Maybe I'm not old. This is young persons' music and I'm excited. Can I remember the last time I got this excited about hearing something new? Well, when I was sixteen I heard for the first time The Great Milenko by Insane Clown Posse. Later that day I went to my first big concert -The Prodigy (supported by Foo Fighters, a shit band)- but the most memorable thing on that great day was the feeling of epiphany experienced when Hocus Pocus dropped. And when I was a teenager, excited by new music there was One Hot Minute (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Antichrist Superstar & Portrait of an American Family (Marilyn Manson), Astro Creep 2000 (White Zombie), The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails), The Great Southern Trendkill (Pantera), Experience, Music for the Jilted Generation & Fat of the Land (Prodigy), The Great Milenko & Riddlebox (ICP), and Mostasteless (Twiztid) to incite new feelings. Teenage feelings. Confused, excited, nonspecific minor rebellious energy.
Yesterday -keeping on top of the washing up while cooking roast sea bass and fennel with new potatoes for my fiancee, drinking bottled Original Guinness, a thirty year old man with unfulfilled dreams of being a rock star, a rapper, an artist, a writer- I listened to two albums by a new band. $O$ and TEN$ION by South African hip-hop/rave trio Die Antwoord. And amongst the trappings of approaching middle age, came the aggressive, beautiful reminder that I am alive, imaginative, and with the rest of my life ahead of me. Teenage feelings. An assumption that things will end up fine. Idyllic ambition and nihilistic positivity. Perfection. Stupidity, shouting, violence, fucking, electric noise, shouting, fucking stupid fucking funnydumbshit. Imagination; the spider squashed and flicked away. The note pad, typewriter, paint brush, spray can, camera, pen, pencil, pulled in toward me, embraced, picked up and used again.
I watched video's on YouTube. Never mind being pro-active. Watching music videos is the shit bitch. Die Antwoord's videos have all the elements of every music video I ever loved. Take any music video from any song off any of the albums I listed in the first paragraph and you will see similarities with any Die Antwoord video. Arty pretension resulting in aesthetically beautiful ugliness, smashing, bleeding, tattooed bodies. Unfettered creativity. Fuck, I'm glad there is new music that can still make me feel like a kid. Remind me to keep experimenting, growing without growing old, changing, moving, being inspired, being unoriginal again and again until one day maybe accidentally stumbling over originality.
All the bands I once loved, that I listed above, have all burnt out long ago – nothing good from any of them in over ten years. These things happen. In the case of Insane Clown Posse, there once complex and original music (supplied by producer Mike E. Clark) has been ditched, their playful cartoon rap-shouting has been replaced with witless self-conscious attempts to be 'serious' artists with pathetic results. I was once proud to be an ICP fan – now the embarrassment is palpable, painful. Die Atwoord exhibit the perfectly produced, aggressive, stupid fun that I once got from ICP & Twiztid. Maybe I haven't grown up... just sideways.