It sounds like a media scam when you think about it and we do know it goes back a long way, this strange idea that Young People are Cool. It is funny on reflection to consider that, while I do kind of tacitly accept Young People being Cool as a concept, in the same way I get through life with the general notion that not everyone in the world thinks Make Mine Mink is the funniest film ever made or that people who climb mountains, rather than being locked up or just barely tolerated, are feted – a dual reality, if you will – Young People were never cool when I was a child, a teenager, or in my twenties. And I work a lot with young people now and if they are Cool they are incredibly uncoolly good at keeping this a secret, to the extent that I’m pretty sure they are actually not at all Cool. Oh, except inasmuch as many Young People are the objects of lust and envy amongst older people, I guess. That could be mistaken for Cool, in the final analysis it’s only Cool the way Clapton; Tintin and Snowy after the solar eclipse; or Captain Cook in Hawaii were gods – you know, they weren't.
It is such a relief to realise this because I keep finding myself listening to Young People’s music, enjoying it and fearing that someone will accuse me of trying to be Cool from it. I guess the fear is actually more accurately that they will accuse me of that and I will believe them. Well, as long as Young People aren’t Cool, it’s not going to be a problem.
I am thinking particularly of Operator Please and the Young and Restless. The first of these is a genuine young band, because they are under 20, the second is overall older I think but presumably appeal to young people (all I really have to go on for that is the comments on YouTube which seem to be written by 5 year olds) (mind you the video below is so silly it made me question my allegiances a bit). OP’s album is actually a little sugary and tweaked for my liking – the singles are great, particularly ‘Leave it alone’, but the album generally is crafted to an inch of its life and the drumming is too programmy, even when it’s trying to be anything but (eg on ‘Zero Zero’). Mia thinks that OP could be famous and successful forever, and I will take that on, after all I am the one who (bet I’ve told you this before) forced friends to sign a statement in 1996 that they thought Silverchair would be successful two years later, because I so completely did not believe it to be so – having been bitten by Zillian and the ZigZag Men, I suppose, and shy.
Young and Restless are a lot of fun. On reflection I’m not quite sure why I put them in the Young People’s Music category. Maybe because of their name – just like Sonic Youth, John Paul Young, Baby John Burgess, You’ve Got Foetus on your Breath, right? The drumming is sensational (the first thirty seconds of ‘Satan’, yes they have a song called that can you believe it!, is so inspired), the bass is grunty, and so on. Their record is probably in its way every bit as calculated as Operator Please’s (most records are, frankly, there's no reason to dislike records or like them on this basis) but they went the extra yard to make it seem less so, or alternatively it all just fell into place or-gan-ic-ally. My favourite song of theirs – can’t remember its name – is the one with the least amount of tune (my mp3 player doesn’t like this one all that much, so I don’t hear it very often on random) but the tune ones are grouse too.
Also at the moment I’m listening to the unyoung sounds of:
Jane Dust – A spray of red from the deep what a sensational album and the song below is one of my favourites
The Muddy Spurs – the best Muddy Spurs album I’ve heard - never made a video or were videoed it would seem so all I have are memories
X – At home with you – the recent reissue with the live album adjoining which I haven’t listened to yet
Stereolab – Sound Dust – the last album with Mary Hansen and only two bucks from Dimmeys this morning
Mandu – natch
Magic Dirt – the Snow White album which is ten bucks at JB at the moment and highly recommended by me
Kes Band - Kes Band