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HELMET- Born annoying, b/w Rumble 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile Records, USA, 1989)

Putting the record straight: As some may have seen, a little controversy had arisen in the past few weeks. Nothing serious and nothing too important, just the usual squabbling that is oh-so common in certain subcultures. Some guy asked me to exchange links. I lookd at his blog and didn’t like it. First off, I have a different point of view when it comes to the how-abouts of music blogging. My own feelings towards blogging and the download mentality that often comes along with it are a bit confused. This mentality has practically ruined the music business (and the “business”) and is currently resulting in a rather flat and dull perception of music. As much as I love the possibilities of today’s technology, as much I’m convinced that we all have not yet found a proper way of making good use of it. I could write more about this, but that’s not really the point here. The point is that I don’t find the idea of what I call consumerist blogs too convincing. Said blog was not exactly one of these pitiful full-download-of-everything battlefields, but still not my cup of tea. The other point was that he had used some rips that I made for this blog. Of course, you can’t stop anybody from doing so; after all, it’s not my music (well, I could say that in the case of DAMAGE, I got permission for the use of the complete material recorded from the band directly – but that’s not really my point. It’s about music finding people who enjoy it and not only those who would just fill up their harddrives with music they will never even have the chance of carefully listening to when all they do is download and download). And yeah, fuck it, if people use my rips and use them without any sort of credit, I think that says a lot about them and those downloaders who wouldn’t care about such aspects of music. You have to be realistic – nobody can change this. These people have always been the vast majority. I did however understand that the blog guy used some of my rips without knowing that they were mine – fair enough, that happens.

I receive link requests four or five times a week. Would I exchange links with everybody, I’d have an endless list of links. And you know it: These link-cemetaries are completely use- and meaningless. Whatever I link, I link with a certain respect. That makes every link worthwhile in my eyes. So guess what happens in such a situation with a link request like the one I’m talking about here: I’d turn it down for many good reasons.
That guy from said blog could just have accepted my decision. The seting was clear and easy: He wanted something from me and used my work and not the other way round. I didn’t ask him to leave asskissing comments as he did on goodbadmusic, but that’s what he did. I knew what would come next: Of course, as it goes with some people, frustration arose on his side. He wanted my attention and he didn’t get it, so it went on as it always does: It ended up with some harsh words on his blog, telling me to “fuck off” etc. – as if I had wanted something from him. Sure, this is rather funny a behaviour since the pièce de resistance is a bit of music and some link he didn’t get, all requests from one side and a totally indifferent other side (which would be mine). But some people, however old they may be, can not take no for an answer. So they do what little they can. I had tears in my eyes from laughing when I read that little “fuck off” piece. So little self-esteem, that must be a tough life. But let’s not give them too much attention; after all, that’s what probably had spoiled the kid in the first place.

So once and for all: I decide whether I exchange a link or not. I think (without having talked to him about this) Peter from KBD has the same policy – just look at his link list. It’s short and it’s great. Mine’s a bit longer but it won’t be an endless blogroll of these very important people out there. I’m sure that there are many, many other great and greater blogs around there that I haven’t even seen, but if one of them wants to me to put up a link, I will of course not say no. It’s just a certain type of people (and believe me, I’ve seen plenty of them in the past years) that I can do without. They do their thing for a shot while and then disappear from the radars. You will see.

helmet_fronthelmet_backSo what could be better now than the first HELMET single (“Born annoying”, you know). I’ve never been a lover of the noise rock thing and in fact, when in 89/90 the whole noise rock & Nirvana wave came along and drowned the 80s for good, I learned to seriously detest these scenes. Not the music or the musicians – the trendyness put me off. Maybe I never understood what they wanted and never really felt the “noise” in noise rock, but it sure was something new and fresh in a way. And soon it had become just another fad, but by then, I had grown too old to get the bug from yet another one. For good reason as it seems, I kept the first few HELMET records and when I digitized this, I enjoyed it a lot. Massive power and that, to my ears, kinda annoying rhythm section (yes, I’m a rocker, I confess). Nothing HELMET ever did seems to be as great as the song “Sinatra” on the first LP, but this is neat too! Enjoy.

Born annoying.mp3