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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hating the overrating

Here's another post based on a tweet (I really should put Twitter down and listen to some music or something ...).

But, somebody tweeted the other day that The La's are one of the great overrated bands. The La's. Hmm. Dunno. There's just so much competition. Almost every famous, semi-famous or just "talked about" musical outfit in history is overrated if you ask me. They're all over-praised, over-photographed, over-ridered, over here, over there ...

Most obviously, the Beatles are surely the most ridiculously overrated band in All Musical History, but all the other big names are praised beyond their worth as well. Really. Even when they were good, the biggies have eclipsed dozens - hundreds, thousands - of other interesting bands, receiving a massively disproportionate amount of attention and praise. They've sucked it all up!

And because the music world is - and always was as far as I can tell - infested by hype, at any one time we get a surfeit of stuff about the same roughly 15-25 artists (the over-praised of today). It's stultifying. Now it's The Black Lips, The Maccabees, White Denim, The Horrors, Lana Del Rey et al. Over and over. A total bore.

Oh shucks, I'm just sticking up for the little guys here. In the absence of a John Peel figure - someone positioned in the mainstream who could play dozens of little-known artists to large audiences every month - it's now left to specialists such as The Wire magazine, its radio show Adventures In Modern Music, the likes of Rinse FM and, increasingly, bloggers and good online sites, podcasts, net radio, net labels etc. (Or what about Xfm or BBC 6Music? Er, no. In the interests of research, I've been checking them out. Blimey. Middle-brow music and all the same old names). 

So it's the specialists or bust, I reckon. I welcome the depth of knowledge and dedication to excellent music on show here. Anything that can challenge the hegemony of the newspaper music critics/style mags/big venues/pluggers' empire is good in my book. Whether they'll ever smash down that citadel of hype ... I'm not sure.

Anyway, I reckon the La's were definitely overrated. But not by me. I never liked them at all.

Meanwhile ... staying with hype, here's a little tune from Hype Williams, themselves the subject of a little, ahem, over-praising in some circles. But at least not too much ... 

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