21 August 2007

True Stories

Two of them, both about the MLS Represent Campaign.

Around mid-May, I got an email (which I do not have permission to reprint) asking what references a cool indie rocker should use when writing a song about United, in a purely "hypothetical" sense. I wrote back with a few thoughts, and then I included this paragraph:

Depends on the sound of the particular kickass indie rocker too. Of course, I assume this isn't Calexico, but you know you'd probably play with different things for different sounds. If it were a Bad Brains type group, I think you could do a lot with referencing supporters culture. If it were more of a slowcore or alt-country group, I think you'd focus more on the concept of level of play.

Now, of course most of you have seen that Adidas has the new "Represent" campaign up and running, and who wrote United's song? Bad Brains, just as I was kind of hoping for when I wrote my original response. It may not be the greatest song, or even the greatest Bad Brains song, but it's real and authentic in a way that few corporately promoted anthems can be. It is very, very DC (yes, I know they decamped for New York. That just added to the mystique, see?). I started listening to them right around my freshman year of high school, paying attention only after someone passed me a copy of the Kick Out the Jams Rollins/Bad Brains cover (that I was also listening to the KLF/JAMMs/Space/Timelords/K Foundation/and other names Cauty and Drummond recorded under probably won't surprise you.) Needless to say, it was part of my personal high school soundtrack, which is probably the most influential music you will have for the rest of your life. So just the fact that Bad Brains is doing the DC United song, and doing a decent job of it, makes me almost giggly. In a hardcore (don't email me) sort of way.

As for the other true story, there used to be a record shop in Fredericksburg called the Blue Dog. When I would visit my future in-laws, I always made a point to drop in there, and I'm depressed it has since closed down. They had a staff to whom you could just rattle off a list of music you enjoyed and they'd find some bands you'd never heard of that would meet your fancy perfectly. It was the place I first heard Radio 4, among other groups, simply because I said I wanted something that sounded like The Fall meets Luna by way of Flock of Seagulls. Yes, you could get away with talking like that. Anyways, the only time they ever failed me was when they recommended The Rapture's album "Echoes." It was the only time I ever resold an album they had recommended. Squeaky, grating, pseudo-New Wave that never coalesced into anything remotely resembling something I could enjoy. Of course, guess who Adidas found for the Red Bulls song? My friends, that's a vindication of taste.

IN OTHER PLACES... Max J thinks the entire thing doesn't work. It's possible that nostalgia is overwhelming sense for me here.

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At 21 August, 2007 16:02, Anonymous DCUinCT said...

Someone might mention to Adidas that Chris Klein isn't the best model for RSL, since he now plays for LA.
The DC version is ok, but general I find the whole thing rather embarassing. I love BNL (and having seen members at the games realize that this isn't just the $$) and like several of the other groups noted, but the lyrics are terrible and the passion doesn't translate.

I hope it was a good learning experience for the summer intern at Adidas that worked this all up, but I also hope this is the last I ever year of any of these "songs".

At 21 August, 2007 16:27, Blogger D said...

Yeah, I agree that many of the songs have a very awkward feel to them, but at least part of my elation is just hearing the music from my adolescence come back again (even if the band had been well established for a decade by that point)

At 21 August, 2007 22:40, Anonymous diego r. said...

you gotta love the rhyme that goes something like "we got the dealio - luciano emilio". It's also great that when you click for the lyrics for the DCU song you get the words to the ultra lame NYRB track. Next year, we need to get Chuck Brown to do our song. If he's wiling to cut tracks for the Dog Whisperer DC United should be no problem.

At 22 August, 2007 08:33, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Personally, I like the song. I wish that I could download it to my cell (#@$! Motorola!).
I am fairly new to DC, and had never heard of Bad Brains before, but it sounds like so much of the music I grew up loving.
Maybe the lyrics are crappy, but isn't that part of the formula for punk rock?


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