Stay Cool Dad

When is old music new? by Simon Sharwood
January 25, 2006, 10:54 am
Filed under: I like this band because

Yesterday I bought White Stripes Red Blood Cells. Today I purchased Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising. Last week Mastodon’s Leviathan and Isis’ Oceanic arrived in the mail. “So what,” you’re probably thinking.

The White Stripes record is five years old, the Sonic disc almost twenty years old. Either way, there’s nothing new about either of them. What I’m trying to get my head around is whether buying an old album constitutes buying new music, especially since I’ve got other White Stripes and Sonic Youth albums (in fact I’ve got Bad Moon on vinyl) on the racks.

Or, if you look at it another way, if it’s new to you, does that get you over the line when it comes to maintaining interest in new sounds?

I don’t think it does. You could easily spend your entire album budget (and I am guessing that since you’re at this site you’ve got a music budget) on buying back-catalog. You’d never need to take a risk on something that you hadn’t heard before or weren’t at least kinda familiar with.

And I think that’s the point. As much as I love early Rolling Stones, finally getting Exile on Main street (a grossly over-rated record, IMO) doesn’t meet the new music criteria. Nor does filling the gaps with the White Stripes and Sonic Youth (another aside, I think that Elephant is a much better album than Red Blood Cells. It rocks harder)

So what of Isis and Mastodon? Metal bands, both, and albums released in the last two years. When I bought them I had no idea what they sounded like. All I knew is that they’d been positively reviewed and that any band that makes a metal concept album about Moby Dick has to have something going for it.

As it turns out, I’m not completely sold on Leviathan, but the Isis disc is a winner. If you can imagine ambient metal, then you’ve got a pretty good idea what Oceanic sounds like.

It’s not wrong to fill in gaps in the collection. The $10 CD shops that litter the CBD are ace for that. But spack-filling the collection isn’t a substitute for musical adventure.

(Thanks to Simon for letting me post on the site)


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

White Stripes is cool.
I come to this site because you are using the same THeme. But mine have some modifications.

Greeting and stay cool

Comment by Daniel Vásquez

To add to your question, is new to the listener more important than recent sound? How does this relate to recent bands that have resurrected old sounds? (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic monkeys).

I too have recently acquired leviathan and was hooked straight away and got the rest of catalogue, remission and life’s blood (EP). I went to see them and was impressed by the way they played and the lack of associated metal imagery and dress, no crosses or leather and only one black t-shirt.

I am not convinced that back filling is a good idea either; Neil Young Trans would be worth avoiding. Buy what you like to listen to, eventually the general taste that leads to new bands being promoted will coincide with what you like and then you will be “with it” once more. Until then explore what else is about.

Comment by Lee

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