Posts Tagged ‘Pavement’

An Introduction To Sonic Youth

June 4, 2013

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Sonic Youth’s fearsome debut ‘Confusion Is Sex’. But where to begin for those looking to get started with this most user-unfriendly of bands? Picking through their immense back catalogue can be a treacherous business, so we thought we’d help you get started with a guide to ten of the American punk legends’ most earth-shatteringly great tracks.

‘100%’

A burst of feedback introduces a thunderous riff, with Thurston Moore snarling his sarcastic blues through clenched teeth. As close to pop as Sonic Youth ever got, not to mention as instant an album opener as you could wish for, this originally appeared on 1992’s ‘Dirty’. Butch Vig’s muscular production oversaw the band attempting to mesh their art-rock sensibilities with a genuine attempt to become major pop culture superstars. In that regard they failed, but boy, what glorious failure.

‘Bull In The Heather’

Mystery, dissonance and the unnerving sound of Kim Gordon monotonously intoning “tell me that you wanna bore me”. One of Sonic Youth’s most popular songs, the title came from the name of a racehorse, imprinted on a bumper sticker given to Thurston and Kim by Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich.

‘Eric’s Trip’

Possibly Lee Ranaldo’s finest moment. The pounding heartbeat of the drums drive their point home amidst an other-worldly haziness, virtually blocking out anything approaching melodic sense and mirroring the hallucinogenic hyper-awareness of the song’s bewildered narrator. The squalling splendour of 1998’s ‘Daydream Nation’ represents the band’s masterpiece, and this is just one of its many highlights.

‘Shadow Of A Doubt’

Heavily referencing Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers On A Train’, this 1986 track uses sparse harmonics and foreboding percussive thwacks to weave a tapestry as starkly suggestive as anything conjured up by the master of suspense himself. Above the ominously restrained beauty, Kim breathlessly whispers a plea of “kiss me”, somehow managing to sound both compellingly sensual and completely psychotic at the same time.

‘Dirty Boots’

1990 saw Sonic Youth freshly signed to Geffen, following lengthy relationships with notable indies SST and Blast First. ‘Goo’, their major label debut, showed what happened when they lowered their eyes from the sprawling magnificence of the open horizon and concentrated on what was right in front of them – specifically, grunge. In the event, we get a solitary, explosive leap through the best chorus they ever wrote followed by heroic bursts of noise and a heart-bursting instrumental sequence that seems determined to escape the confines of mere sonics, ascending straight to the heavens in the process. Not quite the hit single they envisioned, then, but still: incredible rock’n’roll.

‘I Dreamed I Dream’

Originally appearing on their self-titled debut 12” in 1982, ‘I Dreamed I Dream’ was the by-product of a band immersed in the compositional guitar experiments of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, whilst still half in love with the dissonant headfuck of New York’s briefly-sparkling no wave scene. Distinctly unmelodic, the song’s powerful rush comes from a hypnotic, minimalist bassline, with Kim’s flat murmurs melting softly into Lee’s howling mantras. Post-rock before post-rock; the first significant footsteps in a thirty-year adventure.

‘Death Valley ’69’

True horror committed to tape: guitars that sound like howling winds pitted against the tumultuous storm of the rhythm section, while Thurston duets with no wave icon Lydia Lunch on an account of the Manson family murders. Lifted from second full-length ‘Bad Moon Rising’, the song was a metaphorical depiction of the moral decay of 80s society: the idealism of the hippie dream torn to shreds by the cynicism of the following generation. With or without the horrific slaughter scenes of its accompanying video, it’s simply the sound of pure, unadulterated terror.

‘Expressway To Yr Skull’

Guitars that sound like doomed cathedral bells, melodies that hang heavily and moodily amidst a funereal trudge… the band pulled out all the stops with this astounding number. “We’re gonna kill the California girls,” Thurston wails, implicitly decreeing an end to pop’s mindless feelgood factor as the chaos escalates around him. Not for nothing did Neil Young describe this as “the greatest guitar song of all time” – where other bands expect to fly, this track effortlessly soars.

‘Teen Age Riot’

The definitive song from the band’s definitive statement, ‘Teen Age Riot opens with ethereal chords that crash against each other like waves in a chemical sea, before the pure noisepop thrill of the main riff throws everything into delirious relief. Supposedly envisioning a world with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis as president, the track represented Sonic Youth’s greatest success by that point, both artistically and commercially. There were many great records to follow ‘Daydream Nation’, but crucially, they never bettered it. Flawless.

