The TLP Network

No One and a Half: What band do you sound like?!

by on Jan.21, 2008, under Articles, No One and a Half

Scribed by Jason Firestone.

So I’m chillin’ at my favorite little dive bar on All Ages Night, keeping my friend The Sound Guy company while the entire place gets bombarded with unoriginal breakdowns, cliché song structures, tuneless attempts at singing, and badly-done Cookie Monster vocals that sound more like a prepubescent Chris Barnes after getting his tonsils taken out than anything resembling something “brutal.” This is the kind of show where the majority of the people there could care less about the local music scene and are only there because they’re: A. a girl who’s banging one of the members of one of the bands, B. a friend of the band who is trying to bang said girl, or C. the parents of one of the band members, who are all-too-familiar with how absolutely god-awful the band’s music is (after all, the parents let the band practice in the garage) so they just sit at the bar ordering stiff drink after stiff drink hoping they’ll black out before the band goes on.

Me being the kind of guy who is always searching for the next promotional opportunity, I figured if I could get some of these high school kids into my band’s music, they’d spread it around faster than the clap. Or the answers to tomorrow’s test. Or that rumor that Suzie cheated on the quarterback of the school football team with the captain of the math team. Or… okay, I’ll stop.

So I go and strike up a conversation with this kid. Being the self-promotion whore that I am, I eventually direct the conversation to the fact that I too am in a band that plays many shows in the area (whoop-dee-fuckin-doo, what a rebel I am). I stress the fact that we give away our CD for free, and I offer him a copy. He asks, “What band do you sound like?”

While trying as hard as I can to keep my head from exploding and wrapping my hands around this dipshit kid’s neck, I start explaining to him that each of the members of the band I’m in have very different influences, and as soon as I start up with my always-unsuccessful attempt at describing our sound I can see his eyes glaze over. All he cares about is that we don’t sound remotely like any of the bands that played on this night, and therefore he could care less. Which makes perfect sense, actually. After all, this is a night of pure metalcore, emocore, and every other fill-in-the-blank-core that always seem to end up sounding exactly the same. Consider the fact that open-mindedness and originality are almost foreign concepts in this age of Clear Channel/MTV homogeny and MySpace giving every shitty little band with a Radio Shack computer microphone and an Internet connection a place to display their attempts at someone else’s musical stylings. And why do most young males start playing music in the first place? To get chicks. And the sad truth is that originality and open-mindedness make most nubile young women dry up faster than my bank account after I quit my job a month ago.

The kids who have these kinds of attitudes often don’t just stay this way in high school. If they’re dedicated enough, they’ll stay this way well through college and into adulthood. And then you catch up with them when they hit their late 20s/ early 30s and they’re listening to Coldplay and have given up their emo comb over and girl pants in favor of #3 buzz cuts and kakis. Serves them right.

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