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    Pop will not eat itself

    When I'm taking a break from a steady dose of punk/hardcore (we are in a golden age for hardcore imho), I've been falling down a rabbit hole of contemporary reggaeton. I had been familiar with early reggaeton because it really just seemed to be sped up reggae in Spanish and I listen(ed) to a lot of reggae. (Music clips to follow.)

    That's part one. Part two is that I was driving home from my regular pizza by the slice place and listening to a local college radio station that tends to be very good for indie rock stuff. The set that I heard was all pop music that seemed to be 80s New Wave with a 2019 mainstream pop radio twist. Back in the day (and I don't mean that to sound like some grandpa spewing nostalgia) there is no way pop masquerading as alternative would have been played on a good college station like the one I was listening to while driving. And less farther back in the day Pitchfork was writing about (mostly) independent music and no mainstream top 40 artists. But now college radio is sucked into pop sounds and Pitchfork prefers to lead with stories about Taylor Swift. Damn, pop is everywhere all the time.

    Three songs while I was driving:

    Sigrid - Sucker Punch (major label in the US but because she's Norwegian she's not supposed be mainstream pop--think Robyn who is for some reason huge among indie fans). LA show is promoted by GoldenVoice, which before they started Coachella exclusively booked alternative and punk shows.



    LPX - Global Warming (label is listed as self-relased but on tour opening for X-Ambassadors so no way this is a band self-releasing music)



    Paramore - Idle Worship (not going to bother with the video since they're on a fake indie label or a label that might have been independent at one point but now owned by a major).


    Reggaeton-- one old song and two new songs:

    El General - Muevelo



    Yung Beef and La Zowi - Empezar



    Bea Pelea - A Los Dos (Ft. Kaydy Cain & El Mini)




    Short version: it seems like a mainstream pop sound is everywhere now and the only way to avoid it is to make some type of extreme music. But maybe that's always been the case and I was able to ignore pop sounds.

    Last edited by danielmak; 12-09-2019, 03:12.

    #2
    Nothing to add to this but I am intrigued by this

    When I'm taking a break from a steady dose of punk/hardcore (we are in a golden age for hardcore imho),
    I have seen a reasonable amount of good UK stuff of late but, from your statement, am probably missing out. Recommendations?

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      #3
      Yeah, I didnít know anyone was really making new hardcore.

      I too really like Robyn despite not really being into dance or poppy pop in general. She and her producers are just better at it than most. I also really like some of Carly Rae Jepsenís tracks. But Taylor Swift, for example, does nothing for me.

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        #4
        I've been interviewing people for an on-line web series about college radio I'm doing (primarily in the US, but the next one that will come out is with a Canadian DJ). And I just started a project about photozines (BTW, if anyone ever made a punk photozine or knows someone, please PM me). Anyway, everyone who still listens to punk is in agreement that we are in an amazing period for hardcore and dark punk (usually called death rock in the past--I've been posting some of these bands in the post-punk thread).

        I will add that I grew up on Southern California in the early 80s (first discovered punk in 79 or 80) and so for me the bar was set high by local bands Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, Chiefs plus what was happening around the country Minor Threat, Negative Approach, etc. Then I'd add Discharge, GBH as another duo that was crucial from that general timeframe. I think hardcore dipped a bit and the screamo bands that formed in the early to mid-90s were a bit of rejuvenation for me (check out Bread and Circuits as one example, although less screamo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-mdX4X-SnE )

        Anyway, here are some of my personal favorites for hardcore. Well, maybe a lot of links. Haha.

        https://whatwedoissecrete.bandcamp.c...-you-stand-for. (Toronto band, S.H.I.T.)

        https://beachimpedimentrecords.bandc...-hardcore-punk (Bogota band -- Muro)

        https://exoticapunk.bandcamp.com/alb...ue-exotique-03 (New York band Exotica--some songs in Spanish and some in English)

        https://haramharam.bandcamp.com/albu...re-you-on-9-11 (New York band Haram--all songs in Arabic)

        https://khiis.bandcamp.com/ (Bay Area band Khiis -- some songs in Farsi)

        https://lavidaesunmus.bandcamp.com/album/collection-lp (French band Rixe -- Oi band)

        https://torsoxvx.bandcamp.com/ (Bay Area band Torso -- straight edge)

        https://bloodymasterrecords.bandcamp...-the-end-times (New York band Subersive Rite -- Crust/D-Beat/UK Anarcho Punk)

        Then, I would say that almost everything on La Vida es un Mus (London label run by a Spanish guy) is going to be a banger:
        https://lavidaesunmus.bandcamp.com/ (If you click on the link the top left moving to the right will be the most recent. He just released two incredible Spanish hardcore records.)

