Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 29th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I asked, 'Do you have any good stories where a cell phone or a laptop would have helped?'" Davidson, a music journalist and founder of the '90s garage-punk stalwarts the New Bomb Turks, tells Spinner. "The stories were like, 'Yeah, we had a flat tire once, and it probably would have been nice to have a cell phone.' So there wasn't as much of that in the book as I originally intended."
That's not to say technology doesn't factor into Davidson's book. 'We Never Learn' is about bands that, by and large, formed in the '80s, drew inspiration from forgotten '60s garage singles and flirted with fame in the post-grunge '90s. Their careers coincided with the sudden affordability and availability of the four-track recorder, a device that made it easier than ever before to release music.
"That changed it all," Davidson says, echoing something Oblivians and Reigning Sound singer Greg Cartwright told him in an interview for the book. "The word got out quicker. We could make a demo like that and put it out as a single."
Looking back on the four-track revolution, Davidson says it's hypocritical to slag off today's laptop savants, as many elder punks do.
"You can't really bitch about the kid that records on his laptop in the bedroom, because it's the same f---ing thing," he says. "Except the kid that records on the laptop in the bedroom can call his band, oh, I don't know, let's say Wavves, and suddenly have a 'band,' but not have any members. Nothing against the Wavves guy. He's probably a terribly nice guy."
"A lot of guys get signed now being one dude," Davidson adds. "And that's fine. More power to them. But there's something to be said for organically being out there -- even if it's just in your local town -- playing gigs with the same four, five, six people, and having to deal with their egos and having to deal with them saying, 'No, your song actually sucks. And then you build this sort of sound," he continues. "I kind of wonder about how a laptop affects that."