I wince when someone attaches the word “post” to a noun. Except for maybe “apocalypse,” which is pretty clear, as there’s probably not much margin around an apocalypse.
“Post-modern” was always the one that made me want to gingerly remove my brain to give it a good shake. Of course, words evolve and take meaning having little to do with original intentions. At one point, it probably meant in the immediate aftermath of something big (i.e. post-punk, which–I think–is also kind of punk).
And once something obtains a name that satisfies those who know things we don’t, it usually sticks. Because everyone loves sounding smart.
I had a friend who was in a band called Post-Civilization. He lived in Santa Monica and did all his banking at 7-11. I found that confusing.
I say this as a bewildered man listening to lots of “post-rock,” since COVID ruined everything. I must’ve missed the meeting at which they decided on the name for exploratory instrumental music from the past 30 years using traditional rock instruments but without most vocals.
It’s often powerful, long-form, instrumentally proficient, and a mix of styles into loose forms allowing musicians to stretch their legs in ways no one caring too much about record sales can imagine.
I guess it only just dawned on me that it has a cool name.
I thought of it as “art rock,” or “mood rock,” or “rock for bands who can’t sing and have time on their hands.” Then I discovered Tortoise and called it wonderful music I avoid because my dark soul wishes bad things on drummers that much better than me.
What they call “post-rock” is really a great soundtrack of a time when everything we know is, if not upside down, seriously sideways. Even better, we seem to have time to listen, and post-rock requires time and patience. The payoff can be amazing.
Another friend, who doesn’t bank at 7-11, recently redirected me to Mogwai, in one of those amazing “I totally forgot this band existed” moments. I also just discovered that Explosions in the Sky–a band I really liked when it emerged a couple decades ago is a post-rock band. As was Godspeed You! Black Emperor–another band I found intriguing. I’m enjoying Russian Circles at the moment, which is even better than post-rock because it’s also post-metal.
I feel better now. I was either ahead of my time or really missing something–best to stop asking.
ARE WE POST-MEGAN YET? I guess not.
Someone who shall remain nameless (RIFF editor Roman Gokhman) reminded me Machine Gun Kelly was about to appear on “Saturday Night Live” and perhaps I should mention that in a column, because he allegedly makes music and we’re all about the music here at RIFF.
The last time I mentioned Mr. Gun Kelly and his girlfriend/video vixen/ the ex-wife of that guy from Beverly Hills 90666, Megan Fox, we ran photos of Ms. Fox who, as of this writing, is still way better looking than all of us. That fact alone doubled readership of this column to … seven?
After I accused the unnamed editor (Roman) of being something that rhymes with “door,” I remembered visuals matter. Which leads us to the point: finding another excuse to run a picture of Megan Fox. Machine Gun Kelly is still dating someone better looking than us.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THOSE PLANNING ON GOING TO COACHELLA: Coachella and Stagecoach have been canceled, again (and again, and again) which is great news for people previously scheduled to catch a disease in the desert this April. There’s talk both may be rescheduled come fall, but there’s been no comment from Megan Fox concerning her plans before then.
Shows can come back this year … post-COVID. Wear a mask and get your shots.
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.