Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ugh...just. Ugh.

I don't often take shots at indie rock, mostly because a) it's not really music I understand, or care to, and b) I'd rather spend the time writing about the music I love instead.  But this got my bile flowing:

Grouplove covers Andrew W.K.

A minute and a half into it, I had to turn it the fuck off.  The irony was so thick it was noxious, and only filling my apartment with Mozart would make it go away.  

I'm not an Andrew W.K. fan, despite our mutual love for Napalm Death.  When his first album was released, my college metal friends were instantly smitten, while I was left scratching my head wondering what I was missing.  But over the years I have come to appreciate his unbridled and (more importantly) unironic embrace of party rock.  Partying is as important to Andrew W.K. as Satan is to Deicide; James Herriot once wrote, "An enthusiast is appealing but a fanatic is irresistible," and I agree unequivocally.  Herriot probably wouldn't have dug I Get Wet any more than I did, but I'm sure the good Scottish doctor would have gotten a kick out of someone who performs with a busted head and dives into the crowd to lift his fans on his shoulders.

My gripe with Grouplove's version isn't that they covered the song in a different style or in a tongue-in-cheek way; I was a big booster of Richard Cheese from the first time I heard him, and would kill for an album full of lounged up thrash classics.  Likewise, at least once a month I have to subject everyone in a 2 mile radius to "White and Nerdy."  What I hate is music with built in air quotes, that's detached from any real emotion.  Whether it's Ryan Adams' clueless "prog-metal" album or any number of Black Dice wannabes, the inherent insincerity is palpable, and off-putting. Music is about honesty, about channeling your emotions into a form that's recognizable as true.  Andrew W.K. succeeds because his songs make you feel his rabid enthusiasm, his lust for life.  He's welcome to come party in my living room any time.  I'll even let him wear my Napalm Death hoodie.