(PITCHFORK SEARCH DIRTY BEACHES)
(RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES) DIRTY BEACHES POST 3/30/10
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(WEEKLY TAPE DECK) DIRTY BEACHES POST 2/10/10
(HYPE MACHINE) DIRTY BEACHES initial posts (Said the Grampawphone, No Pain in Pop in 10-11/2008.)
One thing lazy music writers like to do is ask whether a certain album represents the end of musical trend x. That's really the same as comparing apples and oranges. Albums are something that exist in reality, and musical trends are constructs. A common mistake that bad critics make in this department is to dismiss something because of a trend that it "belongs" to. Critics should make observations about songs, recorded music and life performance, not use space to make generalizations about a poorly constructed category.
Last night was my first experience seeing live Jeans Wilder. He performed on guitar with a backing ipod. There is nothing wrong with that. I will watch a million artists perform that way forever before going back to the old days of a live rock band. Don't get me wrong- there is a time and a place for a big full band. That time is: After you have an lp for sale and are playing venues where people pay to watch you. Before that, all people need to be able to do is hear your songs and watch you perform. Why would you do anything else? Any statements about the relative momentum of a music trend (upwards "on the rise" or downwards "on the decline") are simply ignorant of the realities of playing music at an amateur level. Individual artists with ipods are about 1000% more viable then a rock band. Fuck the band.
Jeans Wilders' (or "Andrew") songs are atmospheric and kind of spooky. He doesn't do a lot on stage, but he does generate a gloomy atmosphere that effectively conveys emotion. It seems to me fairly certain that someone is going to put out a Jeans Wilder LP, and my advice to Jeans is to just play it cool and work on the live act with the idea of touring after the record comes out. The record should be completed before the agreement to release it is formalized. You don't want to burn out on the local scene while you are waiting for a full length to come out. Use the full length as an excuse to really dedicate yourself to the project and get out onto the road. Before then, work on developing audiences in the pacific coast cities: SD, LA, SF, SACTO, PORTLAND, SEA. There is def. an audience out there.
People are going to try to box Jeans Wilder out with dismissive category references, but those people are stupid, and if the songs are good enough people won't use category as a mode of analysis. If, on the other hand, the songs don't kill it is going to be tough sledding outside of San Diego.
Watching Dirty Beaches ("Alex") perform left me wondering why I hadn't heard about this guy until 2010. Getting your first post on that crusty old Grandpaw phone blog is a bad start. Who reads that blog? A post on No Pain in Pop the next month didn't get it going. There were posts throughout 2009.... None of which I read. Anyway... I could speculate all day. What I saw last night was a really charismatic live performer who seems me like he popped out of the fantasy world of indie music retail. Alex is a Canadian national whose family emigrated from Taiwan, but he spent significant time in San Francisco and Hawaii. He lives in Montreal, but his music is quite distinctly an amalgamation of sounds that have little to do with any of those places.
Instead, he has what you might call a buttery vocal manner reminiscent of pop/country/rock vocalists of the 50s and 60s. Although last night he performed by himself with a looping device and a guitar, the vocals really stood out, like in 3D, from the rest of the concept, and I think that's the kind of actual talent that more people should be looking for. I have to say, that DEFINITELY is NOT apparent on the recorded work, which swerve between the muddy noise under ground and classic 50s rock.
Dirty Beaches needs the benefit of a good producer, a good studio. He needs to have confidence in his talent, and he should. All I had to do last night was close my eyes and I could see Dirty Beaches having a full length LP and it actually selling because the songs are so amazing, but there is some time and distance between last night and what I saw with my eyes closed.
I hope Alex can build a bridge from here to there. I think if he finished up a 10-12 track LP with 4-5 strong vocal tracks he could be in business. He would need a live band at that point. And he needs a community where he can develop a local following. I don't know if Montreal is doing it for him in that regard. Maybe Vancouver would be more amenable.
Dedicated to classics and hits.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
(PITCHFORK SEARCH DIRTY BEACHES)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Here is what Fader themselves are writing:
There seems to be a little bit of misinformation surrounding Salem’s performance at the FADER Fort last Saturday and our own reception of it. We’ve long loved the group, put them on one of our limited edition 7-inches and in the magazine and on this site about a billion times and are grateful they decided to risk playing at a venue that was never going to serve them well. So when FADER editor Matt Schnipper used a portion of his latest column to address the show, and said that they were “booed offstage” and were “not good,” it was within the context of saying how much he likes their music and how ill-suited the Fort was to display it. And of course a few people took it of context and tried to make it seem like we were clowning a band that we’d booked, which is not the case.
Epic. Here's what I have to say- fuck the "fans" at sxsw- who the hell goes to SXSW in 2010? Hustlers and morons that's who. 1800 bands went and I saw articles about two of them: XX & Dum Dum Girls, all of which seemed to be based on a single showcase (Other Music) everyone else: waste of time.
Salem- you rule.
Posted by catdirt at 8:25 AM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
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