Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grant's Tomb: Rant Against The Machine

I’ve been gone awhile, probably didn’t care did you? Oh well.

I’ve been trying to think of some kind of reason for my absence, like maybe I got abducted by aliens or I didn’t pay my cable bill and they shut off my internet connection for downloading to much music illegally (yes, I do that). Truth be told, its much less exciting than that, you see I’ve been having this real case of writers block. Ya know, that thing where you can’t think of a single thing to write that hasn’t already been said, a thought that hasn’t already been thought, self-doubt, overload at the day job, etc, etc. Even my girlfriend was starting to ask me when I was going to get this done, but no joke; you should see my hard drive. Half finished manuscripts, rough drafts just barely put together, and with each one nearly completed this monkey would jump on my back and whisper to me “You’re just ranting again.” Fuck. Is that all I am capable of? Ranting against the corporate rock machine, pointing out all of its flaws, even though I haven’t sold a single record myself? Even though I’ve barely toured out of state? Even though I haven’t the slightest idea of what some of these musicians, I so openly criticize, intentions are? But ya know what, I don’t care.

Oh snap, bet you thought I was about to humble myself. Ha, got you. Let me back up for a second though, everything I said up there is 100% true, but I’ve been doing some reflecting as of late (and listening to a lot of Slayer) and I’ve come to the conclusion that while my arguments and opinions may seem trite, it’s okay because in all honesty you know I’m right about them.

Take for example our local rock radio LAZER 103.3. They play the same boring music over and over again every 30 minutes. Recently my girlfriend and I made a trek out to Iowa City to see two of the greatest local acts we’ve had in the scene in the last decade. I’m talking about The Maw and The Mad Monks. Bear with me here, I’m not doing a right up on them just yet, believe me when I say both of these bands deserve a full book written about their greatness, my point is simply this: why doesn’t our LOCAL rock radio station support these and other LOCAL bands more? Not unless Theory of a Deadsuck or Nicklesuck are coming to town and a LOCAL is on the bill will LAZER even mention a LOCAL band. That is not the case with Iowa City/Cedar Rapids’ Rock 108. The rock station out there is amazing simply because not only do they play new artists, they play old, obscure, and deeper cuts that aren’t necessarily singles…and they promote local bands. Half the time, when a national act is coming through town they’ll at least mention the LOCAL act twice if not more.

But I digress...

With his permission, I plan on reposting an old manifesto that a friend of mine wrote calling all LOCAL bands to unite, go to each others shows, whether its your preferred genre of music or not, whether the bands are more successful than your's, whether you agree on politics or social issues. I didn’t get involved in the Des Moines music scene until late in 2008 and it was purely by chance, a band that was rehearsing in the same warehouse as mine had a bass player quit and having met the guitar player multiple times, as well as being a fan of their music, asked if they needed someone to audition. Long story short, I got the audition, played several shows with them, but in the end was asked to leave. With that aside, that band really helped me in networking with many of the people I now call friends, but what I was really trying to get at there was that even in 2008, local bands did not support each other. There was so much in-fighting not only amongst peers, but also between band members. This is bad, sure, there is a little bit of competition when it comes to playing shows with other local acts (you always want to be the band that stole the show), but there should really be a bigger sense of comradery with each other. So here we are 2012, and there is still petty bickering, but I will say this, that band does suck and their whole shtick is a gimmicky at best, the hilarious part is all of their shit talking and bad mouthing and they still can’t seem to figure out why they can’t get fans/ticket sales. Whatever, nu-metal is dead anyway and unless you’re throwing in a shitty breakdown with down tuned 8-string guitars you ain’t gonna sell nothing.

Do you see what I’m getting at? Do you at all? Okay, I’m done, thanks for letting me vent and get a bit of that spark back. Next week I’ll follow up on those other interviews I promised I would do. Just to give you a heads up, they will be a little more gonzo in style, very unethical and completely drunk.

Thank you, and by the way, since I’m here plugging the local scene to a certain degree, the Third Annual Snowball is this month (Friday January 27, 2012) at Peoples Court featuring Bigfoot’s own Jen Allen and Hath No Fury as well as Mindrite, Index Case, Dead Horse Trauma and Calous.

-By Grant Peter



Jen Allen said...

I would love to read this manifesto. Sounds like ideas I've had running around my head for awhile now.