Perhaps the coolest thing about the so-called indie rock aesthetic is that there’s no such thing as a “bad hair day.” I mean, you can leave the house with the most fucked-up excuse for an unwashed mass of hair on that stump of stoopidity above your neck, and no one will be the wiser. You can dress like ass, too, and some people will think you are in a band of consequence, and perhaps not even the drummer.
Of course, there are people who track that sort of thing more seriously than do casual hammerheads such as yours truly, and they can tell you the difference between a guy who, oh, dresses like an itinerant expert in ciggy butts and Dumpster-derived cuisine, and a guy who dresses like an itinerant expert in ciggy butts and Dumpster-derived cuisine but has a trust fund that keeps him in good smokes and out of Dumpsters even though it may disingenuously appear that Dumpster diving is his gastronomic preference. And they can tell you that one’s probably a bum, while the other is an up-and-coming rockist icon.
Now, I would prefer to be the lad with relatively unlimited bank, but perhaps the world is lucky that I am currently more of a power pauper. I say this, because we used to sit around and dream up what my friends would call the ideal “dope’n’roll” combos, usually with bong placed judiciously on the coffee table with a bag of decent jumby and also with a bunch of pens and colored pencils and paper so we could dream up the album covers and song titles. Concept albums were typical fodder, and a Deutsch-English/English-Deutsch dictionary was quite helpful, because after a few good bong hits, the prog was flowing like Anchor Steam, with multi-disc delineations of future possibilities resulting from an exegesis of the Popul Vuh juxtaposed with the Gilgamesh framed through a lens of H.R. Pufnstuf sprouting like mushrooms after a warm rain, with corresponding Roger Dean and Hipgnosis visuals, 23 Envelope if we were in more of a Kenneth Anger mood but 4AD hadn’t been invented yet (but 4WD was relatively commonplace).
I am feeling the need to dream up some thrilling new dope’n’roll bands, and then do what I can to manifest them in the physical universe, but lucky for you and the world, I don’t have a huge pile of cash so that I can foist every crazy musical idee nonfixe I get, lots of which I am getting, um, lately. For starters, well, I’m still kinda astonished when I hear new bands that sound like Radiohead, or when I walk into a public place and hear Radiohead or Thom Yorke. That’s some pretty powerful musical memeage, those pensive too-many-bong-hits-and-now-I-can’t leave-this-chair diminished and minor chords, those haunting melodies, those headmaster-just-paddled-my-already-sore-bum vocals with the abraded quality of angst and weltschmerz and schlechtverletzterschließmuskel, still rattling around the collective wouhou like a whole season of Cagney & Lacey episodes.
For the first band in this new dope’n’roll project, I’m thinking that “Butthurt” might be a pretty good name, which also will work as branding for a corresponding wave of products and merchandise. If you’re a musician and you’d like to hop on this bus, or an entrepreneur who can’t wait to jump on this irresistible business opportunity, please contact me through this space.
Choice parcels still available. Send money — wheelbarrow loads. Call me. —Jackson Griffith