The Null Device

Trainspotter's delight

I've started looking around Wikipedia (after seeing it mentioned in David Gerard's LiveJournal a few million times). It's certainly got a wealth of information about musical genres, mentioning everything from shoegazing to Cantopop to rhythm and blues (which has nothing to do with what's currently known as "R&B") to No Wave to twee pop. There's also extensive material on heavy metal (someone there must be really into it), including this encyclopædic overview, pieces on all the subgenres of it, and even a piece on the heavy-metal umlaut. Not to mention non-music-related topics such as this useful overview of Situationism.

Mind you, some of the information is a bit dubious, such as the bit in the Britpop entry which talks about ""shoegazing" bands such as Ride, Stereolab or Oasis".

There are 21 comments on "Trainspotter's delight":

Posted by: dj Mon Jan 19 06:03:36 2004

wikipedia is a reasonably good starting point for info. you can always correct the britpop entry.

Posted by: Graham Mon Jan 19 12:47:13 2004

Well, "Transient Random-Noise Bursts" had its shoegazey bits...

Posted by: darren Mon Jan 19 23:07:01 2004

To close the circle, Stereolab are relentless borrowers from and referrers to the works of Cornelius Castoriadis, a contemporary (although not quite fellow traveller) of Debord and Vaneigem. Some of the lyrics are ripped wholesale from the pages of things like the Imaginary Institution of Society. And then you might like to think about COBRA and Phases Group in the context of both surrealism and Stereolab album titles...

Posted by: Graham Tue Jan 20 00:06:18 2004

I know, Stereolab was the route by which I got interested in situationism.

Posted by: steve Tue Jan 20 01:11:44 2004

er... ride were a shoegazer band, i offer "nowhere" as evidence. :-)

oasis i wouldn't classify as shoegazer by any stretch, although "slide away" from the first album is shoegazer-esque.

Posted by: acb Tue Jan 20 04:06:46 2004

I know Ride were, though the others weren't by a long shot. Calling them shoegazer is an egregious mistake, on a par with, say, classifying the Sex Pistols as "heavy metal" or the Jesus and Mary Chain as "gothic rock" or something.

Posted by: gjw Tue Jan 20 04:12:29 2004

We're missing the temporal dimension here. My Bloody Valentine started out "Gothic Rock" and became "Shoegazer". Ride started out "Shoegazer" and became "Britpop". Lush started out "Shoegazer", and became... god knows what. Oasis, I'm sure, wouldn't have existed if not for Shoegazer (it has a lot to answer for) - just listen to the "wall of sound" of Noel's solo version of "Cast no Shadow" on the Tibetan Freedom Concert CD. A bit more production, and that would give Flying Saucer Attack a run for their money.

Posted by: steve Tue Jan 20 05:57:04 2004

Lush I'd suggest started out shoegazers and became britpop, eg. "Ciao" w/Jarvis Cocker.

Oasis undoubtedly drew some inspiration from the shoe staring brigade. That's not a bad thing in my book, but then I like Oasis.

Posted by: acb Tue Jan 20 06:14:28 2004

They may have, but Oasis were definitely not shoegazer; they were more big dumb rock. The atavistic macho swagger and tendency towards populist anthems at the core of what Oasis were was fundamentally incompatible with the shoegazing aesthetic.

Posted by: Graham Tue Jan 20 07:47:37 2004

Oasis are about as shoegazer as Cold Chisel.

Posted by: acb Tue Jan 20 12:11:33 2004

Nah, Cold Chisel were more intellectual than Oasis (as were the Rolling Stones, to whom many commentators compared them at the time). Oasis are more like Jet or The Datsuns or someone.

Posted by: steve Tue Jan 20 22:38:21 2004

hehe... boots getting stuck in here.

oasis never had any cultural pretensions, just fucking great songs. so i find this reactionary cringing about their "lack of culture" quite amusing. i'm sure noel is not losing sleep over a lack of "intellectual depth" in his musical repertoire.

there's no comparison to jet, datsuns et al. they simply don't have the songs or the singer. oasis were huge for a very good reason: they had the songs.

i'm not sure i buy into the cold chisel intellectual revisionism either... but there you go, each to their own.

Posted by: gjw Tue Jan 20 22:41:54 2004

Cold Chisel: The most intellectual thing ever to come out of Elizabeth.

Posted by: steve Tue Jan 20 22:53:10 2004

their grasp of hegelian dialectic is something else!

Posted by: dj Wed Jan 21 01:38:16 2004

The Largs Pier Hotel and the Salons of Enlightenment Europe. Actually, the Largs Pier Hotel probably smelled a lot less and not as many cases of syphilis.

Posted by: acb Wed Jan 21 08:04:50 2004

Cold Chisel aren't intellectuals per se, but their songs aren't as knuckle-draggingly dumb as Oasis'. If anything, Oasis are anti-intellectual; in their worldview, intellectualism is the sign of a wanker. (See also: Damon Albarn; mind you, he's a pseudo-intellectual wanker, but I digress.)

Posted by: Graham Wed Jan 21 12:13:50 2004

Well, Cold Chisel had a decent songwrite in Don Walker, which is a plus... Of course, that plus was largely sandpapered down to nothing by Barnesy.

Posted by: steve Thu Jan 22 03:14:02 2004

what do you base the assertion that oasis are "anti-intellectual" on? lyrics? chord progressions? if so, i don't see it personally...

you may not like it, but they're cleverly written songs with a universalist bent to the lyrics that push a lot of buttons... noel is far, far, far from stupid.

Posted by: acb Thu Jan 22 08:28:56 2004

Their tendency to the lowest common denominator, and eschewal of anything above that as wankery. Thematically, their music is like a Murdoch tabloid; I'm sure the Herald-Sun has intelligent people writing for it, but that doesn't make it an intelligent paper.

Posted by: dj Fri Jan 23 02:15:28 2004

Then there's the Noel vs. Liam arguments.

Posted by: acb Fri Jan 23 03:03:02 2004

Btw, who here has seen Live Forever?

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