surprising, but they pull it off well.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bookishscoradh on June 18th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, Wine Red. That was the first of their songs that bought and sold my heart. I played it incessantly on youtube till I was able to order their CDs off the internet (the greatest tragedy of my life is that I can't buy them in shops here - it's really tragic, I swear!). They're pretty damn amazing.

I like it a lot better than the ... technowhatever of Fever. It makes me interested to see what they'll do next, lol.
allyndra: Secrets of the Universeallyndra on June 20th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this post very much, because I know no one IRL who listens to these bands, and most fan commentary I run across is squee and slash (not that there's anything wrong with either). So, yay for discussion!

Also, it's Blink One-eighty-two. :o) Cool random fact: a guy that I work with played in a band that opened for them often back when they were still "Blink."
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: MCR: red tiesscoradh on June 22nd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of primers out there, this is true! I found them supremely interesting, but mainly because a) they are pretty people and b) I am shamefully easy to amuse. And squee is never what music makes me feel. It's ... other stuff, not so simple to define. It's my life, and I don't understand it at all.

Thank you for clearing that up. I've been saying one-eight-two for years. Fortunately I don't actually hang out with people who are fellow fans ... I don't think my friends listen to music at all, except for the one who owns a Guns'N'Roses album.

That is pretty damn cool! It's weird - I know Good Charlotte had a bandom following, with fic et al, but I don't think Blink 182 ever had. Given the ammo too! Naked videos! Awful waste, really. :P