Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Continues To Happen

I'm trying not to do anything off-topic this weekend, besides spending money I don't have on drinks I don't need, but I'm wondering, after maximum listens to the new LCD Soundsystem record, why James Murphy doesn't get mentioned among the Monster Songwriters of this generation. I know his lows are glib and silly and low; and I know, too, that the comedy songs have an expiration date that's sooner than you'd expect, but when the guy turns it on -- which is to say "All My Friends," or "Home" or a couple of other songs on This Is Happening -- he's way closer to the emotional experience of being someone-like-me/me/people-I'm-friends-with than just about anyone I can think of. I know the music is all synths and keyboards and drum machines and whatever, and presumably that still offends some (notional) critical sensibilities when it comes to things like this. I know, too, that that writing my own mindset is no great accomplishment (even I can do it) and that no one really talks about songwriters anymore. But man is he ever great when he's great.

This is either me being embarrassing or music being embarrassing, but I don't even know who's supposed to be a good songwriter anymore. It's The Justin Bieber, right? The Bieber kid? I'm reading Don DeLillo's Great Jones Street right now, after the weird-but-vexing-but-not-totally-unsatisfying experience of reading Point Omega, and the most interesting thing about it -- besides the fact that DeLillo was once funny and wrote dialogue -- is the idea of the world in which a rock star mattered to a lot of people and played (rock and roll) shows to surging, manic stadium crowds. What the hell do kids even go to see today, when they want to see a good rock band? Not the same shows I'm occasionally going to, right? That would be a bummer, because I'm 100,000 years old and it would suck for them to be there with me. Let's think of the children, please.

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