the reversal of my metaphor of tree/fungi and whale/maggots is very clever,
yes the little critters do good work reprocessing stuff.. but these
organistic and biological and ecological metaphors only go so far. we've had
garage punk revivalists and Stooges copyists since the end of the seventies
if you back to the likes of The Barracudas and the Cramps and Billy
Childish's bands and the whole Australian scene, and we've yet to see
anything amazing grow out of the humus these carrion-eating critters have
created. A band covering the Sonics in Idaho is as pointless as a
traditional Dixieland jazz band -- it's genre-mining, antiquarianism.
Sucking on dead meat.
My metaphor doesn't really work, or at least serve my intended purpose --
because my complaint is not these parasite bands are breaking down and
decomposing and reprocessing the rock myths, but more that they are
reproducing and regurgitating. They're parasites because they're living off
the cultural creativity of their predecessors. How is repeating something a
A maggot might indeed seem beautiful if you've never seen a tree in full
bloom-- i've lived through the flowering of a couple, i just missed punk but
caught the post-punk era which was amazingly exciting. And then there's the
whole rave/hardcore/jungle thing -- to me that's where the spirit of garage
punk/Stooges resurfaced by some weird process of migration. There was also a
phase in the late Eighties which never quite made in terms of the history
books but my comrades and i at Melody Maker had a good shot at
mytholologizing as it happened-- an amazing turmoil of creative tangents, an
absurd surfeit from noise-rock to the neo-psychedelia MBV types to hip hop
and early house.
Those trees weren't myths, at least not while they happened -- but very real
upheavals that combined formal rule-bending with popular energy and a sense
of hurtling forward and fevered discussion about what music was for; where
every month there was some new twist and there were more great records than
you could keep up with.
I'm not calling for new macro-myths per se, but the kind of paradigm shifts
and upsurges of excitement, that as byproduct of happening tend to get
mythologized -- calling for things worth mythologizing perhaps?