This is just blah
I promised Meatloaf by this point but have failed. Sorry. Please note that my waffling about that particular gig isn’t likely to be anything any greater than usual; it’s just that, y’know, it’ll be about Meatloaf. That’s surely enough.
Me saying “my waffling about that particular gig” rather than “my review of that particular gig” is important. I do not consider anything I write on this ‘ere blog to be a review (and if I ever do, it will be under a very specific rubric announcing as such). I’m not quite pedantic enough (I’m very pedantic, but not quite this pedantic) to correct everyone who uses the word ‘review’ in a comment or whatever-have-you, as has happened many times, but it’s certainly not how I view anything written here. The trouble with announcing this is that I don’t have any sort of specific criteria of what I consider reviews to be, but whatever they are this blog definitely hasn’t involved any so far. It’s a series of “What I did on my holidays” style ramblings (although ironically enough I didn’t write a fat lot about what I did on my holidays).
The thing that has brought this to mind was a message I received recently from Dave of the new Robot Professor outfit, who are putting on some gigs at the skate park in Moseley. I was asked if I wanted to review the first one. I demurred, and pointed out a couple of other people who might be interested. This brings us on to the second stage of this little ramble – I’ve written about music on request before (when I was involved with The Communion) and have had very mixed feelings about it. There are good things – you get loads of free stuff and get your witty, witty oh-so witty quips read by far more people than would do so on something like a personal blog – but there are plenty of bad things too. The immediate problem lies in having to think of something to write about yet another entirely mediocre rock band (those are the hard ones. Of any given ten CDs you receive, one will be good, one will be bad, and the other eight will be nondescript beyond belief. It may sound silly, but the bad ones are better – at least you can think of something to say. I recall when I was at school a kid told me he thought music was bad if he listened to it and thought it was average. At the time, I thought and told him that was stupid – if you listen to it and find it average, then surely it’s just average? – but I now know exactly what he means. This has been a long bracket. Thank you for sticking with me), and the longer-term problem arises out of this.
I used to think I liked a lot more music than I disliked, and I suppose that in so far as my experiences went (and what other evidence could we use for this?) I actually did. In retrospect, of course, I can see that was only because I had my own filter. I’ve never bought an album ‘at random’ – it has always been because I’ve read something about the band or heard something by them that has led me to think that I would like it. This doesn’t provide a 100% strike rate, obviously, but there is at least some sort of filtering process going on. When one starts getting sent an entirely random selection of gubbins (weeeelllll… a selection of gubbins determined by the cumulative effect of several other filters that may as well be random, if we’re going for precision), one begins to realise that most of the music in the world is simply not of interest. It is very hard to refrain from becoming hugely cynical.
Erm… It does say in the title that this is mostly blah, and I’m not sure where I’m going with it all. I suppose the upshot of all this is for me to point out that I’m not about to go and write about anyone’s gig on request. If I go, I’ll write something, although it may consist purely of a list of the shiny objects I was distracted by over the course of the evening.
Having said that, if someone has a general topic they’d be interested to see me write about then please feel free to stick it in the comments. I suffer from an appalling lack of imagination and find it very difficult to think of that sort of thing myself. I know no-one wakes up wondering what Russ L’s thoughts are about any given topic, but if anyone does want to throw me a bone then feel free.
These Robot Professor sorts, anyway. They’re putting on some gigs at The Epic Skate Park in Moseley (my map), and for some reason beyond me I do feel slightly bad about having to have said no to their request, so here’s a plug. I’m not as keen on them not putting the last band on till quarter to eleven and by the looks of the bands being booked I assume that the term ‘post-rock’ can be used to describe ‘any band at all, whatsoever’ these days, but there’s potential for great fun here. Of the bands they’ve got booked over the next few months I would especially recommend Mothertrucker, Mills & Boon and The Arm, and there are lots of bands new-to-me to discover too. I won’t be at the first one ‘cos I’m going to see Travis at The Academy this Friday (yeah, bite me), but I definitely hope to make it to a few of them after that.