Tuesday, January 27, 2009
India to the Black Lips: You Suck!
It seems the Black Lips have learned from the people of India what the critics in the United States didn't have the spine to tell them: they are an irritating, unimaginative bunch of shysters who should have stuck to playing Ramones covers at frat parties. Though the original story of their abandoned tour of India was greatly exaggerated on the band's blog (it involved police chases and sneaking across state lines), what we do know is that the group was indeed pelted with plastic bottles and booed off-stage at their opening gig headlining a battle of the bands in Chennai, and the promoter subsequently pulled the plug on the remainder of the tour.
The Lips, now in Germany recording a new album, describe the fiasco as "a cultural-clashing shitstorm." Of course, they fail to mention that the crowd didn't feel the need to hurl projectiles at the several punk and metal acts who went on before them. India is known for having a thriving underground rock scene. Might it have been that the audience just thought the Black Lips suck?
To this writer, that seems the most obvious answer. Not some kind of Kipling-esque "clash of cultures." The Lips' explanation amounts to the arrogant posturing of a pith-helmeted explorer armed with an iPod full of Nickelback going to "civilize the brown people with our freedom-loving rock 'n' roll."
If it's any kind of omen, then there will hopefully be more of these responses to the Black Lips, a group whose break-out was due solely to the fact that there was very little else happening in indie-rock. Their entire attitude communicates as much: an insipid, insulting, pompous sneer that reads "I can't believe we made it this far by producing such heartless crap." The fans in India weren't chucking bottles because they didn't understand the Black Lips; they were doing themselves a favor.