Houston Calling

Houston Press skewers Blue October

June 1st, 2006 · No Comments

In today’s Houston Press, music editor John Nova Lomax takes a swing at local band gone big-time, Blue October.

Here’s a sample:

For the past five years, I’ve resisted ragging on Blue October. They were our only local rock success story, and I was glad for the HSPVA grads when they signed with Universal, sad when they were subsequently dropped and happy again when they were picked up again.

And since every other band in town and every last white-belted hipster from the Proletariat to Onion Creek would invariably sneer when they mentioned Blue October, it suited my rebellious tendencies to take up the opposite position. While admittedly I never could work up much enthusiasm about it, I would tell people that the guys weren’t that bad, you just had to be in the right frame of mind (read: high) when you heard them, or I would call ’em jealous haters or some such. And the band really was more interesting than most of the shitehawks the major labels were signing around 2001. Which is like saying rectal cancer is more interesting than arteriosclerosis, but still.

And this year, Blue October has started to approach world-domination levels. The band’s new album, Foiled, has spawned the huge hit “Hate Me,” and its already eager Hater Parade has obliged. I heard the usual hails of derisive laughter around town, and then the Dallas Observer, our sister paper to the north, ran a list of five reasons why Blue October sucked, taking special care to point out that they were a Houston band. (Which they are not, but more on that later.)

Read more here.

I’ll agree that their music is not something I would choose to listen to, and I wrote Lomax an email today thanking him for the amusing article. I am sure a lot of Houston music fans disagree (judging by the sold-out shows, record sales, and the Blue October bumper stickers I see on cars around town), but I think that the band’s middle-of-the-road rock is part of what’s wrong with the radio today. Of course, their album’s at the top of the charts, they’re scheduled to play this year’s Lollapalooza — and countless other concerts and TV shows — so people obviously like what they’re hearing. I am glad that they’re successful, and wish more Houston bands would get the nationwide recognition they deserve, but I just hope that none of them change their sound trying to jump on Blue October’s bandwagon.

Visit Blue October’s MySpace page and their main website and judge for yourself.

Tags: Music