clap clap blog: we have moved

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Thinking of picking up the new Destroyer album today, so I did some searching around, and...well, it was weird.

Doing a google search for Destroyer is pretty fun: you get, among other things, the homepage of The Destroyer!!!! Which is awesome.

But then there's the actual Destroyer bio. Check it out. Someone's humorously bitter:

Your Blues is Destroyer?s vainglorious retreat from the American rock? n roll tradition, in the wake of their bloated and oft-maligned (and oft-praised) magnum opus, This Night, which quietly assaulted the bankrupt college rock arena of 2002.

Bound to be misread as a return to the precision and economy of hooks found and praised on Destroyer?s breakthrough album, 2001?s Streethawk: A Seduction, Your Blues is more an exercise in old-world excess, exploring what Destroyer mastermind Daniel Bejar dubs ?European Blues?. This High Modernist aesthetic feasts off a "between the wars" melancholia, brushed on in the past by avant-gardist crooners (Scott Walker), scholastic-rockers (John Cale) and insane drunk actors (Richard Harris) alike. Destroyer?s take on this fucked tradition finds them conjuring up a version of revisionist nostalgia, unapologetically jumping the gun on a 20th Century Revival movement... Other things brought to mind: the evacuation of a mid-sized European capital; out of work Shakespearean extras (hanging out at the bar); lawyers screwed because they backed the wrong revolution; odes to bad statues; and a couple other themes that completely sidestep the dead-in-the-water rock ?n roll underground pulsing through the AmerIndie salons of today...

It is doubtful that Your Blues is a 'pop' record, though at times it might appear to cash in on what the 80?s revival should?ve been all about: the perverse compositional traits found in The Blue Nile, David Sylvian stripped of his Zen jazz, some of Thomas Dolby?s more hilarious production work with Prefab Sprout, the aforementioned Scott Walker?s Climate of Hunter, and other ill-formed children of the MIDI world. Disregarding ?post-punk,? cause that would entail acknowledging ?punk? in the first place. Instead, Your Blues is a balancing act between the Adult, the Contemporary, and the Disastrous.

I particularly like this last point. The MIDI stuff I've heard on the new tracks (I've heard 2, I guess) didn't jar me, but maybe this is because I went through a surprisingly lengthy "general MIDI" phase. Boy, I did a lot with that shit. Well, anyway, the point being that Bejar is right: MIDI was just as much a part of the 80s, if not more, as analogue synths, to say nothing of DX7s. I kind of like the sudden swing from cabaret-pop to electro. Boom! Plus, those are two of my favorite genres.

If anyone's going to see Destroyer and Frog Eyes in NYC on May 10, lemme know. I'll probably be there too.

When the hell are the Danielsen Famile touring again?