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Los Campesinos! - B. Henderson Asher's Moments of Mirth [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Listen in, listen Ian!

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Los Campesinos! [Jan. 14th, 2009|04:35 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
Tel me why I should like them. I feel as if I ought, because people who generally like stuff I like seem to like them, and they even have a song that mentions livejournal, but I can't help thinking that it's just a lot of shouting, and people trying too hard, and every song sounds the same. I want to like them though!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ultraruby
2009-01-14 04:39 pm (UTC)
They have a song that mentions livejournal?!?

I keep thinking I should like them too, since all the cool kids seem to, but I've not really listened to them enough and I can't find the energy to bother. I like that song that goes 'it's you! It's me! And there's dancing!' though.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 04:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, one of the ones on the first album, although I don't know what it's called because I never seem t pick up track titles these days. I think it's because instead of having to hand on a tape cover, it's stuck away in my pocket on my mp3 player, so icba to find out.

I think I possibly need to see them live.
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[User Picture]From: boyofbadgers
2009-01-14 04:54 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, it was seeing them live that made me hate them. Their frontman must be the single most punchable man currently working in music.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 04:55 pm (UTC)
Their frontman must be the single most punchable man currently working in music.

I refer you to this comment.
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[User Picture]From: barrysarll
2009-01-15 10:11 am (UTC)
I can definitely sympathise with this. When I first heard them, I thought pretty much what Tim says above - and yet somehow, later it just clicked, and I loved them. Then I went to see them live and yes, my love of the music notwithstanding, I was just overwhelmed with the urge to punch Gareth.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 05:21 pm (UTC)
I found which song it is; it's the not even slightly annoyingly named This Is How You Spell "HAHAHA, We Destroyed The Hopes And Dreams Of A Generation Of Faux-Romantics".
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[User Picture]From: bengraham
2009-01-15 11:54 am (UTC)
And the lyric in question is about a "final, fatal, Livejournal entry".

Personally, I am a big fan, and I love seeing them play live. They just seem to click particularly well on stage. Yes, Gareth's stage persona is fairly "punchable", but as a band, the songs sound more energised than they do on record.

If you're going to check them out, start with 'You, Me, Dancing', 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks' or 'Death To Los Campesinos'.
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[User Picture]From: nudejournal
2009-01-14 04:44 pm (UTC)
I liked them and got bored of them before anyone else seemed to have heard of them. Do I win a prize?
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yes - you win a lifetime's supply of Los Campesinos! knitting needles.
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[User Picture]From: fortuneandglory
2009-01-14 04:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can't stand them, largely because of the reasons you mentioned...trying too hard, horrible singing, pointless shouting. It all seems really contrived and twee. To me, twee is when a band seems to be trying really hard to seem like lovable losers, frantically cataloguing all their favourite indie bands...and it doesn't work.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 04:54 pm (UTC)
To me, twee is when a band seems to be trying really hard to seem like lovable losers

Yes. Its like the gig I went to on Saturday night. I went to see Pocketbooks, who were on first of four, and I really love. This is their guitarist:

IMG_2127.JPG

He dresses quite nerdy, but he's really good, and they have proper songs and sing them well.

The next band were Honeytrap, whose lead singer looks like this:

IMG_2139.JPG

That t-shirt and cardigan are clearly trying too hard, and his pants were unpleasantly lo-slung, and they just did the shouty thing a lot and were crap. The third band were shouty too, so I didn't hang around for the headline, who I didn't know.
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[User Picture]From: boyofbadgers
2009-01-14 04:45 pm (UTC)
You shouldn't like them. They are k-rub.
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[User Picture]From: the_roofdog
2009-01-14 05:21 pm (UTC)
iawtc
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[User Picture]From: azureskies
2009-01-14 04:57 pm (UTC)
Kieron Gillen sez it better than me :

Last year, I described Los Campesinos “as beautiful and as doomed a pop-band as I’ve ever seen”. Less than a year later, Gareth paraphrases it for the title of their second album. It still seems as apposite. There’s something about Los Campsinos which wind up some people terribly. If you were annoyed by me using the phrase “wind up some people terribly”, you’re probably one of them.

In other words, there’s a lightness to Los Campesinos which make people suspect dilettantism – that they’re writing about nothing, feeling nothing. Which is a difficult position to argue against, unless you do something like actually listen to the fvcking records.

