Thursday, April 10, 2008

Uh-oh, midlife crisis alert

I've been listening to the first Arctic Monkeys album again, prompted by Mojo's provocative decision to tap 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' as the seventh best British indie record ever ever ever, 26 places ahead of the Sea Urchins. I bought the CD shortly after it came out, simply because I felt I ought to hold an opinion about the band, and was a tad underwhelmed (rather as I was with Oasis, whose early waxings I got for the same reason). Listening again, once the hypeclouds have cleared a bit, I'm slightly better disposed. They do their stuff, and Alex Turner has the same cocktail of articulate intelligence, fey vulnerability and deadpan insolence that attracted me to the Buzzcocks and the Smiths and Pulp. But I discovered those bands between the ages of 10 and 25. I discovered the Arctic Monkeys when I was the wrong side of 30. They're good. Maybe they're as good as the Buzzcocks et al. Maybe they're better. But they're not mine.

PS: A memory that may or may not be relevant. When I was about 15 or 16, my friend Alex organised a charity cabaret at school. Three of our classmates performed Neil Young's 'Heart of Gold', which struck me even then as being incredibly old. A rough equivalent today would be for a bunch of teenagers to play 'Don't Look Back in Anger', 'Wannabe' or 'Firestarter'.

18 comments:

Charles Frith said...

Chuck your Chintz out Tim. If its not bleeping and glitching I'm barely interested these days and I feel about 25! ;)

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

Senescence is GREAT. You can get away with everything. Don't let anyone try to persuade you otherwise. I wish I'd tried it years ago.

emordino said...

The lyrical stylee is prooty cool. And to paraphrase Josh Homme, I like the angle of their jangle.

That's about it for my opinions today, really.

Betty said...

I like them, as indie bands go, and I don't really like indie music any more. Nobody else I know rates them, but I seem to be in a state of denial about my age anyway. The single that Alex Turner's done with his side project The Last Shadow Puppets is bloody excellent too.

Tim Footman said...

Sorry Charles, I gave up on dance music when they ran out of Ohio Players riffs to steal.

Christopher: Sometimes I feel as if I've been senescent since I was about seven.

Yes, Emordino. Angles. That's part of their charm, isn't it?

Side project, Betty? That way lies madness.

Murph said...

"Bought the CD" ?

How delightfully quaint, Tim.

Geoff said...

One hit wonders. The Last Shadow Puppets single is good, mind.

I'm 46, you know.

chatterbox said...

The Arctic Monkeys made me feel young again for about 15 minutes, until I realised that the fact that I liked them probably meant they weren't really 'cool' at all.

Annie Rhiannon said...

I think this kind of shit all the time. I'm still listening to Tricky and Hole. Blah.

patroclus said...

I've been boycotting British indie bands for so long that I've forgotten why I started the boycott in the first place. I keep making exceptions for bands like Interpol and We Are Scientists, then I discover that those bands aren't British at all, and I think 'ha! I told you!', and then I can't remember what it was I was supposed to have told you, nor who 'you' actually are.

My relationship with indie clearly has no basis in reality. Or music. Or anything.

I'll say one thing for senescence, though - I enjoy dance music a whole lot more now I don't ever have to actually dance to it.

Billy said...

I like them because they sing in thick accents, something always to be applauded.

llewtrah said...

I'm still stuck in the age of classic heavy metal and NWOBHM. I get my fix of indie through Billy's carefully selected playlists.

Rimshot said...

I wonder when the torch passes? Is there an observable, identifiable, recordable (no pun inteneded) moment or does one simply slide, unknowingly, from is to was?

amyonymous said...

c'mon Tim. i'm on the other side of 50 and i connected to the arctic monkeys. not only over 50, but female and american and definitely no roots in northern england pub life! but i played it and danced to it and sang along and ..... this sounds rather pathetic doesn't it!?

regardless. i enjoy new bands and have grown sick of listening to "old" bands (classic rock, don't you know). they may not be great (yet), but they are good and fun.

then of course there is radiohead.

Tim Footman said...

I know, Murph. Sadly, it wasn't available on wax cylinder.

Geoff, you don't look a day over 44. And a half.

Yes, Chatterbox, I prefer bands I don't like as well.

Cheer up, Annie, we're due an early 90s revival soon. Senseless Things! EMF! Right Said Fred! Yay!

So, Patroclus... you like bands that sound British, but aren't? That's pretty cool.

Billy, do you mean they sound very Sheffield, or they sound thick?

Ah, NWOBHM, Llewtrah. Possibly the most ungainly acronym ever to stain the reviews page of Sounds.

There may be a defined moment, Rimshot, but you never notice it until long after it's happened.

Are Radiohead 'classic rock', Amy? Damn, someone should write a book about that...

wyndham said...

Baby Charles's version of I Bet you Look Good is rather good, though, and The Last Shadow Puppets sing is a good sign of things to come - but most British indie rock bores me silly.

Tim Footman said...

But at (y)our age, everything is boring, surely.

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