Originally published by Kade Magazine on September 8, 1994
Posting this here because on last week’s podcast we had a discussion about seeing The Smashing Pumpkins during their post-Siamese Dream phase, as well as Kirk’s assertion that the Pumpkins were better than Nirvana. This article touches on all of that, and is also representative of my take on indie/alternative just as it was beginning to peak out, commercially.
. . . So I was standing on line for Lollapalooza ’94 bumping backpacks with thousands of other cool undergound rockers and there’s this really annoying loud guy right in front of me. He’s pontificating about Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols. Only all of his ideas are completely wrong, which pissed me off. After a few minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I tapped him on the shoulder and went “excuse me, but I’ve been listening to your little lecture on The Pistols and you’ve completely missed the point about McLaren, punk rock and everything.”
He was offended: “Look ‘ere, Mate,” he went with a fake English Accent, “I’ve been writing about Malc for years, and I think I ‘ave a smashing insight on punk.” “Oh yeah,” I went, “well, I just happen to have Malcolm right here, and let’s just find out what he has to say,” and with that I produced Malcolm McLaren, who went to the guy: “Your theories are absolute shite; how you ever got to write about anything is beyond me.” Needless to say, the guy was flabbergasted . . .
Bob Mould, of course, has had a lifetime pass since the second Sugar album, and to be honest, he’s probably had it since January 1987, when Hüsker Dü released Warehouse: Songs and Stories.
Warehouse was the fifth album they’d released since September 1984, so it was the culmination of 2 1/2 years where they’d gone from being just another name buried in the morass of hardcore bands listed in tattered, second-hand fanzines to being one of my favorite bands in the universe.
That said, in all of the years, I’d only ever seen Bob Mould perform once, at the Warfield in San Francisco on Sugar’s File Under: Easy Listening tour. Unlike R.E.M and The Replacements, the Hüskers never made it Fresno, and there was never quite the right social buzz around them to have the same road trips that spontaneously seem to organize themselves around The Smiths or U2.
Besides, Hüsker Dü was going to last forever. I’d have plenty of time to see them!!
“… and there stands R.E.M.” is the last phrase on Pavement’s heartfelt (not “heartfelt”) tribute “The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence.”
At the time, R.E.M. had “only” been together for a decade — how long did any of your bands last? — but it felt like they were in it for the long haul, and would be making great records for decades to come.
Of all the bands ever, they seemed like they’d figured it out: how to a be band and not lose your mind, how to stay a band and not lose your heart, and most importantly, how to have success and not lose your soul.
So there they stood. Through the loss of their drummer. Through the loss of their popularity. Through the loss of their ability to make great records. Through the regaining of their ability to make great records.
And there stands R.E.M.
Welcome to Episode 1 of The Medialoper Bebop Podcast: The End of The World.
Join your hosts — Jim Connelly, Tim Gaskill and Kirk Biglione — each week as we dissect the worlds of popular culture and technology with love and skepticism. And it will only take about a half-hour of your life!
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This week, we’re discussing the following topics:
How great of a year was 2010? So great that when I first put together a list of albums to consider for my Top 10, there were over 45 serious contenders.
And while I was eventually able to whittle it down to what you’re going to see here, it was really tough, and absolutely subject to change.
2010 was my favorite year for music since 1991, and maybe ever, and I think social networking played a huge part in it. People talk a lot of shit about Facebook and Twitter, but the upside — especially Twitter — is that you get recommendations from people whom you might have never met, but whose taste coincides with your owns. There were many great records this year — The Soft Pack & Titus Andronicus come to mind — that I discovered thanks to a tweet or got deeper into because of a long online discussion.