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Friday, September 10, 2010

Hobosexual: Speaking of Kurt

Posted by on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Hobosexual’s Ben Harwood has a few things to say about the state of music, and uniqueness. And Kurt. And smelling shit from Shinola:

Hobosexual: "Concrete Corporate"

Are you bitter about the state of music business?

Harwood: Yes.

Basically, the man owns everything now. He's even figured out how to manipulate the driving force of rock n roll from the 60s and 70s, which is basically the axis of dangerous, sexy and unique, rip it off, and sell it as original. In my opinion, this really started to take effect with Nirvana. Before that band, people could still smell the man coming.

Nirvana were anarchistic, Kurt was the anti-Christ to corporate rock. After their stint on Sub Pop, Nirvana was on DGB, a subsidiary of Geffen. Around Christmas of 1991, my entire Jr. High School went insane and everyone started dressing different. By high school, different wasn’t so different. Everyone sort of looked the same. Parents were terrified. The most unique-looking kid in the whole school looked like he lived a life in the suburban 50s. He wore a button up shirt and normal, relaxed fit jeans. He also had a side part haircut. All the grungers who were so different, because they all dressed and acted the same, used to make fun of guys like that. How's that for irony? Fuck, half the football team looked and dressed like Krist Novoselic.

So we've got this superstar rebel, who's the antithesis of the established Mick Jagger, Axl Rose cool, and now that's cool. And that's when I think the light bulb went off for marketing agents in the music industry. They hijacked the indie scene shortly thereafter. The last line had been crossed, and they owned the dude crossing it.

I think they realized from that point out that they owned both sides of the equation, the mainstream and the sub-stream. At that point, all they had to do was create an idol and doublespeak it into oblivion. Be the rhetoric “different”, "dangerous", "independent", "underground", "champion for bi-sexuality,” whatever shocks the mainstream in that sub-stream way, but with that always safe overcoat primer sheen. This, coupled with the fact that most people will buy anything these days if it's catchy via way of repetition and yet still subtly Disney/Wal-Mart approved safe, is enough to drive any true artist insane.

The obtuse part of it is where Kurt came in. You used to be able to smell the mainstream shit from the Shinola a mile off. Somewhere along the line, the man, who invented and owned the mainstream, hijacked the underground.

Hobosexual plays tonight at Columbia City Theater with Baltic Cousins, and Hounds of the Wild Hunt (formerly the Whore Moans).

Harwood Continues:

Being unique, like a Wes Anderson film, for the sake of being unique is one thing. Actually having something to say is another. Don't get me wrong, I love Wes Anderson's stuff, but there's so much out there right now that's like that in both the music and general arts scene. It's easy to pick a band based on an eclectic yet safe sound and praise them. They have the perfect look, the perfect "quaint" or the perfect "edge", but do they have substance? Everything genius has some substance, some undercurrent, and usually it's a little scary to people in the beginning.

Jeff (Silva) and I do this because we have to. Because without it, we'd go crazy. It's an output to an indescribable drive. And frankly, I love seeing people's reaction to it. I'm not a religious man, but a good rock show is like church.

Time will tell, but I have a feeling we're living in an era that will ultimately be considered a black hole for music progress. Yes, we've got the Beatles, Zeppelin, some good stuff from the last thirty years, but nothing really exciting has happened since then in comparison to the enormity of those past examples. These are bands that I feel really had something to say. As Jason Josephes, booker for The Blue Moon, pointed out to me the other night, it's why they're still on everyone's top five list to this day. And no, I don't believe history or time will make what we hear now gain significance. Simply by way of fact, most bands today have nothing more to contribute than two or three years worth of popularity before they fade away.

I don't believe this is because everyone has ADHD now and too many options. I think it's because in this sea of corporate "safe" we've lost our way, and it's now very difficult for the artist to find truth.

In any event, Hobosexual exists because I say it exists. Because in my mind it's OK, and for the most part, when people get to know the driving force behind it, they're not so afraid of what it means. Perhaps ideals are defined by experiences, I don't know. It's the way I've tried to live my life. It works for me. This band works for me, and it represents the best truth I've got right now, in the midst of so much bullshit we live with daily.


