November 7th 2009 Starf*cker

Lately I’ve been experiencing a renaissance of music, a rebirth in my quest for harmonious nirvana. I’ve discovered several new bands lately that I really like. Among them are a Japanese band called Ogre You Asshole. I recently “acquired” their latest album, フォグランプ. I have no clue what that means in English. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I don’t listen to non-English music much, because I like to be able to hear and ponder lyrics in the music to which I listen, but every now and then I can get into a band that effectively uses voice as an instrument. I can’t understand a thing in フォグランプ—I don’t even know the titles of the any of the songs, because they’re all in Japanese, too—but the music is beautiful and has an almost Radiohead-like quality to it.

Yesterday I was listening to The Smashing Pumpkin’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and I realized just how much my musical tastes have matured over the years. Back in high school, I liked the classic songs from Mellon Collie—“Zero” and “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”, and of course “Fuck You (An Ode to No One)” when I was feeling angsty—but (unfortunately) I rarely listened to most of the other tracks on the album; I basically ignored the airy, melodic ones, because they just weren’t heavy enough for me back then. But after giving the entire two-disc album another listen yesterday, I surprised myself by liking a lot more of the non-standard tracks that I’d never listened to much before. Belatedly I realized just how…musical many of those songs are.

I’ve also listened to the French alt-rock band Phoenix’s latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and I am in love with it. Great album, both from a musical perspective and a technical perspective (it’s mixed so well it sounds like a delicious, velvety cake). And the bassist uses an awesome Fender Mustang Bass, at least when playing live, so I can really get behind this band. I’ll have to check out their other stuff.

The most interesting find as of late, though, is the eponymous album by a band called Starfucker. These guys are so obscure they don’t even have a Wikipedia article (in fact, I can’t even find a website). They’re an interesting electronic rock band that is somehow associated with Phoenix. Starfucker sounds like another band I’ve heard recently; I want to say “MGMT”, but I don’t think that’s right. At any rate, they’re pretty good.

The only problem with Starfucker is the name. Bands have to think ahead: what if they get really big, so big that they headline tours in the United States? You can’t appear on American TV with the word “fuck” in your name. MTV won’t cover them. Letterman won’t let them on his set. If anyone in the media does cover them, they’re going to have to censor the name. If they become famous, Starfucker is destined to go down in history as Starf*cker, and that’s just lame.