Friday, March 20, 2009

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Here's a quick meta-discussion point. We've recently taken to flicking through forums connected to major festivals. Don't know why, just to see how the other half live, suppose. That said, a couple of posts therein have made us think about things.

The first came from eFestivals' T In The Park board. Of the big four festivals it's the one that's letting the most information out to date, which has led to this response, and we get to use block quoting here too:

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, WHO THE HELL ARE THEY?!

Is it true that this band are headlinin' friday NME?

I've never heard of them and they've been formed for 26 years apparently!

There's a clue in the question, we suspect. Still, he has his sound reasons for suggesting this is a patently ludicrous proposition:

Frattelli's would easily pull in a bigger crowd, and a considerably bigger one at that.

Easily. FYI: the Fratellis' Here We Stand charted lower than Dig!! Lazarus Dig!!

Still, respect for your elders did go out the window some time ago. There are untouchable names around this summer, though. Let's have a look at the official Isle Of Wight Festival board and see how its users are greeting the surprise news of Neil Young headlining, perhaps the first thing that's made a wider audience care about it since it was revived.

We expect a grand finale and excitement to close the festival, and Neil Young is not it.

It would be an embarrassment to Neil Young if he was booed off the stage or the majority of the audience left the main stage in protest to the organisers.

By the way, the Glastonbury forum was full of weeping and wailing after IoW announced Young as a UK exclusive booking, which it turned out not to be. And yeah, there's a petition and a useless Facebook group and the rest of it. But surely the Pixies announcement would provide some solace? After all, you'd love to go to a festival and find Neil Young and Pixies headlining, wouldn't you?

i thought that if he could some1 decent b4 ny some might stay 2 watch hope iow festival..what a crap line up

You wonder what gets these people excited.

THE RIFLES..............GET IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry we asked. But this isn't just moaning about people who, were they to be presented with the Beatles reuniting with the animatronic resurrected John and George, would start a Facebook campaign to get them dropped in favour of Pendulum.

The question, finally: Are we surprised, and are we right to be surpised, that there are people who don't know who Nick Cave or Neil Young are? We thought this was all our snobbish fault, but thinking about it, at least from our perspective, both are intrinsic in pop music culture as famous names, and you don't have to know about Buffalo Springfield or The Birthday Party, or even The Mercy Seat and After The Goldrush, to be aware that they're singers with a hold over an elevated status. In short, you never hear people having to describe who they are. And the same for Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, BB King, Jeff Buckley (obviously that one's tilted by recent events)... these are people with legends and, you'd think, widespread name recognition, that some others of similar genre stature like Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke, David Byrne or Randy Newman haven't achieved, where a new album is an event regardless of how it sounds. Are we being naive or idealistic?


Dean @ Souls on Tape said...

More proof that we bloggers are a different breed of music lovers and festival goers! Great post!

"THE RIFLES..............GET IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (PMSL!)

Matt said...

You can't base any opinion on anything based on what someone says on an internet forum. Rule of thumb: assume anyone posting any opinion on any messageboard is stupider than the stupidest person you've ever met's inbred cousin, and that way any amount of sense that someone might make will come as a pleasant surprise.

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