29 June 2008

Fluid Lines Dope Slaps Roger Waters

Really, this is me dope-slapping Roger Waters with Fluid Lines, but that doesn't make the same kind of headline.

Recently, I watched the documentary Pink Floyd: We Talk About How Great We Are. (Officially, Pink Floyd: Shine On.) It was very annoying and I don't recommend it unless you go in agreeing with them. It included big chunks of interviews with Roger Waters, apparently from the early 80s.

In this interview, he said something about punk that sat me back. Unfortunately, I didn't write down his exact words, but the paraphrase is that "There is nothing there. No one listens to it." And then he added the afterthought "Except the kids that go to the shows". He might have revised his opinion before he performed with Patti Smith at a big charity concert this month, but I keep thinking about how utterly stupid his original statement was even at the time.

To paraphrase something Muse said during an interview: "The bands of the future are in the audience today." (I think that was Bellamy, but again I didn't have a pencil handy.) Has this ever not been true? If a lot of young people are listening to one kind of music, how can it not have an influence? Even music that it is cool to despise have influences, if nothing else in backlash and revival.

What Waters said is so obviously wrong about punk in particular. Punk has tendrils flowering in music all over the landscape just because so many of the kids in the audience that Waters dismissed were inspired to "Do it yourself. Do it now." You can hardly play any modern music without running in to its influence. Green Day is easy to point to, but modern glamprog Muse themselves started out as punkers.

Lately, I have been listening a lot to some young bands like Fluid Lines that call themselves "punk pop". These guys were born nearly a generation after the Waters interview and yet there is punk popping out flowers again in their music. Fluid Lines and their musical kin are the living and growing demonstration of how far out of it Roger Waters was then.

(Plus, they are doing some interesting stuff, even though it doesn't sound quite ripe yet.)

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