Sunday, March 19, 2006Lost In Time
Stellastarr*, eh? Flavour of the month in 2003, had the Killers as support in 2004, hibernated for most of 2005, and in 2006 they released their second album, Harmonies For the Haunted, in Britain, 5 months after its release in North America. The Stellastarr* case is a fine example of just how awful Sony are at their job. The 5 month release delay, the sales/computer crippling copy-protection, the lack of marketing spend - has all been detrimental to Stellastarr*'s success. But this also shows clearly the fickleness of the UK indie music market - one need only look at NME's Top 50 album lists from 2002 or 2003 to see how many of these bands have gone out of vogue, whose sales have dwindled having failed to generate the same neccessary level of hype second time round.
When I saw Stellastarr* at King's College London two weeks ago I was very aware of their attempts to make it a "rock" set, to be a "rock" band, to be exciting and appeal to the fickle London teens. It felt dishonest and try-hard, and they didn't look like they were enjoying it too much. At the same time it worked - beers were thrown, crowds were surfed, stages were dived, old men felt up my female friends, fat girls grabbed for Shawn's crotch. Despotic! Once it was over I felt sad. I felt like a small part of my last two years had disappeared. You see - in 2004 I met the band at a Raveonettes aftershow party and my flatmate and I ended up going on tour with them, sleeping on the cream leather seats of their tour bus, eating stale sandwiches from the rider in Portsmouth, watching DVDs at night, shit 80s clubs in Bristol, hanging out with The Killers (Brandon is such a dullard, by the way)...when you're 18 years old, it seemed like the coolest thing ever (I still think it is - no music experience I may have will ever top that!). So I have this soft spot for Stellastarr* which will never really grow cold. But I think it's time to stop going to their gigs so that my memories of them and that formative time remain positive. And, for the record, their new album is good, no matter what NME say!
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