Monday, April 11, 2011

OBCBYL: Big Black

Continuing the Things that Are Square celebration of the 10th anniversary of Our Band Could Be Your Life: Big Black Maybe you're not surprised, but finding a picture of "Big Black" on Google's image search is a quest frought with peril. And now that I just saw a whole ton of massive dicks on my work computer, let's talk about Steve Albini's brutal/idealistic three-piece wrecking crew. When your frontman is a wiry, acerbic asshole, your band is probably going to draw some attention. And if that asshole later went on to be one of indie rock's main lynchpins, you can assume his music is probably going to be worth checking out. Big Black makes ugly music. Loud, abrasive, buzzsaw songs about child molestation and racism. Their whole schtick was sort of a proto-4chan: a distillation of everything horrible about society, reflected back in an entertaining and well-constructed way. Instead of a drummer, they used a drum machine, increasing the bands inhumanity (but indicative of Albini's robot-like musical perfection). They designed guitars and picks to make more industrial, jagged sounds.

I'm especially excited to share this one because I found a great video of Big Black performing "Kerosene" live. For a lot of these bands, lonely pioneers of the underground in an era where not everyone had a camera in their pocket, it's hard to find good footage of live performances. But not only is this great footage, "Kerosene" is a) an amazing song, and b) a perfect example of Big Black's sound: grinding and metallic, with lyrics about a hideous, violent boredom, mixing sex and violence.

1 Comments:

Blogger George said...

a Great PSA for the Little
bored kids!!!

April 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM  

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