‘are you scared to tell somebody how you feel about somebody’

Alabama Shakes – Alabama Shakes EP
(self-released, 2011)

Flavorwire published a piece on The 10 Things That Are Killing Indie Music in 2011 today and I have to say I think it was a pretty shitty article from a site I look forward to visiting every day.  Not only did they jump on the ‘Lana Del Ray hater‘ bandwagon without so much as mentioning her music, they also listed ‘revivalism‘ as one of the contributing factors.  I call bullshit.  Revivalism, when done right, can be a great thing.  Take Alabama Shakes (formally just The Shakes) for instance.  Sure, they are mining 60’s and 70’s soul classics for inspiration and sure, it’s going to be hard to talk about Brittany Howard without referencing Aretha Franklin and fellow-revivalist Sharon Jones, but does that make this any less important?  Let’s be honest, ‘indie music‘ is a dead term…and even if it wasn’t, where would music be if modern, young acts didn’t look to the past for inspiration?  As long as they bring something new to the table, I say bring it on.  The four songs on this EP represent a hardworking band with a bright future — so fork out $4, pour yourself a beer and a shot of whiskey, and raise ’em up to that bright future and the great performers of the past who made it possible!

  4 comments for “‘are you scared to tell somebody how you feel about somebody’

  1. September 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Hey, I’m the writer of the Flavorwire article you mention, and curiously enough, I saw Alabama Shakes over the weekend in Nashville. They were absolutely fantastic – I bought their CD and have been playing it to anyone who’ll listen.

    For what it’s worth, I think there’s a big difference between looking to the past as inspiration to create something new and exciting (as I noted in the article) and simply creating dull facsimiles of what’s gone before. As you say, “if they bring something new to the table, bring it on” – I agree totally. But some bands do, and some bands don’t. Alabama Shakes most definitely do, and I really hope they find the success they deserve.

    Thanks for taking the time to read, anyway.

    • September 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Thanks for reading Tom. Can’t wait to catch Alabama Shakes when they come through town! I imagine their sound is even better in live setting.

      Sorry for calling your article shitty. That wasn’t fair. It was a well written piece, I just don’t agree with a lot of the content and the Lana Del Ray bashing. I still think she’s got a lot to prove and the hype around 2 songs and a video is a bit much, but I feel the judgement has been way too harsh based on her looks and the fact that she obviously has a good marketing team.

      • October 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

        Hey, no problems. Vive la difference, and all that – and I know it’s a subject that gets people animated. But thanks, regardless.

        I do agree people have definitely been harsh on Lana del Rey, but it’s kinda tough to see someone getting so much hype on the basis of two songs and a makeover when there are so many great bands toiling in (relative) obscurity. I have nothing against her personally, though – I perhaps could have made that a little clearer, on reflection.

        And yeah, Alabama Shakes are *amazing* live. Brittany Howard’s a hell of a performer, and her voice is just as good live as it is on record. She rips out some killer guitar solos, too 🙂

  2. Megan
    September 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for writing about them. They will be perfect for todays road trip to Portland. Keep em coming!!

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