Los Camp’s problem’s never been a lack of emotion – but rather a surfeit. The problem – and this is where they lose people yet again – is that it’s married to an equal surfeit of ideas, albeit ones inside their own self-sufficient aesthetic universe. It’s never shown better than this title track, which is as internally-conflicting, confusing, overwhelming, graceful and contradictory song as life being lived.

Which is what I like about Los Campesinos – they’re unafraid to be Los Campesinos, to be themselves. Which is a different thing from the boring old issue of authenticity. This is about transparency, the idea that you can throw your obsessions into art’s frame and, by doing so, demonstrate the blessed democratic nature of experience and existence. And some people will never forgive you for that.

Los Campesinos: Beautiful. Doomed.


I do think they're completely excellent, though. Honestly, I don't think that people who use the phrase "trying too hard" have a clue what they're talking about - it sounds like a piece of lazy received opinion to me, because it's not something that anyone who'd bothered to give them more than thirty seconds of attention would think.

Also, their lyrics are genuinely brilliant. And "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed" (the song) is the best track anyone released in 2008.

(all this isn't to say that OMG YOU SHOULD LIKE THEM AND IF YOU DON'T YOU'RE WRONG, obv. But there's nothing "contrived" or "trying too hard" about them, really.)
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2009-01-14 05:07 pm (UTC)
it sounds like a piece of lazy received opinion to me, because it's not something that anyone who'd bothered to give them more than thirty seconds of attention would think.

Except, I've given them plenty of attention and I do think that. It's because of the boy "singer". The girl singer has a genuinely interesting voice, that's lovely to listen to singing by. Then the boy one just starts shouting and ruins the whole thing.

Edited at 2009-01-14 05:07 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: azureskies
2009-01-14 05:36 pm (UTC)
But why does "shouting" equate to "trying too hard"? If you said "I don't like them because I don't like his shouty voice", that would make perfect sense. I just don't see how ascribing assumed motivations is all that helpful.
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[User Picture]From: fortuneandglory
2009-01-14 08:46 pm (UTC)
I don't like his voice, and I think he tries too hard cos he constantly shoehorns all these reference points into his lyrics and song titles and interviews, ATP, twee, mix tapes, ("mixx tapes", for Christ's sake) It's like he's ticking things off a list in a calculated attempt to appeal to a certain kind of people. That's why I think it's contrived, because to me there's nothing natural about it. I don't think I've ever seen him photographed in anything but a band T-shirt. And of course you'll argue that it's just me reading too much into it, but it doesn't matter. For you, it might seem heartfelt, but for me it's hollow and studied, so it's pointless to argue about it. I have given them more than 30 seconds attention, though, a lot of my friends love them, and I've tried to see the appeal, but I just can't. Sorry!
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[User Picture]From: bengraham
2009-01-15 11:57 am (UTC)
Doesn't every band/frontman make "a calculated attempt to appeal to a certain kind of people"? Sure, they don't all use obvious cultural reference points, but LC aren't the first band to play on their perceived image.
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[User Picture]From: fortuneandglory
2009-01-15 01:03 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think they do, and it's true that LC aren't the first band to play on their perceived image, but it's the way they do it that really irritates me. I just find them really smug and arch.
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[User Picture]From: zagreb2
2009-01-14 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'd heard of them but not actually heard them so I did a spot of online research...

Have to say, they sound pretty horrible. The lead singer has a really, really annoying voice and, to be frank, I'm a bit sick of bands that sound like this; they put me in mind of really tall, thin young men in skinny jeans worn too low (why the fvck are people still doing that?) with oversized plastic-rimmed glasses and vacant expressions. The ressurection of 80s-style electropop is a Good Thing if it means less stuff like this.
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[User Picture]From: mr_tom
2009-01-14 05:09 pm (UTC)
Downloaded it, listened to it, deleted it and now I can't ever remember what it sounded like.

What I am enjoying off that Pitchfork Festive 50, though, is Cut Copy. Tip-top pop!
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[User Picture]From: demiabeille
2009-01-14 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have never heard of them. Thinking of continuing on, oblivious. What's your recommendation?
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[User Picture]From: morrissesque
2009-01-15 02:28 am (UTC)
They seem to be the band that everybody loves to hate at the moment. I like that dancing song, but I'm not overly impressed with anything else I've heard.
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