1. Thursday, October 9, 2008

    on mimicking, being inspired by, and/or ripping off people’s styles 

    by nature, humans learn by mimicking others. usually elders. its how we learn how to speak, its how we learn to dance, it’s how we learn to rock.

    i have influences that im proud to wear on my sleeve: bukowski, hemingway, ee, royko, raymi, the daily nexus, ronald sukenick, warhol, ice cube.

    what amazes me is when people are inspired by people who they know are horrible. people who they know history will not look at them positively.

    for example, how is it that so many bands today sound like Panic at the Disco who in turn sound like a lamer version of Fall Out Boy? do you think that thats why the Lord invented the electric guitar – so you could whine over horrible music?

    if youre going to ripoff someone, what about actual bands like Nirvana, Zeppelin, Motorhead, the Clash?

    Rancid sold out a weeks worth of shows here in LA based on music heavilly influenced by the Clash. they took that music and style to a slightly different place, but whats key is it started in a Good place.

    when you copy lame ass effers youre starting in a horrible place and even if you can take that to a higher level youre still not anywhere.

    the level higher than crap is crud. which is where Panic is, which is where lots of music, writing, movies, and bloggers are.

    its been 40 years since hendrix. where are todays new guitar heroes? dont say tom morello because thats a band that started over 15 years ago. that aint new.

    im talking about you. what are you doing to be the next kurt in your own world? what are you doing to raise the bar – to be better than what was already great. not better than mediocre, but better than great?

    during the dawn of Grunge there were a few bands that sounded like Nirvana or tried to sound like Nirvana but not as many as you’d think. most of copy catters were trying to sound like Pearl Jam or Phish.

    aim high, slackers. its ok to be inspired and to mimic, but ask yourself am i really being inspired by the best or some faker who’s actually full of crap.

    in blogging there are two people who i admire an awful lot, raymi and jen chung. to me they are the tops in their field in personal and pro blogging, respectfully. they’re constantly blogging, they’re constantly doling out info, they’re constantly letting you in on their worlds which happen to be in the largest city in canada and the largest in america.

    they are detailed and furious and fast and right on the money. they have no peers.

    it makes me happy when i see so many blogs that are clearly inspired by raymi. people call me the blogfather, but i bet you there are far more blogs that look and sound like raymi than look and sound like the busblog.

    likewise im baffled by how few pro or semi-pro bloggers do not attempt to do what jen does, which is uber-blogging. hundreds of posts a month. several sources. seven days a week. borderline obsessive. but straight up genius. posts that are so condensed and meaty that once you read her take on something you pretty much dont need to read any thing else – youve got it and you have all the links to support her thesis right there in the post.

    people get confused and think that is simply lots of posts, but no, every line matters, every link has juice in it. mark lisanti when he was at defamer was like that. and very few mimicked him very well either. instead they ripped off the lesser gawker hacks instead of focusing on the real deals like ana marie, ken layne, and choire.

    maybe people feel like they cant paint like michelangelo so they dont even try. and instead they try to paint like someone lesser. i say try. i say try and try. then i say try to find what little part in yr heroes seems most like you. forget about the superpowers you admire, think about the subtleties.

    what people overlook with rancid is what they overlooked in the clash. they saw the punk on top and the reggae underneath but they missed out on the tenderness. thats where the magic of both of those bands live, and their secret power.

    plug in, stomp down on the distortion pedal of life, and rock.

    stop doing all that crap that the fakers are faking with. its annoying.