Friday, 18 July 2008

I have a terrible track record in the music business (Part I)

I remember in 2002-2003 when everyone was going on about The Hives and The Vines and all that, I went to see this uknown band The Star Spangles in a little venue in London* and thinking that despite their shit name they were great, mainly because growing up I had always liked Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers and also because they were so ridiculously New York, so painfully Bowery-in-1977, that it was laughable, but at least they weren't even pretending that they were doing anything contemporary, and also the fact that the singer reminded me a little bit of a young Nick Cave, and also a cobra.

Afterwards I reviewed them, then I called them in New York and interviewed them and I tipped them in some magazines and - as usual - I was wrong, no-one cared and the band got dropped by their major label.

This was not uncommon. As a music journalist I was always tip the wrong bands because I have terrible music taste. Most journalists do. (I reviewed The Strokes first ever UK show and said they would remain in obscurity for twenty years.) I don't care though. A good song is a good song, and it's even better if the artist is wearing quality footwear.

I'll probably write more about my terrible predictions for greatness and music-related failures in the future. There are many.

Anyway, The Star Spangles had at least one good song, which reminded me a bit of The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen and maybe even Hanoi Rocks (actually, they sound a bit like The Hold Steady too, come to think of it) and which I haven't heard for a few years until about four minues ago. It was called 'Which One Of The Two Of Us Is Going To Burn This House Down?', which is a good title for a song, and a good title for a short story too. Maybe I'll write a story with that title. Maybe the song will be hailed as a classic in years to come. I doubt it. It's not that good. Maybe the short story will, though I suspect I will never write it.

Here's the song.

(* Afterthought: I 'signed' the support band that night to my then-fledgling record label. I also tipped them for greatness. They sold about 150 albums. They were still great though. Footwear.).

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