Thursday, May 28, 2009

3oh!3 at Rocketown: What the Kids Are Into These Days

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Here's some footage shot onstage by Vimeo user allister ann at 3oh!3's Rocketown performance last month. As you can plainly see, the kids love it. At the risk of provoking scores of angry, asymmetrically-coiffed 15-year-olds, I have to say: I don't get it. Sounds like a perfectly mainstream pop song to me (there's nothing wrong with a good pop song), but the dudes are dressed like this so it's somehow vaguely counter-culture? I should back off. No need to take swings at low-hanging fruit. I'd just like to guide these kids down a different path, or at least see them enjoy "hip-hop/electro" that's outside their aesthetic comfort zone (i.e. fashion safety net). I mean, I truly wish I could take a time machine to 2001 and knock the copy of Thursday's Full Collapse out of my then-16-year-old hand in order to replace it with Marquee Moon. But what can you do? Makes me think of this excerpt I came across from Andy Greenwald's book Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo:

The media business, so desperate for its self-obsessed, post-9/11 predictions of a return to austerity and the death of irony to come true, had found its next big thing. But it was barely a "thing," because no one had heard of it, and those who had couldn't define it. Despite the fact that the hedonistic, materialistic hip-hop of Nelly was still dominating the charts, magazine readers in the summer of '02 were informed that the nation was deep in an introverted healing process, and the way it was healing was by wearing thick black glasses and vintage striped shirts. Emo, we were told, would heal us all through fashion.

And now we're left with a beast that permeates music but has nothing to do with the music itself. That's what happened with punk, right? And grunge? They became such parodies of themselves that the people dressed like Sex Pistols and The Ramones or Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth didn't make music anything like that. Being perplexed and mildly angered by trends: Isn't that the first step in becoming a total sad grampa? Might not be so bad. I already listen to Wilco a lot.

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