Don’t Mourn The Songwriter: Kurt Cobain Is Dead, But We Still Have Alex G.
Any music nostalgic who says shit like, “Music just isn’t what it used to be—what happened to the instruments? What happened to the integrity of a live show?” should check out Alex G.’s Bandcamp and get slapped in the face with a healthy reminder: there will always be kids who play music. As for the skeptics, those who may not be immediately thrilled at the prospect of a white boy emotionally strumming a guitar—Alex is the rare songwriter that can express himself in a way that people really want to listen to. The music he plays with his eponymous band (made up of a girl drummer and two boys who look like they just recently made the collective decision to get short haircuts for the first time in their lives) could be post-rock, but his career definitively exists in 2015. For years, he’s been releasing hundreds of songs on the internet he updates his band’s Facebook page with posts like, “Does anyone have a place we can crash that’s halfway from San Francisco to Portland? Looking to break up some of the drive after our show in San Fran tonight. Trampoline not required but preferred.”
I watched him play a packed gig at the Echo in Los Angeles. He’d kicked off his summer tour with Speedy Ortiz. “I’m still figuring out how to translate my music to performance,” he had told me before the show. “My experience with the songs is just me writing them by myself, so it’s hard to know that fits on stage. It feels more like a dance that I’m practicing.” The crowd was oblivious to this issue. They knew every word to every song. The songs are short; the set is short—and when he finished playing, the entire venue was screaming for “one! more! song!”