Throbbing Gristle

Throbbing Gristle are performing in New York tonight. I’m too excited to think about anything else.

Its hard to explain my love of this group.

I don’t think there are many casual Throbbing Gristle fans, I’ve never heard someone say “oh yeah, my friend put one of their songs on a mix. I kind of liked it.” I can’t recall ever hearing a Throbbing Gristle track played in public.

They are role models for me, examples of how people can live (not just perform, but actually live) creatively and uncompromisingly in the face of mainstream/mass culture. Most musicians fall into one of two categories: Performers who are just pretending on stage, and performers who have made enough money to pretend wherever they are. This isn’t the case with TG. They’re just people, but they have made it ok to not be “ordinary” people.

I find it telling that their music hasn’t been successfully co-opted like virtually every one of their contemporaries. I can’t imagine “Hamburger Lady” being used in a commercial or as the stirring soundtrack to a movie. Even though its thirty years old, their music isn’t nostalgic for me, its the music that I want to hear today. Its intellectual, its visceral, its primitive and complex, its smart, vulgar, brutal, and caressing all at once. And I’ll bear witness tonight.

Hot on the Heels of Love