Day 203: Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights

19 Sep

Obstacle 1

Gaps. We’ve all got them.  Sometimes, it’s because we were out of the country for a few months.  Perhaps we were in a coma for a year or two.  Personally, my musical gap spans from the beginning of time to 2008, the year that I first really got into music.  That’s a big reason that I started this blog; I couldn’t hold a music-related conversation that went outside late 00’s buzz bands and The White Stripes. That’s a pretty big problem for someone who considers himself a fan of music.  The Swole has helped with the gap, but it’s also taught me that I’m fighting an unwinnable battle.  I can’t listen to it all, no matter how hard I try, and I’d say that I’ve been trying pretty hard.

There are some spots in my gap far more glaring than others, though.  For example, a beloved indie rock record from the early 21st Century gets a higher priority than all of the afro-dub-acid-house that I’ve missed out on.

So why it has taken more than 200 days to get around to Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights, I couldn’t tell you.  What I can tell you, however, is that this record is fairly overrated, and possibly seen through a glowing aura of nostalgia by its fans.

Bright Lights is never bad.  Its biggest issue is that it’s never good.  This may be partially due to the fact that I’m listening to it ten years later and completely out of context, but that can’t possibly explain all of the blasé.  The White Stripes and The Strokes, bands of the same era, still sound great today.  I have a nagging suspicion that Interpol’s generic indie rock has always been boring.

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9 Responses to “Day 203: Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights”

  1. Ty Jones September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I think you’re right about the out-of-context thing. When this first came into being, there wasn’t really a popular indie sound like these guys from what I remember. Afterward, they made more albums and more bands seemed to have similar vocals and musical accompaniment. I think it’s a pretty good album, personally but I can easily see why someone wouldn’t like it.

    My two cents.

  2. David Chops September 20, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    No surprise that Mr. Ear did not like this one after also not liking Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen and having expressed a lack of enthusiasm for The National in their less cheerful moments. I really don’t think that the context has much to do with it. This is just not your bag. What I don’t get is why the gloom-rock guys get trashed for being boring but First Aid Kit gets the kid glove treatment.

    All the same, props to you, Mr. Ear. You are trying hard and listening broadly. As a devoted reader, I would like to encourage you to take your listenings farther afield and humbly suggest my top ten albums that you may or may not like but that I think are worth listening to.

    1. Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On or I Want You
    2. Curtis Mayfield: Curtis or Roots
    3. James Brown: Sex Machine
    4. Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
    5. Louis Armstrong: Satch Plays Fats
    6. Louis Jordan: Father of Rhythm ‘N’ Blues & Rock ‘N’ Roll or whatever other decent compliation you can lay your hands on
    7. Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso: Tropicalia 2
    8. Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch
    9. Randy Newman: Good Old Boys
    10. Iggy Pop: Lust for Life

    • Jose Dinero September 20, 2011 at 6:25 am #

      So, Sex Machine over Live at the Apollo?

      • Pukka Shells and Jean Jacket September 20, 2011 at 7:02 am #

        Yeah but I agonized over whether to put that Sex Machine or Live At the Apollo 2 – A Revolution of the Mind. I am not a huge fan of R&B James Brown vs. Soul Brother No. 1 James Brown.

      • Jose Dinero September 20, 2011 at 11:18 am #

        Mr. Ear seems to hate long albums and Sex Machine and JB’s other studio work was often double albums. That’s why I think Live at the Apollo makes sense, but I agree with you that JB as the Godfather of Soul is the JB that matters. Hell, Mr. Ear can just watch that Rocky movie and he’ll know that JB was a golden god.

    • Kevin Bacon September 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Six degrees of separation or something like that: James Brown appears on What’s My Line with Soupy Sales, father of Hunt and Tony Sales, the rythm section on Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life, Surreal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS_YOiSvjlM&feature=related

      • Kevin Bacon September 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

        Other What’s My Line participants include Stevie Wonder and Louis Armstrong.

      • Kevin Bacon September 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

        …and speaking of Surreal, leading Surrealist painter Salvador Dali was on the show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXT2E9Ccc8A&feature=related

  3. elcheeserpuff September 20, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    It’s a shame that over hype-ness affects opinion so much. Discovering this record on my own (in the sense that no one recommended it to me and I just stumbled on one of the songs) back in the mid 00’s was an eye opening experience for me, and probably my first indie-rock experience. At the time, it was one of the best current-bands I had listened to (being a child of classic rock) and seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for my angsty teenage self, haha.

    However, after dealing with a couple more Interpol records that prove to be more of the same, I’ve grown bored of their sound. I do agree with you that a large reason I still love this record has to do with nostalgia, but I do feel bad that you (or anyone else) can’t appreciate this album as much simply because it’s been overhyped.

    Long and short: It’s not as good as people think it is, but since I’m one of those people, I still love it, haha.

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