Throwing acid in the Mona Lisa's face
This isn't meant to be offensive! It's just me being bored whilst i should be revising! It's slightly exagerated just to get a reaction out of people!
Youll have to forgive me, Im writing as much out of love as I am frustration, its just I look at the bands who are being featured in repeat and increasingly I find myself unable to understand . can someone please tell me WHY the Towers of London are being featured so heavily? This isnt petty and this has nothing to do with big brother appearances. I just cant stand them. Its punk reduced to juvenile confrontation and I couldnt care less how punk rock they look theyve completely missed the point. Heres my question: Why even bother writing a lyric like kill the pop scene? Didnt Design for life teach us that its better to be a part of it or else you just end up preaching to the converted: forever striving for that pointless controversial daily mail headline / Chris Moyals fight?
We arent interested in the creation of generation gaps. Q and the Nme artificially polarise debate. Its better that we present a united front.
And looking through the interview section bands like Larrikin Love, The Long Blondes, Bowling for Soup, Inme?
Why are we talking to brain dead indie bands and past it grunge wannabies? If someone can quote a single lyric by any of the above that matters then please do, and dont even bother replying by telling me its all about the music because that ISN'T what this zine is about. Were supposed to be Manics inspired. This is the zine that championed bands like the Virgin Suicides and Miss Black America in circumstances where no one else would. This is a zine that should be focusing on bands who have something to say: our aim is to make music redundant
We should be tracking down people like Billy Brag, Bright Eyes, The Horrors bands that divide people not because they go out of their way to be obnoxious but because they are genuinely representative of alternative and intelligent points of view. In a resent interview Nicky Wire mentioned: Jeremy Deller, The Afternoons, The Cardigans, Jeremy Paxman, Beat Happening and McCarthy . Wouldnt it make more sense for repeat to be focusing on bands that are on that kind of wavelength as opposed to towing whatever the current indie / scenester line is? I wish Phil Rose esq would resurrect his Reviews'r' Us Column, he was one of the few reviewers who understood that 90% of the stuff that a zine like repeat gets sent isnt going to be worth listening to (regardless of how good a tune it may have). Current reviewers take note, if your basing your writing style on sites like drownedinsound then start again: Read Steven Wells, Griel Marcus, Lester Bangs. The lesson to be learned is that its ok to fall in hate. I dont ever want to see The Klaxons, or god forbid, The Pigeon Detectives get a good review in these pages again.
Lets have features on bands like performance. www.weareperformance.co.uk. They are the only band around at the moment who come anywhere near matching the intelligence of the early manics. Repeat have already interviewed them once here But I really think they are the band who we should be centring our zine around, even more so then bands like Bomb Factory and Open Mouth. Thats not to take anything away from those two... but it's just performance are the perfect distillation of everything that this zine stands for: a band who write fantastic POP songs and a band who realise that its possible to do that whilst still being Debord inspired / a gateway to literature and art / aiming to inspire creativity in their fans and yes they would piss blood for you Theyre approach is everything punk rock should be. I think you should listen to market street everywhere rome and love life and after, youll never believe a lazy journo who tells you that the gallows are the future again.
We should be heading down to Norwich and covering the East Anglain Riot grrrrl scene it annoys me that the NME had a feature on it before we did. Were supposed to be the underground press, with our finger on the pulse - but instead it sometimes feels like we are one step behind, and theres absolutely no reason for that. Repeat is unique in the Manics fan community so many people regularly check it, and in terms of influence, if repeat highlights a band, people like Steve Lamaque take notice and the reason for that is because repeat will NEVER be about over the top fan worship. throw some acid in your face / we won't die of devotion or boring discography projects, or trying to compile an encyclopaedia that catalogues everything the manics have pointed us towards . Its FAR more important then that, repeat is about creating something new, but it can only do that if everyone gets their arse in gear so come on, let refocus " born to destroy / born to create " - it's time to 'kick against the pricks again'.
A Rather Rushed Reply
Dear Organ Grinder,
Yeah R*E*P*E*A*T is about creating something new, and creating is the word. 'Passive electorate die, die die!' as some Welsh band once said, and I feel that part of R*E*P*E*A*T's raison d'etre has become encouraging new writing, as well as performing, talent. And the work of a lot of our new young writers, many of them aged between 12 and 16, is something that makes me very proud indeed. The fact that a punter at a recent gig congratulated me on Cobie's recent reviews, or that I can book Kunk (www.myspace.com/kunk), a band who could incidentally be counted as part of the East Anglian riot grrl scene, on Joey's recommendation, and then see the whole venue blown over by them months before the NME had crossed the A14, is all the justification I need. Maybe da kids don't always review the bands that we'd like them to review, perhaps sometimes they dare to like bands that we despise, but by being something other than passive consumers of MTV clone music they have begun to empower themselves. That's why nearly all of them have formed their own bands. And that's why they've all begun to see beyond the NME / Kerrang! tinted glasses their contemporaries would hand them. Perhaps Organ Grinder and I would prefer a zine exclusively written by him, me and Phil Rose Esq, but I'm afraid with all our adult commitments and hang ups, that would be a very thin tome indeed.
The good thing about running a zine is that I'm beholden to no one, I can put in it and leave out of it what the fuck I like. I don't legally owe anything to anyone, and that's the way I like it, baby. But if I (somewhat contradictorily) chose to feel that I owe a fair listening to the hundreds of demo CDs wrapped up in hope and expectation I receive each month, that's up to me - and if the kids I dump these CDs on happen to enjoy some of the tracks, then that's their privilege. Hence the reviews and interviews you mention. But you're absolutely right, I do despise The Klaxons and Pigeon Detectives and all that hippy-happy brainless shite - and there are reviews saying so on the site. That's my privilege. And if I happen to feel that Towers of London have provided the most exciting, menacing, aggressive, unstable, hyped-up racous punk rock shows I've been to for a very long time, then that's my privilege too. It doesn't matter to me that they've suddenly discovered a wider audience, or that they've been accused of selling out - I bet the Pistols were accused of just the same things when they signed to EMI and went on the Bill Grundy Show and had a number one album. And just as in the same way, I'll keep on plugging Johnny Panic who, to me, epitomise the intelligent use of pop music to say something worth saying in a memorable, classy way with great guitar hooks, huge choruses and potential mass appeal. And that is one of the main inspirations I get from the Manics - to conquer the mainstream (yes, the territory of Bowling for Soup and The Klaxons) with something a little bit thought provoking and subversive.
So, thanks for your rant and your attempt to keep me on track. As R*E*P*E*A*T becomes bigger and I seem to become more of an editor and less of a writer, it is essential that people like you remind me of our principles. And that we keep re-assessing what we're doing. And then I can look at our work and say yes, as well as empowering new writers to express themselves and encouraging a few new bands in what they're doing, we are keeping true to our original inspirations - this is why there's a new free Gallows download available on our front page, why there's two interviews with The Horrors on the website and a piece about Billy Bragg's Jail Guitar Doors initiative on our Myspace, why I'm just about to create a new Performance link and why we've linked to added a stream of Johnny Panic's album. As well as to a fantastic Youtube clip of the Manics playing Sorrow 16 in 1991. It's also the thinking behind our next release, a 4 band 'anti Cambridge compilation' called Burn Cambridge Burn. If that doesn't get the local scenesters moaning and fuming, I don't know what will!
Thanks for keeping me kicking against the pricks
Fighting the power
Love and petrol