intern warz
  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2009

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It's safe to say we're all pretty over the Beatles vs Rolling Stones dilemma, but the music enthusiasts of today need something new and exciting to bicker about. So today, your loyal Baeble interns are waging the war between the sugary sounds of twee vs the dissonant ruckus of experimental.

If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, surely everyone would be grinning from ear to ear, bouncing around on streamer-decorated pogo sticks and listening to twinkly twee tunes. Precious and precocious, twee music is full of good intentions but comes off as the high-pitched shrieking sound of cupcakes colorful and delightful, but ultimately empty and nauseating when consumed in large quantities. With so many musical acts falling all over themselves to reach your coveted eardrums, innovation holds the only appeal. Weird for weird's sake can be almost as terrible as cute for cute's sake, but nothing beats stumbling across a band that, to quote Hunter Thompson, "is too weird to live, too rare to die, and too good to pass up."

"It" Bands: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart vs Crystal Castles



Laura:
love: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart understand the best of genres gone past: shoegaze, post-punk, twee, dream pop. They have perfected a blend of history in songs with that fuzzy, dreamy appeal, and a thoroughly modern charm, singing about sex in libraries with innocent candor only popkids can master, and teenagers in love with christ and heroine in the next song. They are witty and sweet and reverend to the right legends, and this love of time travel makes for a wonderful affair.

h8: If I have to listen to those irritating opening notes of "Crimewaves" one more time at the party of a smug obnoxious electro hipster wearing glitter black liner and trying to be Alice Glass, I will hurt someone. And listening to overrated, shouldn't even be considered music experimental electro noise pop whatever Crystal Castles has just that effect. The oh so hip effects of smashing down on too many synthesizers without knowing how to play anything in songs like "Alice Practice" or "Untrust Us" is the miracle fix if you'd like a bleeding headache and the desire to jump off several tall buildings.

Nina:
h8: When M83 merged shoegaze and dreampop, it was beautiful a darkly ethereal thunderstorm broken up by patches of glorious sun. When Pains do it, it's amateurish, half-baked, too cute, and too big too fast for their own good. "Young Adult Friction" tries to be edgy but stays asexual and boring, like if Molly Ringwald promised to go with you to the sock hop, but you had to bring your little sister along and have Molly home by 7pm. They can't play their instruments, their grittiness gets grating, and besides, I'll take John Cusack over Molly Ringwald any day.

love: Speaking of updated childhood nostalgia and genre-hopping, Crystal Castles fuses 8-bit music with techno, and the effect is impossibly catchy, tuneful, and danceable, like throwing a rave inside of a GameBoy! Their live show is completely bonkers (Alice Glass has been known to screech the entire set while crowd-surfing), they're crazy creative, and completely a product of their time. Not to mention Untrust Us takes a two-second Death From Above 1979 sample, extends it into a full song, and ends up sounding like Alice in Wonderland in Space.

Overhyped Blog Darlings: Black kids vs Wolf Parade


Laura
love: The Black Kids are unabashed dance pop fun, in capital letters with exclamation marks. Their songs are packaged with irresistible hooks and enthusiasm, glittering energy in angst inspired riotous pop songs with shoutalong choruses and countdowns. They might not be the epitome of meaningful songwriting (although surprisingly touching moments do snake into their songs), but they don't try to be, and the euphoric kick of their music stay in your head long after an initial listen.

h8: Wolf Parade, along with the rest of Spencer Krug's contrived, pretentious meaningful indie rock projects that all sound exactly the same, is forced emotions and an upgraded version of the dreaded post-grunge of the nineties. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, but Krug's scratchy high pitched indie rock drone is infuriating, and those heavy guitars and twisted guitarlines do not deserve the masses of hipsters and music critics who carries all his project on an untouchable pedestal.

Nina
h8: Offensively and unoriginally named (Black Keys/Black Lips + Cool Kids?), this band churns out derivative, harmless, annoying synth-pop that's so mind-numbing, it feels like someone is taking a Clorox wipe to your grey matter. Thankfully, they sound like everybody else and are thus instantly forgettable as soon as you leave whatever American Apparel they happen to be playing in.

love: Wolf Parade attacks with gritty, deep, textured sound that howls with paroxysms of emotion and sounds better each time you play it, especially if you play it loud. Apologies to the Queen Mary is tumultuous, lyrical, epic, and all the therapy you'll ever need. Plus, if you get them confused with any other band (Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake) odds are it's a side project.

"Quirky" Folk: Lavender Diamond vs CocoRosie

Nina
h8: I can't believe this girl is serious. Not only does she look like a pretty princess, she croons folk songs from a world where there are no clouds, everyone rides to work on ponies and unicorns, and eats rainbows for breakfast. They might aim for inspiring, but it's just one-dimensional, overblown and irritating.

love: CocoRosie, two gravelly-voiced androgynous French sisters, sing freak folk full of nuanced images and captivating lyrics over syncopated rhythms and whispered beatboxing. Even when they're singing about being rainbowarriors, it's full of dark overtones, spirit and sex, tantalizing temptation that lures you into their web.

Laura
love: Lavender Diamond creates the morning dew, pastels and frolicking in vast green fields sort of pop songs that carry not a bit of irony or pretension but a love for the little moments, in bells and pianos, guitars in delightful melodies. They carry with them a joy that is pure and simple, and her folk inspired indiepop is a lovely introduction to a world without cynicism or sadism.

h8: CocoRosie, the front runner in the recent obsession with freak folk pseudo pop, should learn that adding in screeching vocals and disfigured melodies, layers of obscure instruments and singing about **cking dick in a bizarre near childish croon does not necessarily make good music. Oh sure, all the bloggers in the world might fall in love with these "experimental" sisters, but I see through their psychedelics poisoned veil. They are embracing the very same indie rock gimmick that they think they escape from.

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