Monday, May 24, 2010

It List: Monday

Of Montreal | Noot D'Noot (Granada)

Of Montreal are one of those bands that seem to get on people's nerves quite easily, especially upon first listen or seeing their wardrobe. To a certain extent I can understand. Their music can be overly cute, quirky and without a doubt high energy. If you can put these fears aside and take a look at their career you will find a discography that has maintained a level of quality rarely found in modern pop, especially with a band as eccentric as Of Montreal. Of Montreal are one of the few bands that take an actively surrealist approach to their music, much in the same way so many great 60's and 70's psychedelic pop acts did. While they surely wear their influences on their sleeve, through variety and fearlessness (who names their album The Gay Parade?) Of Montreal have carved their own, if not ever changing style. This was unfortunately not the case for many of their Elephant 6 counterparts who quickly bit the dust or became irrelevant.

Still they are not for everyone. If you don't think humor belongs in music or you can't appreciate a good Georges Bataille reference I could understand why you might not dig. If for some reason you do enjoy things like, say...The Beatles, and have not checked out Of Montreal's work I suggest you start with Cherry Peel and work your way up. Even if you have heard their music and think it is totally lame, Of Montreal are one of the few acts that put some effort into making their live show a unique and worth while experience. I really miss the days of seeing these guys at Rubber Gloves but it is awesome to see what they are able to with that Outback money.

"...but Frank! They sold out their art for the sake of superficial consumerism?!?!?"

I don't fault Of Montreal, or any artist for that matter, for licensing out their music for commercials. It's a great way to make some easy money and I'll admit I quite enjoyed hearing things like Cold Cave in a Radio Shack commercial. While Outback steakhouse is not the first restaurant I would hope to associate with Of Montreal, at least it's better than The Olive Garden. As for the commercial, the music was in the background and I didn't feel offended the "art" in anyway. Did it help their career other than monetarily? While I would like to imagine that some bloomin' onion fans found that song catchy and went on to explore Of Montreal's work, I doubt that's the case. No harm no foul. Now the problem I, as music consumer and critic, do have with corporate entanglement is when the relationship megres into endorsement territory. I know that your visage might sell a few more of those soda cans, which has it's worth, but is it really worth it?


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