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Thread: Arctic Monkeys Explosion.

  1. #1
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    Default Arctic Monkeys Explosion.

    Middle page features in papers; Newsnight review with John Harris and Paul
    Morley; the Internet background story,-And: a slot on The News At Ten. Fastest selling debut ever?
    I'm presuming they're not a Dissensus delicacy, but there certainly seems
    some media fueled moodshift lurking based on their popularity. The last time a band was on the news was BritPop wasn't it?


    Having just read Rip It Up, there are obviously some differences between that era and now, (some of which have probably already been covered somewhere on here) but the ones that are obvious, i think, in the Arctic Monkeys context, are:

    (1) The musical climate of then being fueled by a blank slate policy. Punk sweeping away Rocks historical baggage, so that there was a space to rush into; create the sound of the future. Not only has Rock regained a bulging sackful of baggage, but the sound has been peeled away from any social imperitive or thrust, which is not to say that it is not representative, but unradical because the (admittedly youth based) social framework from which it has materialised is itself, unpolitical, unradical, and fractured. (Colleges, Universities included.)

    Media (net, magazines, radio, tv, MP3) has also proliferated to such an extent that there is no central timeline or narrative. There are several hundred narratives based on the (2) reissue industry, the vastness of the internet, the fact that MP3 technology allows you to enter the past, present or future at the jog of a wheel. Cultural inheritance can quickly become post-modernised, aesthetically laboured. The Sound Of Yorkshire , (Independent) is actually the the sound (not including the lyrics here, thats where a contradiction comes in i think) of everywhere or anywhere. This might explain the net popularity of genres like Reggaeton, Baile Funk, Grime, etc. Because, sonically, its still on a timeline. It most definitely comes from somewhere. Specific places: Puerto Rico, Rio De Janeiro, East London.

    I suppose my main questions as to the opinions of the board would be: How is it that something that sounds so old can be feted so across the board as the latest craze, particularly relating to that contradiction between the sound of A.M and the lyrical observation. (Which i really like~)
    What does it mean for a&r and the music industry and the teenagers of the next few years that rock has received yet another lick of paint to tart up the old corpse? How implicit are media such as the NME compared to the glory days of which Reynolds touchs upon in Rip and also new tiers of media such as OMM/ Sunday Supplements?

    Also, just to add, I don't want to slate Arctic Monkeys, but am interested in the source and peripheral effect of the phenomenon. They are only young lads after all,(part of their appeal i think) starting out making music, and its worrying enough as to how the media blitz might effect them being so young.

    cheers.

  2. #2
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    interesting to hear sales records being broken even in the age of the mp3. on an indie label too.

  3. #3
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    Default Monkey Business

    118,000 first-week sales of yesterday; Be Here Now-type industry mania (this time more justified); what's interesting is that although the industry obviously loves to push white-boy northern rock people are going for the arctics on such a big scale...

  4. #4
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    heard three tracks or so over the tannoy in a record shop the other day - sounded like a boring pub rock band, only more boring. Still, it's nice to know that psychology graduates can all get jobs trying out their cute little thought control/advertising techniques every now and again!

  5. #5
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    Saw them the other night - in the line of work - and, well, I'm 25 years away from their target age group but, I have to say, best young 'industry' band i've seen in ages. For what it's worth.

  6. #6
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    I think the thing that the Arctics have (besides being a better-than-average bunch of indie white boy Jam fans) is the ultra-indie-group-makes-it-big mythology. Don't underestimate the power of that - it's the ideal that indie is secretly founded on, seeing a band that no one but you had heard of two months ago in the top ten. Unlike almost every other 'indie' band at the moment, the AMs retained at least the vestiges of a word-of-mouth buzz before they hit the big time - and that just makes better copy than 'another Coldplay covers band gets signed to EMI, sells a million records'.

    That's an old story, but it's one that can be continually renewed - grassroots fanbase socks it to the corporations. The sad fact is that what could/should be an energising effect is too often pulled off through conservative (if accomplished) music.

