You’re Killing Me, a gritty, eight-part murder mystery based on the true story of US indie rock band Pavement, and the band’s deadly feud with Mark E. Smith of The Fall, is now streaming on Netflix, starring Kyle MachLachlan as Stephen Malkmus and D.J. Qualls as Mark E. Smith, with appearances by Matthew McConaughey as Gary Young and Dylan Baker as Thurston Moore.
One of the strange but perhaps obvious beauties of the new social media confabulation is that platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used by people across different timezones and locations in order to get together and share their thoughts on a particular issue. Like Eurovision.
After taking an eternity to write my review of Animal Collective live in concert, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and get snappy. So, without further ado, some words and pictures from last week’s Kraftwerk gig at Cirkus in Stockholm.
I’ve been writing this post in my head for at least twelve months, and even now I’m not sure I’m ready to publish it. As a consequence of my tardiness, there’s probably very little here on the subject of Animal Collective (AnCo) that’s either current or true. Be that as it may, I also suspect that not having written this post is actually holding me back from writing a stack of other posts that might possess some currency and/or truth. So, here goes.
The older I get, the more apparent it becomes that I’m a child of the early 1990s. Or at least, I’m a child of the 1970s and 1980s who left home in the early 1990s. In fact, let’s make it even more clear: I left home in the week British indie shoegazers Ride released their first, eponymous EP. It was January 1990, the beginning of the greatest couple of years in UK indie. Hyperbole much?
At the time, unfortunately, I knew nothing about shoegazing, Ride or UK indie. I was a passionate R.E.M. fan, and had just been (ahem) blown away by Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. I’m not too proud to admit that I was listening to commercial FM radio, too. I’m also happy to admit that, given I was living in Australia at the time, the soundtrack to my summer of 1989/1990 was heavily tinged with execrable shit like Noiseworks. It’s okay, we can all love on from that.
Then again, in my defence, by 1989 I was already into Australian indie. Ratcat, the Hummingbirds – this stuff was the actual soundtrack to my first summer out of high school. Ratcat’s That Ain’t Bad EP was brilliant. The Hummingbirds’ loveBUZZ album, named after the song Nirvana covered on Bleach, was also fantastic: 14 singles in a row, really, all with that R.E.M.-style Rickenbacker jangle that was so hot at the time (and no surprises that it sounded like R.E.M., given the album was produced by Mitch Easter).
Despite my Sydney indie credibility, however, I was in for a shock when I started university and fell in with a bunch of guys who were not only fully aware of British indie but were also apparently lifetime subscribers to New Musical Express. Through them, I discovered that there was a whole world of indie beyond R.E.M. (and let’s face it, by 1990, R.E.M. were slightly removed from indie anyway). The first time I heard the Pixies I almost shat myself. Sonic Youth had a similar effect. But the biggest impact was reserved for the shining lights of UK indie: My Bloody Valentine, the afore-mentioned Ride, the Charlatans, the Wedding Present, and on and on and on.
A little while ago, during one of my many trips down Amnesia Lane, I decided to create a list of all the great UK indie bands from the early 1990s. The problem was, I wasn’t ever an expert at all, and I’d never lived in the UK. Who needs Wikipedia, I reasoned, when I have a whole bunch of friends on Facebook who were all alive at the time, and are all now going through more-or-less the same stages of sentimentality and nostalgia? So, I opened up the comments on a Facebook post, and look at what we came up with together.