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Moondog Free Press Blog: Pop Will Eat Itself or Eulogy for Starwood

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pop Will Eat Itself or Eulogy for Starwood

By E.G. Turpin for Moondog Free Press

Several years ago, when I was in college, there was a trendy little ensemble oh so cleverly named Pop Will Eat Itself. I loved saying the name even more than the few songs I had heard by the group. Back in 1995,I was excited at the prospect of seeing those crazy guys right here in Murfreesboro, but alas, I fell asleep watching NIN after becoming so disappointed that Pop Will Eat Itself was a no-show for the evening.

Yes, that's right, the perpetual sawing, grinding and screaming of Nine Inch Nails put me right to sleep. Even the oooh so gruesome, so apalling, creepily sped up grainy film footage of maggots feasting on dead rabbits couldn't keep me interested in Trent Reznor's little ego trip. I just wanted to see Pop Eat Itself, not maggots eat bunnies!

Well, as it turned out, I have watched pop eat itself. Once the recording industry started actually counting what was really being sold, it became apparent that “indie” was big, and that rap was not really crap after all. The industry diversified and exploded. And here we are in the age of American Idol and I-tunes. Did you just hear a great song on a luxury sedan commercial? Go download it. In your underwear. Am I the only one who feels hugely uncool when I hear new songs on commercials? But hearing a pop tune already gathering dust in my collection, carefully selected by hip ad execs -- ah yes, “you restoreth my soul. You leadeth me to Starbucks drive thru.” Which brings me to Starwood.

I spent many a starry night on the lawn at Starwood. It really was a nice place to go to a show. Nice like sneaking a pint of Jim Beam in the small of my back, puking during “Sweet Child of Mine” and then rallying to rush the stage for “Back in the Saddle Again.” Nice like the Smokin' Grooves tour featuring The Fugees, Pharcyde, and *cough cough* Cypress Hill. Nice like fighting for my right to party with the Beastie Boys and watching Run rock rhymes. Like Bob Dylan not speaking a word to the audience. Like Sting not shutting up. Nice like giggling at Spinal Tap with Dr. Moondog. But the days of paying a reasonable sum to see a couple of bands play on a summer night seem to be over. Oh I'm old and I'm sure there are hot spots and cool bars, just like always. But going to the GEC/Sommet sucks. And as I write this parents are paying hundreds of dollars for their daughters to see Hannah Montana. What is wrong here?

Pop music is everywhere. It has gotten to the point that I enjoy it when a store manager has forgotten to turn on the ubiquitous shopping soundtrack. I knew things had gotten out of hand when I was gleefully whistling pushing my shopping cart with a perky wifey gait as Green Day filled the aisles of Kroger. WTF? What has this world come to? What's next? Maybe a little Holiday in Cambodia at the dentist's office? How about some 2 live crew at the DMV? “Hey hey we want some (expletive deleted).

My girl friend and I escaped our housewife drudgery one afternoon to have a few beers. feeling a little crazy, we went to a local dive, as opposed to having apple tini's at O'Charley's – how predictable is that?! What should play on the jukebox, as Mexicans shoot pool and blood shot house framers down shots quietly and anonymously at the bar, why the old Red Hot Chili Pepper's standard, “I want to party on your pussy.”
Hmmm, even we blushed, downed our beers and made quiet retreats into the bright sunlight. I am confused. What goes where?

The last time I visited my old friend, the also now deceased Tower Records, I was stunned and apalled that I, at age 39, was practically the youngest person in there. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, $20 Compact Disc, it tolls for thee . . .

Where were all the skinny, bespeckled guys with their sonic youth tee shirts? What happened to all the temporary lesbians periodically checking to see who was checking if they were holding hands with their girlfriends? Replaced with middle aged fat guys in the jazz section, or gasp, vocalists. Oh, and me, actually reading the backs of rap cds and checking the X section. X, XTC, Yello, . . . yup, Warren Zevon, ZZ Top. We're done here.


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