Remember when Bluto, played by John Belushi, smashed that hippie’s acoustic guitar in Animal House? I sure do! When you’ve got Otis Day and the Knights in the house, the times sure as hell don’t need to be a changin’. I feel the same way about today’s wussy-as-all-hell indie scene. ‘Folk artists’ like Sufjan Stephens, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Jens Lekman are like the ‘alterna’ reincarnations of all that ’70s easy listening crap like the Carpenters, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel. Newsom sounds like an 80-year Bjork having a stroke; Banhart is like a lo-fi and lo-intelligence Donovan, Stephens and Lekman are so fey that they make Belle and Sebastian sound like Motorhead in comparison. But they’re socially relevant says the sensitive indie boy with a beard. Yeah, but so are MC5, Easterhouse, The Smiths, The Jam and god knows how many others and they rock! It feels like rock ‘n’ roll is on its last legs when the new folkies get rave reviews, while loser ass Pitchfork gives the new Primal Scream album 2 out of 10, the main criticism seeming to be that they’ve abandoned their techo influences of their previous releases for the more rock ‘n’ roll sounds of their 1995 album Give Out But Don’t Give Up. Bands like Primal Scream and The Hellacopters do utilize every cool cliche in the book but they do it well and I’d rather raise my fist in the air at a concert than sit on a floor of some stinky coffee shop and listen to some hippie jibberish.
Bring Me the Head of Sufjan Stephens