Tag Archives: bands

Punk went Pop

11 Jul

As y’all know, life can get a little bit busy sometimes. Now, add a new girlfriend, 3 major campaigns, and Pokemon GO to the mix, and you have no time to write anything other than an email to your boss saying that you found Pikachu on date night.

I am, however, home alone tonight; and the Pokemon GO servers are experiencing problems. So, I decided to catch up on some writing.

As you may, or may not, know, there was quite an interesting tour doing the rounds in SA over the past couple of weeks. Yes, I am referring to Punk Goes Pop. An awesome collection of punk bands taking Top 40 pop songs, and teaching them what life is all about.

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The tour stopped by Aandklas Hatfield on the 1st of July, and as you should know by now, Aandklas is where I spend most of my time (when I’m not in the office, at my girlfriend’s, or walking after the ever elusive Growlithe).

The trio of bands that made up the show was CrashCarBurn, Held On Till May, and Made for Broadway. Now, the last two I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing live before this show, and boy, was I missing out!? These young guns nearly brought the house down with their unquenchable lust for life. An utter pleasure to see, was how these kids breathed new life into a genre whose survival has been the topic of many conversations. So let’s set the record straight right now:

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Held On Till May must have been the highlight of the show for me, with their straight-out-of-a-Sex-Pistols-documentary stage presence and their interactions with the girls in the front row, many of whom I saw trying to get their underwear off to throw on stage. The drummer reminded me most of Iggy Pop and his ilk, losing his shirt halfway through the performance, and chucking wood-chippered drumsticks into the crowd.

The headliners brought a massive tweak* to the way we know pop songs. CrashCarBurn has always been an awesome pleasure to see live, always taking me back to 8th grade, with the sneakers that were too loose to do anything but drag your feet. Any show where you get to see these guys will always go down as a ripper of a performance. Hearing them having a go at Jacaranda’s Highschool Hits was absolutely astounding!

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All in all this was an amazing night out. I got to experience an awesome gig with my gorgeous girlfriend (no seriously, she is breathtaking!) and many of my friends, getting to experience the future of the punk genre in SA, which I am honestly extremely excited to follow, and getting taken back to the days of House Parties* and halfpipes.

I am seriously looking forward to the next installment of Punk Goes Pop, and I hope that the line-up will one day grow to a full three-day festival, where we can mosh, get drunk and pass out, you know, like the old days…

 

 

 

 

*See what I did there?

Dear Band: You are not unique.

9 Jul

“Our band does not conform to genres, so don’t put us in a box”
“We sound like unicorn farts and memories of World War 3”
“Unlike anything you’ve heard before…”

You’re a fucking moron if you actually think that you are THAT unique.

oh-god-who-am-iYes, this is a rant about bands who think that they are the first ones to ever try to be original in describing their sound. Read a few “upcoming” bands’ bios, and odds are you’ll find some wannabe creative drivel that simply ends up being a nonsensical waste of time.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get creative when describing your band. I would probably give a post-modern grunge jazz fusion band that sounds like unicorn farts and WW3 a listen. But that’s just it. It’s a post-modern grunge jazz fusion whatever band. I have at least a vague idea of where to place them. With relative certainty I can say that they will probably not sound like Kurt Darren. The space for this (admittedly mostly pretentious and/or silly) creativity, is in the “about” section of your bio. Not the genre description.

Why is this important?

Well, to get gigs, for starters. Booking agents, venues’ entertainment managers, festival organisers and all those nice people who give you gigs, don’t know who you are. They don’t know what you sound like, and they most certainly don’t have time to sit and go through all your friends’ cellphone videos of your performances to figure out where and when to book you. These organisers are your friends. They WANT to make sure that your band fits the general vibe of the event. If you’re a black metal band, booking you to open for Jan Blohm is probably not going to work out, even though your bio stated that your genre is “poetic interpretations of dark souls” (or some kak like that).

pooptatoSecondly, a proper attempt at indicating your genre is important for basic marketing purposes. Facebook (for instance) is more likely to suggest your page to fans of your (actual) genre if it correlates to genres of other bands that an individual might follow.

My rant is not only applicable to the little “genre” box on whichever platform you prefer posting your presence, but also to the “sounds like” bit. I know you don’t like hearing this, but odds are that you really aren’t the first to ever sound like you do. The easiest way for me to know what I let myself in for when booking you, is to reference more well-known acts. Even if you have to say  you sound something like the love-child that popped up after Ed Sheeran boned Elvis, that would at the very least give me some indication as to what to expect. Just make sure (and this is important) that you actually do sound like that. Remember, sounding LIKE someone does not make you any less creative. It simply means you share a genre, possibly some characteristics. If you say you sound like Flyleaf, but your only correlation is that you have a female vocalist in the mix, you’re an idiot.

There are more than 1200 different music genres. If that’s not enough for you, you can always hyphenate. 

If you have even read this far [drummers, if your bassist read this to you (laughs at obligatory overused muso-joke)], and you feel I’m a dick… well, you’re probably right.

At least you now know where to place me.
Can I say the same about you?

Music Genres

Battle for Iron Maiden: The Jasper Dan Dispute

11 May

The last few days, the South African metal & rock community has been up in arms about… a silly battle of the bands.

The only problem is, that this battle was not really that silly. At least not the purpose of it. The winner will open for Iron Maiden when they play in South Africa. Now, in principle, I would be all for a properly organised vote-for-the-opening-act type of thing. In this case however, it took the form of a pub-idols style battle of the bands.

Now, without going into any of the opinions, not even mine, I would just like to share with you the bands who were in the final. So you can form your OWN opinion.

New Born Fire

 

De Wallen

 

Deadline

 

 

The Slashdogs

 

 

Man as Machine

 

And ladies and gents, the winners of the night, the best rock/metal band in SA to represent South African music lovers on stage at the Iron Maiden concert… Congratulations on winning this much sought after opportunity:

Jasper Dan

[[EDIT: The above video went private a day after this post was made. I assume something might be wrong with YouTube… Below is another video I could find]]

 

Now, a special message to everyone dissing the winners:
Come on guys, seriously now. Let’s not get a band down. That’s not rock and roll, baby.

I have never had the opportunity to see them live, and I have only heard of them now for the very, first, time. So for all I know, they are really nice guys, hard-working, upcoming musicians.  So let’s play nice.

I said in the beginning that I will not share my opinions, so I will rather ask you to share yours.

Aweh.

 

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