I love Metric.
And not just the system, either. The band. So yes, a magical puddle of excitement did indeed apear under my chair when I heard about their new album Fantasies was coming out on the 14th of April. But beyond that, I just came across a pretty kickin’ interview with Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw done by Pitchfork. The whole thing is worth a read, but here’s a little excerpt I found particularly compelling:
JS: There’s such a weird line between doing something really cool and doing something unbelievably cheesy. This is a thing that I respect but don’t full-on love about the indie aesthetic: Most of the time, the only way to stay cool is to do nothing on stage.
EH: Just wear the shirt that you slept in last night.
JS: Exactly. It’s very safe– a rejection of trying things that might make you come across differently. We wanna try things, so there’s gonna be a moment here or there where it’s like, “I kinda missed that one.” I’d rather go down that way. Lots of amazing artists have put out records that are unlistenable. There are some bad Neil Young records. There are 20 unlistenable Stones records. Van Morrison only made one great album– and he’s a fuckin’ legend!
Pitchfork: This reverts back to the Killers show– I’m not sure if they’re great at managing that line between cheesy and awesome.
JS: Yeah, like “Is he human…”
EH: “…or is he just a dancer?”
JS: I think that’s one one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.
EH: That lyric is really bad. But it’s a very well-crafted song. I’m glad we’re talking about this because I think about it a lot, too. The idea of spectacle versus the authenticity of indie rock. It’s like, spectacle is shallow, and pretending no one is looking at you is authentic. I agree with that sometimes, but I find the people and shows I really admire don’t strictly adhere to the idea of the invisible self.
I think Franz Ferdinand is an example of a band that knows what they’re doing– they understand the function of music in people’s lives. There are many functions, but when it comes to a concert it’s about performance. If the same people at a show were standing on a subway together, they’d be uncomfortable with their shoulders hunched. But because music is playing and this feeling is in the room, you can have this incredible communion. That usually happens at shows where the performers are putting themselves beyond themselves.
Not only are they each saying some fairly germaine and interesting things about indie music, but also bashing the mutated homunculus the Killers have turned into, as well as plugging the best Brit-Pop of the decade. Good stuff.
As to Fantasies itself, from all accounts it’s gonna be an extreamly rad release. From what I’ve heard thus far, closer in tone to Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? then to Grow Up and Blow Away which makes sense, though is a tad disapointing for the purists in the audience.
But, even so, this band does little if not evolve, so judge for yourself. Check out this video of “Stadium Rock”, a song (I can only assume) from the new album.
Also, if you get a chance, check out “Help I’m Alive”.
And be excited.