Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FTT Off-Topic: Everyday Sunshine

The World's Best Unknown Band
If you've never heard Fishbone, you missed the best band in the world that never was. And now you can see the best doc- umentary that ever was about them. On Netflix Instant, too.

This was a ground-breaking band; organic and democratic and a marriage of punk, metal, ska and high craziness. The stage presence was unreal, the albums erratic, and the critical and industry love was off the charts... but when the fame and money didn't match the work, things fell apart. The band is still kind grinding it out, believing in the mission and music... but to sad little crowds, for indifferent labels, and living hand to mouth.

How messed up is this? A band member starts to go nuts from a religious cult. The band tries to get him back, and it goes all the way to a felony kidnapping case. No, seriously. The lead singer gets his hands on a theremin and drives everyone nuts with it. Happy music more or less goes out the window after the Rodney King riots. And as bad as it gets, as criminally under-appreciated as these guys were -- and by the way, I am just a middling fan -- the decisions never get better. These guys just can't get out of their own way, and it's downright tragic. It really is.

And maybe, like Frank Zappa before them, this kind of music was never supposed to make real bank, be supported by major corporations, get mainstream radio play. True art and true money don't mix, punk doesn't work as an ethos after 25 years in the same old rooms, and working in an industry were everyone who looks up to you made a lot more money... that's all messed up. And oddly beautiful, and great.

Anyway, give it a spin. Spend some time with some geniuses.  And walk through the pain.

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