Thursday, April 24, 2008

Can't stop the music

Recently Ereck's been having a phase appreciating early 1980s hardcore punk. This is thanks especially to a documentary he watched on cable, Punk: Attitude. I watched some of it and was fascinated by what I saw, especially Henry Rollins' very funny and very true analysis of how every song by Limp Bizkit works.

The film and Ereck's explorations bring back pleasant memories, especially of early-1980s hardcore punk. But it wasn't really my scene. I had good friends who were deeply into hardcore bands -- Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, etc. -- and I respected them and their tastes and tried to appreciate the music. But I was put off by the shortage of good melodies, by the lack of forceful singing (as opposed to forceful yelling), by the lyrics that -- when decipherable -- tended to be polemical (as opposed to memorable).

I recognize that what I didn't like about hardcore was precisely what made it important. The music, and the movement, were triumphantly reacting to objectionable mainstream values of all kinds, especially the ones peddled by corporations.

But no matter how hard I tried to like MDC (or Minor Threat, or the Circle Jerks), I inevitably found myself once again throwing on some XTC, or Elvis Costello, or Beatles, or Patsy Cline.

I guess there's no accounting for taste.

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