August 16, 2004



Since s/fj's editor is on some Wilsonian production schedule now, Joe Gross is stepping in with a bite-size theory that will shake your cubicle like Charley and make you throw your shacket high in the air like you just got hitched to an heiress.

Joe Gross:

"So, I had to see Boston for work on Friday, and I had something of a revelation while watching them.

Shellac and Boston are pretty much the same band, to the point where I can't imagine I'm the first person to notice this.

Both are obsessed to the point of mania with sonic perfection (as they understand it) whilst recording albums. Because of said mania, records (and indeed, the band itself) seem to appear on project-to-project basis, often with years between albums.

Both have a dominant personality at their center that the public perceive as the leader/aesthetic figurehead. (In Boston's case, everyone in the band openly acknowledges this. Shellac goes out of its way to deny this, insisting the band is a group effort; nevertheless, the public perception remains.)

Both band's figureheads have outside jobs that involve engineering (Albini's studio and production work; Scholz's patents).

Both assemble the band when they feel like it, tour when they feel like, almost on an ad hoc basis.

Both have a strict moral code when it comes to the presentation of their respective bands, steadfastly ignoring the rules of modern rock/pop, that demand one focus on the music rather than the image, which in turn crates its own anti-image.  

Both play through custom built amps their tech-head leader designed and built to exacting specs (or, in Shellac's case, just look like they do.)

Because of their devotion to sonic perfection, the songs end up being this strange abstraction of rock music, as much about the state of rocking as actual rock.

With occasional exceptions, both have a very male fanbase, to the point that the band playing with a woman in its ranks is cause for note and possible concern from the hardercore, more misogynist fans. (Shellac has never had this problem, but in Boston's case, there is an actual woman bass player now, and man, to read some of the 238 reviews on Amazon of the band's last album, some of those male fans are none too happy.)"

Posted by Sasha at August 16, 2004 02:07 PM | TrackBack