Trendsetter Gambling


I’m not really cool in a traditional sense, like the Fonz. And even Seth Cohen would probably beat me up if I claimed non-traditional, ironic coolness. I just can’t pull it off. The closest I’ve come to either, anyway, was one time in 7th grade when I received a botched haircut that made me look like a retarded Beatle. So yeah – coolness has always been largely out of reach for yours truly. That doesn’t mean I’ve ever given up…

Black Kids, a band I shouldn’t like but, well, do, recently released their first LP Partie Traumatic and have their single I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You featured on the American Teen (more on this one soon) soundtrack. Rolling Stone declared them last November a “band to watch” in 2008. I would agree. “Wow,” you say to your friend or co-worker, “another endorsement for some obscure band that will more than likely stay obscure. Why did you send me to this kid’s blog again?” Then you click on Perez Hilton to restore your faith in the blogging community. It’s true – I have nothing new to offer here in the way of music promotion. If you’ve read all 13 (!) posts on this site or know anything about me, you’ve already figured out that my cultural receptors very rarely pull in anything that isn’t film or television related. Black Kids have already received their share of viral recommendations, anyway. Another from me is just white noise.

That’s not why I’m writing this post, though. Yeah, I like the band; yeah, I like their songs. Who cares? What matters here is the residual coolness I collect if they take off in any mainstream way. Back in October I downloaded their EP Wizard of Ahhs and gave it the biggest audience I knew, 6 AM practice with the Columbia men’s swim team. A few guys didn’t hate it. More importantly, it was one of the few times in my life where I’ve stumbled onto a new creative venture at its humble beginnings. I can count them on one hand:

1) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Long before Jack Skellington & Co. started plastering pseudo-goth kids’ backpacks and (darkly poetic) bedspreads, this was the coolest Disney film ever made and the reason my cousin Leidy cried at Thanksgiving 1993. I saw this opening day, drunk in love with the clay animation and funky soundtrack. It took everyone else ten years. Pwned.

2) Harry Potter

I’m not kidding. Ever the Anglophile, my mom heard about some fruity little wizard book in the fall of ’98 while perusing one of her British news sources. Revisionist history will tell you Harry Potter was always a big hit in the states, but the truth is the series didn’t explode into the “Potter-mania” of recent years until The Goblet of Fire was released in July 2000. I was already wearing Gryffindor colors for nearly two years. Double pwned.

… That’s it, though – two gold medals in my pop culture trophy case. Having so rarely been ahead of the curve on anything, snagging number three from Black Kids’ success (all I’m asking for is moderate popularity, people) would mean the world. I’m rolling the dice in their direction. Can they take off the way I’m betting they can? Will they make me cool? Flap your angel wings and believe, readers.

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13 Responses to “Trendsetter Gambling”

  1. tobin Says:

    Check out the Twelve’s remix of boyfriend:

    I like it better.

  2. kishori Says:

    listening to their songs and liking it. also, way to use “pwned” with gusto.

  3. heather Says:

    I’m pretty sure celebrating your own brief moments of coolness negates any coolness you may have once earned. So I’d say you’re back to zero…just a heads up.

  4. Henning Says:

    So coolness is like a birthday wish? You’ve got to keep it to yourself in order for it to come true? That sucks.

  5. Mimi Says:

    Nightmare Before Christmas is awesome. I still have it on VHS somewhere at home.

    I never really caught onto the Black Kids, though. I went to their concert to see the opening act (Chairlift), and then left before they came on. “I’m Not Gonna Teach” is catchy song, but I prefer the Kate Nash cover of it.

  6. Henning Says:

    AND it was recently re-released on DVD with all new special features. Economy and common sense be damned – head to your local video store today!

    I admit, “I’m Not Gonna Teach” is really the only Black Kids song I’m into (though “Hit The Heartbreaks” isn’t bad, either). Just a sucker for feeling like I’ve “found” something, however minor. I’ll have to check out the Kate Nash cover.

  7. BDA: Austin City Limits, for the Musically Challenged (10/8-10/10) « Lifting Fog Says:

    […] Music trends are not something I can even pretend to know anything about. One time I tried to like Black Kids (the band! The band!); ten years after “What’s My Age Again?” I still sometimes […]

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