Reading music news this morning, I stumbled across an article about the latest supergroup that’s about to hit the airwaves for aural consumption.
It is to be called Tinted Windows and is said to feature James Iha (of The Smashing Pumpkins), Bun E. Carlos (of Cheap Trick), Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne) . . . and Taylor Hanson (I think this one is self-explanatory).
To be completely fair to these dudes, they haven’t played their first gig yet (March 20, SXSW), but I fully admit I found it bizarre since:
1) Basing a supergroup around the lead singer of Hanson seems kind of strange.
2) Supergroups are notoriously sucky.
Look, I know there are some exceptions to this rule (I think Cream, Led Zeppelin and A Perfect Circle deserve a bit of a pass) but there have just been so many failures.
The Traveling Wilburies. The Firm. Bad Company. Wings. New Edition. Lucy Pearl*. The Transplants. Audioslave. Velvet Revolver. Zwan. Damn Yankees**.
I’m not saying there will never be a good supergroup because I understand the fluidity of musical partnership and just wanting to jam and try something new. However, something about supergroups leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I mean can you even reference the last supergroup project that wasn’t exceptionally overhyped/a total flash in the pain/orchestrated by a record label as a multi-promotional tool/an obvious vanity project by the lead singer?
I think perhaps it’s the idea that nostalgia has become something that’s treated like a viable currency in the creative marketplace lately. Everyone’s looking for the next big thing, so they figure there’s fertile ground in mining the memories of 20 and 30s somethings with disposable income. After all, if you liked one of the artists previous albums, then you should like this, right?
Of course I can’t speak for everyone in my age group (and nor would I want to) but as for me, I don’t like the fond feelings I have for the things I grew up with being soiled by someone trying to stick their hand in my pocket.
So go ahead and prove me wrong guys, but right now, I’m looking at what you’re selling and I’m not buying it.
*I fully admit I bought the Lucy Pearl self-titled disk when I was in high school because I found that Dance Tonight song semi-catchy and because I loved seeing the vein in my mom’s forehead throb whenever the girl would sing the line “Right there, I see you lookin’, sure hope that you’re not tooken.”
** Patton Oswalt does a hysterical bit about ’80s Metal which references this group. If you haven’t heard it, it’s NSFW but it is incredibly funny and can be listened to here.