All the year-end music wrap-ups seem to be suggesting that Vampire Weekend, Santogold, Adele, TV on the Radio, Coldplay, Duffy, Goldfrapp, Fleet Foxes, Kanye West, The Kills, The Ting Tings, M83, and Lil Wayne are all geniuses. I just spent some time sampling these wares on iTunes and I find it all incredibly dull because — and here’s my combination confession and complaint — it’s all so incredibly derivative. Why would I buy Fleet Foxes when I already have Buffalo Springfield, Duffy w.i.a.h. Dusty Springfield, the Ting Tings w.i.a.h. Ladytron and the Human League and Heaven 17 and a zillion other eurotrash two-hit wonders, Kanye West w.i.a.h. Gang Starr, The Kills w.i.a.h. Opal and Suicide . . . .
That’s the complaint part, but here’s the confession: When I was freaking out about the Smashing Pumpkins in 1991, there must have been some smug 40-year old bastard writing on his blog (which were called “alternative newspapers” back then) about how he didn’t see any reason to buy Gish when his Houses of the Holy LP still played just fine.
So viva la change. I guess I’m nearing pop music tenure. I even bought the new Portishead this year, only to be irritated that it wasn’t the old Portishead. Which way to that grove where the elephants lie down to die.