Welcome to julietteandthelicks.com
This is the official website of the band Juliette and the Licks
As you can tell by our name, we are a very postmodern band with a tremendous emphasis on feminist postmodern rock.
Now, please forgive the labels because you’ve probably have heard those labels before and you probably have rolled your eyes. It seems that a lot of rock acts who feel that they have to classify, categorize or otherwise academically explain their music, have a reputation for not being all that good.
Well, we beg to differ. After all, a lot of rock acts that seemed speculative, theoretical or even experimental have gone on to become quite a name for themselves. We’re not just talking about commercial success, we’re not just talking about dollars and cents, we’re also talking about contributing quite a bit to the cultural landscape of the United States and elsewhere.
If you need a good example of this, just look up the Talking Heads. When David Byrne and the other members of the Talking Heads got together, they were art students. They didn’t really play instruments all that well, except for a couple of members. But by and large, they basically had all these ideas regarding what music should be like and how people should enjoy music and the kind of ideas great music brings to the table.
Well, after some experimentation, the Talking Heads was formed, and it really came of age at the right time. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I bring up this point because Juliette and the Licks really began with ideas. We had a lot of things that we were talking about and thinking about regarding music.
And it’s funny how it all began because it’s kind of like a group of friends getting together to complain about how modern music sucked. And if you’ve ever hung out with your friends and talked about your musical tastes, I have a strong suspicion that you have had these types of conversations.
In fact, they are quite common because, let’s face it, maybe due to the way the music industry works, or perhaps reflecting the technical limitations of music distribution, modern music is not as good as we think it should be.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re old fogeys. It’s not like we were in the 1950’s and we have this tremendous reservoir of lived experience to compare modern music to, but, you know, just like with anything else in life, you are entitled to your opinion.
You are entitled to thinking what is good and what isn’t. And I’m sorry to report that a lot of modern music simply plain suck.
And I remember getting together with my friends and basically just bitching about the old usual suspects of why modern music sucks. It really helps, if you’re complaining in any way, shape or form, to have good reasons why you jumped to your conclusion. Otherwise, people might think that you’re crazy or you don’t know what you’re talking about.
So it’s always good to have some sort of reason why you came to some sort of judgment. And my shortlist of the modern sins of modern music really boils down to formula.
And don’t get me wrong. I mean, I’m a grown up. I’m an adult. I understand that there is really no such thing as something that is completely new. I get that. I can wrap my mind around that.
But come on, you know, it’s one thing to say that nothing is really new, it’s another to actually take effort to at least make things sound and feel new. These are two totally different things. And unfortunately, in the way music is distributed now and the technology we use to create music, it’s very easy to basically just copy and paste.
Ripped Off Music
That’s right. That recent lawsuit between Robin Thicke and the estate of Marvin Gaye, that was not an outlier because that highlighted the essence of modern music making. Pharrell, the prolific music producer actually composed the song, Blurred Lines, and a court concluded that it was basically stolen music.
Now, we can argue day and night, whether it was really ripped off music, but my point here is that the technology has reached a point where it’s really easy to copy and paste. You’re not really intending to do it, you may think you have something distinctive and original in your head, but by the time you reduce it into music that people can actually perceive, they’re entitled to the conclusion that it’s copied and pasted.
Do you see the problem here? And this highlights the problem of formula because the technology is there and it’s so easy to just basically go with the tried and proven form so there’s really no effort to distinguish. There’s really no effort to take things to the next level.
And I was going on and on about this with my friends, and they had their own beef. A lot of them had issues with the celebrity culture.
Modern Music Technology
Believe it or not, we have reached a point in modern music technology where the persona of the musical artist is accorded a lot of weight. In fact, it gets so much weight that people are ready, willing and eager to forgive a tremendous amount of unoriginality or even lack of musical competence.
There, you heard it right. People are that forgiving. And it’s easy to see why they have this mindset because they’re thinking that technology is a ready stand-in for musical ability. You can auto-tune pretty much anything. Somebody can leave a message on your voice mailbox and you can run that data through your auto-tuner and come up with a song. Crazy.
So it’s no surprise that Juliette and the Licks was formed in reaction to all of this. It really is a collective Dear John letter to modern music.
Now, this doesn’t mean we have our mind set on being the next celebrity band, but we just want to throw something out there. We just wanted to make a statement. We didn’t want to be yet another group of dedicated and passionate music fans who are just resolved to take all of this lying down.
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