Who Gives a Shit (All My Friends).by Jeff Carvalho
The single of the year for 2007 is LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.”
Some of you know it. To those, you know what I’m talking about when it comes to this record.
But I’ll assume most of you haven’t heard it. That’s fine of course as you all will be quickly trolling What!, iTunes, or YouTube (in that order) to steal download and accept its dominance for the year.
“All My Friends” is a song of positivity; one about moving forward while recognizing how much of your life has been wasting away. All the while, you accept this and take none of it back. What is done is done; you can only move forward.
For me, “All My Friends” was a life line and a wake-up. First time I really gave a shit about the song was in May, while trying to understand how certain components of my life could be crumbling while others were moving forward. “All My Friends” like all prominent tracks in my life served to bring me back to reality. Big ass slap in the face to fuck on.
Thats why I give a shit about music. The impact of the sound to make me care a little more than I did before.
Over the last year, the obsessive part of me needed to ensure that everyone around me was made aware of “All My Friends.” It is not very often that I find any impulse to share music this personal with people, if not simply for the expected reaction of most. Half the time, people will smile with blank response; shaking their heads in a manner that only be described as “accepting.”
Being “accepting” of music by my definition is comparable to saying “Who Gives a Shit.” It is a problem for me. I give people the benefit of the doubt always. As much as I look for that glimmer in the eye of a first time listener to actually get it, click with it, I’ve become more aware that for most, listening to music is background – something that is kept running on loop in order to bring repetitive tempo to their work day or their lives.
People happily “accept” what is being passed to them by terrestrial radio. Accepting to listen to what they play. Boring familiarity. God Bless the hip-hop mixtape for at least trying to bring some freshness to their listeners.
Categorically, rock and crossover rock, has been dying a slow death on commercial radio to classic hits and the familiarity classic hits bring. Classics tend to be defined as any music older than a decade that broke Top 20 radio charts. Classic crossover is so in demand that over the course of the last 5 years it has re-formulated radio formatting, bring us the concept of Jack FM. Wiki that shit for more information.
All the while that radio’s hand is being forced to play crossover classics, a progressive new sounds are being shuffled in and out of Myspace players online. Music is clearly thriving in this venue but I’m not arguing if new music is being heard by that generation. They clearly have the time and the energy to engage themselves to new shit online. What I’m looking to tackle is the everyday, music listener thats my age – the majority of the listening world – this is the consumer that does not give a shit.
Its impossible to not see the similarities between “accepted music” and those trying to re-pawn off bad 80’s fashion to an (assumed) unintelligent consumer base.
Like commercial fashion, people tend to gravitate to the familiar. It is no wonder why everything on the radio basically has the same re-worked beat. Make your own Top 10 list for the year. I doubt most people can even come up with 5 but if they do, they probably draw themselves back to the familiar. Very rarely does some new sound ever surface to rotation on terrestrial radio. Worse off if it does make impact, the music industry will adapt like fruit flies and swarm every last dollar into sucking what they can from it. We’re then back to where we started. Familiarity.
So what the fuck stopped people from caring about music? When did the romance in new music die? Forget blaming MTV and terrestrial radio.
In trying to understand the “who gives a shit” phenomenon with music, you have to try to find a time; a moment in life of people when music does not become important. Most will argue that music remains an important component in life while the discovery and romance dies. Do we blame life in general for forcing us to re-prioritize music or does the mind stop being curious; becoming content with what it knows? That whole familiarity argument again.
How can this be changed? Not fucking easily it would seem. The self destruction of the music industry itself is not helping the cause at all. Heavy rotation does nothing to combat this. In fact heavy rotation looks to actually worsen the average music loving individual from being able to expand to further unfamiliar sound.
My bet is that if you actually gave listeners pure variety on the radio that they would become more honest listeners. People would be more adept to understanding what they like and dislike. Today, they only like and dislike a handful of tracks.
Think of street fashion for instance. Unlike terrestrial radio, we have ridiculous numbers of blog entries blinding our screens with heaps of cotton options. It’s a full on slug-fest as designers and brands battle out to grab the short attention of a handful of consumers. It may all look the same but it is not heavy rotation. The option to pick and choose what you like and dislike is right there in front of you. As repetitive and re-purposed as product is on hype blogs, the viewer is at least able today to recognize familiarity and decide what choices they will make when purchasing.
Terrestrial radio and the music industry as a whole simple does not offer this option to the listener… unless the listener gives a shit – enough to hunt down and find something fresh. Radio looks like a terribly lost cause in the United States. College radio, the traditional vehicle for music discovery seems to remain that last vestige of hope for the unassuming.
There is an energy in caring about anything that is not materialistic. Music cannot be worn as a sign of prestige, but it can impact a single individual and bring them together in ways that wearing BBC hoodies cannot. When you give a shit for even just a moment, you may be able to see that there is more to it than you first heard. You may actually care a little.
Here’s a list of what I gave a shit about in 2007.
A Place To Bury Strangers A Place To Bury Strangers 2007
Aesop Rock None Shall Pass 2007
AIR Pocket Symphony 2007
Apparat Walls 2007
Arcade Fire Neon Bible 2007
Arctic Monkeys Favorite Worst Nightmare 2007
Art Brut It’s A Bit Complicated 2007
Babyshambles Shotters Nation 2007
Band of Horses Cease to Begin 2007
Battles Mirrored 2007
Beirut The Flying Club Cup 2007
Black Kids Wizard of Ahhhs [Demo] 2007
Bloc Party A Weekend In The City 2007
Broken Social Scene Kevin Drew’s Spirit if … 2007
Bruce Springsteen Magic 2007
Burial Untrue 2007
Clientele God Save The Clientele 2007
Daft Punk Live at Vegoose 2007
Deerhunter Cryptograms 2007
Deerhunter Fluorescent Grey EP 2007
DJ Hell Live at Watergate Berlin Apr 20, 2007
El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead 2007
Feist The Reminder 2007
Heartthrob Piknic Electronic Mutek June 3 2007
James Murphy & Pat Mahoney Fabriclive 36 2007
Jay-Z American Gangster 2007
Jens Lekman Night Falls Over Kortedala 2007
Kanye West Graduation 2007
Laurent Garnier Live at The End London 2007
LCD Soundsystem 45:33 2007
LCD Soundsystem All My Friends (Single) 2007
LCD Soundsystem Sound Of Silver 2007
M.I.A. Kala 2007
Marco Carola Fabric 31 zzz 2007
Maximo Park Our Earthly Pleasures 2007
of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? 2007
Pan-Pot Pan-O-Rama Album Release Show 2007
Panda Bear Person Pitch 2007
Pela Anytown Graffiti 2007
Radiohead In Rainbows 2007
Rilo Kiley Under The Blacklight 2007
Rob Heppler, Jeff Carvalho, Frank Rivera WeeklyDrop 2007
Spoon GA GA GA GA GA 2007
Stones Throw Stones Throw Podcast 2007
The Field From Here We Go Sublime 2007
The National Boxer 2007
The Ponys Turn the Lights Out 2007
Viva Viva Viva Viva Demo 2007 2007
Whitechapel True Believer 2007
Wighnomy Brothers Live at Piknic Electronic Mutek June 3 2007