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for March 12, 2002


[Every generation has that one defining moment that demands that any creative mind that can bear witness to it, do so as lucidly and completely as possible. On the other hand, Leif Garrett played the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ last Friday, but several of ALTROK's writers decided to chronicle it just the same. Today, it's Tami Yaches' turn in the barrel.]

What Kind Of Music Would You Call This?
by The One True Tami Yaches

"What kind of music would you call this?" was spoken loudly towards my ear. I considered for a moment, listened a bit to the snarly vocals, caught the telltale 4-chord rhythm, and said, definitively, "Rock". "Care to be a little more specific?" - "OK, Budweiser Rock".

From there, the sound expanded a bit. It changed, evolved itself, kept up the snappy rhythm, maintained a level of enjoyability. The first band, Frankenstein 3000, was a bunch of fun.

Next up: Mars Needs Women. A veritable Court Tavern staple, a tight-sounding set, catchy tunes, a really good band, except... except that their volume was a little low and you couldn't always hear them over the mounting murmur of the crowd. What was up with that?!?

But that brings me to the crowd: Eclectic City. Old and youngish, there were a bunch of bodies there. There was the juxtaposition of the "regular" with the "I don't go out" person, the mother of 3 with the groupie stuck in the 80's, the excessively nerdy with the frighteningly tough. And everybody was there, ultimately, to see Leif Garrett.

Why? I think it's because people love a train wreck. They hope for some kind of spectacle that will keep their jaded attention for a few minutes, something that won't be the same old thing. Of course, some women were there solely for the reason that they like to have sex with famous people. Or people who used to be famous. Those women scare the hell out of me, by the way.

But not me, nope! I was there to -- wait for it -- listen to the music! Oh, sure, I was fascinated by the fact that a former Tiger Beat Dreamboat was taking the stage, but I remember that he used to sing, what might he sound like now?

Well, he could still sing, sort of. The sound is a lot lower, a lot more gravelly than any disco pop sound ever was, but it's also something else: more boring. Boring! Isn't the whole point of making new music to make NEW music? Every song out of those guys, that band, "F8", every one, sounded like they were trying to be someone else. One song tickled the edge of my brain until I realized it sounded like it should be Pearl Jam. Another actually had me singing along, but with the lyrics to "Patience" by Guns 'n Roses. Oh, their tune, too, fit right over the song.

About a third of the way through the set, Leif and the boys broke into "For What It's Worth", a song NEVER meant to be played in a hard-rock style, by the way. Even so, my friends and I started dancing and singing along. I realized that it was the best song that they'd done so far. It wasn't that these guys lacked technical ability, it was that these guys lacked originality. I've never seen somebody who was famous with so little charisma. No spark, no fire, no fun. Well, maybe it was fun to ridicule the groupies, but only for a little while. It wasn't even a particularly spectacular train wreck. Good thing I liked the first two bands.

What kind of music would I call that? Dull.

©2002 Tami Yaches

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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