The True King

27 01 2011

The fact that I am about to write these words makes me want to vomit: A new kingdom will arise out of the mire of the many.

So ancient and itchy, I know, but as the core idea pertains to the status music today, I’m all for it. Don’t get me wrong, I think the proliferation of creativity and independent music is wonderful, for all the creative people taking part, for the gestalt, and for our culture as a whole. Affordable technology has placed production in the hands of the creative, myself included, and the results have been massive. There is some real evolution going on (creatively speaking), and the excitement level is so high, no body seems to care about where it’s going. Perhaps it doesn’t matter, because we’ll get there one way or another, right?

That’s fine. But, at risk of sounding old fashioned and impatient, I want to worship one new bad-ass band that redefines what a rock song is supposed to sound like! The beauty and problem with the state of things in 2011 is that we have too many bands doing this, each one a soma to its minor masses, each one contributing to the cosmic spiral of creative chaos, but none uniting millions of human animals and inviting them to leave their belief (and Blackberries) at the door and join them for two hours of face-melting magic.

I listened to the newest (not-so-independent) Kings of Leon record this morning, and I liked it. It really SOUNDS good. The production team behind it has a proven track record, and has helped make the band lots of money. But as good and as popular as the Kings are, what they are not is revolutionary: innovative enough so that you can hear a whole gaggle of bands after them and say, “Well, I know who they’re trying to sound like.” Please don’t confuse my discourse as sympathy for wannabes, because those bands are merely one of the side effects when a single band conquers all others and captures the hearts, minds and genitals of a generation, whose influence ultimately spans generations and lasts decade after decade! Who else out there is challenging the throne once held by bands as mighty as Led Zeppelin or Tool? Jack White clearly has the gravitas to command such worship, but his efforts are so spread out, there is no singular movement to get behind other than the man himself. And while there may be White Stripes reunions here and there, they already are a band of the past, though in terms of relevance and influence they certainly fit the pedigree.

I am not here to lambast the Kings, or any other band for that matter. They worked so hard, and they deserve the success that they have earned. I am just ready for the next band that just blows the doors of the establishment, strips the paint from the siding, blasts the glass into infinite particles that reflect the light from millions of smartphone screens and sculpt it into a mean and lustrous crown. Yet, given how personal music is and how many choices there are today, this discovery may very well rest with me, not our culture, and that’s what being independent is all about.