Contemplating services as a professional Ranteuse

Last night a friend and I went to see these bands at the Electric Circus, as two friends were playing in the band Rod Jones & The Birthday Suit.

We caught, I think, all the support bands and whilst the music was pleasant, I can’t remember the names of any songs or recall the lyrics of any of the songs. And no I wasn’t drunk. Not that drunk anyway.

I glanced around the venue to see what other people were making of this music and noticed that most people were rocking to and fro in a Shawn of the Dead style trance…. spooky.

All of the lyrics seemed to be based on typical Indie Kid / Emo ground… unrequited love, love lost…. there was some mention of souls and err…. just lots of moody description stuff. The band members still looked pretty young (maybe 20?) and the chat between songs seemed to be gentle banter to help dissolve their nerves, rather than an explanation of why these songs had been written or chosen.

I’d joked to my friend that I would quite happily pimp out my life experience as a professional Ranteuse, if it meant that talented music writers could pump more meaningful lyrics into their songs. I guess that you don’t always need deep and meaningful lyrics, but if you’re not communicating genuine life experiences, then at least choose more engaging stories or enjoy some light-hearted fantasy and humour…. Be *Something*, choose *Something*.

Perhaps they have this material in them anyway, but as I mentioned on Facebook recently…. I’m wondering if we’re getting so used to communicating to an audience, that we forget about the development of individual relationships.

At school I remember an English teacher educating us on the importance of swearing sparingly: swearing wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it only really has an impact if you choose your moments carefully. The same sort of approach applies to social networking, perhaps even song-writing…. when you put yourself out there to an audience, it’s very easy to find a pigeon-hole, very quickly.

I’ve ranted about this before, but there’s now so much space assigned to displaying our feelings, alongside an increasing number of digital communication channels…. that we radiate bite size pieces of depth, without ever really thinking about how they should be connected and presented to people. It’s like digital emotional vomit, puked out here and there… on walls, in IMs, in “reply-all” emails, in status-updates, in texts. We communicate the feeling, without giving it time to evolve our thinking or even language.

So… coming back to some of the support bands playing last night… great facial expression, but we need convincing you’ve found your voice.

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