Interesting piece on how the ‘Garden State’ soundtrack sux

From Popmatters:

Bored New World: How the Zach Braff Prototype Is Slowly Killing American Music by Chris Milam


2 Responses to “Interesting piece on how the ‘Garden State’ soundtrack sux”

  1. 1 Raka
    December 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    this article was basically a polemic with no actual content. i did think the garden state soundtrack got blown rather out of proportion, but what the author writes in the article is a lot of nonsense. he sets up listening to the shins (what he calls “carefully composed dullness”) in opposition to grandmas dying and cousins getting deployed and then knocks it down easy as pie, saying that these singers just sing like they’d rather be somewhere else, and we listen because we want everything to be “smooth and dull and gravy”. he doesn’t engage at all with the music that he so universally pans, and he doesn’t seem to even consider the possibility that the ‘nodding hipsters’ that he looks on with such condescension might actually be emotionally invested in the sounds that they’re listening to with such apparent boredom and lack of taste.

    i appreciate an article that makes me rethink things in some way, even a small way. this essay served no purpose other than as a vehicle for the author’s unexplainable rage towards the fact that artists do, unlike him, apparently, move on. things change, musicians explore new ways of conveying their emotions through instruments and song. not everything can be expressed in raw, visceral, angry desperation. sometimes despair is quiet. sometimes a faint, shimmering sort of beauty can be mistaken, brushed aside, even dismissed as boring.

  2. 2 lchennig
    December 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    It would’ve helped if he had named some more names, right?

    If he’s upset about the lack of social consciousness in today’s ‘hip’ songwriters and uses The Shins as an example, then I would have to agree. They’re a band whose lyrics are pretty meaningless. Sure, the music is ‘carefully composed’ and often strikingly melodic (shit, I can still remember the first time I heard Caring Is Creepy… it transported me). But when you stop to analyze James Mercer’s jumbled mouthfuls of lyrics, I think you find there’s no solid foundation poetically. No metaphors to really run with for any deeper meaning.

    But then if this writer wants to talk about mopey melodrama in today’s music and invokes Death Cab for Cutie — a band I think that has earned its stripes over the years — well, then I’m also pissed.

    So we could have used more specifics about who exactly this guys thinks are the main offenders, and also who he thinks is out there doing it right. But then again, this analysis of mine only speaks to how individualized our tastes have become during this decade of iPods and blogs, and that’s not entirely a good thing either.

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