Sunday, October 3, 2010

Exile in Nostalgia

This creeped me out in the coolest of ways. Liz Phair sounding all over the place about the Matador Records alum getting together after a few decades. So glad she fears becoming lame.
In the early nineties, many of the bands on the label and Matador staffers themselves came from well-educated, upper middle class backgrounds and we wasted no time putting all that good grooming to use “sticking it to the man.” We made up outrageous bios to pass on to legitimate publications like Newsweek and People, we encouraged provocative answers to dull interview questions, basically trying to channel a kind of late-stage Beatles malaise, believing this to be the only way to force mainstream media to focus on the songs and not the performers. The music was all that was left standing once we were finished with our schoolyard shenanigans.

But forgive me, I sound like a member of a bygone generation, one of those bewhiskered hippies from the LSD era, bemoaning the straying spotlight and nostalgic for the past. Which I am. What else are reunions for if not a chance to reflect on the past in the company of those who shared it, measuring progress, good or bad, from goals set when we were barely formed? How many of the artists coming to play this weekend will feel ambivalent about their lives and careers now? How many have moved on, and how many have stayed back?

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