Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dear Synth Players: Quit Being Boring (at Least on Stage)

I don't know why the laziest members of bands (at least currently) have the least amount to do. I'm talking about this new pretentious dance trend going on and how the synth/keyboard players are the ones with the least to do and seemingly showing the least interest while on stage. What the fuck? Friday I met up with Dead and his boyfriend at some indie-dance show and was pretty shocked at the sheer dullness going on at stage left. Picture this: some chick with a ridiculous hipster hair-do that when tossed just so can either look like a fashion mullet or emo obsessed style. Either way, she is trying way too hard to be cool. Add to that the heroin chic body along with some overpriced faux-vintage re-sale dress and a constant look of utter disdain for what she was doing and you have your typical synth/keyboard player sucking the life out of whatever energy the front of her band is striving to relay to the not drunk enough audience. Pretty lame, right? Well at least I fucking think so. This whole sect of the non-mainstream, as my brother would describe it, the "indie-dance hipster scene" and their bands are built upon the person with the mic with commanding stage presence and nothing else. None of the bands that are heralded (Crystal Castles, Muscles, shit even Le Tigre) succeed live without a compelling presence at center stage. And it is that minor requirement that has allowed this scene to flourish so vibrantly. While a few of the bands that have spawned off countless, boring drones (Le Tigre, The Gossip before the went disco) have actual merit to their work most simply are there just to tour and derive an inflated ego from a false belief that they have imparted some art or insight on the audience. Last night was no different. Sorry, they were just there to dance. Von Iva were a fun live band simply because of their singer. She was sexy, had a terrific voice and worked the crowd into a frenzy but when you stripped the music of how it plays in a live setting, you're left with a CD you'd be pissed you spent your last fiver on over a beer at midnight. And the fact that they mined the primal, so base your stroke victim granny could've beat that shit into the ground drum beat for EVERY SONG made the initial lustre cast upon the group fade faster than the sheen on dogshit roasting on the sidewalk. The point is, most of these bands aren't even part of a passing fad. They are endemic of a party culture that is as throw away as the 80's Brit-pop spike. Good for MAYBE a single but on the whole just fun for a night. Sorry to get distracted with some music Nazism but the main crux of this rant was to be about the synth/keyboard players. First off, they're not really musicians. They just cue up whatever fucking track was pre-programmed in the pre-tour practice sessions and then strain to slightly press on one of their Hammond programmed keys. If they actually helped to compose the beats (which are mainly stolen), and work around that to deliver something unique it could be forgiven. But, that ain't the case. So, what you get is random ass hipster #1 who evokes the height of this years fashion trend and can capably not get too piss drunk before a performance to pretend like she/he ( is doing something that matters. Now, I am no insisting you get these plebeians to actually contribute to the band because their lack of skill and talent will surely wreck your 15 minute career. I just ask they act like they are fucking rocking while monitoring the tempo changes. Exhibit FUCKING A: This is Dragonforce. At no time should a metal band employ a keyboardist. I can delve into that statement another time but for now you're just gonna have to trust me. These D & D lovin' lads didn't but let's take a look at the result:
Dragonforce - Through The Fire And Flames

Did you see that shit? He is easily the most useless member of that band and he obviously knows it. How can I tell? Because the son of a bitch is head banging harder than any of the dudes shredding scales. And that is exactly what he should be doing. This bull with tits knows that he is within an inch of his life with the band and if he just goes all Viv Savage he won't get his Rock Band residuals anymore. Maybe this is an extreme example because he is a superfluous member of the band who actually has something to lose but I think you get the point. If this cat can go the fuck off all of the pilled out hipster cunts whose instrumentation is nothing more than pressing a button can certainly liven things up on stage. And if that is too difficult, just give up. At life.
For fucks sakes I've seen record player player's (aka DJ's) with more enthusiasm.

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