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With & Without

The problem I have trying to decide how much I like Franz Ferdinand is that it's the music that I listened to when I didn't listen to as much music as I do now, if that makes sense. ("I can distinguish between popularity and various degrees of obscurity"-- and I tended heavily towards the later, with Franz Ferdinand being as close as I came to the middle, towards sorta moderate popularity.) I mean, I didn't really use to listen to full albums, (this was the exception), and most of the music that I did listen to, it was usually a movie or even a video game that got me into it-- I didn't say, 'Now I'm going to go find music'. It's hard to explain the difference. But it's there.

Franz Ferdinand isn't like that sorta hardcore 'alternative' sound with alot of screaming and unpleasantness-- although on their other album 'Tonight' the cover is a black and white crime scene, and "Walk Away" ends with an evocation of various historical leaders to explain his feelings regarding the end of a relationship. And the name itself is partly for the alliteration and partly because it's the name of a historical Arch-duke.

I'm a little bipolar when it comes to obscure or 'different' music, (I mean, everything is *different*, but "alternative" stuff has its own little motifs, you know), because I do still have some interest in some obscure music for religious-pagan reasons; I wouldn't mind if there were more music about various European mythologies. (As opposed to Christian music, although some of that isn't too bad.) But that doesn't mean that I really care too much about continental Europe's bands or other international music, although occasionally I'll listen to Spanish music, since there's so much of it around. I don't go looking for obscure French stuff though, although, say, if I happened across 'M2M' which is more a 90s girl band from Norway, than specifically Norwegian music, although I have to admit I like that too.

This is a little confusing (and I just got interrupted), but let me try to get at this.

So sometimes I like music with different roots-- like Spanish music, although sometimes I'll indulge myself with Norwegian.

I just wish that I hadn't been interrupted. Maybe I like quiet music.

Anyway, but I don't like indie, history-y music. (Not anymore.) I like pop music. I don't mind that it's mostly English and American. The 'alternative' groups tend to be 'Scottish' (or Greco-Scottish) in their 'diversity', so why not pop instead.

As long as I can have my own space-- and screaming noise doesn't make other people quieter. I just wish that I could follow my own train of thought.

Although the problem is that indie groups worry too much about getting their own space, so that everything is about your own band or your own niche-- and everything else makes you feel alienated. Sometimes I still get irritated when people buzz around me when I'm trying to think, but I do try to appreciate other kinds of music, and I try not to be too bothered by things.

Franz Ferdinand is better than most other indie bands, and they are somewhat open to other influences instead of only pretending to be (it's annoying when they say they are but aren't), but there is still some irritation in this group that bothers me. Sometimes I get irritated being in a group of people when I'd rather not be, so I don't really need that reinforced. I try not to be irritated by people too much so hopefully they won't bother me so much. I try not to let it escalate into bitterness and resentment.

Franz Ferdinand isn't too bad-- the 20s girl who's on their cover isn't aggressive or anything like that (although the third album, "Tonight", that they put so much effort into, has this dramatic crime thing on the cover)-- but sometimes the interest in history or 'alternative' stuff comes from a desire to avoid other people, and this can be excessive at times. Sometimes there's an aversion from saying anything simply positive.

You can only hope that if you're not too difficult in needing space from the group, that they won't always feel the need to come in and 'remind' you of things.

I don't know; I just like pop music because it's happier.

Here's what I'm trying to get at-- with Franz Ferdinand, like with the other indie bands, it has this cycle-- happy and optimistic, and not too different from pop music, like with "Take me Out" or "Darts of Pleasure", and then it veers off into something else, like Churchill and Mao and everything, (and this seems to be increasing with age, so that "Tonight" is a little obsessed with its own darkness and wisdom-- "Ulysses" is a little catchy, 'Walking twenty-five miles, oh'-- but it's crude, (simple abandon), and "Lucid Dreams" is so esoteric than it makes you wish for some other Scottish/British people, like Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, who just jammed and didn't lay it on so heavy.... in "You can have it so much better" it's only halfway towards this degree of hypercomplexity, but it's already part of the way there....), and then it comes back to social interaction to say, like with "Walk Away"-- but maybe if you don't get alienated to begin with to the point where you 'walk away', there wouldn't be such negativity to begin with. That's what I'm trying to get at.

And maybe this is an unfair criticism, but now I think I like Adele better. It would be hard to think of a Franz Ferdinand song which is as positive and accepting as "Someone like You".

Of course, on the other hand, I did hear this conversation-- between Jim McGuinn and David Crosby, back when they were friends, (JM: We want to enlighten them, you know, turn them on. DC: Communicate love. Always. JM: Which is about the same thing), where one of the things that they talk about is that not every song can be light and fun, (David calls it, "candy floss"), but the Byrds were so good at writing calm music. Those guys could do anything.

Franz Ferdinand did put out some music here, (nothing like "Fifth Dimension", of course), and some of it is fun, and it's not *very* bitter-- it's far from the most alienated thing you could find. But it certainly is light on the "candy floss", and sometimes it's doubtful whether it's really communicating love at all. There are some songs which are basically blunt come-ons, like "Do You Want On", and some pictures of troubled relationships that I'll admit can be very thoughtful, and sometimes artistic as well, "What You Meant", on miscommunication, "Walk Away" on leaving, (and a sort of arrogance-- not needing), and "You're the Reason I'm Leaving" is simple disgust. But, aside from this sort of dramatics, or the sort of goofy or almost goofy fun songs, like "This Fire", (from the first, and somewhat more fun, album) about mass hypnosis, mind control, and world domination-- aside from this, much of what is left is this stuff of discontent, which feels like it's only half a joke at best. "The Fallen" and a few songs like it condone, albeit in a joking sort of way, destruction, even though only peace and not violence can bring health to people and relationships-- a realization that seems to be lacking with them, despite their 'fun' blunt come-on songs. And despite the fact that their new album is to have a Buddhistic sort of title-- 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions'-- but that doesn't make them George Harrison, it just means that they pretend at far greater wisdom than they really possess.

{One of the things about the Byrds that was fun to learn was how their first-rate song, "Eight Miles High", came to be written: it came about after their plane trip to England, as the first American group to go over there, after all the English groups (like the Beatles) came here. And there is a spirit of reflection in the song, and a wisdom, but it's a very real wisdom-- it grew from their own experience; there was no need to search their high school history books (which they had learned already has little to help them navigate the moral paradoxes and conflicting obligations of their troubled times) or dust off archival documents, to find experiences that they could feel something about. It has an immediacy and a directness as well as a reflection-- it has balance. And balance isn't the current indie scene's strong suit.}

It could be worse, but I guess that that more or less underlines the main point.

Added by charidotes20
7 years ago on 8 July 2013 20:11