Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Snobs Out

Some guys from Vanity Fair, David Kamp and Steven Daly to be exact, have written a book, The Rock Snob*s Dictionary, that attempts to prick the pomposity of Rock snobs everywhere. Nerve have an interview with them, and they come across likable and fairly witty:
What's the most overused word in the rock snob's vocabulary?
There is this compulsion to describe guitar solos as "coruscating." The word "plangent" is confusing to people, because they take it as onomatopoeia. They think it means soft and chiming, but it means loud and resounding. Also, "seminal," as in the seminal band, the seminal song, which basically means any rocker who was in on a trend too early to make money.
Steven: With the book out and exposing these kinds of things, the snobs are going to be so self-conscious about using these terms, no one will be able to use them after a while. We'll have to leave them out when we update it.

They have a website, too.

I don't know, though. I'm not particularly a Rock Snob, but this whole thing just seems a bunch of over written snark collected in to a list and put out to annoy some people who must have made them feel very small indeed at some hipster party. Getting your own back on people by slagging them off to your mates is childish enough as it is. Stretching it to book length seems just, well, very sad indeed.

The entries on their site all seem well-informed (or researched; if the writers aren't recoverinbg ex-rock snobs then they must have had to read through and listen to loads of material that they really hated) but often pointlessly nasty:
Flaming Lips, the. Late-blooming Oklahoma-based rock group, around long enough to have opened for the SEMINAL ’80s hardcore and punk-pop bands Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, and the Butthole Surfers, but now at the vanguard of a widescreen-psychedelia movement that also includes Mercury Rev and the Polyphonic Spree. Gradually sloughing off their scuzz-rock origins, the Lips won minor recognition for their hit “She Don’t Use Jelly” in 1994, before hitting the Snob mother lode with their melodious quasi-concept albums The Soft Bulletin (1999) and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002), which have turned their front man, the adorable, prematurely gray Wayne Coyne, into the Justin Timberlake of the Volvo-owning set.

Maybe I'm being deliberately obtuse, but that last bit makes no sense at all.

Still it might be worth flicking through to get some recommendations. If they hate it, it should be worth tracking down.

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