Thursday, 1 July 2010

"The reality is much murkier and disconnected..."

Julie from LoneLady got in touch with us (after that MOJO piece). Read her views over the jump.

"Just a few thoughts, for what its worth.

I felt article on 'new music from Manchester' was very surface-y and didn't really say anything. I wonder why journalists bother to meet artists/bands etc face to face and record their words only to omit virtually everything they've said. When I spoke to Mojo I was very critical of music 'journalism' for not trying to present a more nuanced view of the way music happens and emerges. I criticised clique-iness and closed-mindedness, and snobbiness (hardly particular only to Manchester). None of this criticism appeared.

I tried to describe that I felt music was full of echoes of what went before, but combined with imagination; hard work, originality can still exist.

Many times I have been asked about a 'Manchester sound'. Journalists who have never been to Manchester, or have visited once, tell me with total authority that my album 'has a Manchester sound'. a) I don't know what this means b) they haven't listened to more that the opening 3 tracks at best c) imagine this is some catch-all term for 'a bit dark', whatever that means.

I have said I find certain bands from Manchester of that period inspiring, but I am not exclusively informed by music from this era/region. The latter part of that sentence gets cut as it doesn't fit the journalists' angle.

Its very reductive for an artist to be shoehorned into some lineage because of short-sighted dull-witted journalism. It seems no longer possible for media to allow breathing space around emerging bands/artists let them be uncertain, murky, a hybrid of lots of different feelings, colours, turnings and cul-de-sacs.

There are hobby bands and nakedly ambitious bands; I feel they dilute the reasons for music-making, and music itself... as though there are 'how to be post-punk/ [insert favoured era] DIY kits for sale. And bad journalism/TV programmes/articles etc strengthen this..treating music fans as though we were all cretins who couldn't manage or cope with a more in-depth article that might contain criticism or not fit with the received template of what music/ an artist / a music listener should be.

Anyone might be forgiven for thinking I am some flag waving Factory/Manchester patriot, given some of the misrepresentation of LoneLady out there. Nor am I interested in being attached to some 'scene' of new music. The reality is much murkier and disconnected than that, as most normal people know. I can only continue to convey this, to whoever might be listening."


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  2. Pretty much agree with this asessement. I think you're facing the same issue as many new bands from this region, hyped or otherwise. It seems that they are to coin an older cliche they are caught between a rock and a hard place in that the media bangs on about Manchester/Curtis/Madchester/Stone Roses and sites and critics on here then accuse new bands from the region of apeing the likes Joy Division and Stone Roses. It's also a convienient stick to beat the acts with from the press and yet the same music press will fawn over the Debbie Harry/New York punk wannabes as they are bringing something exciting to music. How I get bored to piss of the 'sound of a generation' wankery. You know you might as well say that air raid sirens were a sound of our great grandparents generation, because, it's such an empty statement.

    In any case music 'journalism' is too concerned with the me-ism of the writers rather than the music and acts they are writing about, more and more.

    Living on the fringes of Manchester now and throughout the 80s/90s, 'Madchester' I will suggest that this 'scene' didn't really happen untill London press decided it was cool. Stone Roses/Happy Mondays,Inspiral Carpets, passed many people by untill late in 1990 when the acts had commercial hits. And even those bands, who were more influenced by the 60s weren't doing anything radical and were being compared to Joy Division/Smiths, etc. So this idea of allowing new music to breath in the city isn't a new one. New music in this city and many other places have often been submerged by the critics and music press by the memory of Atmosphere or Fools Gold, unless you're Quoasis, who interestingly took their influences from The Beatles.

    Thing is, no-one seems to have any problem being compared to Kraftwerk, who along with Bowie and The Beatles are constantly mythologised (rightly so) and crop up more than Joy Division on influences. Unless this is another perception.

    The FAC51 is nothing more than a Here and Now Tour of 80s acts. They should either rename it or fill it full of new bands and DJ's and maybe have someone like Ian Brown or whoever do a one off special every five years.

    And music journalists should be given a list of words and terms they are not allowed to use, or be fined for it.