‘NYC Ghosts & Flowers’

Something of a curveball when it appeared at the turn of the millennium, the album ‘NYC Ghost & Flowers’ was composed following the theft of the band’s equipment. Forced to work in unfamiliar circumstances, SY teamed up with Chicago experimentalist Jim O’Rourke (who would briefly become an official member of the band) to create their least immediate record since the early 80s. With Lee’s image-soaked poetry standing before a post-rock backdrop that shames the relatively-traditionalist likes of Mogwai or Explosions In The Sky, this title track is something of a curio, but thoroughly rewarding nonetheless.

STILL CURIOUS?

Wondering where to start? For the greatest works, look no further than the mighty triumvirate of ‘EVOL’, ‘Goo’ and the majestic ‘Daydream Nation’ – albums that define both the end of the independent era and punk rock’s major label experiment of the ‘90s. If it’s the serious stuff that intrigues you, then ‘A Thousand Leaves’ and ‘NYC Ghosts & Flowers’ contain their most ambitiously complex work, but genuine novices might want to head for the hits’n’faves compilations ‘Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love’ and ‘Hits Are For Squares’. Dive in!

(Originally published by The Fly, 01/03/2013 – opening paragraph by Alex Denney)

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Teenage angst has paid off well

April 24, 2012

Good lord. Has it been that long?

I am immensely lazy.

Well, more to the point, I’m not. I’ve been very busy. But I’ve neglected you, dear old WHTB, and that’s got to change. Last year I decided I was going to use this page to review every single record I’ve been sent, which was a shit idea – blogs should be personal, so I’m gonna get back to the stuff I love.

So no more sifting through the review pile and gritting my teeth at the latest in a seemingly never-fucking-ending stack of godawful electronic shizzle and singer-songwriter dullness – or not on my own time, at least. Instead, here’s a couple of 7″s that have rarely strayed too far from my turntable over the past few months. Diggit:

 

MAZES/EAGULLS split

(Italian Beach Babes)

Two UK indie rock bands covering songs by fuzz legends The Wipers – pretty risky, no? Luckily, this is a doozy. Mazes do that whole Pavement thing with a minimum of fuss, all lacksadaisical jangles and privileged apathy. You can bet they write their own press releases and fill ‘em with words like ‘laconic’ and ‘arch’, but at least they get the simple things right. Eagulls, meanwhile, are utterly fucking awesome. Slop-gaze noise-punks with their eyes on nothing more than the beer they spilled all over their pedal racks, their own Possessed trumps the cover, bedecked in woozy guitars and nonchalant sneers. This record makes me wanna stand on street corners and throw fruit cocktails at yuppies. Seriously great.

 

BAM!BAM!  – Let It Go

(self-released)

Realistically, I’m not sure if I’d have found this band, had HHBTM‘s Mike Turner not pointed me in their direction. I’m so fucking glad he did, however – the above track Hi Fi Widows blew me away like nothing since Tunabunny’s (Song For My) Solar Sister last year. They remind me of Bratmobile, K Records and the years I idled away in shitty pubs’n’clubs, drinking shitty beer and hoping desperately that one of the bands on the bill would do more than merely not suck. If only BAM!BAM! had been around then, back when I really needed them. Now I’m teetering dangerously on the precipice of 30, almost too aware of my own mortality to commit to the moment and dance myself to delirium. Actually, scratch what I said earlier – I need them now. It takes something pretty fucking special to make me want to surrender it all and just feel aliveThis record does exactly that, and then some. Man, I really hope they come over to the UK.

A change would do you good

October 14, 2010

Recently I’ve been reading Rock And Roll Cage Match (ed. Sean Manning), a collection of jovial essays in which the writer is asked to invent or describe a rivalry between two bands, and then pick a winner. Perhaps inevitably, it’s largely composed of self-confessed false dichotomies where half the fun comes from the ludicrous reasons as to why each artist should be at odds. It probably says something about the WHTB mindset that I love a good debate, so what better than a collection of intelligent-but-ludicrous arguments?

My favourite imaginary rucks thus far have come courtesy of Richard Hell (Rolling Stones vs Velvet Underground), Elizabeth Goodman (Guided By Voices vs Pavement) and Tom Breihan (Jay-Z vs Nas). The part that’s intrigued me most, however,  has come not from an actual debate, but rather an aside. Surprisingly, it’s part of Whitney Pastorek‘s sublimely daft bout between Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston that’s really set the cogs whirring.

