Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The New Mary Jane: Do you know what I have to go through when some new band makes it big and everyone tells me I just have to hear them? It means tuning in the local mixed bag/roots/world/no depression station, the station I usually surf past at light speed, since I can tell from one note whether they're playing John Hiatt. Every college town has one of these quasi-rock stations (except Boston, inexplicably) where they like country music, as long as it's played by 19-year-olds from Brooklyn; where they play goofy world music looking for the latest "L'amour C'est Plus Fort que Nous," except not from France because the French smoke cigarettes and are (ostensibly) a developed country, and exploitation is the new sophistication; where the weekend blues show is run by the same jock who does it commercial free at the University station on weeknights and who thinks that dissing Chicago blues after Sippie Wallace left town makes him "authentic."

In other words, if I want to hear this new Fountains of Wayne LP that everyone is talking about, I have to sit through the crap. (Whaddya know? If you listen for a few hours, you'll hear the -- I presume -- single more times than you care to.)

Okay, so the tracks are supposedly eclectic, and I've only heard the one track, so I'm judging quickly; but if "Hung Up on You" is representative, I'm disappointed. The sound is like Dwight Yoakam's . . . cover band from Utica; the melody is catchy but threadbare -- think Asylum Street Spankers' "Sad Bomber" done with a straighter face. You get hints that the song may be a send-up (like the cheap "hung up" wordplay), but country music is notoriously hard to nudge in the ribs; even some of the wackier stuff on Ween's Golden Country Greats is hard to knock away as parody -- if you don't listen to the lyrics.

Anyhoo, I'm notoriously cheap, so Interstate Managers is not getting my $12 at this time. Razor, I know you're much more hep than I'll ever be, so I'm counting on you to correct me if I'm being too hasty.

No comments: