Friday, October 12, 2007

Radiohead vs. The Honeydogs



I am not even close to a huge Radiohead fan – I think their prog leanings take what could be a fine little art-pop band and create a pretentious, self-important behemoth. That said, I’ve heard moments of unquestioned beauty and superb arena anthems sprinkled throughout their catalogue. I don’t have any animosity towards the band – their music just generally leaves me cold. My Teenage Kicks co-conspirator Michael champions their work so maybe someday he’ll knock some sense into me.

Radiohead’s new direct-to-consumer model is being heralded as the music industry’s new world order. I see it as a death knell. The model works for huge artists who have millions of fans waiting with bated breath for their next musings. It even may work for mid-level artists who have smaller, devoted followings or legacy artists whose listeners will follow them anymore. I applaud Radiohead – why wouldn’t they do this? What does a record company have to offer them at this stage? Fuck the major labels – they’ve spent years ripping off consumers (15 bucks for a cd? fuck you) and ignoring artist development to go for the big score. I have no problem with the big score – but let some of those younger acts develop and maybe they’ll give you a couple of medium scores.

But what about new bands, baby bands… the future of rock and roll? How do they get their music heard? For every internet, blog hyped (fucking lameass bloggers) sensation like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, there are five hundred bands that go unheard. Seek out these artists that are good enough to be heard, but whose back-story may not be that remarkable or whose marketing buzz is only the music itself. You know who they are… support these guys and go have a $12 religious experience in a stink bar with 95 of the closest friends you never knew you had.

Which brings me to The Honeydogs…ever heard of them? I didn’t think so. They are a snappy little rock combo that falls into that Bermuda Triangle wasteland where alt-country, indie rock and pop smarts meet to the sound of one hand clapping and careers go to die. Today I got a mix disc in the mail that featured their“Losing Transmissions” and I thought here’s a band that’s not going to benefit from Radiohead’s new business model. They weren’t exactly reaping rewards from the old world model. They played The Khyber recently for 15 people. They’re still out there – seven cds for seven different record labels. I worry that Radiohead’s vision for the future doesn’t include these guys. And this is by no means Radiohead’s problem – they’re my new heroes.

What does it say about me that if given the opportunity tomorrow to go see The Honeydogs in a shitty rock club or Radiohead (arguably the biggest band in the world) in a hockey rink that I’d choose The Honeydogs without blinking.

Here’s three of The Honeydogs’ finest… search them out on emusic or visit your favorite indie record store and buy something… before it’s too late.



3 comments:

Todd said...

A-frickin-men brother. The great new stuff is everywhere you look, but you have to **look**. If you don't put in a little effort heading to milesofmusic.com or emusic.com or your small, stinky, local music store, then you get what the major labels and most radio stations serve up: 33 years of Genesis, Brit(ney)-Pop and third-rate singers whose songs were carefully crafted in the labs formerly used by Joseph Mengele.

Just a little effort can bring great rewards. Stay tuned to TeenKicks and let the boys show you how.

Anonymous said...

Hey Trip,

Great post. First of all, I agree with you. Blogging is for losers.

I also agree that Radiohead's new business model would do jack for up and coming bands. Case in point -- Glossary. I know you've heard of them because I sent you a song, but 99.9% of the music-loving world doesn't, and that's a shame. Glossary is, as you say, a snappy little rock combo featuring a husband and wife team from Murfreesboro, TN. Glossary is struggling to make it, and to help get asses into clubs, they are giving away their upcoming new cd for free on their website. It's not exactly the Radiohead "pay what you think it's worth" model, it's more dramatic than that. Will it work? Probably not. I'm not even sure how they intent to quantify success. But I hope it helps them sell some tickets.

Here's the link to their download:
http://www.glossary.us/the-better-angels-of-our-nature-free-download/

Please support this band.

Shuggie
(can't remember my stupid blogger password)

Matthew Maguire said...

Trip,

You're two for two on the recent posts. I've never been to a stadium show and I don't plan on going to one ever.