Several years ago I saw Eastern Youth deliver the best performance I’ve ever and yet to have seen. It was during SXSW in some emptied Mexican restaurant near 6th. Maybe 2006, when What Can You See From Your Place? was released.
The members don’t speak English, but they had a few moments where they spoke to the audience in fragments. The most memorable quip was,
“What is rock? What is party? I want none.”
And then they continued playing very loud rock music. I never understood exactly what it meant but felt it meant something pretty significant.
Norm Macdonald recently tweeted his experience with a publicist (maybe in reaction to the #latelatenormnorm thing?) and expressed something similar to Eastern Youth’s sentiment, or at least I think that’s what happened.
Maybe i’m associating disparate things because I’m coming to terms with my own wants and needs and reconciling them with reality as far as making a career out of music goes, but I think what Eastern Youth meant by “What is rock? What is party? I want none,” was you can do what you want and do it on your own terms and have much more than either “rock” or “party,” however you see those things.
You don’t need the rock show, the after party, the red carpet, the magazine interview.
Though, you may rock. And you may party. But the more you want them, the more distant they become. That distance, I think, arrives when you put the thing on a pedestal. You must achieve rock. You must achieve party. People must view you rocking and partying, and know you live rock and live party.
But what is rock? And what is party? Do you want some?