I’m just going to throw this out there: “Much like David Guetta, nostalgia is the worst.” Actually, scratch that. What’s worse is the money-hungry concert promoter who knows he/she can get you to fork over as much dough as possible to see [insert your favorite act from your teenage years who fell off but needs to pay the bills so hey, let’s tour!]. There are very few exceptions to the rule of an older, previously defunct band, group, etc… being able to put on any semblance of a live performance. For example, the Jesus and Mary Chain blew the collective mind of everyone who saw them at the 2012 Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, N.C. Sidenote: I was there.
Too often, festival lineups are littered with acts that shouldn’t be anywhere near a bill, never mind close to a headlining spot. This became particularly evident when the lineups for the Coachella and Paid Dues festivals hit the web last week, causing everyone to hop on Twitter and squeal with prepubescent delight over seeing names that previously only existed on blog headlines like, “[insert act] call[s] it quits.” Said headlines then give way to “[insert member of aforementioned act] announces solo album and tour.” Next are the reviews, panning the solo projects with critiques like, “This guy just works better in a group setting.” You know how this pretty much always happens? I do. And for me, it was when Jurassic 5 dropped their fourth and final album, 2006’s Feedback.
The Los Angeles group, sans founding member Cut Chemist, truly churned out a turd with Feedback, which fell to pieces with corny singles like the Dave Matthews-featuring “Work It Out”. When that song puked its way into my ears, I felt offended and slightly betrayed. But then I thought about everyone who introduced me to and raved about J5. These were your prototypical college kids; well-to-do, potential Greek candidates who could name four, maybe five hip-hop acts when I asked who else they liked. Depending on the person, they named J5, Mos Def, Atmosphere, Common, and maybe Kanye West, though in 2005 (the start of my junior year) no one really listened to Yeezy like that. Yet.
It was weird. I was falling out of touch with an act that helped me learn about and appreciate other acts (thanks, Last.FM!). It was like deciding that I needed to stop hanging out with a certain friend, though he/she had introduced me to some new people who, funny enough, were way more enjoyable to be around. There was also the fact I hated faulting any group who killed it in concert, especially a hip-hop act. But there I was, shrugging my shoulders at J5’s entire discography and excommunicating myself from their fan base. Admittedly, I’ve given each member’s solo material a fair listen—particularly Chali 2na’s—but none of it really impressed me.
But I digress.