Discussing what you’ll recognise as Houston’s all-time classic/omnipresent saccharine cackfest (delete as appropriate), Pastorek provides a winning argument for the power of an oft-used musical device:

The Catharsis: the glorious boom of a key change that occurs three quarters of the way through I Will Always Love You, anchoring what is, with apologies to The White Stripes, the best Dolly Parton cover in history. The Catharsis is in effect elsewhere throughout Houston’s career… but the modulation she pulls off in I Will Always Love You is perfection embodied.

That’s exactly what a good key change should do. Admittedly I wasn’t even thinking about key changes when I’d started reading the piece, but by this stage I was sat bolt upright, nodding, with stern features and a fist raised triumphantly. You’re darn right to use the word ‘catharsis’, Whitney Pastorek. Switching key at any point during a song, and pulling it off, is a tricky feat… but save it for a chorus (particularly the final chorus) and you’re onto a surefire winner. Even fucking Westlife knew that, for fuck’s sake. It’s a useful weapon in the pop arsenal. And like it or not, that Whitney H number’s a pretty fucking good example of how to wield it.

Pastorek goes on so enthusiastically that it seems pointless to paraphrase:

I fail to find a way to break this down scientifically, or even articulately; all I can hope is that you have experienced a great key change at some point in your life and you know the rush, the transcendent ping that goes off in your brain and brings emotions you barely knew you had rushing to the surface and spilling out all over the place for no good reason whatsoever. A good key change can save your life.

As someone who has been close to spontaneously breaking into tears on hearing a great key change at a live show, I know exactly what she means (YES, beer was involved. NO, I don’t think that matters). So with that in mind, here’s some of WHTB’s favourite key changes in pop. Nothing so crass as a top five… just some good ‘uns (okay, five), avoiding yer Hey Judes and soforth.

Feel free to suggest your faves.

1. Dance, Dance, Dance – The Beach Boys

A barnstorming classic from the non-surfing surf faves. Dig the way the song suddenly lurches into a higher key halfway through the final verse – and in a song that’s barely got time for verses, that’s a special way of preparing you for one last extra-fun take on the hook. On the dancefloor, that’s the bit that gets your toes from twitching to out and out tapping.

2. Crazy Crazy Nights – KISS / Town Bike

KISS opt for a stranger tactic – after the second chorus, just before the solo, there’s suddenly a brief burst of chorus in a higher key. Why? No-one knows. It’s fucking awesome though. And as a special treat, I’ve linked Town Bike’s free download version, which is so darn good that I now struggle to listen to the original.  Get on it.

3. Summerteeth – Wilco

After two lovely verses of cryptic, countrified pop, Wilco switch key for a mellotron solo that seems to have wandered in from another band. Once that’s over, we’re still in this new key for a final, breezily- plaintive verse and a gorgeous “oo-ooh, aa-aah” backing vocal. Which is frankly ruined by attempting to spell it. Just go and have a listen; you owe it to your ears.

4. Alison’s Starting To Happen – The Lemonheads

Despite the perky pace of the tune, Evan still uses a sleepy drawl to tell us of an unexpected crush on a friend, and all’s good. But for one final verse, as he finally gets his head around the nonsense of the situation, the song lifts in time for the exclamation “this world is topsy-turvy!” From thereon in things get rather more frantic – and yeh, pretty fun too.

5. Bright Yellow Gun – Throwing Muses

Kristin Hersh specialises in fragmented poetry and creepy melodies, even on full-pelt alt rockers like this. The change is superbly effective; suddenly the tension’s cranked up and a pretty-fucking-vital-already song suddenly becomes essential. Ace.

All Tomorrow’s Parties (Day Three)

May 21, 2010

“Do you want a goose for breakfast?”

My third day at ATP commenced with me staring bleary-eyed at my chalet-mate Mudguard (it’s best not to question the origins of the nickname, I’ve discovered) and wondering what on earth the above sentence could possibly mean. Swiftly coming to terms with the fact that I was still on the sofa, I learned that Mudguard had been woken up by the sound of geese honking outside his window. At 9am, I was not quite tempted by his offer to kill and cook one of the unbearably loud – dare I pun, ‘fowl’ – creatures, and politely declined.

