All entries for Wednesday 04 May 2005

May 04, 2005

Indie wet dreams, number 2: Steve Albini

Lets look at the deal here. You're Steve Albini. Everyone with sense knows at least one of the three great bands you've been in. Perhaps they've heard of Shellac, the three-member band who don't really sound like anyone else on earth. They may have heard of Big Black, the three-member band who sound like quite a lot of other bands, but only because they've been ripped off by a lot of people who've done it worse, and without a drum machine. They probably haven't heard of Rapeman, because you pushed the boat out on that one and decided to offend people before they'd even heard the record.

Sadly, most people will probably know you from the liner notes of some dumb junk band like Nirvana or Bush. Hey, I guess it pays the bills, plus nobody can really ever call you a sellout, as you kind of define independent punk spirit, I guess. That's pretty much permanent get out of jail.

I imagine a lot of people find you easily dislikeable. Not to worry, you can just steal their beer and piss on their amps, whilst detailing your encounters with prostitutes and making it very, very plain that the music industry is a disgusting sharkpool.

You aren't "offensive" in the typical sense of some kind of "ooh risque" U.S. sitcom character. You are indeed offensive, but in a genuinely disturbing way. The listener listens to "Fish Fry" several times, and realises that it is indeed about a man beating a woman to death with his boot. Big Black aren't really background music.

You can write a song about squirrels, call it "Squirrel Song", tell everyone it's about squirrels, and include the line "this isn't some kind of metaphor", but people will still refuse to believe that it's a song about squirrels.

You are Steve Albini, and you rock.


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