Thursday, October 8, 2009

2006 : 03 "Pieces of the People We Love" by the Rapture

For a short time in the mid-Aughts, I read a blog called "Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again." I don't read that blog any longer (it's been defunct since 2006) but the phrase that the author used for his title struck me as nicely zeitgeist-y at the time, and has stuck with me as a useful little sense-making tool, one way to reveal a pattern in the ebbing and flowing of trends over the course of the decade. Viewed through its lens, the long-ago 90s began to seem like a period when "alternative" or "indie" music lost touch with the kinesthetic impulse, surrendering the domain of repetitive beats to rival genres (electronica, hip-hop). If we accept that, then the Aughts begin to seem like a period wherein indie musicians reclaimed these pleasures, all at once remembering hey, moving your body? It feels good!

As a sense-making narrative, this one, like all others, simplifies some things and leaves others out, but it's not without its share of explanatory power, helping to put early-decade developments like the "electroclash" movement and Peaches' embrace of the banging 808 into a context that also includes dance-punk acts like !!! and the Rapture.

The Rapture's most lasting contribution to this story may have come early, with the cowbell-happy "House of Jealous Lovers" (2003), but their 2006 album Pieces of the People We Love represents a very fine extension of the energies therein, and it blows off the torpor that afflicts your average hipster at least as well as any other full-length rock album from this decade.

Jeremy Bushnell

Listen: The Rapture >> "Pieces of the People We Love"

No comments: