What, I don’t know, but I almost feel like my Marooned piece is becoming part of a gentle cultural overload. First, there is in fact an official MBV Myspace page now:
It’s co-run by Vinita Joshi, who I’ve known for years and is on the level, so therefore this page is. And it links to this as-yet-unused site:
Meantime, “When You Sleep,” a song that’s been covered by Mira and Giant Drag and probably a lot of other acts, has also recently been covered by the Antlers, who I gather are indie blog favorites or something. Nice version, in any event, as can be heard here.
Somewhat related to this, over on ILM earlier, Chuck Eddy, as part of a larger discussion of Marooned and the question of the lingering influence of boomers on the musical canon and discussion thereof (I’m kinda oversimplifying, but anyway), said:
I’m still pretty stumped by the apparent need to identify with a “generation” in the first place, much less pat said generation on the back for choosing, say, My Bloody Valentine or Iron Maiden (both of which have also been canonized into tedium by devotees of their particular niches forever)
As he talks elsewhere on the thread, these thoughts are less about the book and its contents — he says that there are “great essays about some music I don’t care for,” for instance — than some critical reactions to said book, in particular this LA Times book review, and how one canon/generation’s elevation over another is ultimately futile and self-destructive. Now, personally I agree, and I intentionally spent a good chunk of my essay talking about that very thing; I see no need to restate it.
Tedium is an end result, however, if it is constantly argued in the universal. I have no doubt that plenty of people are thoroughly familiar with my own elevation of Loveless to the point where they need never hear about it again, and I’m hardly alone in my regard for the band and album, but I’m not trying to pound that into everyone’s heads every day through the arms of the mass media and secure in the knowledge of public consensus, in the wide general sense as opposed to a more limited ‘music obsessive’ one, and neither am I contributing to such an constant re-impression of universal standards. I can’t, even if I actively wanted to. Loveless holds no such cachet.
Certainly some of Chuck’s most highly regarded albums — Led Zeppelin IV, Appetite for Destruction, Hysteria, to name three — rarely lacked for general public attention after release, and all rapidly slotted into and still have strong prides of place within an evolving ‘classic rock’ consensus that continues to hold massive sway, far more so than the earnest scribblings and typings that have characterized the majority of MBV love. The Behind the Music-style documentary on Loveless for something like VH1 has yet to exist and almost certainly never will.
Chuck’s own choice of examples betrays this a bit — far far more people know about Iron Maiden, even as just a name on a T-shirt, than MBV. That we’re in an age now where hundreds if not thousands of metal acts worldwide can claim both Iron Maiden and MBV as an influence may irritate Chuck a lot (or it may not irritate him at all), but the former has a place in wider cultural knowledge and awareness that MBV simply does not approach, and if MBV has reached tedium point for him then Iron Maiden must by now have sent him into complete and total stasis. I talk about Loveless as a ‘cartoonish representation’ of myself, but Eddie is a way more effective cartoon (if you want to call him that) for his own band still. (Case in point — that ain’t the Loveless cover David Beckham’s wearing in this photo earlier in the month.)
Chuck might not like the two groups in question in the quote, and doesn’t, but there’s got to be more of an allowance of nuance and multiplicities in that which creates the musical/historical narrative. One finds oneself bored only in context.