  7. #7
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    Just so you know, the NME just did a top whatever british albums ever list, and the arctic monkeys featured at five. Havent seen the whole thing (have no interest in doing so), just had bits copy/pasted from a friend - but they're above london calling, all mod cons and ok computer for a start..
    in the eyes of the lord i drive a spaceship.

  8. #8
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    i've listened to the album - you know give everything a fair hearing etc and i can honestly say there is absolutley nothing that marks it out in anyway from any other forgettable band in the last 25 years or so, one thing that's interesting though is the production values, it's got that lo fi recorded in a bucket bootleg feel of the first strokes/livertines sound, that capturing the muddy live sound thing seems to be important now, like a kind of patina energy of catching a moment and rbeing able to repeat it.

    it's like a virus though, it's the fastest selling and it will remain to sell loads out of it's reputation, compliments the seasonal cold pretty well.

    sheffield betrays its radical past and their pals little man tate will be the next sheffield band for a and r's to get all uncle monty over.you can see them on myspace clutching pints and the cycle continues....

  9. #9
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    sheffield has got bands coming out of its ears at the moment. my interest in this is: what on earth has happened at domino? first $$$$$$$$$$ from franz ferdinand, now $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from artic monkeys! what are they doing with all the money? are they actually making lots of money? who is stil on the label? are they still releasing mouse on mars et al type stuff? or have they blown the lot on hookers and cocaine?

  10. #10
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    That's an old story, but it's one that can be continually renewed - grassroots fanbase socks it to the corporations.
    I think thats certainly a major factor. They come with a myth attached that a lot of those MOR Starsailor types obviously don't. Also of course, their age, attitude, attention to local detail lyrically. The posting MP3s story makes them 'realer', more human, more authentic in the context of modern Rock.
    What I am interested in is how the industry is likely to regroup around the AM phenomenon. Start putting a couple of A&Rs on scour at myspace.com?

    Also, a new low even for the NME! I really cannot believe this:

    Just so you know, the NME just did a top whatever british albums ever list, and the arctic monkeys featured at five.. ... they're above london calling, all mod cons and ok computer for a start..

  11. #11
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    yeah, domino used to put out some good stuff, are they going to reinvest the money in actual good stuff? it would be unlikely i suppose, now that they've got a taste for the cash...

    the jam should burn in hell for this legacy they've created. bowie too.

  12. #12
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    Things still sell when they are actually good, and the people who have made them have toured and build up a real die hard fan base.
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  13. #13
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    yeah, i haven't heard them, i'm just going on blind predjudice!

  14. #14

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    isn't it legititmate to decide they're not_a_good_thing just from pictures of them? or the opening paragraph of a broadsheet newspaper article about them? in the observer? a few weeks ago the subtitle of a puff piece described them as publicity shunning, followed by several pages of pictures of them fucking about in agreeably simian fashion. cunts.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom pr
    Just so you know, the NME just did a top whatever british albums ever list, and the arctic monkeys featured at five. Havent seen the whole thing (have no interest in doing so), just had bits copy/pasted from a friend - but they're above london calling, all mod cons and ok computer for a start..
    This is the key to it actually ... the deliberate lowering of standards. Just think how many years of concentrated effort by the mediocracy have been required for this to happen. The way prepared by twenty years of monumental retro-tedium, each Great White Hopeless bunch of mediocrities systematically overhyped to support what is in effect Indie Poptimism - the injunction that it is an a priori requirement that the era you happen to be in MUST BE THE MOST EXCITING EVER EVER. With each new low, with each celebration of tired retreading, there is a kind of willed forgetting of a time things were ever any different.

    What to blame? Where to begin, where to end, 'niceness', tolerance for blandness, an intolerance for intolerance, a matey homeliness, the whole world reduced to a Union Bar, pop as griduate career path, laziness, 'it's all a larf innit', you can't expect much can yer?, few nice tunes after you've been to work, know what I mean, rock as pair of slippers, comfy, y'know...

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