Why every band should aspire to be Ryan Gosling
Spector are a small, half decent indie band signed to Florence & the Machine’s record label, if you acknowledge the NME’s existence you’ll have probably heard of them, if you don’t when you won’t have. That’s not important. They recently did a remix of Florence’s single ‘No Light No Light’ that was very good, exciting, fun to listen to; again that’s not important. What is important is that it was named ‘No Light No Light (Spector Ryan Gosling Remix)’
Why? Surely this is just one of those fun things that indie bands do because frankly why not? You know, just some fun, spunky (I miss the days when that adjective had innocent connotations) act of free will? NO.
I will tell you why the remix had that name, or at least why is should have had that name. It is because, more than Joy Division, David Bowie and Beyoncé put together, the best role model for bands to be looking to right now is Ryan Gosling. In the space of one year he has put out three major releases, all which were enormously enjoyable and interesting in their own way, involved a fantastic performance from the man himself and came from three completely separate genres. The fact that he’s an actor starring in films as opposed to a singer writing albums is irrelevant.
Just to drum in the significance of this, here are the aforementioned three films, and their musical equivalents.
Genre: chase/action romp of the Jason Statham-type
Why it’s special: The top film of 2011 from most critics with relatively strong stomachs, Drive sticks out like a sore thumb from its peers down to the deep empathy for its protagonist that it injects into the viewer, as a result of frankly beautiful direction, and a shockingly subtle performance from Gosling.
Musical Equivalent: Taking a genre that often varies in its ratio of dumb:fun, and making it into an artistic masterpiece? I’d go with Crystal Castles’ self-titled debut album of noise pop.
Genre: Awfully titled rom-com
Why it’s special: Simple one this: it’s inarguably funny. It manages to deal with the stone-cold truth of how difficult and potentially impossible relationships can be, but does so involving a host of strong performances and clever scripting, and a few genuine laugh out loud moments.
Musical Equivalent: An enjoyable forage into a painfully commercial genre, that retains both the fun and the big bucks, with intelligence thrown in? Probably Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne collaboration album
Genre: Political drama
Why it’s special: Instead of opting for an overtly complex plot, or even one that will challenge the mind of someone as uninterested in politics as myself, the operative word here is ‘drama’ with a plot full of twists and turns, driven by a colourful array of characters that shine despite criminally short performances, from legends such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti.
Musical Equivalent: Simplifying a complex genre without losing any of its weight or thoughtfulness? Arcade Fire’s post-rock masterpiece The Suburbs.
Well, bands of the world, I have set down the gauntlet. If you can put out ‘Crystal Castles,’ ‘Watch The Throne,’ and ‘The Suburbs’ in a year, then well done, I shall write an article about why everyone should be inspired by you. If not, the start paying more attention to Ryan Gosling.