The New Standards' High Crimes Against Rock 'n' Roll

by Bill Tuomala

So I was working at a client and things were frustrating enough as I was dealing with a laptop (no numbers on the right of the keyboard) and what do I hear on their sound system? Back-to-back butcherings of "I Will Dare" and "All The Young Dudes." And both of these brilliants songs were done lounge style. Rock 'n' roll sacrilege!

I did some research and found out that these monstrosities were perpetuated by The New Standards and (ouch) they're from Minneapolis. I had hoped hometown boys would be smart enough to realize that lounge takes on rock 'n' roll songs is soooo mid-nineties. Worse, trying to be clever with tunes by the Replacements and Mott the Hoople is kinda pointless as these bands were two of the cleverest bands ever. If The New Standards are trying to be funny with these songs, they failed. If they were intended as homage, ditto.

Who listens to this? I'm guessing it's big with: 1) Soccer moms who prefer Beck over the Jeff Beck Group, 2) Certain dumbshit Gen Xers who have reduced themselves into believing that irony is a major part of any rock 'n' roll diet, and 3) The Current crowd, who if they knew anything about good rock 'n' roll wouldn't listen to The Current. I mistakenly thought that in our new century we could do without pretentious, non-funny "efforts" like this stuff put forward by The New Standards. Thankfully, later that day I heard Mott's "All The Way From Memphis" on satellite radio while in my car. I blasted it and grinned at the part where Ian Hunter chuckles to himself. Thankfully, both the 'Mats and Mott can withstand lame assaults by aging Twin Cities also-rans*. And don't tell me about the quality of The New Standards musicianship or the dues that these guys have paid. The fact remains, they did a hit job on two rock 'n' roll gems. Yet their future remains bright and they will no doubt show up on TPT's Almanac sometime soon.

*A demographic I aspire to join someday.

Exiled on Main Street #45

Exiled on Main Street