Sadly, music has fallen off my radar in a big way. I used to be on top of things when it came to music: the bands, the labels, who was playing with who now and where. Parenthood went a long way to sapping my energy for keeping up with such stuff, even if the interwebs makes it easier than ever to do so. I will latch onto someone new every once in a blue moon, and I try not to be one of those people whose musical tastes stalled at age 30. Still, when I put on my iPod, I am much more likely listening to a comedy podcast than music. Sigh.
I was into music for so long (and also writing about it on occasion) that I still get press releases or blasts from someone looking to promote their latest find, someone who has no idea they’re barking up the wrong tree. I rarely read them, because I fear they’ll just be depressing: wide-eyed 20 year olds conquering the world, listing as influences other bands I’m already too old/unhip to have heard of. Double sigh.
But since I have a foundation in this world, creaky though it might be, I was quite amused when a tweet from @samirmathur alerted me to a web site called Shut Up, Bands. Created by a former British gig promoter (I mean he was formerly a gig promoter; he remains British, I assume), it gathers the most inane email blasts and press kit blather from a wide array of bands.
Is this shooting fish in a barrel, making fun of presumably young and inexperienced musicians? Yes, but it’s also really friggin funny. It’s also coming from a place of exasperation, from someone who’s so inundated with such garbage that they have to lash out somehow. Some are presented with extensive, MST3K-ish riffing. Some are presented without comment. Others are summed up with one neat phrase, for no more words are necessary.
In a similar vein, I’d also recommend following the tweeting of @Folder_Rock, whose feed is exclusively comprised of press kit excerpts like, “Their debut EP is an intense, warm guitar riff dick slap coupled with thick syrup bass lines…” This came my way thanks to WFMU’s Evan “Funk” Davies, and I am very glad it did. Otherwise, I never would have read such gems as, “Their slap-happy bass and slyly sweet vocals embrace both death metal and Western swing.”