Thursday, May 21, 2009

"I hate Burial"

29 comments:

Mike Beggs said...

Touche!

owen hatherley said...

Why the scare quotes?

Anonymous said...

i was responding to the blissblog thing...err.. should i remove them Baron?

owen hatherley said...

No, I see their use now. Initially it looked like you were quoting someone else hating Burial, when we know of course it is thee that hates the man and his works.

A post explaining why would be nice. I know why, but your loyal readership may not...

owen hatherley said...

While we're at it, my vote: I hate Pavement. Horrible, and horribly influential sloppy indie rock, with the misapprehension that their gibberish is Fall-esque, as if Mark E Smith's lyrics are just a load of odd words strung together; their grisly, funk-less sound, their smug Ivy League psuedo-intellectualism (for once, the word is advised - no idea, no modicum of wit or erudition ever appears in Stephen Malkmus' lyrics), exchanging at least the grim irony and inchoate anger of the otherwise irksome grunge for an even less interesting but supposedly more cerebral variation; their rubbish clothes, their rubbish songtitles, their rubbish epigones in every rubbish university town. Hateful.

Seb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seb said...

Aw, c'mon, Owen, "Gold Soundz" and "Rattled By the Rush" are genuinely great pop songs, and "Serpentine Pad" and "No Life Singed Her" are fucking funny. Loosen up and laugh a little, buddy!

Anonymous said...

But Pavement are the American Pulp

None of them went to Ivy League schools

Why should they have to sound 'funky'?

Dejan Nikolic said...

I have something even better:

a BURIAL! musical - in Dutch!

with K-punk as the Brooding Archangel

TopCat said...

+1 Owen

Pavement =

The Fall without the satire
The Birthday Party without the desire
Chrome without the dystopianism
The Pop Group without the nihilism
Gang of Four without the Marxism
Savage Republic without the Orientalism

Pavement = radical music with the radicalism removed

Pavement = the death of music.

Seb said...

Ooh, look at all the canonical bands that TopCat listens to! Way to flash your cred, dude. If all you hear when listening to Pavement is not quite another band that you really love, then you're listening for the wrong things.

TopCat = some blogger without a sense of humour

...or at least without an understanding of what growing up in the North American suburbs does to people who are too smart for that environment. I often think Pavement get rubbished by Brits who also rubbish the North American sense of humour.

Don't eat chili and complain about how it's not a root vegetable stew.

Dejan: I eagerly await the Broadway debut.

Anonymous said...

whoever wanted radical music?
get a grip!

That's just putting way too much focus on the artist and far less on the listener - we're not all born within the british council flat system.

Anonymous said...

TopCat

If you think that any of these descriptions:

The Birthday Party without the desire
Chrome without the dystopianism
The Pop Group without the nihilism
Savage Republic without the Orientalism

...even remotely make sense in relating Pavement to those bands, I have to conclude that not only have you have never heard Pavement, you've never heard any of the bands in question.

You think Pavement sound like a humanist Pop Group?? A post-coital Birthday Party? Savage Republic in *any* way at all????

owen hatherley said...

Whatever. Either way, I would rather spend a day watching Conservative Party Political Broadcasts than have to listen to a Pavement record all the way through.

Also - the North American sense of humour. Bill Hicks, Seinfeld, Chris Rock, The Onion, about nine million other things = funny. Pavement = the Observer magazine just about sums it up, eg: self-satisfied, smug. And as for the clever folk in suburbia angle, that's something often dealt with very well, Daniel Clowes, innumerable films, etc etc; but really, defend this. Go on.

Nonetheless - the Pulp comparison is interestingly insane. Elaborate!

Seb said...

If I can project a little, Owen... you hate Pavement for some of the same reasons K-Punk hates Sonic Youth: that they've escaped their middle-American suburban ubringing without irreparable damage or pervasive moroseness, and this somehow makes them illegetimate.

But if you don't think stream-of-consciousness ragging on George Steinbrenner & Geddy Lee is funny, there ain't much I can do to convince you otherwise. To paraphrase a man richer than any of us: if you can't stand Pavement, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems, but hatin' Malkmus ain't one.

By the way - how is Seinfeld anything BUT self-satisfied & smug? That show was front-line propaganda for Giuliani-era regentrification (but that's a discussion for another time, I guess).

Dejan Nikolic said...

The plot of BURIAL! THE MUSICAL:

A melancholic failed musician (the Impostume) decides that he's had enough, and jumps off the Big Ben. He is saved in free fall by the Dark Angel of the Ghosts (K-punk), who tells the musician that God is evil and the only way to save his soul is to embrace failure without regret - in which case he might be saved by the Devil.

The musician attends his own Burial (wink, wink), realizing that he isn't missed; his fellow workers sing about his drinking habits and his womanizing in Colombia. Outraged, he musician decides to spread his corrupting influence on the world. He recruits an army of zombie dubstep warriors to his aid; London turns into a Hellish vortex of drink, fart, wyatting, vomit,and procrastination.

(to be continued)

William said...

Pavement, to me, always sounded like Weezer specifically crafted for English majors. I don't know much of their catalog, but whenever "Cut Your Hair" comes on, I wonder if its a new Weezer tune.

Dejan Nikolic said...

(continued)

with most of London transformed into a Wyatting orgy, the musician is visited again by K-punk, who speaks highly of his failures. K-punk gives the musician a final task: he must seduce the Matchstick Socialist (Agnetha Hatherley) into his first bisexual experience.

Plenty of fuck fart and sordidness later, including black market tradeuring with Communist porno matchsticks, Kamarad Nymphomania swimming naked in a fountain, and the like, the musician accidentally kills himself in a druken stupor, by ramming his head into a jukebox. Awake in the Purgatory, he sees K-punk telling him that his last salvation was a test, and that having shown his heart really belongs to Satan, he is now a really DEAD loser.

We last see the musician in Hell, doing ABBA karaoke for Satan, hoping to save whatever's left of his ravaged ass from further Satanic buggery.

Marcello Carlin said...

Featuring SPECIAL APPEARANCE by Guy Garvey as Satan.

(TOTALLY disagree with Owen re. Pavement but can we find common ground with the motif "I Hate Elbow"?)

Anonymous said...

Elbow = music as beery fug hug, no thanks. Why did anyone think we needed a Bl(OK)ey Computer

Owen, I will take up the Pulp-Pavement gauntlet, but it will be essay length.

Let's take it outside.

By which I mean I will post it somewhere other than the Impostume's comments box. Perhaps at asylumfortheinteresting.blogspot.com, if it's available.

owen hatherley said...

Do let me know if this ever emerges - am intrigued...

Elbow - my God yes. Even deriving their name from a line in The Singing Detective cannot save them.

Adam said...

Fillmore Jive.

TopCat said...

@Seb

I just don't see what Pavement are "saying" about the American suburbs (and I didn't criticise them because they were American did I?). They seem to me to be saying nothing of any political worth about their environment, or of any philosophical worth about the human condition. I don't see the "point" of them, and their rather shambling, sub-Fall music doesn't offer any compensation.

As for the "canonical" bands I compared them to, it seems that Pavement were pretty desperate themselves to be seen in that company (hence sleeve notes by "Armalite P. Rifle" etc.) so it seems fair to me to put Pavement's shortcomings in that context.

To me they mark the moment where left-field music stopped becoming a calling and started to become a career from the very start.

repetitivestressindustry said...

By the way - how is Seinfeld anything BUT self-satisfied & smug? That show was front-line propaganda for Giuliani-era regentrification (but that's a discussion for another time, I guess).

Seb, props for dropping some The Psychic Soviet knowledge 'pon us.

re: Pavement -- was a fan as a teen, at this point can sort of take or leave them. I understand them as a sort of lo-fi revival of self-aware '70s AOR such as 10cc, Little Feat, Steely Dan (in a crude approximation, at least)...

ZSTC said...

TopCat

It's funny you should say that - 'a career from the very start' - because that's exactly what Pavement weren't.

Malkmus & Kannberg recorded some tracks, Kannberg put them out himself. Drag City went to Kannberg asking for more. Kannberg then had to plead with Malkmus (who in the meantime had gone travelling) to come back to what he thought was a one-off project and record more, which he reluctantly did.

If you Google Pavement and Lollapolooza you should find some examples of just how 'careerist' they were.

Seb said...

Repetitivestressindustry -

I'm so glad someone got the reference. Why that book hasn't set more comment threads ablaze is beyond me.

Speaking of which... rock as religion: if arena rock is Catholicism, rockabilly revivalism is the Amish, and so forth... is indie more Seventh Day Adventism (as Svenonius posists) or perhaps Judaism, what with the nebbish self-effacement & withering irony a la Pavement?

ZSTC said...

Seb, if this is just a longwinded build-up to an extended discussion of the Silver Jews discography...

owen hatherley said...

It's funny you should say that - 'a career from the very start' - because that's exactly what Pavement weren't.

Malkmus & Kannberg recorded some tracks, Kannberg put them out himself. Drag City went to Kannberg asking for more. Kannberg then had to plead with Malkmus (who in the meantime had gone travelling) to come back to what he thought was a one-off project and record more, which he reluctantly did.


Afraid their story of wilful underachivement and hobbyism is only going to make me hate them more, not less...

ZoneStyxTravelcard said...

You disappoint me Owen. I had assumed that kernel of biographical knowledge would have you running out to buy Brighten the Corners: The Nicene Creedence Edition.