Scrambled eggs were swiftly prepared as the day’s petit dejeuner, and I slowly attempted to process the events of the night before. Resigned to the fact that I didn’t come out of it too well, whatever way I looked at it, I put Your Heart Breaks on the stereo and slowly attempted to digest the Grauniad’s family section. Lo-fi twee and articles about teenage diaries could only hold my attention for so long, however, so instead I entered zombie mode and watched the Grand Prix for a bit. It’s fair to say that I do not get the appeal of motor sports. They’re rubbish, aren’t they? Who likes motor sports? Pfft. Although I’ll concede that Grand Prix makes a good case for being Teenage Fanclub‘s best album. So maybe motor sports aren’t all that bad.

Eventually I headed out to watch Wax Fang. They’d already played one set at the festival – covering Prince’s Purple Rain album in its entirety, and in costume – which I’d missed. Everyone seemed suitably enthused, however, and I enjoyed their own stuff. They were catchy, energetic and rockin’ in a Ted Leo sorta way, but unfortunately the morning’s zombification had done me few favours in the alertness stakes. Utterly spaced out, i opted out of booze for a bit. A little focus would have been nice right about this point.

I should have loved The 3Ds. Fizzy, old-skool lo-fi indie rock always excites me, and these veterans of New Zealand’s indie rock scene were pretty darn good at it. In the end I lasted half an hour before getting the sweats, and wisely decided to get some air. Air hockey, that is! Attempts at the official festival sport, with Time For Twee and her suitably cool compatriot Pete, provided little improvement to my rapidly-deteriorating consciousness, however. When even food failed to perform as an elixir, I conceded it was time to return to the chalet for half an hour’s nap.

The doze invigorated me somewhat. Pondering that I had now managed to spend all of two and a half hours in my chalet bed, I dashed out to see The Clean. The strains of their classic Anything Could Happen drifted across the air as I made my way to the arena, and I was disappointed that they’d finished playing the song by the time that I arrived. In any case, I was swiftly alerted to the availability of curry, and finally partook in my first full meal of the weekend. Truly, I was back in the room.

I dashed back to the arena, rested and refueled, knowing that beer was welcome in my stomach again. I felt positively victorious at this stage, despite not really having any reason to. Whilst browsing the merch for Wax Fang goods (verdict: i’ll buy them on the internet), I even bumped into Stewart Lee – a WHTB hero since around 1996 when I first saw Fist Of Fun. He was polite and friendly, and agreed to a picture (although his decision to throw his hood over his head at the last second renders the photographic proof somewhat dubious).

Lee was no doubt in attendance for The Fall, of course. Sticking largely to the new album, they veered between thrilling and dull, but happily my taste for beer returned at a fast enough rate for me to enjoy Mark E Smith’s rabble. I really wanted to follow them up with Enablers‘ set, but knew I’d already seen them before and instead headed to see the potential once-in-a-lifetime set by The Raincoats. They were a scrappy post-punk mess, and totally awesome with it. Say, what about a beer?

Closing sets by The Authorities (standard garage-punk) and Endless Boogie (proficient but dull jam band) proved little to us, other than that it was time to close the festivities by drinking and dancing ourselves silly. The Crazy Horse bar provided just the disco for us, spinning a variety of 6Ts, soul, reggae, old skool hip-hop and the occasional smattering of twee. I requested Born To Run only for the DJ to look at me quizzically and ask, “Who by?” If I couldn’t have Springsteen, I was surely in need of another beer.

At 2am the disco finished and we all headed back to our chalets. Mudguard and his delightful wife were having a cup of tea before bed, and i opened a can of lager to join in reflecting on the weekend. It had been pretty ace.

Finally, I managed to spend a night in my chalet bed.

ATP rules.

All Tomorrow’s Parties (Day Two)

May 20, 2010

I awoke at 9am, two hours after going to bed. Wondering whether I was still drunk, and concluding that yes, I probably was, I reluctantly accepted defeat in the fight for more sleep and got up. Feeling woozy, but strangely not hungover, I regaled my pals with the tale of the previous evening and enjoyed a bacon buttie. Too much cannot be made of the recuperative powers of the bacon buttie – suffice to say, I instantly felt like the champion of the world.

Following a browse of the morning’s Grauniad, I wandered outside to meet up with an acquaintance from a certain respectable indiepop discussion forum (in actuality a hotbed of the world’s finest intellectuals and raconteurs, where every thread is drenched in sparkling wit). This seemed as good a time as any to indulge in the day’s first beer.

