Tuesday, November 15, 2005


They're not old enough to drink Stateside but yet they're old enough to "unite a generation." With nary an album released, are the Arctic Monkeys becoming too famous, too quickly?

Dispatch Before the Show:

I'm going to see the Arctic Monkeys play a sold-out show tonight at New York's Mercury Lounge. It may not sound like a big deal but I'm told it is. After all, the Monkeys, sweeping into New York for their first American shows are an immense hype sensation. The kind of band that makes indie rock devotees clamor around for the important industry connection that gets them into a buzz show. But as their publicist told me, no such connection exists.

Their two New York shows are beyond sold out (they've even moved the second one to the larger Bowery Ballroom because of the high demand) and their label hasn't any more physical tickets to offer even to the more important journalists (one photographer went so far as to subtly threaten the label that if he didn't get a ticket, his magazine wouldn't cover the band). There are 76 matches on Craigslist regarding the exchange of Arctic Monkeys tickets to these two sold-out shows. Some want hundreds of dollars, others are looking for, er, favors ("Extra Arctic Monkeys ticket for HOT girl with loose morals!").

It's undeniable that the band is causing quite a stir. In England, they already have a legion of rabid and devoted fans. The British music weekly NME has christened them the band to "unite a generation" likening the words of 19-year-old lead singer Alex Turner to those of the great lyricists Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker. But this is all extremely surreal and odd when you consider that they've yet to release an album (tellingly, their MySpace page features the quote "Don't believe the hype.")

The Arctic Monkeys, made up of four high school friends from Sheffield, England, have only officially released one single with only two songs on it and that single debuted on the English charts at No. 1 beating out the respective new releases by radio-friendly pop acts the Sugarbabes and McFly. Moreover, their debut doesn't come out for another few months but there's already an anticipated pre-order. Finally, and even more incredibly, they're still all under 20-years-old.

So, the question must be asked (putting on my Objective Hat), are they really that good?

Well, I'll let you know later tonight after the show.


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