Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tapes 'n Tapes / The Loon / Rating: 8.3

Tapes 'n Tapes kneel before Pavement, Wire, Beach Boys, and Pixies, bearing their influences more publicly than notebook logo sketches… (a few paragraphs later) Credit yourself if you can get down with a program offering up so many been-there-done-that indicators. Or better, credit the band for avoiding the toothless mush that typically results from this sort of populism, and arriving instead at a fresh vision through eloquent pastiche.”

Now keep in mind, the above was written back in February when PFM reviewed the original version of The Loon. I also corrected the spelling of the word publicly.

And I quote the back of the new promo cd for Tapes ‘n Tapes: “It seems the World is calling out for something that touches on our heroes, the basement indie of Pavement, the eclecticism of Talking Heads, and the frenzied power of the Pixies, but offers not some populist pastiche, but instead a vital, thrilling, and unique blast of energy and melody like nothing you have heard before.

I didn’t know PFM writer Sam Ubl also worked for XL Recordings.

Oh, he doesn’t? Well how strange that these same words appear on the new XL Recordings promo for The Loon. (the record was originally self released by the band and is being re-released by XL late July.) I can’t be certain who is copying whom here but somebody is being lazy or at the very least not giving the writing credit where credit is do.

Shame on somebody- but to continue.

I sincerely hope you age better than I do. I wish many things for my fellow music friends but most of all I pray your ears stay young. I hope you find a way to listen to all new music with fresh ears and an attitude that is free of thing I am told is called jaded. (or maybe burned out?)

There is no way for me to erase my past listening experiences. I have been an indie music junkie for nearly two decades and while I still follow it closely, enjoy many of new bands and records I hear, for the first time in my life I feel over everything. I like plenty of things but how many records in 2006 can I say love? My friends this list 6 months into 2006 is miniscule. (this list will be posted next week actually)

It would be naïve and wrong of me to say this new crop of bands are worse than the ones decades preceding them but the difference is I am different. I am older and have heard more to compare and contrast them to. In a perfect world I think we all would like to listen to a record and place it in a head space alone, allowing us to judge it strictly on its own performance but with each passing year this task becomes nearly impossible. These days I hear the recording industry version of the game of telephone.

One band sounds like A and then B who like A tries to sound like A creates a muddled combination of A + B and in turn builds C. Newly formed band D hears C, clueless to the original A and in turn D inspired by C created E. This cycle is endless and while sure some bands naturally and accidentally can sound like other bands, once you become a seasoned listener who has been exposed to thousands and thousands of artists, quite logically it becomes more difficult to hear something you have never heard before.

My kingdom for that first original record high…that holy fucking hell I have never heard anything like this in my whole life and I somehow feel born again, less alone in the world because I connect with this music kind of high again. I have many of these records in my collection, The Smiths Queen is Dead for instance was one of my first record purchases I can say truly changed my life, but my fear is: I will never know this feeling again. While I don’t pine to be the awkward teen who stumbled across The Smiths for the first time EVER again, the record addict in me still seeks a high that matches the feeling of awe that seemingly only music (and true love…okay and maybe a great meal and great sex) could offer me as a human being with feelings and 5 senses to satiate.

I’m glad PFM found a writer who could look past Tapes 'n Tapes Frankenstein stitched influences / borrowed riffs and review them with complete enthusiasm and thunderous applaud. I am happy to see XL Recordings is reissuing The Loon since up until now this self release (by the band) wasn’t widely available to stores outside of the indie cool community. Am I willing to dish out an 8.3 rating or sing Tapes ‘n Tapes praises? No and I seriously sighed while typing that no. I wish I could be excited about this whole record but truthfully I will cherry pick In "Houston" and "10 Gallons Ascots" for my i-Tunes library and then the collective you can look forward to me giving this cd away in the next batch of Tuning Fork freebies.

Eh, shame on me. I wish I could join the chorus of YAYS!!! for this band but I can’t. Call me a jaded jerk or worse but I will not be giving Tapes ‘n Tapes my stamp of approval; in fact my stamp looks something like a 6.0 rating.