Thursday, August 05, 2010

Reinvention through discovery

A couple weekends ago I sat idly discussing the Warped Tour with my wife's cousin's daughter. She was pretty excited and told her dad that she'd work extra hard during the upcoming week so she'd be able to go to the 2010 edition held in Shakopee, MN. In her mildly depressed, goth way, she rattled off a dozen or so bands that she was excited to see. I sat there and listened as not a single fucking band registered with me. I bluntly told her that all of the good bands (Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, etc.) were skipping Minnesota this year (because that's the exact comment I saw a day before on the Warped Tour website).

I went on, like any old-timer would, to regale her with the tale of the last Warped Tour I attended. I told her as she feigned interest that it was in Somerset, Wisconsin and it was supposedly the only time that Blink 182 and the Warped Tour would cross paths so this one was big. Ten years ago that place was my own personal mecca. How could you go wrong spending less than forty bucks to see ten bands you at least had interest in and discover a handful of others?

Sure, the Warped Tour is much closer to the Twin Cities now by actually being IN the Twin Cities but the bands she named all were foreign to me. I sat and drank my beer like a good old-timer and slowly realized that I'm not really that old but I was becoming out of touch. I had settled in to a safe rut and again, like I seem to every six months or so, felt the need to reinvent myself in some way to stave off certain insanity.

It all sort of fell in to place one night last week as I stumbled across a supposedly controversial YouTube video featuring the band of a teen star of the TV series "Gossip Girl" (it's on the CW). The seventeen year-old was dressed up in her trashy best as she belted out the lyrics. I had my doubts about her band -- The Pretty Reckless -- but the video for "Miss Nothing" was not only not bad it was actually damn good. Sure, most every concept for music videos has been done a million times but the music that this band had put together was fresh. At least fresh enough to jump-start me.



The Pretty Reckless was actually a good band and whether or not others will judge lead singer Taylor Momsen's vocal skills to be worthy of their oh-so sensitive ears, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's upbeat and loud while still having subtle tonal qualities such as appropriately placed bells and it's just what I needed to begin my current reinvention. Then it clicked, this band was one of those unknown-to-me bands that had been mentioned to me less than a week earlier. Shit, I just learned about an actually listenable band from a 15 year-old. Maybe, subconsciously, that's why I featured Taylor Momsen as one of Monday's photos on MinnPics but the decision to put a couple tracks from The Pretty Reckless on my iPod was definitely a conscious decision.

1 comment:

choochoo said...

scary when that happens, huh? Among all the new crap there are a few things that I reluctantly like listening to. Then there are thost things that I keep hidden deep in the darkest corners of my ipod, hoping that nobody will ever know that I own. If someone asks me what I'm listening to right now, I'll just smile innocently and say it's classic rock.