        And almost everything on Static Shock (another London label) is really, really good:
        https://staticshockrecords.bandcamp.com/ (The first record to the far left is made up of various current UK hardcore bands but this is more of a garage punk single and it's great.)

        That's already a lot to listen to (overwhelming probably) but I will add the Exit Order record as an example of hardcore/UK82/dark punk blend. This one also rules:
        https://exitorder.bandcamp.com/
        Last edited by danielmak; 15-09-2019, 04:06.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by danielmak View Post
          And almost everything on Static Shock (another London label) is really, really good:
          https://staticshockrecords.bandcamp.com/ (The first record to the far left is made up of various current UK hardcore bands but this is more of a garage punk single and it's great.)
          Funny - Uranium Cleaners just came up on my Spotify Discover and made me come back here to see if you had replied. They're on Static Shock.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by danielmak View Post
            I will add that I grew up on Southern California in the early 80s (first discovered punk in 79 or 80) and so for me the bar was set high by local bands Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, Chiefs plus what was happening around the country Minor Threat, Negative Approach, etc. Then I'd add Discharge, GBH as another duo that was crucial from that general timeframe.
            You may be aware of this but Showtime is streaming a four part series called Punk, and episode three* deals almost exclusively with California hardcore.

            * e1: Early 70s Detroit (Stooges, MC5) and NY (CBGBs.)
            e2: Late 70s UK
            e4: Grunge, Riot Grrrls.

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              #7
              Iíd like to see that

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                #8
                Not bad as music docs go. It's mostly interviews, mostly over video clips. But given the length of the series there's a bit more detail than you normally get in this type of doc. It also goes beyond the usual suspects, though J Lydon, and Debbie and Chris are included, as is Iggy fairly extensively (he's the executive producer.) But I'd never heard members of Bad Brains, the Circle Jerks or Black Flag before, and it was nice to see Vancouver's Joe Keighley of DOA.

                You might argue with the framework, personally I'd have started with mid-60s garage bands, but I might be alone in that. And there are notable omissions, The Modern Lovers should've been included ó and interviewed. I don't know if it's because no one wanted to talk, or they didn't fit the Detroit/NY axis.

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                  #9
                  Thanks, AdC. I have Showtime but didn't know that was airing. I think it had been streaming on some more obscure channel for a while. Amazon Prime has a lot of punk documentaries right now, including The Decline. Anyway, after I get through this new Ken Burns doc about Country music then I'll check out the punk doc.

                  Originally posted by caja-dglh View Post

                  Funny - Uranium Cleaners just came up on my Spotify Discover and made me come back here to see if you had replied. They're on Static Shock.
                  I think they've got a fest coming up or maybe just booking some US bands that are going to England, including CHEW from Chicago. Uranium Club is a little weirder; definitely have an early DEVO vibe to them.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I apologise. Not Showtime. It's on something called Epix in the US. (Here in Canada many of the smaller networks are being bundled together on Crave, so it's often hard to tell where they originate.)

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                      #11
                      I had Epix briefly on a free trial. Maybe Iíll get it again.

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                        #12
                        I don't have Epix but if there is a free trial, I'll use it and cancel.

                        BTW, I forgot to respond to AdC's comment about garage bands. I agree. I had been teaching a class that is part of a program for incoming freshmen. Each professor uses a specific theme to help introduce the students to the city through that theme. Getting the students out of the classroom. The course I taught focused on underground music (punk, rap, and dance music). We always begin by listening to a lot of music so I can show the students how different sounds and scenes converge and diverge. Anyway, I start with raw rockabilly stuff because of the rawness and chaos in the sounds but I think most people with a deeper understanding of punk would agree that garage rock is a starting point. That's certainly been the driving force for labels like Crypt Records and Norton Records ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQdZ-plqa-E ). But there is a major diversion when we get to the development of hardcore. By now those bands are well documented and they all talk about the influence of early punk bands like the The Stooges or Ramones but the link between garage rock and The Ramones is a lot more obvious ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS8oYNK73Ek ) than the link between the Ramones and Minor Threat ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k001JvPWs4Y ).

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                          #13
                          Thanks for all this. I do feel bad that I have derailed danielmak's thread.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                            Thanks for all this. I do feel bad that I have derailed danielmak's thread.
                            I think the next thread on OTF not to be derailed might be the first thread on OTF not to be derailed. It's all good on my end since I love talking about punk bands and it's not like the thread was getting any kind of action re: the pop angle.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Not worth a thread in itself but it's worth pointing out how successful this middle ground 'alt pop', 'pop/rock' is at the moment.