Comments (15) RSS

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Ron Bennington 1
"Anonymity is the new rock and roll"
Posted by Ron Bennington on September 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Pat Boone 2
Hobosexuality is wrong and you know it! God damn hippie kids
Posted by Pat Boone on September 10, 2010 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Pat Boone 3
I caught a commie pinko suckin off a hobo in the men's room, threw a hand grenade in there and called it a day
Posted by Pat Boone on September 10, 2010 at 1:48 PM · Report this
ssemekim 4
Why is he talking about something that happened 20 years ago like it was last month? No one under 30 has the Beatles & Zep in their top 5 or even their top 10 favorite bands anyway.

Nirvana was on DGC Records and it was Thurston Moore who brought them there...don't forget that and act like it was a slick music industry jackal who corrupted the system. You & all of those kids (me included) made the choice to rebel against the pop of the 80s were the ones who made it happen by reveling in dirty power of grunge. Just like the same kids who loved Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync when they were 12 are the ones buying up all the suburban angst-filled Arcade Fire records now.
Posted by ssemekim on September 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Trent Moorman 5

He's talking about it because I asked him thoughts on music business. These were his thoughts.
Posted by Trent Moorman on September 10, 2010 at 2:21 PM · Report this
"Basically, the man owns everything now. "


I guess all those independent bands recording their own albums, releasing music digitally, pressing their own records/cds, silk screening their own shirts and booking their own tours should just call it quits then.

/face palm.

Posted by Jeff on September 10, 2010 at 2:25 PM · Report this
I think there are different versions of "The Man."

#6, I think you and Ben are on the same side. He's been releasing his own music for years, so he's speaking from experience. Just like you speak from experience. Why take a swipe at a guy who's fighting and doing the same thing you are? Which is trying to make the music you make, and be able to have it be successful. It's that success part I think Ben is talking about. Most financially viable music has had to, at some point, cross paths with The Man. Bands that can do it, and stay able to keep doing it, by way of selling music, and be able to tour, and live off it, maybe even have insurance. That's what Ben fights for. I assume you, the same. Unless you really like your day job.
Posted by Samanthal on September 10, 2010 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Where does "Mechagodmothra" fit into all this?
Posted by Samanthal on September 10, 2010 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Like the cover art. Banners always have a special touch.
Posted by Le Voux on September 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 10
Well, I just became a fan anyway.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on September 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Keekee 11
No one under 30 listens to Zeppelin or the Beatles????

Really???? I find that hard to believe...
Posted by Keekee on September 12, 2010 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Keekee, did you even READ the article? I just got done reading it, and he basically said the EXACT opposite of that?? WTF?

Quote from article pasted below:

"Yes, we've got the Beatles, Zeppelin, some good stuff from the last thirty years, but nothing really exciting has happened since then in comparison to the enormity of those past examples. These are bands that I feel really had something to say. As Jason Josephes, booker for The Blue Moon, pointed out to me the other night, it's why they're still on EVERYONE'S top five list TO THIS DAY."
Posted by Proust22 on October 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Hobosexual are Mark Driscolls disciples. Viva la Mars Hill, way to fool the man .. Jeff Silva has penus warts, infected alot of Seattle in the early 90s just like Nirvana!!! Cant take a band serously at all, when one member ones two buisnesses that advertises in the Stranger, Paster Mark would not approve about the Stranger ads, shame on you Hobosexual.
Posted by sleepingoutloud on April 7, 2011 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Hobosexual are Mars Hill warriors.Jeff has penis warts and infectected alot of Seattle just like Nirvana!!!! Hmmm. own 2 buisnesses that advertise in the Stranger and your half ass band gets press!!! Pastor Mark isnt happy with the Stranger but,, he is happy to bring chicks to the shows. Come on Stranger you can do alot better than having these clowns give you D.U.M.B. articles.
Posted by sleepingoutloud on April 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM · Report this
Pat Boone 15

Hey metaphor boy, Pastor Mark happens to be a very close friend of mine, and I doubt he would appreciate your rude comments. We know damn well where you're going, to the deep dark bowls of hell my friend. Hell.

Now go forth.
Posted by Pat Boone on April 13, 2011 at 7:20 PM · Report this

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