I find that sometimes I attach some sort of label to bands that I have heard about but never heard and is difficult to get over that preconception. Sometimes its the band name, sometimes it’s the album art sometimes it’s the genre they list on their myspace site (Usually its any reference to “hip hop” or “Electronica” that makes me turn and run. It says nothing to me about my life or atleast I assume it won’t), or where they are from or the first line from a pitchfork review. . Every now and again I give one of these bands a chance and am almost always surprised but sometimes i am disappointed (The Mars Volta) . A couple of recent suprises include CSS and Hot Chip.
My most recent discovery is Jamie Lidell. Discovery is really the wrong word. I’ve been reading his name on the blogosphere for years now and have always assumed the worst. His is a perfect storm of misconception. 1 he is german (i seem to not trust german artists). 2 he is often remixed. 3 his genre list includes electronica. 4 the internets love him. 5 the first line of his p-fork review has the words: "laptop artist" and "chilean techno terrorist" (granted after hearing Lidell i should have probably read the words before, in between and after those words). I figured he was some sort of electro-weird-“artsy” Kraftwerk disciple and my ever-shrinking hard drive did not have room for him so I didn't even try.
I finally searched him on hypem.com and was shocked. I could not have been more wrong. He sounds like he influenced both the Black Keys and Gnarls Barkley. I say influenced because he sounds like he wrote and recorded at Hitsville, USA back in the 60’s. Mr. Lidell is a part of the same re-eneactment school that She & Him belong to. It sounds like he strived to recreate the sound of Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay. Some bands try to emulate and hint at their influences he straight rips his off. Its no wonder he is opening for Elton John this summer.
Anyway, a mid-year resolution. Try to trust the internets MORE. If they say it is good…its worth a listen! His new album is called Jim and it is out now. Check him out on Hypem.com and skip the remixes. Also if you go as far as watching one of his videos his German-Artsy tendencies (that i expected to hear) slip into the mix.