Having read a bit more of Collapse Board, I’m re-editing this article to wibble more about the blog, which is really bloody good.
Everett True and Lydia Lunch have a lot in common: I love the idea of them a lot more than I like most of anything they do.
Once in a blue moon, though, they come up with something that reminds me why they were so bloody essential in the first place. Today, it was catching up on a few of True’s posts on new blog Collapse Board, and his link to this Sonic Youth ft Lydia Lunch track in a review of new band 8 Eye Spy. Somehow the blend of Sonic’s droning, pummelling noise with Lydia’s yowling actually works, creating a life-affirming racket that’s quite catchy in its own noisy way.
Also in the post was a link to Ut, who I confess I’d never actually heard of before. Recalling the best of Sonic Youth and PJ Harvey, it’s a tightly focussed yet dreamy mix of detuned guitars and pounding rhythms with staccato vocals that fall somewhere between Toyah and Siouxsie Sioux. I might be overdue a few decades in hearing this, but I’m glad I’ve heard it now.
As to 8 Eye Spy, well, they’re the kind of horrible squalling din that puts me off people like Lydia Lunch nine-tenths of the time, but it’s probably worth keeping an eye on China’s DIY music scene in case there’s a few diamonds in the rough out there. They certainly have some aptitude, at least: perhaps they’ll polish up in time.
Another post on the blog is an interview with Nick Cave, which had originally featured in Careless Talk Costs Lives. Yet again, it reminded me of what the music press used to be about and why blogs like Collapse Board are so bloody precious. I think my problem with most of them out there is that they’re either so falling over themselves to be taken seriously that they’re tinder-dry to the point of unreadable; or so sneeringly hip that it’s impossible to … uh … take them seriously. The examples I’m seeing here are of the style that roped me into reading rags like Melody Maker and Sounds in the first place – where you didn’t really give a f*** whether anyone took you seriously or not, you just wrote what you saw and heard and it was up to the reader what they did with that.
Collapse Board is an “aggregate” of various enthusiast (emphasis on enthusiasm!) blogs from Australia, hence True’s inclusion, though there are many other writers contributing to the various reviews and interviews on there. The quality varies wildly but the simple passion is consistent, and that’s what makes it exciting.
The music press – wherever you may find it – should be exciting. Not in the way that promises oh-so-witty arch put-downs of myriad invented scenes and hipsters, but in a kid-in-a-sweetshop way. Having heard at least three great songs on this blog today, I’m gleefully hopping from link to link, wondering what tasty confections lie beyond the next page. The past few years have been so f***ing boring that it’s an intensely joyful experience to have rediscovered so much passion for music in the past six months. Anything that aids me on my Grand Quest – to find the next great rock ‘n’ roll star – is a cause for celebration, and I’m having a champagne moment here. I can take this blog seriously because the music sounds as described, so if it sounds like something I’ll like, I probably will. “You want to listen to some deliciously hazy synth-swamped dark wave made a pair of Riot Grrrls from Istanbul? Of course you do.” Do I? I’m about to find out …