Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome to the New Hate

So there's a huge viral campaign going around, that has been happening for a few months, for a new, unsigned band. They've been sending cryptic letters and pills and instructions to scene band figures like Pete Wentz, Alex DeLeon, and Andrew McMahon. Now, I haven't really been following the whole thing, but it kept popping up on blogs that I read and in band websites and so I clicked around for a few minutes tonight, enough to find out who was involved and gain some idea of what's been going on. There's some sort of doctor, and prescriptions, and a need for Pete Wentz to run around town in a mask. There were cryptic letters, some sort of chest. I dunno. I didn't read much of it, but I gleaned enough to get access to this website. It's a play on Pete Wentz's blog, and I didn't read it, but the top has two songs by the band running all of this.

And they're nothing special.

They're not bad. I actually liked the second one, "Figure Me Out," a lot, but there are hundreds of other bands playing exactly the same thing right now, many of them on Pete Wentz's label. And really, we don't need more of this. The music scene has stalled a bit, and we're rolling around in hundreds of bands with boys on guitars singing about being in high school. Sure, bands like Passion Pit and Ra Ra Riot are infusing the East Coast scene with hipster dance music and peppy keyboards, and that's fine, but I don't think it's really where the scene is going to take off.

There was a band handing out CDs outside the last concert I went to, I Hate My Ex. I took one, of course, but usually those CDs just get thrown into a desk drawer and ignored. This one, however, found its way to me on a particularly bad traffic day, and got placed into the stereo of my car. The first three songs were the same as many of the other rising bands of the moment: nothing special. Not bad, but the same as everything else. But the last track was labeled as a surprise - it turned out to be a cover of "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. It made me crack up laughing while sitting in traffic and the band got props for that, and it caught my attention.

But it didn't make me want to rush out and see them.

There are so many fledgling bands right now that are doing strange, different things to try and get attention and separate themselves from the crowd, but it's not working because the music is all the same. They need to change the music, make the music different, not just their marketing.

I'm frustrated with the music scene at the moment. I want something fresh and new and interesting. I want a band to step up and show me that they're something special, something great. I'm sick of seeing essentially the same band with bad haircuts over and over and over again. Someone's got to stand up. We need a new band, a new style, a new scene. This one is dying.

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