I have been confused for some time now about the way musical styles are labeled. Who can tell me what "alternative" really represents? Is your band alternative? If so, what is it an alternative to? There was a time when I thought alternative described all those (Seattle sound) bands that had unintelligible old-man-voiced singers who were on the verge of killing themselves. They were quite heavy on the droning guitar, but still redundant and melodic on the hook. But once that sound became so popular, why was it still labeled alternative? I looked the word up in Webster's for this definition: "...designating or of an institution, enterprise, etc. that represents or appeals to unconventional or nontraditional interests." Based on that definition, I propose that JAZZ be called alternative, heavy metal be called jazz and all songs in Billboard's Top 40 be called pop, because they are most popular. Metal gets me jazzed up, and what is commonly called jazz represents nontraditional interests . . . for me, anyhow.
The category NEWSRADIO includes most rap, folk and political/CNN topic bands like Midnight Oil and U-2. Everything else is rock, country and dance. Dance songs are written for the sole purpose of socializing in public, and no one gives a crap what the lyrical content is. We can skip the stuff that sounds, well, un-American. As a matter of fact, maybe we could incorporate the category of FOREIGN to include any band that takes more than five seconds to label itself. That way, I guess we'd just have to listen and decide for ourselves whether we like it or not. Now that's a novel idea.
As for me, I'd like to be pop, but I'm afraid I'm foreign.
If you used to listen to the local music show on WLRS, you're familiar with the "Gutter Man", DJ and word spreader for many Louisville acts. Here's your chance to return the support, as Mike Gutterman now has a band of his own. Spy Ring is the name to look for, and I found the female-fronted four-piece to be familiarly focused on the fruits of finishing first - they really have their irons in the fire.
In other words, I like the CD Mike gave me to listen to. Since I'm not a reviewer type, I'll leave it at that.
The band with no name, mentioned in previous issues, is now called Sterzing. No one won a prize, though.
You might still say Kimmet and you might still say Doug, but don't say them together right now, because what maybe used to be your favorite duo has now joined Days of the New. Kimmet's versatile vocalizations slash keyboard capabilities and Doug's fancy guitar work are touring right now. There's a lot more to write there, but I hesitate to turn this into too much of a gossip column, so I'll just say . . . enjoy the moonlight, collect the stars and - do you still play weddings?
The original band members of Days of the New have been busy, too. I'm told. C14 has a new boss - Madonna! Seems her label has picked up the boys and, well, that reminds me of a Human League song: "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar / When I met you...."
Contact me with your band/Mid City info: 456-9677 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a smashing month!!