Not long later, I wandered past the main stage to investigate Blitzen Trapper. Meh. Where’s the bar? Oh, here it is. Ace.

I contemplated watching hardcore veterans Saccharine Trust, but opted instead for the FA Cup Final – a wise decision, it turned out. The game was thrilling from start to finish, including two dreadful penalty misses, a stellar performance from the woodwork and a sublime winning goal. Essentially Goliath bettered David, much to everyone’s chagrin, but it was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. As I engaged some West Ham fans in witty banter (read: drooled and drunkenly babbled about the current state of LFC), news filtered back that Saccharine Trust were already the worst band of the festival, vindicating my choice.

Having bumped into Pete again, I head upstairs to see Mark Eitzel, who i’d been meaning to listen to properly since about 1997. Maybe it was the beer talking, but his set was astounding. Piano-led jazz-inflected narratives of drugs and heartbreak, all sung in a silky-smooth croon and interspersed with endearing patter about his life as a Butlins Redcoat (“I got the gig because Butlins stipulated that one of their own acts performs at the festival with the indie rockers”). Constantly blurring lines between fact and fiction, it was an emotional rollercoaster of a performance. Pete and I agree that he delivered the “set to beat”.

After stumbling across yet more friends, we laughed at Camera Obscura‘s onstage miserabilism and reflected on how that deadened the impact of their show. It was all lapped up by the assembled indie kids, however, no matter how lacklustre it appeared to me. Besides, we were next to the bar.

The highlight of the weekend, however, was always going to be Pavement. Drunk as hell and excited as I could possibly be, I heard amused references to my delirious state of happiness throughout. “Look at his face!” I love Pavement. It was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for much more. Or could I? Warrington’s finest retired punk rocker GI invited us all back to his chalet for veggie fajitas, and who was I to refuse? Great stuff, and a well-needed recharge after all that excitement. Then we ran back out again for some electronic sketches and guitar doodles from Bradford Cox‘s alter-ego Atlas Sound. He was pretty good. BOOOOZE.

An incredibly fun day was capped off by an incredibly fun set from the many members of Still Flyin, and continuing the weekend’s themes, I danced and drank myself silly.

The set finished around 2am, and I decided to watch the Kahn fight. Your humble correspondent headed to the sports bar, ordered a beer and sat down in front of the big screen. Next thing I knew, a bouncer grabbed my shoulder, muttering “I’ve had enough of this,” and escorted me to the door . Discovering it had suddenly become 4:30am, I eventually learned I had been repeatedly falling asleep, and although it came as news to me by this stage, I had been repeatedly warned about it.

Too drunk for my ego to be bruised, I staggered back to my chalet, and managed to reach the sofa before passing out.

Part Three coming soon…

All Tomorrow’s Parties

May 20, 2010

After another despicable lapse in posting, WHTB has decided that the best form of self-admonishment is self-correction. Or something. So without further ado – certainly none of that apologising lark – here’s WHTB’s account of this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. Pray, do not judge this meffy soul too harshly.

ATP is a (now bi-)annual indie rock festival which takes place in the quaint setting of an old British holiday camp. Having relocated several years ago from Pontins in Camber Sands to the larger and more impressive Butlins site in Minehead, it has grown with the recent rise of so-called ‘underground indie rock. This year’s curators, the reformed Californian slackers Pavement, had sold out the festival on their name alone. Almost entirely to checked-shirted boys such as WHTB, in fact. Boys, it turns out, love Pavement.


I arrived at the festival site in something of a grump. Minehead is a lovely-looking coastal town with a beautiful shoreline, and the thought of the weekend ahead should have been enough to keep my spirits buoyed, but no. Due to a variety of circumstances too dull to relate, we were unable to check into the festival until some time towards the end of the first two bands’ sets. Avi Buffalo and Surfer Blood both featured rather highly on my ‘wanna see’ list, but no matter. There remained plenty of time to enjoy bands.

My friend Pete was heading over from New York, and so we had loosely arranged to meet up. Not having seen him in five years (other than in pixelised form) left me rather doubtful as to whether this would happen. The fates are mysterious creatures, however, and they dictated that we should walk past each other as soon as we both entered the arena. We half-took in a disappointing set by Spiral Stairs and caught up over the first of many beers. Fun!

