Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shoreditch Twattery

INT. CARGO, SHOREDITCH - NIGHT

PATROCLUS and PATROCLUS'S COMPANION are sitting at a fashionably peculiar skinny wooden table in a Hoxton bar whose décor is quite long on exposed brickwork and oversized stainless steel air ducts. Critically acclaimed Texan indie-prog-punk-country-rock band Okkervil River are playing (or, more accurately, shouting and groaning) in the background.

Companion (morosely): These American indie bands all sound the same. I blame Generation X. If that book hadn't been written, none of these bands would exist!

Patroclus: How can you *say* that? How can you say that Okkervil River sound like Spoon, or that Spoon sound like Hem, or that Hem sound like the Decemberists?

Companion: This lot sound *exactly* like the Decemberists.

Patroclus: Yeah, they do actually. Good trumpets, though.

Companion: I thought the trumpets were crap. They only played one note. And these lyrics are empty. Meaningless. They're like metaphors stuffed inside other metaphors and the whole thing is an empty metaphor for the utter meaninglessness of all American indie music that's ever been produced since Generation X was written.

Patroclus: How can you *say* that? He rhymes 'wisteria' with 'seething bacterium'! That's genius!

Companion: Anyone can rhyme big words. It doesn't mean anything. What's that song actually about?

Patroclus: Not a clue. But it rhymes 'abecedarian' with 'magisterial'! And it has quite sinister overtones! And I like it! Isn't that enough?

Companion: There's just no originality in music any more.

Patroclus: Well, that's the postmodern condition for you.

[...]

Companion: Have we turned into a pair of Shoreditch twats?

Patroclus: It would appear so*.


Okkervil River - For Real (mp3)


* UPDATE: According to this New York Metro article that Dave put on his blog the other day, it would appear that I am, in fact, in a state of advanced gruptitude. Hahahaaa!


tags:

23 comments:

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Big words are enough to convince me. Though probably not enough to drag me into a Hoxton bar.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

...obviously I mean big *rhyming* words. Otherwise it's dull.

patroclus said...

I hasten to point out that I wouldn't normally have gone in there, Scroob, but Okkervil River were playing and I very much like them, so it had to be done.

It was quite strange to see a band that got in most of those 'Top Albums of 2005' lists playing to a crowd of only about 100 people. But great, at the same time. And they had a trumpet and an accordion and a tambourine, which was nice.

Tim Footman said...

Isn't the postmodern condition just one of those quasi-metaphysical concepts that, as soon as you acknowledge its existence, it ceases to exist? Like camp. And irony. And the possibility of a Smiths reunion.

Annie said...

Aah, but do you sport a mullet? Or wear silver shoes over granny tights? If not, you cannot claim the proud title of Hoxton Twat.

patroclus said...

Tim: I had an answer to that, but as soon as I thought it, it ceased to exist. Phew.

Annie: Hmm, silver tights, you say?

*surreptitiously makes shopping list*

longcat said...

i got all excited that he was singing about rilke... but i've got no idea if he is... i suspect it's more real cut than rilke... but i can dream that other people love him just as much as me...

(i love cargo - i've played there - oh yes i have - yeah that's right - yes i am a musician - well yes i will except you're phone number - yes i agree musicians are cool aren't they?)

x

patroclus said...

"Tonight's the blood from real cuts"?

Although, you never know, he might like Rilke as well.

belladona said...

I might have had something to say but have been distracted by the strange whirring, churning, thumpy noise coming from the flat above me. *Sniffs to check for fires / gas leaks*

patroclus said...

Crikey bella, let us know when you find out what it is!

Fails to resist urge to add: 'could it be a chaffinch, trapped in the ventilation shaft?'

Billy said...

Why is Generation X to blame for all of this?

Smat said...

is a Shoreditch twat different to any other kind of twat? I think we need to know.

patroclus said...

Billy: Your guess is as good as mine. I haven't ever read Generation X, although I have read Microserfs a few times, and very good it is too. I'm not a big fan of Douglas Coupland otherwise, though.

Smat: The only difference I can think of is that the Shoreditch twat is possibly the only type of twat that's ever been immortalised in a magazine.

I say 'immortalised', but even the merest mention of Shoreditch Twat these days has people foaming at the mouth about how the whole Nathan Barley thing is sooo 1999. Things don't seem to have changed all that much in Hoxton as far as I can tell, however - it's still chock full of young gentlemen with spiky hair and thick black glasses. Only these days they're probably self-facilitating Web 2.0 nodes, rather than self-facilitating nodes of any other type of (old) nu-meeja.

longcat: I've listened to that song again, and the lyric is actually "some nights the blood from real cuts/feels real nice". Hmm, a song about self-mutilation, means I can legitimately add 'emo' to the list of possible genres that Okkervil River might belong in. Literary emo. Lemo!

Spinsterella said...

Generation X is brilliant, but it's also a very easy read and doesn't contain any Big Words.

Certainly not any rhyming couplets with Big Words.

The thought of lemo is giving me a sore head.

Smat said...

thanks for the clarification P. - I'm so not-with-it I need things spelled out v..e..r..y...s..i..m..p..l..y...

Pashmina said...

Douglas Coupland, bless him, is so *now* that his new book is called JPod.

frangelita said...

I liked microserfs too. I wouldn't worry about being a Shoreditch twat, we all show a certain amount of twattery under duress.

Dave again said...

I've checked my post-box every morning, but still no envelope. Come on, we grups must stick together.

patroclus said...

I never received your email, Dave! Send it again, and the surprise-filled envelope (ooh no, shades of GW-style rudeness there) will be yours...

Thanks very much for the 'grup' article, by the way. The other day I genuinely *actually thought* 'Hmm, I need new shoes, I think I'll go and buy some Converse boots...oh no, wait, I still have two pairs from when I was a student...wonder where I put them." It would seem that I actually *am* the zeitgeist. Oh dear.

Dave again said...

Odd. It hasn't bounced back. Anyway, sent again to the Quad... address on profile.

Do let me know if that doesn't arrive either. I have other ways of sending it if need be.

surly girl said...

ah, life...not what it used to be.

oh, hang on. that's not what i meant to say at all.

oh, yes. i liked microserfs too.

The Blind Flaneur said...

Perhaps I'm being obtuse, but can't work out if you had a good time or not. Pls clarify

patroclus said...

Hello, flaneur! I very much enjoyed it, but I'm not so sure about my companion. I did keep getting distracted by Will Sheff's unusually large head and quite unlovely singing voice, though. He sounds better on the album, which is fantastic and just gets better.

In the hope that this information means something to someone, it has since transpired that the support act was Darren Hayman of cult indie-geek band Hefner (about whom I know nothing), doing a solo set of songs about kitchens and underwear, accompanied by a ukulele. He went to man the t-shirt stall afterwards, apparently.