Thursday, April 14, 2011
Until recently I was a contributing writer to EBurban, a hipster music review site (here's all the articles I wrote). They let me write about eight articles, the editor was constantly annoyed at my anti-smug, anti-hipster attitude. This article was apparently the last straw:
The Twilight Singers – Dynamite Steps (1 Star)
How does one describe The Twilight Singers and their new album, “Dynamite Steps”? There are only so many ways to describe lame hipster music that all sounds exactly the same. So why not, instead, tell a little tale that describes precisely what they sound like. As En Vogue once said, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” Let’s try a little metaphor, shall we:
In an undisclosed location, deep in the arid wastelands of central Australia, musician Nick Cave sits in his underground bunker, The Nick Cave, speaking to his producer on the red emergency phone. “Mr. Producer,” he says, “I have once again been bitten by the creative bug and wish to make another album featuring my signature dark-folk musical stylings.” The producer informs Nick that, although he is pleased to hear of his recent inspiration, to remember that all of The Bad Seeds where killed two months prior in a fiery wallaby-related incident. Hearing Nick’s obvious dejection over the phone, his producer reassures him that he will make some calls and bring in some other famous musicians to help.
The following day, the producer enters The Nick Cave followed closely by none other than Bono. Bono, forced to remove his ever-prevalent blue smoke tinted sunglasses in the dim light of the cave, approaches Nick and clasps a hand to his fellow artist’s shoulder. “Mr. Cave, I love your work, but if I am going to be a part of this project I am going to require a lot less acoustic guitar and a lot more histrionic echo effects. Also, could it hurt to have every song slowly increase in tempo and volume in order to manufacture some gravitas?” Before Nick can protest, his producer stands up and declares the idea to be “unadulterated brilliance”. “Great,” Bono says on his way out the door, “I’ll let The Edge out of their crates and get them right on it.”
At Bono’s home, made entirely out of recycled tinted sunglasses, the producer meets with The Edge to discuss the album further. Nick Cave arrives late, having brought doughnuts which are then embarrassingly dismissed in favor of Bono’s famous lindsor tarts, only to find that a consensus has been formed among the group. “Nicky, baby,” the producer explains, “We think you’re a poet, we really do. But your lyrics are too spooky, we need something that screams real raw emotions with just a hint of whininess. That’s why we’ve hired the guy from Dashboard Confessional to re-write your lyrics.” Nick, exacerbated and confused, asks what and who Dashboard Confessional is so that he may at least look into their lyric writing ability. “No need,” says the producer, “he’s on his way now. And he’s bringing the good doughnuts!”
The project is coming together -aside from the fact that Nick Cave has been drinking a lot more- but the gang still agrees that there’s something missing from the album. Bono says, “What we need is a voice that defines the current generation. A voice that can bring gravity to our music, a voice so smooth and pure that hearts will melt at the mere clearing of the singer’s throat.” Suddenly, inspiration hits them all at once. Bono, The Edge, the Producer, and the Dashboard Confessional guy leap from their chairs and gleefully shout the name of their front man in unison, “Randy Newman!” As the gang rushes to the recording studio, Nick Cave retreats to the bathroom with his pint of bourbon, sobbing quietly.
Conclusion: The Twilight Singers should get at least a thimble of credit for coming up with a few darkly inspired lines here and there, but any semblance of lyrical talent gets buried under the same old befuddled indie meanderings. And yes, the lead singer does song exactly like Randy Newman.