We then moved on catch the Mariachi-drenched Americana of Calexico. A good band will always improve matters. As will a good Minutemen cover (Corona). More beer.

Next we caught The Walkmen in time to hear their hits, despite a fuse blowing onstage, causing them to abandon their set for a good five minutes. They re-emerged baffled but eager, and reminded us all that The Rat is ace. More beer.

I had eagerly anticipated Broken Social Scene, but after a promisingly noisy start, they descended into pseudo-epic rock that was a little too U2 for these ears. Beeeeeeer!

Mission Of Burma put in an early bid for band of the festival, which came as no surprise after witnessing their heroics at Camber Sands in 2006. Great stuff. Getting drunk now. That’s when i reach for myyy revolveerrrr!!! Ah, anthems.

We watched a bit of Quasi – not bad but I was getting a little band-fatigued. Had a wander. And some beer.

Next we caught the end of Marble Valley, and met up with my bud Yoshi from Still Flyin. Good guys. Beer? Again? Don’t mind if i do…!

Times New Viking are one of my favourite bands, and by this stage i was pretty darn drunk. Which was good news, of course. Around this time I stumbled across Westie from Pavement – a charming man who appeared to have time for everybody. Hewas even willing to pose for a photo with a drunken, incoherent fanboy such as myself.

After bar-hopping for a while, I found Pete and the Still Flyin boys again. Around 4:30am we somehow wandered into a packed ground floor chalet party. With a fog machine and a strobe light. WOAH. An hour or so, i looked up to see a nekkid girl dancing on a table. “I’m not cool enough for this shit,” I muttered to Yoshi, feeling a bit awkward and wondering exactly how I was going to explain this to my better half. Not short of young gentlemen willing to help her dance, the nekkid girl eventually jumped off the table, skipped across the room, jumped out of the window and ran off into the night. It was strangely poetic.

Eventually, I got back into my chalet at 7am. Drunk.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day Two coming up…

When Time Is Poetry

January 29, 2010

It’s supposed to be a sure sign that you’re getting old when your favourite bands start to reform.  When WHTB was a younger, more foolhardy soul with fire in his belly and a neatly-copped ‘tude, he wascompletely opposed to nostalgia reunion tours, and very nearly missed the Pixies due to punker-than-thou skepticism (not that they turned out to be especially amazing in the flesh. They fucked up Gigantic as well, the bad meffs).

But within the last few years, I’ve been to see sets by Dinosaur Jr, Mission Of Burma, the Lemonheads and Sebadoh. And there’s a chalet bed reserved for a considerably drunker version of myself when Pavement pull in to headline ATP in May.

the reunited, somewhat crinklier Mission Of Burma

For this huge selling-out of my core values, i offer the following (rubbish) excuses:

1. Most of my favourite bands were long-gone or approaching the end of their careers by the time i’d hit 16. Never let it be said that I’m a man of my time.

2. Back then I also decreed that all bands over the age of 30 “should be taken outside and shot”. Whereas these days, and as I hurtle ever-nearer to that magic figure myself, I feel like I’m right on the cutting edge of all artistic endeavour if i manage to enjoy a band under said age.

In any case, who cares? I considered posting a lengthy musing on why people bear such malice towards reunions, but it would be fucking boring. So let’s just skip to the conclusion of that bit, eh? Everyone clings to the myth that rocknroll is young people’s music – after all, they’re angrier, sassier and sexier than their ‘maturing’ counterparts. And older generations certainly have a tendency to forego the ‘LETSDOITNOWBEFOREWELEARNHOW-WUNTWOTHREEFOWAH’ spirit in favour of tasteful ballads and profficient playing. But hell, the whole genre is 60 years old now. How can it possibly just belong to young people? Dinosaur Jr’s new records and live sets are louder and harder-rockin’ than any number of crappy Top Man indie bands. Age is subjective. I’m in favour of young people labelling me an old bastard for saying as much – after all, I’ve started rambling now – but now that I’m not so young any more, I needn’t concern myself with such frilly nonsense. I’d rather know whether it’s rockin’, excitin’ or just any damn good.

And now I’ve got a ticket for reunited emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate, at their first ever UK show in London in April. To say i’m excited would be an understatement, but then again i was 12 when the original line-up split first time round. Again, never let it be said that I’m a man of my time.

Here’s the reunited SDRE on Fallon.

Peace x