Monday, June 02, 2008

A manifesto I can get behind.

From the official site of The Rip Off Artists, a new band formed by Nick Pipitone and Peter Bachelder:
1. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach and John Barry are the 5 primary pop music influences.

2. Lyrics are 50% of a pop song; they should either make a philosophical point or tell a story.

3. Tambourines and shakers must be used.

4. The following words will never be used in a rhyme scheme: heart and apart; young and fun; dead and bed.

5. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus.

6. In music videos, no one will be seen playing a musical instrument.

7. No good pop song can come from jamming.

8. Illegal downloading of music is OK; failure to buy the music you love is a crime.
They have a new disc out titled Esque, that I just received and from preliminary listening, will be a top 10 contender (full review to come soon). Between the philosophy behind the manifesto, the band name, and the album title, you know where they're coming from, and that's just alright with me.


Anonymous said...

Love the list and look forward to the album.

I will somewhat disagree with #2. Lyrics simply need to NOT insult my intelligence. If the hook is there, so am I. Great lyrics to me are those that use the English language in clever and engaging ways(insert other languages as you wish) . I could care less what the song means usually as long as the lyrics sound good. Don't get me wrong, I love good topical lyrics. I just don't see plot/storyline as all that important. Two recent examples of fine power pop artists whose recent albums contained inane, even childish lyrics were Ed James (good tunes, bad, bad lyrics) and Chewy Marble (bad, bad lyrics and pretty limp tunes as well--not a good album). Like many, I am a huge Dylan and Costello fan. I love their lyrics for their imagery, phrasing, cleverness, ambiguity, etc, etc. I rarely am all that concerned about whether they tell a story. Plot, concept, etc., like smart people, are way overrated.

Jamming has its place (No Miss A/S, e.g.), but definitely not on a 3-minute miracle.

Lastly, thanks for the work you do on this blog. It is one of my three faves (Power Pop Criminals, Power Popaholic as well). A labour of love I am sure...

Anonymous said...

That about says it all. Perfect list - I think I'll make it my mantra. And I'll check out the band.