Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pathetic Excuse for a Eulogy: Silverghost


Recently it was announced that the local band Silverghost broke up. To my knowledge, no one has really reported on it in any detail (although I’m not really knowledgeable to begin with). Since no one that is talented or informed has taken the initiative to give any coverage beyond the basic announcement, or to try to summarize their endeavors, you’ll just have to settle for the work of the creepiest of internet creepsters.

What struck me the most about them is that when two members left the band early on, and they were replaced by pre-recordings, the band didn’t catch much flack for it. I don’t know how well that sort of thing is received in other parts of the country, but I was expecting them to get a lot of criticism of using pre-recorded audio in their live performances. Performers who play along with pre-recorded material are often called “schticky” or “hackey”. Personally, it doesn’t bother me so long as there’s some live element other than just singing going on.

There were those who criticized them for playing local shows too often, but I never really saw a problem with that. I took it to be a sign of ambition. They wanted to reach as many potential new fans as they could. The real problem was that they didn’t venture out to metro Detroit venues that all their friends didn’t already go to. It might have been unhip in their social circle to play outside of Detroit, Hamtramck, Ferndale, The Berkley Front, and the Crofoot, but if you’re willing to play nearly every weekend, why not take a chance on a place like The Token Lounge, or the many places out in the farther stretches of our suburban sprawl. That might have lured in people who otherwise never would have heard of Silverghost. Perhaps the dudebros don’t know any better because they’ve never been exposed to better music.

Announcements of a local band breaking up always invoke different reactions than a national band breaking up. When a band with nationwide radio play breaks up, it’s usually after interest in them has noticeably waned, and many of their fans will later come to the conclusion that the breakup happened at roughly the right time. With local bands, it typically happens after only a few releases. It can feel premature, and we’re left wondering what else they would have created if they had stuck it out a while longer. We feel invested in a local band in a different way than we are with a band from out of state. We think back on their early performances, and tend to feel that by being a witness to their beginnings, we somehow share in their triumphs. (Keep in mind I’m talking in generalities here. This post isn’t supposed to be all weepy and gay)

We’re often told that when a band breaks up, it’s because of creative differences. The truth is that the reason is usually differences of ambition, or slowly changing levels of commitment. Some band members don’t have the ambition, or won’t take the risk to the routine of their life by touring out of state, or won’t follow through with their previous intentions to do so. Another member(s) of the band will come to the conclusion that their current project won’t amount to being anything more than a group of weekend warriors, and will leave to pursue something else.

We shouldn’t expect to hear the details about why Silverghost broke up. After all, we’re not entitled to know the intricacies of the interpersonal dynamics of Marcie and Deleano. Regardless of whether or not they split with acrimony, they both probably realize that it’s not in either of their interests to publicly air any drama (if it exists). Letting the public see the dirty laundry just gives people like me the opportunity to make light of it.

Until someone that’s actually qualified sits down to write the story of this band from beginning to end (something akin to this, an earnest attempt to tell as much of the story as possible), you’ll just have to settle for this pathetic excuse for a eulogy.

10 comments:

  1. I'm confused. What was the point of this post? Silverghost broke up because the band members broke up. Duh.
    And with regards to replacing members with pre-recordings, I think that helped M & D keep things simple. It was easier for them to play outside of Detroit - which they did often.

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  2. supposedly their impending nuptial dissolved with the band breakup.......cause and effect

    -jr

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  3. "I'm confused. What was the point of this post?"

    You expect too much from me.

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  4. I agree, I don't think you have any fucking idea what you are talking about. You realize they were a couple right? Couples break up and sadly in this case they were also a band. So maybe it's non of your fucking blogs business why the split. It's best to leave it alone ass.

    Also They went on tour every other month. So It's rather a bit unfair to say They only played in there little "hip circles". When I know for a fact they were always on the run, unlike some shit sandwich bands/blogsters that never tour anywhere(I don't have to say any names). Finally, to anyone who has ever played the suburbs or god forbid Token Lounge, my condolences.

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  5. Meth fueled comments at 4:49 A.M. rock! Fuck yeah!

    "So maybe it's non of your fucking blogs business why the split."

    That's what I said. Thanks for agreeing with me. You then went ahead and reiterated the thing which isn't supposed to be anyone's business. Well done.

    "So It's rather a bit unfair to say They only played in there little "hip circles"."

    We all know they toured. Clearly I was only speaking to how they schedule their many local appearances, and how those patterns can fail to capture a potentially larger local audience. (which I believe many bands around here could do if they ventured outside their comfort zones)

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  6. I saw them ounce at the token lounge, strange how you don't seem to get your facts straight. But we understand you need the attention. Anyway,those two played everywhere in this town and pretty much outside it, besides the Fox and The Filmore, but both venues that are not very much into local Acts. So I give them many props for making good music and almost going somewhere with it. Of many bands that seemed local. They probably did better than most. Silverghost will be missed dearly.

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  7. It's been a week since your 4:49 A.M. comment, you've checked back here several times since then, and only just now you remember that they "ounce" played at the Token Lounge? Did it really take you that long to remember it, or did you spend a whole week scouring google results? Regardless of what suburban wasteland dive I used as an example, I still stand by my point.

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  8. Just came across this. I am glad someone finally said something about Silverghost ... but you weren't MEAN enough! God dammit. There's a lot you could talk about ... I mean, the fact they changed gears from stupid Detroit Garage rip-off number eight thousand to Devo/Bowie rip-off number eight million, and no one seemed to catch they still sucked even after changing format. It's easy to duplicate, and even after all their fake-o shamanistic crap attempts at "becoming" something in yet another claim at knowing what psychadelia is, hiding their ignorance behind eye glitter ........

    or something like that. ..... i haven't been in Detroit in years, but I suspect there is a whole lot to shit on, especially considering the influx of dopes turned on by the concept of an abandoned city made nostalgic or antique, and how "It's great to do art here!!!!!!!" when they don't know a damn bit of .................
    you get my point!!!!
    STEP IT UP!!!!! YOU CALL THIS SLANDER?!?!?!?!
    YOU'RE ANONYMOUS FOR GOD SAKES!!!!!
    (a little kickinthebooty, I think you're doing a great job)

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  9. LOL! I now have 5 fans.

    Some people get mean when they're drunk, I get almost nice.

    You've now done more than anyone else to analyze their music. It may or may not be spot on, but I don't weigh in on those matters.

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  10. IMHO Marcie and Deleano are an undiscovered major talent. It is a tragedy for them to break up as a band. It's is not easy to be a band AND a couple, particularly in 2011.
    Look at the Silverghost videos from the Burton Theater on Single Barrel Detroit site. They are so talented. The "Disappearing" video is a masterpiece. (I admit to bias as a retired projectionist who worked in Local 306 IATSE in NY running many world premiere films.) Still, the mood of the song and the projector running really works. Leaving in the false start by the editing table was also a good move.
    The DNA/Boomslang is not far behind in creative genius. Choice of dark monochrome mood, roaming camera in classroom with blackboard behind Marcie really works. (Just some comments from an old hippie in NY with big shit degrees in Film/Video.)
    --Alan

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