Re: Grizzly Bear

From Brian Costello’s review of Shiftless Decay: New Sounds of Detroit in the Chicago Reader:

“…I love Shiftless Decay, a compilation released on the label run by Frustrations drummer Scott Dunkerley, for the same reason I love Detroit: it’s unsafe, chaotic, and sickeningly alive. So many indie rockers seem to be in retreat from reality, taking their beards to their Bon Iver forest cabins to make whimpering yuppie sex music while the world continues its inexorable decline.”


I know this is controversial but that’s why I’m posting it I guess. I can’t honestly say I abide by it very closely but he definitely has a very very sharp point about some very very boring music full of lies.


13 Responses to “Re: Grizzly Bear”

  1. 1 johuat
    May 27, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I agree with the point that it’s the drummers who will inherit the earth.

  2. 2 Luckycloud
    May 27, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Hey now, there’s nothing wrong with mid-tempo and production value. It has just as much value as that lo-fi crap everyone seems to be into suddenly.

    Or: them’s fightin words.

  3. 3 Luckycloud
    May 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    And yeah, M Ward is boring.

  4. 4 butttub
    May 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    People have been into ‘lo-fi crap’ since before you were born.

  5. 5 Luckycloud
    May 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    people have also been into “production value” and “putting effort into things” since before you were.

  6. 6 johuat
    May 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I disagree – musical quality is something new. Just ask Pete Townshend.

  7. 7 paisleyreich
    May 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I think that rather than saying that one type of music is more superior to the next no matter what, it speaks to the idea that there is a certain sincerity in really gritty music that comes from really gritty places that is refreshing in comparison to the sort of dislocated and retiring soft rock that has come to be synonymous with ‘indie rock’.

    Maybe the bigger issue is, now that the mechanics of the music industry are completely different from what they generally have been, what’s wrong with just being what you are? If you’re a band that likes to hang out in basements and play really loud, then maybe it should sound like that, right? The idea that there is some objective median of what ‘good’ production is is sort of dodgy.

    And besides, taking the stance of “this music is too loud, these people don’t know what they’re doing, they have no idea how to play their instruments, this is just a talentless racket” sounds a lot like something uttered in a middle-American den right after the Beatles played on Sullivan, to say nothing of the Velvet Underground or a lot of other awesome bands.

    Or: Grizzly Bear=Kingston Trio.

  8. 8 paisleyreich
    May 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Again, though, I’m just instigating. I don’t even think that new GB album is bad.

  9. 9 butttub
    May 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Summary: Sean likes neo-dad rock, I’m tone deaf, Jeff doesn’t want yuppie sex music, Jim likes actual dad rock.

  10. 10 Luckycloud
    May 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I think you nailed it, Ben.

    Jeff, you make good points, I definitely agree that the grit is refreshing and pretty cool. Being able to play your instrument is totally overrated anyway, just look at Steve Vai. Though, I think often the criticism leveled at things like GB fail to take the music on its own terms, because sometimes the neo-dad rock accomplishments are big, too.

    “Indie” music has become aseptic. Or maybe that’s just the generic tendency of music. Even noise-rock becomes aseptic in due time.

    Can we talk about how Wilco is never going to be good again now that Jay Bennett died and Jeff Tweedy seems dead-set on taking interesting musicians having them play second-rate Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac?

  11. 11 butttub
    May 30, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Jay Bennett’s death made me sadder than any celebrity death since Paul Newman’s.

  12. 12 johuat
    May 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Let me just be clear here – while I do support dad-rockism, I am as scared as anyone of this recent wave of Steely Danism and Fleetwood Macism.

  13. 13 butttub
    May 31, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Is Steely Danism the becoming-metal of the citizens of Denmark?

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