Hey everyone, it’s been a while since we’ve discussed a hilariously dorky, minutia-obsessed, Beatles-related issue. Let’s do this!
This is something I used to think about a lot more, for lack of better things to do with my life. But I still think it’s an interesting idea. So much Beatlesque music lazily relies on the same old chord changes, guitar and vocal licks, etc. to elicit a Pavlovian reaction from the fanboys. But who best took the music to new places, to try and express new things? Who was most fearless in their ability to fuck with the form that the Fab Four gave us? I say XTC, specifically Andy Partridge. While I’ve moved on from this band in some ways, I’ll defend their whole catalog to my dying day. I remember an old website, SonicNet.com, where artists programmed streaming radio “stations.” Partridge’s was by far my favorite: Plenty of ’60s psych and pop, yes, but also Charlie Parker, Phillip Glass, and Captain Beefheart. And it all made sense, you could hear how all the artists had informed his sensibilities.
Yes, the band has a slightly scary fanbase, but if you doth protest too much you may need to look in a mirror sometime. Plus, you can’t spend your life following bands who only attract young, good-looking crowds. That way lies madness, and some other maladies I can think of.
In second place for pushing the Beatles’ sound forward, I put Big Star, who upped the anty for bad vibes and emotional intensity.