Friday, September 19, 2014

Sept. 19, 2014: Random Friday. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Some random thoughts on Day 45 in Flowery Branch, Georgia, exiled from Southern California.

Today, the 19th of September is day one of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It also runs tomorrow with a ton of big hitters from Iggy Azalea, Jack White, Lorde, Eminem, Greg Allman, Zac Brown Band, John Mayer, Bastille, Run DMC, Lana Del Rey, B.O.B and more. The line up is kind of all over the place. I guess you could call it eclectic or just a big mess. Whatever the case, I decided to sit this one out. I need to dip my toe into some smaller venues first and quite frankly I just don't have the energy for it. I did drop Alyssa off into the fray and she is probably loving and hating it in equal amounts. So here is some randomness.

Sugga Video : Cutty Flam (the good)

Just saw the official video for Cutty Flam's "Sugga" from the Robot Heat Album. In Cutty Flam style, the video is kind of a 50's style B Sci-Fi, Halloween, Time warp affair full of cheeky humor. The song itself has a very cool swing and I love the passages sung en Espanol. It also swaps time signatures and starts jamming pretty good. If you like do-wop indie pop punk, you should love this band.

The Eeries: "Cool Kid" (the bad)

The Eeries... have you heard about them? There has been a fair amount of hoopla associated with the Los Angeles band that has more to do with the fact that Eeries member Isaiah Silva has been engaged to Frances Bean Cobain (for several years). There are rumors that Courtney Love is a fan of the band which could either be a badge of honor or a big fat shit stain depending on how you look at it. The song "Cool Kid" is mainly what is getting most of the attention.

Is it catchy?: Temporarily YES
Is it a good song?: Not really.

The problem, for me, is this. Three seconds into this over produced derivative affair you think of so many classic indie rock bands from Everclear to Weezer to (Yes) Nirvana. And it is not like you think of them as in "inspired by" or "homage to" but instead to "ripped off" and if that is not bad enough the lyrics are vapid and sung with enough vocal performance cliches to fill up any School of Rock session. It is tired, old and frankly, just bad.

YOU Moved From California to Georgia??? (the ugly)

The entire time we have been in North Georgia one thing has been a constant (besides mosquito bites): Everyone we meet upon learning that we moved here from California asks why we moved to Georgia. Now that in and of itself is not that weird but it is the way they ask. Their eyes get large or they lean in, or like the waitress at Steak and Shake who crouched down with her arms crossed and chin  on her wrists as if she was about to hear a scary story, they all simply cannot believe that anyone would choose to move to Georgia from California. The waitress, by the way, spent most of her life on the East Coast and was super elated to speak with us. It was as if she thought we shared something in common and maybe we did. Maybe we both shared either a misconception, prejudice, or truth about Southerners (are people in Georgia really from the South?).

She turned out to be pretty funny or at least her observations were. At one point she raised her eyebrow and said in a quiet tone, "There are hillbillies out here you know." She then proceeded to let us know about the "bad" parts of North Georgia and the good parts before giving us tiny portions of food. In fact, most of the restaurants in this area give small kid sized portions of food which is ironic because in North Georgia there are some big ole boys and girls. A cursory observation suggests that people are just larger in this immediate area than the area of Southern California we used to call home, at least it seems this is the case. No science here. In the end, while I could kind of relate to this New Jersey transplant I felt like a dick for laughing inside at her high brow dismissive words of what she may (or may not) of perceived as a region of the country that is less smart and less cultured.

Perceptions, preconceived notions and prejudice can be ugly things. I fully admit that the sight of  a guy wearing a camo shirt with a big bear belly, wrap around sunglasses that have that multi-colored gasoline in water look and who speaks in a heavy southern accent is not my cup of tea. I also acknowledge that while I do run into a fair amount of those types in this area, they are not the bulk of what this slice of North Georgia is about. There is more diversity here than I imagined there would be but still, at times, I feel very much like a fish out of water and those pesky questions persist. WHY on Bloody hell Earth would you move from the sparkly clean excitement of California to the down to earth boring squalor of Georgia?? Sure, they don't say those words but that is the feeling I get when they look so damn confused. The easy short answer is: "For my job."  There may be other reasons buried in my ever imploding psyche that may run the gamut from "I got lost and ended up here" to "for survival" to "I don't know.... it just happened."

The thing is this. Those people who ask that question are working on notions of California probably garnered through the media. There is also the ever present "grass is always greener" complex. I think a lot of people end up in parts of the country or world where they didn't expect to end up because of economic reasons. Most people here could not survive two weeks in California because they could not afford it. That being said, while rents, home prices, some overall utilities and gasoline are less expensive most everything else is not. It seems like going out to eat costs more but then people have more in their pocket to spend at the end of the day and are willing to do so.

Anyway, I am rambling now. I do promise that I will try to have less ugly thoughts. Thoughts couched in prejudice and discomfort. I will even try to listen to country music....... ewww. I just got a major douche chill.

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