The Yeahs have done a number of things to me, namely, forced me to regress into a bumbling, blushing, giddy little preteen fan all over again and, awkwardly, question my heterosexuality. It's a love/hate thing between the Yeahs and me. Isn't that the way it always is in obsessive, dysfunctional love relationships, especially when one party doesn't actually know the relationship exists? There's just so much lunatic jealousy, which in itself is love and hate, and I dunno if I want to be them or be with them, and it scares me. Do you see what I've been reduced to? Fight it all you want Miss Tatone, you're in love L-U-V! And with three people at once no less!
Damn it, I am a music critic!
No fawning over bands allowed! Leave that for the common folk. We critics are above that, we know not to lift up artists to ridiculous statures. Not to view them as if they were beyond human, as if they were to live forever as gods and goddesses. No! They are regular people too, we know this, because we analyze them to death, and sometimes bring them to their knees see, we say, they are mortal after all! We know something the ignorant masses do not we do not drool or scream over bands. We place ourselves on an equal footing with the artists we write about, insiders if you will, and scoff at silly fans as they idolize away. Damn you Karen O. Damn you Nick Zinner. Damn you Brian Chase. You've made me a fan again.
And now I have to share you with the rest of the world too?! Damn, damn, damn. I always let the good ones slip away, and right to the top they go. It's better to have loved and lost than to... oh bullshit. Don't try to make me feel better, 'cause it didn't work with The Strokes either. All together now, you ignorant hipster underground loyalists one, two, three, roll your eyes at the mention of the over-hyped Strokes. I don't care, I loved them too (no shame) and they, too, left me for the pages of Rolling Stone,
whose cover the Yeahs will no doubt soon grace and that, again, I love and hate. Happy for the band I love, angry that I'll soon not be any different from the rest of their screaming fans. Aren't the ways in which we get possessive over the bands we love strange? And, you know, so similar to the stalker/groupie types that I am most certainly NOT! Do you see what I've been reduced to here?
Now, let me count the ways in which they've made me a shriveling fool with a crush the size of Texas. First and foremost, they made me forget. Forget the little details. Forget how to pick them apart. Forget how to judge, analyze and critique. Forget to think
about the music and remember how to feel it. Which is exactly why I'm not going to sit here and tell you about the astounding songwriting or incredible playing and break it all down for you [note: if you're interested in some of that, head over to Neumu editor Michael Goldberg's column, "The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Perfect Album"
. The band found something inside and then found out how to cut it free that's what matters. That's when all the honesty and emotion pour out the sort of spirit humans connect to and love, and this is why they are so great. Lots of artists find it. But being able to let it go? That's reserved for the good ones, like the Yeahs.
Growing up, I fell for bands like Nirvana and Jane's Addiction and their respective male leads; getting weak in the knees over the frontmen felt normal (though Perry's sexuality was questionable). But now I'm fawning over a girl and I'm enamored, and so what, OK? So, what. It's a little weird, sure, but Karen O's so irresistibly sexy that it reaches way, way beyond sexual preference. Not 'cause of her wild, designer clothes, her moaning and panting or onstage thrusting and shaking. No, the sexiness she communicates isn't superficial, it comes from within from that very same inexplicable place powerful music comes from. It's either there or it isn't. And if it is you just gotta find a way to let it out. I doubt she even had to try, dunno that she ever had walls up in her body to begin with, but if she did they've been, like the Berlin Wall, thrashed to the ground she's not holding back a goddamn thing. O's seductive, cooing/shrieking contributions to the power of the Yeahs are immense, but they are no bigger than those of guitarist Zinner or drummer Chase. She'll be the center of the media's attention, the apple of their ever-widening eye, but once you hear the Yeahs' music you'll realize none of them could do it alone, that there's a powerful chemistry in their togetherness. See, now, there's no need for jealousy here, I love each of you the same. See how I've turned it around on y'all? Oh, the joys of screwy, manipulative relationships so what if this one's just pretend? I love this band and one day they will return my love I just know it.
This just ain't right. I don't even think I know who I am anymore. Still, it's kind of fun to feel 15 again oh Karen I mean Kurt! I love you.