                              North East singer songwriter Sam Fender has announced a tour of the UK's bigger halls and arenas for March, a few days after his debut album went to number 1 upon release. 6 Music have started playing his stuff but I couldn't hum one of his songs if forced to at gunpoint. Fair play to the lad, but it is a rapid ascent, given a couple of months ago he was playing sub-1000 capacity places like the QMU in Glasgow and last year he was on the pub circuit.

                              Lewis Capaldi is on a similar arc, with a halls tour later in the autumn fully sold out, and has started to announced major outdoor gigs for next summer, on the back of one album.

                              The tangential link to the original post is Sigrid - her rise is not quite as spectacular but she became a big name long before her debut album came out and she's playing big shows on the back of it.

                              And the link between the three is that they all appeared on the BBC's Sound of 2018 long list (Sigrid "won" it). Also on the list was Billie Eilish, who is a global phenomenon, and recently pulled reportedly the biggest ever crowds at Reading and Leeds festivals outside of headliners (and possibly including headliners).

                              Obviously not everyone who gets no those lists hits paydirt like these examples but it seems to be a hell of a platform for those selected, and the taste makers seem to heavily favour these middle ground artists.

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                                #16
                                I've been noticing the resurgence of Vagelis Blade Runner type stuff...

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES1kbvt5FB8

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                                  #17
                                  And to continue the incredible run of hardcore records coming out recently. Loose Nukes from Pennsylvania. This is a ripper:
                                  https://beachimpedimentrecords.bandc...-the-screen-ep

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                                    #18
                                    To repay the compliment, dm, here is my favourite local hardcore band (indeed, so local that the singer lives around the corner from me) https://sevencrowns.bandcamp.com/

                                    Having said that, they are doing a free gig over the bridge from me tonight and the weather is so shit, I am not going. Mind you, they are playing all Stone Roses songs.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                                      To repay the compliment, dm, here is my favourite local hardcore band (indeed, so local that the singer lives around the corner from me) https://sevencrowns.bandcamp.com/

                                      Having said that, they are doing a free gig over the bridge from me tonight and the weather is so shit, I am not going. Mind you, they are playing all Stone Roses songs.
                                      This sounds good. They would fit well on a bill with Refused, who I like a lot. I listened to the first couple songs from the link you sent and will check out the full record on Monday.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        And less farther back in the day Pitchfork was writing about (mostly) independent music and no mainstream top 40 artists. But now college radio is sucked into pop sounds and Pitchfork prefers to lead with stories about Taylor Swift. Damn, pop is everywhere all the time.
                                        I'm trying to think when all this started. I think it was about 15 years ago with that Kylie "Can't Get You Out of My Head". Absolute shite. But a whole load of alternative blogs like Pitchfork (or the equivalent of whatever existed then) were saying how brilliant it was. I couldn't understand it for the life of me.

                                        You're still safe on WXYC

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by anton pulisov View Post
                                          But a whole load of alternative blogs like Pitchfork (or the equivalent of whatever existed then) were saying how brilliant it was.
                                          Pitchfork is only slightly more trustworthy for reviews / ratings than The Quietus, whose album of the year is usually just two guys beating a 40 gallon oil drum with a frying pan.

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Oooooh there'll be letters.

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                                              #23
                                              Sunn O)))))) no, not again....

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                                                #24
                                                The Quietus might go with abstract or obscure, but that's good by me even if the obscure isn't my cup of tea. But Pitchfork will go with Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande as the top record. And that just wasn't the case a decade back. Again, I'm cool with Rolling Stone or Spin focusing on mainstream music; they are mainstream music magazines. But Pitchfork was an alternative publication and no longer fits that bill. Personally, I have nothing invested in Pitchfork but they are one of the few profitable on-line publications (hence the big sale to Conde Nast) and at one time they really helped introduce readers to new music and helped shape tastes.

                                                And I also appreciate when people try to introduce readers/viewers/listeners/concert attendees to different genres of music. I remember attending a concert organized by Ian Astbury called Gathering of the Tribes that had EPMD and Iggy Pop on the same bill. But Ariana Grande is set; she doesn't need to be covered by publications that could use their space for something below the radar. Pitchfork had readers before they started writing about Top 40 artists. And I doubt the fans who listen to Top 40 radio/stream Top 40 streams read anything on the site about someone likes James Blake, Spiritualized, Soccer Mommy, etc. (listed in order of relative popularity with etc. finishing in dead last--haha).

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                                                  #25
                                                  Yeah, agree with most of that. I like when you read a wiki entry for some album that you think is particularly good, and you scan the agglomerated reviews in the box on the right hand side. Everyone and their uncle gives it a nine or a five star review, and Pitchfork will be in there with a 6.2. It happens so regularly that it's almost laughable now. I have no idea what they listen for, but I sure can't hear it. It's so absurd that I can't trust their wildly positive or wildly negative reviews anymore, because they don't seem to be grounded in anything.

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